Thursday, 27 November 2008

There’s one mount that I really wanted and yes I caved and bought a mammoth! This mount of awesomeness is the most fun I’ve had in awhile, and got me away from some of the more serious parts of raiding. I was giving free Mammoth rides around Dalaran and discovered something interesting when I decided to jump out of the Dalaran sewer outlet pipe into a huge freefall. I was waiting for the traditional splat… but we lived (yes I could have bubbled, but it was more fun this way)!

How did we survive? Well, the mammoth is actually a vehicle with about 5k health, so the mammoth took the fall while the passengers got off clean. Yay!
There are two vendors that come with it - one a reagent and repair vendor and the other a food and drink vendor. The prices are more expensive than if you bought goods off a vendor with whom you are exalted with. Still if you’re in a hurry it’s ultra convenient. Also I don’t have to carry vendor trash in my bags anymore, I just mount up and dump it (this was a fair problem while I was levelling). The main advantage would be for raiding though. Those raiders that forget to repair or restock reagents would instead just get me to go outside the instance and summon the mammoth.

Oh yeah and the price? Well you get over that… eventually.

Friday, 21 November 2008


So I dinged 80 last night, and I'm stoked that the grind is over for Rexkicker!

I fully enjoyed the ride, and the game had much more variety, the Murloc suit quest is one of my favorites. Two things are a vast improvement gameplay wise. First it definitely has a progression element in the game. The change of the storyline as you do because of the phase shifting technology means your quests actually change the storyline!

The second is the sheer variety, allowing you to control different mounts and vehicles gives it that GTA feel.

What's annoying me the most though are those quests that keep getting you to take down flying mobs. Flying mobs people! Extremely irritating for paladins without a range pulling mechanism. I was doing some things like mounting up and doing a running jump and using HoJ or a Judgement in mid-air to pull. Come on surely you can give us something Blizz even if it doesn't do any damage (something like the shaman's windshock would be nice)! I was actually annoyed that I didn't get the Monster Slayer's Kit during the Scourge event!

Friday, 14 November 2008

Wrath is here!

So while parking my car on my way to pick up a copy of Wrath, I walked passed this obvious gamer car. This 4WD was PACKED with enough coke, coke zero and pepsi to burn through your insides! Either that or this guy has a lot of drainpipes to clean...

I've gone for a slightly more saner route, choosing the traditional pizza and beer. A perfect combo!
Yes I joined the queue along with heaps of other bleary eyed players, and I was one of the last ones to pick up my copy. I'm in no hurry though, after all I do have four 70's to level.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Mana issues part 2

Following on from my post yesterday, I was thinking about how I used to manage my mana pool back in 2.4.3 and earlier. I know Wotlk is almost here and we’ll get access to the new spanking ability Divine Plea at 71! But will that be enough I wonder? Hmmm….

So what are our other options to regenerate mana? Well first lets look at those buffs and consumables you can control (not including shadow priests, other retadins, survival hunters and shaman totems). Note that as these buffs will be outdated, I'll have to look for the Wotlk equivalents in a future post.

Blessing of wisdom: I prioritise might over wisdom, but if there are several pallies in the raid, I'm sure you'll get it.

Mana potion: This is the easiest solution for instant mana, however in the world of 3.0.3, you can only drink one potion per boss fight and I want to save that cooldown for a haste potion+avenging wrath combo.

Mp5 gems: No, simply no. Paladins gem for strength, gemming for Mp5 gimps your dps.

Mp5 food: To be honest, I haven’t explored the benefits of eating Mp5 food, usually eating Roasted Clethoof for the extra strength. Going forward, maybe I'll switch to a hit rating food since we don't have the Precision talent anymore.

Elixir of Major Mageblood: I love this elixir as it gives us 16 Mp5. Since it’s a guardian elixir it nicely complements battle elixirs such as the Fel Strength elixir. Pity I can’t drink it if I already have Flask of Relentless Assault.

Superior Mana Oil: Hmm 14 Mp5. This is an interesting one to consider with the new mechanics to Windfury, as Windfury is no longer a weapon buff. I'll probably experiment with this while levelling with this on my weapon to see if it helps.

These are all pretty straightforward to help your mana issues, however there are more creative ways to try and increase your mana regen, and all these strategies rely on the paladin’s spiritual attunement ‘emo’ class ability.

Seal of Blood: The bread and butter dps seal for paladins, the fact that you hurt yourself every time you deal damage means you receive a steady stream of damage.

Glyph of Spiritual Attunement: This glyph seems pretty interesting and is something I'm considering for my third glyph slot. An extra 2% of mana received through spiritual attunement doesn’t sound like much, but its something that will always be there and doesn’t need a gimmick or a proc to work.

Dark runes: These babies are especially tasty for retadins even though they’re a low level Azeroth drop and you can farm these from the Satyr demons in Felwood. Not only do they give you a decent amount of mana, they also do damage to you. Woohoo!

Hand of Sacrifice: Ah this ability was used by Alliance paladins in lieu of Seal of Blood. When you put this on your Main Tank, you should take some nice damage for using this.

Taking damage: Ok quite obvious and not for the faint of heart. Deliberately taking damage (say through AoE damage) means you can hurt yourself enough to get a nice amount of mana from a healer.

So there you go, some ideas to deal with mana issues. Just one final thought though, I rarely use the Art of War proc on myself unless I'm desperate since you would a) use mana for the heal and b) not get any mana back because spiritual attunement doesn’t work for self heals!



Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Mana issues

Mana is always a touchy issue for paladins (and to a lesser extent Enhance shamans).

So what is the issue in particular for Paladins?

Well with the recent nerf to Judgement of the Wise, mana given has gone down from 33% to 15% of base mana.

Now at 70, I have noticed the difference in the loss of mana, but I have compensated by simply judging wisdom all the time. This is not a fun mechanic though, because in PvE, I feel like I am forced to use JoW all the time and have lost the flexibility of being able to judge light.

So my view is that paladins should be able to sustain a single target rotation (Judgement, Crusader Strike and Divine Storm), and should only start to run oom by doing ‘extras’ like popping off a heal, using Hammer of Wrath, and dropping an AoE ability like Consecrate.

At 70 however, with a roughly 7k mana pool I can achieve all of the above a little too well, due to the intellect on my gear. This is what is causing a misconception that paladins will be OP at 80 in that a paladin will be able to use all of these abilities without going oom. What a larger part of the WoW community don’t realise is that at 80, all dps plate will not have intellect on it. Zero!

That means that an 80 would have about 5k mana (from what I’ve heard on the Beta forums) and retadins cannot do all of those things due to the tiny mana pool. Mana management becomes much more tricky as there is less room for extras. As it is, I rarely heal anyone (even myself) because a ret paladin’s mana is so small. Bandages, health pots and health stones are the order of the day.

What I am interested in though is how the new Divine Plea mechanic will come into play at level 71. Will this be our saviour to our oom problems? I’ll have to wait and see.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Just in time!

Ok, before I start, just bear in mind that I had actually gone to the gym before so I don’t feel so guilty!

I had previously resigned my fate to never seeing higher than T5 content. Well, fate has an interesting way of playing its cards so late.

A little while ago, a group of raiders and I left our old guild to form a new guild ‘Relentless’ with one purpose in mind: To see as much content as possible in Wotlk. What we wanted is to be professional at raiding (not necessarily hardcore), in other words, learn quickly and move on.

So we setup our new guild and had a core of about 12 members. Enough to do ZA but not much else until Wotlk hit.

It just so happened that we joined a pug SSC run, and I caught up with the raid at Leo (having already cleared Tidewalker, Fathom Lord Karathress and Hydross). Well we wiped a few times and decided to call it. That’s when our old raid leader suggested we try and pug Hyjal or BT. We settled on doing Hyjal first and even though we had no experience in the place, put a pug raid together.

Our strategy for each boss was to simply read up the strat and youtube the video and have a go. We absolutely smashed it despite never being there, and ploughed through 4/5 bosses! But we wanted more, knowing that Wotlk is so close, we put a new raid together for BT. So when we stepped into BT, we then took down the first 4 bosses, Najentus, Supremus, Shade and Teron Gorefiend… babam! We one shotted Najentus, Shade, and two shotted Supremus and Teron. We eventually called it quits after downing Teron Gorefiend at 1.30 in the morning.

So after an epic session of some 13.5 hours straight, the new guild progressed through three SSC bosses, four Hyjal bosses and four BT bosses. While this is seriously unhealthy, I have no regrets going into Wotlk now and am happy to move on. I was happy with my own personal performance too, pumping out a sustained 1.7k dps throughout the raid.

So thanks Blizz for nerfing the content and giving us new abilities! I finally got to see end game content.

We’re going back into SSC to have another go at Leo and then to BT to have a crack at Bloodboil, Reliquary of Souls and Mother (I heard that she’s doable without Shadow Resist gear). I am really excited, because I know that there’s a lot at stake. We only get one night to have a crack at this and then the opportunity will be gone when the expac hits next week.

The funny thing was we also filled our raiding roster in one day! Players recognised that we were good despite never being there and decided to join us now that we were a ‘tier 6 guild’. We took in those pugs that ran with us and put them on trial. By the time we hit Teron, the pug raid was now almost a full Relentless raid! I know, post 3.0.2 the nerfed raiding doesn’t mean anything, but it’s a good indication that with the talent that we have, this guild will succeed in the expansion and will attract quality applicants.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

This has got to stop!

Another nerf hotfixed to live? Give us a freakin break!

This time I can't bubble and pop wings simultaneously anymore.

Actually its even WORSE than it was in pre 3.0!

Not only that Forbearance used to be on a 1 min cooldown. Now its 2 minutes!

Once again Avenging Wrath is ABSOLUTELY USELESS in Arena now. Retadins won't be popping wings again because of the freaking debuff.