Monday, 1 November 2010

Paladin Patch 4.0.1 Review #3 - Notes

Breaking down the changes.

World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> #BlizzChat Developer Chat on Twitter -- 7.16
7/16/2010 - Dual Resource System Looks like combo points
Q: What is the goal when re-designing the paladin class? How do you plan to change rotations, talents, etc?
A. All of the paladin specializations will make use of a new resource called Holy Power. Holy Power accumulates from using Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents. Holy Power can be consumed to augment a variety of abilities, including:
  • An instant mana-free heal: Word of Glory
  • A buff to increase holy damage done: Inquisition
  • A massive physical melee attack for Retribution paladins: Templar’s Verdict
  • Holy Shield’s duration is now extended by Holy Power
  • Divine Storm’s damage is now increased by Holy Power

Level 81
New Paladin Spells

Blinding Shield (level 81): Causes damage and blinds all nearby targets. This effect might end up only damaging those facing the paladin’s shield, in a manner similar to Eadric the Pure's ability Radiance in Trial of the Champion. The Holy tree will have a talent to increase the damage and critical strike chance, while the Protection tree will have a talent to make this spell instant cast. 2-second base cast time. Requires a shield.

PaladinTank Patch 4.0.1 – 2nd review

I’m annoyed, ..or am i frustrated? My initial notes on the changes for the paladin tank are the same in assessment. However, after playing for a few days with it, im left with one question.. “wtf have you done blizz?”

With every patch, or expansion, i have watch each improvement work itself out. Although this is still early days, ..i find myself confused with my paladin. Why?

The shared cooldown between CS and HoR. I like being busy, however i dont like waiting for cooldowns. Being locked into a limited array of abilities that i have to choose on the moment or suffer a global cooldown, or ability cooldown, for me, agonising. And the lottery ability of a free avengers shield does little to comfort my *available options* on the moment/fly for something i need to control that suprises the team.

Combat points – Holy Power. I can see how that works for Holy spec, and Ret spec, but, for me, the self heal and Shield of the Righteous buff should be on something else..Im not a rogue...and if i have to use my holy power to activate 15% Shield block, the chances of using 3 charges on a self heal are going to be ...again, a lottery.

It all just feels....CLUNKY and mis-placed. I tried a level 80 Warrior, Consecrate Vs Thunder Clap + Rend, seemed equal...however obviously different in their applications. Cleave seemed improved, vs before the patch, and shockwave in addition. Paladin....Mehhh! lottery..

Druid tanking, seemed a little nerfed with the swipe cooldown increase, although im not able to test a level 80 druid, there didnt seem to be the a whole lot of change at all. However, having lived with the paladin for 4 years (Tank spec) the difference is night a day...unfortunately...for the worst.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Paladin Tanking, Patch 4.0.1


Requirements for tanking Summarised.

Hit Rating 8%
Expertise 55

Primary Options:
[Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous] (Recommended) - Increase both physical and holy damage components by 10%.
[Glyph of Seal of Truth] (Recommended) - Seal of Truth also grants 10 Expertise while active.
Seal of Truth - What was once known as Seal of Vengeance is now known as this. The ability is essentially the same as before and also remains the principle tanking Seal. Remember to pick up the associated glyph for 10 Expertise.

[Glyph of Judgement] - Judgement deals 10% more damage.*
[Glyph of Shield of the Righteous] (Recommended) - Increases the damage of Shield of the Righteous by 10%.*
[Glyph of Word of Glory] - Increases the healing done by Word of Glory.*

* Build and preference on whether to focus more on single/AoE tanking or WoG will effect these glyph selections.


Prime glyphs have replaced the role of Major glyphs while Major glyphs have now become a middle of the road type of glyph. Being middle of the road these glyphs do not adjust abilities as drastically as prime glyphs. Below are acceptable glyphs for tanking Paladins.

[Glyph of Dazing Shield] - Avenger's Shield now also dazes targets.
[Glyph of Divine Protection] - Increases magical damage reduction of this ability by 20% and removed the physica
l protection benefit.*
[Glyph of the Ascetic Crusader] - Reduces mana cost of CS by 30%.
[Glyph of Focused Shield] (Recommended) - Avenger's Shield hits 2 fewer targets, but for 30% more damage.
[Glyph of Holy Wrath] (Recommended) - This provides an AoE stun and will likely have high utility come the expansion when more dragonkin and elementals will be present in content.

* As of this publishing word is that this glyph does not remove the physical protection benefit however I've been unable to find official confirmation.


Minor glyph selection remains underwhelming. The most interesting one for Paladin tanks would be Lay on Hands for reduced LoH cooldown. The suggestions below are just that; ultimately the choice of Minor glyphs has very little impact on tanking performance.

of Lay on Hands] (Recommended) - Reduces LoH cooldown by 2 minutes.
[Glyph of Blessing of Might] - Reduces the mana cost of BoM by 50%.
[Glyph of Blessing of Kings] - Reduces the mana cost of BoK by 50%.

The Rotation

The ability priority for single target tanking is as follows:

Shield of the Righteous > Crusader Strike > Judgement > Avenger's Shield* > Consecration > Holy Wrath
For area tanking the following priorities are used (this is a proposed rotation for now):

Hammer of the Righteous > Avenger's Shield* > Judgement > Consecration > Holy Wrath

* This is assumed AS has been glyphed for single target. For the AoE rotation the assumption is AS is unglyphed.


Review of 2 nights of 5 man heroics.

anking has changed for me in rotations, that's for sure, i must have spent a few moments pausing with my guild mates shuffling abilities around. They also where doing their own shuffling, macro re-writing, it was only the priest in our group that seemed unaffected by any of the patch changes.
Consecrates new cool down is 37 seconds...that just seemed forever for me, even though there's a bug displaying ground level AE, i thought the ability was nerfed, until i realised my Holy Shield wasn't doing the same thing it did before....reactive holy damage from blocking.....or was that me not paying attention, maybe it is, or isn't...something i will have to check up on. Hammer of Righteous and Crusader Strike share the same cool down, so if you miss click, you have 3 seconds until your AE ability or solo ability comes back up...this is unfortunate when you group pull, and click crusader strike by accident! lol
Avenging Shield (Or thy holy frizzbie) hasnt changed, although there is a free AS randomly and again, that triggers. /shrugs even if your frizzbie is on cool-down it is refreshed.
Holy Wrath..well now, works on all mobs, but will also stun/daze undead or demons. TBH, i found myself spamming this more than Consecrate.....since i couldn't see Consecrate anyway...!!

The rotation seemed a little CLUNKY if you asked me, i ended up tying my HR and Avengers Shield to a Macro

/castsequence reset=2 Hammer of the Righteous, Avenger's Shield

This worked better for me, i could click on Hammer of Righteous and hover of the key until it turned back to HoR again, until i got 5 Holy Power. Or i could just spam the 1 key, however i would need to work out figures of threat difference if i do that.

Different, nobody likes change striaghtaway, ..however, its challenging and i think im liking it. Yes, looks like we have been brought down a peg for AE tanking, but im sure glyphs and tweaking rotations and abilities will prove a different style of play, rather than a different character. However, these are big changes to play style.....i'll have to get back to you on this....

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Cataclysm Update - Part 3 - DPS < CC, New School Vs Old School

Anyone Pre-Burning Crusade, will remember Sheep pulls, Shackle pulls, after a rogue sap on a group of 4 mobs. The intense concentration of focusing on your teams individual roles. And then finally, after all that team work, you EARNED your right to stand infront of the boss before the re-spawn kicked in......god-damn i loved Scholomance!
If ever anything got a bad name in Vanilla warcraft, it was the infamous word.....PuG! Try taking a bunch of folk who have no idea on Crowd control, into Scholomance and you'll be loosing the will to live very quickly.

But like wet blankets, Burning Crusade & Wrath presented us with the AE chain pulling trash, the brain numbing, un-challenging wit-less easy mode ...and then "ahh, here's the boss...nuke" for me, Wrath got ..............boring? un-challenging, and im not talking about boss fights, everyone is so focused on the end, the journey there is 80% the experience. "Hey we did Scholomance" for the first time, and folk appriecate the difficulty you went through to get to Gandling. Say, "oh we did, Drak' Keep!" and folk are musingly not really impressed at all. And the reason why is was WOTLK was and is...just plain simple. It's nice, for a while and to be fair, ok, yes new folk will be able to play it etc, etc.

After reading some of the reviews on heroics in Cata, it brough a huge smile to my face. Total Biscuit commenting on *brutal 5 man dungeons with heavy CC focus* was like heaven screaming at me..."Come backkkkk, we where just kidding with Wrath!"

Ultimately, this got me thinking about TDD. It's helped us alot in WOTLK with ICC. But i have an impression there might be a change of hearts and roles, come the expansion. Anyone gauging what class they are going to play in Cata' and didn't play the original wow when the level cap was 60, will be in for a huge shock. But, with a little coaching from our experienced members, im sure we'll pull together very quickly to get everyone i the habit of UN-INSTALLING your DPS meter.

Time will tell, who knows what the future might bring. And if you where a fan of the old-school, maybe... it's time to shine once again ;) and get back into that lip biting tense group pulls

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

My custom PC goes into storage.

My Gaming PC goes into semi-retirement. Due to real life circumstances, i'm preparing to move house and live with the In-laws for an extended period of time. We have recently sold our house looking for a bigger one.

So i have been fortunate with this custom PC build, i have had some problems with it, none to do with cooling! Just windows 7 issues. So it's done its job well, performed great and handled the many tests of wow while tanking and numerous addon's

I think the graphics card, sure could be increased for better performance, but this was a budget PC. And performed really well, it'll be going into a box and kept safe for a while. Meantime i'll be using a Toshiba Satellite P30-145'll do, it'll do. I need something compact to slide under the bed, instead of hauling out monitors and keyboards onto a kitchen table. And has more performance than my original Toshiba! 17 inch screen though...thats big!

Cataclysm Update - Part 2

Talent Tree.
So..quite a difference in the talent tree set-up. It looks a little vanilla doesn't it? but it looks as if they have condensed everything into half the amount of talent point abilities. I'm not going to list all the new spells and abilities, as these could change and tweak in the months ahead. But you get a fair idea of where the paladin tank is heading towards with the script Blizzard is putting out in its message.
Other than sticking Righteous Fury on, and stacking stamina and strength, (depending on the paladin tank conversion) im lost in the "where's my mana pool come from?"
Now..come on Blizzard, get with it..every other MMORPG game out there new and recent has colour customisation. I remember 1 year ago raising a ticket for hair colour change & style, a
nd interestingly, we got it. Doubt that was purely down to me, but the conversation with the support Gm was quite a good one.
Yes, we're a bit sick of everyone looking the same, ok fine, the gear can look the same (model) but changing the primary or secondary colour should'nt be much of a head-ache...considering you have mastered the hair cut. More depth of individuality! Thats what we want. ..or maybe just me. So i'm a little disappointed there..since my other half will only wear gear that matches...go-figure ;) and what about some tribal tattoo's....ok i've stepped over the mark with make-up?
After reading through some of the new spells, it looks like the paladin is going to be pumping out some funky animations. I'm a little worried about being blinded in a tanking match with a boss that im hardly going to be able to see. That aside i'm sure it'll be fine, although FPS might take a hit..
Content Vs Out-dated GFX engine
You can play a game with high end graphics that has complete and utter crap game content, or sketchy RP and quest lines. Blizzard has very successful for over 4-5 years with the same graphic models of your avatar and item gear. Yes, its some-what basic on comparison to other more modern mmo games out now, but none of them come even close to warcraft's game content, and familiarity. Lets be honest, how often do you zoom into your characters face in Dalaran? Vs how long you have played? My bet is out of 12 hours a week of playing wow, you've only looked at your characters graphics for 5 minutes tops...while you put on your new shoulder armour and checked the size of your ass in the mirror? Looks like Blizz continue to keep the game engine simple, accessible for all area's of hardware performance. And i dont think anything will change. :) Prehap's this is where our imagination works the part that blizzard, does not..keeping us hooked in.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Evil Nadíastorm - Deathknight re-visited

I confess...
..i like my death knight, i like it alot, why?...i dont know. Maybe because its the only class i have at level 80. Maybe because it's Undead..wait alive, unholy..or something. She's got plate, and can duel-weld....and the alter-ego of Nadiastorm.
Last night, while digressing with Micke (aka Punkgirl), i revisited my DK, dressed in 200 ilevel gear (with some exceptions) slapping a Boss dummy in Ironforge.
She pumped out a good 2750 DPS on average over 6 minutes., with the rotation and spec remaining the same as it ever was.
There where some patch changes to Death Coil, and Blood Boil/Blood Strike to make a difference in DPS. But i was happy, which was the main thing.
Spec remains 00-15-53, although the exact spec is still being tweaked. However the rotation hasn't changed either, from previous trials. However the spec and rotation must be right to get
the most out of it, otherwise you look like a fool in Unholy presence.
Evil Nadíastorm is my Alt, and my alt of choice...i like it. So between now and Cata', unless im called opon to ICC, or elsewhere. I'll keep on with the tests of this controversial spec and see what she can do. I hate shoe boxes, and last time i played this spec, i raised a few eyebrows of the masses of Blood and Frost spec dw'ers. ...Remember, this was Naxx level..we're in ICC now.
Gearwise, its all Triumph whoring. So we'll see how LFG goes. ;) Itemisation is Key for this spec, and breaks convention.....just the way i like it. And just as i read this back, i realised i have the wrong runes on my weapons..D'oh!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ethos of a GM

"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it."
Theodore Roosevelt

"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him. But of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves." Lao-Tzu

I have always maintained in this blog that the best boss, is a reluctantly appointed one. It's prehap's that mind set that stops any leader becoming egotistical. What would concern me is someone who jumps in-front of the line, someone like this should be a sub-officer, and not an actual officer, as they are unable to practice restraint. Although the willingness, ambition, and drive is there, it is better served at a level where it can be shared with the collective, rather than just the administration. And its with that glint of intuition, resourcefulness and creative positive thinking that the trail of acceptance within the collective guild, is either accepted of rejected.
It is better to select an individual part of a whole, than one having a divide between the many. And it's in the GM's interests to have people close to him who have support from those, who aim to support all creed's across the guild, there should be no corners within it.
Rather than taking complete ownership of responsibility, the trial (whilst unspoken) is aimed at whether an individual can collect the guild as one, in a movement, by sharing in the plan, schedule and delivery of the event or occasion. These are the attributes of officers i look for in people within my guild, and while although some may aim for the heights of titles, nothing fortifies the heart more than respect for the role, the collective appoints onto you,...through your own actions, words, and the conduct you portray carrying the hopes and ambitions of your guild, not just your own, of part of the guild..these breed divides in the long term.

Heroes and Legends
We remark on the gallantry of those players who are crafted with their class. They are looked upon with respect for their experience, knowledge of their class, or role in which they play within a raid, or the guild as a whole. I ask, whether you should label each individual according to their praises? placing each individual into a shoe-box of there own. Or even go as far as to say give them a title? What exactly is a title? a GM, an Officer, a Raid Leader. Simple co-ordinates to direct traffic to its intended destination.

I have a question/.. on your birthday, do you remember the card you got, or the presence of people coming to you to celebrate you? The material things are there for you to remember the occasion post tenths, to reflect on. The moment is stained in your memory and heart of the collective appreciation of you by the presence of people celebrating you. Your guild, if you abandon your rank and join in on the same level as those of the guild members, does your presence, confidence spread upon those now upon the same level as yourself? Does that inspire you're team, or expire your usefulness? Then ask the question, which was more important, Team, or yourself?..and what where you here for again?

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Pre-Cataclysm planning

Althought it's only July (tomorrow), and some might think it a little early to start thinking about it. It's about now that we face the Pre-Expansion Blues. The "im loggin until Cata/TBC/Wrath gets released"
So between now and then, is the ample time to finish off what you have left behind, the loose-ends of achievements.
Although we have cleared Naxx, we've never really had a full clear on farm, achievement wise, i think alot of folk would like that as an achievement. Ulduar is the same, however will require more hard work for Yogg, since we haven't downed him yet.

There's an urgency for badges, weekly raids and achievements by members so they are able to either pug with the achievements or what have you. And also that sense of "I've cleared that with my guild" attitude.

Personally, i would like my full T10, and gear level up to scratch before Cata comes. Ok, i might not get 25 man level gear, but T10 is enough for me to screen shot, and say....i managed that pre-cata, not post

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

March 2010

I hate this time of year sometimes. It's mostly because it's about change, always is..and no-body likes change.
And it's always about raiding....
The best part of my game is teaching, whether thats class or raiding roles, i am better developing folk, rather than sometimes spear-heading. However i think some people would dis-agree with that.
I enjoy supporting Tarnya in a raid, a small /w here and there about some encounters goes to help a long long way. The best part of my gaming experience - as a GM - is supporting new folk in the guild and getting to know them, and in the recent months i have not had that opportunity due to the spear-heading.
The Pro's of the raid spear -heading (Rank 16 on the realm for strict 10 man progress) and guild morale on 40% of the guild involved in that spear-heading. Con's Meanwhile there is a void building behind, of new people with no support and flakey dis-organised raids struggling to get together and be successful. Although you can put people in charge of these things, it will never quite feel the same as having your GM suddenly turn up for these beginner raids, and actively taking an interest in your development as a player/raider in your guild.
In reflection, i have done this before, look back to go forward, and so far i have done it annually. Not because it seems to be that time of year or a schedule of annual events, but it just seemes to develope in the guild every year...and i have to act opon it.
Those able to raid at the level of Saurfang, which we are still wiping at 15% when he enrages/beserk's should be able to manage by themselves. They have been their enough times, know the routine, and it should all be second nature by now. Removing the RL from it and passing it onto someone else, should'nt have that much of a disruption. However, i could be proven wrong. With a chat on ventrillo i stated the responsibility as a raid member supporting the raid leader to keep order in a raid, not just to turn up and expect everything on a plate, but to come with the attitude of business.
I often think that being the GM and the raid leader, and the main tank is a big role to fill. Somewhere along the line, something is going to slip, while spinning all three plates. But having influence on the new raiders developing in our guild, in both attitude to raiding, and learning abilities of working as team-player, are much more long term in value.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

TDD 2010

To start 2010, I and the other raid leaders talked about what gave us a headache. Usually, if you thought about simply, you organise a raid, you beat a boss, and you roll loot, and move onto the next. Let’s complicate it a little, and add 4 weeks worth of 3 raids per night. Add no shows from newer raiders. Add absent raiders back into a raid, and cringe when the loot roll goes up, knowing that the regular raider lost out because of a lucky roll, and you have no leg to stand on other than say….that’s life..(Add that winner then doesn’t come back online for 1-2 weeks).
Raiding morale takes a hit, signups go down. Faith and interest in raiding drops; certainly in the fairness of raid rewards. Raid leader/s start getting frustrated, having to answer difficult questions about raiding and rewards, where no rules are in place for returning raiders.
And the difficult thing is you’re a casual guild, so how do you find a balance between raiders, and guild members. Blizzard has focused WOTLK on raid progress and easy 5 man instances (because it is now so so accessible to everyone, not just the big 25 man guilds, but the casual 10 man raiders aswell) we all see the same place, in 10 man, 25 man, Normal, and Heroic mode….options options and more options. Everything is available…everything is now in, certain cases a nightmare for a raid leader/guild master.

All of my raid leaders have basically agreed to distinguish the raider in the guild from the member. We have folk who 5 man, pug raid, quest and do achievements. So folk have outside commitments, where they can’t raid week by week, some do and are still able to raid, and each player has a different take on raiding availability. We decided to rank raiders, and guild members, putting trial between them.
People join the guild specifically for raiding at a TDD pace, or to socially join the guild, but would like to be involved in raiding.

Raid organisation goes out on the calendar inviting all 3 ranks.
Raid is then organised by class, not rank.
Raid rewards is defined by Raider on 1st roll, Guild member/Trial on 2nd roll, aka Open roll.

I personally don’t give a monkey’s about my own gear, items and rewards. I figure if I can’t tank in the gear im wearing, then I need to upgrade something, however I do have to sort this out for others. Having a clear, crystal clear definition of raid reward system is simple, no headaches, and no frustration. Every guild has raiders, wanting to see new things, wanting to play out the story line that blizzard has set for the game. I think people lose sight of that, and think its all about gear. Yes...gear helps you along the way, as an example, TDD won’t get past Saurfang, until all 5 dps can pump out enough dps to beat his enrage timer….and that’s with the best dps in the guild at the moment. So we have hit our glass ceiling there…and the only thing that will let us past is gear from TOTC and ICC, and that’s a fact, a game mechanic, not a raid leader’s whip, or raiders perceived elitism.
And every guild has members wishing to enjoy the content outside of raids. The 2 are very different, and there’s no simple way of gathering both types of folk together under one umbrella and saying…”Y’all roll and let the best roll win” ….they call that a pug, and as a reminder, that’s a group of folk not all in the same guild crawling over themselves with no regard/respect for one another to get what “they want” and log off.
I’m tired of that attitude, and folk don’t play honourably…we’ll make them