So with the wee lad off for the night Saturday and the threat of bad weather locking us in for the night (not to mention eventually shutting the power off for all day Sunday), the Mrs. convinced me it was time for some scenarios. I figured why not, and proceeded to improve Tumunzahar just a wee bit. His fresh as a daisy 90 ilevel was not sexy in the slightest. A few tweaks, two or three of which were couresty of Mrs. Amateur’s tailor, and I was all set for something new.
Once we queued and entered, we were all Goblins. Seemed to be in a refinery, and it looked grim when we realized we were a tank and two healers. Go group finder. The Holy Paladin did have a Ret off-spec fortunately, though his gear wasn’t all that great for it. Still, we rocked and rolled and while Mrs. Tank died a few times (still not sure how), we completed the scenario. I even got a couple upgrades from the Cache…except they were gone from my inventory when I left group. I put a ticket in for that one.
The second scenario was in Krasarang Wilds, so I was told much after the fact. We needed to shore up some defenses and do some Orc fighting. There was Mrs and I, and a Hunter. I had nearly no healing to do. When I’m a healer, I’m not a huge fan of those moments. What was worse, was that I had no idea where to get the supplies for the second defense post. The Gnome one was easy, but the other one…not so much. But, we finished it pretty easily. I even got to heal during the boss fight.
After that I felt…underwhelmed. I don’t know if it’s because I had no clue what was going on half the time, or because I felt useless as a healer (again, not the case during the first one), or perhaps a combination of the two. But I just was not feeling the fun of scenarios. Now I’ve read before that they seem to be catered more towards dps roles and to me that did seem to be the case, but it could also be a coincidence.
At the end of the day, I still don’t know how I feel about them. If the Mrs. or a friend ask me to go, I probably will. I mean, it’s a chance to smite about with friends and I never turn that down. But when I’m doing my own thing alone, I can’t see me hitting the queue button any time soon.
Last night I decided it was time to see if my healing skills had deteriorated at all during my hiatus. I grabbed Tum and hit the old LFG button. We ended up in some glorious bee hive. Oh, wait. Upon some research on my part it turns out it was Siege of Niuzao Temple.
I think I was just more focused on not screwing things up that I missed the name. I’ve always been a confident Priest, but after nine months you never know if too much has changed. The only thing I really noticed was that my spells weren’t healing for quite as much as I remember. That likely means folk just have much more stamina than before, but either way I adjusted fine. Of course, the first thing I made sure to mention was that I had never been in the place before. I do that regardless of when I last healed. It increases the chance of an explanation and reduces the chance of people just taking for granted the healer (or tank) has been there and does stuff we’re supposed to just expect.
So we rolled through the first boss easy enough and I got a great explanation on the second one so that was pretty easy as well. Of course, the only person’s health bar I wasn’t watching was my own and I died just as the fight ended. Boss three was a little bit harder. We actually wiped because I didn’t quite understand how the adds worked. Once I realized they loved my cologne, it was much easier. No deaths and the final boss was a breeze.
All in all, I had a great group and the tank gave concise info on the boss fights. I even picked up a solid upgrade in the Breezeswept Hood.. We talked briefly afterwards about the enjoyable and friendly run. After mentioning it was my first dungeon run in over nine months, the tank informed us he just came back on Wednesday and one of the dps just came back from a year away! Small world, so to speak.
The good news is that it seems I’m right where I was when I left. At least as a healer. We’ll have to see what my tanking and dps skills are like. I don’t expect the term “good” for either as I couldn’t play the other classes all that well when I came back. At least not the high end ones that I have. Lowbies will never be hard., save for probably my Monk. But, all that aside, it was nice to get the proverbial monkey off my back last night.
For the first time in an incredibly long time today I did something I honestly didn’t even know was still in me. I rage-quit WoW. I was in the middle of an instance, and I literally shut the program down out of sheer frustration. To make matters worse, it wasn’t anyone else. It was me. Folks tried to be reassuring, and I appreciate it. But I’m just struggling with (what I consider the basics of) healing as a Paladin.
On one hand, I can’t keep up with the tank’s health dropping. If I pull that off successfully, I’m running out of mana. In the past, with both my Shaman and Priest, I’ve figured out the problem either on my own or through research. With the Paladin class, that just doesn’t seem to be happening. I’m doing most of the things I’ve been told (a few have come up since my moment of rage), but I still struggle. Thanks to Myth, I’ve got some solid enough gear that it shouldn’t be as much of an issue (minus of course my inability to land a second healing trinket). But I’m struggling on trash.
I need to thank both Matty and Repgrind for their patience and advice this afternoon as they became who I reached out to in order to try and figure it out, once the frustration settled a little. It’s not that I want it to be easy, I just like to be able to correct myself. With every other class (save maybe Rogue), I can usually get it right. Heck, even tanking as a Paladin I grasped without much trouble (more than any other tanking class, honestly). And I like healing. I really do. I wasn’t bothered when I was asked about being a Holy Paladin to raid. I just didn’t think I’d ever be as frustrated with myself as I am.
I think part of the issue is flipping the switch at 85. If I rolled a new Paladin and from level 10 on was Holy, I would probably learn the class and role much better and more easily. I’d learn the spells as I get them and become accustomed to when and how to use them. Going Holy at 85 and trying to tackle it all is tough for how my brain is wired.
Then there’s the matter of how long I’d be raid healing anyway. For starters, my schedule to raid now isn’t all that great (much as I would like to with Myth). Come Mists, I’ll be of no use for progression because I’m not buying the expansion. So they’ll get to 90 and start out and it won’t be me healing them. Frankly, this hasn’t factored into how I have approached the task at hand but it makes me wonder if maybe it should. If I had the time, perhaps I’d roll another Paladin as Holy just to learn it as I go. But the truth is, by the time I do that, half the guild will probably be 87 or 88. I’d learn just in time for it to be of zero use.
So, instead, I keep hopping on Saintvache and going Holy and think I’m getting it. Then invariably it’s clear that I’m not. If I could find the solution, I know it wouldn’t bother me nearly as much. Then again, perhaps things just went wrong on a day where I’m tired. Who can say for sure?
While relaxing this afternoon, I got a little bit ambitious. Truth be told, I’ve only gone into the Raid Finder once and that was with my friend Valanyr (and it was at his behest, too). So, I’d done the Siege of Wyrmrest Temple, and even a boss with Saintvache. But that’s literally it, and so I thought why not give the Siege a try again. I’d heard and read horror stories about the Raid Finder but was in the mood where if it didn’t work out then “oh well.”
The first moment I knew something wasn’t right was standing on Wyrmrest Temple. I thought, hrm…I must’ve joined one in progress. Wasn’t that big of a deal, as I said a moment ago I was just in the mood to be there regardless. Turns out I was wrong about the whole situation and it stemmed from what I must’ve clicked on. You see, a rather ominous presence appeared on my screen and I realized I wasn’t saving the Temple…
So, indeed, when I realized I was fighting Ultraxion I reconsidered things just a bit. I hadn’t even read the fights for the Fall of Deathwing because I hadn’t planned on being there any time soon. But, in this case I was there, so I figured I may as well make the most of it. If I failed, I’d learn from it. Ultraxion went smoothly, as did the ship. Then came the Spine and I just shuddered because of the various horror stories I had heard. We cut it a bit close, but still succeeded. Then came the final fight and when everyone was a platform over, I had no idea how they got there as Mrs. Amateur came in to inform me the boy was sick. So worrying about him and trying to figure out how they got there, I was pretty well useless.
So I did a bit of dps on anything I was in range of, and otherwise just kept myself alive. I kinda figured the raid might come back to me and I should be ready if that was the case (and for those who haven’t been there, it was). After that it was a piece of cake!
I have to say given the stories I’ve heard, and even the random dungeons I’ve had, I never expected a run this smooth. Sure, a few people died and we had to battle rez a tank twice, but otherwise everyone just showed up and did their job and those who did any chatting were friendly and helpful. I couldn’t have asked for a better run. I rolled on a pair of casting gloves and won them but ended up giving them to the Mage who they were more suited for (no Spirit), and I think that brought the luck to my side as I won Maw of the Dragonlord.
The one thing I did learn, is that with my computer running Ubuntu and my Emulator (Wine) not able to access all my hardware, I had some serious lag. Heck, I would hazard there’s a cinematic between each fight but I couldn’t even play them. The screen was just black so I was smart enough to hit escape. But, it was a tonne of fun…speaking of which, tonight’s Laid Back Raid in Blackwing Lair should bring some fun of its own as well! Rest assured I’ll share the story as always.
Indeed, Saintvache hit 85 this afternoon. Gotta love an old-fashioned exploration ding! Much like Kamalia last month, I now have more end level characters than I did when I came into the expansion. Granted, three isn’t all that many. But when you’re a proverbial Octopus reaching into various cookie jars, it’s still something. More importantly, it’s my first level capped Horde. Heck, it’s the first non-Death Knight-Horde I got past level 40 (yes, that will change).
Once I started getting down to the final four bars, it was exciting. After doing some of the red dragonflight cut scene quests in Twilight Highlands/Grim Batol, I noticed I needed about three thousand experience, so I took to the sky and a short time later…
With limited time before I had to carry on with the rest of my day, I made my way to the Justice Points Vendor and immediately bought my first epic. I figure trinkets might be hard to come by via drop, so I bought the Singed Plume of Aviana. The reason being, I’ll be healing far more than tanking when I run things (finally) with Myth, so I figured it was a good step in the right direction. I then equipped the healing set I had built thus far…
…and quickly realized how Illidan-awful his outfit is. Next step: design a transmog set. You know, had I been thinking this through, I would have had Rhianous do that instead of Elcombe. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20. I’m looking forward to doing the Thrall chain now, as well as Molten Front. Yes…I realize how sick that sounds, but I actually like the Front. Regardless, I’m going to enjoy my freshly minted 85.
I haven’t said or done too much in regards to the New Blog Initiative, despite my thoughts that it was a great idea. However, I did decide to take part in Battlechicken‘s challenge for this week, which is all about research and discovering something new. Coincidentally, I’d recently spoken to my guild leader Yuush about focusing more on being a Holy Paladin rather than a Prot Pally at 85. As this is my first Paladin to get past level 16, I’ve learned that I love tanking with Saintvache. I always had a Holy OS, but that doesn’t mean I’ve ever used it. I have healers if I want to heal. Saintvache just rounds everything up and watches it fall. But that doesn’t mean I’m against the notion. Quite the contrary.
I’m more than happy to take on the role of a Holy Paladin, save for one minor detail. That would be not having the foggiest clue about healing as a Paladin. Not stats, not spells, not glyphs…sweet fuggle. My first thought in reading some of the spells I’ve got (aside from those that I had nearby for saving my tank butt because of unpredictable pugging), there’s some similarities to other healing. I also know Spirit, Int, Haste will matter to some degree. Looking at MMO Melting Pot I learn I’m not far off:
Spirit isn’t on the list because it’s priority fluctuates based on your mana and mana management. Again, with a couple of other healers (though only one at 85), this doesn’t surprise me too terribly. It’s pretty much the healing foundation.
So now what? Sweet, there’s a link to Kurn’s guide aka Holy-How-To. First thing Kurn looks at is talents. Let me just say in terms of explaining a talent tree, this is about as good as it gets in my opinion. Basically presented like a stop light, right? Green is go, red is stop/avoid, and yellow is proceed with caution. In game terms it comes down to options that vary depending on your build. There’s also an awesome explanation of the talents and why you do or don’t want them.
So, let’s take a look at Saintvache’s tree and how I made out on my own. Well, from the gate I’ve gone with 32 points and Kurn only mentions 31. Without any research I also seemed to recognize the talents that were useless and still hit the major ones. Go me! I didn’t take Crusade in the Retribution tree due to not reading it close enough and thus not understanding it’s usefulness. I’ll be respec’ing to tighten up my ability, at which point I’ll correct this oversight.
Of course, I’m nowhere near geared or glyphed for Healing though. Heck, I don’t even think I’ve got Saintvache all his tanking glyphs (quick Armory check and sure enough, missing a Prime and all minor). I have managed to put together some gear that would do for now, but come 85 I’ll obviously need to get better.
Looking at spells that Paladins use, I’m optimistic they’ll have a few less than a Priest. I find as a Priest I have a tonne of spells. It’s not as bad as it sounds, as I have my core ones and then a plethora of situational ones (Fear Ward, Shackle Undead, Flash Heal). Still, a less cluttered UI would be nice. Oh, what’s that? Kurn tells me Paladins have 25 abilities. Excuse me while I cry in the corner…wait! Look at this! A complete run down of all those abilities and when to use them, including specific bosses. Well that’s explanatory. Let me just say the first time I heal with Myth, if it goes even close to well, I think they need to send flowers to Kurn as a thank you.
It seems as though the one thing I’ll have to get used to as a Paladin healer over the other classes, is Holy Power. I’ve come to understand it pretty good while tanking, so it won’t be too much of an adjustment. That will come more in when to use it (and with which of the two healing spells) as well as how best to generate it while healing.
However, I’m not about to take for granted it’s as simple as that, and I certainly recognize more opinions are better than just one. I would’ve hit Paladin Schmaladin for some help, but unfortunately it’s days are long gone. Fortunately, a writer who joined the site late in its existence is my son’s godfather, so he’ll certainly be able to help me out. I also have my good friend Magik, who has a Prot/Holy Paladin in Claws of Nature. He’s pretty good at both roles, so having both him and the godfather to talk things through verbally will help. Then, much like back in the days of learning how best to Priest heal, it will come down to trial and error, and familiarity.
With any luck, I’ll get the hang of it just as I have with my Shaman thus far. It’s just the matter of testing my theory and abilities once I fix things talent/glyph/action bar wise. Hopefully there won’t be more than one or two wipes in the process!
See that? It clearly shows you why Transmogrification is needed in the game. My poor Saintvache looks like he hit the dumpster behind the local theatre. The frustrating part is that I either can’t build an outfit for his level or I can’t find the parts for what I want. This is actually a glaring occurrence for many of my toons (all but half a dozen or so) and it seems my efforts to fix it always come up just shy.
In other news, a friend convinced me to take Tumunzahar and LFR for the first time today. We bought a couple of PvP cloth items off the auction house and then I used my justice points for a ring upgrade and I was good to go. Not surprisingly, I was the lowest geared healer there, but I wasn’t the worst (wewt). I wasn’t at the top either, but I didn’t expect to be. As Grumpy Elf suggested, the lower the gear the more likely your odds to get upgrades. I won Robes of Glowing Stone and Seal of the Seven Signs. Those boost me to a natural 371 ilevel and (I’m almost ashamed to say) this.
All in all, I enjoyed the first part of Dragon Soul and the group was relatively decent. People surprised me with instant cries of “KICK THEM” as soon as someone DC’d…yet it took us a whole boss fight to notice someone was in the Trade District during the entire encounter. Prior to the last fight, I get a whisper from my friend asking if I’m the noob using Leap of Faith on people. Honestly, unless it’s that one in a million situation where I might need to, LoF has no place for me in a raid. I don’t even think of using it in 25 man. Turns out, someone was using it alright.
I found out first hand during the final boss when the ice walls were popping up. Someone Leap of Faithed me into the wall. I died. Admittedly, I also swore. This person then whispered I was a moron and logged. So, in pure immature vindictive fashion I went to said server and degenerated into swearing at him again. He came back to my server and thanked me for the screenshot then left again before I could reply. So far, I handled this situation poorly. So, I went back to the other server and tried to find out what the problem was. He admitted to LoF’ing me into the ice. But then said I did it to him first. And then put me on ignore.
Again, I didn’t use Leap of Faith once during the entire raid, so I don’t know if he confused me with someone else (perhaps he wasn’t the Priest doing it to people and it was the other one…whom he thought was me?). There were three Priests in the raid, so anything is possible. Still, it irked me that it happened, that I handled it incredibly poorly, and that I couldn’t actually discuss it in a civil manner. Oh, and in case you’re wondering what realm this person was from…Khaz’Modan.
In an effort to get this up in a timely manner I forgot something, and that’s the fact that for whatever reason some of the non-Wordpress blogs aren’t letting me post. Doesn’t matter if I try anonymous or with Open ID, it just will not process. Sometimes, like moments ago on ALT:ernative, I can get it to work so long as I have MY blog open. I can’t even begin to understand how that works, but just know that it isn’t just me so if you’re comments section isn’t as boisterous as usual, that’s probably why.