Monday, November 30, 2009

I've Finally Made it to the House of Fun! It's Madness!

Yep, I dinged 80.

I did so on the pentultimate (I think) quest with Thorim (poor guy!)

And now comes the long slow progression for better gear. (or should I say grind?)

Yeah, maybe grind is a better word, since getting the gear necessitates a fair bit of grinding:

- for stone keeper shards
- for emblems (heroic, valiant, etc)
- more rep (Hodir, Oracles, etc)
- Argent tourney factions and emblems (btw, do all factions offer the same gear?)
- ToC
- ToC
- ToC
- other raids that I'm geared well enough for
- mats for crafting a couple more pieces of armor (1 titansteel bar per day - ick)

I know for a HUGE portion of WoW players, dinging 80 is the START of the game. Me? Well, let's say I'm a bit ambivalent about it. From an "achievement" point of view (the real meaning, not the little pop-ups you get in-game) I'm VERY happy I made it. It's been a loooong long road.

The downside? For the last couple months, WoW has been a LOT of grinding. Rep for Kurenai (for the mounts), rep for sporregar (for that shield, AND the pet) for the Netherwing (yep, more mounts) Now, it looks like I will have to do.... more grinding! And not just for cool mounts (that netherdrak is frikkin awesome!) but to get decent/good gear.

The good side? Katt & I have found a guild that seems to be a pretty close fit. We're still very much the outsiders, but seems really nice. We;ve run a few small raids with them, Pugs and friends and it seems fun. (does everybody treat a raid like it's a race?!?!? lol)

I've already started to collect (and gem & enchant) some better gear, though I have a LOOONG way to go to even be "adequate".

The majority of the dailies aren't too bad, since they're pretty quick, though a couple (Argent and Hodir) ones can be a bit slow. And the gold you get from doing them is pretty nice (I've been getting 200 gold an evening, including the profit from any items sold)

I'll post more of a sit-rep later, since this is getting a tad long...

One last topic before I wrap this up: the Thanksgiving quests.

I DID complete my mission impossible, though not without further incident. (NOT of the Horde kind). While hiding inside a Furlbog disguise is cool, it can also hide the fact that you are (or are not) in the proper Pilgrim outfit. Needless to say, it was after I finished stopping by all 4 Horde cities (and didn't get the achie) that I realized that I had been improperly garbed in 3 of them (DOH!)

I eventually got my Turkey (and my Title) in a pretty fun holiday celebration. *golf clap for Blizzard*

Oh, and I got a letter back from my Undercity killer. (she?) was VERY nice about it and even appologized. Evidently she had just gotten ganked herself and had the urge for payback. I responded back with a "not a prob, I *was* flagged after all. lol"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mission Impossible... Pilgrim's Peril

Our Hero

*Cue Music* LINKY

Your mission, if you chose to accept it, is to infiltrate the four major Horde cities and sit at their thanksgiving table.

The chances of death and humiliation is extreme. Use all of your available assets.

As with most dangerous solo missions, disguise is key. In this instance we will use Dartol's Rod of Transformation

I'm a Furlbog!

Disguise: Check.

Look, I'm a Hordie!

Aggressive, spikey armor and growly "Hordish" Bear: Check. (I had to borrow 200 gold to buy the bear lol)

Here goes Nothing!

(note - entering the fortifications to get to the tables will flag you PvP)


uh, no it didn't....
(but I did get a chance to sit before I died! lol)

I actually logged off, logged in as a Hordie and sent a nice (if sad) note to my killer. I haven't checked yet to see if I got a response...

As of now, I am starting my own meme that IS a meme: no sad panda, just a sad furlbog.

So I trudged off to silvermoon (which doesn't get you flagged for going to the table)

Yes, I am actually sitting here, but the "camera" angle I chose, to best show Silvermoon, also happened to hide me behind the centerpiece...

A couple things of note:

  • I was able to get both the Ghostlands and Eversong Woods without incident. Well, I got flagged twice, but no deaths (on either side) resulted. Though a couple low level Hordies probably messed their shorts. (If the horde actually wore skivvies ;P )
  • I tried to get to Silvermoon by see. You can't. I went out to sea north of Brill, and I fiollowed the coast all the way North, East and South and the FIRST place you can re-enter the continent of the Eastern Kingdoms is EASTERN PLAGUELANDS!! meh. A waste of 10 minutes and a water walking potion.

Tonight I shall continue to on Thunder Bluff and Orgrimmar... stay tuned!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Raid-eee-Days.... Food for Thought...

If you've been browsing wow forums and blogs for a while, even if you're nowhere near level 80, I'm sure you've heard much-a-doo about "Raid Food".

What is "Raid Food"?

It's food eaten by high level characters (level 70 and up) that provides more than just replenishing health. It takes 10 full seconds to be applied. The Fish Feast above is one of the more popular raid foods because it provides stamina (health), mana, attack power and spell power, which are usable for pretty much every player class and talent out there. It's high level, because you need to be a level 70 or higher to eat it. But clearly, it's a pretty awesome munchie, and the buff is it's own class ("well fed") and can exist in addition to spell buffs, blessings, potions scrolls and other effects.

Feasts are foods that feed more than one person: they usually feed an entire group or party.

But I'll let you in on a very poorly kept, but rarely acted upon, tidbit of info: "raid food" exists for all levels of players.

Take the food item below; Beer Basted Boar Ribs.

If you have taken up cooking, it's probably likely that you never bothered to make it, or if you did, did you notice that it provides a buff to stamina and spirit, as well as the normal health return? One other thing to note is that many "buff foods" require 2 separate ingredients to make, or require single, annoying to get, ingredients.

A full list of Buff foods is HERE, on It lists the foods, as well as the buffs you get from each, as well as the level needed to eat them.

So, not only can cooking help you out when you get to higher levels, but there are some clear benefits to "cooking well" and "eating well" as you level.

Bon apetit!

Raid for the Cure - a BLAST!

It alls tarted quietly enough, with us arriving
in Shadow Glen to a growing group of pink...

Lots of dancing and merriment

We could only guess what any brand new players must have thought as
we streamed through Dolanaar

"WE'RE ON A BOAT" ... uh, yep! lol

I got caught checking my mail, so a thoughtful chap
on his Mammoth gave me a lift.
(thank you Jardal!!!!)

And then the horde of Horde arrived and it was hugely amusing (dancing bears for the win!!)

Making a racket in Ratchet, awaiting our boat...

And dancing on the roof( since we couldn't bring down the roof)

Thanks to all involved, ESPECIALLY to the regular residents of Kael'Thas and the suportive guild, Sidhe Devils! Well done!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blogging life with a Polaroid

I've been busy in Azeroth, but haven't accomplished much, and haven't been able to coherently put thoughts onto electrons for a real post, but I wanted to link to another blog.

By Chris Higgins.

This blogger ran across a website with THOUSANDS of posted pictures, taken one per day, over the course of 18 years. The pictures were taken by another gentleman, and the linked blog takes you through some of them and a lot of commentary.

One of the more touching things I've read lately, and might lead some of you to pull a Kleenex or two. Both the original website and that blog are the epitome of sharing life via the web.

(many of you may have already seen this, but it's new to me,)

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Get By with a little Help from My Friends...

When I got home last night, Kattastrophe had already done her dailies and was traipsing around Northrend trying to get the last few ore nodes she needed to hit 450 in mining. She had just landed in Amber Ledge when I started my log in. To her surprise there was a 1 v 1 battle (not a duel) going on between a level 75 Belf Paladin and a level 70 Human DeathKnight.

I urged Kattastrophe to help out and nail the Belf, but even against a weakened foe, and in her Elemental spec, Kattastrophe didn't want to poke the nasty Pally.

So I flew out from Dalaran to meet them. While flying, I tabbed over to and looked him up. It was probably a good thing Kat didn't engage the guy. He was in mostly Boss Drop purples, with the rest being blue. (well, he had one green trinket)

At the same time, this Pally is running around trying to get folks to fight him. And, well, being an annoying pain in the butt.

As I lapproach, I see him running around.

The moment I land, I turn to face him, and bring up my Seal of Vengeance. He responds by asking for a duel.



Nope, I'm not in this to fight fair, I'm in it to win it, damnit!!

A moment later, I hit him with Hammer of Justice and just start pummeling the guy. He had the advantage of better gear, but I had the advantage of shammie that had just switched to her healing spec.

I got him REAL low, and he got me sorta low. He did Lay on Hands, I just fought and absorbed the lovely shammie heals.

By the time I stood laughing over his corpse, I had dealt out 29,400 damage (Katt had added about 2,000), and had received about 27,700 in heals. He was completely dead, and I was at 75% health.

That's actually a bit troubling. But a quick look at the numbers below, and you can see why: even thoughI've got better offensive numbers (and my DPS *WAS* better) his added armor and TONS of health...

And I mean CRAZY health ... he "sits" with 14,700 health, and in my "normal" setup, I have 9,800. We both had the IDENTICAL weapon. He had some much better gear, but he had opted for more stamina and "tanky" gear. (A lot of his was the Tempered Saronite" stuff (I have a couple pieces I use for my tank spec)

Honestly though, I don't think his gear was magnitudes much better than mine. Yes, he has several Boss Drop Epics but my gemmed chest piece is pretty fookin epic, so I can't really cry TOO much.

That said, I wouldda prolly had my ass handed to me if not for some (ok, GOBS) of healing. In my best fight, I can only put down ~15-20k healing while still doing damage (more usually in the 10-15k range). BUT, that's at the cost of a significant amount of damage, and my DPS wsn't THAT great in this fight. (granted, I was being lazy and sloppy because I knew I had a ton of healz in my back pocket)

Regardless, even though we won, he really did a nice job in his fight. On my best night, with a lot of luck, I *might* have won in a real 1 v 1 fight. But then, with good friends around, who needs luck?

Take a look at the results below: The guy had MONSTROUS stamina and health for a Retpal (seems he was of the same mind I was and went for survivability with the ability to hit - a type of ret-tankadin)


I use Seal of Vengeance, he used Seal of Command.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We Got a Long Way to Go, and a Short Time to Get There...

OK, so maybe time ISN'T so short but still...

I finally got around to getting my dual spec. Yay, I’m officially a tankadin as well as a retadin.

Ho-lee-crap! It is a major change of pace! Not that I’ve tanked with any groups or anything, but even sauntering up to the practice dummy is all kinds of different. Fighting PvE just amplifies it… Lots to learn and it’s not the kind of thing you want to try out for the first time in a PUG.

Let me ‘splain to those that haven’t made the dual plunge…

(The first part kinda just highlights the changes that ALL dual spec folks have to deal with, but the last half (or more?) gets into some very specific Ret versus Prot yabbering)

And here… we… go!

There are 3 big things that change when you get a different spec, to the point that you are essentially using a completely new character:

1 – Talents & Glyphs – in general, nothing you know about your old character will work. In most cases (unless you have a PvP version and a PvE version) you are talenting for a completely different game style. Just researching what tree and different talents is nuts! Look at my talent numbers above, and it’s clear there’s not much overlap.

2 – Gear – This may actually be the easiest part of the change: at least for the under-80 crowd. For a ret pally, you want strength, strength, strength, with some attack power, crit and a “dash of haste” (hey a pun…) For a tankadin (Protection spec) you want stamina, block, defense and THEN maybe strength. While I’m probably getting the exact order of importance wrong, the basic premise holds true – there is gear that is primarily Ret, and there is gear that is primarily Prot. It’s fairly easy to see the difference and grab what’s right. It can be expensive, time consumingh and space consuming (in your bags) but it’s not all that tough.

3 – Spell/ability rotation – YIKES!!!!! Here is where things get a bit hairy. First, the basic spells I use are a tad different, and the WAY they’re used is different. Hmmm… this point is gonna get long, so I’m going to break it out even further… But in general, all your spells, abilities and how you use them will be changed. Either they are unusuable, or are less effectual, AND you will usually get something completely new to learn how to use.


Ok, for a Ret Pal, you use what is referred to as “FCFS”, which is “first come, first serve”. In practice, this means simply looking at your regular spells, and using the first one that comes off global cool down, and, if 2 or more do, picking the “best” one. Because the spell times, cooldowns and such are so all over the place, there's no real "best" rotation. The basics are:

Hammer of Wrath
Judgement (usually wisdom for me)
Crusader Strike
Divine Storm

Just start casting them in that order, and recast the next one to become available. If two come off cooldown at the same time use the upper one.
Though to be honest, if it’s just me, or me & Kattastrophe, I will pull with Hand of Reckoning, and then Judge them when they get in range, THEN start the list as above. But then, knowing to do that little thing to maximize damage as the baddie runs towards you, is part of knowing your character.

I don’t have that comfort/knowledge with the Prot build yet.

In Prot, you actually DO have a spell rotation; the 9696969 (or the 696969696)

For me this is usually as follows (I got it from HERE )

Hammer of the Righteous
Holy Shield
Shield of Righteousness
Hammer of the Righteous
Shield of Righteousness
Holy Shield
Hammer of the Righteous
Shield of Righteousness

And repeat. Over & over, til death do us part.
(also I will try to pull using Ardent Defender – which can hit up to 3 targets. YAY!)

Here’s a Pinkraidframes vid of it in action:

Learning to use this, when to bend it, how to watch threat/agro on other members so they don’t get their face chewed off, etc is a BIG deal. Test dummies don’t help with that…

There are 2 good taunts that we can use:

Hand of Reckoning – which taunts and can do damage on a single target

Righteous Defense – which pulls up to 3 attackers of a raid/party member

Now, I know *how* to do them, but one thing I would LOVE to find, is something like healbot, but shows whenever team members are taking damage (when they shouldn’t be) so I could just click that bar/frame/whatever to taunt them off.

Is there such a thing?

Lastly, I’ve been running into one other possibly MAJOR issue when I try to play as my tank spec – I keep going out of mana. FAST.

Now, if I use Seal of Wisdom, and I Judge Wisdom, the problem takes longer to manifest, but is that REALLY the way it should work? I had always thought that Tankadins should Judge Light (for the health rejuv) and that Ret should be the one to Judge Wisdom.

Now, I usually hit this problem when fighting “trash”, and I *believe* that we should be getting mana back from our shield blocks, which doesn’t happen much against low level trash.

I know Consecrate is a mana hog, but given it's the only AoE we have, I can't think it's advisable to skip....
Any thoughts?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To All My Friends in Low Places

Most of us have alts. Who are they and why do we have them?

Well, here’s a “Rogues Gallery” of mine… at least the ones on my home server (I won’t bother with Balthazario, since I ramble on about him all the time)

Yeah, there are a couple toons up there that you won’t see pictured, simply because I pretty much never play them: Slikrx – my ”real” namesake – He’s a Tauren Hunter and Vexell, a Belf Warlock. Vexell is a name from 25 years ago, back when I played Dungeons & Dragons. Vexell (actually, I always called him Vex) was Half-elven fighter magic user (yes, I know, only full blood elves could multiclass – and his stats WERE elven, I just was being weird and liked him having some human blood)

The rest of my tunes have plain odd/goofy names. There’s no history to them, and I don’t identify with them at all. They are, at most, Balthazario’s “friends” and of ill-repute at that..

Good old Wysywyg. (pronounced “whiz –ee- wig”) It’s a mis-spelling of the acronym “wysiwyg”: “what you see is what you get”. Back when the Macintosh first came out, and Claris released “Word”, it was the first wysiwyg word processing program to see common use. The text you saw on your moniter, was pretty much what you saw when you printed it out.

He’s a Dwarf and a Warrior; what you see, is what you get. He’s a skinner and an engineer. I don’t think I have put ANY talents for him yet. I am not a fan of the rage mechanic (it works well enough, I just prefer mana) I made him so I could level an engineer. Sword & board is relatively easy to do, and I didn’t want another paladin, so Warrior was the choice. He’s only level 31, so he has a pretty long way to go.

And here’s Bigmistake, a level 25 Druid, speaker of Druish, from Druidia (funny, he doesn't LOOK druish - thank you Mel Brooks). I wanted to make an enchanter, so I made another toon. I like the mana aspect of casters, but I also like the ability to go into the melee and bang around. So I went with a Druid. The name came about because I didn’t think I’ll really enjoy playing a druid. (it's actualy OK, just a HUGE change from a pally) Why a Nelf? Not sure I can remember. Probably so that his first mount could be the big Cat.

Later I realized I wanted a pretty much dedicated bank toon. Because of this, I started a Human, so the trip to Stormwind would be quick & easy. The name Bernimmadof is, of course, a nod to the criminal Bernard “Bernie” Madoff that had one of the largest Ponzi Schemes the world has seen. SO of course, Bernie had to be a rogue (aka thief, to my D&D heritage) The personal guild I started for her is (obviously) called Ponzi Scheme. Why a female? Because if I had to watch that goofy ass human running style, it could NOT be a dude running. There’s just something off-putting watching this burly avatar with massive muscles and deadly weapons, just flouncing around on the screen. So it's a girl.

Just recently I started her off doing a bit of jewelcrafting. Kattastrophe has a JC alt, but eh, why not…

Most recently, I decided that I hadn’t seen a couple aspects of the game and the alliance. Namely, the brief history of the Gnomes, and I had not played a mage. So I created a Gnome mage. (and you can also thank Gnomeageddon for some influence here) And of course, I had to come up with an appropriate name, so I came up with my take on “ignominy”: Ignomeminy. (pronounced ignominy) I may have him do alchemy, though I’m not sure…

I will do more leveling for these guys, but most likely it won’t happen until Balthazario can buy some Heirloom gear.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Raid for the Cure - no silly song title here

If you've read BigBearButt's blog HERE, Gnomeageddon's Blog HERE, or Catryalini's blog HERE, or any of a TON of other blogs, you may have heard about an "All Faction Road Race" across Azeroth. It's a massive get-together, show of support and fund raiser for Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity for breast cancer.
Bring a character of your choice (race, level, etc is all open) to the and take part in a walk across azeroth. BigBearButt's blog has all the relevant details.
Here's a brief summary:
Where - Kael'thas realm. US
Alliance Where - Starting in Shadowglen (Night elf starting area) going on through Darnassus, Auberdine, Astranaar and meeting the Horde at the Crossroads
Horde Where - Camp Narache (Mulgore - Tauren starting area) and then following the road to Crossroads
BOTH factions - From Crossroads on to Ratchet, then on to Booty Bay for a party.
When - Saturday, November 14th. Starting in each faction area about 2 pm central time (a bit later for the Horde, since they are closer to Crossroads)
For more info, including donation information, please visit:


Thursday, November 5, 2009

What's Goin' on... The Auction House is Actin' weird....

As I've been grinding through some quest lines and working on some rep, I've ended up collecting a fair number of semi-valuable green items. Some worth (theoretically) 60-80 gold, or occasionally more.
And on a few occasions, I've ventured into the AH to buy something.
But something strange is going on: no one has been buying my stuff (even after discounting it to only a bit above vendor price) and I'm having troubles finding anything *I* want to buy either. What gives?

The end result is that I've been vendoring a HUGE amount of stuff (I can disenchant lower level stuff, but I'm starting to get quite the supply of soul dust, dream dust, etc) Yes, I save on the AH fee, or paying a posting fee every time it falls off, but it still has me bugged.

Does this happen often on other servers or at certain times of the year?

It kinda sucks if you're trying to make some profit from your farming, and it's also frustrating when you want to buy a nice piece of kit (like a nice tanking weapon) and there's just nothing really there.

I've only been playing since May-ish, so maybe I just haven't seen that many cycles in the game, but it has me puzzled. I could "understand" it, if the Cataclysim expansion pack were about to come out, or something similarly HUGE, but even if the Icecrown update/patch were to come out tomorrow, I doubt it would have THAT much of an effect.


What say you?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Can't Get no Satisfaction: I Just Suck in BGs...

Ding Dong the Witch aint dead...

I don't know what that incessant ringing is during raids & BGs is caused by, but for me, it's a signal of FAIL. Whenever the enemy is ringing that bell, my DPS (effective) for that fight drops to about zero. (I don't watch Recount, but I *do* watch the health bar - and it isn't moving!)

Stuns/interrupts don't seem to do anything (and it doesn't help that I have no clue who's doing it)


*deep breath*

People gripe that Ret Pallies are "faceroll easy" and "impossible to kill".

They must REALLY suck. Especially if they are part of a group. Kiting, stuns, traps, blinks, fears are essentially impossible for a Retpal do get out of. Yeah, I can blow a trinket, or Hand of Freedom, but most classes have more stuns than we have ways to break them.

Throw in that damnable ringing bell, and even with bubbles and all my long cool downs (my CDs) and I'm still dead in 14 - 16 seconds.

And while I may be less than skilled at PvP, I *NEVER* see a paladin in the top spots for killing blows, damage, honor or anything else.

What *do* i see at the top of the aggressive side (as opposed to healers)?

Shaman (pretty rate, though)
The occasional Warrior


My games in Arathi Basin last night were PAINful. My general tactic is to go where the Horde isn't. Slogging it out, 8 v 8 isn't really a way to win the game. And if 8 folks are in one place, it means they aren't elsewhere, so off I go.

And get overwhelmed 1 v 4, 1 v 6 or something equally lopsided.

I'm not sure if its people respawing where I go, but 1 person explodes into 3 - 6 with amazing quickness. the only goodness is that, on occasion, I can keep a large group occupied with trying to kill me, so they aren't trying to kill my team mates. I die, so they may live. I'm generous like that. *cough*sucks*cough*

OK, done ranting about that.

Because Recount was MIA during my BG work, I can't say what sort of things were going on. I know I was near the bottom of the list, both combined and Alliance alone. But, I learned a few things:

If I keyboard turn, I have trouble casting/attacking. My fingers miss their mark, and I end up button mashing or looking down at the keyboard. NOTeffective.

If I mouse turn, I can't pick targets effectively. ([TAB] rarely picks who I want to kill) That's less than ideal, but at least I am efficiently attacking a target, albeit the wrong one.

For better or worse, my first games on PC were all first person shooters (FPSs), so keyboard turning/moving and mouse aiming is deeply ingrained in me.

Incapatacitations (repentance, sap) are nearly worthless for anything other than interrupts. UNLESS you are on a well organized team. In that case, they are super deadly. I don't think anyone I "Repented" lasted more than 0.5 seconds before someone ran up and kit them.

All that added armor & health really DOES improve survivability. Just not enough lol

The Horde on our server seem to be better at being where they need to be. When I attempt to pick up a straggler, 1 v 1, within 5 seconds or so, it ends up 1 v 3 or worse. And lets be honest, if I have 3, 4, or more guys attacking me, it's suicide for any one or two Ally guys to try to help.

I can "feel" the difference in healing with my "tanky" armor set. The loss of Haste is noticable.

Now, if I can only get myself to play the game, and try to learn without getting unbelievably frustrated, I might get better. But I doubt that'll happen any time soon.

And what the hell IS that damned ringing bell?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Do You Believe in Magic, A Young Girl's Heart, and the Benefits of Good equipment?

(new vs old helm comparison)

Looking at the picture above, it may be obvious that this will be a bit of a numbers slog… but it won’t be THAT bad… I promise. Now, as for the amount of senseless back story & explanation, well, I make no promises there…

A while back, I mentioned both here in my blog, as well as comments I’ve made in other folks’ blogs, that I want to look at making Tank as my off spec, AND that I thought it would be interesting to try a BG or 2, with me simply working on healing as much as possible.

Without going dual spec with the protection tree, all I can do is get a second set of armor. Per commenter Sarge , the Cobalt set (not the spiked Cobalt, mind you) you can make a decent set of Tanking gear. So with this in mind, I ventured around Azeroth doing Smithing and stuff. I made the gloves, shoulders, helm and legs. I didn’t equip them, but stored them, and didn’t think about them for a bit.

Saturday night, I went into Alterac Valley (AV) with the intent of just healing, and fighting when needed. The results were surprising:

I was 6th overall (Horde & Alliance) in whatever order is “Default”
I was the Alliance member with the most honor (507)
7th overall in Killing blows
3rd overall in healing (I had 130,000, Kattastrophe had 300,000) Mine included 2 potions and 1 Lay on Hands. I couldn’t tell for sure, but 2/3 – 3/4 of my healing was done on others.

(sorry, I was too busy reading to think to take a screen cap or 5)

I found out the hard way that “heads up healing” (using the friendly bars, and no heal-bot or anything) is a MAJOR pain in the ass, when you have 20+ people in small areas. The health bars just jump around too much. Also, with limited Haste, and no real healing talents, it’s a challenge to get the heals onto the folks in need, fast enough.

AV worked well, since there are enough targets for me to heal, and I’m not likely to stand out as a target myself.

I tried it in Arathi Basin (AB) with horrid results. Even without the healing part, it was just a dismal showing by the alliance. I rarely even had the chance to play healer; I was too busy fighting and dieing.

So is healing an option for a ret pal? In a pinch, definitely. No way in hell could I fill the role of raid healer, let alone tank healer, but if a Boss fight were winding down, and the proverbial shit hit the fan, I could easily fill in a few gaps.

I have a point to this, I PROMISE, so please bear with me…
AAAAAnyhow… I then had my equipment failure (it’s an equipment failure, I tell you! A fishing pole does not a sword make!) I did a bit more smithing to level up enough to make a replacement 2H Sword; Forged Cobalt Claymore.

It was at this point I realized I could TOTALLY make this bitchin’ shield, the Saronite Defender. I had the needed Saronite, and I had the needed Cobalt. BLAMMO! Kickass shield. And an additional Smithing skill point.

Just pretend I’m James Burke, and this is “Connections”. There’s a point to all this, and I’m nearly there…

So, in a fit of boredom mixed with a tad of wanting to get richer, I made another foray into Wintergrasp to fish & mine. There were only a few minutes left until the next fight started, so I decided to skip the fishing and just run around looking for ore. I did manage to find a couple before the next fight started, and then


And I was ported out of the fight (I’m too low level AND I hadn’t queued up) I was on a ridge overlooking Wintergrasp, with one of the walls of Icecrown crowding over me. I couldn’t go into Wintergrasp, because I would get-


-Teleported back out.

I had used my hearth stone a short while before when something similar happened, so that left two options:

1 – sit and wait 20 minutes for my Hearth Stone CD.
2 – try to find my way out via Icecrown.

Remember, I’m level 74, so I can’t fly out, and the ridges here/there are jagged enough that you can’t travel on them. Also, I’m too easily bored to sight tight, so I chose…


I make it down off the wall, into the basin area, and get harassed by a few mobs, but I’m able to avoid fighting until I reach this door with (Leaving Corp’Rethar) and there are these four Abominations guarding the door.

I grabbed my 1H sword, shield, did my full buffing (food buff, potion, scroll) and waded into the fray. I only pulled one, and slowly killed him. I moved forward, started slowly killing the 2nd, when the first one respawned.

Oh, boy….

I grind them down and kill the second one, while dealing with the “third” one as well. I alternate Judge light (for health) and Judge Wisdom (for mana). While it’s tough going, I’m actually not doing badly. Especially when you consider they are 6 levels over me (which means I’m doing less than 350 DPS) I’m whittling them down, but it’s a slow crawl to zero mana and zero health. But, it looks like I’ll make it. Especially after bubbling and quaffing a mana pot (potion).

Here’s where I did a dummy: I didn’t keep going and walk far enough out of the doorway. And this means? You guessed it: the first (second?) abomination respawned and aggroed.

I was almost OOM (out of mana) and was dang low on health, so I just waited for the inevitable and died.

The good news was that, by now, my Hearthstone had come off cooldown, so I just hearthed back.

So what does all this drivel and long, meandering story have to do with anything? Well, as I said, I had also considered getting a tank spec, and with just how long I lasted against several over level mobs, I think it’s high time I actually put my money (and equipment) where my mouth is and “do it”:


Below are the character shots of me in both sets of equipment. I have Retribution Aura on with the 2H sword, and Devotion Aura (extra armor) with the Sword & board equipped. No other buffs, spells or anything were used.

Something I didn’t capture is that my DPS (melee) is about 295 DPSwith the 2H set, and drops to 245 DPS with the Sword & board. A ~20% drop in Melee DPS. But melee usually only accounts for 25-35% of my total DPS, which is what… a net 7% DPS drop overall? For a “DPS race” type instance/boss (most of them), that could be VERY important, but the overall survivability is through the roof. (ie, I would need less healing, even if I screw up)

I need to hit the test dummies and see how big of a difference this works out to be...

As the little summary below shows, MAN what a difference a few items can make. I *REALLY* need to take the tank set into a BG. The armor won’t make THAT big of a deal against casters, but I should be a not-so-holy nightmare for other melee classes…

One other thing though: the “tank” equipment lacks haste, so that the slooooow healing will be even slower.

So what does all this mean?

Regardless of skill, playstyle, or level, just tinker around. See for yourself what does and does not work.