Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
I also learned something that is a bit of a "Doh!" thing for me:
Judge based on which seal you use.
So, for me, since I use "Seal of Justice" most of the time, I should be Judging with Justice. Why? Did you ever seee this little tidbit in the Seal description?
Unleashing this Seal's energy will deal 75 (or whatever number)
Holy damage to an enemy.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
JUDGEMENTS & SPELLS
This is where the rubber hits the road. And part 3 of this dig into my methodology is by far the most involved. this is partly due to the nature of it, but also due to the fact that PvE and PvP have some very different requirements (and limitations)
My spell of first choice in PVE is Exorcism. It’s instant cast, it's a Pally’s only “ranged” attack (30 yards vs 10 yards for regular Judgements) and, when it gets a critical hit (when it “crits”) I can hit for over 600 damage! WooHoo!!! Once Patch 3.2 hits, I'm not sure WHAT I'll do, because it will require a 1.5 second (interruptable) spell cast time. I will still use it, but it will completely FUCK my PvE playing.
Next is either Judgement of Wisdom or Judgment of Light. Since I’m usually more likely to be hurting for mana (also, I often quest with a healy Shaman which is mana intensive too), I usually use Wisdom. When the foes get a bit tougher, and I’m worried about health, I’ll use Light.
My usual fight consists of:
Exorcism – Judge – Judge – (Judge?) – Exorcism – Judge – Judge – (Judge?) … ad infinitum with auto attacks during the cooldowns.
If the guy I’m fighting is a Boss, or a tougher than usual character or if there are multiple mobs I’m going to be fighting at once, I will follow the above sequence EXCEPT I will use Hammer of Justice on the “baddest” enemy as soon as the enemy is within melee range. This stuns him for 4 seconds and interrupts any spells he was casting. This is to limit how much damage, and how quickly I take damage.
In cases where there is more than 1 enemy, (of any significant threat) I will cast Consecration just before they get within melee range (or, just as they get in Consecration range) I will still use the above rotation, but I will add Consecration into the rotation every time it comes off CoolDown (“CD”) I don’t really LIKE Consecration (It costs a TON of mana, and it doesn’t do THAT much damage) but it’s the only Damage Over Time (DOT) and only Area of Effect (AoE – affects multiple targets at once) spells Pallies have, and anything that shortens the fight (and how long we are taking damage) it’s a good thing. You are pretty much guaranteed to need to drink a mana potion after any fight where this gets used.
During these same circumstances, I will often cast Divine Protection right as the melee fight starts. It’s “only” 12 seconds and “only” reduces damage by 50%, but it’s a life saver. Due to the long effective CD (2 minutes before you can receive it again) I don’t use it unless it’s really needed. Divine Protection is “ok”, but it cuts YOUR attack damage by half, so, even though it slows how quickly you die, it also slows how quickly THEY die… and with multiple bad guys, that means you’re getting hit by THEM for more time. Bad idea. I will use Divine Shield when I need to heal (and still have mana left) but it's not ideal.
If I’m tanking, and someone else in my party is taking more damage than they can/should, I will cast Righteous Defense, to get them to attack me instead.
The only other odd or “quirky” spell I will use is Turn Evil. It sends evil (undead, demons AND MINIONS!) running away for 20 seconds. It’s simply a way of keeping multiple enemies from attacking you at once. It only works on certain types (listed above) so it’s very situational, but it does come in handy.
If absolutely needed (for escape, or chasing) and IF I have been iced in place, or webbed in place, I will cast Hand of Freedom on myself to be able to move.
OH! Healing! Um, I heal as needed. Even though Rets aren’t Holy, we CAN do a fair share of healing; on ourselves as well as any party members. Usually I leave most healing until after the battle is over, but sometimes, it’s mandatory to replenish during the fight. So here’s my “SOP” for in fight healing.
1 – Gift of Naaru: It’s a racial ability for us Draenei. At level 35-39, it heals 560 points over 15 seconds. It’s NOT a major “OH SHIT!” button to be used at the last moment. It should be “This fight is lasting a while, and I’m GOING to get low on health.” You need to be able to survive for 15 seconds to get the full benefit, so I use it a bit earlier than I feel.
2 – If I haven’t used it already, I use Divine Protection. It SHOULD have been cast already, but this is my time to check/make sure.
3 – I will use a healing potion now. I don’t use it first, since I might need to take a mana potion.
4 – If I can, I will cast Holy Light. (I don’t bother with Flash of Light for myself – you will probably lose more health than you gain during the casting time – Yes, Holy is nearly twice as slow, but can give you 4-5 times as much health)
5 – Lay on Hands (LoH) – the final “OH SHIT” button. The good news is that it SHOULD buy you lot more time to fight, heal, mana up, etc (and the spell gives you a little mana to boot ANNND reduces the damage you take for a time afterwards!!)
If someone else in the party needs healing, I will help if I can, but in PVE, I focus on tanking/DPS, so I will be slow at best. To be brutally honest, if it comes down to another party member or me being saved (especially if they are about out of mana, or there are a bunch of enemies left and the party member is squishy) I will save myself first. I can take more punishment and continue fighting, LoH myself if needed, and then resurrect them after the fight. If I save them, and end up dying myself, it can often mean a wipe.
The first, and most frustrating thing is that as of now (pre Patch 3.2) Exorcism doesn't work in PvP. Not even against Minions. (It will be re-introduced in PvP in 3.2)
As for how I fight, it really depends on the situation:
Killing an enemy flag carrier:
- Hammer of Justice - Nothing slows a running flag like a 3-4 second stun
- Judgement of Justice - The next best thing (in our arsenal) is this. IT will slow the enemy down so he can be caught more easily.
- Consecration - Once the "dash" slows (if it does), I will cast this. It does slow damageto ANY enemy around.
- Auto-attack - when sitting on CD, (which is a LOT of the time) I simply keep swinging my sword.
Protecting OUR flag carrier (me or someone else) - both are about the same
- Hand of Freedom - Put this on as soon as carrier gets close to enemies.
- DO NOT cast Divine Dhield. (at least on yourself, haven't tried it on others) If you cast it on yourself before you grab the flag, you won't be able to pick it up. If you cast it on yourself when you have the flag YOU WILL DROP IT!!! (not good)
- Divine Protection has worked fine for me (but only protects 50%)
- Cast Judgement of Justice (JoJ) and Hammer of Justice (HoJ) on any folks that get too close behind
- I will cast consecration as I run simply to injur the folks chasing me/us.
- Keep close to the Lay on Hands (LoH) to heal/save the carrier.
- If I'm the protector, and not the carrier, I will sometimes drop back a bit, and hit the chasers, trying to get a "Seal of Justice" proc that will stun the follower.
Grabbing the Flag (in their base)
- I usually drop from the blacony. I cast Hand of Freedom as I fall, I cast Gift of Naaru as I run (It's a "HoT" - heal over time) and after I grab it, I run like hell. I think Divine Protection works ok here.
- I keep my finger/mouse on the LoH button so tha twhen/if I get low on health I can make it a little further.
General PvP Fighting.
This is the toughest, and the most variable. I will HoJ stun ranged attackers (Mages, Warlocks and Hunters) and Rogues (and theire damnable stuns) Then, once I close the gap, I just Judge, Consecrate and auto-attack.
For Melee attackers, I will hold off on HoJ, and rely on JoJ to stun them. I TRY to wait on using the HoJ until I need to heal.
Always try to fight in a group. Save team mates as best you can, but if the odds are 3:1 or 4:1 against, better hold off, unless there's incoming help as well. Because chances are, as soon as you engage in a 1:2 or 2:3 engagement, THEY will get help, and you get to spend 25-30 seconds waiting to respawn...
Monday, June 22, 2009
So, in the last part(s) I described what equipment I use, and a basic explanation as to why. Here, I will describe what I am doing now and why I am doning it.
If either of you readers has a suggestion or some good info to share, feel free to let me know.
And now, on to:
Here is where I probably look more like what I believe a Prot/tankadin does… When I go into a (PvP) Battle Ground, here’s what I usually run:
Devotion Aura – Gives me (at my level) an additional 390 armor points (which seems like it might be a tanking preference)
Blessing of Might – increases my attack power by 85 – this seems like a solid Ret choice
And here’s why I love the faster weapons:
Seal of Justice – This does a little extra damage per hit, but more importantly, (to me) it gives you the possibility to stun each time you melee. (can only stun a target 3 times before they become immune) I have no idea how often the stun activates (or “procs” in WoW parlayance) but it rarely happens more than once or twice in a given battle, so by having a faster weapon speed, it gives me more chances to stun an opponent. While a stunned opponent is always nice, it’s even more important in CTF games like Warsong Gulch, where you are trying to save your flag, or protect your flag carrier.
I have played around with Retribution Aura (gives attacker damage when they Crit against me) a bit, but I seem to die more rapidly, so I’m not a big fan of it (though I will run it of another person in the group/party is running Devotion, since they can add)
I have also played around a little bit with Blessing of Kings. But I need to run some numbers (or just review results on my Character tab) to see which is really better. From what I’ve read, Might is best used for melee classes (Pallies and Warriors) and Kings is better for ranged damage (DPS) classes (Warlocks, Hunters, etc) I need to tinker around some more, but my gut points me to Might.
I run the same in most PvE areas as well. One exception to this is when I’m running PvE in a “lower” level area where there are TONS of enemies and I’m engaged by multiples at once. Then I will often use Blessing of Wisdom, since Consecration will get used more, and it’s a mana HOG!
My next part will discuss which spells (Judgements, etc) that I use, how I use them and what order I cast them
*cue Puff the Magic Dragon, by Peter, Paul & Mary....*
Saturday, June 20, 2009
So, I’ve talked about the BGs and I whine how I get trounced, aas well as how I feel I’m playing as a retankadin. And some other fluff. That said, I do actually put some thought into the game.
So what the F*** do I actually do? And how am I geared, functionally? And what tactics do I use? I have glossed over this a bit a while ago, but I’m going to get a bit more in depth to explain what I’m doing, with the hope that someone might find it useful, and/or if someone out there sees a major flaw, they could steer me in the right direction.
Overall, my gear is pretty much Plain Jane Pally (or Warrior) stuff: Highest armor value I can get, with an emphasis on STR and STA adds. I’m no theory crafter, but I would suspect, at my level, much of what I’m using is the same, whether I’m playing a Tank or a Ret paladin. The one difference from a straight melee class is that I will, if things look “good” enough, I will get stuff that excels in Intellect or Spirit, as long as it isn’t TOO bad for “normal”. (more on this later)
I love damage, so I am Spec’ed as Retribution (working towards the 0/14/51, or whatever the current talent tree preference is) I pretty much follow the guidelines for a Retadin, with one exception: I use “Sword & Board” – I use a one handed weapon (usually sword, but not always) and a shield. (My current talent tree is 0/5/24, and I'll get into specifics later.)
As I mentioned a few posts ago, my reasoning for sword & board is three fold:
- I gain about half of my current armor from my shield. (1408 out of a current [non-buffed, non ability modified] total of 2844) Or you could look at it as a 100% increase in armor.
- Shields represent one more item that can have adds & enchants on them, so I can have even more strength, attack power, or whatever. My current shield has +20 attack power, +9 strength, +3 spirit and +1 stamina. Benefits on top of bonuses!
- 1-handed weapons are faster, so you get more attacks in a given time. This is important for stuns, which I’ll talk about more in my Buffs (auras/seals/blessings) section. FIr Giggles I just added the "Fiery Enchant" to my sword, so it should be even better...
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
- An increasing number of "best gold for your money, in your mailbox in 30 minutes" posts on the Trade Channel.
- A slow, steady drop in copper ore & bar prices (Other minerals as well, but I have followed copper most closely) It started off in the mid to high 30's silver per ore (and around 25 silver per bar) and has now dropped to 20 silv per ore and a similar price per bar.
- Huge amounts of copper have been flooding the market from a handful of sellers.
It's possible that these are not related, but I have a suspicious mind, so I kind of doubt it's cooincidental.
I really don't care if folks want to buy gold. ("Greedy Goblin", Gevlon, refers to this as Pay-by-cheat games in his blog) If people want to trade dollars for time, I'm actually fine with that. True, it will cause some inflation, especially in the rarer blue & purple items on the AH, but as a seller, that's fine with me. And honestly, I don't think they would really have THAT big of an effect on things (then again, maybe I'm being naive, *shrug*)
In point of fact, I think Blizzard is missing out on a fairly sizeable revenue stream by NOT doing it.
But one thing that is CLEARLY happening with the current setup, is the deflation in prices of all the more readily available/farmable mats. And that bugs me to no end. Far more than the other AH idiocies we all see (someone levelling a particular craft and flooding the market with 20 of a particular item, causing the price to drop by 70-80%)
Those are annoying but usually pass, if for no other reason than the "offender" usually levels up faster than me, and starts spamming items I'm NOT trying to sell...
But the farming for $$$ just isn't going away, and seems to be getting worse.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Seems like the story of my WoW life, at the moment...
The Rogues in particular cause my team (me) fits in most games. It seems to take 3 "normal" players to kill just one skilled Rogue. And if you have 2-3 skilled Rogues on the other team, (not to mention the REST of their team) it feels like you're playing short handed the entire match.
The "best" game recently was the last one. We actually had 2 flag caps (I GOT ONE MYSELF!!!) and had a fighting chance. In the end, the other guys just played better. This game was odd in that it wasn't a blow-out.
I'm not sure why wowarmory.com shows my current record as it does: 31 games on Warsong Gulch (WG) with 13 victories. Assuming the total number of games is correct, I've won 10 times: I have received a total of 51 Marks of Honor. I get 3 for each win, and 1 for each loss. If you do the algebra, that works out to 10 wins (which still feels better than I've done)
Anyhow, Balthazario is now a level 39 Paladin and should be at the "top of the heap" for the 30-39th level bracket. I am FAR from twinked at this level ( the only "NICE" piece of equipment I have is my shield:
Salbac Shield - A 1400 armor shield.
The good news is that a couple pieces will be things I can make as a Blacksmith (plate helm and a couple mithril pieces) Blacksmithing for the win!!!
Friday, June 12, 2009
There are two types of loot you need for them: random drops from creatures like soft fluffy tails from Coyotes, or craftsmade items like Green Iron Bracers or Green Fireworks.
It was fun collecting some of the stuff, but the loot you got was often not really worth the trouble. Especially the 50 coupon prize: a 14 slot Faire box(bag)
I did manage to catch the little goober that was running all over the Fiare, and bought a few Treefrogs and a couple of the "play catch" balls he had for sale.
It also forced me to pick a profession for my Dwarf warrior Toon, Wysywyg (he's an Engineer) as well as get me to try to level up Balthazario's Blacksmithing. I never made it to skill 230 to make the Big Black Mace, but I made some nice headway...
I learned a few things about enchants, so I'll post some thoughts on that in my next post.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Just remembered a quick tidbit I learned about mining: you can "share" mineral nodes with your friends. Multiple people can mine the same node (and get the experience) as long as there's still something left in the node (rock or minerals or gems)
I haven't tested this with herbalism, but I suspect it is the same, and it might even work for skinning!
See you at the Darkmoon Faire!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Ok, From here on out, I will be talking primarily about mining & blacksmithing. I will try to point out similarities to other professions as things come up, but those will only be happenstance...
The Choice is Made. You paid you copper pieces, and now are an apprentice miner. What now?
Picking a second, Primary Profession
Depending on your preferences, there are three, possibly four, other professions that would compliment mining:
- Blacksmithing - uses the ore you mine as well as the stone and most of the gems you find
- Engineering - same as blacksmithing
- Leatherworking - it's another "gathering" profession, and can easily be done alongside mining
- Jewelcrafting - it uses the gems you find, but has no use for the metals or stone.
What you chose is up to you...
Herbcraft is another good gathering profession that might seem complimentary at first, but it can interfere with mining. This is due to one reason: both use the same resource: the "find" function of your minimap on your user interface (your "UI")
The find function can find EITHER minerals OR herbs (or old quests, or undead, or whatever you have spec'ed) but it can only show one thing at a time. If you are hunting one farmable, you can't be finding the other. (well, at least not with the help of the UI)
If all you are doing is farming (and not questing), it's actually not that bad in that you look for minerals on one "lap" of an area, then change to herbs for your next "lap". By the time you finish your second lap, the minerals from your first lap should have respawned, and you can keep running laps, getting more & more materials (aka "mats").
Overall though, in a "normal" usage, where you will quest some, farm a bit, and just run around a lot, it's best not to have herbalism & mining together.
One thing I STRONGLY recommend is installing the add-on called "Gatherer" LINKY (also, the included database is needed) It basically remembers where most of the mineral (and plants & treasure chests) are, and displays them on your mini-map as well as your world map.
It's not 100% complete, as I have found a few that aren't listed, and the add-on doesn't PREDICT what will be at a given place, only what has been seen there before. (Quite often mineral nodes don't stay the same. One time will produce silver, and the next may be tin, with or without gems) But the usefulness in helping you find your loot is invaluable.
Another great resource if you are so inclined, is the thenoobschool.com power levelling guide: LINKY Even if you aren't looking to go from level zero to level 400 in a week, it has invaluable tips, maps and suggestions. They also include a step by step guide (5 or 6 steps) for installing Gatherer.
Let's Get Digging!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
There are a few reasons to get into a profession. Some tangible, some not. The reasons would include:
- Make some extra gold
- Get "cheap" items that you can use
- Add depth/playability to the game
- Because every primary profession gets a special perk or ability.
The perks vary widely from profession to profession but they can be VERY useful:
- Herbalism - "Life Blood" an ability to heal
- Mining - "Thoughness" increased stamina
- Skinning - "Master of Anatomy" an increased critical strike chance
- Alchemy - "mixology" improved performance from all potions
- Blacksmithing - Ability to add gem sockets as well as making Skeleton Keys (which open locked boxes)
- Engineering - various goggles and other gadgets
- Leatherworking - cheap leg & bracer enchants
- Tailoring - some cheap enchants and flying carpet mounts
- Jewelcrafting - epic gems and special trinkets
- Enchanting - Ring enchants
- Inscription - shoulder enchants and scroll of recall
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I have 5 stars (5 all white stars) which means I have a good reputation. People that act like jerks will have lower reputations, and are stuck with a bad reputation. It's your badge of behavior, good or bad.
In WoW, the /ignore is nice, but the bad apple will never realize they've been ignored, unless everyone on their server ignores them.
So how do we deal with this in the PvP portions of WoW? I guess make sure you have a group of friends when you play (be it just friends or your guild) so that you can avoid PUGs (pick up group) At the very least, try to bring ONE friend with you into the fray...