Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A wonderful pug

Hello again everyone. To continue the pug theme had one today that proves the exception to the rule. When I logged in Ishvi shot me a whisper wondering if I wanted to do heroic UK as it was the daily. Still slowly gathering badges towards my necklace I said sure. So we have tank and heals just need the easy stuff dps should be a easy one, well it took us about 20 minutes to gather the 3 needed slots but thew wait was well worth it. We had 2 titans grip warriors and a boomkin so we run in buff up and away we go.

So we a pushing threw at a decent pace not stressing the healer and mobs are dieing in order and placement. No real issues no deaths and the only hiccup was when my stepsons grandparents arriving mid instance. We were not on a voice channel but any needed communication happened, where I was gonna position when I was gonna engage bosses etc. . So we complete the run in about 45 to 50 minutes everyone is happy no loot but definitely emblems and shards for all.

Now I believe I have some skill at tanking but am not the best or the worst, after we had completed the instance I thank everyone for coming and complement the dps and heals; without whom no tank ever has success.

Then a nice thing happened that to me is a rarity. The warriors and the boomkin druid gear far out surpasses anything I have. They all had some gear from the 25 man versions of the current raid content, and they complemented me. Saying that I held aggro as well if not better than most. I was humbled because I was as, I normally am somewhat nervous that I would cause huge repair bills and not have a good run.

So I had a very good pug and hope that in the future I may group with some if not all of the players again. I'm sure that having success in this pug I owe the karma controlling rng a offering but I will happily pay my due.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bork my Links somehow

the links are not working to lazy to redo it all to make em work sorry

Stuff I gots stuff I wants

Today is maintenance day again until 2 pm eastern for me so I figured I'd share a little of my research on what I want for Grai. These will be items that are obtainable pre-Naxx. I'm not trying to imply that these are needed items to run Naxx just what I want before the guild I'm in starts raiding Naxx. He is currently at the defense cap to remove critical hits in heroic instances with what I believe to be decent hp and armor value.
Here is my armory link Graimerin, so everyone can see. I'll use that as the over view as I go threw piece by piece what I have and what I think is realistic to get as an upgrade at my current content level.

Head Slot: Currently equipped The Crusaders Resolution.
Best currently available upgrade: Arcane-Shielded Helm drop from heroic Nexus.
Best craft able after 3.0.8: Tempered Titansteel Helm easier to acquire
With the changes to the craft able one and diminishing returns of avoidance stats after 3.0.8 Titansteel easily out paces Arcane for the following reasons. Stamina a tanks primary stat and scalability, also if you have access to a blacksmith your not chasing love from the rng (which hates me).

Neck: Currently equipped: Blood-Infused Pendant quest reward from Sholazar Basin
Emblem of Heroism one: Chained Military Gorget
Time is the only factor in obtaining this necklace currently have 14 emblems past half way

Shoulder: Crusader's Square Pauldrons BoE drop from CoT Stratholme
Upgrade: Pauldrons of the Colossus heroic Gundark drop
The BoE ones are easier to obtain non heroic run or a lucky AH purchase. The heroic drop are a much better fit for a prot paladin I love block rating.

Chest: Tempered Saronite Breastplate blacksmith crafted item
Rep. Reward: Breastplate of the Solem Council
Drop:Ziggurat Imprinted Chestgaurd heroic Drak'Tharon Keep

Wrist: Tempered Saronite bracers blacksmith crafted item
Drop: Bindings of Dark Will heroic CoT stratholme

Weapon: Infantry Assault Blade heroic UK drop
Upgrade: Red Sword of Courage heroic UP drop

Shield: Titan Shield Wall crafted blacksmith item
Emblem of Heroism one: Crygil's Discarded Plate Panel on the list but not a great need

These are the ones that I would like to get as I progress threw. Some are minor upgrades like the shield but I'm a vain Paladin and I think that one just looks bad ass. Other pieces are out there to upgrade other slots but I try to not overwhelm myself with a wish list. Some of these are based on the evil rng and having to mush of a list would make me turn my game into a endless stream of either lfging or annoying guildies constantly to run this or that instance because I need this drop.

So I have some goals to peruse, not mindless; or chaotically but hopefully with some great guildies and or friends I have in game.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

To Pug or Not to Pug

A question we all face from time to time, and the reason for the question are as varied as the groups we get. Wanting to get a quest done,hoping for a drop,farming emblems(badges) etc... So last night I get a whisper from a warlock that I had pugged Old Kingdom with he was wondering if I would tank for a heroic Nexus run. So as I start to type my standard no reply that most non-guild whispers get “Sorry I don't have time”; I remembered that I have ran with this person before in a solid group so lets see how he builds them. I get my invite notice that I was 3rd person in the group and continued with my dailies. Having a few minutes of flight over to Coldarra I tabbed out to check Wow Head and got a most pleasant surprise, the best protection paladin pre-raid helmet drops here off Grand Magus Telestra that and the prospect of 5 emblems of heroism seemed like a solid choice. While we cleared all 4 of the bosses in about 1 and a half hours little over average time I didn't get them helm but I did get me badges.

Now I have a set policy that I don't like to pug. Not that I won't just that all things being equal I'd rather not. The reasons are pretty basic I dislike the abuse that sometimes happens in pugs when something goes bad. Now as the tank most often I assume blame for wipes most often be they guild runs, runs with friends or even pugs, simply because my job is to annoy the mobs and keep them in a general area to allow the dps a chance to burn them down; and to have enough mitigation, avoidance and hp to live threw the encounter. The group I was in last night didn't have any of the bad components of a pug, yeah we had some frustration over wipes but that happens no matter who your grouped with.

One of the nicer aspects about this pug was that before we even started pulling trash we set loot rules, kill orders, and asked that if something took you away from the computer please say so in party chat so we were aware. Seeing as we didn't have a enchanter to DE anything loot rules were very simple, greed greens all the time; and greed boss drops for vendor unless you wanted the item then need. We had no aspects of loot whoredom everyone agreed and kept to the policy. We had one or two times that someone needed to step away from the keyboard and they informed the group so no damage done there either.

Was this the normal pug of this new expansion I don't know. What I do know is that it was a nicely balanced group or decent people and players. We joined for a common goal and saw that goal accomplished. Will this make me feel all warm and fuzzy when I see in trade or general chat looking for tank for “X” probably not, but it did open up a small group of people who I'll most likely group with again.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The tagging has reached rock bottom

So as I read threw my blogs this morning I notice that Phinn @ One Among Many has started a question about who was your first blogger poster. I read it and the enclosed link thinking how cool it will be to see. Later in the day I notice Ratter's has a new post up and he in turn tags BBB. Well about 30 minutes ago I notice that BBB has a new post go over to read it and get knocked out of my chair. The reason for this is that somehow I got included on a list that has some heavy weight blogs on it, I mean these are people that get read because they are if not the best they are definitely in the top tier. I most certainly do not think I belong in such esteemed company but will do my best to at least share my first post that had a blogger comment. Why wipes are my fault got a comment from BBB himself which included many kind words.

Now whom to tag i shall take from my reader.

Alts Ahoy

Two and a half Orcs

Rambling of a learner

These are the blogger's along with BBB that said some wonderfully nice things about me after a Kara pug run and my way of showing appreciation to them I created this outlet for the drivel that passes for my thoughts.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Well it's the day before Our 1st WotLK Patch

For most of us it has been 30 days since we opened Northrend on live servers. Some of us are again level capped; raids have been done, professions are moving along if not capped again. So i thought i would take a minute to look back at the last 30 days comparing these to TBC first 30 days as a contrast and compare.

We will look first at what didn't change between the different expansions. Over priced items on the AH the first week or two until more people had access to them. General chat being full of where is "x" at. Griefer's and ninja's doing there best to ruin our/your time in game. The race to the level cap either because you wanted to be first or you wanted to beat your buddy. Do these always exist in game to some extent? Yeah, x-pacs seem to just highlight them again.

Now the fun the stuff the new. Easy ones another continent to enjoy, 10 more levels of yeah the blue/purple xp bar is back. New factions,recipes,instances and what not. To me the greatest change from this x-pac from TBC is the flow of the story line. Lore makes a come back and its important and not just cursory. We redid a few old Azeroth groups both good and bad. Our zealous oft times confused friends from the Scarlet Crusade renamed themselves and continue to carry their war against the scourge and everyone else now are the Scarlet Onslaught. Mr. Fording has been welcome back into the heroes of light and now leads the old Knights of the Silver Hand and The Argent Dawn under the banner of the Argent Crusade. Plus innumerable old friends that time and space does not allow me to list. One that stood out for me was the return of Ol' Blanchy that tired old horse from westfall quest for the alliance. As you move threw the different zones you will encounter important NPC's from old Azeroth. To avoid spoiling things for those that have yet to reach these zones I will stay as vague as I can. Stormpeaks has incredible dwarven lore. Icecrown will catch you up on your Argent Crusade and Ebon Hold lore. The over the top winner has to be Dragonblight.

Now Dragonblight has brought back a Blizzard feature that I've missed since the days of Diablo II. The in game cinematic, the one you can "unlock" via a quest chain is the best simple hands down. I know that cga has vast improved since the old D II days but this was breath taking.

So to close I must offer to Blizzard a huge thank you. While TBC grew on me and opened raiding up to me more, I just never felt it fit into my "idea" of the wowverse. WotLK is the everything I hoped for and then some. 30 days does not make a x-pac or a game but I have hopes based on my shallow tour of the new areas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

WoW Decency

Just before I go to bed some nights i take a quick tour of the Basin. Not true dedicated farming runs, more of a look see as to how many people are mining. Well last I needed a single saronite bar to craft a healy mace for a friend so off I went. I was just coming through the wolf people zone and noticed a titanium node on my mini map. Now to set this up properly my miner/blacksmith is Falromord level 73 maxed mining and 443 blacksmithing; but as a level 73 can't yet fly in Northrend. So i zoom over to the node on my ram and appear to arrive at the same time as this Draenei level 80 on their epic flyer. I thought they arrived first so I back away from the node and am getting ready to leave when they make a statement in /say chat that I can take the node. As anyone can tell you mining in the basin is generally a grief fest so this was a shocking development on its own. I go up and strike the node and then gather my ore and a few crystallized items, step away from the node and in the process of telling the decent person that they can now have a shot at getting some ore also. I didn't even finish getting the sentenced typed when someone swoops in and ninja's the node. So in a whisper I explain to this person that I'm sorry they lost at least a chance for the ore that they so graciously allowed me to get. their reply was to thank me for being a awesome person because I wanted to share.

So Zarixia I would like to take this opportunity and forum to thank you again for being a decent kind person. I'm a fan of a news show called Countdown with Keith Olderman and he has a bit called best persons. So I would like to nominate Zarixia for today's best WoW person of the day. You sir or madam showed me that while our game gets more attention for the asshats and winy brats random decency is not lost. Your action to a stranger and your kindness even after losing out on any of it was to thank me for trying to be decent. I may never encounter you again but I wanted to let everyone I can know of your actions.

Thank you for reaffirming my belief in kindness a random act to someone you know nothing of made my day. So to you Zarixia I hope you have a wonderful time in this game we play and I will try to show the decency to someone the way you did to me.

Monday, December 8, 2008

440 blacksmithing Woot

Falromord has attained the main goal I set for him before Grai reached 80. I'm sure that pushing Fal's smithing as hard as I have, cost me a couple levels on Grai. To me its more than worth it, knowing that when i make the xp bar disappear again that the titansteel pieces are waiting. It will make the push to the major numbers easier, 540 defense doesn't seem as daunting. I'm already running around 20k armor and with a food buff get well over 18k hp. When the level 80 normal and then heroic dungeons open to me I wont be gimping the group at least from a gear stand point now I must make sure that I have the skill.

Short post very excited about hitting one of my wrath goals in under a month. Hope every ones game play is giving them excitement and happiness.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A look at Graimerin

Hey everyone! Hope everyone is enjoying Wrath and getting used to the new skills, talents and all around goodness that I see in Wrath. Figured that now that I have reached level 76, and will not be getting any new skills either through talents or spells. I'd take a look at what I think protection pally's will be doing and how we are gonna be doing it.

The biggest single change to the paladin tank class in my opinion is the fact that now we have a single target threat attack Shield of Righteousness. While we have been the best AoE trash tanks in the game now we can go 1 0n 1 with bosses and push our tps ahead of our dps. Another bonus to this spell is its ability to scale and also crit so we wont be lagging behind as we improve our gear. If spec with redoubt we get 130% of our block value + 300. Now this damage is holy which is effected threat wise by Righteous Fury. The other aspect of this spell that works with our gear is the changes to how block value is computed 1 strength = .5 block value and that strength is now on our tanking gear as well; we can now use warrior tank gear or generic plate tank gear may be a better way of phrasing it.

Now that we gained a huge single target attack, how is our AoE gonna be affected. Again personally I think we have improved over all. In BC paladin crowd control was very simple we had our own "cc" continuous Consecration. The pre patch for Wrath included this awesome spell Hammer of the Righteous. What I do is use Seal of Vengeance after pulling a group with Avenger's Shield; then bang on the hammer. This applies the DoT aspect onto each of the mobs, up to 3 locking them down a little more than just the consecration. Why I like the added bonus is with the changes to our judgements is that as we move down the kill order I have a seal active on each of the mobs without needing to tab threw the kill targets. Another bonus to our AoE threat and a minor help to our healers is our Judgements epically Judgement of Light. This adds healing aggro to our tps and with a second pally in the group we can have both this and Judgement of Wisdom up. I love this combo on bosses and am lucky enough that I normally have a Holy or Ret in my groups. So we are building aggro offering some minor splash healing to our group and doing our jobs with much added group utility.

Now I'm sure none of this is new to most of the pally community and the theory crafters are working out great tps spell rotations that I will try to incorporate into my play style. I just wanted to add my 2 cents to the discussion. There are some awesome gear guides already out and the debate about being block capped has already started. I'm not going to worry about wadding into that discussion until I'm doing heroics and or raids where those things will become important.

In closing I just want to re state the obvious an expansion built around a Paladin gone bad has given protection paladins some interesting new toys and ways to play with them.