Archive for June, 2009

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Meters, Meters, Meters: The Paladin P.I.T.A

June 11, 2009

Since the demise of most of my holy paladin sources (Feraro’s Scandal, BoK going Prot and Siha… where are you woman?) I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Plusheal.com about my class. I used to not especially like this site. Its more of a community for discussion on a more…. casual (? thats not the word, but whatever) level. Not to say that there aren’t some fantastic theorycrafters and great knowledge swapped around, but more that its for paladins (and every healer for that matter) of every level of play.

Anyway! I’ve been lurking their paladin forums pretty frequently recently reading on some of the problems that have been plaguing my fellow healadins and also myself. It actually made me feel a bit better to see that I wasn’t the only person wondering if they’re doing something wrong since stepping a plated-foot into Ulduar.

I’ll start off by talking about my paladin-past. When I first started healing Heroics and 5mans I really loathed Paladin healing. I found it to be impossible at times. It got better and then I started raiding Naxx10 with Vae Victus and instantly I fell into my healing niche. When I was really wanting to showoff I could easily top the healing meter, besting my healing partner who was a standup resto druid. Before the Divine Plea nerf and the Glyph of Holy Light nerf, I could even go into Naxx25 Pugs and destroy the meters there as well. I remember one 25man OS where I came in 2nd, only being beaten out by a Resto Druid from the top guild on our server… in my lowly 10man gear. Even after the two nerfs I mentioned, I was still feeling extremely confident in my healing and was often sought-out for PuGs and various guilds in the raiding scene and yes, still topping the meters.

Now its not to say that I’m no longer confident in healing, because I am. I’m still one of the better Holy Paladins on my server (albeit its an RP server, with only a handful of “raiding” guilds) and my gear is falling into place in the Tier 8 Content. However what continues to haunt myself and other Paladins is that while in Ulduar10 and even in Naxx25 still, I am still up there on the meters, but once in Ulduar25 I plummet all the way to the bottom of the list, usually tied or on par with our Discipline Priest.

What could cause this? I could understand a sliding scale… I’ve just joined a more “serious” guild full of very competent healers in amazing gear. I could see if I didn’t measure up as well with them as opposed to 25man PuG healers. As I mentioned though, I go with those same healers in Ulduar10 and while I’m never 1st, on occasion I can pull 2nd and on the nights when I’m last its not by a marginal amount, only maybe 2-3%.

Its something that worries a lot of Paladins and it makes them start to slip into the devious habit that infected a lot of DPS in BC raiding, the dangerous habit of letting the meters distract you from your job in the raid. I remember being the Mage Lead: We’re hitting up Mt. Hyjal, squealing gleefully at our inflated AOE numbers on the meter. Suddenly a Lock pulls ahead (Nerf Seed!) and there goes the Fire Mage… tossing that Flamestrike a bit too early, frantically hitting Dragon’s Breath and then when its too late, trying to Frost Nova and get out there before all those ghouls chew through the tissue paper of their armor. And then they’re dead. And no one tops the meter from the floor. They knew better… they knew to wait. They had waited all the other times. But the competitive nature of the meters suddenly made them go stupid and mistakes were made.

The same thing can happen when healing. Hell I won’t even lie… I’ve done it. You’re standing there at Ignus healing your tank as normal. Everytime a Flame Jet goes off you see your entire Raid at half health. You start to think to yourself “All those people need heals… I could Beacon the Tank… I could snipe all those raid heals… nothing will happen.” Except you weren’t counting on that pesky CoH Priest who instantly heals up the 5 people you were just about to heal, causing you to overheal and therefore leaving no heals to go to your Beacon Target (THE TANK) and then oops… tank goes splat… raid wipes. You don’t care though, you suck up to that CoH priest and throw him a DI… the bastard!

*coughs* Sorry I got a little distracted.

Seriously though while I like to be overdramatic and tell a funny story, there is a lot of truth to those two scenarios. I’ve read countless stories just like these and yes, maybe even engaged in a little extra-curricular healing myself. To be honest though, I have stopped doing that. For one, it doesn’t even put a dent in the amount of healing that your Druids and CoH Priests are doing – not even close lol. For two, all it does is stress me the hell out! Because if the tank dies – thats my fault and no one is gonna pat me on the back for healing that Shadow Priest who just used SW:Death and was probably about to heal themself up with VE anyway. The risk doesn’t come anywhere near the gain and therefore I don’t bother anymore. I save my Beacon for the OT or even myself on fights like Hodir. I sit back and keep my focus on the tank. Meters be damned. That really is our job as a Paladin. Its what we excel at… its what we do.

As you get further into Ulduar your tank is going to get better geared. Better Gear = Less Damage and Less Damage = Less Healing. Luckily for me I have an amazing Healing Lead who understands this and I have not once been called out for having low numbers. The tank lives through the fight and the boss doesn’t. Loot is had by all and thats the point of the encounter for healers, not the flippin’ meters.

Moral of the story is this: You can’t judge the worth of your healer by any meter aside from the health meter. You may have that Paladin who is putting out higher numbers, but chances are that Paladin isn’t sticking to their assignment and theyre letting someone else pick up the slack on the tank. Not to mention wearing out your raid healers by stepping on their heals, their job. No one likes a showoff anyway!

All you healadins keep this in mind while moving through Ulduar and don’t let it get you discouraged. And if it comes down to a wipe, go ahead and give that CoH Priest your Divine Intervention – they’re probably way more stressed out than you are anyway.

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AMG I’m alive, lets talk about gear!

June 1, 2009

I know I’ve been afk from my blog for some time, but I’ve been a busy busy bunny. I have a point to this post, so I’ll keep the backstory short, but lets go ahead and go over the necessary content.

It took about a week to get my account back in order after being hacked. Blizzard restored everything to every toon I have – I lost nothing. *kisses whichever GM handled my account*

Before my account got the ol’ hackeroo, some things got shaken up with my guild situation. Vae Victus had recently lost a lot of members, so we merged with a guild that we had done some runs with and that I’ve talked about here. After sticking it out with them for a few weeks, we realized it really wasnt a good fit. I won’t bad mouth them at all, they have the potential to be a fantastic guild, as I stated, it just wasn’t a good match.

Flashback to every post I’ve made recently and I’m sure you’ve heard me mention Hid: dailies partner, fellow achievement whore, super-leet priest healer and amazingly close to me in general. Hid is an Officer in a guild you may remember me mentioning from when I did Malygos25 for the first time, Catalyst. It turns out that they were in need of  a few good people and after much negotiation with their GM (and lots of begging and pleading from Hid and the other officers) the Vae Victus crew made the decision to raid with them.

Let me preface by saying, I love this guild.

So many things about this guild reminds me of my very first progressive raiding guild. Its a remarkable match and within slightly over a week of raiding with them most of the Vae Victus members have been put on the core team. Its nice to have a home in the 25man raiding scene and I honestly don’t think I could find another group of people I’d rather raid with.

With all of that said, we are hard working in Ulduar (both 10 and 25) and have made it up to Mirmiron10 and Hodir25. Granted its not the most amazing accomplishment on the progression ladder, but it makes me happy. I pretty much raid 7 days a week now though, but it keeps me busy and I have fun.

I was doing some research today for a BIS list for Ulduar gear and found a list on Plusheal.com. I looked it over some and decided which items I want and which ones I probably won’t get to for now. Since I’ve last updated, lets take a quick peak at recent upgrades and a stat-snap.

Studio Apartments are Win.

Studio Apartments are Win.

Lots of upgrades since I last posted:

Whew. Lots of upgrades there >.< Starting from the top, I was really lucky and happy to get the Horologist’s Wristguards since they are rated the BIS Plate Bracers. When I got Soul of the Dead, I was excited at first, everyone knows how I feel about Crit, but unfortunately I really felt like it dropped me extremely low in the Spell Power department (barely hitting 2k before I got the rest of my upgrades) and recently I’ve felt like I really want the haste buff from my current trinkets. I might start wearing it again eventually, but for now I’m sticking with my BIS 10-man trinkets. The Signet of Manifested Pain was good to finally get as well as its the BIS ring from T7 content, but I was really excited when the Pyrelight Circle dropped as its the current BIS ring.

Of course its finally a relief to get my Valorous Redemption Gloves after all this time as well as the Valorous Redemption Headpiece so I could switch out of my Valorous Redemption Tunic for the Chestplate of the Great Aspects and have my gear situated properly to get the 4pc. set bonus as well as have most of the BIS items from the T7 content.

Wrap it all up with getting Voice of Reason and you have one very happy Holy Paladin.

I still really need to get The Turning Tide not to mention the highly sought after Forethought Talisman and I think then I’ll be content with my T7 choices and be set on filling out my BIS Ulduar upgrades, which finally brings me to the entire point of this post.

I started to look at the list for Holy Paladins and I wanted to make a sure list. I’m not 100% happy with the itemization of Ulduar gear and I want to state that this list is purely what -I- think is best in slot for my personal playstyle and gear choices. I havent yet decided how many pieces of T8 I want and I might go back and edit this list when I have more time (and sleep) to actually compare the stats with what I’m wearing.

As for now though this is what I’m looking at:

Hands down BIS. Must have… gotta have… Rets/Prots/Priests/Locks be damned. The  Valorous Aegis Headpiece from 10man is rated higher than the t7.5 helm, so depending on a few things, its possible I would take that as well. I’m not quite sure yet.

The BIS neck actually comes from Uld10 Hard Mode, but I’m sticking with normal drops for now. This is actually only ranked at #4, but the rest come from hard modes or have wasted stats. I’m gonna look at the actual stat comparison on this first thing tomorrow. I’m not 100% sold on those stats, which I’ll get into in a later blurb about these choices. 2nd to this is the BIS T7 neck, Life-Binder’s Locket from the Maly key quest, but honestly I find it to be a side-grade to what I’m already wearing. I stick to one basic rule when looking at these upgrades… just because its a higher item level, doesnt always mean its better, especially with mid-content gear such as these.

Another must have, got to have item. I’m hoping to get these and the helm for that 2-set bonus. Seeing as how I’ll probably get through 10man before 25man, I’ll be taking Valorous Aegis Spaulders from 10man if they drop.

According to what I’ve seen, the rest of the cloaks in Ulduar are pretty blah. Outside of hard more capes, the Pennant Cloak is still the best out there with the Shroud of Luminosity being rated at a very close 2nd. I have the Shroud and I’m happy with it for now. We do still go in and do Sarth+Drakes on a regular basis so if it drops thats good as well, but until we get into hard modes, thats one last thing to worry about on my list.

More lackluster Tier pieces ftl. Astonishingly the T8.5 chest was rated at a lowly #6 with the Chestplate being rated as the BIS Plate piece. I don’t think the research has been done yet on which piece to drop from the set to get the 4set bonus, but I think its obvious which one will not get picked up. I’m still not sure if I even really -want- the 4pc set, although I’m sure I do. I’ll have to wrack my brain over that later though, as for now its just another item to not worry about on my list.

More crappy itemization, but once again the BIS for plate. Already have them thankfully, my drop list is looking pretty low huh?

I see a pattern forming… ranked at #4, but BIS plate outside of hard mode. Conqueror’s Aegis Gloves were listed right about where our T7.5 gloves are, which makes me wonder if I’ll be keeping my 7.5 gloves to keep that 2pc bonus. Signs point to yes, but lets see how the rest of the list goes.

Another lackluster Emblem item and its not ranked that highly over the Waistguard of Divine Grace which I’m already wearing. Something else for me to check out when I log on next… but its not looking too good.

  • Legs: Debatable

All of the legs from Ulduar have completely horrid itemization. Conqueror’s Aegis Greaves were rated as #1, but the T7.5 are a close tie due to the itemization alone. It leaves me wondering if I should stick with only the 2pc T8 bonus and still get the 2pc T7 bonus… I really don’t know. With that being the last piece of tier 8 and it all being crap aside from the Helm and Shoulders, is it really worth it to sacrifice stats and a useful set bonus (10% crit to Holy Shock) to get the other (Sacred Shield every 4 seconds instead of 6)? To me, I honestly thinking having both the T7 and T8 set bonuses would make sense, but everyone is saying that the 4pc set bonus is a must have. So that leaves me to really wonder which piece to swap out, Chest or Gloves. Part of me wants to say Chest, since I already have what can be considered the BIS Plate Chest outside of hard mode and then I can just focus on getting the T8 gloves, it just makes it hard because both the chest and the gloves are rated so poorly. Argh I dunno… I’ll keep you updated. Lets continue on.

I’ll spare you the QQ about the itemization. These are probably a direct upgrade from the Faithful Steel Sabatons which I’m currently wearing, but I’m still hoping that the Poignant Sabatons drop for me while I work on getting my other Naxx upgrades as they are still rated better than the BIS from Ulduar.

Signet of Manifested Pain is actually ahead of the Pyrelight Circle, but I have both so nyah! No rings needed for me!

Um yeah. I want Pandora’s Plea… very badly. Eye of the Broodmother puts me in the same situation as I mentioned above with Soul of the Dead, but the proc on it makes it worth while imo. Those are the two trinkets I would prefer to have… at least on paper.

Oh yeah I guess I forgot to mention that I’ve started collecting my shards to get this! It will be mine eventually, but I know its a long ways off. Until then The Turning Tide is still the BIS outside of hard mode and I plan on getting my hands on that thing and keeping it until I get the Legendary.

Wisdom’s Hold from 25-Man Thorim Hard-Mode is the best, but I’m looking at a “for now” basis. After they fixed the horribly low spell power on the Pulsing Spellshield from 10-Man XT-002, its a VERY nice shield, but Voice of Reason still outweighs it, so I’m glad I have it =X

  • Librams: …are still crap if you don’t do Arena.

Libram of the Resolute drops from 25-Man Auriaya but everyone uses the trusty iLvL200 Libram of Renewal and so will I until they give us something better.

/phew. How’s that for an “I’m back” post?! Not too shabby if I do say so myself. As always if you have any comments please feel free to post and discuss, especially about the T7/T8 conundrum. I will try my bestest to keep you guys updated as my raiding continues!