According to my nifty little site counter, this site has reached 50,000 views.
Thank you to all the visitors, commentors, and Lurkers. I hope you continue to enjoy what you find on my blog.
According to my nifty little site counter, this site has reached 50,000 views.
Thank you to all the visitors, commentors, and Lurkers. I hope you continue to enjoy what you find on my blog.
2.4 was announced that Blizzard would be introducing "Tier 6" level Badge gear.
The Legs and Ring look pretty good. Both of the Chests have possibilities but the boots are just bad. The Belt is situational. You would think for their cost and being an entire Tier above the 2.3 Badge they would be clear upgrades in all cases.
Not so much.
First up we have the big ticket item,
Inscribed Legplates of the Aldor
37 Spell damage
Comparing it to the 2.3 Legs, Unwavering Legguards.
5 stamina, 3 defense, 43 dodge, 37 spell damage
-1 socket, -30 Block Rating, -59 Block Value
The stamina and defense are easily made up by the extra socket, but the Dodge and Spell Damage blow the old badge legs out of the water.
It seems like I'd want the new Badge Legs for Bosses and threat fights and use the old badge legs in my Block Value set.
100 Badges and it looks like a definite BUY!
They've also added a new Tanking Ring to Badges.
Ring of the Stalwart Protector
Compared to the Violet Signet of the Great Protector,
+8 Stamina, +28 Dodge
Assuming I can take the hit in the defense department, this would be an upgrade in most of my sets.
There is new Chest from Badge rewards.
Shattrath Protectorate Breastplate
34 Spell Hit
60 Spell Damage
The Spell Hit really boggles my mind. We only have a couple of skills that rely on spell hit, and those aren't even what I'd consider critical ones. Avengers Shield and Taunt both go off melee hit.
Compared to the Chestguard of the Stoic Guardian,
18 stamina, 4 defense, 25 spell damage
-2 sockets, -38 dodge
The sockets easily equalize out the stamina and defense gains making it a trade of spell damage for dodge.
Initially this looks like a poor trade, however, I'm getting close to having over 25% dodge in nearly every gear set. It might actually make sense to reduce my dodge a little bit and pick up more spell damage, especially if I pick up dodge on the new ring and the new legs.
Now we look at the boots. They recently changed on the PTR to add some additional armor and changed the name as well.
Blues Greave's of the Righteous Guardian
23 Spell Hit
34 Shield Block Rating
26 Spell Damage
Comparing these to my current boots, the Sabatons of the Righteous Defender
100 armor, 13 stamina, 5 spell hit, 34 shield block RATING, 3 spell damage
-1 less gem slot
-30 Block Value
For 75 badges? This is Tier 6 level Badge gear? Give me Righteous Defender any day.
Next up, we have the Girdle of the Fearless.
23 Hit Rating
One of the reason I dig the Aldori Legacy Defender so much is because it has the melee hit for Righteous Defense and Avenger's Shield. Nearly every time I do the Bear Avatar in ZA, I get at least one taunt resisted. Those resists have caused wipes or a slow down and have prevented us from beating the timer. Since I won't be seeing the ALD anytime soon, I could substitute this belt in my gearset for situations where a taunt is critical, but it remains a fairly situational piece, and won't be a high priority.
Finally, you have the much anticipated "Warrior" Chest.
Chestguard of Stoicism
39 Block Value
Compared to my current Block Value chest, The Panzar'thar Breastplate,
210 Armor, 27 Stamina, 25 Defense, 34 Dodge
-2 sockets, -24 block rating
The Stamina difference can almost be made up for by the sockets, and you trade the Block Rating for Defense. You pick up some good armor, and healthy amount of dodge.
I do a ton of AoE tanking right now (Tidwalker, Dragonhawk, soon Solarian) so this is definitely a purchase I need to consider.
The Legs, both chests, and the ring come to a nice round 360 badges. The belt would increase that to 435 badges.
You ever heard a story from your friends from a party or event you should have been at, but for whatever reason you weren't.
This is one of those stories.
Back before I got involved in battling the Burning Legion and becoming a Hero of Azeroth, I played table top Role Playing Games.
I had missed the previous nights session, so my gaming buddies relayed the events of the night.
It started out pretty normal. Our party was in Waterdeep. My character, a Bard named Pter was off playing at a local Inn. The others were investigating some mysterious happenings near the mansion of a prominent Noble.
They were noticed by the guards the Noble has employed to keep his property safe. A fight ensued and the guards will killed.
At this point, 3 young ladies entered the room where my friends were playing. They were friends of my GM's roommate.
Small talk ensued, and the girls asked the GM, named Bob, what he did for a living. He replied that he worked for the VA. Bob then asked Larry, who played a Fighter, what he did. Larry responded that he was a Firefighter.
James, who played a Rogue, had been sort of zoned out and was not paying much attention to the conversion.
Bob turned to James and asked,
"James, what do you do?"
James looked at Bob, deadpan, and said,
"I hide the bodies."
The girls suddenly had somewhere very important they needed to be.
I record all my boss fights and upload them to WoWWebStats. WWS is a great tool for examining how you are doing. I generally look at things like how much damage the boss is doing to me or how many crushes I took.
I went back to a couple of my WWS parses because I wanted to see what kind of TPS numbers I was producing. Omen or KTM can give you a snapshot of what you are doing at that moment, but at least for me, my TPS can vary quite a bit as the fight goes along.
I got thinking about this when one of the posters on MainTankadin announced that T5 Tankadins should be producing 700 TPS. I wanted to know how I stacked up to that.
So what I wanted to do was take the total threat produced and divide it by the time of the fight.
The first problem I ran into was that there isn't a fight I'm doing right now that is just a "stand there and produce threat" the whole time.
So with that in mind, I'm going to list out the fights, what my role is and what TPS numbers I produced.
Gruul the Dragonkiller - Hurtful Strike Offtank - 530 TPS
I'm producing 0 threat during Shatter and I'm limited by what the maintank can produce, especially early on in the fight. Blocks are very rare so I get very little if any Holy Shield threat.
Hydross the Unstable - Frost Main Tank - 525 TPS
I'm generally only producing threat during my phase. When he is in Nature Phase, I keep up a stack of Seal of Vengeance to facilitate picking him up when he goes back to Frost. You can't block Hydross because he's an elemental so Holy Shield does not good there.
Magtheridon - Main Tank - 616 TPS
I tank the first Channeler then watch for loose Infernals. After two minutes of the fight, I pick Mag and go to town.
The Lurker Below - Guardian Tank - 110 TPS
I'm only producing significant threat during the Submerge. I burst as much threat as I can on my Guardian. There are long stretches of this fight where I'm offhealing and keeping Judgement of Light going.
Morogrim Tidewalker - Murloc Tank - 976 TPS
Massive AoE threat situation. I tank all 12 Murlocs using healing threat from Holy Light.
What I don't have a feel for is if those are "good" numbers to be producing.
I can infer from the fact that my DPS rarely pulls aggro and has not complained about being threat capped, that I'm doing good on the threat front.
So now I have the Ring. I lose about 233 armor and 5 defense from the Shermanar Great Ring, but I pick up 9 stamina and 25 dodge.
I finally get my name under one of those first kill screenshots.
He dropped the Healing Shield and not the Tank Shield that Brindall and I have been wanting. Sevenn, our Holy and sometimes Ret Paladin, has a nice new shield. I hope we keep killing him because I know both Brindall and I need the tanking shield.
With all 4 Animal Bosses down, we went and took a look at HexLord's trash. His trash didn't seem too bad, the Beserkers hit like trucks when they enrage. I haven't read up on HexLord yet, but he looks like a Moroes/HKM/Fathom Lord type fight.
Sunday night, and again, no 25 man, but we got our main group together for ZA. We again beat the Bear Boss timer, and we were looking good on the Eagle boss when our tank died.
We had 3 melee dps along with our tank (Fury Warrior, Feral Druid, Rogue), so when one of them got hit with the static charge from Akil’zon it really hurt. We are fortunate in that our Tank for Akil’zon is our Nature Tank for Hydross so he can wear some of that gear. For this fight I throw on my healer gear and help heal the real dpsers.
Akil’zon is almost always casting something, and most of his damage is magical in nature. Those factors make it more of a Warrior or Druid tank fight. Plus, there is high amount of collateral damage to the raid so my extra healing is seen as more valuable than our Warrior Tanks extra dps would be.
He dropped this amazing Plate DPS chest. Our Fury Warrior said no thank you, so it up to me to and Brindall (our Warrior Tank). I decided to pass and let Brindall take it. I can work on potentially 3 different sets: Tanking, Healing and DPS. He can work on 2 sets, Tanking and DPS. I would roll against him on anything for my Primary set (Tank). He would never roll against me on my secondary set (Healing), so I extended the courtesy of passing on an item for his secondary set.
I consider my DPS set to be a 3rd set as far as priority only because it requires a full respect for me to slip into that role. I can heal decently as full Prot so I can use any healing gear I get, and I’m more app to use my Healing gear in a raid or group. I tried to get a group or two while I was Ret this weekend, but it wasn’t coming together. They needed me to tank.
I’m really wishing respect costs were about half of what they were. It’d be great to go to a group and be able to fufill any role without a 50g bill, but I’m sure Priests, Warriors and Rogues would like a bit more flexibility sometimes, so I guess it’s a tradeoff.
After Eagle, we went to Lynx. I really like Lynx trash. It consists of 1 big guy and 4 or 5 small Lynxes. More than 3, you need me! At one point we actually pulled two groups, plus some crocs. This was what you call a target rich environment. I started Consecrate and Holy Shield and was able to hold the group quite well. We actually didn’t wipe.
Then we get to the Boss himself.
His first trick is Saber Lash. Brindall and I stood there and ate it for about 9k a piece. I went with my stamina gear for this fight (double stamina trinkets, stamina boots over dodge boots, etc). Fully buffed, I had 20.2 hit points.
Our trouble came with the Spirit Lynx. Every 25%, he spawns a Spirit Lynx which I was to pickup. Most of the time, I picked it up just fine, but once per attempt, the thing would run straight thru my Consecration, ignore my Judgment of Justice and chew on our Dwarf Priest (Dora). Not cool. I honestly don’t know what happened. Next time we fight him, I’m going to log it so I can tell what in the world is going on.
I was able to successfully cleanse the Flame Shock while tanking the Spirit Lynx.
The fight was intense and there are many things you have to keep track of at the same time.
It took us 3 tries but we got him down. He dropped some healing plate shoulders. I was the only Paladin in the raid so I took them. I wasn’t sure at the time if they were better than my Merciless, but Sevenn, one of our Holy Paladins said they were. I would have hated to see them disenchanted and then realize I need them.
Along with the helm, I’m starting to look pretty ridiculous in that gear.
Monday night, we went back in with the idea of getting Dragonhawk. This guy has got to have the worse trash in the entire instance. It consists of one non elite who runs and beats on a drum to summon a group of elites. Even after a wipe you have to stay together and make sure not to aggro them until you are ready. These scouts respawn after each wipe.
We were able to make some really solid attempts on the boss. My job is to tank the eggs. It looks really easy at first. There is a bridge the birds must cross in order to get out, so I laid a Consecrate there and thought it would pick them up. That worked well for the most part. The boss also teleports back to himself (like the Voidwalker guy in Shadow Labs or the Aran in Kara). If he teleported while I was gathering up the birds it could be a problem. Then he puts bombs all over the ground and you have to find a safe spot. Sounds easy enough but with everything going on and birds all over your screen they can be hard to see.
Then as if that wasn't enough, he enrages and starts to hit really fast. He would blow through Brindalls Shield Block in no time, and burst him down. The fight is very mana intensive for the healers.
I think our best attempt was around 10% or so. Maybe we'll get him next time.
As you may or may not know (as if you didn’t, you will now), I play on PVP server called Altar of Storms. My experience with PVE servers has been somewhat limited.
I originally rolled my Paladin on Rexxar, a PVE server, and if it had been my choice I probably would have stayed PVE.
But Aoesrus, the real life friend who got me involved in the game, wanted to be on a PVP server called Dark Iron, so we rerolled there. My Paladin on Rexxar was all of 16 or 17, and questing in Redridge. I really should go back and play him sometime. I would eventually transfer off of Dark Iron and come to Altar of Storms.
There are times when I really like the fact that I play on a PVP server and times when I don’t.
The biggest pain of a PVP server is that pretty much from around level 20 on you are permaflaged for PVP. This means that in addition to fighting and questing your way through the levels you always have to be on the constant lookout for Horde.
There are different types of Horde you encounter as you level up.
The most annoying is the The Ganker who is a level 70 and just running around a lowbie zone one shotting people. My personal favorites are the Gankers who choose zones where even the guards are no threat to them. These types usually run at the first sign of anything that can remotely give them a challenge. They are annoying, but simply part of the leveling up process on a PVP server. I generally tried to find another zone or go PVP in a battleground for a bit. If that’s how they choose to spend their playtime, well it's their 15 smackers. I tried it once and it wasn’t very much fun. I usually try to /peon, /cry, or /lol at them as they kill me. At least on my Paladin, I could annoy them for a few seconds.
One thing you learn quickly on a PVP server is to rez behind a tree or in a bush, anywhere that might conceal you long enough to eat, drink, and buff up.
Then you have the Challengers. These are at or near your level and engage you in PVP. You continue to engage challengers even at the level cap.
These are some of the most memorable, and exciting fights I have had. I had a fantastic battle with a Tauren Resto Shaman at the Darkmoon Faire just a couple of months ago when it was in Mulgore. They will force you to learn every skill and talent you have and how to use it. I always learned something from these fights win (rare) or lose (common). You learn to identify things that give away a persons spec and you formulate strategies for how to fight each class/spec combination. You know some are almost guaranteed wins and some are almost assuredly losses.
My personal favorite type of Horde is the CareBear. They just want to quest and are not really interested in PVPing. I encountered an Orc Hunter of this type while leveling up in Desolace and we actually helped each other complete a quest.
One thing I learned was never attack Horde in an area where you want to quest, especially if you have one of those Kill X of Y and get Z drops from them type quests. People whom you defeat in PVP have this uncanny way of finding you and trying to settle the odds. Then of course, you retaliate and the next thing you know, it's an hour later, you've got 4 Honor Kills and made no progress on your quest.
The next huge pain of a PVP server is that we have several extra World PVP Objectives that don’t exist on PVE Servers. These are referred to as Summoning Stones. Getting a summon to a Raid or Instance on a PVP Server is far from a sure thing. It can make getting replacements for people who have to leave midraid a huge chore. You zone out (always 4 to 5, never send just 2) and hope that some Horde guild isn’t holding the stone. You do get to recognize the names after a while. AoS is a medium population server so there are not many guilds capable of doing SSC and TK.
“Whose at the stone?”
“Oh gosh, they're awful, we can take it.”
“Hold up, I see some Cynosure.”
“*explictive*. You guys better jump on the bird and walk. No Summons tonight.”
In addition to fighting over the stone, you also have to run through Horde to get to your instance portal. You should see the entrance to Karazhan most nights; the entire area is just littered with bones. This is an older picture but you get the idea.
Then there is that awkward moment in Shattrah City where you see one of the Horde you were fighting.
Surprisingly enough, I find Horde tend to leave you alone in Ogril'la and Netherwing. Most people just want to get their quests done and get on to PVPing or Raiding.
Then you have those moments which are referred to as the CareBear Stare. You come up on a Horde, and you look at him, and he looks at you. Both his hand and your hover over your weapons, and the words of incantations spring to your mind. You wait for the tiniest indication he will attack.
I don't know how it is on PVE Servers, but guildies and even random people in the zone seem to be quick to respond to calls for help in General Chat. Especially when its a group of Horde ganging up on a single Alliance.
Playing on PVP server can be a pain sometimes, but those unplanned, and often unwanted 1v1 battles in the middle of nowhere are some of the most exciting times you have in game. You get to explore your character deeply, and be prepared for battle at any moment. I'd go to a PVE server if I had to, but I'm pretty happy where I am on a PVP server.
So we queued up.
Now I haven't played Ret since probably my mid 50s. If you look at the screenshot closely, you'll see I dont even have Repentance on my hotbar. I r noob!
Our first match was in the Blades Edge Arena (the one with the bridge) against a Hunter, Rogue, Rogue team. Barasi is a very good PVPer and called targets. He sent me after the Hunter. I've fought Hunters before and never done very well.
Well, I ran up to the hunter, ignorning his pet, and threw everything I had at him. Seal of Command, Hammer of Justice, Judgement, Crusader Strike, everything, and to my great surprise, he died. I don't know what Barasi hit him with but he went down. I managed to bubble Lumi which frustated the Rogues to no end I'm sure. We manage to finish off both Rogues and win the match.
Next, we faced a Shaman, Warrior, Warrior team, again in Blade's Edge. I went after the Shaman and managed to kill him, they got Lumi but Barasi and I finished off the other two Warriors. A well geared Shadow Priest protected from melee by a Blessing of Protection is a scary thing.
Our next match was also Blades Edge. This time it was against Paladin, Warrior, Rogue. First they tried to Focus Fire me, but I bubbled. Barasi had me stay on the Paladin until he bubbled, the Barasi would mass dispell. The problem being that while I killed the Paladin, the Rogue and Warrior turned Barasi into fillet o Dreanai. Then they burst down Lumi and finished me off.
The final match of the night was against Priest, Warrior, Rogue. I managed to kill the Priest while Barasi and Lumi kited the Rogue and the Warrior around.
For the night we went 3-1. I got up to 30% and Lumi and Barasi got over 10 so everyone gets points.
The scariest thing about the night was it was really fun. I've been tanking for almost a year now and it was nice to do something different for a little while. It's been a long long time since I've felt like much more than a free HK in PVP.
Something about wielding a big ole sword, and Despair is freaking huge, is just plain fun.
I've got my Epic Flyer so there isn't a huge drain on my finances so respecing once in a while won't hurt anything. I'll be Prot again tonight for Raiding, but I plan on revisiting Ret again at some point soon.
What you have here is a subtle hint that we may have run Karazhan one too many times.
This is a screenshot of Raistilan, Raid Leader and Mage Extrodinare. He's been every spec of mage you can think of and some that you can't. What you see him weilding is none other than a King's Defender.
Our main problem seems to be keeping up our Tank. We tried 2 different Warriors, and a Druid.
We couldn't keep any of them upright for any length of time. There is something to the way Tidewalker attacks that eats through a Warrior's Shield Block and opens him up for Crushing Blows.
We plan to go back tonight and kill Hydross and Lurker and see if we have time for Tidewalker again.We are in the difficult stage for this fight, but we feel confident that we will get it figured out. Our best attempt was 59% and that was with one of our healers disconnecting mid attempt.