Thursday, April 30, 2009

What loot should you aim for, and why ?

I've already written a post (if not several) here about Holy Paladin Loot in Ulduar. And Pallymar compiled an Ulduar Best-in-Slot Guide too with additional discussion on the items.

If these guides are quick easy reference guides, you could always ask the question: but why this guy is saying that item is better ? If I hope you'll give us enough credit to believe in our choices, sometimes you will have to make your own choices and I would like to give you tips for that.

It happens that Sailan at Banana Shoulders just posted the perfect post for that:
Choosing Your Attributes. You can read there a very detailed and well written discussion about the merit of each stat for a holy paladin, spell power vs. spell crit, you'll find all of that there. And I definitely agree with Sailan who, once again, deliver us a very good piece of work.

I'll be off for the weekend, so I wish you all a very good weekend, and see you on Monday for a new post.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ulduar Holy Paladin loot update *04/28*

Ulduar cleaning by the top guilds is giving us more loot, we should not be far from the complete loot table for Ulduar, but for Algalon that will require a bit more time.
As always, the Full Ulduar Holy Paladin Loot List will be updated, I'll post a new clean one once Ulduar loot is complete.
Until then, new loot is here, most of the items are from hard modes:

Cable of the Metrognome (Plate Waist - Spell haste MP5) - Mimiron 10-Man *new 04/28*
Faceguard of the Eyeless Horror (Plate Head - Spell crit MP5) - Yogg-Saron 10-Man *new 04/28*
Pendant of the Shallow Grave (Neck - Spell crit haste) - Thorim 10-Man hard *new 04/28*
Sif's Remembrance (Trinket - Spell power, mana regen) - Thorim 10-Man hard *new 04/28*
Shawl of Haunted Memories (Cloak - Spell crit + spirit) - Yogg-Saron 25-Man *new 04/28*
Sanity's Bond (Ring - Spell haste MP5) - Yogg-Saron 25-Man *new 04/28*
Gauntlets of the Thunder God (Plate Hands - Spell crit haste) - Thorim 10-Man hard *new 04/28*
Sapphire Amulet of Renewal (Neck - Spell haste + spirit) - Iron Council 25-Man hard *new 04/28*
Fire Orchid Signet (Ring - Spell haste MP5) - Freya 10-Man hard *new 04/28*
Conductive Seal (Ring - Spell haste + spirit) - Mimiron 25-Man hard *new 04/28*
Show of Faith (Trinket - Spell power, mana regen) - Yogg-Saron 25-Man hard *new 04/28* (basically a good upgrade of Sif's Remembrance)
Aesuga, Hand of the Ardent Champion (1H Mace - Spell crit haste) - General Vezax 10-Man hard *new 04/28*
Signet of Soft Lament (Ring - Spell crit + spirit) - Yogg-Saron 10-Man *new 04/28*

and finally
Val'anyr, Hammer of the Ancient Kings, for those who don't know yet, it is the legendary weapon of Ulduar that you forge by using 40 shards.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ulduar Paladin Healing Tips (update)

Pallymar took the time to write an answer to my previous healing post on his blog, you can read the complete version on Pallymar's Take.
I'm going to discuss here the three previous points I mentioned and try to answer Pallymar with a little more Ulduar experience for myself.
I did Ignis 10, Council of Iron 10 and XT-002 25 this weekend, they are strongly different fights in term of healing. I think that one very interesting thing in Ulduar is that you have to be very adaptable, and change your healing startegy with each boss.

On the use of the Beacon of Light
Beacon of Light: The target becomes a Beacon of Light to all targets within a 40 yard radius. Any heals you cast on those targets will also heal the Beacon for 100% of the amount healed. Only one target can be the Beacon of Light at a time. Lasts 1 min.
Simply said this skill duplicates all your heals to a specific target on which you have put your beacon.
Previous to Ulduar, I've already used it on the MT, or OT, depending on who I was assigned to heal and depending on the raid damage. If I expected to raid heal from time to time, it was on my main target (MT or OT). If raid damage was low enough to not need me, I'll put it on the MT or OT that was not my main target, to help its assigned healer.
The tip I got from the two guides I mentioned in my previous post was saying to use the Beacon on yourself, I found that change worth mentioning, as it was a strong change of style from pre-Ulduar. Pallymar disagreed with that tip, advocating a more classical use of the beacon (in the line of the ones I just talked about). I should say that, from my experience before Ulduar, that was really the thing to do ... now ...

In all my 3 boss fights (10 and 25 Man) I tried to use Beacon of Light differently, tried to see it's effectiveness, and how were other healers going. After several tries, I find putting it on you the most effective use, even though it'll make it generate about 60-80% overhealing ... (hopefully you are taking much less damade than the tank you are assigned to).
That defense of this strange and hps ineffective use could sound very weird to you, I don't doubt that. Please try it in Ulduar and tell me what you think of it. I'll illustrate why I think it's a good idea in a lot of fights with a few examples:
Ignis, if you ever end in the slag pot, you can continue to heal the MT without problem, and survive the pot, as you'll get a lot of heals on yourself with the beacon.
Iron Counsil, during most of this fight, raid damage is relatively low, and you won't have to think about it as a paladin, besides keeping your tank or off-tank up will be a challenge, burst damage in this three bosses encounter is extremely high, and triple chains of Holy Light are sometimes required. You should never untarget your tank, and having the beacon on yourself allows you to not bother about healing yourself, always be full life, and not die stupidly to an aoe burst (wether it is an arcane buble explosion or a green patch of death).
XT-002, this can depend on your assignment and your raid strategy, but once again, using the Beacon on yourself will guaranty that you're always full life, which prevents you from dying on unlucky damage procs, I have seen too many healers dying because they were mid-life when hit by a Light Bomb for example. An exception to that could be Tympanic Tantrum, if you need to raid heal (that depends on your raid) using the beacon on your assigned tank (probably the MT) could allow you to raid heal and keep him up at the same time. Though, take care, this is not Naxramass and if you happen to overheal on raid healing (overhealing is not duplicated by the beacon) that could mean his death, as XT-002 damage is not to be taken lightly.

To sum-up, it all depends on the fight, and I think that:
if your life is safe (considering the amount of raid damage in Ulduar that means that your raid healers are on their top),
if you can have a good target for your beacon, like healing two tanks at the same time,
then don't use the beacon on yourself.
In all other situations, use it for your own good, that will ensure two things:
you'll stay alive in most situations, which means you'll maintain the heals on your tank (a dead healer heals not much),
you'll keep your tank on target, which means faster reaction when these deadly damage bursts happen.

Sacred Shield is your MT friend
Sacred Shield: Each time the target takes damage they gain a Sacred Shield, absorbing 500 damage and increasing the paladin's chance to critically hit with Flash of Light by 50% for up to 6 sec. They cannot gain this effect more than once every 6 sec. Lasts 30 sec. This spell cannot be on more than one target at any one time.
This spell was strongly nerfed in 3.1 with the addition of the last sentence. The reason was that "it was too strong" on a raid mitigation point of view. In fact, that was our real raid healign ability. So is it still worth it ? Oh yes, it is ! Keep it up at all times on your assigned target, or perhaps the MT if your target is not receiving constant damage (which would be a surprising assignment for a paladin).
Pallymar agrees with that statement. Considering Sacred Shield efficiency has not changed, and it scales very good with your spell power, keep it up at all times.

What should you do with this weapon in your hand ?

Judgement of Wisdom should be up on the raid boss at all time, with the mana regen nerfs (spirit, blessing of wisdom/mana tide totem) it is a clear statement. The only reason for it to not be up is that you're ponly having one paladin in the raid and Judgement of Light is prefered for that encounter.
So hitting the boss a few times with your weapon will give you a few mana procs, for free as you'll swing between your casts, without any sort of slow down on your casting.
Pallymar disagrees with that statement, saying that it is mostly worthless, and should not be necessary.
With a bit more raid experience, I would not say it is wortless. I was having real issues with mana on the Iron Council, keeping the off-tank (tanking the 2 "small" dwarves while the raid kills Ironbreaker) by myself. But if you need these mana procs, that probably means, as Pallymar says, that you or your raid is not up to the task.
I will add to that point that going up to melee can also be very dangerous, there are a lot of point blanck aoe damage, and the time you need to run to melee and run back to healing position can be too much as we mostly can't heal while moving.
To conclude on that, if you feel like you have the time, and don't really need to heal for a little, hit your Divine Plea and go melee for a little. As Pallymar mentioned XT-002 Tympanic Tantrum is a good example of such moments. But whenever you are not sure of the situation, stay far from aoe damage and don't take any risk for so little mana regen.

I'll try to put more healing advices here when I'll have more Ulduar experience and perhaps some boss healing guides. Thanks to Pallymar for adding some good insight to my previous post.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ulduar paladin healing guides

And back to the blog after a few days out of town and far from the game. How are you all doing in Ulduar ? Having fun, I hope.
I've not raided this week so I won't give my own view of Ulduar, but I've read two really good healing guides and I'm inviting you to read them too:
Healing Guide to Ulduar, on the Munch Land
Paladin Healing in Heroic Hulduar, on World of Matticus
Both are 25-Man (aka heroic) views about healing, but they are still good pointers about Ulduar, for both 25-Man and 10-Man.
As for paladins, well, aoe damage and mobile healing isn't our forte, as you know. So expect to be "reduced" to tank healing again.

Now a few first basic advices, that you can find examples of in the guides I've linked.

Especially in 10-Man, use Beacon of Light on yourself to stay alive.That point could be the strongest change from "Nax style" healing. As being non mobile healers, we have to stand in the fire sometimes to toss that heal, and we're confronted to the choice of moving & surviving, or staying & dying. And in such cases, the first choice which is the obvious one, can mean the death of the character we are assigned to heal. That's were the bacon will save you and your assignement. Aoe damage and mobility in Nax were much less an issue, you will feel they are in Ulduar.

Keep up that Sacred Shield. Mitigation is the new deus of healing. Spikes are very common and very strong in Ulduar, Razorscale blue fire patches and fireballs will probably be the first ones you encouter. Disc priests obviously have the edge on mitigation and shielding, but even if it has been strongly nerfed, keep your Sacred Shield up on the player in danger of spikes (if you ues a fireball "tank" on Razorscale it will be him for example).

My last advice, try to hit that boss a few times with your mace/sword/stick to get some mana back. With judgement of wisdom on it, you should be able to get some good mana regen even if with only a few hits during the whole fight. Most bosses have phases in Ulduar, and some of them are less healing intensive and will give you the opportunity to do that. Learn your bosses and try to find the right times to get these mana regen hits.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sometimes real life catches up ...

I won't have much time for wow this week. Having a very important interview for what I hope will be my future work, I need to prepare for it and I'm taking some time off the game.

I hope you'll have have much fun in Ulduar, until I'm back (probably at the end of the week) have fun with these posts that were given to me on my US guild forum. And try to apply them during these weeks, I can assure you that your GM and raid leader(s) will be thankful :P
10 ways to make your GM love you
10 ways to make your raid leader love you

See you soon,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ulduar paladin loot update *04/17*

So Ulduar is live, and Guilds have started cleaning it on 10 and 25-Man. As expected new loot appears and I'm going to try to keep the Full Ulduar Holy Paladin Loot List updated. For me there is only one clear change to best in slot list, Thorim 25-Man hard mode shield which is just perfect for paladins.

New loot today :

Wisdom's Hold (Shield - Spell crit haste) - Thorim 25-Man hard *new 04/17*
Shawl of Haunted Memories (Cloak - Spell crit spirit) - Yogg-Saron 25-Man *new 04/17*
Shawl of the Caretaker (Cloak - Spell haste MP5) - 10-Man *new 04/17*
Unfaltering Armguards (Plate Bracers - Spell haste MP5) - Kologran 25-Man *new 04/17*
Legplates of Flourishing Resolve (Plate Legs - Spell crit MP5) - Freya 10-Man *new 04/17*
Pendant of Endless Despair (Neck - Spell crit MP5) - General Vezax 10-Man *new 04/17*

Good loot time to you all :P

Ulduar, you thought it was going to be easy ?

It is not ! :)
Or at least not for the second 10-Man raid of my guild. We have decided to start Ulduar on 10-Man, because we wanted to keep us some fun in the 25-Man version for later (though we are going to do it once a week as a guild party).
So we made 2 raids of 10 people, one better geared, one less geared, knowing the second group (that I lead) will be a little slower.

Results of that ? Both groups downed the Flame Leviathan first night in about 1 hour, once we figured the vehicles, and all that. I posted about that yesterday.
Both groups (with one or two out of guild because we were a little light in numbers last night) went back there to try the 3 bosses after the Leviathan. None of them fell :P

Ignis is very very hard, extremely random, the trash before him is the hardest I've seen since Kael trash (I've not raided BT or SW before nerf and after it wasn't the same).
The trash repop is short (45mn I think) which means relatively few attemps on Ignis before it repops, and it's so hard that we really don't want to clean it twice in a night.
The randomness of the flame tornadoes, and the sheer amount of damage they do added to the push-back than can send you in another one resulting in an instant death, is just enough for me to tell that 3 packs with 2 tornadoes launchers is not something I want to do twice in a night :P

Razorscale is more manageable, we only did 3 tries on him, as we spent so much time going to Ignis, figuring it's trash and then trying on him. I think we mostly got set for the dragon, but now people in the raid need to pay more attention to the blue flames of death that pop on the ground. The amount of damage in this fight can be very high, and (once again) healers have to keep up everyone topped at all times because someone can just endure nearly 20K damage in 3s (double fireball and blue flame pop).
It is a much less random fight than Ignis, and I'd advise you to go on Razorscale before the Furnace Master. But I can't say I like this "healer challenge" which consist in creating damage spikes so high that you need to mash your heals (while moving yay ... happy paladin) to keep everyone topped.

Now XT-002, we only did one try to finish the raid night, just for fun. He's really not that hard, he doesn't hit too hard, as long as you're not too close from your raid when you get the white/black light damage is manageable.
Now there is its hearthquake ... and that is a baaaaaad thing. Full raid damage that can't be avoided, it's a pain to heal, really. I guess aoe healing is the key here, so we'll need to figure some movement to allow for that during the quakes.
It should be better than Ignis though.

So all in all, a much harder instance than Nax. Some things are a lot of fun, but as a "stationary single target healer" I can already feal that I'm going to suffer in Ulduar. A lot of raid damage, a lot of movement, cast interuptions (Ignis) ... no that is not a holy paladin heaven for sure.

I hope you'll all have fun in Ulduar and not suffer to much from the servers. Numerous raids last night including both of ours had several mass dc, and ensuing wipes ... that is not the best part of a raid, as you can guess.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ulduar is up, Servers are not ...

... not up to the task.

Yes, it's been a long time you didn't have a rant post on this blog. Today will be one ...
Yesterday was patch day in EU. Ok, I know, we all know too well the catchy "Patch Day, No Play !" But don't tell me you were not eager for Ulduar and didn't want to try it right away, from the number of people having answered the poll (to the right of this very site), and even if few have, a large majority of raiders want to raid Ulduar.

Patch time was extended in EU, it is usually until 11am, it was announced to last until 3pm. As said on WoW Insider, we all expected it was to include in the EU patch release the maintenance that already was added to the US real during the night ...

So my guild had a small team-speak meeting in the evening and we made two 10-Man groups and went to Ulduar. Our idea was to keep it to 10-Man at first, have fun with that size, and then go to 25-Man hoping for new challenges. Why do we do that ? Because we hope to keep the content interesting a little longer like that. Ulduar is big, but it's only one instance, and once we'll have finished it we all already dear the long wait for the next raid instance.

Both groups entered Ulduar around 9:30pm (GMT+1). Both groups downed the Flame Leviathan pretty quickly, with the "mandatory" achievement to not have used the trick to stun it ... when you don't know the switch is destroyed by the air missiles, there is no chance you activate it :P
The fight is fun, really easy, but we did it in normal, 10-Man, without any tower destroyed, so in its most easy incarnation. Let's hope it'll be a little more interesting in the other modes. But all in all I4m not that interested into a vehicle fight, so I don't care.

Now, we arrived at the crossing and the choice for Ignis/Razorscale/Deconstructor. It's strange how little trash there is in this part of the instance ... not that I'm fond of trash, but there is 0 trash to Razorscale or XT-002 ... it feels empty. I hope there will be more inside Ulduar itself.
We went for Ignis, because it was looking like there could be some fun trash, and we pulled the flame giants at the entrance. Ok, let say these babies hit hard, and have a bad aoe stun/silence. We were surprised, we wiped. And then things got ugly ...

Two of our members were out of the instance. One had to go visit the angel, his corpse being too close to the giants, one had a dc and relogged in ... Dalaran. And in front of the instance were ... 200 people waiting to go in, because the raid instance server was full (I'll post a picture tomorrow of the crowd at the raid entrance, but it looks like the picture on this WoW Insider article) ... yes the raid instance server was full ! We didn't have any message, as when you can't go into an instance since Blizzard patch about that. But the behavior was exactly the same, loading screen, waiting for 2mn without the loading bar moving, returning in front of the raid instance entrance.
Nice ! Happy !

We made two tries on Razorscale with only 8 people, one dps warrior respecing to tank on the fly, and only 2 healers ... first one wasn't too bad, we nearly got him to 50%, second one wasn't as good, I got flame bombed 3 times in a row (for more than 7K each) and died after 30s of fight.
Half an hour later, still impossible to enter Ulduar ... we stopped there.

So not even 2 hours of raid, simply because the servers were not up to the task. There were no lag, oh no ... simply because Blizzard decided to limit the number of raid instances on their servers ... and so limit the number of people who could play the game, as simple as that.
Add to that the instability and numerous people crashing out of Ulduar (we were lucky we only had that happen 4 times and the 3 first were able to come back). Looks like this is a problem everywhere, as reported here.

I'm saying servers stability and size is going to be what I'll rant about for the next weeks ... and lag has already been an issue in WotLK for months, thank you Blizzard but limiting the number of players to solve lag is not going to make happy customers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Patch 3.1 is aliiiiive, it's aliiiive ! (take care, first bugs)

It's coming in Europe today (soon, soon). It's alive on the US servers already and the patch build is 9767 (Release). For those that remember the latest build on the PTR, discussed here on april 7, it was the version 9757. So not much was changed, we already knew that Yog-Saron and Algalon were part of the latest PTR build. We can amuse most bosses will be exactly as they were in this last build, so raiders, all information you could have found before up-to-date with build 9757 should be pretty accurate.

It seems a few bugs are still plagging Ulduar, list here on World of Raids. For those that are raiding/are going to raid Ulduar, take care to :
Siege Engines that use Steam Rush while on a ramp sometimes fall through the world.
We currently have no fix for this, the workaround is simply to not cast Steam Rush on the ramps. The ability works fine in the Flame Leviathan fight and other flat ground.

The two trash pulls in front of XT-002 Deconstructor are linked.
We're working on a hotfix for this now.

Shattering an Iron Construct in the Ignis the Furnace Master encounter does not properly reduce the number of stacks of Strength of the Creator on Ignis.
We're also working on a hotfix for this now.
More info on Ignis & XT-002 on World of Raids too:
Both Ignis the Furnace Master, and the trash leading to XT-002 Deconstructor seem to be bugged. Ignis should still be killable, but you have to kill the Iron Constructs instead of turning them into Molten Constructs if you want to remove Strength of the Creator. XT-002's trash, on the other hand, is currently unkillable in all conventionally tested methods -- though apparently you can get lucky while fighting him as long as no bots spawn near the trash during the heart phases.
Some US guilds have already passed Auriaya despite these bugs, so if you really want to rush Ulduar you should be able to. Personally I hope my guild will take its time and have fun. We're set with only this content for several months after all, and I'm not really eager to experience the not so fun period we just had with nothing to do on our hands.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ulduar doors open, rejoice !

So Ulduar is finally here, we did wait, we did get bored, we nearly despaired, but it's here. So let's rejoice and hope we'll all have a great time in Ulduar.
Official announce by Zarhim, here.

Complete preview of patch 3.1 on MMO Champion, with Ulduar bosses guide, Argent Tournament, complete patch-notes, profession changes, and much more ...
I'm plugging directly the complete Ulduar guide, and the full instance maps. For all of us that are going to prepare for our first Ulduar raids. (all from MMO Champion, thanks Boubouille !)

Another great info from StratFU, the Ulduar interactive map. Though not alaways very clear about the "layers" of Ulduar, it shows the connections between the maps and which boss is where.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Arena Tournament Season 5 & patch 3.1 notes

Not many news these days, everyone is eagerly awaiting next week for, hopefully, live time for patch 3.1.

The patch notes were updated yesterday, keep in mind that these are only the updates, and not the full patch notes as class changes are much more numerous. As usual, you can find this update on MMO Champion.

The current rankings for the top 8 Season 5 Arena tournament were also given this week, for both US and EU. You can find the last ranking on this page, and a comparison (very interesting) of rankings over the last month on this one.

First of all, if you take the current rankings, I'd say that it illustrates the difference of style between EU and US players. Most US teams are more power oriented, running the most powerful classes (DK, paladin/shaman, warlock). While the top EU teams are 3 classic RMP (Rogue/Mage/Priest) that were dominant in the arena since season 3 and that these players probably play very well. I'd say looking at these graphs that EU is more old style than the US. Playstyle is definitely different.

Now if you look at the month changes, the three dominant flavor of the month powerhouses (DK,Pld,Warlock) have been going down week after week. Shamans have started to replace Paladins as 3-Man healers, they are much more aggressive oriented in fast paced teams. DK and Warlocks have fallen a bit too, because RMP revival mostly, though warlocks were absent from the EU rankings one month ago and have started their come-back there too.

Overall, much of that was expected. I guess the "surprise" for most was the dominance of Warlocks right from the start, a class which was told to be "dead" in Season 5. It is now clear that with enough resilience, it's as powerful as it ever was.

About Holy Paladins, which I was expecting is also true. We can see that, with time passing, they are starting to fall from this "top healing place" that they have never seen since Season 1. With the numerous nerfs to Arena Holy, you can rest assured that we won't see much Holy Paladins in the ranking in Season 6.

Wishing all of you a nice weekend, see you next week.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Post for Raiding Healers

Another link post, to invite you to read interesting blogs about healing and raiding.

First, a fine post by Kestrel on Kestrel's Aerie about sites to visit and read when you're a raiding healer.
He points you towards World of Matticus and Plus Heal, that are very large and good resources for healers. But also to less obvious sites about loot and raid bosses videos.
As a healer, knowing how to heal, how to use your skills, is an obvious first. But then, if you want to raid, any raider arriving on a new boss should know the upgrades he wants, and know the strats. Healers are no exception to this rule :P

And then, a fine post by Kyrilean on Casual Hardcore about DKP. I'm not a big fan of DKP myself, but I can't see a serious raiding guild going without it. I found his post and the description of the DKP system of his guild interesting, perhaps you will too.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Patch 3.1 Ulduar PTR testing, part 22

Probably one of the last patch 3.1 post before live (who said next week ?).

All of the Ulduar bosses on MMO Champion, though Algalon and Yogg-Saron loot are not given, they were not tested and their capacities were probably extracted from the patch files.
About Yogg-Saron, if some of you don't know yet, it is completely inspired from Yog-Sothoth, one of the Old Ones from H.P.Lovecraft Cthulhu Mythos. If you don't know his work, I'd advise reading The Colour out of Space, and At the Mountains of Madness. Lovecraft work is sometimes disturbing, but quite unique and he has inspired many authors after him.

Back to wow news, a new build on the PTR, build 9757 on MMO Champion, not much was changed, some bosses a few achievements and a very small number of class skills. Blizzard is close from the end, I'd say.
On another note, they announced that the equipment changing tool won't be in 3.1, it is still too bugged and will be introduced into a later minor patch. Don't delete your Outfiter yet :P

To end these news, MMO Champion also wrote a full list of all new items from the patch 3.1, either Ulduar or Arena, ...etc, go give it a look.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Why do I still play WoW ?

Because sometimes there are some people that really make my day shine.
I invite you to read this post from Larìsa, one of the nicest gnomes on the blogosphere, and host of the Pink Pigtail Inn.

I have shared a part of the life of some really nice people already during my now nearly 3 years of WoW. Some of them I dare to call friends, and who will leave something in my heart that I won't ever lose.

Ok, I'm not often saying things like that on this blog. But this post will be for all the good and nice people of World of Warcraft, that contribute to make this game a better place to be for all of us.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Is Ulduar a real gear upgrade ?

Pallymar posted a very insightful article on his blog about Mana Pool vs. Crit Rate and the reason Ulduar paladin T8 is so badly itemized.
It refers to this post on the Elitist Jerks forum in the The Holy Paladin Guide for WotLK.

Reading these numbers, paladins are not far, fully raid buffed and itemized in full T7.25, from reaching the point of being able to chain cast Holy Light without pause, just using Divine Plea and our other mana reducing talents.
At 30K mana (a number some paladins are nearly if not reaching, I'm at more than 25K myself and not at all fully itemized), 56% crit is enough to reach this "chain cast" cap.

As Pallymar notes, this is the obvious reason for the crit nerf of the Holy T8 for paladins. But it doesn't mean that, with 4 pieces T7.25 and all other items from Ulduar 25 we can not reach it (see my post on Ulduar Holy Paladin loot).

Let's take the 4 pieces Valorous T7 (without the crappy chestpiece):

57 int 55 crit Valorous Gloves (blue gem)
77 int 51 crit Valorous Headpiece (met gem, red gem)
77 int 55 crit Valorous Greaves (red gem, yellow gem)
57 int 51 crit Valorous Spaulders (red gem, yellow gem)

add to that the best Ulduar gear (that we know up to now)
(I use actuel best in slot for comparison in the () they are in italic letters is considered still best in slot)

92 int 76 crit Breastplate of the Devoted (Chestguard of Bitter Charms 67 77)
42 int 36 crit Horologist's Wristguards (Bracers of Liberation 43 41)
57 int 49 crit Girdle of Unyielding Trust (Girdle of Unity 57 43)
62 int 48 crit Greaves of the Rockmender (yellow gem) (
Faithful Steel Sabatons 50 43)
43 int 41 crit Frozen Tear of Elune (Life-Bender's Locket 48 35 yellow gem)
37 int 39 crit Drape of the Spellweaver (Shroud of Liminosity 43 38)
108 int Pandora's Plea (Forethought Talisman 0)
87 crit Eye of the Broodmother (Sould of the Dead 95)
42 int 46 crit Pyrelight Circle (Signed of Manifested Pain 49 46)
42 int 36 crit Ring of the Faithful Servant (Seized Beauty 43 38)

now take the shield & sword from Kel'thuzad 25
49 int 46 crit Voice of Reason
50 int 37 crit The Turning Tide

add gems, yellow as +crit gems, red as + spell power gems and blue and half +crit
you add +4*16 +8 = 56 crit

total of 912 int and 843 crit (+145 int +10 crit)
1043.05 int from gear (15% bonus to int from talent)
18.14% crit from gear (45.91 crit rating for 1% crit at lvl 80)
7.92% crit from int (0.759% / int)

final with BoK and Divine Intellect
1147.36 int from gear (+183.4 int from Ulduar gear)
26.85% crit from gear (+1.61 crit from Ulduar gear)

As you can see from the analysis of the Ulduar loot, several items will be kept from the T7 Heroic raids .... we don't have all the loot from Ulduar, but a lot items are really badly itemized for us.
The only items you will change :
Chestplate, Waist, Boots and one Trinket ... for +183.4 int and +1.61 crit
(most of that comes from Pandora's Plea, our only real target in Ulduar)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Holy Paladin gameplay guidelines

I have wanted to write something about raid healing as a paladin for some time. It seems I'm late, several guides have been published around and I invite you to read them if you're interested into healing (esp. as a paladin obviously).

Holy Paladin FAQ - v1.0 (Pre-3.1) on Banana Shoulders
Holy Paladins as Raid Healers on
Two Approaches to Gearing Holy on Pallymar's Take

I advise you to read more on these sites, if you haven't already. They are full of very good information for Holy Paladins.

I'll probably try to write something on my own some time (soon ? who knows).

Patch 3.1 Ulduar PTR testing, part 21

News from the PTR. (these are not 1st April jokes like that ;p)

First of Season 5 is going to an end possibly as soon as the 14th of April, according to Blizzard. I let you conclude, like me, that we can probably expect patch 3.1 on the 14th.

Some more hard mode testing:
Iron Council on World of Raids, MMO Champion
General Vezax on World of Raids, same link as above
Hodir on World of Raids, MMO Champion

On the good news, all the bosses got more hp, and do more damage. they are tuning Ulduar up, and I won't complain of that.
No change about Holy Paladin Loot, the loot table stands for now (and is probably near from final).

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Let's take that scrap honestly

Rhidach from Righteous Defense named me as one of the seven blogs to receive this "award".
Ok, it's more a chain between blogs to bring some visitors to small blogs like mine.But it's fun nonetheless, and I wanted to link some of the blogs I like. So thank you Rhidach to give me this opportunity.
(btw, if you want to know what his name means, go read his blog ^^)

There are rules about this award:
  1. When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real.
  2. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends. Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
  3. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!
So here is my seven blogs list :
I'm not first in this chain, and I tried to pick-up people who didn't already receive this award. If I'm late, well, I'm late :), a really great blog about paladin healing, most of the paladin blogs are read have already been tagged :)
Nerf This Druid, a druid theorycrafting and fun blog, if you want mana regen theory, go there
4 Haelz, another great druid healing blog, a lot of raiding content too
Aspect of the Hare, hunter can also be cute !
Killing'em Slowly, a warlock blog about raiding and stuff
Mystic Chicanery, warlock, gnomish and raiding stuff for your pleasure
The Pink Pigtail Inn, for the brutal amount of gnomish cuteness there
is there :)
also, I wanted to cite
Reflections From The Pond, because sometimes it's good to think a
already got tagged, but he, I like it anyway ^^

And now 10 honest things about myself :
- I've played nearly as much FFXI than I have played WoW, though not in the same amount of months :P
- I'm playing Tabletop Role Playing Games for more than 20 years, and I still enjoy it.
- I have a Totoro plush on my desk, that tells you how much a Miyazaki fan I am.
- I have played a gnome mage for most of TBC, which explains my gnomish attraction. I agree with Larisa on that, gnomes are something you have to "get into" to love :)
- I am an Explorer E.A.S.K. according to the Bartle Test. I'm not a loot collector, I like to have enough to raid the content I'm on it. What I really love in WoW (and all my games) is discovering new places, bosses, ...etc
- For those who don't know, I'm French, and English isn't my first language, so you'll have to tolerate my English faults :P
- I am a carebear, or a bisounours as they say in French, I tend to care for people and try to fix all problems I can. Often involving myself too much for my sanity ...
- I like competition, I always perform better when I have something to reach, to achieve. That's probably why I was always doing my work the day before it was due during my studies :P
- I'm on the inet for way too long a time ... my first "blog" which was more of a personal webpage dates from 1992 ...
- It was very hard to complete this part, just because I'm bad when it comes to talk about myself, I prefer to talk about what I do, as you can see from the blog.

Thanks Rhidach :)

Heroic Twilight Duo, the return

Back on the topic of heroic (25-Man) Sartharion with 2 drakes.

We went back on him with my guild last night, and we had a much nicer event this time. He went down after 3 tries, the time needed to get in the mood and for the ones not here last week to grasp the fight, I guess.
But it was not the only reason! Last week we went there with 8 healers, good to stay alive, not good on the burst dps side, needed in this fight. Last night we had only 6 (and even 5 on the last successful attempt) healers, 3 tanks, and 16 dps. And I can tell you it was nicer.

What I wanted to tell here is that sometimes, being a paladin feels great. We were both of the guild paladins (we're only two healadins in my guild) on our bear MT last evening (we use a bear for Sartharion, and a real MT, not a Voidwalker ;P). At least we were, until my brother in healing stopped because he was dc'ed each 2mn (he was having connection issues last night).
So ... I ended solo healing our MT during most of the fight. Our heal leader and raid leader helped me a few times during some transitions when moving was giving me a hard time (I hate these lava waves and I'm so jealous of druids for that kind of ability to move & heal). But I ended keeping our MT alive during all the fight until the end (I died in the last lava wave, bubble being on cd and keeping the MT up being a priority on my own survival ;p).
Ok, used Divine Plea for 6K mana once the two drakes were down and two healers came to help, used my jeweler trinket for 2.4K mana, a potion for 3K, blood-elf mana tap 4 times for 1.5K each ... and I ended nearly dry when the second drake fell and I got some help ... but still, it was a good healing time :D
And you see, for once, I didn't end with 60% overhealing :P

Kil'jaeden is a sweet baby !

Ok, ridiculous title, I give it to you ...
But how sweet is finishing Sunwell for the first time :)

As I posted before, my guild started a Suwnell raid last Sunday. We went up to Mu'ru but stopped there, after 4 wipes, not enough motivation, too many pick-up players that just get tired after something like 10 wipes, which is what we suffered on Felmyst and Mu'ru :P
So last night, after our second down of heroic Sartharion + 2 drakes up (yay \o/ only 3 tries this time, and we only had 5 healers ... tell me about a different raid from last week), we went to finish the Sunwell raid with, this time, a nearly full guild raid group.

I guess all the players that were not in the Sunday raid were surprised by the difficulty, by the damage of the bosses and adds. We had a DK heartstone to get his tanking gear as he couldn't tank adds in his lvl 80 dps gear ... it tells you about the difficulty at lvl 70.

We needed our priests to get used to Mu'ru, after 3 tries he went down nicely, despite the number of bodies on the ground :P
And then we were at the very Sunwell itself. Nobody really knew the fight, even if one of our guildies had tried it 2 times during TBC (oh man, some of our guildies are just that good ... I'm so impressed).

I don't want to spoil, but this is just an awesome fight. From my point of view, it's longer, and a bit more chaotic than Mu'ru, but it's overall easier with lvl 80 gear. We died two times until we got the blue dragon shield right, and then he fell. Huge ! Great ! I love Sunwell :)