My Own 90 Boost Adventures & Ruminations

Here’s where I confess that:

a) I actually resubbed for 30 days shortly after pre-ordering the expansion last Monday (and by “shortly”, I mean “within four hours”)
and
b) I boosted a warlock from 1-90

I know, I know. The poll results said I should boost a brand-new monk. I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. I have absolutely no desire to play a monk outside of a tiny bit of curiosity when it comes to mistweavers. I did not want to play a monk.

Similarly, I kind of thought it, well, silly, to play a warlock. I already have a ranged DPS class with a pet — my hunter. So why the warlock?

Well, the first reason is because I’ve always been interested in warlocks in terms of a playstyle. DoT management has always intrigued me in theory. The second reason is that I’ve tried, on more than one occasion, to level a warlock. It never goes well (even with heirlooms — and I even have the heirloom RING!) and I have no interest in levelling a character from 1-90 or even 1-60 and then boosting from 60.

The third reason is that hey, I don’t much like the other options I felt I realistically had and so went with the warlock. It was the second choice in my poll, so why the heck not?

I’ll say this up front, I’m a bad warlock. I’ve spent about an hour at the training dummies and I am just not doing a great job. Part of this is UI-related (I need a good dot timer that ISN’T DoTimer because DoTimer keeps crashing my WoW, oddly) and part of it is that I’m sure I’m just not comprehending the subtleties of the class yet. Happily for the rest of the population, I have not grouped up for anything at this juncture, because I clearly don’t know what in the hell I’m doing and do not wish to inflict my idiocy on other people. You’re welcome! :)

That said, part of the reason for even using the boost was to help my professions along in the sense that I have:

- skinning/leatherworking on Kurn
- alchemy (elixir)/jewelcrafting on Madrana
- herbalism/mining on my shaman
- alchemy (potion)/enchanting on my priest
- alchemy (transmute)/inscription on my warrior

Those are all maxed. This means that, on Eldre’Thalas, I am missing just blacksmithing, engineering and tailoring as primary professions. I might bring my mage back from Skywall (at some point) and drop his herbalism for tailoring… but the point is, I wanted my boosted character to have blacksmithing and engineering.

Now, I could have, perhaps I should have, rolled a death knight on Eldre’Thalas, levelled five levels to 60 and then boosted that to 90, with 600 BS/600 Engineering. But I thought about it and realized that I really have zero desire to play a death knight. I don’t enjoy tanking and I enjoy melee DPS even less than I enjoy tanking.

So I boosted the warlock to 90 (male dwarf, FYI) and have the plan to make him a blacksmith and an engineer.

Problem: OH MY GOD, THE MATS.

It was brought to my attention that, previously in the expansion, Blacksmithing was changed and one is now able to use just Ghost Iron Ore to level to 600.

Ultimately, though it was good to know, it was kind of useless because Engineering requires many of the same materials as Blacksmithing. Additionally, the total number of pieces of Ghost Iron Ore required is over ten thousand. Even though it’s abundant and I could buy a bunch I’m sure, if I had to go mining in the old worlds for things like Thorium and Cobalt for Engineering, then I decided to do it “old school” for Blacksmithing, too, by just going around and mining for both professions while I was going to be out there anyway.

Total pieces of various types of ore/stone needed for BOTH Blacksmithing AND Engineering the old-school way: 5593.

Total pieces of various types of ore/stone needed for BOTH Blacksmithing AND Engineering with the “new” BS Ghost Iron Ore method: ~12000.

… yeah, OLD SCHOOL IT IS.

So, I made a spreadsheet because things just got complicated. Of course, it doesn’t include things like “Alicite” or “Wool Cloth” type materials. I have most of that stuff just lying around in my many bank tabs of my bank guild. I just tracked the stones and ores. Of course, in order to count up all the ores I needed, I had to look up the mats at various guides and then MULTIPLIED the number of bars they were asking for by two, in many cases, in order to come up with how much ore I needed. That’s not the case with things like Thorium, but is the case with something like Adamantite. So I broke down the number of pieces of all the types of ore needed for Blacksmithing and then did the same for Engineering. Then I hauled out Altoholic and searched through all my toons (on that realm, excluding the Apotheosis guild bank) and put in a column stating how many of these things I already had. Turns out I had a lot of Rough Stone, Coarse Stone and even Dense Stone. I also had a lot of Iron Ore. Then I put in the “Total I Need” column at the end, showing me how many I needed to have IN MY BAGS after mining to ensure I’d have just about enough. In the case of Copper Ore, I had to mine 369 pieces. In the case of Thorium, 609 pieces.

So I designated Saturday, March 15th, as #MININGDAY2014. Here’s some of what I did.

bsengineering3

So. Much. Thorium.

bsengineering4

On to Fel Iron.

bsengineering5

Adamantite took a long time, but was marginally less awful than Fel Iron.

The worst, to date. Cobalt was painful.

The worst, to date. Cobalt was painful.

So I did everything through Fel Iron Ore on Saturday, did Adamantite and Cobalt on Sunday and plan to tackle the rest later this week, as time allows. I’ll also be spending some time on Timeless Isle, practicing being a warlock, once I get around to doing a bit more reading.

As an aside, I’m finding something really interesting is happening since I’ve been back: many people are acting as though I don’t know what in the hell I’m doing.

Guys, I may have taken a break for over a year (17 months minus a week in there around Christmas, actually) but it’s not like I don’t know how to play the game. Sure, I didn’t know about the Ghost Iron Ore method for Blacksmithing, but even still, I discounted that method once I had learned about it, because 10,000+ pieces of Ghost Iron Ore versus fewer than 6000 pieces of stuff just doesn’t make sense to me, especially because I had to mine some of the old stuff for Engineering anyhow.

And yet, 90% of the comments I’ve received about this have been challenging my logic for choosing to mine old-school materials.

I know people are mostly trying to help and some are confused by my choices, but for crying out loud, I didn’t play for 17 months. It’s not like I forgot everything I ever knew about the game. ;) It’s changed, but it hasn’t changed that much. And it’s not as though I don’t keep up on the vast majority of changes. Or as if I don’t do my own research on things. While it’s really interesting to be on the side of things where I have to look stuff up and I have to confirm various things, it’s less interesting to be repeatedly challenged by people who think they know better.

To be honest, it’s making me think a lot about how I’ve acted in the past, when I’ve been on top of my game and have known things with absolute conviction. While I maintain that any advice I’ve given out in the past about this game has, at the time, been accurate, I can’t help but wonder if newer people (or at least less-knowledgeable people) were frustrated with the advice I’d offered to them. I know that I’m right about certain things (old-school mats vs. Ghost Iron Ore in this particular situation, FOR ME, for instance), but part of what fatigued me over the course of my WoW career was the constant questioning of my decisions. Have I, at some point in the past, caused fatigue or frustration to someone else when I’ve genuinely been trying to help? I’m not talking about feedback to people in my raid groups or guilds, but random holy paladins who were, as I saw it, Doing Things Wrong in random dungeons in the past. Or hunters. I mean, okay, the melee hunters in this Wailing Caverns run I once was snarky to, I’m not apologetic about. At all. :P I mean people to whom I offered unsolicited advice.

I’m trying to figure out which scenario I’m running up against here…

1) People are offering me advice and are trying to be helpful, despite the fact that it is actually not going to help me in the least.
2) People are offering me advice and are trying to be helpful because they think they know better than I do.

While I’d really like to believe the majority of people offering advice fall into group 1, I can’t help but think there are at least a few in group 2 and possibly some people who are both.

Again, this is causing me to be introspective. Every time I’ve offered advice to someone, I have tried to be helpful and have tried to make sure that the advice WOULD be helpful. But I know that many times, I’ve seen the problem as a very basic “oh, they don’t know about X, Y or Z, LET ME INFORM THEM” problem, thus falling into category 2. Have I been wrong in the past? Is it a lot more nuanced than I’ve seen it? Should I have been less willing to offer advice until I was certain someone needed it? I don’t know. I can’t help but think that if I didn’t offer advice, then maybe no one else would have. I can’t help but think that if people keep their mouths shut and adopt an attitude of “not my problem”, the community suffers. And what if people who are obviously struggling don’t ask for advice? What if people just sit there quietly, unsure of what they’re doing, but remain silent rather than open their mouths and be thought a fool?

Even after an extended break, I didn’t think I’d ever be on the “oh, no, Kurn, do it THIS WAY” side of things again. But apparently, I am. It’s a weird thing to go from being someone who knows damn near everything there is to know about the game to, well, not knowing, for example, that Blacksmithing is available to level from 1-600 with just Ghost Iron Ore. The last time I was this out of touch with the game itself was before I hit 60 on my first toon. And I don’t know if I like it. No, okay, I don’t like it. And I definitely don’t like being challenged by others on my various decisions, but I’ve done that to others in the past. I’m not even sure that the random, unsolicited advice I’ve given in the past is altogether justifiable, although I would think that telling a death knight “tank” to use Blood Presence is, you know, something they should do regardless of how tactfully that may or may not be put…

I guess I’m just trying to work out how I feel about people’s recent behaviour towards me and how my reaction to that may mirror how other people may have felt when I gave those others unsolicited advice. I mean, I’m thankful that people want to help me out. I appreciate the sentiment. And I like talking to people about the game. But maybe doing it in a way that is less challenging and more helpful (but not condescending!) is a better way to get one’s point across. Yeah, I’m wondering how I could do that, myself. Certainly, it’s a fine line to tread, but I know that I’d be more receptive to advice given in such a manner and I imagine others would be, too.

Today, March 17th, 2014, is the last day that you’ll be able to buy Kurn’s Guide to Being a Kick-Ass Raider at its introductory price, by the way! The launch sale ends tomorrow, so don’t hesitate to check it out!

There’s been talk recently about having account-wide achievements in Mists of Pandaria and it leaves me (and I suspect many others) unsure as to how to feel about this.

I am not the only person who raids with a different character now than she did in Vanilla or Burning Crusade or Wrath or even earlier this expansion. Kurnmogh, my hunter, hasn’t seriously raided current content on a regular basis since Vanilla. I managed to get in for the Tidewalker kill in SSC on the hunter, as well as the Gorefiend kill in Black Temple, but, by and large, since Burning Crusade, I’ve been healing in 25-man raids, while farming and doing silly things on my hunter.

That means that while I still have a huge attachment to Kurn (obviously), all my raiding achievements (and titles) are on Madrana.

It took me a bit of time to accept this, especially the title part of it. I was not so pleased to miss out on getting Hand of A’dal on Kurn, while I was thrilled to get it at all.

As the years went by, the achievements, titles and mounts started piling up on Madrana. Hand of A’dal. Twilight Vanquisher. Astral Walker. Kingslayer. Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25). Defender of a Shattered World. Glory of the Firelands Raider. Destroyer’s End. All of them gotten while the content was current, except for Astral Walker, gotten during Tier 9 content.

In the meantime, Kurn got all the holiday titles and even managed to get the Baron’s mount. Kurn managed to snag of the Nightfall in T10 gear and also got Kingslayer, and Defender of a Shattered World but most of those came when it wasn’t current or was heavily nerfed (30% buff in ICC, zerging Sarth 3D 10-man for fun, post-nerf T11 content).

And then there’s the OTHER holy paladin. I am the same player playing that holy paladin, Madrana of Skywall, as I am playing Madrana of Eldre’Thalas. Madrana of Eldre’Thalas WAS Madrana of Skywall for about six months at the end of Wrath. But the current Madrana of Skywall is a new toon, the baby pally, I call her. She hasn’t earned anything.

I lie, she’s got “the Patient”, “Kingslayer” and “Destroyer’s End” (and the Kingslayer was because I helped out a group of guildies get the Been Waiting a Long Time achievement on LK, then got the kill and the title).

But just because I haven’t earned anything of note, really, on the baby pally, does that mean I’m not capable of having done so? No, because I clearly did all that on the OTHER Madrana.

It makes my head hurt.

So I’m going to say that no, I don’t think achievements should be account-wide. For me, my achievements show a very clear snapshot of what I was doing at a certain time in my WoW career. It reads like a resumé. I am so very proud of so many of my achievements and titles and mounts that I got on Madrana. While it would be nice to have them accessible to me on the baby pally, or ride my Icebound Frostbrood Vanquisher or Corrupted Egg of Millagazor on Kurn, it seems inauthentic.

Terribly strange, isn’t it? I mean, they’re MY achievements, MY titles, MY mounts, but I feel if I didn’t earn them with a specific character, that character shouldn’t get to benefit from them. (Conversely, this does not mean I don’t think arcanums should continue to be account-bound, but that’s more because I’m lazy and hate rep grinds, not because of anything larger.)

I guess it comes down to what do those achievements, titles and mounts mean to me? I find the idea of being able to wear the “Hand of A’dal” title on Kurn to be, well, devaluing the work and time I put in on the Lady Vashj and Kael’thas fights on Madrana. I know, it’s weird.

But let’s take account-wide achievements a step further to maybe illustrate my point.

The baby pally has 525 cooking, as do Kurn and Madrana of Eldre’Thalas. Both Kurn and Madrana of ET have the Chef’s Hat. Having not spent two years in Wrath of the Lich King content, the baby paladin never got 100 Dalaran Cooking Awards and never was able to buy the Chef’s Hat. (WTB one of these for each profession, by the way.) This means that the baby pally’s hearth is currently in Dalaran so she can do cooking dailies efficiently (and also take the CoT port from Dal to get down to Dragon Soul quickly) and I’m at a woeful 52 tokens. (No, she doesn’t have high enough fishing either to do the Dalaran Fishing Dailies in the hopes of a Waterlogged Recipe, either.)

Should I need to grind that up to 100 to get the hat? I have it on two characters, already, shouldn’t I just be able to send that along? In a world where my level 5 bank alt could potentially wear the Hand of A’dal title, why on earth shouldn’t all my characters have access to at least one of the two Chef’s Hats I have?

For that matter, why should I have to level up cooking to 525 on THREE characters? Surely just one character knowing cooking ought to suffice. Same with first aid and, of course, fishing!

But if we go that route, what about “real” professions, like Leatherworking, Inscription and Alchemy? No kidding, I have four characters at 525 Alchemy, three at 525 Inscription, three at 525 Herbalism, two at 525 Mining and basically one of everything at max level save Engineering and Blacksmithing. Shouldn’t that stuff carry over as well? I mean, I’m the one who did all that work, right? I’m the one who sat there and milled ’till my fingers were raw (okay, not quite that bad, but still). I’m the one who did all of that on all kinds of different characters, on a variety of servers.

So if we open the door to account-wide achievements, titles, mounts and pets… where does it stop? Where should it stop? Where do you draw the line between “quality of life improvement” and “completely freaking ridiculous”? Is there even a line TO draw between those two points? I would argue that the Chef’s Hat, for instance, would be a quality of life improvement, but my level 5 bank alt being a Hand of A’dal would be completely freaking ridiculous. But someone else might think that the Chef’s Hat is ridiculous and the level 5 bank alt with that title would be AMAZING.

I strongly suspect that questions like these are the primary reason we haven’t seen much account-wide stuff to date and why they’ll probably “test out” account-wide pets and the like first. The slippery slope is just too slippery. What is completely acceptable to one person is a step too far for another. Taken to the extreme, you could make an argument for throwing out the levelling process because “hey, I got to level 85/90/100 on one character! Make all my toons that level!”

I do agree I’m probably a little strange with my identity issues (“But KURN never killed Vashj and Kael!!!”) but I think my own situation, particularly with the baby pally thrown in the mix, illustrates an interesting conundrum with regards to the value of these rewards and the reasons people attach meaning to them. I think all of these are important questions and situations that need to be looked at before they throw the doors open to account-wide achievements.

(Blatant guild plug: Remember, Apotheosis of Eldre’Thalas is 2/8 HM with Heroic Yor’sahj to 22% and is recruiting!!!)

New computer, baby pally update and such.

Well, one thing Archaeology has going for it is that I get time to write stuff (blog posts, forum posts, responses to people’s PMs and emails) while flying back and forth across Kalimdor in search of Tol’Vir sites for the Ring of the Boy Emperor.

At any rate, I ordered a new computer in early April. It arrived on May 25th. It’s an Alienware from Dell and I will, at this time, ask you to refrain from criticizing my decision to get a pre-made (albeit custom-built) machine and for choosing to get it from Dell. (I know all of the above can be polarizing topics.)

I adore it.

I have two 23″ screens, 9 GB of RAM, dual 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 (SLI enabled), a regular 1TB HD and a 300GB 10k RPM HD (Dayden – I was obviously wrong and was looking at one of the 17 different builds I’d assembled before placing the order.).

It’s awesome.

Let’s be clear, here. I have been playing WoW on a laptop with an integrated video card for pretty much the entirety of the last five and a half years. Exceptions have included stints of housesitting for my parents and two short periods of time where I raided from an internet cafe because my laptop(s) had to go to the shop for various reasons.

Playing with spell details up is insane. Water is GORGEOUS in this game and I never knew! How smooth things are, when I can experience them at 60 FPS or higher as opposed to my traditional 7-12 FPS! And SHADOWS.

So, as you can imagine, I am super excited about my purchase and even MORE excited to raid on this thing!

So far, I’ve done Magmaw, ODS, Chim, Maloriak  on official raid nights on the pally (all but ODS on heroic) and Halfus, V&T and Council (with many Cho’gall attempts) on Monday night on the hunter. (Hilarious! I am not completely huntarded!)

The changes are amazing. Dark Sludge is really easily visible. Blaze and shadow crash are easy to avoid. I cannot WAIT to do Atramedes and Nefarian on my new computer. CANNOT WAIT.

And in the meantime, I’ve hit 85 on my baby paladin. I basically did Uldum for the Ramkahen rep and have ignored any other quests (except the various quests to open the portal to Twilight Highlands, plus Crucible of Carnage) and have randomed my way to 85 by way of healing.

A lot of groups are filled with fail. Fail failfailfailfailfafwftgtwfgishf.

Ahem.

People who can’t do Corla’s beams, people whose pets are on aggressive, people who don’t understand how the pyramid packs (damn you, Majik) work in Vortex Pinnacle…

However, there are the occasional groups who are AWESOME. Tanks who ask about my mana and ask if I need CC, skilled DPS who can zerg the last guy in Blackrock Caverns while pulling the adds off JUST long enough for me to heal the tank…

Some very pro groups and some very fail groups.

The baby pally, who still needs a self-deprecating nickname, is gearing up nicely and has 7 346/359 pieces already.

Erudax, in Grim Batol, has already denied me his bracers (333 on normal) once. We’ll see if this gets to be a trend…

So that’s going nicely. I’ve even livestreamed a few times: http://www.livestream.com/kurnmogh

In other news, Apotheosis had a rough week last week, failing to repeat on heroic Magmaw or heroic Atramedes. The former due to a lot of mistakes, the latter because we ran out of time.

This week, we walked in and one-shot heroic Magmaw.

I’ll take it. >.>

And speaking of Apotheosis, June 1st is a fourth anniversary! Granted, we weren’t really a guild, per se, during most of Wrath, but we’ve been a guild since October or November of 2010 and we were certainly kicking back in Burning Crusade. So it’s time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished together and remember the laughter we’ve had during the last several months. I’m planning a retrospective that includes videos (!) and the like. I just need to get videos to render properly and finish going through some screenshots. Should be fun and hopefully done this weekend at the latest.

Having responded to most of my outstanding PMs and emails and having done about as much archaeology as I can stomach for now, I’m going to head to bed, but that’s what’s up with me, lately.

Upcoming blog post topics include: keys/attunement, ZA/ZG gear and T12 gear. Probably not in that order.

80! Again.

Ding! My baby paladin is now 80. (Actually, 81, but anyways…)

Regardless of whether or not I end up transferring my baby paladin to Skywall, to help out the fine people of Choice, I’m really glad I started a new paladin.

I know, you think I have a screw loose, but it’s given me some FANTASTIC perspective.

I tanked my way from 68-80, which was alternately amazing and failtastic. Getting Oculus about 9 times in two days, completing it only three times and having my drake bug out on me no less than seven times was pretty bad. By “bug out”, I mean that, at different times, I could not dismount or, shockingly, I could not use my abilities on the drake AND I couldn’t dismount.

The only thing that worked — and even then, it wasn’t guaranteed — was logging off and logging back in.

Only I would log back in and I wouldn’t be in The Oculus. Nope. Nor would I be in the location I was in when I accepted the LFG queue. No, all of that would make sense!

I would end up in the Sentinel Hill graveyard in Westfall. Alive.

Each and every time this happened, that’s where I would end up.

I maintain that Sentinel Hill is the black hole of Azeroth.

At any rate…

So I hit 80 in The Oculus, wherein my drake bugged out TWICE, and then finished up the group. I wasn’t going to abandon these poor people without a tank in Oculus. That’s just mean.

After the run, I race-changed from dwarf (as adorable as male dwarves are) and went human female, as I usually prefer to be, regardless of the class. There are a few reasons for it — Diplomacy, The Human Spirit, Every Man for Himself — but also because I don’t think I could get used to being that short as a dwarf in a raid situation…

Anyhow! Then I started scrambling for gear so that I could queue up as a healer for Cataclysm instances.

Problem 1) Heirlooms listed 1-80 do not work at 80 any longer. They might have, once upon a time, but that no longer works.

Problem 2) I had essentially nothing in a few spots and spent some cash here and there. My shoulders, sadly, are now the Ornate Saronite Pauldrons.

The ilvl requirement for Blackrock Caverns and Throne of the Tides is 226. I laughed. That’s 25-man Ulduar-level stuff! It’s kind of neat to see how much gear has changed so much. I did Ulduar two years ago and 226 ilvl stuff is now what your average should be in order to get into the entry level dungeons for Cataclysm.

I suppose it’s because it was just so easy to gear up to T10 at the end of Wrath but they also wanted to let those who maybe hadn’t done anything since Ulduar come in and get right into things.

I managed to get that ilvl up to 230 and finally, I could queue up. That was ALSO very strange to me. That I had to try to gear up for these starter dungeons? I walked straight into BRC, TotT, Stonecore and Vortex Pinnacle on Madrana without being challenged by the LFG tool. I guess being in mostly 277 gear will do that. Even Kurn, who was in mostly 251 gear, had zero issues queueing.

Things are blurring together for me. I dinged 80 and picked up the Patina-Coated Breastplate and the Bands of Fading Light. It seemed very weird to pick up those items to head towards Blackrock Caverns or Throne of the Tides instead of Naxxramas, let me tell you. I feel as though I’m skipping current content by skipping out on the WotLK raids, although I know I’m not. It just seems so strange to not raid those instances at 80. The disconnect between my “normal” pally and my “baby” pally is messing with my head.

I finally was ready to queue up for the entry-level Cataclysm dungeons and I looked, in horror, at my mana bar.

I had about 30,000 mana.

Do you know the last time I saw the number “30,000″ next to my mana bar on Madrana? I was raid-buffed in Ulduar as we worked on Vezax. My raid thought that I had bribed a GM to give me extra mana.

So I queued up and was teleported to BRC and realized I was pulled in to a group that had lost their healer.

I took the portal that was up and found myself at the forge area.

The mage, who was the group leader, was an offensive jackass, whose first words are not “Hi, guys” or anything, but rather “dk i hope you know this fight cuz the last 3 tanks didnt.”

“I know all the fights,” he responds.

“we’ll see,” says the mage.

I’m like “wtf did I just walk into here?”

The DK pulls the boss, since the trash is done, and he, himself, stands on the grated outer ring. And the boss is, you know, nowhere near the center flame area.

After about 10 seconds of this, the mage says “lol might as well give up he will never die”

And I got pissed, because all of this could have been prevented if only the mage had said “please don’t forget to move the boss in and out of the fire in the middle so he gets the debuff.”

But he didn’t. Instead, he was like “I hope you know the fight” and the poor tank is then forced to be on the defensive.

So, while healing, I manage to type out “(tank’s name), please move him in and out of the central fire to debuff him.”

Instantly, the DK drags the boss into the central fire.

And proceeds to stand there.

And wipe us.

So I release and run and NO ONE ELSE IS. “Run back, please,” I say.

Two people (the tank and a DPS) release, one person goes offline and the obnoxious mage says “no i’m waiting for the tank to drop group because i’m not fucking running with him”

I tried to vote-kick the mage, but couldn’t initiate any more party kicks (I guess that means they vote-kicked people out before?). And when he still wouldn’t release after the rest of us got back to the instance, I dropped group.

LFG tool: 1, Kurn: 0.

My next queue took me to a partly-finished Throne of the Tides where the group was at Erunak. The paladin tank was all KINDS of vile, spouting profanity (which I don’t generally have an issue with) and teaming it up with perjorative terms against a variety of minorities, gay people in particular.

He pulled the boss and then, partway through the fight, dropped group. >.>

Not that I was upset to be rid of him or anything, but wow. What a champ.

The mage then remarked, “what a fuckin homo”.

I was about halfway through typing something along the lines of how equating “gay” and the like with “stupid” is not cool, but the rogue in the group beat me to it.

“Homophobic much?”

“yea,” responded the mage.

“Did you know that over 800 species on the planet can be gay, but only one can be homophobic?”

I LAUGHED. “Well-said. I’m with you, man.”

That effectively shut up the mage and the rogue and I chatted a bit in whispers about why homophobes are annoying mouth-breathers. Good times.

Finally, we get a new tank, a druid. And the group is suddenly awesome.

We had zero issues with Erunak or the last dude and then requeued for BRC specifically. Easy full clear, then randomed up again and got BRC again, whereupon I got a tanking shield and a healing shield. Then another requeue and we ran a full TotT run.

The fifth member of the group changed a bit — it was a DK, then it was a DPS warrior, then it was an enhancement shaman — but the druid, the rogue, myself and even that mage made a pretty good team, despite the earlier ugliness.

I went on one more BRC run later on, whereupon the tank pulled one of the fire elementals around Karsh and accidentally pulled Karsh, too. I was like “greaaaaaat, that’s going to be a wipe,” BUT NO.

The tank was superb. Not only did he make sure to get the boss debuffed, but he picked up the other add when it approached us and marked it with a skull. He used Divine Guardian, used all of his own cooldowns. I used Aura Mastery and HoSac (OH GOD, I have missed that spell!) and everything was fine. HORRIBLE pull. FANTASTIC execution.

The one major complaint I have about my experiences getting to 81 through the dungeon finder tool is this:

No one seems to know how the hell to interrupt.

Every conceivable BAD spell that could be cast DID get cast, without interruption, almost without exception.

I was that exception and Rebuke has a 10s cooldown.

Shadow Strikes on the Evolved Twilight guys in BRC? All me. Never could reach Corla to interrupt that Dark Command and, as a result, got feared and my worshipper evolved at one point, but anyways.

And that’s even asking them to do so. Like, “Hey guys, it’d be really useful if you could interrupt that Healing Wave on that mob, or Bore on this mob or Shadow Strike…”

Nothing.

Alas.

Still. Level 81. Getting there!

My ilvl is now 270, which is HILARIOUS, considering it’s all greens and some blues and my beautiful Vibrant Alchemist Stone. I keep looking at the ilvl and going “so that’s midway between ICC25 and ICC H25…” and wondering if I could heal heroic Dreamwalker. ;)

I’ve also been digging like a fool on Kurn (for the baby pally, for the Ring of the Boy Emperor and potentially Tyrande’s Favorite Doll. I’ll reforge the mastery to spirit on the ring and the doll will be useful while I wait to make/turn in a Tsunami deck.) and I am sad to report I got the More Skills to Pay the Bills achievement the other day. 525 in all four secondaries. I kind of hate myself.

There are guild updates, too. I need to boast about our heroic Magmaw kill and such, but we’ll see if we can nail heroic Atramedes tonight, too and then I’ll put it all in a single post.

Cataclysm Meta Gems (and the Holy Paladin)

(Edit: 12/14/10, math is hard!)

One of my very first posts here at Kurn’s Corner was about jewelcrafting. It’s woefully outdated, obviously, but demystifying the jewelcrafting profession has always been something I like to do.

I was on the beta the other day, before it shut down, and I had copied over a fresh character copy in 359 epic level gear. As I was trying to gem her up, I realized two things:

a) … what the hell do I stack?

b) Oh my God, the Insightful meta cut doesn’t have a level 85 version!!

I’ll worry about how to gem as a holy paladin later on, but let’s talk a bit about the meta gems.

My Insightful Earthstorm/Earthsiege Diamond cut has been my go-to cut for Madrana since Burning Crusade. That’s, you know, four years. And now there is no Insightful Shadowspirit Diamond cut. This freaks me out.

Here’s a list of all the meta gems at 85.

Right off the bat, we can eliminate a lot of them. Austere (tank), Chaotic (caster), Destructive (PVP), Enigmatic (PVP), Eternal (tank), Forlorn (PVP), Impassive (PVP) and Powerful (PVP) are not on-par with the remaining options for a PVE-based holy paladin.

So here are the gems that I think could be useful to a holy paladin.

Bracing Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 intellect and 2% reduced threat. Typically, one would scoff at this, but were you aware that holy paladins no longer have an innate 50% less threat on their heals? Yeah, that changed at 4.0. So we’re causing a lot more threat than we did. Of course, in a raid situation, this should never be an issue, so this isn’t amazing, but if you’re honestly pugging all of the time and don’t have a solid tank with you, you may want to investigate this as a possibility.

Ember Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 intellect and 2% maximum mana. This is the big brother of the current Ember cut and it definitely looks beefy! In lieu of Insightful (proccing mana returns), Ember certainly looks like a useful meta gem. Remember that Replenishment is still based off of maximum mana, as is Divine Plea, so this is not a bad balanced meta, since it affects our regen and also increases our output (54 int is equal to 54 spellpower).

Fleet Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 mastery rating and minor run speed. The instant I moved to my RL friend’s guild, I was instructed to enchant Tuskarr’s Vitality for the speed boost. I have been a convert ever since. I am going to be asking every member of my guild to have some kind of run speed bonus, whether in their spec or their meta or their boots. Normally, the run speed metas are very PVP-related, but Fleet gives us mastery rating. While we’ll have mastery rating gems (Fractured. They’re yellow.) and mastery rating enchants, meaning mastery rating won’t only be available via reforging the way it is right now, this is still a potentially useful meta gem. Not only do you get the run speed and the mastery rating, but it frees up your boots for a potentially better enchant. More on this in a bit.

Revitalizing Shadowspirit Diamond – 54 spirit and 3% critical healing effect. Another balanced meta for us, since the spirit is pure regen and the 3% increased effect on crits is pure throughput. Given the new world of “no one is ever fully topped off” style healing in Cataclysm, this will almost certainly not translate into more overhealing. Further, for a holy paladin, our mastery rating will benefit from the larger crit heals, creating a larger Illuminated Healing shield.

So which one to pick?

Bracing and Revitalizing can both be activated with a single green gem, as they require 1 blue and 1 yellow. The Zen Dream Emerald, which is +20 mastery and +20 spirit, would probably be the best cut for a holy paladin out of the various green gems available. This would leave the rest of our sockets open to stacking intellect or whatever it is we will try to be stacking. Ember and Fleet require two yellow gems, which needs to be done in two separate slots. Granted, we’d probably use an orange gem to get 20 intellect and 20 of another stat. My favourite orange gem is the Reckless Ember Topaz for the haste, but we could also use Artful Ember Topaz or Potent Ember Topaz as an orange gem of choice.

So with the Ember or Fleet choice, we have to use two gem sockets for our meta versus the one with Bracing or Revitalizing.

Ember/Fleet = 2 orange = 40 intellect + 40 haste rating/40 mastery rating/40 crit rating

Bracing/Revitalizing = 1 green = 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating + 1 socket to do with as we please (probably 40 intellect from a Brilliant Inferno Ruby) = 40 intellect + 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating

Kind of on par with Ember and Fleet, no?

But then we look at Ember’s effect – 54 intellect + 2% maximum mana.

So Ember really looks like this: 2 orange + 54 intellect + 2% max mana = 94 intellect + 40 haste rating/40 mastery rating/40 crit rating + 2% max mana

Fleet’s stats need to be combined with whatever boot enchant you’d like that doesn’t increase run speed. So: 2 orange + 54 mastery rating + 50 mastery rating/50 haste = 40 intellect + 40 haste rating/40 mastery rating/40 crit rating + 50 mastery rating/50 haste

So Fleet is pretty much out of the running, if you’ll excuse the pun. ;) It does offer the most versatility, though. If you want 90 mastery or 90 haste, it would be easy to acquire those with a Fleet.

Bracing’s equation, with stats, looks like this: 1 green +54 intellect = 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating + 1 socket to do with as we please (probably 40 intellect from a Brilliant Inferno Ruby) + 54 intellect = 94 intellect + 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating

And Revitalizing looks like this: 1 green + 54 spirit + 3% increased critical heal effect = 20 spirit + 20 mastery rating + 1 socket to do with as we please (probably 40 intellect from a Brilliant Inferno Ruby) + 54 spirit + 3% increased critical heal effect = 40 intellect + 20 mastery rating + 74 spirit + 3% increased critical heal effect

It looks to me that Bracing and Ember are both sitting pretty in terms of intellect, with Revitalizing being more of an option if you need the extra regen. However, it should be noted that you aren’t getting intellect from Ember’s effect of +2% mana. You’re just gaining mana. So your mana pool grows (which is great) but you don’t gain spellpower or spell crit from its effect. So its effect isn’t really equal to the extra mana 20 intellect gives you.

Since I plan to heal primarily with tanks that I know and trust, I’m throwing Bracing out the window. Fleet has been eliminated. That leaves me with Ember and Revitalizing as choices.

As of right now, and bear in mind that this is before Cataclysm has even launched, I’m thinking of going with Revitalizing to try out the 3% increased critical heal effect and the fact that it’s easily activated with a single green gem. I’ll be sure to write another post if I decide to go with Ember or another choice!

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