Okay. I am not *generally* a bitch. But, sometimes, when properly motivated, I can be very, very good at being a bitch.

In this post, I will discuss the fact that Mr. Chase Christian, better known as the  rogue columnist at WoW.com, got the position of the Holy Paladin columnist as well. Further, I will explain how I feel that the justification used to placate me when I was intially outraged appears to be false.

Full disclaimer: Yes, I applied. Yes, I was disappointed that I wasn’t selected. It’s not so much that I didn’t get the position, but rather that Chase Christian, the rogue columnist at WoW.com, got the position after a public call for applications went out. And, of course, how could he be at all qualified to write the holy paladin column?

Well, I wrote to Mr. Adam Holisky with regards to my application after the news broke and asked, politely, what the deal was.

Among other things, Mr. Holisky informed me of the following, and this is a direct quote:

“Chase is a guild and raid leader who fills a spot in his raids as either a rogue or as a holy paladin healer.  He has cleared all content at all levels an in all expansions with both characters, and has exceptional knowledge concerning both classes.  He was the most qualified candidate we’ve received (although some folks such as yourself do come close).”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure he was attempting to placate me by saying that I came close and other things he said about my application. I understand that and accept that I was being placated. I don’t really mind that. Further, I’m certain that I wasn’t the only person who received a message along those lines. Again, I don’t think that’s a bad thing to say; it recognizes the effort applicants put into their applications. At the time, I appreciated the mail and the time he took to write to me in order to, basically, justify their decision. Mr. Holisky had no need to justify anything to me, some random person who applied. I thought this was a great thing to do on Mr. Holisky’s part towards preventing people from having bad associations with WoW.com. It’s unfortunate that I believe these justifications to be false.

At any rate, it was at this point, after Mr. Holisky’s email, that I decided to give Mr. Christian 2-3 articles to show me he knows what the light is, never mind how to swing it.

Well, Mr. Christian made the mistake of taking a screenshot for his column of February 7th. The screenshot allowed us to see the name of a character, Cure, who has Beacon of Light, Sacred Shield and a Flash of Light HoT active on them. Since this did not appear to be in a raid environment, I came to the fairly obvious conclusion that Cure was likely Mr. Christian’s paladin. His bio states that he plays on Azgalor, Horde side. Wouldn’t you know it, there’s a blood elf paladin named Cure who is holy on Azgalor. Further digging reveals that Cure is the GM of the guild Trademarked. On WoWWiki’s Azgalor page, it is said that Mr. Christian’s rogue, Madsushi, is the GM of Trademarked. Thus, given Mr. Holisky’s information that Mr. Christian is a guild leader, I have concluded that Mr. Christian plays Cure, who has been made GM of Trademarked.

Naturally, I looked him up on the armory. Ask anyone who knows me — it’s what I *do*.

After examining the armory, it is my firm belief that Mr. Holisky lied to me about Mr. Christian’s qualifications in an attempt to justify the selection of Mr. Christian as the new holy paladin columnist. I could potentially be in error about my conclusion, but I kind of doubt it. Here’s exactly the information that I looked at which indicated to me that I’d been lied to:

First of all, Horde paladins weren’t even available pre-BC. But let us give Mr. Christian the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he had an Alliance paladin that he then transferred to Horde once faction changes became available.

Old-school reputation from raiding includes:

- Hydraxian Waterlords (Molten Core)
- Zandalar Tribe (Zul’Gurub)
- Cenarion Circle (AQ20)
- Brood of Nozdormu (AQ40)
- The Argent Dawn (Naxxramas)

Let us examine Cure’s rep for each.

Hydraxian: 1046/3000 into Neutral
Zandalar: 387/6000 into Friendly
CC: 2736/3000 into Neutral
Brood: 16202/36000 into Hated
Argent Dawn: 8839/12000 into Honored

Well, now. Apart from the Brood rep (which can be obtained these days while solo-farming AQ40 for bug mounts), that doesn’t look all too impressive. My main raider in pre-BC was my hunter, Kurn, and Madrana only really got into raiding in October/November or thereabouts.

Let’s look at Madrana’s reputation, in comparison:

Hydraxian: 1174/12000 into Honored
Zandalar: 8984/12000 into Honored (this does include about 4000 rep gathered in BC/Wrath)
CC: 2954/6000 into Friendly (I hated AQ20)
Brood: 2860/36000 into Hated (mostly gained post-Wrath)
Argent Dawn: 999/1000 into Exalted (mostly gained in Wrath, but I was at least Revered pre-Wrath)

Considering I never actually CLEARED Molten Core, never really set foot into Naxx or AQ40… that’s not horrible rep. It’s certainly much better than Mr. Christian’s paladin. Mind you, my paladin has a 10% rep bonus through the human racial of Diplomacy, but that still doesn’t seem to account for the large differences in our rep.

I suppose that we can always assume that perhaps Mr. Holisky meant BC and Wrath by “expansions”, though, right? So let’s give Mr. Holisky and Mr. Christian the benefit of the doubt, yet again and assume that Mr. Christian is probably well-versed in Burning Crusade raids.

The major BC raiding rep factions:

- The Violet Eye (Karazhan)
- The Scale of the Sands (Hyjal)
- Ashtongue Deathsworn (Black Temple)

That, of course, doesn’t include the myriad of factions for helm enchants (Honor Hold/Thrallmar for a holy paladin), shoulder enchants (Aldor or Scryer), etc, which any raiding character would need to have rep with in order to be taken seriously in T5+ content.

Let’s look at Mr. Christian’s paladin’s rep for BC factions.

Violet Eye: 999/1000 into Exalted
The Scale of the Sands: 0/3000 into Neutral
Ashtongue Deathsworn: Not listed (has yet to encounter in-game)

… really? I raided primarily as Madrana throughout Burning Crusade, clearing all of T4 content, T5 content, clearing Hyjal and Black Temple. Let’s look at Madrana’s rep.

Violet Eye: 999/1000 into Exalted
The Scale of the Sands: 999/1000 into Exalted
Ashtongue Deathsworn: 999/1000 into Exalted

ALL of that was painfully done at level 70, during progression raids.

And Mr. Christian’s paladin hasn’t even MET the Ashtongue Deathsworn. He hasn’t set foot in Hyjal or Black Temple on his paladin. That much is incontrovertible fact, unless he wiped on the first wave of Hyjal trash repeatedly, since it gives no rep. Still, that’s certainly not “clearing all content at all levels in all expansions”, now, is it?

So the paladin is clearly Mr. Christian’s alt, but he should still know the content well enough from raiding on his rogue, right? His rogue, Madsushi, on Azgalor, is also a blood elf. So let’s not even bother looking at pre-BC rep. Let’s look at Burning Crusade stuff.

The Violet Eye: 17360/21000 into Revered
The Scale of the Sands: 0/3000 into Neutral
Ashtongue Deathsworn: 275/3000 into Neutral

You’re kidding me, right? I believe that was my exact thought when I saw the rep. This indicates to me that, on his rogue, Mr. Christian has STARTED the BT quests and still hasn’t done anything in Hyjal. Neither his paladin, nor his rogue, sport the title Hand of A’dal or even Champion of the Naaru. (I’m a Hand of A’dal, for what it’s worth.)

How on earth is any of this clearing “all content at all levels an in all expansions with both characters”?

It’s not.

Okay, so let’s look at Wrath stuff. Let’s look at some of his achievements. If he’s been raiding seriously on his paladin and rogue, his achievements and titles should be comparable to my own. Right?

Paladin: Sarth 3D (10) (09/24/09)
Rogue: Sarth 3D (10) (09/23/09)

Now, there are no 25-man equivalent achievements listed for his toons, but that’s okay. Just because I go to 25-man content almost exclusively doesn’t necessarily make me a better paladin or anything. But look at those dates. T9 content had been out for a few weeks at that point. That substantially reduces the difficulty of even a 3D zerg run, which was quite frequent on my server at the time (Bronzebeard) throughout the months we were in Ulduar.

Madrana: Sarth 3D (25) (03/18/09)

Yeah. In Naxx gear. Before Ulduar came out.

Let’s talk about Ulduar.

Okay. He’s got Glory of the Ulduar Raider (10). I’ll give him that. But he got it on February 1st, 2010. Two weeks ago. I haven’t been back to Ulduar in months because I don’t particularly care about a drake and I don’t like doing content that’s a lot easier than it was when I’m using gear out of instances 2 tiers after the fights were designed.

He has Algalon (10) on his paladin with a date of January 16th, 2010.

I have Algalon (25) on mine with a date of November 22nd, 2010.

ICC-available gear (2 tiers ahead of content) vs. 245 and a bit of 258 gear (1-1.5 tiers)

How on EARTH does any of this mean that Mr. Christian has better/more experience than me as a holy paladin in a raid setting? Just because he’s a raid leader? Hi, I did that, too. All throughout freaking BC. And pre-BC. And you know what? For months in Wrath, too. Not to mention the six months I spent as the healing lead in the guild I was in on Bronzebeard.

Clearly, Mr. Holisky was trying to smooth things over with me and try to instill me with confidence that Mr. Christian wasn’t, as I’d initially charged, “a rogue with some holy experience“. However, after even just a small amount of research, it’s clear that my experience in pre-BC, BC and most of Wrath surpasses Mr. Christian’s. And I’m sure I’m not even the most qualified applicant. There are people who are WAY more experienced than I am, who went through Sunwell, for example, or who have gotten Anub’arak on 25-man heroic.

So for my own experience to clearly surpass the experiences of Mr. Christian on his rogue and his paladin, well, it raises doubt in my mind that Mr. Christian is the right person for the job. Even if Mr. Christian does have experience on other characters, Mr. Holisky assured me personally that Mr. Christian had cleared all content in all expansions on both characters to which I was referring. Well, that’s clearly false. You can’t go to Hyjal without gaining rep. You can’t go to Black Temple without gaining rep. You can’t go through Molten Core without gaining rep.

Now, were these the only problems with Mr. Christian’s appointment to the holy paladin columnist position, I would probably suck it up and deal with it. You’d never have known from me that Mr. Holisky falsely represented Mr. Christian’s experience to me and to the habitual readers of “The Light and How to Swing It“. I’m not a sore loser, I’m not a petty person. And, believe it or not, I’m not fighting for the position. I have zero desire to work with people who will not only exaggerate a friend’s experience, but outright lie about it to justify the decision to others.

So why, then, am I besmirching the “good” names of Mr. Christian, Mr. Holisky and WoW.com? I am concerned for the holy paladins who actually need guidance and support and who read the column. As anyone who had spent any time at all reading The Light and How to Swing It, Gregg Reece was certainly not the best paladin to cover a holy aspect. It was clear that either the column needed a separate holy version or needed a new columnist to cover all three specs adequately. It was obvious that there wasn’t a lot of good information for a holy paladin at WoW.com prior to the addition of a holy paladin columnist.

As I said, I had told myself that I would give Mr. Christian 2-3 columns to prove to me that he knows his stuff about holy paladins. And that if I found his articles as in-depth and knowledgeable as mine could be (obviously, mine can be epic in length, but I wasn’t going to hold brevity against him), then I’d just cool down, ease off and continue ignoring wow.com’s idiocy.

So I read the articles and sighed heavily as I did so. The content produced by Mr. Christian, thus far, is not what I expected of anyone who would be granted such a position ahead of me, based on experience.

My nitpicking on the quality of his articles will come soon enough, as much of this was written before Mr. Christian’s third article came out and I will be spending some time deconstructing all three of his first few articles, then posting my resulting /facepalms.

Suffice it to say, however, that I have issues trusting a holy paladin who uses XPerl as their raid frames.