Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another one for the Holy Light.... sorta

My love for underdogs or anti-heroes is getting apparent now, as well my knack of picking classes that have several roles, the major role being the one I don't intend to play.

You may have seen him on the right side of my blog, but it's time for a formal introduction: Myczil the Forsaken Shadow Priest. At lvl 40 at the moment of this blogpost, he is my highest alt and current focal point of my WoW time. He's taken up Tailoring and Enchanting as his professions, and with a little monetary aid of Vaadren every now and then, he's happily skilling up. In the meantime he's also running around in Dustwallow Marsh, questing away in his just acquired Shadowform.

Why introduce a second character? Have I lost interest in my Paladin, like so many others with recent changes/nerfs/uncertainty regarding the class? No, not at all. Despite the hard times as a Retribution Paladin (finding groups, being laughed at, you know), I've always loved Vaadren a lot. And I will certainly continue playing him, going on adventures with him and writing about him here. But quite honestly, I don't do much with him at the moment instead of some raiding and the occasional heroic (and lately enjoying the Scourge invasion and grinding some rep). And since I've always wanted an alt, I decided to invest some time in one.

So while you can still expect your frequent Paladin news from Vaadren, expect some Priestly talk about Myczil every now and then as well.

Vaadren as my Crusader of the Light, and Myczil as Shadowweaver.

I say the opposites make for a good balance.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

For the Light!

With all the negative news lately, I should mention that I'm still enjoying the game a lot. Sure, things might not look good, but all the more reason to have fun now. So.....


For the last few days, there have been people infected by the Scourge and turning into Ghouls. Unfortunately, those people could not be saved and thus had to be exorcised. After the first few incidents, it remained relatively peaceful and everyone thought it was over.

Guess again!

Necropoli have appeared all over Azeroth, sending down devastating unholy bolts and spawning more ghouls than you can imagine. Even Shattrath City is littered with corpses, showing that the Lich Kings reach is very far indeed. The Argent Dawn has appeared everywhere, trying to battle the Scourge and asking for your aid. And as the Paladin that I am, I answered that call.


In normal terms, Phase 2 of the pre-Wrath event kicked off last night. Infection timers have been reduced from 10 minutes to 2 minutes, and it takes about 10 Cleanses to dispel it. It's getting really hard to combat the Scourge now! I've been doing some of the quests, and having a blast so far. I started playing last year, so I never experienced the pre-Burning Crusade event. I'm very excited to be a part of this now. Killing undead is my specialty even, so I'm enjoying my complete arsenal of spells to its fullest.

Stand strong, fellow Crusaders of the Light. Consecrate the earth around you, keep your holy-imbued blade at the ready, and strike with unparalleled vengeance. For the Light!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Clipped wings in 3.0.3

It's time to talk about the hot topic again, time to jump on the bandwagon. The hot topic? Why, the "overpoweredness" of Retribution Paladins. Or just Paladins in general, I'm not sure anymore.

Anger, sadness and disappointment galore in Paladin land (not to mention total confusion) with the latest Wrath Beta Build, number [9138] this time. The changes for Paladins, not just Retribution:

Skills
Holy

- Seal of Wisdom now deal [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 1 ] holy damage when unleashed. (Down from [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 1 ] Holy damage)
- Seal of Light now has a chance to heal for [ 15% of AP + 15% of Spell Power ]. (Down from [ 28% of AP + 28% of Spell Power ])
- Seal of Light now deals [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 1 ] (down from [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 1 ]) holy damage when unleashed.
- Seal of Righteousness now grants each melee attack [ 2.2% of Melee Weapon Speed * AP + 4.4% of Melee Weapon Speed * Spell Power ] additional Holy damage. (Down from [ 2.8% of Melee Weapon Speed * AP + 5.5% of Melee Weapon Speed * Spell Power ])

Protection

- Seal of Justice now deals [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 1 ] holy damage when unleashed. (Down from [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 1 ])

Retribution

- Judgement of Command Holy damage reduced from 56% to 45%.
- Blessing of Might (Rank 8 ) and Greater Blessing of Might (Rank 3) now increase AP by 306. (Up from 305)
- Seal of Corruption now deals [ 15% of AP + 8.8% of Spell Power ]
additional holy damage over 15 seconds. (Down from [ 19.2% of AP + 9.6% of Spell Power ])
- Seal of Corruption now deals [ 14% of AP + 22% of Spell Power + 1 ] Holy damage. (Down from [ 17.5% of AP + 28% of Spell Power + 1 ])
- Seal of the Martyr now make all your melee attacks deal [ 22% of mw ] to [ 22% of MW ]. (Down from [ 28% of mw ] to [ 28% of MW ])
- Seal of the Martyr now deals [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 36% of mw ] to [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 36% of MW ] Holy Damage when unleashed. (Old: [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 25% of mw ] to [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 25% of MW ] Holy damage)
- Seal of Blood now make all your melee attacks deal [ 22% of mw ] to [ 22% of MW ]. (Down from [ 28% of mw ] to [ 28% of MW ])
- Seal of Blood now deals [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 36% of mw ] to [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 36% of MW ] Holy Damage when unleashed. (Old: [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 25% of mw ] to [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 25% of MW ] Holy damage)
- Seal of Vengeance now deals [ 15% of AP + 8.8% of Spell Power ] additional Holy damage over 15 sec. (Down from [ 19.2% of AP + 9.6% of Spell Power ])
- Seal of Vengeance now deals [ 14% of AP + 22% of Spell Power + 1 ] Holy damage. (Down from [ 17.5% of AP + 28% of Spell Power + 1 ])
- Judgement of Wisdom now restores 1% of the attacker's maximum mana. (Down from 2%)
- Judgement of Light now has a chance to heal the attacker for [ 10% of AP + 10% of Spell Power ]. (Down from [ 18% of AP + 18% of Spell Power ])
- Hammer of Wrath can now only be used when the target is below 20% (was 35%)

Talents
Retribution

- Divine Storm doesn't deal Holy damage anymore. Now heals up to 3 party or raid members for 25% of the damage caused. (Up from 20%)
- Righteous Vengeance changed to - When your Judgement and Divine Storm spells deal a critical strike, your target will take 8/16/24/32/40% additional damage over 8 sec.
- The Art of War now increases the damage of Judgement, Crusader Strike and Divine Storm by 5/10%. (Old: Increased critical strike damage only, by 10/20%)
- Judgement of the Wise now grants the paladin 15% of his base mana. (Down from 33%)
- Seal of Command now deals [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 24% of mw ] to [ 16% of AP + 25% of Spell Power + 24% of MW ] Holy damage. (Down from [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 30% of mw ] to [ 20% of AP + 32% of Spell Power + 30% of MW ])

(Source: MMO Champion)

Suicidal Zebra has made a good post about it, as well as Rohan at Blessing of Kings. Be sure to read those if you're interested in theorycrafting, as well as participate in some serious discussions.

Lots of these changes are nerfs, of course, and not understandable at all. Where we once had raid viability, good DPS and were actually an addition to the group, we pretty much lost it all with this Beta patch. We're reduced to the level we were during all of TBC, making us unfavorable once again.

Thank god Samsara sees my added value in raids, otherwise I wouldn't ever see the inside of any WotLK raid environment.

Let's hope this will change before it hits live. I fear the return of "lolret" already.

/shudder

Friday, October 24, 2008

Goodbye to a challenge

Raiding has gone to the backburner a bit, unfortunately because of the, in my eyes unnecessary, nerf of raid environments. Only the bosses, you say? Nay, I've noticed a change in the trash mobs as well.

The guild was supposed to go into SSC last saturday, but with some technical difficulties haunting our raid leader, and a lack of sufficient interest, it was called off. Instead, ten of us formed a group and headed for Zul'Aman. I've never been there before, since I always considered myself not strong enough yet, but with the recent changes I decided to give it a go anyway. And we blasted through Zul'Aman like no tomorrow. Bear boss, Lynx boss, Dragonhawk boss, they all went down extremely fast. Samsara "only" managed to get 4 our of 6 bosses down before the patch. We cleared it all without wipes, and quite easily I have to say. I did get killed once, but that was my fault for aggroing a group of whelplings during the Dragonhawk(?) boss. We got three chests out of the timed event, not bad at all apparently. Next time I want to do it at a slower pace. We literally rushed through it, and that seriously lowered the fun factor for me, being a first-timer. Hardly any boss strategies were given, leaving me to whack the boss and see what happened. Half of the time I was just going with the flow, following the kill order on the trash and pumping out maximum DPS and rotation efficiency during bosses. Downing Zul'Jin was gratifying though, as well as the festive jungle music that preceded it. All in all still a good time, and I got myself the 20 slot bag.

We got a guild group together on sunday to venture into the new Karazhan. We had one or two people going offspec (our best Resto Shaman went Enhancement), and we had two rogues who had never seen the insides of Karazhan before. It's safe to say that Karazhan is in EZ-Mode now. We kept chain pulling the trash, and boss after boss went down like nothing. We started getting lax, overconfident. Our raid leader accidentally pulled Maiden on his lock, and we still got her down easily (and the Warlock survived). We accidentally pulled Curator, and even though it took 10 seconds for us to decide to kill him anyway in favor of running, we got him down during his first evocate. For the first time in my Karazhan career (and mind you, I'm already fully exalted with the Violet Eye) we got Romulo and Julianne during the Opera event, which only proved a minor nuisance when they kept respawning because Julianne managed to get in a heal JUST before she was supposed to die. One Demon Chain on Illhoof, then downed. Aran went down faster than you can say "Flame Wreath, don't move!", he's reduced to a Shade of Shade o Aran now. Nightbane one-shotted. For the first time I was main pickup for the blue beam at Netherspite instead of backup and one-shotted. Prince went down after three enfeebles (the rogues died here cause they got enfeebled and didn't move out of the blast wave, but forgivable since Prince is a fight you must learn), I never even saw an infernal during the fight. Chess was the most enjoyable event, me taking a priest instead of the usual wolf. It was refreshing to play a new piece on the board. After everyone else had left for the night, four of us even cleared the animal boss for fun.

We managed to get the rogues geared up quite a lot, but apart from that it wasn't really a useful run. Being so immensely powerful was fun for a bit, but it lost its charm quickly. I know I won't sign up for many Karazhan runs anymore, mainly because it's so dead easy now. Wiping repeatedly on a boss can be annoying, but then the sense of achievement is much greater when you actually get him down. I'll still go to Gruul for the T4 shoulders and some bracers I need from Maulgar, SSC from there. But very little Karazhan.

Goodbye, my dearest Karazhan. It has been a pleasure to raid in your environment, but I fear must move on. Love, Vaadren.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Echoes of Doom..... or are they?

Patch 3.0.2 has hit the live servers, and with a day off I've had the opportunity to fully explore the new features. Of course I already saw a lot of it on the PTR, but that's never the same, especially because you have a guild to share everything with on Live.

I came home late on wednesday, already eager to start. Patching went very easy, and my download speed went through the roof when hauling in the 1.6 Gigabyte file, almost encouraging me to play in a way. I got online, admired the new splash screens, and started enjoying. First up, the talent tree. I can make a perfect build for lvl 80, but 70 requires a sacrifice or two. In the end I went for a 0/5/56 build, leaving Kings for someone else, as I could use the 5 talent points better somewhere else. After clearing my bags of any mounts and vanity pets, I was ready to go do some achievements, mainly exploration. While I was running around in Azeroth, it rained achievements in guild chat, including the 65 yard drop, /hugging a dead enemy and even "Leeeeeeeeroy!" I finished Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor that night, and signed off for the night.

Today I went for Outlands exploration, and completed that soon enough. After that I decided to go for the Classic instances. I already did a lot of them, but still had a few to go. I did Wailing Caverns, Blackfathom Deeps and Maraudon. Maraudon is extremely annoying (never been in there before tonight), and at the same time amazingly beautiful. The place is a huge maze, and finding the way towards Princess Theradras was a pain. In the end I finally made it, and as a true anticlimax, the "Princess" turned out to be a toad, so to speak. It looked like a Boulderfist Ogre and Undead Abomination (the UC guards) mated, and this was the result. I decided to make the world a better place and killed her in a few fell swipes.

One of my guildmates is a sucker for new professions, so she already got Inscription up to 350 by this afternoon! She's been making free glyphs for guildies all day, so I got a major glyph of Judgment from her, and the minor glyph for Blessing of Might. Judgment is pretty much a no-brainer (10% more damage off judgments, and spamming judgments is still our job), and with Kings gone, BoM is something I'll use a lot. It's certainly not bad as a minor glyph. Crusader Strike and Spiritual Attunement look nice as well, but apparently the CS glyph is being changed, and I've yet to see if I actually NEED the extra few % of the Spiritual Attunement glyph, with the new mana regen I have.

Tonight was Kara night as well, but I passed cause I wasn't feeling too well, caused by a headache that crept up during the evening. The group that went was tearing the place down to its foundations, according to the latest update just before I logged for the night. I'm looking forward to a raid myself, or a heroic. I'm eager to try out my new skills in a challenging environment.

Overall I'm in a really good mood. Not only because Retribution got improved (which is what most people assume is the source of my happiness), but because of all the changes. From achievements to the group calendar. From the new BG (which I might even try out, it's really cool apparently) to the barber shop. And most of all, because it brought a fresh breeze into the game. There's lots of excitement in guild chat, there's so much new things to do. People are sharing new stuff, more than ever. Samsara has always been a good community to me, the guild chats were always full of laughter and good times, and grouping was always a blast. But now I have something extra. Instead of just laughing at the jokes in chat, I now have a content smile when I hear people talking excitedly over something. Now, more than ever.

It's funny that the patch carries the name "Echoes of Doom". I see a lot of people complaining about trivial things that came, went or changed in the patch, voicing those echoes in a way. But for me, I don't hear any Echoes of Doom. Quite the opposite.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Getting ready for 3.0.2

Patch day is swiftly approaching, bringing along the overhauled Paladin fighting mechanics. Now, it's not that hard to find a nice playing style, but it will take some getting used to. And with some significant changes in each talent tree, you might get a "wtf"-moment or two while getting acquainted with your class again.

Luckily, instead of just posting the extremely long list of patch notes, here's something else. A video explaining all the new mechanics and going a bit in-depth into the improved talent trees, thus preparing you, at least slightly, for the changes about to come.

Thanks go to Suicidal Zebra for bringing this to my attention.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Score!

Last week has been painstaking. Heroics that can't be finished due to time issues or server crashes, a Karazhan run that managed to wipe on one trash mob, and all that while only needing a few more badges.

It took a while, but last night I finally got down to needing only 5 badges. And today, after a round of Shattered Halls, I managed to get the remaining 5.

Which means that I finally got my 150 badges together! After the heroic I immediately went to the Shattered Sun vendor, and got myself that beautiful Blade of Harbingers that's been lurking at me for weeks now. I managed to find an enchanter within a minute of my purchase, and 2 minutes later I had it enhanced with a Mongoose. Whoo!

Time to test this baby out. Magtheridon is scheduled for tonight, and I'll be there. Magtheridon, you will die by my Blade, here or there!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another one bites the dust

Last night was a good night for Samsara. Maulgar and Gruul were already in the bag, but they've had to scoot over a bit to make room for Magtheridon. Yes folks, last night Samsara killed Magtheridon for the first time! Kel'idan the Breaker, who was standing on his platform above Maggy's Lair (also known as the Blood Furnace), saw it all happening, and was reported crying after the Pit Lord was slain.

I wasn't there to participate in the killing, due to other obligations that evening. However, Thrashalot, a guildie who was in the raid, wrote a post about it. Be sure to read it if you want to know how the night went!


I'll definately be attending next weeks run. I found out I have the time, and the officers had no objections to promising me a spot, given the circumstances. I think it was my turn in the raid rotation anyway.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Diary of an Undead Horse Rider

"Dear Diary, it's me again, Attumen.

Today was horrible. I wiped on Samsara yet again, 14 times tonight! Midnight will have to wait for his Epic Felsteed Armor yet another week until Samsara is reset.
I'm starting to think I'm still undergeared, even though all the guides say otherwise. Did I get nerfed overnight? That would suck. Moroes and Aran keep laughing at me for wiping so often, but tonight they were bested as well. That should keep them quiet for a while.

Better luck next week."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gettin' There

First time I fully cleared Karazhan last night! In every Kara run I went to, we always skipped Illhoof (and sometimes Maiden as well), but not last night. We got them all, and we got them good.

Illhoof is an easy enough fight, but you have to flip that mental switch as a Paladin to keep spamming Consecration, which is annoying to put into your spell rotation if you ask me (not to mention a mana drainer). With no warlock present and 4 Paladins, mass Consecration was the way to deal with the imps. It worked though, and Illhoof coughed up a few badges before he knew what hit him.

Problem with 4 Paladins in the raid group is that as a DPS you get little to no chances at nice loot. Gorehowl didn't drop again, but I don't care anymore. I already have Garona's Signet Ring, Ironstriders of Urgency and both T4 tokens, which pretty much leaves me to collecting offspec gear. And with 2 Paladin healers (one still gearing up), and a Paladin tank (also gearing up) all the loot passes to them. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to Gruul's Lair again, who at least has some bracers for me, and the T4 shoulders. As soon as I have those, I'll feel like a balanced Paladin again. So far I've felt like a loose cannon, doing either a lot of damage and having to hold back, or doing subpar DPS.

I won't be able to attend the Gruul run scheduled for this saturday though. Every saturday for the next few weeks is already scheduled full, with a possible exception next week, I'll have to look into that. If so, I'll ask if I can get some kind of preference above other applicants because I won't be able to attend other dates, leaving a space for others. It sounds reasonable.

I'm also slowly getting my badges together. Last night got me 11 more, putting my total at 98 now. It's going slower than I'd hoped, but there's nothing to do about that. I'm doing my best. If I get into the next two Karazhan groups I'll be only a few short, and in that time I'll undoubtedly do a heroic or two.

Fingers crossed!