Sometimes you’re looking for a new look for your characters and just have no luck thinking of something to wear. Well, never fear, because… well, I’m here, metaphorically speaking. I’m going through a toon by toon process of my transmog in a new weekly article. Today: The Paladin. (more…)
Now that I’ve gotten a little over a week to play around with 4.2, a couple of the new raid bosses, and a few days of the new daily quests out in Hyjal and the Molten Front, I’m here to tell you – this patch did not change WoW significantly. There hasn’t been too much of a shuffle in spec balance; arcane mages still pewpew excessively and you’ll probably still be kicked from a raid if you try to bring your subtlety rogue. So far it seems to be a mostly a standard WoW patch. Follow after the break for more about the Firelands, Hyjal Dailies, and other stuff. (more…)
I started WoW midway through The Burning Crusade after a friend/roommate offered to buy me the game if I’d play. Prior to this, the idea of spending reoccurring money to keep playing a game seemed ridiculous. Although I enjoyed Warcraft 2 and 3, I thought, “why would I keep paying for one game when I could just buy a new one every few months with the money I’d be spending”? But, given that the initial cost was zero and the first month was free, it became a fairly no risk decision to give it a try. So I created my account, made a warrior, and was a terribly bad noob.
My recruiter was horde so naturally I followed suit. This is something I am eternal grateful for because who wants to be dirty alliance? (At first I wondered if bashing alliance could be bad for reader retention, insulting half of players and all… then I remembered Alliance can’t read – they only communicate through garbled letters and occasionally say “me luv u”.) My class choice was fairly split between Paladin and Warrior. I wanted a beastly, 2-handed axe wielding monster of damage output and eventually decided on an Orc Warrior. My first choice was ThornDrumheller after a character from one of my favorite book series, but it didn’t work out. I had recently watched 300 and took my next choice and named this fresh orc “Threehundred” on account of not being able to use numbers in a name. This was a first among a great many bad decisions that I made on my noobish trek through beginning WoW.
The warrior began (and still is actually) as a fury warrior. Without too much direction after the first few levels (and a couple of RFC runs when able) I eventually learned dual wield and promptly ran around with a dagger and a shield. In my defense, the dagger had the best damage I’d found at the time, and it just seemed to make sense that I’d live longer wearing the shield. He struggled all the way to level 26, eventually dual wielding daggers, and found himself in Hillsbrad. After 26 grueling levels, having to stop and drink repeatedly, I parked him in the Tauren Mill Inn and never played him again. Ok, so I did eventually, but that’s a later story. I liked the overall feel of the melee damage dealer but wanted self heals. Naturally, I moved onto my Paladin.
Back in TBC, you didn’t have to declare a talent tree ahead of time. You could sort of pick points as you went along. I sort of picked points that seemed immediately good regardless of the tree I was going down. I ended up mostly holy and the eventually had a proper holy spec. Of course, this was awful. I just didn’t know it yet. I quested about 40 levels in holy spec. This was a long, long grind. At some point real life got a little too busy and I ended up taking a long break from Wow. I think I was level 63 at the time. I never participated in any raids during this time. I did watch a friend of mine do kara and thought it looked pretty cool, but , level 63’s can’t raid.
Before taking my break, I also did a great deal of PVP both as holy and ret. I honestly probably would have hit max level during TBC instead of not getting there til later. Instead I left Paladin floundering in Outlands for a good several months, awaiting the day I’d return and bring it to greatness!…or at least max level.
I love alts. My characters other than my main have for a long time been a driving force in keeping my interest in WoW. I keep a stable of max level alts to gear up or for crafting. I often won’t feel like running more than one heroic dungeon on the same character per day, but a heroic on a resto shaman doesn’t feel like the same heroic on a ret paladin. One of the great things about WoW is the sheer variety of stuff to do.
Some days I feel like accomplishing, or working towards, an “end” character goal. This might be something like farming heroics in hopes for best-in-slot pre-raid drops or gear from points to rep farming for epics or actual raiding. This is gearing up my toon with equipment that should last it a while and help my end goal of a character – being raid worthy. Other days I just want to accomplish something. There’s really no guarantee to pick up a specific drop from a dungeon and sometimes you’re just too many randoms or quest away from having enough points or rep to buy something nice. On these days, I might take up one of my leveling toons. Especially at lower levels, but even closing on level cap, it’s only a matter of time to get a few levels. With each level comes new talents or spells and can feel like a little accomplishment for the day. This is especially great after a run of bad luck on a max level toon.
After my Paladin, who is now pretty much as geared as possible with the exception of valor point and raiding gear (and one piece of Earthen Ring rep gear for the Holy Offspec), I’m working on gearing up my fury/prot warrior. From a little math of my total justice points earned, I’ve killed about 50 bosses on him… and won 2 pieces of fury gear. An interesting bit to note, rolling greed only, I’d won 3-4 pieces of off-spec tanking gear before I had enough justice points to buy a 346 piece from the vendor. I simply have no luck attempting to get fury gear for this warrior. I bought the epic dps chest piece, got an epic belt from Hyjal Rep, won bracers and a trinket from heroics. Aside from those pieces, despite 50 boss kills, the rest of the gear is from regulars or, even worse, quest rewards. Sometimes the rolls just don’t go your way.
What I find most interesting about the warriors lack of loot, is that I haven’t lost rolls for fury loot. After 50 boss kills, only 2 pieces of fury wearable loot have dropped. So, ironically, the warrior could also be considered very lucky because I’ve won 100% of the fury drops. When wanting to call yourself unlucky, it’s good to look at the situation from as many views as possible.
A good friend and guildy of mine was asked by our guild to switch mains as our guild was fairly overburdened with plate dps classes. Fortunately, this (being only a couple of weeks ago) was still fairly early in the expansion. His warrior though, was already pretty much decked out in pre-raid gear. So with a little grumbling he began rushing his rogue to level 85. Within days of reaching level cap, he grabbed a couple of pre-raid best-in-slot heroic pieces and, in a unusual stint of good luck, 1 epic from each of the first two pulls in a Bastion of Twilight trash run. Effectively putting his rogue ahead of his warrior in terms of gear in probably 1/4 of the time. Luck is a funny thing, isn’t it?
The above chart was featured in a WoW insider Scattered Shots article, you can see the full article HERE.
Notice retribution at the very bottom of the raiding dps specs. Now, this doesn’t include the traditionally low raiding performance “pvp” specs such as subtlety rogues, but ret pallies are still easily 25% below the top performing dps spec and also lower than the next lowest by almost 1,000 dps. Naturally, I’d love to run around topping the meters, but balance at least is much preferred to the current state of affairs. Did we paladins despair though? Of course not! We knew at some point the useless mastery would be reforged into something we wanted, at least a little, and boost our dps. Blizzard, in their infinite wisdom (is always wisdom when they’re buffing your class right?), also buffed our bread and butter attack, Crusader Strike. Check out the paladin class changes.
- The mana costs of Blessing of Might and Blessing of Kings have been increased by approximately 217%, making them roughly equal to the cost of Mark of the Wild.
- Crusader Strike weapon damage percent has been increased to 135%, up from 115%.
- Divine Plea now lasts for 9 seconds, down from 15. It grants 4% mana per tick, instead of 2%, for a total of 12% mana, up from 10%.
- Divine Purpose: The chance for applicable abilities to generate Holy Power has been reduced to 7/15%, down from 20/40%, but instead of generating 1 Holy Power, the next applicable ability used consumes no Holy Power and acts as if the paladin has 3 Holy Power.
- Hand of Light (Mastery): A percentage of the damage done by Templar’s Verdict, Crusader Strike, and Divine Storm is done as additional Holy damage.
- Repentance is no longer broken from damage done by Censure (Seal of Truth).
- Glyph of Divine Plea now adds 6% mana, for a total of 18% over 9 seconds.
The two biggest changes we have here are the 20% more base damage to crusader strike and our mastery changing. Mastery is now a passive holy damage buff to key attacks and our old Divine Purpose talent has become the same as what Mastery was. Depending on what this percentage ends up being, we could see a very significant boost to damage. This mastery also gives blizzard an easy knob from which to tune our DPS if it’s ever too low or too high. Holy paladins are also probably a little excited about the slight buff to divine plea which provides an extra 2% mana (3% talented) over a shorter time span.
I’m really excited to see ret damage come up to par with our other dps pals and for the first time was considering copying my toon over to a test realm to see the changes first hand before they went live, alas, the page isn’t currently loading. Maybe there’s a bunch of other enthused paladins clogging up the internet.
The rest of the 4.0.6 patch notes can be viewed HERE.
Fear not, dear readers, I haven’t forsaken you. I mean that in the original context of the word, not that I might have raised you from the dead with the Vyr’kul, in case you were wondering. Like so many these days, I’ve been a little bogged down with the holiday rush, family get-togethers, and, well….the Cataclsym! Oh the wonders if the end of the world.
So far, my paladin has reached 85, my warrior is gaining more rested XP at level 84, and my shaman is starting to feel neglected at 81. The rest of my toons have barely seen me do more than log in to start the rested XP process. Yes, in case you have alts at the previous level cap, you have to log into them once before they’ll start accruing rested experience. I suppose my death knight has seen a little love, but only because I need some enchants. There’s a fair chance he’ll end up being my 3rd or 4th 85 due to the need of having max enchanting and inscription.
Although my paladin is still fun, and will likely remain my main (though ret spec instead of holy as primary), my warrior is just blowing through the quests. At 84, even with stat deflation caused by leveling and very few regular dungeons under his belt, the warrior can still break 10k dps without too much trouble. Victory rush, which heals 25% of my hp after getting a killing blow, helps me keep on keeping on as if I had a pocket healer following me around *insert any cataclysm zone here*. Ret paladins damage just feels a little gimped in comparison, not really bad mind you, just mediocre. Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer for WoW) did put a blog post which, among many other things, comments that ret paladins dps might be low and could be buffed, along with a re-imagining of our mastery. To read about that and a great deal of future balance changes to come check it out. Other highlights include, shockingly, survival hunter damage nerf. Despair hunters, despair!
I’ve spent a lot of posts recently talking about zones (and yes I’m still going to do that Twilight Highlands review at some point), factions, and other such things and not much time on the actual playing my class. The big changes specifically to Paladins in cataclysm (if you don’t count Holy Power from 4.0.3) are the new spells:
Inquisition is our new self buff. It increases all holy damage by 30%. Retribution gets a talent that extends the duration of this buff to 10 seconds per Holy Power used to trigger it. This is meant to be kept up as much as possible similar to Slice and Dice for combat rogues and is a pretty significant DPS loss if not used.. Holy Radiance is pretty much making us a moving healing stream totem, and does an AOE heal to nearby targets. I haven’t got much play testing with this spell, as I’m running ret main now, but I really haven’t heard anything too exciting about from those doing Holy main spec. Finally, Guardian of Ancient Kings is amazing. This buff has a long (5m) cooldown, but skyrockets a ret paladins DPS when used. From what I hear from the other specs, it seems it’s a better friend to ret than the other uses. Each spec gets a specific purpose, one for taking, extra heals for holy and more damage for ret. Follow me after the break for some more…
As of this writing, servers are still down, and I’m not on a computer with WoW anyway, so I can’t see all the massively redesigned zones in Azeroth. I can’t make a tauren paladin or personally check out any of the changes happening today. What I can see though, are the patch notes for patch 4.0.3a, which contains a ton of class changes along with the shattering of the world.
Good news for those who wanted to try out their new race/class combos along with the option to race change existing characters to one of the new pairings, as soon as WoW is live you’ll be able to do both of these things. This does not include worgen/goblin toons which won’t be available until Dec 7th at cataclysm’s release. Also, I’m pretty excited about the 20% reduction in leveling experience required for the 70-80 leveling bracket. I might get around to finishing up my level 72 rogue before cata after all. Join me after the break for more, including some class specific thoughts.
World of Warcraft Client Patch 4.0.3a
The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.wow-europe.com/en/patchnotes/
The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/un…testrealm.html