Wednesday, December 31, 2008

S5 - Week 2

Oh the humanity!

Week two ended on Monday night and was very light on arena action. I ran 30 games total 10 with Kyllia, 10 with Clagg and 10 with his Clagg's DK alt. The results were pretty horrible with us slipping well under 1500.... We did not get together for 3's or 5's.

Really more of a let's get minimal points week. We were just focusing on getting all the characters their minum games for the week. I expect bigger and better things this week. Namely I plan to focus with the DK in 2's. I've also switched my main weapon from the Brutal Gladiator sword to the Titansteel Destroyer. The DK also has the Destroyer so we should be good DPS wise this week.

Time to come out swingin' in 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vault of Archavon and Daily PvP quest

Hi folks,

So last night I managed to get into a PUG group for both the 10 and 25 man Vault of Archavon. Sadly no drops for me which is a horrible, horrible, horrible shame because I really could use a Hateful or Deadly piece of arena gear!

I wanted to share two important things that I found out
while talking to a GM this weekend.


I thought something in my game was bugged, turned out it was not I just didn't know about the following:


#1) The Vault of Archavon resets every Tuesday not on a regular day based timer. So you can run him Monday night and then again Tuesday, or if you already beat him Tuesday you won't be able to run it again untill the following week.

#2) The Victory in Wintergrasp daily PvP quest shares it's slot with the daily "win in a specific BG" quest. Once you accept one of them the other will not be available. So, if you accept and turn in Victory in Wintergrasp, you cannot go up to an NPC and get Victory in Allterec Valley (for example)... and if you turned in Victory in Allterec Valley earlier that day you won't be able to pick up the Victory in Wintergrasp later that evening..... These reset the same as all daily quests so they'll be available again tomorrow but you'll have to pick one or the other, not both.

For those of you not familiar with The VoA read on... those that are turn to page 54 this is the end of the blog post for you! (that's an old choose your adventure series joke)

If your faction controls wintergrasp you have access to this raid instance which consists of 4 guardians and the main boss. Assuming your group doesn't wipe it usually takes longer to form the group then it does to do the instance.

People say this is the easiest raid you're going to encounter for WOTLK, I don't know as i haven't done any other raids but it sure is the fastest. It's pretty much spank and tank but the boss is on a 5 minute timer - if you don't kill him in 5 minutes he goes into berserk mode an one shots everyone.

It's a good idea to try and get a group going as this guy drops DEADLY gladiator gear on 25 man and HATEFUL gladiator gear on 10 man. In the 10 man you'll want 2 healers 1 main tank and one off tank. The rest DPS.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

S5 - Week 1

Hi folks,

The first week of season 5 arena has come and gone. Here's how my ratings wound up
2v2 - 1544
3v3 - 1421 (yeah that's not a misprint)
5v5 - N/A

Drunkenclod, what' brought you to this lowly state? Weren't you solidly in the 1600's - 1700's and even hitting the 1800's bracket last season?

Yes, I was and there's 3 main reasons for the lower rating.

1) Gear - My gear is no longer even close to top of the line, in fact all 5 man and 10 man PvE gear is better then what I'm using and a lot of folks are wearing that. I don't normally PvE (more on that in a later article) and my play time is about 2 hours per night; not leaving much time to acquire gear. Lack of resilience is also a huge factor in 3's
1a) Also I've found lack of +HIT on gear to be extremely frustrating. Stuns not landing, judgments missed, GRRR.... All S5 gear is devoid of hit rating, the excption being misc items like neck, cloak, etc. You'll sacrifice +CRIT rating for it, but it is critical that you get back to the 5% hit cap for PvP. This will improve as I'm able to grind more honor for more gear.

2) Research - Every class has new spells, abilities and heck even the new DK class to work with. I have started looking into some of the new abilities for other classes and how to counter them, but research takes time AND then you need to practice it in the arena and BG's

3) We're rusty - Not doing PvP for a month has gotten us off our game. We've just started to mesh again, teaming up on stuns, focusing the correct targets at the correct time and working out new counters to opposing team makeup.

I fully expect this to work itself out in the upcoming weeks, but I will definitely need to start out with Savage Gladiator gear, and work my way up to hateful. It sucks because it's that much more honor and arena points to grind out but I won't be getting 1650-1750 without some better gear!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Strand of the Ancients - Get that Honor

Hey folks, this weekend I found myself doing a bit of BG... specifically the new Strand of the Ancients. Since I'm alliance no one answered any of my questions and as soon as the team started loosing the insults began flying.

After a few matches I got it figured out, but I figured I'd save some people from contributing to a loss and looking like noobs. So first of all let me give a brief overview of how this works.

There are two rounds, each lasting a maximum of 10 minutes (so the match is a maximum of 20 minutes long). Upon starting you will either find yourself on a boat which means you're attacking or on a platform/hill which means you are on defense. At the end of 10 minutes or the capture of the relic the round is over and you're automatically reset. If you started out on D you are now on O.. if you started on O you're now on D.

The side that captures the orb in the least amount of time wins! Honor is typically around 1,000 for the winning team and 500 for the loosing team. I've seen it as high as 1500/700 and as low as 900/400.... Still that's about 1,500 honor per hour for loosing and 4,000 honor per hour for wining C R A Z Y !

Before I start off on Offense or Defense take a minute to look at the map. (Taken while I was on Offense). Note the multi-colored gates and the horde GY's.... click to zoom in. Take it all in and reference it because it'll make the explanations easier if you know the layout.


OFFENSE (part 1)

So you've just ported in and you find yourself on a ship. You're on offense. You will be in one of two ships. Each will pull up in front of either the blue or green gate. Two siege canons will be waiting in front of your ships and if you're quick enough you can hop in one and control it. If you want to be a team player let the melee classes take the tanks and ranged classes follow.

Drive your tank up towards the gate use the special vehicle abilities to aim the canon and blast down the gate. Canons should focus only on the gate and the ranged people can work on shooting down the offensive turrets....OR once the canon blasts thru the gate ride like mad towards the nearest GY and take it. If you canon is still alive keep going to the next round of gates.

OFFENSE (part 2)

OK, hopefully you've blasted thru the first gate and taken the GY. As soon as a GY is capped the goblin workshops close to the GY will start producing more tanks. At this point anyone that wants to do so should grab a tank and make their way to the next gate... BUT BEFORE YOU HOP IN THE TANK grab a seaforium charge one of these acts the same as a hit from a tank. It's also the only way a person not in a tank can damage the doors....they look like little barrels next to the goblin workshop.

Just run up to the door drop the charge and it will go off in 10 seconds. (the horde can disarm it within those 10 seconds if they have the time to do so).... Keep grabbing tanks and breaking the wall untill you breach it.

OFFENSE (part 3)

Now make your way to the last (yellow) gate. Bring in as many tanks as possible and anyone not in a tank should be carrying a seaforuium charge to help with blasting the gate. Once this gate goes down make your way thru the courtyard and blast the doors of the keep down. Get inside and take the large orb. Once you take the orb the match is over and you're reset to Defense..or if you've already played D the game is over and whichever team grabbed the relic in the least time wins.



Defense (part 1)

So, if you find yourself on a hill you're on Defense. Get yourself to either the green gate or the blue gate. You'll see a set of stairs going up to the top of the gate. Run up and if no one is sitting in a turret (aka gun) you can Mount it. The controls work the same as the siege weapons. Aim and shoot. If both turrets are mounted hop onto the beach and help slow down the horde by killing enemy players or attacking the siege weapons As soon as the enemy leaves the boat start hitting the siege weapons. Kill them before they destroy your gate. If your gate is breached get off the gun and run to the inner wall.

Defense (part 2)

OK your wall has been breached, usually if the enemy tank got thru they're almost dead. Finish off the tank with a hit or two and either rush to your inner gate or to the GY (depending on where the horde is going). If no one is manning the inner gate turrets look for a glowing platform and hop on it.. this will transport you to the top of the wall so you can get in the gun and start wailing away... If the guns are manned stay below and help kill the tanks before they destroy the gate. If your 2nd set of gates are smashed retreat to the Yellow gate and repeat the process.

Defense (part 3)

The stinkin' horde have broken thru the yellow gate and are in the courtyard. Get everyone on your team in the courtyard and mow down the tanks as soon as they show up. DO NOT let them breach the door to the keep. Do whatever you have to do to destroy those tanks. Keep an eye out for the enemy planting the seaforium charges at your door and click to disarm them if they are planted. At this point either time will have run out or they have broken thru and got the relic. The match is over and you're reset to Offense..or if you've already played O the game is over and whichever team grabbed the relic in the least time wins.

!! IMPORTANT TIPS THAT WILL STOP YOU FROM LOOKING LIKE A NOOB !!

Offense

1) It's best to shout out before the match starts and pick a gate. I noticed the Green gate seemed to be the default in my BG's yesterday. If you arrive on the other boat drive your tank to the decided gate. Focusing on one side will help you team win quickly, If you win in under 4 minutes you get an achievement (got mine :).

2) Take a GY as soon as possible, no GY means no tanks, no seaforium charges.

3) If you're in a tank focus on the gates, unless you find yourself getting slaughtered quickly don't waste your time with the guns. Just blast thru the door ASAP.

4) Tanks work best in groups. Two tanks are 4x times as effective as one tank. A lone tank will be focused on by both turrets and any enemies on the ground. Two or three are a LOT harder to kill.

5) If your tank is destroyed you automatically hop out and do not die. You're probably close to the gate anyway take a minute to plant the seaforium charge

6) If a wall has been breached do NOT take precious time out to kill empty or manned turrets just drive on thru.

Defense

1) If both turrets at a gate are not manned, get in there and man it. For inner gates use the defenders portal (the lighted platform underneath a gate) to get in there.

2) Try to hang onto the GY's as long as possible. THIS IS CRITICAL... CRITICAL to wining. Once the opposing team takes the GY they have it for the entire round, you cannot take it back. They will gain control of the goblin workshop and tanks will start appearing. If you can keep the GY's under your teams control you're almost assured to keep your relic and win.

3) If you see the horde skipping your gate and going to the other one (ie you're at green gate and their going to blue) make sure to communicate that so your teammates can move their resources there. If it's clear they are totally skipping your gate get off the turret and help out your other gate.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter fashons - Savage Saronite anyone?

Hey folks,

People hitting arena in a few days will want to pick up the latest gear. Everyone will be starting out on equal footing for the first time since Season 1.... And what will the well dressed palading be wearing? Savage Saronite of course!... Or will they?

This blue set of craftable PvP gear (yes but it at the AH - Between 50-90g per piece on my server) is the new "starter" PvP set for Melee classes. Other classes have similar gear but optimized for their needs. Since this blog is focused on Ret Pally's I'll just be focusing on this set.... Warriors and DK will be sharing the same gear FYI.

So what's the difference... Well a complete set, which includes boots, bracers and belt gives the following advantage over untill now top-of-the-line Brutal Gladiator Gear

+ 157 Stamina
+ 33 Strength
+654 Armor
+129 Resillience
+90 Critical Strike

It's not all good news though, you loose the following:

- 213 Intellect
- 51 Hit Rating
- 10 Available Sockets for Gems

Looking at my gem stats, I gain a total of +50 Strength and +30 Critical strike from gems, so counting this the total difference in stats is:

+ 157 - Stamina (aka extra 1,570 health)
+ 654 - Armor
+ 129 - Resillience (aka extra 1.5% resillence)
+ 60 - Critical Strike (aka extra 1.5% critical strike)
-17 / Strength
- 51 / Hit Rating
- 213 / Intellect (aka minus 3,195 mana)

First a quick word about stats.... at level 80 you seem to need more points for each percent difference in stats. For example at level 70 you only needed 15.8 points per 1% of hit rating. At level 80 you need a whoping 32.8 per 1%... that means that while you only needed 79 points to reach the 5% hit cap at level 70.. at level 80 you'll need 164 to keep that same 5% cap.

Quite a trade off... Sure extra 1.5k health is great but it's coming at the expense of 3k less mana AND more troubling minus 51 off the hit rating. PvP hit rating was never good to begin with, in fact if I loose my current hit rating of 96 down to 45 I go down to about 1.5% hit rating.

The added Resilience and Armor is nice but remember with new stats, 129 resilience is roughly an extra 1.5% not an extra 3.5% if you were level 70.

SO.. with that in mind should we even bother with the blue crafted set? I'd actually like to hear some thoughts on this. Before writing the article I figures sure it's a higher level set go for it, but after running the numbers I'm thinking of holding off for the actual Arena gear.

Comments Please!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ding - 79 ! - just over a week to S5

Hey folks, just squeaked in dinging to 79 last night. One more quest filled level to go. I hope to get there by Friday, giving me the weekend to do a little PvP. I will admit due to my minimal playtime I have felt rushed thru getting to 80 and wish I could spend more time savoring the quest and storylines... but hey... that's what Alts are for lol :)

I've also integrated with wowhead, so for my next post, when I talk about the craftable PvP items like Savage Saronite Walkers you should now get a tooltip by hovering over the link... assuming I tame the time out to do the linking properly hahaha.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Two weeks to go - Time to start looking at PvP

Hey folks,

So I dinged 77 last night and got my cold weather flying. Hopefully I'll be able to fly right thru to 80 (ok a mediocre joke at best). Since I'm approaching 80 I assume many of you are as well, or have reached it already. Time to start looking at Arena Season 5.

This season is full of new stuff and I highly recommend everyone read this article on wowhead that is simply the best Arena prep article I've come across bar none. I'm also going to shamelessly borrow their gear lists because it's a nice format and easier then typing out.

To keep it simple today, I'm just going say that S5 will have 3 tiers of gear. The differences in stats are similar to Season 1 vs Season 2 vs Season 3 gear... but all levels will be available you just need to meet the minimum rating requirements to buy them.



The lowest level is Savage Gladiator - This gear requires no Arena rating and is cheap to get. Starting at just 175 arena points and 3,600 honor even the worst Noobs should have no problems getting one piece per week. The vast majority of casual and new PvPers will keep this gear thru the entire season.

For a Ret Pally set:
* Total Arena Points = 2,225
* Total Honor Points = 38,400

That doesn't include honor for new Rings, Trinkets, Cloak, Labram, etc. Just the core stuff. Since many people will be starting here for their full set, or at least partial set I'd try to make sure you have at least enough honor banked for two pieces of gear before S5 starts. That's 8,400




.
The middle tier is Hateful Gladiator - This is where the vast majority of serious players will end up. Honor requirements are the same, but each item costs more arena points and will require a minimum personal and team rating to buy.

For a Ret Pally set:
* Total Arena Points = 4,450
* Total Honor Points = 38,400

You'll notice the honor requirements are the same, just the arena points go up. Good news since many people will be buying Savage Gladiator first and then needing to grind more honor a few weeks later for the Hateful Gladiator version.






The PRO tier is Deadly Gladiator - Depending on your server, you might not even come across a person with this set. Although most PvE servers will have a handful of people sporting DG. PvP servers or "good" battlegroups may have more.... Pretty much reserved for the top 1-2% of players. You can rest assured anyone sporting this gear is a true PRO and will own you without trying. Notice this set doesn't have any Honor requirements, presumably because if you're good enough to get this set Blizz feels that you shouldn't have to bother grinding honor and can focus on the serious business of arena :)

For a Ret Pally set:
* Total Arena Points = 14,400
* Total Honor Points = 0

.
.
.

So there you go. Upcoming posts will talk about the differences in Gear, what items you should be going for first, where to wait for a higher level of gear, etc.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ding - 74 ! - I feel like I'm behind

So I hit level 74 on Sunday. Which is pretty good for playing about 10 hours per week. However I can't help feel like I'm behind the curve. Some of my friends are 77+ with one of them expected to hit 80 today. My arena partners from last season are sitting at 74, 75, 79.... But I simply don't have any extra time to play.

Fortunately at my current rate I should hit 80 in of time for S5... but it sure would be nice to find time to grind some honor before the new season, as it is I already feel rushed. In the mean time, here's some screenshots of my travels.

Post on the upcoming S5 gear sometime after Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Level 71 and surrounded by assholes?

Morning folks!

So I dinged 71 on Friday night and I'm about 50% of the way to 72. Looking at the /played option it seems I'm about 5 hours away from 72.

But what I really wanted to talk about today was a disturbing trend on my server. The problem is that it seems every asshole on the server has logged in for the expansion and I'm coming across many of them. So far I've had:

  • -Repeat ganking of Ore nodes I'm in the middle of mining OR standing on top of and trying to get rid of some mob so I can mine. In fact, I'd say as long as there is a player in the vicinity this happens - we're talking 70% of the time.
  • Ganking of quest items. For example I needed to free 10 baby mammoths. I'm clearly in the area and someone rides in and takes it - happens all the time

  • Ganking of NPC's that you need to kill AFTER I put out an announcement asking anyone that needs the guy to group up so we don't have to fight for him.

  • Any time a person asks for a quest location or a where is xxx on the general chat, there's 2-3 people telling him to shut up and go get quest helper, etc.

  • Not giving a "ty" when you buff a fellow player and/or not buffing you in return (way more often then in TBC)
I realize everyone is focused on leveling, and places are more crowded then usual but I implore you to be polite to your fellow WOW player, treat others the way you'd like to be treated. I'm sure everyone learned that back in kindergarten but they seem to have forgotten it when getting on WOW.

How about you guys? Are you seeing the same things on your servers, or is it just Antonidas?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Check out the S5 coundown clock

So I'll be getting my copy of wrath and installing tonight after work. Looks like I'm way behind with Firelight already dinging 71 as I write this (congrats man). BUT as exiting as the expansion is; what I am waiting for is the start of Season 5 !!

So to help motivate myself and every other hard core PvP'er out there I've put a countdown clock at the top of the Blog. If you want to get started on Arena right away you need to ding 80 in 32 days... and counting :)

I'll keep folks updated with my progress; and as we get closer I'll talk about the new BG's, what to do if your arena partner hasn't dinged 80, gear requirements, etc.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WOTLK tomorrow - time to respec (shudder) PvE

Hi Folks,

I'm just kidding the respec isn't so bad, in fact you could do without it if youSo WOTLK comes out tomorrow. For some people that means they'll be playing from Midnight to dawn. For folks with family and work (like myself). I'll be lucky to have it fully installed and get an hour or two of play time Thursday night.

That means I need to be prepared. I've already cleaned out a lot of bank items. I'll post some additional stuff tonight. I also need to respec myself from a straight PvP build to something a little better suited to grinding. After playing around with the tree I found i didn't have to move that much around... Turns out PvP is a solid grinding spec (we all knew that anyway :)... But For personal preference I've moved the points around a little:

Although I played around with 0/10/51 I stuck with 0/5/56

Here's what I dropped:
  • Eye for and Eye - No NPC is going to be critting you so no need to keep this one
  • Crusade - Down from 3/3 to 1/3... I wanted to keep it but no room. Level 71 and 72 will have it full again
  • Sanctified Wrath - Now with the forbearance change I prefer to have a bubble available most of the time anyway, these points can move somewhere else. I'd like to preface that this is a bit subjective. You may allocate your points differently if you'll be doing a a lot of groups, dungeons, etc.... I expect the majority of my time to be soloing with limited groups.

  • Divine Purpose - Let's face it, the reason this talent is picked up is for the extra stun resist. With the Human Racial ability changed to a stun resist ability I can let this and my Medallion of the Alliance go.

Here's what I added:
  • Vindication - This procs a lot, vindication is just about always up within a few seconds of attacking, it should help with almost every mob.
  • Improved Ret Aura - My "recount" add-in broke down the numbers and it turns out that regular Ret Aura seems to total between 5-6% of my overall damage in PvP getting the improved version should increase my overall damage an extra 2.5-3%, maybe more because I don't always have Ret aura on in PvP (going against a frost mage, shadow priest, etc). I expect to have Ret aura on all the time when grinding.
  • Full points in RV - I could have left this 1/5 and put some of the extra points in Crusade.... but RV will tick against everyone, Crusade will not work against beasts/animals and it seems there's going to be a fair amount of them in WOTLK. So I'm going with a sure fire proc
Well there you go. I haven't Specced for PvE in months, so any comments/suggestions are welcome.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WOTLK 2 days to go - Arena over for now

Hi Folks,

OK so Monday night was the last night of level 70 arena. There will be a new Season starting December 16th. Full details on what's happening to Arena and your arena points below.

Since the season is behind us I'll be back to regular posts.

Also, since the season was ending asked our resident Gladiator Mage to dump his team and help me get that S3 weapon with an 1800 rating (I have been hovering in the low/mid 1700's). He said it would be more fun to take the rating to 2050 and get the S4 !! Sure enough within a couple of hours we hit 2050. Since I was maxed out on arena points I was able to pick up both my S4 weapon and S3 shoulders!.... They looks so great I updated my photo!

Of course it won't help me with arena :).... But the increased DPS and armor should be great for leveling. I don't expect to waste money on gear until at least the high 70's and perhaps level 80.

Quote from: Zarhym (Source)
We have created this new thread to reflect some updates we have made to the way in which arena points and seasons will be handled as we transition into Wrath of the Lich King.

We wanted to remind everyone that Arena season 4 is coming to a close. During next Tuesday's maintenance on November 11th, all arena teams, as well as ratings, will be wiped and arena charter NPCs disabled. However, arena points will persist until the beginning of the next arena season, or until a player reaches level 71. Thus, Arena points will be rewarded for rated games played this week and players will be able to purchase Arena items that do not require a team or personal rating. Upon the close of Arena season 4, players at level 70 will continue to be able to play skirmish Arena matches against other level 70 opponents even after Wrath of the Lich King launches.

Arena season 5 is currently scheduled to begin on December 16th, and once that happens players who have reached level 80 will be able to compete in rated arena matches where they can gain arena points which can be used to purchase level 80 arena gear, as well as compete for end-of-season rewards. Players who remain at level 70 after Season 5 begins will only have access to play skirmish arena matches against other level 70 players. However, two new skirmish brackets will be made available (71-75, 76-80) for players who wish to hone their arena skills while leveling in Northrend.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Such huge nerfs coming - Won't post for a bit

Hey folks,

Sadly, such HUGE NERFS are coming to ret pally's that I'm just going to post the link and frankly.. untill this mess gets sorted out I'm not going to bother working on updated builds, talent trees etc. Every week a new round of nerfs comes along that it's just pointless to try and adjust to it... FU_K
http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=11829377161&sid=1

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Patch coming .....get your PvP spec here!


Hey folks, so patch 3.02 is due out this Tuesday. I've been PvPing like no one's business and I can tell you the best spec for a Ret Pally is 0/8/53. It's enabled me to win over 3 to 1 in 1v1 duels and plenty of skirmishes in arena.

Thanks to the new achievements tab in 3.02 I can tell you that I'm currently at 160 wins and 50 losses for dueling. And now I'll share the spec that let me get there :)

So let's look at the protection tree first.

Divine Strength - 5 points : This increases you STR by 15% and is a must. Stoicism - 3 points : this one reduces stun effects by 30% which is huge considering how many stuns people will put on you. Also decreases the chance your spells get dispelled by 30% which ties in very well to an item in the ret tree.

Now the meat; the Ret tree: I'm not going to go over everything just the must have new stuff that you might be wondering if you should get or not. Something I wouldn't go over is BOM. If you don't know enough to put two points into it (since we're not doing kings) then you need more help then i can cover here :)

Eye for an Eye - This now causes 20% of their damage to go back to your opponent every time they crit. Spell, ranged, melee doesn't matter. Every crit 20% back. And let me tell you crit% is buffed for everyone. Waaay more crits going around. You NEED this.

Sanctified Seals - ONLY PUT 2/3 points here. Combined with stoicism this means you give a person trying to dispel your spells a 96% failure rate. And they will try because 4% means your spells will show up as dispellable. This means the guy will spend his time trying to dispel your stuff instead of hitting you.

Divine Purpose - The big thing here is that you get a 100% chance to remove a stun effect. It's like a free trinket...almost. Doesn't remove some stuff like Freeze trap, etc because that's a spell, not a stun effect according to bliz.. bah. STILL EXCELLENT EXTRA TRINKET AGAINST ROGUES, DRUIDS, ETC

Judgment of the Wise - Absolutely critical if you don't want to run out of mana. And with this talent you almost never run out.

The art of War - Not only do you get a 10% crit increase for two spells that will always be in your rotation, but you get an instant Flash of Light when your divine storm or crusader strike crit. This has saved my bacon on numerous occasions. No more getting out of the fight and stand around for 1.5 seconds hoping you don't get interrupted.... did i mention your FOL will now heal for between 1,200 - 2,400hp?

Sanctified Wrath - J u s t - t a k e - i t

Sheath of Light - this is what is going to enable those huge 2k Flash of Light and 6k holy light heals. You need it, you need it NOW

Righteous Vengeance - I took this over fanaticism because it ups your divine storm crits by 25% as well as judgments. And those two account for the majority of your damage.

Davine Storm - The Creme-de-la-creme.. the new OP spell that will destroy your enemies and heal you at the same time. You're going to love it, you're going to use it, you're going to be the SHIT with this one. Not only will it damage up to 4 targets at once, but 20%% of that damage will be given back to you (or up to 3 raid members) as health.... While it really shines in 5v5 even in 2v2 it's great. It even help dropping down pets, if they're close enough to their master, as pets count as a target if in range.

Good luck, don't forget tonight is the last day of S4 arena.... Get in those games if you're looking for a title.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fun Soloing instances on the PTR


Hey folks, I spent the day soloing regular instances on the PTR. With the new divine storm spell that damages up to 4 targets AND heals you for 20% of the damage done, many instances are now soloable. Today I've done:

Hellfire Ramparts
Blood Furnace
Underbog
Stockades

Can't do them on heroic, just regular but it's pretty spiffy soloing one of these. Usualy takes under half an hour if you don't stop to loot every corpse. Shame all the blue items are BOP.. otherwise I could give them to my alts :)... I'm including a good shot i got of me tanking about half the mobs in the stockades

Friday, September 26, 2008

A tie


Hey folks,

I "think" I may have seen this once before in a 2's game.. but now I have a screenshot of it. Last night my 3's team was playing and we tied. Kyllia (our rogue) was our last man standing, but had only about 20% health. The opponent's team had a hunter left with around 70% left.

I figured our chances were slim, but we cheered Kyllia on, and he managed to close the gap. I thought he'd die any second but instead the hunter's life kept shrinking. Suddenly the the summary screen comes up and... a TIE!

FYI if you ever receive this. A tie gives no points AND DOES NOT COUNT AS A GAME. We were at 9 games going into this and stayed at 9 games after.

We wound up facing the team again during the next match. Fortunately we beat them :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I beat a Gladiator on the PTR

That's right folks. Last night I was outside of the SW gates, which seems to be a gathering place for duels. On of the many duels I fought was a Rogue with a Gladiator title. The match was close, with me down to maybe 10% health but I won!

The Gladiator informed me that he did everything correctly as far as he was concerned (no messing up of keys, popping trinkets at the wrong time, etc) so it was a valid win. That's not to say we're totally OP...... Here's how it's been breaking down for me so far:

vs Rogue - Usually win, down to 20% or less life at the time
vs Druid - If ferrel, I win easily if it's resto I can win but not guaranteed
vs Mage - Can only win if I have my bubble available, and it's not guaranteed
vs Shaman - Same as mage
vs Paladin - 60/40, whoever manages their bubble and cooldowns better wins
vs Warlock - So far it's mostly losses, they have to many fearing abilities and I can't get close enough without the DOTs killing me, bubble or not.
vs Warrior - Not enough matches to test, preliminary results are promising but Titan's grip is broken on the PTR

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Glyphs

Hey folks, I started messing around with glyphs on the PTR, I'm not going to go over the various kinds, other blogs I link to do that nicely.. but I did have to look up some questions, including how to equip glyphs... so I'm pasting a Q&A on them below... taken from a wow forum post.


Q. What are glyphs?
A. Glyphs are similar to enchants however they buff your spells/abilities/talents in widely different ways. Everyone has 3 glyph "slots" open to them. These slots are viewable on a separate tab in your spellbook.

Q. How do I equip glyphs?
A. Just right click on the glyph and select a slot to put it in.

Q. It says I need a Lexicon of Power, what is that?
A. Ask a guard in a major city. The Lexicon is a giant floating book which works like a Mana Loom, just stand near it to equip your glyph. Not all glyphs require a Lexicon.

Q. Are glyphs stackable?
A. No, each glyph is unique.

Q. What happens to glyphs I equip?
A. Equipped glyphs are removed from your inventory. You can have a maximum of 3 equipped glyphs. If you already have 3 equipped glyphs, you can overwrite an equipped glyph the same as an enchant or gem. Overwriting destroys the equipped glyph.

Q. What are minor glyphs?
A. Minor glyphs are not currently implemented as of build 8962. Minor glyphs affect spell effects or ability effects. A prime example is the Penguin glyph for mage's polymorph. REPEAT: Minor glyphs are not currently implemented.

Q. How do I train Inscription?
A. Go to any major city beside Shatrath and ask a guard.

Q. How do I skill up from XXX? There are no trainers in the City!
A. Depending on your level, you can train in major cities. For higher recipes, there are additional trainers in Honor Hold or Thrallmar.
** Edit: Bliz broke trainers in all areas in build 8970. Training above 125 seems to not work.

Q. What is required for Inscription?
A. Herbs. Lots of herbs. All levels, all kinds.

Q. ZOMG, I see you have a skill of 400+, how did that happen?
A. In previous builds, it was possible to craft high end glyphs using very low level herbs. In build 8962, all high end glyphs (above level 350 Inscription) require Northrend herbs.


Q. AWESOMESAUCE! Can I have that glyph?
A. Probably not. Many people are asking for glyphs that are only craftable using Northrend herbs. Any scribe who has a 350+ skill level cannot make high end glyphs.

Q. But I saw Dudeguy over there selling that glyph!
A. They probably made their high end glyphs prior to build 8962 using low level mats. I had a few of those but I gave them away to people without realizing it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Arena is up on the PTR - Screenshots!

Hey Folks, so I played my first new arena matches on the PTR, "Dalaran Arena" (below) and "Ring of Valor" (the 2nd pic). I also respecced for the shorter stun time. Here's my impressions

DA - You enter in a sewer grate and you need to jump off it to start the match. After a few seconds though, I was somehow shot thru the air across the screen to the grate you see on the right of the photo. I wasn't actually in combat though, just landed in the other grate. At that point I saw my oponents had actually started to the grate left of me. (Our starting areas were on the same side, just one got the left grate, one the right)

The arena is large, with boxes to jump on and a waterfall that spews water at least once per 20 seconds. (I didn't keep count, was busy kicking ass :) I stood next to the waterfall and it knocked me back a little, but no apparent damage. I'm not sure what would happen if I actually stood in the center of the waterfall.

This arena reminded me a little of the ring of trials. It started you underground, and your platform rose up to the center. Wher were were imedialty met by two shamans with full totems. We were maybe 15 yards away from each other at the start, so their totems took full effect. I also noticed that the shamans were able to keep full health with no problems. I havn't looked at the new shaman builds, but it seems that either my random partener realy sucked, or shaman heals have been buffed quite a bit.

Anyway, every so often, flames woudl shoot from the sides of the arena, I hear they will cause damage if you go thru them, so wait for the flames to die out if you want to cross. There are also small pedistals that rise and fall slowly, you can climb up them. Overall this arena is much smaller, and I think will be fast and furious, while the sewers will be good to steath classess

That's it for the moment, I'll try to get more then 2 matches in and give some more descritpions if i can. If you have questions, ask them and I'll try to answer

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I"m healing for up to 6k

Hey folks.

My character copied to the PvP realm this morning and the BG's we working. Sadly I forgot to head to a trainer beforehand and was missing most of my judgment spells, and I was redoing those toolbars again... but here's my top two observations of the morning, before the server went down (again)

#1) ALL classes are doing more damage, I'm taking crits of 2-3k fire damage all the time, and even DOTs are taking 400-500 off per tick. I'm also doing more damage... but the point is everyone's dying faster

#2) My heals are I N S A N E. My Flash of light seems to be a minimum 1,300k heal, with crits aboce 2k. Holy light is going for over 6k!!! Did I mention I'm a friggin ret pally?!? If heling is going to be like this, putting 5 points into spritual focus will make you almost invincible.

Oh, one last thing... I never ran out of mana in my first BG on the PTR.. hell I never got below 50%

More to come.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First thoughts on the PTR

Hey folks,

So my character copied over today, but I've been getting disconnected a LOT. The server is slow, and currently outlands are down, BG's are down, Arena is down. So I havn't actually got to do much of anything except get new spells and talents set up. Here's what I think you'll notice right away

PTR SPECIFIC - If you copy a character get ready for a lot of lag, and your talent trees are set to zero so reset them right away. You also cannot load mods into the PTR so you're stuck with the default wow interface. I was also asked to rename my character, after asking most/everyone is asked to do this for the PTR, it doesn't affect your live character.

WOTLK GENERAL - There is a new mount window. If you want to mount up on the PTR, and I think in WOTLK, you need to hit SHIFT+P to access the mount page, then drag a mount icon onto your toolbar, or keep going back to the mount page to click the icon. I was also told that once you drag a mount icon onto the page, you can delete the mount from your bag. Havn't actually tried it yet, but will do so later to double check.

PALADIN SPECIFIC - Sanctity arua is gone. I don't remember reading that before, but there is no sanctity aura for ret pally's. That makes Retribution aura the only offensive aura available. You'll want to put some talent points into it now I think.

My crusader aura seems to be always on, in addition to whatever combat aura I choose.

I have access to the blood elf paladin mount.

I did go after a couple 63 level mobs just outside shat, the damage seemed to only be white, even though it was spell damage, but the average hit was about 1,500k. I don't belive that was a crit.

That's it for now. More later if I can stay on without being disconnected for more then 5 min

Monday, September 15, 2008

WOTLK released Nov 13th - New talents coming sooner

Hey folks, blizzard has annouced that the new expansion is out on the 13th, that's less then 2 months! Patch 3.02 (that's the one with all the new tallents) is on the PTR right now and should go live sooner, perhaps next month.

There have been plenty of changes to the Ret talents and so far there look to be two viable builds. there are so many new, jucy talents however that it's going to take some time to figure out what works.

I've put in for a character copy and am downloading the client today. I should be up in about 2 days according to the copy que. I'll report back on the new talents at 70 shortly after.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

WOTLK talents coming before the expansion

Hey folks,

Blizzard announced that a new 3.02 patch will be happening before the expansion. This patch will include "New class spells and talents" which to me means they'll be giving pally's their new talent tree's ahead of time! THIS IS JUST SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER news for arena. Oh did I mention it's SUPER!. My old Holy/Ret team may Rise from your grave...da.da.da.da (that's the opening line from Altered Beast for all you 80's arcade fans)

So check you the WOTLK talent calc on the right side of the page and let's go to town. I figure there will be two main options for RET,

0/20/41 - Now looks like this:
http://wotlk.wowhead.com/?talent=sZxGzhRhZxfMtb0uAGobz

The main advantage here is a HUGE 30 second HOJ cooldown reduction, combine that with your Arena gear, you're looking at a 6 second stun with a 20 second cooldown! Take advantage of that before it gets nerfed! Literally you'll have the guy stunned 1/3rd of the time, add Repentance to that and your opponent is basically on lockdown! You'll also get the new Divine Guardian, which at first may not seem like something to carry into arena, especially 2's.... but how many times has your partner been close to death while you're sitting at 90% life? This way you can help him stay alive a little longer.

0/8/53 - Now looks like this:
http://wotlk.wowhead.com/?talent=sZxhZxfMtr0hAIoxzqo

This was the old 0/5/56. With so many classes getting better stun abilities, you have got to put the 3 extra points into stoicism. You realy will need that 30% stun reduction. and the 53 points in RET get you the new improved Eye for an Eye (good against all crits, not just casters) Righteous Vengeance and Fanaticism (25% greater chance to crit, and 25% higher crit when it happens) Plus the new Divine Storm which will be awesome in 5's especially and will do a little heal anywhere.

Good time are here my friends.


Monday, August 25, 2008

How to get to 1800

Hey folks,

So as you know from my last post I made 1700, now how to get to 1800? Clearly I'll need a PRO to carry me to this high of a rating. At this point I've got to find the best partner for my class and a person with skills enough to get there.

Am I skilled enough? With the right partner it's possible. First of all, I need to get enough arena points. As of tomorrow I should have at least 1349 arena points, leaving me with 2,012 points to go. Now an 1800 rating in 2's will give me 547 points, so I need another 1,465 points untill I can even atempt a serious run. That's at one month before I can attempt a serious run at my S3 weapon and have the points for it.

That also gives me a month to find the right partner. I'll keep you all updated :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

1700 !!

Hey folks,

I'd played over 500 matches this season and still struggling for 1650. Despite all the (true in my experience) forums telling me I was a gimped class in 2's I kept at it. But after Kelf left, I got a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.

So I said screw it, and convinced a Rival frost mage to do 2's with me. Turns out this guy doens't play the mage much any more and didn't have any S4 gear. But I got a hell of a lesson in SKILL > GEAR... 21 games and we go to 1700!

Frankly it was like a hot knife cutting thru butter. 17 games won and 4 games lost. Out losses were as follows:

Mage/Rogue - 1st match of the night. Nothing special here but we just needed to synch up a little. I hand't played with a frost mage since the middle of S3.

Shaman/Shaman - They gave the mage the old LOS treatment and purged all our buffs. It also didn't help that we were slow to figure out which shammy to get on.... as my partner doesn't use Proximo!

Druid/Shaman - The match started fine, but about 30 seconds in, the druid switched to tree from. We had to hop off the shammy and we just couldn't out DPS before we died.

Shaman/Rogue - Rogue got a good start on my mage, somehow we got seperated he was down to 40% life before I even knew what was going on, much less could give him BOP.

There were a couple harry games. Once where I was the the last one standing vs a Rogue. Fortunatly with my new 0/20/41 spec my HOJ was up in time to stun the guy and get the kill, despite the fact I was down to 238 life. A couple of times I died, but the mage showed why he got a Rival title and made quick work of the remaining teamember.

Next up, 1800 once I get the arena points!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

S4 - Week 8: Bad night Kelf quits!

Our 3's team played last night, we started the week at 1532, which was already down from our previous week. I was ready to get in there and raise us up a ways, but it was not to be.

We played 10 games total, but I need to split it into two seperate events.
5 games - Played against Random opponents
5 games - Played against the same team!?!

That's right, over the course of the night we wound up facing the same team 5 times. 3 in a row, then a break then 2 in a row. I'm not sure what was going on with the system last night but it was a first for me.

The team in question was a Warrior/Shaman/Pally. We head straight for the Shammy who has all his totems out. I take a few seconds to clear them out while Kyllia keeps the Shammy stun-locked. We kill the Shammy and take the match. The next time however, we have a LOS issue, Kelf can't get a heal off on Kyllia and Kyllia dies.

We hop back in a 3'rd time and there's the team again. Similar LOS issues combined with a lack of communication looses us this match as well. We break for a couple minutes and pick up some other teams (more on that shortly) Then a after three more games we come across the same team again!

This time we split a little, Kyllia on the Shammy and myself on the Pally. I manage to kill off the Pally, but shortly after Kyllia goes down. I tell Kelf "it's just like old times, I'm on the Shammy keep me alive" (we played 2's together for months). The shaman gains wolf form before I can SOJ him. He takes off and Kelf tells me to switch to the warrior....

Okay, I start burning the warrior and it's going well but then Kyllia says "uh I think the shaman is ressing the pally" Its true, we have the warrior down to maybe 15%, and the shamman and newly rezzed pally drop down and finish us off..... LET THIS BE A LESSON TO YOU - IF THERE'S A RESSING CLASS DON'T GIVE IT TIME TO BRING A CHARACTER BACK

One last time we pull the same team. Now I don't have any explanation for this, but we down the Shammy (I'm 99.999% sure of it) and switch over to the pally. A couple seconds later I hear the shammy is back with 41% life? WTF? I start burning him down again but I can't kill him in time, Kyllia drops, then Me, then Kelf. Another loss.... Total against this team 1-4 The other teams we played didn't go much better. Overall for the night was 2-8. We slipped to under 1500, horrible for a team that got to 1611 the first night we played.

*UPDATE* - AFTER POSTING ON SOME FORUMS I FOUND THE GUY USED THIS TRINKET


Right after our 1st match I could tell Kelf was disgusted. He was unaturally silent for the matches, and the multiple losses wern't helping. I asked him about it about 7 games in and he said he was just done with PvP. At the end of our 10 he told us to find another teamate. He said he was tired of his class being shut down so easily, having no CC, only 1 school of magic, etc.

Over the last few weeks I've noticed Kelf being more and more angry about not getting up to 1700. I can't blame him but now we're taking apps for a healer. If you're a Priest/Shaman/Druid... Whisper me in game!

Kylia summed up my feelings on the subject pretty well "You can't play just 10 games per week and pin all your hopes on that, you'll get your highest ratings on a good run, which are harder to get with so few games"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Arena - be smart, come prepared

Hey folks,

I'd like to talk a minute about being prepped for your arena matches. Last night Kyllia and I played 2's. We started the night at 1600 and reached a high of 1624, before dropping down. We could have gone higher, but we didn't... Why you ask?

After dropping down a little we get back into the 1620's and meet up with a druid/warrior team. We manage to get the druid, leaving just the warrior. The problem is that I'm down to about 1k life and completely OOM, Kyllia is down around 30% and the warrior is at 60+%.

The warrior charges me and I die. Now just Kyllia and the Warrior. Kyllia blinds the guy and runs away. "Bandage UP!" I yell out...."I Can't I don't have any bandages" is what comes thru my vent.

O H S H I T !

Kyllia has no choice but to rush the warrior and they go at it. The warrior is down to 1%... Kyllia is down to 3%... the match ends... we lost :( prepared

Now this isn't to rag on Kyllia. We all make mistakes, whether it's leaving an incorrect trinket in a spot, no Star's Tears, missing a stun, etc.... but it really goes to illustrate the need of taking a minute before you start the night to make sure you have everything setup, your gear is correct, and you're ready to go.

Now I'm glossing over the fact that we reached 1624 last night, that was our highest score to-date in S4. It represented hundreds of games of work. But to loose because of a bandage, well that's just hard to swallow... Ended the night at 1575

Friday, August 8, 2008

Am I a PRO Paladin?

Hey folks,

Back in the beginning days of the blog, I wrote an article on "Am I a good Paladin?" which went thru all the minimum requirements to be viable as a ret spec. Today I'll go thru what it takes to be PRO in PvP, both for stats and for play style. Future article will delve deeper into some of these, but here's the overview.

You might be saying to yourself... "Drunk, what the hell do you know about being PRO you can't make 1700!". I need to point out that currently Ret Pally is a gimped class and spec. You can play at a pro level and still not make it. Don't believe me? Let's look at some live stats.

You can customize the reports in even more ways, for example if I pick the top 10 teams with Paladins, 9 out of 10 teams with Pally's have a Holy Pally.. not RET. I refuse to re-roll and try each week to get better, while waiting for the new expansion, which (assuming no major nerfs) should make us much more viable in arena.

First let's look at some basic stats. To be at the top of your game, the stats have to be there. At minimum you should see:

1. Attack Power - 2,000 (buffed)
2. Health - 10,000
3. Resilience - 400
4. Melee Crit - 30%
5. Melee Hit - 81
6. Mana- 7,000

Your stats go up based on gear, and a bare minium you should have all of the current S4 honor gear that does not require a personal rating requirement, along with the S2 sword. Normally I'd say you need even better gear, but PRO players on the forums always say SKILL > GEAR so with that in mind, let's see how to up your skill!

#1) Keybindings - All Gladiator player's agree you cannot be PRO by clicking around. You need to bind your most common spells and play untill it becomes second nature to use keys instead of clicking (look for a more detailed post on this in the future)

#2) Movement - I've also been told you should be moving iwth your mouse, not moving and turning with a keyboard (I havn't been able to do this yet, one of the reason's I'm not a gladiator i guess :)

#3) Play Frequency - Unless your an OP class and spec (cough... Resto Druid...cough) you're never going to get high ratings with just 10 games per week, the best players out there are doing arena the majority of the time they're on.

#4) Communication - Obviously key. Get on Vent or TS, and just leave the mic on voice pickup. Wasting keys on push-to-talk will only hamper you and will result in less communication. Leaving the mic always on you can call out pretty much everything, resulting in better timing of stuns, cleanses, heals, etc.

#5) Pick the right partner - For Ret Pally's a 5's team is best if you can get it, but many people cannot. In 2's partner don't go partnering with the wrong class like a hunter, or with the wrong spec like a ferrel druid. In 3's there are more possible setups, the most cookie cutter being Arms Warrior/Resto Druid/Ret Pally. Others will work if the communication is there.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

S4 - Week 7: Ugly. Just ugly

So Kelf Kyllia and I joined up for 3's last night. I had just managed to get my Libram of Divine Judgment and was feeling pretty good. So we cue up with a starting rating of 1611.

First team seems to be having it's way with us, and Kyllia mentions that they all have titles. "Oh?" yep GLADIATOR - GLADIATOR - DUELIST. We loose 18 points WTF!?!

For those of you not familiar with PvP titles , Here's how they break down:
Neutral Gladiator Top 0.5% of arena teams at the end of the previous season.
Neutral Duelist Top 3.0% of arena teams at the end of the previous season.
Neutral Rival Top 10% of arena teams at the end of the previous season.
Neutral Challenger Top 35% of arena teams at the end of the previous season.


Grimly we wait a minute or two and join up again, I have to say I don't remember too many specific teams, but bad luck followed us the whole night. Kelf disconnected twice during arena matches, and against poor teams which cost us -19 points the first DC and -17 points the 2nd DC. I have to say, this isn't Kelf's or anyone's fault (outside of his ISP) but that's 35 lost points where we should have gained around 20 instead.... in other words a 50 point difference.

We faced this team a 3rd time with all three of us and beat them without too much difficulty, so I can safely say that if we could have taken them the first two times.

On top of that we wound up facing another couple teams with at least one Rival or higher in the team and of course our fair share of folks with S3 weapons.

Addmitedly the Rival and S3 weapons is a little QQ, I'm just saying the night was full of unpleasantness. We also had a little trouble picking the correct target in a few matches... But our first match combined with the two disconnects were realy bad for us. End of the night 9-13 with a rating of 1532.... a drop of 79 points

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A little fun for WOTLK

There's a Blizz developer named Kalgan who plays a warrior and has a history of frowning on Paladins, especially Ret Pallies. I've seen some of his posts myself and he talks about Pally's being overrepresented in arena (sure buddy, overrepresented in the 1400 bracket!)

Rumor is that he's furious at the new changes allowing RET to be a viable option in WOTLK. I found a video that shows his fury at the new changes! Enjoy and pray nothing gets the nerf bat before WOTLK goes live!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A slippery slope but we didn't fall

Hey folks, so a few interesting items for the week.

  • While advertising for a heroic somone gave me the ol' "LOLRET" reply. While I don't get it that often it's annoying
  • Next day while looking to run the same heroic there was a DPS spot, but the leader wouldn't take me because I have no CC, dispite the fact there was a rogue already in the group and I let him know that I'm very well geared, and run heroic SP all the time (the guy was a pally no less)
  • I had someone in my guild tell me "Being a good Ret Pally is like wining the special olympics - you may be the best out there but you're still a retard"
  • I ran into a Ret Pally on my server who recognized me and let me know he reads the blog! SWEET, I"M FAMOUS :).... Seriously it was nice to see folks enjoying the blog!
So Kyllia, Kelf and I ran 3's again last night. If you read my previous post, we tore it up last week, but I was unsure if we just got lucky or if this would realy work. We needed to play again to find out. I think the guys were feeling the same way. So... did we tank or own?

So we got together around 10pm. I think we were all a little rusty. Unlike the last two weeks where I had gotten 100+ games in with Kyllia, this week we only played 30 or so, with all of those early in the week. As such we got off to a rock start. The main problem was that Kyllia and I wern't synched up on a target. For example, facing a warlock/druid/warrior team, We'd start on the lock, and then there would be some confusion on whether to swap to the druid, or stay on the lock.

I didn't help things much by going straight to the druid without thinking, leaving Kyllia alone with the lock, but not keeping the druid busy enough to stop him from healing. last night we learned that the key to winning here is for Kyllia and I to be completely in synch with what the other is doing. With Kelf we have to be careful not to LOS him. Which can be problematic at times, because many times it a choice of whether to
a) Finish an opponent and hope I don't die
b) Let Kelf heal us but get off the opponent leaving him to heal up again
It's a little bit of a crapshoot. In general when Kelf starts yelling at us, then I KNOW it's time to stop and let him heal :)

It took us perhaps 5 matches to start synching up again. That left us at about 2-3, then we started coming back. 3-3, then a random DC left kelf disconnected in the middle of a match, and us at 3-4. We bravely kept fighting on untill 11:30. In the starting area of our final match I notice the oposing team has only 2 players... (YES) we run out and it's a shaman and druid, oh how I hate both of those classes!

I had a feeling these OP motherfuckers thought they could do 3's one person short. And once we rushed them I was sure they knew what they were doing. Both behind seperate pillars, the druid right at the 30 yard mark.... But we're no idots either. We start on the Shaman and start working him down. When the druid pops, I briefly throw a stun his way and rush back to the shaman he's slowly going down. Kelf takes up position between the two pillars and keeps the druid stunned while we finish off the shaman. Then we all wail on the druid.

I just had this feeling that it was an OP team and as we're taking down the druid I'm yelling "TAKE THAT YOU OP MOTHERFUCKERS! GIMMEE 25 POINTS!!" Match ends and we get +23 points! We end the night at 1611, ten points above our start.

The three main things I took from last night:
#1) The first week wasn't a fluke, this is a good team with the potential to reach 1700, if we work at it. Communication is key, I won't say no to a litle luck either :)
#2) I noticed a LOT more teams with one or two people with S3 weapons (and probably S4 other gear). We need to gear up as quickly as possible to close the gear gap.
#3) Playing this team is the most fun I've had in a long time. Half because the matches are good, half beause I have hope again of acheving 1700 or better (and a PvP title for next season)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

S4 - Week 6: Amazing week, different team (sort of)

Hey folks, Week 6 is here and instead of playing my usual 2's Kelf and I joined up with a rouge I've been playing with a lot during my off days. Kyllia. I wanted to write about my 2's matches with Kyllia, but despite being quite fun, the rating (and dificulty getting there) has been on par with Kelf and I, perhaps a little worse.

SO.. ON TO LAST NIGHT. All 3 of us join Kyllia's abandoned 3's team and que up. The starting rating for the team is 1403, so I expect some easy wins, but with a new team you never know. We started out like this:
1-0
2-0
3-0
4-0
5-0
6-0
7-0
8-0
9-0
10-0
11-0
11-1

It was incredible, win after friggin' win! I had never had so many wins in a row. Of course the first 8 or so were needed just to get us up to 1500, after that I expected stiffer competition and shortly after I got it. 12th Game we met up against Mage/Mage/healer (A priest I think) and were handed our first loss.

We downed the healer but then took to long figuring out which mage to get on, but Kelf went down. I got the 1st mage right after, but then died myself, leaving Kyllia vs the last mage. It was close both were down under 30% but we lost.

Fortunatly the loss was more due to our lack of focus, not because the team was better. We met up with them again that night and beat them :)

We did go up against one team Rogue/Rogue/Priest who beat us twice in a row. This was the only team we faced that night that I felt we were "outclassed" everything else felt very duable. End of the night 20-5, 1601 rating!

Kelf was finally able to pick up his chestpiece and Kyllia got a S4 thrown weapon. Some truely excellent work by everyone that night. There were three things I noticed that I watned to share though.... I'm not sure how this will affect us going forward.

#1) We got a lot of teams multiple times, some as many as 3 or 4. This was great because we could farm them, but in higher rankings I wonder if this could reverse on us. We played late on Wednesday night, so perhaps this was just due to the time slot.

#2) The vast majority of our losses so far seemed either timing issues, or mess ups on our part. This bodes well for us making 1700 or higher, but only more games under our belt will show if this was an especially lucky night or not.

#3) Many teams gave us less then 15 points, meaning that we were paired against lower ranked teams. I'm not going to read into this too much, as a staring rating of 1403 and late time slot made the parings a little odd. But I'm keeping an eye out on how many points we win in the future.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

S4 - Week 5: Stagflation

I have to pause for a quick sidebar to say I switched 2's teams
last week for a while (more on that in a later post)
and then joined Kelf again last night. Which means
my personal rating reset to 1500, but that doesn't
affect the matchups or overall point allocation as
I was within 150 points of the team rating


Stagflation is where inflation goes up and while your economy stays soft. Kelf and I played last night and it felt similar. We were getting as little as 12 points for a win and as much as -18 for a loss.

The matches started out strong. First two matches were pretty easy wins, a good feeling. But then the 3rd match came up. I didn't see Kelf inside, and I got the "disconnect" tone on Vent. A few seconds later I hear Kelf come back, he got disconnected from the Game. Hoping back in, he didn't see the que and the match was starting 2 vs 1. Kelf and I started talking about what would happen if I quit before the match started, but that converstation happened a little too late and I went in solo. I held my own against a priest/rouge for a couple minutes but there was no doubt the match was theirs. Tally was now 2-1

We take a 2nd loss to a priest/warlock team, then a win, then another loss. Score is now 3-2, but our rating is sitting around 1549?!? WTF? The problem was that we were loosing more points then gaining each match. We keep on trucking and eventually make it up around 1579. Kelf was eager to see 1600 and we keep on going. But a couple back-to-back losses take us back down.

We eventually stopped at 7 - 6, with our score only going up by 9 points. At the time I thought we had actually lost 2 points overal, but looking at last weeks posting I see we gained a little... precious little for 15 matches.

Friday, July 18, 2008

WOTLK Paladin Talent info released

Hey folks, Blizz has released the talents for the new WOW expansion. A lot of new stuff out there, and with months before the release some changes are gauranteed. Here's a link to the talent tree and what I think will be a viable arena spec.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hitting my gear limit.

As you know, if you've been reading my weekly arena posts, I briefly hit 1600 a couple of days ago before dropping back to 1557. I took that shining window of opportunity and bought my chest piece. That leaves me with 4 possible items to buy....in parenthases you'll see the % chance that I think I'll be able to reach that person rating with my current team

S4 Ring - 1,650 rating - (70%)
S4 Boots - 1,700 rating - (25%)
S4 Helm - 1,700 rating - (25%)
S3 Weapon - 1,800 rating - (1%)

As you can see, I'm running out of arena items to buy, and even more to the point I'm hitting a wall, where even if I have the points, I may not have the rating to get the last few items. What am I going to do then? I'm a few weeks away from having to answer that question, so I'll put it on hold for now.

I have been looking at upgrading my last piece of blue gear....That's right, my secret shame, I have one last blue item that I head into battle with every week. My old trusty Libram of Zeal I got this because it was realativly easy to obtain by myself. Most Librams require PvE content runs and I just don't do a lot of that. The 60 badge grind for Dory's embrace took forever.

After a little research, my new Libram will be Libram of Divine Judgement which seems to have around a 40-50% proc rate. This new Libram should help me in two ways:

#1) I should average an extra 80-100 AP over the course of a match. Considering that upgrading EVERYTHING from S3 to S4 gives +43 Strength (minus shoulders and weapon, which upgrade from S1 to S2) This is like doubling the Strength given from a complete season upgrade.

#2) I might hit Seal of Crusader a couple times during an arena match, but Seal of Command is BY FAR my most common seal. So a lot more use out of this.

Of course that means it's back to doing some specific daily quests, and grinding heroic SP. Fortunatly I had a couple badges left from my cloak purchase, combind with the chance for daily's to drop badges I could (theoretically) complete the nessisary badges with 3 heroic daily runs.... Considering how hard it is to find a pug group, I'll shoot for getting this some time in August.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

S4 - Week 4: Up the down staircase

So week 4 is upon us and Kelf and I met up late (even for us) last night. A start time of 10:30pm server time. I was a little concerned that as late as it was, we'd have only better (harder) teams to play against. Now as a reminder we started the week at 1551, which meant we needed a solid 4 wins to get to 1600, the next benchmark for gear.

On the plus side I had warmed up with a couple skirmish matches before we started AND had picked up my new legs right before the match. On the minus side I was going without much sleep and had to brew some 9pm coffee to keep me fresh, if a little tweaky.

So, first match comes up we win pretty easy. Que up again right away, this time we pull a Warrior/Druid combo (our first of many that night). These guys were terribad. Not much resilience and the warrior totally ignored me, leaving me to down the druid pretty quick. we IMMEDIATLY que up again, hoping to pull the same team. We're in luck and 2 minutes later the score is 3-0

I'm starting to think the evening is going pretty well and I take a quick look at the rating. It's higher then I thought 1591.... Now I'm a little nervous. A win would get us over 1,600 a loss and we're back down into the 1,570's.

We pull out of the gate and it's not the same team. Shaman and (if I remember right) a rouge. "Shammy" I say to Kelf and proceed to go at it.... This team wasn't going down without a fight. Quite a bit of Pillar humping, dumping of totems and of course the Shaman running away in wolf form. However after a slighty prolonged game we beat them!! 1,606 BABY / 4-0!! I'm extatic and tell Kelf to go get his gear. I'm picking up mine before we get into another match. I can't believe how well this week is going. Perhaps we need to que up at 10:30pm all the time :)

WHOA COWBOY. Kelf tell me he's short on points, by around 300. If we maintain this rating thru 10 games he can pick up the chest piece next week, but for now he has to pass. "That sucks" I tell him. He say's he'll drool over it another week. I go ahead and pick up my new chest but can't use it just yet.. need to get it gemmed and enchanted first.

The way the night is going, I'm having visions of 1650 but it was not to be. The break in queing was not good for us.

Next team up was a Shadow Priest and Shaman. UGH.... a couple times Kelf managed some last minute heals to keep us alive and managed to get that Priest down to 3%... but couldn't seal the deal. Our first loss of the night 4-1. The next match against another druid/warrior brought us our 2nd loss. Then a series of losses after that. Suddenly our 4-0 turned into a 4-5 and our 1606 rating had slipped to 1542.

I get a (probably well deserved) few words from Kelf about my inability to stay in his healing range. And how my chasing around the opponent left me vounerable AND out of range a handful of times over the last few matches.... Something I need to work on. But that's for another post.

So our last match ques up. Warrior/Druid combo again. These guys are good.... and annoying! The druid is humping that pillar like it was the 1st woman he's seen in 20 years. The warrior starts up on me, but after about 5 minutes of this, he switches over to Kelf, leaving me and the druid to go at it.

I swear this Druid is on auto-pilot. Spamming the same few heals once he gets a little ways aroudn the pillar, and switching to bear form whenever his health gets below 50% (or when he feels the need to hump that pillar again).

I'm doing all the right things, but this druid is as well. And he's regening mana like crazy. Meanwhile Kelf is down to a couple thousand mana as the warrior keeps beating on him, but he's able to do amazing things with little mana and has no problems keeping himself healed. Meanwhile the match is DRAAGING on.

I'd say about 10 minutes into the match, I get the potential for my 1st break. Up to now, I wasn't doing a ton of damage, his resilence combined with bear from was keeping my hits around 600-800 damage. But I had finished drinking up a little while ago and had set myself up.
- 2 Stuns available
- Full mana
- Avenging Wrath ready to pop
- Holy Vengance stacked x5

So, when the druid switched to humanoid form I put repentance on him, then poped my wings, and started wailing away. 2nd stun off and more damage. With the wings on I was getting thru the resilience a bit and getting crits in the 1,000 - 1,500 range. The druid's health slipped to under 20% for the first time ever. Just as importantly his mana was starting to get low.... I figured if I could repeat this cycle every 3 minutes I could eventually wear him down.

A couple repeats later I could see it was taking a toll. The druid was getting eager to run away for a bit and suddenly the guy stops humping the pillar and starts running all around the Arena. We briefly switch to the warrior at one point and get him down to 10%, but the druid runs back in time and heals the guy.

Back to chasing the druid....a few more cycles and finaly I get the druid. With no healer, the warrior goes down shortly after. What a friggin' long match! Seemed like it was for ever, but at least 20 minutes, probably closer to half an hour.

Kelf was done, I was too..... 1557 final score. 5-5 and 6 points higher then we started.

P.S. - I'd like to mention that during this match both Kelf and I had to break away to drink multiple times. I was especially vounerable to this, and probably sat to drink about 5 times during the match. The opponents lack of getting on me when drinking (or in the case of the druid) sitting down to drink himself while I got away was what eventually did the team in.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

S4 - Week 3: One step forward, two steps back.

So we met up on our usual Tuesday night and said 1600 or bust. Guess what? It was a bust. Here's how it went down.

First match against a druid/warrior combo. More often then not, we have this combo down. This time however, they were doing all the right things, warrior was stunning me keeping me from stacking Holy Vengance on they guy (this is the most mana efficent way of getting a druid down.. if you can stack it x5) and also allowing the Seal of Justice to expire once in a while, letting the druid run away.

The match started running long. 5 minutes into it my newborn started crying. 10 minutes into it I had to hold her and play at the same time.... now I'm not saying this caused the loss, but it didn't help. 15 minutes into the match we both went OOM and died.... I took a 10 minute break to put the baby down.

Back we go, and soon it's 0-3, then 1-5 and soon after 2-7. Although the scoreboard doesn't reflect it, most of the matches were very close with two of them leaving only Kelf and 1 opposing teamember to slug it out. But at the end of the day, a loss is a loss. We win the last match and end up around 1513....The night's not over though. We keep slugging along and a few close matches later we're at 3-9.. the rating has tanked to around 1491. OUCH

At this point I'm filled with a grim resolve.
I've seen this happen last season but I know we're WAAY better then a sub 1500 team. I start cueing us up and we start hammering away. This next team is Hunter/Hunter, we pick one and down him in a few seconds. Then we tear the other one a new asshole. Que up again and another win, followed by another. We're on a roll but it's late, even for us. Perhaps 11:20pm or so. We wind up going 7-9 and ending at 1551.

I give my "way to get out of the toilet" congratulations and we log for the night.

On one hand, disapointing. We were two wins away from 1600 at the begining of the night, now we're about 4. On the plus side, we were able to salvage the rating somewhat and walk away with some dignity.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Season 4 - Week 2

Hey folks, technically it's week 3 today , but I'm writing about my matches last night.. we played late as my 2's partner was out of town.

So I got on around 9:40pm... We ended week 1 at 1559 and I told Kelf that we're going 1575 or bust. That's the rating we needed to get our S4 bracers. 16 points doesn't sound hard, but considering loosing the 1st match can put you at -30 or more, it sure can be.

We start out a little rocky... we usualy do, but I hate seeing the rating tank. 3 games into it, we're 1-2 and another loss to a Lock/Rouge combo puts us at 1-3. Now, we saw this combo about 3 more times that night. After the 1st loss due to switching targets from the lock to rouge, we kept solid focus on the Lock and (while the matches wern't easy) didn't loose to that combo again.

9 matches in and we're 4-5..... A hard evening. Last match we win (I think a lock/rouge again) and we're 5-5 with 1563 rating. 4 measily points higher then when we started, but we got our 10.

Of course, I said 1575 or bust, and Kelf was game, so we kept going. Of course we fought a few priest/xxx combo's during these matches and while we no longer fear an automatic loss against a priest on the team, I'd probably bet against myself..... Mana burn is a BITCH when both members are so mana dependent.

So it was with a sinking feeling that at 7-7 and once again at 1563 and we get a shaman/priest combo. This is not a combo we were hoping to go against. If we win this match we get our bracers... loose and we're 30 points away again. We try to keep the shaman busy, but we HAVE to kill the priest first..... The shaman seems to be elemental, so he's thowing a good deal of damage, but Kelf is bravely healing thru it.

The priest isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but he knows enough to start thowing in mana burns with increasing frequency. The priest see's that he can outheal my damage and both opponent's start going after Kelf.... "I'm running out of mana" comes they cry from my headphones. Here I make a fateful decision....

I'm taking plenty of DOT (Damage over time) thanks to the priest. My bubble is available, which will dispel everything and leave me alive longer. However so is my Avenging Wrath. Using this would cancel my bubble ability but substantially increase my DPS.

Since my opponents are focused on my partner, and I'm behind the priest, I go ahead an pop Avenging Wrath.. the wings come out and CRIT 2,200, CRIT 2,000... The prest goes well under 20%.... I spam concecration for some periodic damage and finish the priest off before he can heal. We then finish off the Shaman at a more leasurly pace.

+13 points... 1576 rating! WHEW!

We call it a night. That felt good, real good. We earned those bracers last night.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Intentionally loosing a BG

I started a thread on another forum site and man, did I get people angry! What got folks so rilled up?

I asked why you would continue to try winning a BG match that is basically unwinable?

For example in AB.. the horde control 4 nodes to 1, they have 1700 points to your 300. If you keep fighting you can prolong the match perhaps another 5-10 minutes. If you let them take the last node the fight is over in 1 minute.... Either way you still loose and get your 1 mark of honor.

Another example is WSG... the horde have capped 2 flags, your team has 0 and they've taken the last flag from your flag room. Sure you could fight them every step of the way, staying in the BG for another 5-10 minutes or longer. Or you could just stop and let them take the 3rd one, collect your 1 mark of honor and be cuing again in a minute.

"But Tom", it's just an extra 5-10 minutes, what's the big deal?

Sure, an extra 5 minutes.. but over the last few months I've probably played over 1,000 various BG's. If even 15% were these types of obvious loses that's an extra 12.5 hours of time spent in BG's for nothing.

Some people play for the fun of it, and sure it can be fun when you're winning. But the honor grind gets old. Unfortunately it's necessary to get better gear. So at some point it pays to be efficient with your time and get the most honor per hour.... You'll thank me for showing you how to be efficient oh about 70 hours into your BG grind :)

So, i proudly stop fighting when I see I'm in an unwinable match in both AB and WSG... the honor points are minimal, and if I spam the chat chanel with a request to stop there's usualy enough people that agree that we win sooner.