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:

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:

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.


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)