Monday, March 30, 2009

What makes a PRO? - T H I S

I know, there's no paladin here, but this guy definitely deserves his own spot. In the 3v3 finals a mage is down to 10% health, and little mana... and it's a 2v1 situation; he wins

The video shows the critical part of the match and breaks down how it happens. Sign me up to this guys team!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Did Blizz make a game modification in response to ME?

We'll never know for sure but here's one of today's blue posts:
Raids & Dungeons
Vault of Archavon
  • Archavon, Emalon, and their allies will now banish themselves 10 minutes prior to the beginning of a Lake Wintergrasp battle. A warning will be given 15 minutes prior to the start of Wintergrasp. They will not banish themselves if in combat.

So why do I think there's even a remote possibility that I influenced this blue post in the least?... Grab a beer, sit back and listen to my Tuesday evening.

So I log in Tuesday night looking for either a 25 man OS or VOA.... I see a VOA group is up and get the invite. Wintergrasp is starting in about twenty minutes, fortunately this is a quick raid so we should be fine. Here's how the raid went down.

1) Take the usual few minutes for everyone to get there, while we wait the trash is cleared. I show up about half way thru the trash run.

2) Shortly after the 15 minute WG warning we start on Archavon, but my cries of "buffs please" go unheeded and all I've got on is my blessing of might.... It seems that no one took the time to buff the late comers so half our raid was unbuffed.

3) We wipe on Archavon with 70k life left... GRR

4) We all res, and reset with everyone getting buffed now.... And restart Archavon with 4 min 30 seconds left.

5) At about 100k health left we get a warning that "This raid is scheduled to reset in 30 seconds"... We DPS the guy down but I die... I get a rez and quickly loot my two emblems of Valor... and then Archavon DISAPEARS!

Yep, no one got any loot and some people haven't take their emblems of Valor yet. I can painfuly verify that even if you drop the boss before the raid resets he will de-spawn and you will get no loot.... Now there was a nice chestpiece I would have liked to get, and only 2 other paladins in the raid (not sure their spec).

Knowing it's a long shot I opened up a ticket to Blizz explaining what just happened. I expected the typical "Sorry we can't do anything" line, but instead I got this:

Thank you for contacting the World of Warcraft Game Master Department.
Your petition has been forwarded to our character specialists for further
investigation and troubleshooting. Please keep in mind that, due to the
nature and complexity of these types of petitions, it may take several
days for us to contact you with the conclusion of our investigation.
Please do not delete, edit, or re-submit your original ticket,
as it contains essential information needed by our character specialists.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.

Then I got this:

Thank you for contacting the World of Warcraft Game Master Department
and bringing this matter to our attention with additional information
to assist in our investigation. We will contact the master looter to
decide how the items will be distributed to resolve the loot issue you
have experienced.

So far nothing else in terms of a resolution, but it is interesting that two days after I put a ticket into Blizz about this and they agree to look into it a new blue post is issued that would prevent this from happening again!

Well there you go, my very very very tedious claim to fame :).... and stupidity, because as someone already pointed out, the smart thing to do would have been to leave the group when I saw less then 5 minutes left before the reset... Of course that would have royally pissed off 24 other people that I might meet again in group, but that's a discussion for another time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

65% fewer arena teams in S5 vs S4

Hey guys, has a fascinating article that basically shows 65% fewer teams on average this season, with some battlegroups up to 75% fewer teams depending on bracket. It's all layed out very nicely HERE

Frankly I knew it was lower, but I didn't realize that much lower. In my opinion this is clearly due to the inferior gear PvP gives out this season compared to PvE gear for all but the very best PvP players.

Why grind hours of BG's and do countless arena games if you can't make it into the 1600's at least? And even then, in terms of time spent you're probably better off just running 25 man content gear anyway.

While I still actively do PvP, I have to say that I've run more 5,10, and 25 man content during this arena season then my whole WOW life combined.... Hell I'm doing PvP with a PvE spec for the higher burst damage!?!?!

It's nice to see the new content but it leaves less opportunity for PvP and with my current rating I'm gear capped in PvP, so running 25 man content is my only upgrade path at the moment.

Season 6 looks to change that for a while, but I have a funny feeling I'll be running Uldar a lot more then I think.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Season 5 Talent Calculator is up - ArenaJunkies

Hey Guys,

In case you don't go there every day, has their Season 5 talent Calculator up here. The talent calculator isn't 100% accurate so if you're borderline you should try and get a little higher if possible. But it's BY FAR THE BEST tool out there for determining if you're going to qualify for a title.

Let's see what that means for me and my battlegroup:

Bracket~Glad Cutoff~Duel Cutoff~Rival Cutoff~Chall Cutoff~Active TeamsLowest Team
2v242252841294584178417 (49)
3v31486288100728802880 (1053)
5v521448170486486 (1054)

So let's head over to the armor and see what this means for me.

2v2 -1598 - 2,785th place = CHALLENGER
3v3 - 1531 - 1655th place = Fail
5v5 - 1500 - 479th place = Inactive Team

Let's look at the minimum ratings to get Challenger this Season on my battlegroup (assuming the calc was 100% accurate and the season ended today.

2v2 - 1577
3v3 - 1629
5v5 - 1628

2v2 - 1850
3v3 - 1831
5v5 - 1785

2v2 - 2100
3v3 - 2014
5v5 - 1981

2v2 - 2390
3v3 - 2229
5v5 - 2198

So as long as I don't screw up royally I should be able to rock another challenger title in Season 6. I have to say I'd feel a lot better above 1600. I expect we'll be playing regularly so we'll see how it all ends up.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Is 0/20/51 the wrong PvP build?

Hey guys,

Think of all the great inventions that were created by accident.... Plastic, Nike Running Shoes, Post-it notes, corn flakes just to name a few.

Well I've been using a different build then the standard 0/20/51 (or 0/18/53)build for PvP. And I got there by accident. I knew I'd be doing some raids/instances and specc'ed 0/10/61 and it's been going very well.

Let's take a look at this.... you drop 20 (or 18) points in to Prot for the 30 second cooldown on HOJ. In previous season this was just a mandatory talent. You needed as much CC as possible and matches went on for 2-3 minutes. HOWEVER the current season is all about the burn. Double DPS teams will attempt to kill one person in a matter of seconds, often successfully.

So what do I loose by going to 0/10/61? Shorter BOF length, CD on HOJ increased to 1 minute and I don't get the 6% damage reduction with RF.

Here's what I gain.... Full 5/5 points in both Fanaticism and Righteous Fury... so all my judgments now have an extra 25% chance to crit AND When A judgment or DS crits a DOT for 40% of the damage shows up.... I also get to put 2 points in to 2h weapon specialization which will increase white damage by 4%.. this should also up my Divine Storm damage since this is based off white damage.

I still get to keep my 2 stuns and as long as we can burn one guy down within 30 seconds or so we're set. He usually starts on the clothie or healer while I repentance the plate or DPS. While keeping an eye on the repentance I do some damage on my partners target, then make sure to drop HOJ as soon as the repentance is up. I don't even wait to see what happens I just swap to my partners target and burn, burn burn.

Using this spec I've been able to hang right around 1600 in 2's and 1500 in 3's.... Something to think about folks.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Arena Season 5 ending in three weeks - April 6th?

Hey guys,

So Last week a blue post mentioned that Arena Season 6 would start at the same time or right after patch 3.1 went live.... That should be no surprise to anyone as arena gear for all but the best gladiators is already inferior to current raid gear.

Today there was a blue post (see it here) that says the Easter holiday "Noblegarden" may be delayed if PTR testing runs long.

Currently Noblegarden is scheduled to start April 12th according to Blizzard's event calendar. The above blue thread makes it pretty clear that Bliz expects patch 3.1 to be in place in time for this event. Since the 12th is on Sunday, the latest Tuesday patch they can do is April 7th.

So if there are no major delays with testing (yes this is a big IF); we can expect patch 3.1 on April 7th at the latest and the beginning of Arena Season 6 at the same time or shortly after.

You heard it here first, 3 weeks or so left....maybe :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

51/0/20 - I want to use you so bad but I ...keep...getting....stunned

51/0/20. Favorite of PvE pally's and PvP 5's teams. The major thing here is Beacon of Light for those of you completely oblivious to pally talents. I would love to keep this spec up because it's the default PvE spec, and that means I could run some heroics and even 25 mans as holy. Thus giving me access to some of those sweet tier 7.5 drops. Sadly (because I don't play a 5's team) it's not to be.

The way it works - Same play style as the 49/0/22 build but with the beacon. In 2's place the beacon of light on the player you don't expect to take the brunt of the damage. That's because the beacon will not be healed for overhealing. SO if my rogue was healed for 1k plus 5k overheal I would only receive the 1k in healing as the beacon.

So when I'm playing with my Rogue, Beacon is on me. Whenever I heal up my rogue partner I get the same amount of healing. In 3's it depends on the partner. If it's not a plate wearer I'll put it on them. If they do wear plate and have good resilience I'll put it on myself.

The problem here is that I no longer have Divine Purpose, which means I'm stunned easily. This costs me the game waay to much. A rogue will keep me in stunlock a mage will keep me on ice, etc etc. To me it feels like this build HAS to have a 2nd heal target available because you spend more time catching up in heals thanks to all the stuns; rather then anticipate the heals needed. And forget about any cleansing, when you finally get out of that blind/fear/sap/etc you'll be throwing up an instant holy shock followed by a Holy Light just to keep your partner at 1% health from dying - even as you hear I need a heal NOW! what the hell have you been doing the last 10 seconds?!? thru your vent.

Believe me, letting your partner know how you were locking in a CC chain for half the fight is as frustrating to hear as it is to explain.

This build shines in 5v5 combat where you're effectively healing 2 people at once - it's so hectic none but the best teams will have good CC chains and as a plate wearing healer you're not going to be the first target (usually).

Friday, March 6, 2009

Today the 49/0/22 build

Before I get into todays build I want to mention that our guild leader was nice enough to team up with me for a couple hours in 2's and later with another guild member. We ended the evening at 1626! I'm off later today to pick up my Hateful Gladiator gloves, both the Scaled for my Ret and Ornamented for holy. I may be able to pick up a deadly pendant if I can farm enough honor but at just under 48k honor I'll only be able to pick it up for 1 spec at most.

What do you guys think, should I pick up the Pendant of Dominance for Holy or Victory for Ret?

49/0/22 - OK on to today's post the tried and true 49/0/22 build. Many people swear by it in both 2's and 3's. You get a faster casting time, higher spell power and a crazy 40 yard ranged judgment AND you get to keep Divine Purpose to break out of stuns. All this for just for loosing Repentance

The Way it Works - It's like that song from the BeeGee's "AH AH AH AH SAYIN' ALIVE" Your partner will have to take on CC and DPS your job is to keep him alive long enough to do it. Use your Divine Purpose to keep your partner mobile or to break you out of that CC so you can Heal some more. In this setup you can spam Holy Light all day, with talents reducing the cast time to between 1.6 - 1.9 seconds a cast there's no reason to use Flash of light unless you find yourself low on mana or have an instant FOL up... And you will have those instants because with a 40 yard Judgment of Justice available to you, I recommend using a GCD to put it on pretty regular. Not only will it help slow down your opponent but can grant you that instead Flash of Light. If your partner is about to die - an instant Holy Shock + Flash of Light + 1.6-1.9 second Holy light will have your teamate going from 100hp to 15,000 hp in under 5 seconds. Leaving your opponents to curse you, your mother, and the entire genetic line that spawned you in frustration

Possible Variants:
Heart of the Crusader vs Improved Judgments - You could spec into Improved Judgments for the 2 second reduction, as a Ret it seems almost a given. But playing Holy remember that your partner(s) will be making use of that extra 3% crit chance on the target. As long as you judge often enough to keep it up most of the fight HOC wins out I think.

Divine Intellect vs Holy Guidance - You're going to have to go 3/5 in one of these talents. I've seen both variants when looking at top holy pallys. I chose Intellect as it affects your mana pool, crit chance AND Mana per Second. My intellect is currently sitting at 660 so the extra 2 points in Holy Guidance give me an extra 49 spell power (because the intellect would lower to 620 if I lost the 2 points in DI). vs about 40 points of intellect boost from DI.... I don't care to do the math, but the extra Intellect seems like an overall good choice. Here's an Elitist Jerks thread that does some calculations for you.

Divine Illumination vs extra Judgments of the Pure - Yep, I skipped out of Divine Illumination for an extra point in JOTP. After about 50 arena matches I found myself hardly ever going out of mana. But if you play 5's or find your matches going long you may want to remove a point in DI for this talent.

That's it for now, Monday is the 51/0/20 build.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A little bit on the 37/0/34 build

So my last post talked a little bit about the holy builds I've been using in PvP. One of my readers asked me to link the builds I was talking about in my last article, I'm going to do a little better giving the build and a little in depth summary of how it works and the variants you can use. To keep the post from being to long we're going to handle one build per day....

Probably good I do this anyway as I had a bitch of a time finding one site that talked about Holy PvP builds, mostly I had to glean it from about 10 different sources. So here we go:

37/0/34 - This is a shockadin build, or so they say. Frankly I don't find myself doing a ton of damage with this in arena, sure I do better then a few other builds but it's not comparable to any DPS build or class. What I do get here is better CC plus good mana regen.

The Way it Works - Especially useful in 2's you have your teammate focus a target, you take the other guy and Repentance him, then Hammer of Justice. If he's paying attention he's going to eat the full 7 second repentance stun while your opponent is wailing away at his partner. Then once the stun is up wait for that nice big heal to start up (if he's a healer without good instant heals) and then HOJ it. If the guy trinkets out of repentance, immediately follow up with HOJ and switch targets immediately and assist your partner in burning down the other opponent during the 7 seconds it's 2v1. Use your Holy Shock, judgments any anything else you can to help burn the guy down. Once the other opponent is out of stun you revert back to healing.

Possible variants:
Pure of Heart vs Unyielding Faith - I took pure of heart because I find I'm bad at cleansing of DOTs and Healing at the same time. If I'm feared I can usually trinket/bubble or wait it out and throw an instant Holy Shock to keep my partner alive - but with DOTs I'm just healing thru them and leave them on.... With as little as 2-3 hits needed to kill people these days it's hard to waste a global cooldown on cleanse when you can use it for a big heal.

Holy Power vs Divine Intellect - You'll notice I have 4/5 in Holy power. You can take one point out of Divine Intellect instead if you want. In terms of real world returns I'm not sure it's going to be a make or break point. I Chose to gimp Holy Power because the ret tree already gives me a lot of extra crit % chance.

Deflection vs Improved Judgments - You've got 1 point to play with here, not two so we're talking 1% extra parry chance or 1 second of Judgments. Since you're going to spend 90%+ of your time healing in arena you're not going to do a lot of Judging. Of course a 1% chance to parry isn't going to help you much either, choose what you will

Vengeance vs Improved Ret - Frankly vengeance is a filler talent to get to the good stuff, repentance and JOW. For now I'm leaving it in Vengeance because a lot of the top arena teams with this build did so, but once patch 3.1 hits you'll want to spec into Improved Ret because (according to the patch notes) your auras will work for you even if their not active. So you can leave your concentration aura up but still get all the benefits of Improved Ret aura as long as you've specced into it.

That's it for today, next time we go into the more traditional 49/0/22 build.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Starting to feel a little Guild love - and other weekend news

Hey folks,

So the last couple of weeks I've been going Holy from Tuesday - Thursday for my 2's and 3's matches and then swapping back to Ret Friday - Monday for BG's, Heroics, Dailies and Wintergrasp.

Now, before I get into the post I want to mention a little bit about the PvP guild I joined. I wasn't quite sure what to expect after joining But here's how it is: Everyone's busy doing their own thing and most people have their own teams setup already. I do my best to be social when possible, announcing wintergrasp start times, asking people to join up for quick badge runs like heroic VH, 10/25 man VOA etc. Also whenever a premade BG group is running I'm quick to join up.

However our elite players (2k plus arena rating) are already well formed on their 2k teams and not in a rush to carry guild members in the 1500 brackets, not unexpected really, since the way promotion happens in the guild is that the higher your arena rating the higher your member status (officers are 2k + only). Fortunately I've been getting asked in to some skirmish matches and one of the guildies joined my 3's team. He's a pretty solid player raking in the low 1600's for 2s.

S0 last week we ran Rouge/Mage/H Pally in 3's and brought settled in at 1479 after toping out around 1510 or so. That may not sound great, but considering we started at 1385 it was a pretty high bump up.

I was running a 37/0/34 build which I was mainly trying for 2's, but it worked pretty well for 3's as well. This build give me both Repentance and Divine Purpose. The extra Stun is awesome for CC but I do loose out on Unyielding Faith, Holy Guidance and Enlightend Judgments that I would get in a 47/0/24 build. So this week I'll be trying the 47/0/24 build and see how we do.

I can already tell you to stay away from the 51/0/20 build. great for PvE but I've found that I simply have to spec 24 points minimum in Ret to get Divine Purpose, if you can't break the out of those stuns you're dead. And with bust damage as high as it is you can't be out of commission in a stun. One little tidbit for those not paying to much attention to which stun is on you. Divine purpose will break you out of a Hammer of Justice, but NOT a Repentance or Sap so don't go blowing it on those two.

On another pleasant note I got Deadly Gladiator's Scaled Legguards from 25 man VOA this weekend WOOT WOOT! That should still be a sold piece of gear well into arena season 7.