Thursday, January 29, 2009

Anub'arak, I hate you.

Yesterday the heroic daily was Azjol-Nerub. An instance that isn't all that hard, one would presume. It's short. There aren't a lot of trash mobs. Three bosses. Should be quick and easy, right?

The line up was Seraphelia the DK tank, Karika the resto shaman, Neshura the hunter, Shortwinded the rogue and Lilravens the warlock.

We wiped a few times on the Watcher's until we got the hang of it down.

We one shotted Hadronox.

And then we kept failing with Anub'arak. I ran out of mana. The DPS ran out of health. Sometimes one before the other. The tank would get pounded and I couldn't get a heal out to him fast enough, or was lacking the mana to get a heal out to him fast enough. We couldn't seem to avoid the spikes, even if we hoofed it as soon as we saw rumbling. Even when on our screen, we were well away from the spikes, we still got clipped.

(Yes, I had poison cleansing totem out.)

We entered fully repaired. We left in the yellow/red.

We will be back. Oh yes. We will.

The most frustrating part? There was one attempt we were doing REALLY WELL on. I had mana. The DPS was doing a good job avoiding spikes. I was doing a good job avoiding spikes. We were on trash. The poison cleansing totem was doing it's job. The tank is getting low in health and I'm casting a big heal on him, and the heal goes off and he dies.

W. T. F.

The most frustrating feeling in the world for a healer is when you KNOW your heal went off, and the target STILL dies as if no heal hit him.

We will be back. Oh yes. We will.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Karika goes to Naxxramas-25

Yesterday, Boon and Vialora celebrated Vialora's 21st birthday by getting drunk and shooting zombies. Owaru joined in.

So Neshura, Posolutely and myself were at loose ends. And lo and behold, an ex-guildie was trying to get together a 25-man Naxx.

So I ask what he needs. Healer, DPS.

I tell him I have a restoration shaman and Nesh was on and Pos was on in the form of Abs the warlock.

He wound up tanking, but ... I offered Abs! Don't look at me that way.

So, they somehow wound up with 6 healers... but I was the only shaman healer, and one of only two shaman at all. The other was elemental and geared very nicely.

So, we hit the spiders first. And what should drop but the Shield of Assimilation. A caster ring also dropped, but I figured I'd go for what I know I can get. :)

Then we hit up the Widow, and the Atonement Greaves dropped. I asked if, even though I already got a drop, if it was going to just get sharded, if anyone minded if I took them.

And lastly, Maexxna donated the Quivering Tunic to the righteous cause of gearing up Karika.

We didn't get any others down, but I figure.. that's good enough for one night, right?

Woot woot. Go shammy, go shammy, go!

Monday, January 26, 2009

VoA and OS-10 Man... and Gluth, you dog!

Yesterday we went ahead and hit up VoA and OS-10 Man. And walloped everything. Where 8 of the 10 people present had never been there before.

On these guys, where they aren't undead (grumble), I was lowest on the DPS meter. LOWEST! I sob, I writhe in shame, and I wonder what I was doing wrong. I know I can hit higher than 1800, but in VoA and OS, I was somewhere in the 1800-2100 range.

Was it the Heath Bar that I was eating at the time? Who knows!

But I did notice that when I was Johnny on the Spot in terms of hitting my next spell as soon as it became available, my DPS jumped at least 100 points. :P I think in VoA it was low because of all the dodging about we melee'ers had to do. And in OS, again, lots of running around. And one of the tanks kept moving. *narrow eyed glare* No movey of the mobs. Moving mobs make melee DPS irritable.

Then since we waltzed through those two raids with nary a scratch (I think the only death we had was Boon, who DI'd Kyuushi (Sartherion has 5% health left, oh my god, we're going to fail, someone DI me!) after Sartherion was dead. Don't ask. It's a joke of some sort between the two of them.)), we decided to hit up the Abomination Quarter in Naxx-10.

So we went ahead and two-shotted Patchwerk -- when the MT dies because the OT didn't yet have secondary aggro to eat the hateful strikes, usually means a wipe. Because then the OT becomes the MT, and the new OT is the retribution paladin, who dies very quickly.

And then we cleaned up Globbulus. And then we went to Gluth. Gluth, the doggie that we've never managed to get down before. We had issues with the kiting of the Zombie Chow.

In the past, we'd have one kiter, who would try to do all three waves. This never worked well because the stacking debuff got too high.

Our next best attempt was we tried to have two kiters, swapping them out between waves so the debuff fell off. The problem with this was that the second kiter, a hunter, couldn't gain enough aggro on the chow to pull them off the healers.

Finally though, last night we had two retribution paladins in the raid.

I took the first wave. Hunter's laid their freezy trap in the middle grate, and I ran around in circles. With righteous fury and exorcism and judgements, not to mention the very very useful holy wrath, I kept aggro on all the chow, kept them from eating me, and was able to stop them in place when decimate triggered.

The second wave the other retribution paladin took. It was his first time kiting, as opposed to me who has tried about three other times to kite them, and he wound up dying towards the end of his 'wave'. Given that the mobs were way in the back anyway, and decimate was close, I stayed on the boss. When decimate hit, I ran back, holy wrath'd and then went back to kiting.

Third wave went much the same as the first. The hunter traps started to get misplaced to the side, but given the multi-tasking the hunters had to do, who am I to complain? (Silly hunters.) I had to blow my bubble towards the end, but then holy wrath'd them in place. Then decimate fell upon their heads and they died.

But without a second kiter, I had to take the beginning of the fourth wave while still under the effects of the earlier debuffing I took. I did my best, but when the stacks start to climb into the 40-50 range... anyway, I went ahead and died as far back in the chamber as I could, so they'd have the longest time to get to Gluth. And Gluth died before they could reach him (and before he could enrage).

All in all, a beautiful (or at least, not horribly decimated) one-shot of a previously unattainable boss. Two ret pallies and the boss dead? DEAL!

We then stopped Naxx and took a brief detour into Dustwallow Marsh to go ahead and down Onyxia for the achievement.

On a side note, Iceravens from our guild... solo'd her. It took him, he says, about 35-40 minutes. I don't know if he was prot or ret specced for the attempt. But I don't know whether to be proud (I am!) or sad (a 40 man classic raid boss is now soloable?).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Warlock: Potential Level 80 Build

So, I obviously just blogged about what I may try to do later in the game. And I'm thinking this may be it.

Devastation vs. Haunt

I opted to go with Devastation versus Haunt. This means I don't get Everlasting Affliction to rebuff my Corruption, unless I decide to use Drain Life in the middle of a fight, but if I'm planning on keeping Shadow Bolt as a good portion of my spell rotation (and yes, I have to play with this, a LOT, because I have no idea what the spell rotation will be, or how applicable keeping SB in my rotation will be... Geeze people, I'm only level 73. I'm not clairvoyant.), I'd rather have 5% crit for said yummy-bolts-of-death and worry about the GCD instead. Besides which, what I said previously about the Haunt-Spell-Cycle precluding Shadowbolting still holds true....

I will miss the boost to DoT effects that Haunt gives. Damnit.

No More Shadowburn

While Shadowburn is going to figure highly in my leveling build, because damnit I LIKE it and it's so nice to have an instant cast spell to finish off that mob that's just so annoyingly clinging to life... let's face it, on boss fights, it usually isn't applicable unless you have a zillion and ten shards to spare. Granted, I loved using it on the Curator during Evocation, shard be damned, but overall, not as useful as something else would be. So sadly, in my proposed level 80 spec, it goes buhbye.

Unstable Affliction and Pandemic

I'm a leeeetle iffy on this right now, basically because currently my crit chance is 13%. Which means if I spend the points in UA and Pandemic right now, I have a 13% chance / tick of causing 100% more damage from that tick? That's how I'm reading it right now. Anyone see anything different? Currently, I plan on keeping it, because if I am going to go with a hybrid spec, I imagine that I'll be boosting my spell crit chance a bit more than I was.


Damnit, I'm looking deeper at the Destruction tree and I see some things that are making me twitch with desire. But I'll play with Affliction first before I see if the grass is indeed greener on the other side.


Please, unload your thoughts if you have a lock, especially a level 80 lock, about what I'm thinking. I won't be offended really. I've done hybrid before when everyone was telling me I was a dummy, so I'll really be okay with you guys saying I shouldn't be hybrid. But what I'm really looking for is commentary in the form of, "Have you considered this hybrid spec, because of X, Y and Z".

Kikidas @ 73 : 43/0/21

That's right. I respecced.

And not surprisingly, I'm enjoying it more than I was. I do plan on going as deep into affliction as I can, while trying to retain my Devastation, Ruin and Shadowburn. Which won't work for anyone, but I'll play with it.

What do I mean by it won't work? We'll touch on that in a second.

Also not surprisingly... I'm not dying anymore.

I know it's just a matter of playstyle. Lots of warlocks dot up tons of mobs and kite them around in circles until they all die.

And yes, that is hilariously fun, but it doesn't suit my playstyle.

Now, why won't Devastation and Ruin work for deep affliction? First of all, to get Haunt, you can't get Devastation.

Secondly, everything I'm reading of a full deep affliction cycle has barely any time to cast even the occasional SB to get the debuff from ISB, or if you're going for Shadows Embrace before you hit the mob with Haunt... that why should I have Ruin (increases crit bonus of my destruction spells by 100% at max rank)? I won't ever be casting it. Arguably it would increase the crit bonus of my Immolate, but really?

So I have a lot of playing to do.

So saying, my hare-brained hybrid spec worked well for me in TBC, even though no one else I knew had something anything close to it.

Maybe a new hare-brained hybrid spec will work for me in WotLK too.

We'll have to see what I can come up with, shall we?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Who are you and what have you done to Kikidas?

I hereby qualify the following with this disclaimer: I am on a laggy laptop. I don't have Necrosis on said laptop. I can't tab target on the laptop. And I've been spending a vast majority of my time lately running around in plate and 18k health.

So, yesterday I spend a little time on Kikidas. I log in, I briefly reaccustom myself to what spells I have in my hotbars and etc, etc. And I head on out to do quests.

I have Boon in my party, just to chat while he levels up his engineering.

And I'm out in the Dragonblight and I ride along the way I have habitually ridden along for ages upon ages. Meaning I ride straight to my goal, stop to see what I have chasing me and then get jusssst a little further to make them 'leave combat', or I stop and kill them if there's just one or two.

Of course, this plan backfires BADLY when you get knocked off your mount... when you're level 72. When you have 8k health. When you're on a laptop. When you're surrounded by mobs that are level 73.

So I died.


Then I resurrected and wound up dying again because the stupid mobs were still within range to aggro me.


I safely resurrect, get my quest done, head on my way.


And die in another group of mobs that knocked me off my mount.


And Boon is going, "Uh... K?"


And I grumble, "Shut up."


And then I'm doing the quest out at Ruby Dragonshrine, where you have to help the NPC's kill things. And I somehow manage to ride off my mount right into the middle of a huge gang of ghouls and geists. And I for some reason decide that opening up with several SoC is OBVIOUSLY the best way to get the quest done as quickly and efficiently as I can.

And the ghouls and geists decide I look extra tasty. And I stupidly parked myself very close to them.

And I die.


And Boon says, "Who are you and what have you done with Kikidas?"


On a side note, while I think deep affliction is going to be tasty tasty tasty, I think I'm going to, while leveling, respec to my old hybrid spec so I can get some bang along with my buck. And as I level up, I'll spend more points to get deeper into affliction. We shall see.

Damnit. I've been spoiled by the Light. This is unacceptable. :(

I need to go kick some puppies and read some LFG.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It isn't who you are, it's what you bring!

We had a friend, back in vanilla WoW, who played a priest. A shadowpriest actually, but a priest.

Whenever the guild ran instances, they always said, "Where's DB, we need a healer!"

It got to the point that DB stopped logging in because he felt that they didn't want HIM, they just wanted a healer.

He knew better, at least in the case of Boon and myself... because I'd bring my priest if we wanted a healer. But he only had one character that was high level, which was his priest. So we'd always ask him to bring his priest... because that's all he had.

He burned out and left. It was a shame because he really enjoyed the game. But he felt that he never had time to play something else because he always had to be his priest, and he felt that we didn't want HIM, we just wanted a healer.

It's something I hit towards the end of TBC... it seemed I could never bring one of my DPS because I always had to be the tank, because really... do you REALLY want to PuG a tank fo a heroic or a raid? So much easier to PuG a DPS. A good tank and healer combo can make up for a whole host of DPS suckiness.

Sometimes, yeah, it isn't who you are, it's what you bring to the group. People put up with your irritations because they'd rather keep your tank around than have to find a new tank that knows how to actually tank.

Once you know it though, that all they want is your tank... not you... wow, such a blow.

I wish I could go back in time and tell DB some of this. It was him we enjoyed. It was his humor and his wit. He could have been playing a melee-warlock and we'd still want to hang with him.

Miss you, Dawnbreaker.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Apparently, it is not an upgrade! Despite what I just said, the strength on the Amulet is better, I gain more AP from it.

Why is that?

Because I have Divine Strength, which increases my strength by 15%. So the Amulet actually DOES give me more Attack Power.

The issue of the crit is still up for grabs however... but I didn't go for the Pendant after all.


So something I'm running into a lot with a few things... is the question, "I know it's purple. And it does have a somewhat higher crit rating than the item I have on. But other than that, I lose 45 Strength to gain 49 Agility. I'm not sure it's really an upgrade?"

What I'm talking about is that Kvasira is currently wearing the Gold Amulet of Kings out of Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle.

The Collar of Dissolution dropped last night in Naxx-10. And the Pendant of the Outcast Hero which is a Dalaran Emblem of Heroism token reward.

But are they better? Their i-level is the same, 200. One is just colored purple, the other blue.

So, let's compare.

47 Strength gives me 94 Attack Power. (It takes 14 AP to increase DPS by 1, or so says WoWWiki.) So in terms of Attack Power, both pieces may actually be better than the Amulet. (pout, I hate it when my research proves what I was about to say wrong.)

It takes 45 crit rating to increase your crit by 1%. It takes (for a paladin), 52 agility to increase crit by 1%.

There's a conversion for when Agi becomes more important than Str.

For me, it seems that equilibrium point is when my 'DPS' is about 902.71.

Right now, it's at 434 something.

So according to this, I should still be focusing more on Str than Agi. This is subject to change with talents, and as I get more or less strength, more or less agility, more or less crit chance.

It's, to put it simply, confusing as hell.

It's [(0.1428-0)x(1+0.26)]/0.0002 for me.

This is [(DPSperStr-DPSperAgi)x(1+Crit)]/CritperAgi

For people who aren't hunters and rogues, it's always 0.1428 for DPSperStr and for anyone who isn't a rogue, hunter or cat druid, it's 0 for DPSperAgi.

So from what I see of this, when I mouse over my 'Damage' and it reads 902 DPS, that's when I say 1 point of Agility > 1 point of Strength. Until that point in time, Strength is still my baby.

For crit chance, I'm sitting at about 26% right now. The Pendant would give me an overall 1.7% crit. The Amulet gives about a 0.95%. The Collar gives about a 0.69%.

Once you get above 25% for a retribution paladin, give or take, Vengeance and Righteous Vengeance are always aglow and active.

So would the extra 0.75% crit chance matter? Crits are pretty. Crits make us laugh in glee. And at this level, it takes a walloping amount of crit rating or agility to make us sit up and go, "Really? Wooooow." So when you say it like, it's just an increase in 0.75% crit... makes it sound like less than it is. It's actually a good boost.

What the Collar has that the other two do NOT is Expertise. Now, if you have talents that are guaranteed to never be dodged or missed, then boogy for you. For us paladins, we need expertise to avoid that 5-6% dodging that bosses will do.

So that 38 Expertise Rating calculates out to being a little over 1% decrease in the boss' ability to dodge (or parry) my attacks.

Right now, raid buffed, using Elixir of Expertise and Rhinolicious Wormsteak, with my expertise gems, I'm at about 5% dodge free.

So... in my opinion, if you're hit capped and close to expertise capped, the Collar is not an upgrade.

In my opinion, the Pendant ekes out over the Amulet.

Which means I know what I'm buying when I get home tonight.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sons of Hodir... get a TABARD!

Even with 5 Daily quests for the Sons of Hodir, it takes forever to grind reputation with them. There is probably a reason for that, namely that the exalted reputation gains you the Greater Inscription of the Axe, Crag, Pinnacle and Storm. And if EVERYONE could get those, where would be the fun in that?

There are other places you can get shoulder inscriptions, such as with Stonekeeper Shards with the Inscription of Dominance and the Inscription of Triumph.

Armor Kits also add stamina to your shoulder pieces, if you so desire.

And of course, one cannot forget the Mammoths.

(Someone told me that inscriptionists can make a very nice shoulder enhancement item, that requires inscription to use. I cannot however, seem to find it. Anyone?)

So, I think the Sons of Hodir really need a tabard. Or more quests. I mean, I've only done ONE DAY of dailies for the Kalu'ak and I'm revered with them.

And the Kirin Tor need more quests. Seriously.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Google it, just a little bit!

I was going through some old comments, being curious as I always am, and I stumbled upon a slew of comments (3) on my Paladin post about hit, crit, etc, etc.

One person thanked me for such a comprehensive guide!

Another said it wasn't so comprehensive, because they already saw some errors!

A third said that it was okay, but some things had changed since it was posted.

Which got me thinking... none of them were 'usual' readers of mine. Not that I mind this, but I was curious how they found me. I'm SURE I'm not listed as a 'go to' guide on any of the forums.

So I Googled it.

Kikidas - 4th hit.
Paladin Hit - 3rd hit.
Paladin Crit - 9th hit.
Paladin Expertise - 7th hit.
Retribution Paladin Hit - 10th page!
Retribution Paladin - I gave up at page 20.
Restoration Shaman - Page 4
Shaman Glyphs - top of page 2.
Affliction Warlock - Gave up at page 20!
Druid Tank - Gave up at page 5. (I started to get bored)

I know that I'm the only Kikidas listed on the armory. (I'm special.)
There are 2 Karitei (both me), 2 Kvasira and 2 Keyami.
There are 6 Kiljara, 34 Karika and 46 Kathe.
There are 81 Kava, 91 Keiji and 100 Kiya.

I'm a little surprised there are that many Keiji's. Did I stumble upon another 'made up' name that actually is a word? (I did that once, with the name Kiva)


And yes! Keiji is a Japanese musician!

Damn I'm good. Let's see who else I am. Kikidas is a golfer.

Kiljara is no one.

Kava is a herb. (I also "invented" this name before I knew it was a word.)

Keyami is nothing special, though Kayamy and Kayami are a Persion cat breeder and a clothing design.

Kvasira is deliberately based off the Norse god Kvasir.

Kathe ... apparently is a popular German name.

Karitei is another name I swiped from a religion.

Kiya is apparently an Egyptian queen, but I stole the name as a shortened version of Kiyamvir.

Karika appears to be my most famous name, given that it's a family name, a New Zealand historical figure, a songwriter/singer, a complicated philosophical idealogy from Buddhism? or a verse. I can't tell. And apparently just a common name. A man's name. But a name.

What is your Google?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So, in the vein of K being oblivious about appropriate versus inappropriate commentary (This is no shock to anyone, I do it all the time! Open mouth, insert foot.), I hereby erase from your memories anything about my previous post! It did not exist. It was all a bad dream. *waggles fingers*

But I still ask... What do we classify as a main? It's a running joke with many people about altitis and altisms and altaholics. Some of them have a main, a very distinct person they prefer to run as.

Others (and I include myself in this), don't have a favorite character as much as a favorite TYPE of character.

I call it a shaladruilock!

No, seriously.

For healing, right now I prefer my shaman.

For melee DPS, I prefer my paladin.

For caster DPS, I'm still a warlock, though if my mage was high enough, that may change.

And for tanky stuff, I still like being a fuzzybutt bear.

So, honestly, I consider it that I have four mains. Granted, only two of them are 80 right now, but I can only do so much! I don't have unlimited time, y'know.

Who I bring to a given situation depends on the situation... not to mention right now level! But that will change. And soon ... yes soon... I shall have 10 level 80s.

Don't roll your eyes. It will happen.

The idea of being confined into one skin makes me twitch. There are people who do it, and are happy with it, and I applaud them for that! But I think I'd wind up leaving WoW if I had to just be one person, one thing, all the time.

One of the things that keeps me coming back to WoW, that we haven't left it for some other game... is just that. It's endless variety in what you can do, with what character you can do it with. The challenges of doing something to see if you can.

Such fun. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Someone wrote me a song!

Someone wrote me a song!

(I imagine the little screamy faces as the souls of people Kikidas has drained.)

I shared it with my guildies. Or at least where to find it. Thank you, Dradis. :) I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Makes me want to go out and corrupt something.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The B!tch is Back

Elton John put it best...

I'm a bitch, I'm a bitch, oh the bitch is back, stone cold sober as a matter of fact, I can bitch, I can bitch, 'cause I'm better than you, it's the way that I move, the things that I do. Oh oh oh!

Kikidas has been dusted off as of yesterday and put back into the game! I spent most of yesterday afternoon running around and dotting up 5-7 mobs at once and then collecting loot off of their dessicated corpses.

It was delicious. My only problem is that they're dying too fast sometimes, I'm having a hard time timing Soul Drain appropriately. What's the use in them dying if I don't get a soul shard out of the deal?

She just finished up Howling Fjord (I was 10 quests away from the achievement, so I finished up a few) and one of the quests was The Cleansing. And I ask you, I honestly ask you... why did I have to kill my 'inner turmoil'. She was great! The things building within me all my life... oh, yes. Yes please! We can kill so many things together!

If only my inner turmoil wasn't such a megalomaniac, what wonderful things we could have accomplished together!

Oh well, more loot for me, I guess.

Now I'm finishing up the Wrathgate. So. Much. Fun.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Heroics and Altisms

Of no surprise to anyone, I've rediscovered the joy of Heroics. Yesterday I ran three or four Heroics with a very nice trio of people, we kept switching out our last DPS with another of their guild members every run for some reason, from the Mighty Froggers on Alleria.

Their website by the way... it's in French. I'm linking it because it's also cool with the little buttons. (I'm easily amused)

I was worried when I first got in the group because they were speaking French, but they switched to English (at least in party chat) and invited me from one run to another.

So Zhiara the Bear, Frostdude the Mage and Gazou the Holy Pally -- Thanks guys!

And then of course, my 'usual group' formed and we waltzed through Utgard Pinnacle. We even got the My Girl Loves to Skadi All the Time achievement.

Then our TANK (Posolutely) decided he'd rather go OUT and stare at drunk girls for a while. Pfft. Where's his sense of loyalty?!

So we had to hunt for another tank and just by luck picked up a lovely prot pally named Gamling. And then we ran Utgard Keep and Nexus.

Of course the belt didn't drop for me.

On a side note, I only have 5 more world drop JC recipes to go for Northrend. One is in regular Oculus, one is a drop off of mammoths in Storm Peaks and three are in Heroic VH, Heroic OK and Heroic HoS. Fun fun!

On a side side note, having my altisms linked to my husband (I can only play something linked with one of his characters) is helping reduce the sheer amount of ... leveling I'd be doing otherwise. If not for him, I'd have 7 level 73 people, 1 level 76 and 2 level 80's.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Memorable PuG Moments

We all have them, you join a PuG and something happens that sticks in your head, either to someone or something someone said... SOMETHING.

Last night I was looking for a heroic for Kvasira, ideally into one that drops one of those coveted expertise upgrades I spent so much time researching.

But I didn't get into one of those. I got into a pug for Heroic Azjol-Nerub.

It was me, a DK, a prot pally, a mage and I dragged Kyuushi from YouWakeIt in with me to heal it. Boon was busy with Vialora watching the Gator's game.

The first warning came when I was discussing with the tank what buffs to give. He asked if I had the one that reduces threat. Then if I had sanctuary.

Blessing of Salvation hasn't been around since before WotLK came out. Sanctuary, iirc, is a prot only buff.

We didn't get to the first boss. The 'chain pull' of three watchers was where we got stuck on. The tank was doing his best, unfortunately. He was new to either the tanking game or the prot pally game or to the heroics game or something, but he just did not do a good job. The mobs would splinter off and kill the healer or the mage. Or they'd turn and start hitting me. Or the DK.

It was sad. We died I don't know how many times before we said, 'Maybe we should try an easier heroic.'.

So we picked the Nexus. Pretty easy, right? The DK had to go, the mage also had to go (due to repair bill concerns). We picked up one of our guild rogues, Shortwinded, and the tank invited a priest he knew... who was holy, but could 'do good dps'. (Which was about 500DPS max)

We're in Nexus and get to the orc boss in ice. The priest eventually leaves because he isn't helping and wasn't aware that he was brought in to 'dps'. We get a mage.

We keep wiping. I eventually get so tired of wiping that I pop off a DI on the other paladin during one of our wipes. (Repair bill save FTW!)

This is where it gets fun.

He says, "I don't know what's wrong! I can't DO anything!"

We say, "You're DI'd."

He says, "But I didn't do it!"

We eventually politely disbanded, grabbed one of our guild tanks, Balendin, reformed with the PuG mage and had a wonderful quick run thereafter.

Of COURSE the Flame-Bathed Steel Girdle didn't drop for me. I just hope the Nexus isn't Kvasira's Heroic Hellfire Ramparts, Kathe's nemesis in the quest for the Tree-Mender's Belt.

I felt bad for the previous tank, because he was TRYING so very hard. I know nothing about prot pally tanking. Kyuushi was helping him as best he could and told him where he could go to read up on it, as well as suggestions to maybe not tank in heroics first.

One day, we will meet up again, little Prot Pally and we will share a chortle over the misadventures of our youth! I have had my share of 'Oh God, am I really that stupid/bad/horrible?'. I won't SHARE them, because yegads, that would be embarassing, but it's happened.

Expertise: Addendum

Thank you to Dradis for pointing out that paladins can't use staves. (What am I, a walking WoW Guru?! Geez, you people expect way too much of me.)

I'd like to point out on my own that the Titansteel Bonecrusher, as lovely as it is with expertise, is a one-hander. A fact I somehow managed to overlook earlier.

Additionally, my wowhead searches left out a few pieces of gear! I'm ashamed of myself.

Battleplate of Unheard Ovation obtained through the Battle of Valhalas quest line in Icecrown is purdy. And appropriately leveled!

Two other pieces of gear that are level 74... but have expertise and are plate...
Eternal Observer's Legplates drops off the rare elite Zul'Drak Sentinel in... Zul'Drak.
Muradin's Lost Greaves is off a boss in Drak'Tharon Keep, Prophet Tharon'ja.

A trinket I found that's nifty is Crusader's Locket from the quest line Defending the Vanguard in Icecrown.

Granted, it's a trinket that's 'chance on melee', but when it procs, you are over your expertise cap if you're DPS. It's probably a trinket that works better on classes with a faster swing rate than most ret pallies. However, I'm using it over Chuchu's Tiny Box of Horrors just to see how often it seems to work and whether it's worth it for me.

Now, a question I fielded yesterday from a few friends was the benefit of expertise over attack power or critical strike rating or even hit rating.

The adage for hit vs. crit is... you can't crit if you can't hit.

The same rule applies, IMNSHO, to expertise (now that I know more about it) versus other stats. Granted, you don't want to seriously gimp your damage output by doing nothing BUT stacking expertise over strength, crit rating, attack power... but 6% of your attacks are being dodged.

What difference is there in saying 'I need hit rating because otherwise, 8-9% of my attacks are missing!' and in saying, 'I need expertise rating because otherwise, 6% of my attacks are being dodged!'.

Lost DPS is lost DPS. I can have one kazillion crit rating or attack power, and still do poor damage if my attacks aren't landing.

Some things we can't help - melee fighters are at a slight disadvantage in terms of 'time on mob' in moving fights, or positioning ourselves, or in having to run in and out of AoE, or running to free a teammate from some spell... why not help ourselves where we can? If we're not missing 8-9% of the time (there's some debate whether the hit cap is 8 or 9%. Something to play with.) and we're not being dodged 6% of the time... that's 14% more 'time hitting mob' that we can get in.

I'm bad at math, so though to me it sounds like I should be doing 14% more damage(!!!) I don't think that's how it works out. Would be nice though.

Either way, for us ret pallies swinging big ol' 3.3+ second two handers, if our attack is dodged, it's another 3.3+ seconds before we get another shot at hitting the boss and doing melee damage. Granted, we have OTHER attacks which do a great deal of damage in and of themselves... but Seal of Command (or whatever Seal you're using) can't proc if you aren't hitting. And that big ol' honkin' two hander makes a better weapon than a fan.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Expertise: The real 411

In a recent excursion into Naxx-10, my under hit cap by 0.3% retribution paladin was 'missing' quite a lot! (according to WWS. According to recount, I wasn't missing, I was being dodged.)

My guild leader gave me a whisper and said, "I thought you said you were hit-capped?!"

And I said, "I'm at 8.72%. That's close enough to hit cap to say, 'I'm hit capped'."

Hilarity ensued, and the consensus was that my whopping 0 in expertise was to blame for the 'misses'.

Bleh. The yucky 'new kid' that I never paid attention to before suddenly becomes important.

So what do we need?

At level 80, against a level 83 mob, we need to beat a 6.5% dodge. After all the number crunching, with all the whositwhazat of expertise rating versus expertise... we need, two-handers, one-handers, dual-wielders, to hit an expertise of 214. It's about 32.8 expertise to get a 1% dodge beatdown.

Most of us normal people have to work with expertise rating (the expertise you get from items/enchants, etc.). A few lucky SOBs get expertise (talents in their respective trees).

(And some of the information listed in the expertise page on WoWWiki is out of date on which classes/specs get expertise versus those that don't. So do your research. To my knowledge, only prot pallies and combat rogues have talents that give expertise.)

Now, I need more expertise. Great! Where do I go to get that new yummy thing so I don't get dodged nearly so much! (Why don't I worry about being parried? ... Yes Timmy? ... Good answer! Because DPS stab people in the ass. And you can't parry something coming at your ass. All you tanks out there have to worry about it, up to 10%-12% (accounts vary). (Sorry Kathe... ))
(Leave my parenthesis'ing alone.)

I love for things like this. I say, 'okay dokay!', and I go ahead and put in filters for strength, critical strike rating and expertise, wanting it to find 'at least one', on plate pieces that are Rare and Epic.

And what do I find? ... yeah, +defense crap. Stupid tanks. And everything dropping out of things like Heroic Naxx and OS...

Which I have a snowballs chance in hell of ever getting into.


So, where can someone who is just starting out, whom wants to be the best they can be... go to get expertise rating!

I'm glad you asked. (I'm focusing on plate here people. Wait until I get a different armor-type up to this level and I'll probably post on that type of armor. Until then, wait or play with wowhead yourself.)

There are a few pieces of gear that I found (please correct me if you know of others) for plate DPS expertise that are theorhetically obtainable by newbies. (excluding items that are tanking items with +defense)
(I include Naxx-10 and OS-10 in this list)
(I exclude anything lower than plate, even though I know a lot of plate DPS will wear lesser armor types if the stats are otherwise acceptable. Deal with it.)
(No items below level 78 were looked at, though I know they are out there.)

Obsidian Greathelm drops out of regular OS (Obsidian Sanctum).
Bracers of Lost Sentiments drops out of regular Naxx (Grand Widow Faerlina and Gluth)
Circle of Death out of regular Naxx (Sapphiron)
Collar of Dissolution out of regular Naxx (Anub'Rekhan and Gluth)
Hemorrhaging Circle out of heroic Gundrak (Gal'darah)
Ring of the Kirin Tor (not available yet)
Iceforged Battle Ring out of a quest line in Storm Peaks (The Brother's Bronzebeard)
Durable Nerubhide Cape is craftable by leatherworkers. 2 Arctic Hide, 40 Nerubian Chitin, Frozen Orb
Shroud of Reverberation out of heroic Halls of Lightning (Volkhan)

and finally...

Wristbands of the Sentinel Huntress are an Emblem of Valor x 60 purchase in Dalaran.

The problem with that? I've never seen an Emblem of Valor. Emblem of Heroism, yes. Valor? No. Why is this? Because Emblems of Valor drop in heroic OS and heroic Naxx. See above reference about snowballs.

Okay, next!

Technically 'gear', but meh, they're so special they deserve their own category.
Again, a lot of the weapons drop in 25-mans. So, what can we do?

Titansteel Bonecrusher is a craftable weapon. 6 Saronite Bars, 6 Titansteel Bars, 2 Frozen Orbs. Cha-ching.
Staff of the Plaguehound technically is within our 'reachable' areas, as it's in regular Naxx. Of course, it's in regular Naxx as a drop off of Kel'Thuzad and if you aren't a druid and roll against one for it, you may be dropkicked off the planet... but hey! Beggars can't be choosers, right?

These are one-handers. All craftable.
Corroded Saronite Edge (16 Saronite bars, 1 crystallized fire) and Corroded Saronite Woundbringer (14 Saronite bars, 1 crystallized fire)

We can do gems, right?! Yes! We can do gems!

If you're a jewelcrafter, you can make Precise Dragon's Eye.

Otherwise, your options are Orange, Purple and Red.
Accurate Monarch Topaz (BOP World Drop) and it's baby cousin Accurate Huge Citrine
Guardian's Twilight Opal (Argent Crusade Rep) and Guardian's Shadow Crystal
Precise Scarlet Ruby (BOP Herald Volazj in Old Kingdom) and Precise Bloodstone

Sometime soon (one hopes), they will be releasing the Accurate Flawless Ametrine, Guardian's Dreadstone and Precise Cardinal Ruby.

What about enchants? Lucky for us, there are 2, count them TWO, enchants for expertise.

Enchant Bracers - Expertise
Enchant Gloves - Expertise.

Rhinolicious Wormsteak provides 40 Expertise and 40 Stamina. It requires Worm Meat, Rhino Meat and Northern Spices. Not too shabby right? Keep in mind that 10 Northern Spices requires a cook to spend 1 Dalaran Cooking Award to get.

Last, but not least... Consumables
The only one I could find was a battle elixir called, accurately enough, Elixir of Expertise and it provides 45 Expertise. It requires gold clover, adder's tongue and an imbued vial to make.

Somehow, with all of this, we need to get to 214. Ignoring gems for now, because who knows how many sockets you'll have, with just enchants, food and elixir, you can get to 115. That's 3.5% decrease in a boss dodging your attack.

Good luck in your expertise hunt!

(Seriously though, don't roll against a feral druid for the Staff if it drops. That's very 'not cool'. Who wants a yucky staff anyway?)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Bear is Back

(Contrary to popular (ie: Boon) belief, the following is not a squirrel.)

With Karika and Kvasira both sitting pretty at 80, my altisms has flared again. And Kathe is the winnar! I figured, with one DPS (Ret4eva!) and one healer, I really should level a tank.

And whom better to level than the lovable bear, sometimes-kitty, Kathe!

That's original artwork, done by me! I tried once to color it, in a photoshop thing. Still playing with it.

So, Kathe and Dhark-now-Moonkata (who knew beneath that masculine NElf exterior there was a slender female NElf just waiting to get free!) will be questing together in the Borean Tundra. We've done the Howling Fjord quests twice now, so we're due for a change of pace.

Of course, we would take two leather wearers who are both herbalists to play together... we're smart that way.

So hopefully more fun bear-tank exploits will follow.

The first thing I did? Besides sell all my blechy-healing gear?

Upgraded all my Solid Stars of Elune with Solid Chalcedonies and Delicate Bloodstones and some other 'grinding my JC up' gems.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Restoration Shaman: Mana Regen

Most of you may be wondering... why am I reading about a restoration shaman on a blog that's titled 'More Dots' and has a picture of a firey woman (presumably a warlock) as it's avatar?

Yeah, I don't know why either. But here you are!

So moment of 'Eeee!' here. I put up my email address and haven't had anyone email me... until now!


Could it be a spoof? Possssibly. But I will put my faith in the anonymity of the internet!

The question ... is more of a rambling question! It's about mana regeneration for restoration shamans in a fight that involves a lot of movement.

Without our Mana Spring Totem, we're as dependent on spirit for our mana regeneration as any other class, right? Well... sort of.

(Yeah, go ahead. Go there. Look at it. LOOK AT IT! And then go crosseyed and stop looking... stop looking. Really, quit it. Come back here now. Numbers make you go insane, don't you know that?)

While spirit is still a mana regeneration stat for us, and indeed, a certain level of mp5 is very advisable for any raid or heroic... we do have other options.

First: Water Shield
Improved Water Shield - This ability is in our third tier on the restoration tree, requiring 10 points to get. Our Water Shield at max rank gives back 400 mana per 'globe' and a passive 100 mp5.

Water Shield costs NO MANA to cast. Water Shield should be up ALL THE TIME. As soon as it drops off, pop it back on.

If you're worried about GCD, get Glyph of Water Shield and Glyph of Water Mastery for an additional 'globe' and to boost the passive mana regen effect of the water shield.

Second: Totems
Mana Tide Totem has a 5 minute cooldown, which sucks, but returns 24% of your mana in 12 seconds. Additionally, Glyph of Mana Tide Totem will increase that return an additional 4% of mana.

Now, I hear you say, "But you already said this was for a moving fight!" ... yes. And so you may not get the full benefit of this totem if you have to move more than 30yards away from it.

Whatever fight you're fighting, try to pick a place to slap down ALL of your totems that will hopefully allow you to be within 30 yards of them no matter where you are.

Typically, when I'm in a fight where I'm going to have to be dodging around, I try to pick the 'center' of the fighting area and slap down all my totems, even if it means for a few seconds I'm standing on top of the tank and the boss.

My rule of thumb? Know your fight. If you know you'll have a chance to sit still for 12 seconds while the boss does something, and you're even close to 24% mana down? Pop your Mana Tide Totem. Pop it early so that if it's a long fight, you may be able to use it a second time. (This is also my rule of thumb for Shadowfiend for priests. Use it early so you can use it a second time if the fight is lingering.)

Know your ground. Find a place you can set down your totems. It seems to me that most totems are not affected by AoE abilities and have to be deliberately targetted to be destroyed, despite their low hit points. So even if you have a boss that has an AoE ability, they should still survive and hopefully provide good benefits to everyone in the party.

Thirdly: Talents and Glyphs
Make sure you have all the healing boosting abilities you can get. Things that boost the amount you heal either directly (Glyph of Lesser Healing Wave, Tidal Waves and Purification) or indirectly (Glyph of Earthliving Weapon, Ancestral Awakening), things that increase your crit chance (Tidal Force and Blessing of the Eternals) so you get more bang for your buck (and possibly use up a water charge).

The less time you spend casting, the more passive mana regen you will gain from spirit and mp5. Earth Shield can be boosted with Improved Earth Shield and Riptide will decrease the amount of time you spend actively healing, as well as boost the effects of your lesser healing wave (if glyphed for it) and chain healing if required.

Don't be afraid to use things that have cooldowns. Early and often.

And last but not least... water shield, water shield, water shield.

I have a hard time sometimes remembernig to put it back on myself, especially when I'm casting a lot.

But your tank will die if you run out of mana, but will live long enough (hopefully!) for you to slap a water shield on yourself.

Like any healing class, it's about pacing yourself and your mana. Watch your overhealing. If you have multiple healers, make sure you communicate with them on who you're healing to avoid overhealing.

If you're running low on mana, but some other healer has a metric ton of it, ask them to take over to let some passive mp5 tick away.

If it's an issue where you're overhealing a lot because the other healer is getting to them faster... was it a required 'faster'? Or are they stepping on your healing toes/assignments?

There's more to evaluating who is the best healer than who heals for more.

I hope that helps my questioner!

Tip Toe Through the Tulips

So, through dint of much effort and gold, my beloved Boonybaby went and made me some shinies!

Spiked Titansteel Helmet, Titansteel Destroyer and Spiked Titansteel Treads...

(These boots were made for walking, and that's just what they'll do, one of these days these boots will walk all over you!)

(Ah Nancy Sinatra.)

Don't you just love people who make you pretty shinies?


He made me these items because I was grousing about having a GREEN quality weapon. I was quite ashamed. And such shame should never be shouldered by a retribution paladin.

So he fixed it! Yay!

Yesterday I was invited to visit another guild in a raid on Wintergrasp and Obsidian Sanctum. 'Twas very much fun. Alas, I only got a bag out of the deal, but I'll live somehow.

Then as a guild, we ventured into Naxx-10.

Our brave explorers were the two meatshields, warriors Posolutely and Balendin, three never-ending-health-potions, the paladin Boon, the druid Kyuushi and the priest Janril and the five 'we kill you!' damage dealers, the mage Micromachine, the hunters Wolfinme and Neshura, with their companions the kitty Max and the albino devilsaur Petunia and then the two paladins, Iceravens and Kvasira.

We one shot the fist two bosses in the 'Eek, get them off of me!' quarter, then had a hard time with the big spider. We had the strategy down well... it was just a matter of the tank getting crunched in a web-wrap during the last 30%.

Finally, it came down to the wire! The tank was dying (again, what a lazy gnome.)! I used Lay on Hands and poof, he was back alive. But then he died. And then someone else died. And then it was eating me! (eek, get it off!)

So I bubbled. Boon bubbled. We hammer of wrathed, holy shocked, crusader striked, Neshura (who was still alive. I think she fainted and then woke up again) plunked it full of arrows and then it .. died.

And it was me. And Neshura. And 10 little spiders! (eek, get them off!)

A ret paladins work is never done.

After that, we pushed on to the plague quarters, and we wiped on the first gargoyle patrol.

See? See? That's juju!


"... did we just wipe on a patrol trash mob?"

We killed Noth, after one wipe (or was it two? I was losing count) and then had to call it a night as some of us have to work in the morning. (like me, very sad.)

So, I was wrong in how many times we'd wipe on the way to the first boss... but we probably wiped 5 times on Maexxna before we got it right.

So I get the consolation prize of a level 80 shaman.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Brand New Year, Same Old Tricks

If you've been wondering where I have been (and I know you've missed me... it's been over 10 days since I've been around! How did you ever survive?), I was in Florida!

Florida, by the way, is just south of Un'Goro. The raptors are just a bit smaller, but still everywhere. And don't get me started on the size of the pterrodax's!

Anyway... so it's a brand new year. Have you guys made your Resolutions?

I made mine in November, shortly after my birthday. How am I doing with that? Meh. The wagon has fallen off the beaten path, but it's still stubbornly chugging along. Had to fix an axle here, a wheel there, but it's still plugging along.

But enough about the boring real world... how about in WoW?

Just because it's a virtual world doesn't mean you can't make resolutions for it, too.

Want that Traveler's Tundra Mammoth? Is your resolution to farm an hour (or more!) a day for funding?

Drooling over some piece of gear but feel you'll never be able to get into the instance it drops in? Have you decided to work towards bettering your character and your gear in ways you can?

Are you a DPS class that's getting outDPS'd continuously by the tank? Have you looked into what's going wrong? Do you have recount? Do you have appropriate gear for your class? Etc.

Since I'm perfect, I have no Resolutions in WoW.

(I'm kidding.)

We've started to hit Heroics with our Paladins (by 'we', I mean Boon and Kvasira) and ran our first two last night - Heroic Violet Hold and Heroic Culling of Stratholme.

We're going to be venturing into 10-man Naxx this weekend, just for a looksee and to see how many times in one night we can die. Any wagers?

I'm guessing we wipe at least 5 times. On our way to the first boss.

My shaman dinged 78 yesterday and so naturally I made Seraphelia (Boon's Blood/Frost DK) tank CoS at 78 too.

We made it through with only one true wipe. We had people die here and there, and I had to pull out all my tricks to keep my mana up. And at one point, I was tanking when Seraphelia died on a pull. Why did Seraphelia die? Because I thought it would be funny! (No, I'm kidding.)

It was very fun, in my opinion and I think Seraphelia did just swimmingly. The only true wipe was on Mal'Ganis, because no one realized he had a frontal arc AoE and I just couldn't keep everyone alive. (Bad shammy, BAD!)

Seraphelia however, kept giving me the hairy eyeball because we had three 78's in the instance. ("What part of 80 instance do you not understand, K?!")


Oh, it's good to be back.