Max Level Archeology – A Helpful Flow Chart

Frustrated with the RNG of artifacts?  Sick of digging?  Blathering in tongues from the endless mind-numbing flying from site to site?  Hearing creepy voices?  NOOB!!  You’re doing it wrong!!

Archeology isn’t RNG at all.  You just have to know how to maximize your Profit and minimize your Effort.  Following this helpful flow chart will bring you from crazed shovel toter to proud Epix owner in no time flat.

Seriously, you won’t even believe how fun and easy it is.  You’ll be wetting your pants with glee and rolling new alts just to use all the BoA you’ll be rolling in!  Here, take a look!

Which is the Squishiest Tank right now?

So I was just having a back & forth with @Achloryn about tank damage levels.  I have a bear and a Protadin and I’ve healed both.

It seems to me that Bears are taking a noticeable amount more damage.  In my opinion this might be due to two factors:

  1. Bears seem to be stacking Stam a lot more than other tanks.  ( I’ve seen some stacking only Stam ).
  2. They have one of ( comparatively ): Less Magic damage reduction / Less self-heals than other tanks.

What’s your opinion?

Paladins are so Judgy

I raid healed for the first time significantly ever on my Paladin last night.  We’ve been short of healers and have three geared tanks for our 10 man group at the moment, and my Holy set had been not far behind my Prot set.  So, I’ve been gearing and practicing over the last week, and last night was my night to give it a go.

Let me just say that this is not my first foray into healing, lest you expect a horror story of wipes and QQ.  I healed extensively through ICC on my Shaman, and I have the basic concepts and toolset well in hand.  I was very proud the night I posted 9K hps on a heroic Blood Queen downing.  However, my Paladin has only really ever been called upon to get smacked repeatedly in the helm ( poor thing is ever so forgetful… ).  So this is – again – just my first time raid healing on him.

First of all – Wow!!!  No, not the name of the game.  “Goodness.”  “My gosh.”  “Holy… Holiness, Batman.”  He heals a LOT.  Since I usually raid lead and tank, I’m used to watching Recount for lots of things.  But I was fairly surprised by the numbers I put out.  12K hps at certain times.  Never really under 10K.  And I had a fairly good – if a bit stressful – time of it.  We did not get anything down boss-wise.  But I definitely healed many targets.  I just had onnne liiiiittle problem.  The fight was Magmaw, and if you’ve done this fight you know that there is a fairly predictable point repeatedly where the entire raid goes down to 10-20% health.  Well, naturally, I start blowing up the Holy fireworks at this point.  Beacon hissing, Radiance ticking, FoL rocking your face off.  And then pretty much by the time the head hits the spike, I … was… ooooommmmmm.

Eventually, someone mentioned Judgments.  I found out rather quickly that this was an important topic that I have good grasp of on Ret or Prot.  But on Holy, sadly, I had missed the boat.  Right seal! ( Insight ).  Right concept! ( Judge ). WRONG schedule! ( Once-a-minute-ish ).  So I started mashing my 1 key every time it came up and BOY did that make a difference.  My oomness has gone the way of our raid group: Dead.

But that got me thinking.  We Paladins sure do Judge others quite a lot.

Early on in life, we Judge from the perspective of Righteousness.  We believe ourselves morally above the fold.  Ahhh, youth.  When things seem so simple.  So black & white.

Later on,  we Judge based on our perceived Insight.  Having learned that the world cannot be broken down into right & wrong so easily.  But, do we really know so much more about situations than others?  It seems like we shouldn’t necessarily have the market cornered on clarity of understanding.

Eventually, Truth becomes the basis of our Judgments.  Truth?  Hah.  To quote Oscar Wilde, “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

And, finally: Justice.  Of all the bases for Judging others, perhaps the most susceptible to misuse and abuse.  So easy to ask for.  So hard to truly define.

Why MUST we Paladins BE so judgy?  Can we not accept others at their own merit?  Is it a flaw in ourselves that constantly seeks change?  What about the Here, the Now.  What about letting what may be, be.

I think this is a good time for us all to take a step back and consider – just CONSIDER… that there might be a better way.  And that way MAY just be to stack Spirit.

Wait, wait… Hold on a minute.  I’m being told that…. Yes, sorry.  The fine gentlemen at Elitist Jerks have informed me that stacking Spirit over INT makes your “Super Fail” and that Theck has conclusively disproven it’s value.  Well… shoot….

Judge away, my friends.  Judge away.

Heal Well!

- Llama

Heroics are HARD!!

Actually, I don’t think so.  I find it curious that the topic has received so much attention that Ghostcrawler made a ( rather excellent ) blog post about it.  http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2053469#blog

I wholeheartedly agree with a number of points of his.  Specifically this, paraphrased: Just because LFD will let you into a Heroic, does not mean that you SHOULD be in a heroic.  Personally, I waited quite a bit to start tanking Heroics.  Let me back up a bit.

It’s 3 months before Wrath.  Launch Date has not been announced, but it’s definitely in the offing.  I have leveled my first toon to 70!!  A dwarf hunter.  May he R.I.P.  Ok, I didn’t delete him, but I never play him.  I’ve ran some PvP, and got dragged into one Kara run.  I suffer from the unfortunate delusion that anything purple is good.  So I wore two PvP items.  Noone bothered to inform me that those didn’t really work for PVE.  Or that my quest greens probably don’t need to see the inside of Kara.  I have no idea what an enchant is.  I’m excited that there are gem slots on some of my gear.  I’m not sure what to put in them.  This all sounding familiar to anyone?  I was the ULTIMATE huntard.  Noone invites me to a group.  ( Ok, I was in a few groups, and I’m sure it was even more painful for them than it was for me but I was oblivious to that ).  Noone gives me any advice.  I don’t even know what questions to ask.  I have this cool gun and this cool Warp Stalker ( why?  dunno. ) and I’m shootin stuff, man!!

Then, the magic moment happens.  I see a Prot Paladin cast Avenger’s Shield. *Zing zerg bong*  “WOAH!  WTH WAS THAT I WANT ONE!!!!”  He’s an epic explosion of yellow fireworks and plate-clad righteous kickassness.  This combines with the fact that all I hear anyone asking about is where a good Tank / Healer is.  Noone’s asking where a kickass hunter with PvP gear is.  ( In my own head at the time I’m sure I was “kickass” ).  Plus, you get to be in front.  You get to decide direction, set pace, SAVE PEOPLE.  My white knight complex immediately kicks into overdrive, the hunter is now officially on the shelf, and it’s back to the Character Creation screen.  And I’ve never looked back.

Fast forward a bit.  I hit 69 on Llamalite the day of Wrath Launch.  Exactly on schedule.  ( It took me a lot longer to level back then ).   I’ve tanked everything I could, solo as Prot, gotten the basics, started to research the class.  I’ve asked lots of questions, and I’ve gotten more comfortable in the tank boots.  I’ve definitely fallen in love with the class changes going into Wrath, and I laugh about BC Paladins who miss their SP.  I’ve discovered the Maintankadin Field Manual.  There are numbers.  It’s exciting.

So, I head to Borean Tundra, start questing, and pick up some awesome Green gear.  And a few blues.  I walk into my first Wrath dungeon as a proud Pally tank and… /faceplant.  “Defense?  What?  Cap?  I thought I didn’t need that yet!!!”  Nerd rage ensues.  Forums are searched.  Guides are re-read.  Numbers are crunched.  Gear is feverishly hunted down.  Bosses are SLAIN.

Fast forward a bit.  Heroics?  /faceplant.  Ahhh, dammit.  No nerd rage.  Forums are searched.  Guides are re-read.  Numbers are crunched.  Gear is feverishly hunted down.  Bosses are SLAIN.

Fast forward a bit.  Naxxramas!!!  /faceplant.  “Here we go round again, mum.” Forums are searched.  Guides are re-read.  Numbers are crunched.  … Ok, you get it?

Ok, so I’m exaggerating a bit.  By the time I got to Naxx, I had pretty much figured out how to gear appropriately BEFORE I walked in the door.  So, let’s fast forward allll the way through Wrath and enter this last December for some Christmas cheer.  A few guildies have attempted a few Heroic bosses.  I can still hear their screams of agony echoing in vent.  They asked when I was starting.  “Not yet.  Need gear.”  Days passed.  “Llama you tankin this?”  “Not yet, need gear.”  “But… you’re 331 iLvL and..”  “Yep.”   Days passed.  Rep was ground.  Slots were filled.  Enchants went on.  Then one day, I met my self-appointed gear minimums, and I walked into a Heroic.

Did we wipe?  Yep.  Of course we did, we didn’t know the damn fights and the healer was just barely geared for it.  Did anyone complain?  Rage quit?  Alt-Tab to the forums to insult Ghostcrawlers diploma, references, and next-of-kin?  Nope.  We read up, we ran back from GY, we buffed up, and we hit it again.  And after sufficiently figuring out which was was up with each set of mechanics, we looted and moved on to the next.  What helped considerably was that the the Tank was appropriately geared for it.  Not overgearing it, but not barely squeaking by the minimum requirements to just get in the door either.

I guess my point is that QQ’ing, nerd-raging more than a little bit, and especially giving up may be a perfectly valid way to deal with the fact that this is new content and it’s for the moment difficult.  It isn’t MY way of dealing with it.  It is A way of dealing with it.  But you’ve got to step back a moment and figure that SOMEONE is getting through it.  People have the achievements.  People are geared through Heroics and are raiding.  So it’s not the game that’s broken.  Perhaps it’s you?  So you wiped.  It happens.  Welcome to new content.

I think maybe there’s a couple of things going on.

Perhaps some people never had the experience before having started in Wrath.  By the time they saw a Heroic, everyone was kitted out in 226 gear and they got carried through without ever having to wipe.

Perhaps some people don’t choose to remember BC Heroics because they blocked out the trauma.  They’ve gotten so used to auto-piloting and phoning in every encounter that having to work a bit for your rewards just seems anathema to why they bought the game.

Perhaps in an age of Netflix and instant everything on your iDevice through the ethers people have gotten to the point where any delay or hardship is a perfectly valid reason to get mad at EVERYTHING.  People used to have to walk miles to have a conversation with someone else.  Now if there’s any network lag on your text message, you curse the heavens.  As one comedian put it, “It has to go… TO SPACE!!!  You can’t wait a bit for it to get back… FROM SPACE!!!???”

I’m not really sure.  But like mama said, “This too shall pass”.  The rage quitters will rage quit.  The noobs will run in small fiery circles.  And the people who have some patience and know how to figure things out will exercise their patience, read up, dig in and figure things out.

Tank well.

- Llama

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