Archive for the “Paladin sillyness” Category

Yes, I know, the post title is silly, and only vaguely relevant if you know who the Saints are. And I don’t mean St. Jude and St. Peter, either. I don’t think they play on the same team.

Hey, if you think it’s that easy to make fun new post titles for over a thousand posts…. you’re probably right, but I do the best I can with what I’ve got under the hood.

I have an amusing story to share with you. I think it illustrates a few telling things about what we can get used to, and what we expect to see, and how we can sometimes ignore things until confronted with the one when you expected the other. 

Now that I’ve vagued that up for you as much as I can, I’ma gonna tell a story.

Once, last night, on a server very, very close to home…

There I am, continuing my experiments in tanking comparisons.

I’ve been tanking on my Druid, followed by tanking on my Paladin, mostly in PUG situations and comparing the general feel between the two. A post on that might go up later today, more likely tomorrow.

This has, by necessity, required me to actually tank a lot with both characters. To run a lot of things. To test a variety of instance situations.

It’s been lots of fun.

Whenever possible, I prefer to only run with friends, but I wanted to run several things in the shortest possible time so as to really hammer home my impressions of the classes while they were fresh. Also, I was testing the ease with which strangers without restraint could pull aggro off of me. My friends are actually smart players, so they don’t do dat. To get idiots and out of control DPS meter chasing freaks, I had to resort to strangers. So, that means running purely random pugs.

I love Gnomeaggedon, and I’ve tried to follow the ‘be positive’ meme he started, but I’m just gonna have to warn you; there might be some mention of asshattish behavior on the way. Sorry, I know. 

I know!

Over the last week, I’ve run a few things.

I’ll make one observation, which I swear is relevant to the story.

One thing that I’ve noticed as a key difference between pugs and playing with friends, is that in pugs people whom I’ve never met before will announce what the group will do. Not ask what the rest of the group wants to do, or make a suggestion as to what they’d LIKE to do. Just flatly announce what will happen. “We will be doing X on this run.”

I’ve noticed it mostly because I wasn’t used to that approach in groups of players before. It’s by no means unheard of, just not something I was used to seeing consistently myself, unless from the tank, and even then it would be about 50/50 phrased as ‘what we will do’ or ‘what I like to do’, which is a slightly gentler way of saying the same thing, but leaves you more open to counterpoint. 

I can’t speak for other people’s experiences, but to my mind it’s unusual behavior in a group environment among social equals for one person to dictate to the rest. It stands out as rude, an attempt to remove the power of choice of other people by putting yourself and your own needs first, and requiring an awkward confrontation if someone else has a different idea.

It’s a negotiation tactic used to control a discussion and get your own way. If you make a pre-emptive strike to state what WILL happen, rather than phrasing it as a request and asking for consensus or other competing suggestions, than what you have done is forced anyone that does NOT agree with you to have to confront you publicly, to challenge you, and to face the consequences of bringing conflict and potential drama.

For many people… not all, but many, the easier route will be to simply shut up, keep your head down, go along, get the run done and move on. Maybe put that person on ignore, maybe not.

I don’t want to give the impression that I think being assertive is evil, or that telling people what you expect them to do is wrong. Not at all, I’m not some head in the clouds idiot. If you have someone over you in a position of authority, or you are someone who has the responsibility of seeing to it that things get done, then this is normal and welcome. Having someone responsible in charge providing clear direction, assigning tasks, or setting work priorities gets things done. They may be the wrong things if he or she isn’t open to learning and listening to the opinions and experience of everyone that is part of their team, but it gets things done. 

What I’m saying is that, in my opinion, when you’ve got a group of strangers who are all there for the same purpose, are there by their own consent to work together and offer their contributions to the groups’ success, and you have one person start tossing orders around and making unilateral decisions, it’s bullshit. Your mileage may vary. :) 

Okay, so there I am, running things on my Paladin. I’ve had a lot of fun runs, solid learning experiences, good times. Quite a bit of stress, but my studies and research are paying off. I’m using a Talent spec, Seal of Command and Retribution Aura along with Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous to optimise 5 person instance threat generation.

A word about that. I ain’t a Paladin tank expert. If you would like to learn more from actual experts about Paladin tanking, I direct you to Ardent Defender, Blessing of Kings, Honor’s Code, Righteous Defense, and Tankadin.com (my apologies to those I missed – Paladin tanks have a big blog community).

However, that being said… I am somewhat used to the concept of researching a class for myself, once in a while. I know what I wanted, to optimise heroic instance tanking and threat generation. I did heroic Halls of Reflection last night, and as they say about New York, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

I ran a few heroics with my friends Cal and Ely, as tank, heals, deeps. After each one, we dropped group to port out and then reformed to start the next one.

This time, after Utgardt Keep, I drop group, and Cal announces he has to go put some pants on.

I have to admit, Utgardt Keep speed run and guns are fun, but I know I’ve never had to go change my pants after running it. Still, best not to judge. (That’s a pally joke. Ha.)

So he’s off afk, and I go scurrying around farming some Titansteel mats since I want to have someone craft me the Saronite Swordbreaker plate tanking wrists, and I’m just 3 Titansteel Bars short.

After a bit, Cal says he’s back.

I queue up Looking for Dungeon, and as usual for a group with a tank, insta-form a group.

Boom! Halls of Stone loading screen forms.

I buff folks as usual, and right away the following pops up in Party chat;

  • [player1]: We’re skipping the two optional bosses.
  • [player2]: You pull as long as I’ve got mana.
  • [player2]: I don’t run out of mana so you better not stop.
  • [player1]: Let’s go, what u waiting for?

I pull the three dwarfs that like to pat near the portal entrance, we burn them down, and I’m thinking, “Wow, what if I wanted to do the two optional bosses? I can use the Emblems, myself. And what if *I* happen to be out of mana? Am I allowed to stop and drink? Do I need to raise my hand first and ask permission? Seig Heil!”

  • [player3]: What are you standing there for, go!
  • [player1]: Get moving, go, go!

Now, understand, the time sequence here is, 5 people appear in instance, I click the Pallypower buff button 5 times fast, then Avenger’s Shield the three dwarves and we burn ‘em down, then as I saw a third unfamiliar player name pop up in party chat, I paused for 1 second to actually LOOK at the names of who I was in group with, and what guilds they were from.

It almost takes longer to type that stuff out than I took to read the member names of who I was grouped with, and yet that’s how fast these were popping up.

What I was asking myself was, “How in the HELL did I end up with THREE asshats, when I joined group with TWO FRIENDS?!?”

Right about that time [player4] chimed in demanding I get my ass in gear.

That was when I realised the incredible mistake I had made.

I queued up in LFD without reforming party with Cal and Ely first.

Now, understand that I am actually IN VENT with Cal and Ely as this is happening. We’re chatting away, and I’m trailing off as it finally dawns on me that I’m all alone with these strange people, none of whom are guilded together, they are all spontaneously being making demands as I’m awakening to the concept that I didn’t intend to be available to join this group in the first place.

5 seconds have now elapsed without my moving, and as I let my friends in vent know just how incredibly dumb I’ve been, one of the pug group runs forward to pull the next group FOR me, to spur me on to action or something. 5 whole seconds! Omigawd, I know, right?

Well, that makes things easy for me. Incredibly easy. Every single one of the four players has shown the patience of a Mayfly, has been rude and demanding. I have two friends waiting to play with me, and I joined these morons by mistake anyway. My bad.

I grab the group that they pulled, take aggro and control them getting burned down, then grab a stack of Mana Strudel from the mage table, announce “You guys are on your own, go find yourself another tank to order around” and leave party.

I then spent the next 15 minutes of my random lockup hopping around Dalaran chatting. Cal went fishing.

For the rest of the night, every time I ate a Conjured Mana Strudel, I fancied I could taste the tears of selfish QQ flavoring the pastry… and it tasted delicious.

The moral of this story is, if I had zoned in to find out I was a dumbass for queueing, and nobody had said anything, or if people had done the customary “Hi! How you doing?”, I would have apologised to Cal and Ely for screwing up, but I totally would have run the entire instance.

If even only one or two people there were rude, or pushy, or demanding, I would have stayed and made the best of it. And it’s not like a tank doesn’t have a veto. As the tank, if I decide to run down and kill Maiden and get an extra Emblem for 2 minutes work, who’s to stop me? Is the rest of the group REALLY going to go on strike if the tank wants to pull a group of mobs? They may bitch, piss and moan, but are they really going to leave?

But when I zone in, and I’m greeted with four asshats… where is the incentive to care if I leave? Why should I endure your crap? What’s my motivation to be your bitch?

I hope you take away from this story three things;

  1. I’m a moron. (Big newsflash there, huh?)
  2. If people are friendly, even if it’s not what you intended to do, having fun with friendly people is the best part of the game. Why not stay and give it your best shot?
  3. You don’t have to be anybody’s bitch.

If you join a group and are treated with abuse… then leave, RIGHT THEN. You do not deserve anyone’s abuse, and you do NOT have to take it. Whether in real life or in a virtual world, if you are in an abusive situation, do not be a victim. Do not suffer in silence. If you do not wish to be in a confrontation, if you cannot bring yourself to speak up on your own behalf… then leave. 

You, and your time, are worth more than that.

Comments 43 Comments »

In one of my more recent posts, I said;

I know I’ve been told that Retribution DPS sucks compared to other classes, and the reason for it is to compensate for a Paladin’s survivability in PvP. I’ve been told that I should just accept that people aren’t going to want a Ret Paladin in their runs, because we don’t, ahem, “put out”.

I’d like to point out that the key words in those sentences are “I’ve been told.”

I never meant to suggest that *I* believed it. I meant to suggest that there are clearly people out there that *do* believe it… and when you’re trying to get a group with strangers from the community, it doesn’t matter what you know, it matters what the majority of the community believes.

Hey, a lot of people in the community can believe that Greg Street wears briefs instead of boxers, that doesn’t make it so.

Noobs. Ghostcrawler is too manly for briefs.

He goes commando, of course.

Now that I’ve left you with that mental image, I’ll move on.

To prove that I bear the retribution Paladins nothing but love, I’m linking to two of my absolute favoritist Retribution Paladin bloggers… and I invite you to recommend your favorites in the comments. (Ret, not Prot… there are tons of great Prot bloggers, darn straight, but they get all the love already).

My two favorites are Jong of Forbearance, whom I’ve mentioned a few times recently as I have been playing my Paladin more, and Morrighan of Caer Morrighan fame.

Morrighan is simply awesome, and has great informative posts mixed in with fun, and Jong… well, Jong has expressed a love of Bacon and Bruce Willis in the past. How can you not swear allegience to a man like that?

In other news, I think I need to make a Pally alt on a server somewhere called “Pallywhacker”…

In closing, I’d like to show you a little sample of my night last night as a Retribution Paladin, for those who wonder if I actually am doing anything other than sitting in /Trade pining away…

AchieveStack

See? I DO play my Paladin!

And my thanks to The Zug Initiative for carrying me along with you. :) It was great fun.

Comments 9 Comments »

Bellwether wrote a post this morning, lamenting the degradation of her Paladin as a healer, rather than the massive DPS machine she originally envisioned, and for which she yet yearns to become.

I love being inspired by other bloggers. :)

So, there I am on my Paladin.

I’ve done a faction transfer, and my previously short and stout dwarf Paladin has been stretched, bleached, waxed (damn, that hurt… no, really, when you wax a dwarf, it’s a whole blody experience) and hair gel applied with a trowel.

Ta da!!! Instant Blood Elf Paladin, just add money.

I look around, I’m level 80, and I see this wonderful new world of anonymity opening up before me.

“Nobody knows me here”, I think, “I’m free to be as disgustingly rude and asshattish as I want, and nobody will know. Let loose the hounds of Gabriel and put the internet fuckwad theory to full display!”

And then I go ahead and act the same as always, because that’s just who I am.

But I could’ve done it! I had the choice! Freedom to be a jackass was within my grasp!

Okay, I know, many would say I already am one. Let’s move on.

As I was saying, there I am, level 80. I brought some money over with me, I was maxed level Engineering with my Goggles, I’d bought some crafted kickass epics, it was all good.

I started doing the Argent Tournament dailies, and worked my way to a nice epic weapon.

But on this brave new faction, all alone, where do I turn for fun? Where do I look for a little action? Sadly, Crapgame plays high stakes. I need some penny ante stuff to get my feet wet.

I know! The LFG tool!

I’ll just park my happy butt in there as a DPS Paladin, and wait for some normal group to form and off I’ll go to do some normal runs, get some blues. From there, why, someday heroics and Emblem rewards await!

/LFG!

[crickets]

[crickets]

Hmm, that Peggle addon is pretty cool, huh?

Wow, I’ve farmed HOW MUCH ore?

Damn, Saronite ore only goes for 10 gold a stack. Wassup with that?

Hmm, might as well go look for the Jeeves recipe.

Okay, got the recipe, might as well start farming mats.

I *AM* still in the LFG channel, right?

Okay, fine, whatever. Let’s go do BRD and get the recipe for the old skool freakazoid robot.

Hmmm, gonna need some Thorium. Off to Sillythis!

What, did I forget my underarm deoderant today?

Yes, still in channel. Browse channels, a whole crapton of DPS in there. Oh wait, theres a tank. Aaaaannnnnddd…. poof, he’s gone. Oh, there’s a healer… oh wait, there he went.

Hmmmmm.

Okay, got all the thorium I could ever want… holy crap, that sells for HOW MUCH?

Back to Sillythis!

[crickets]

Woot! An unsolicited invite to group, without a whisper first! They DO love me!

/join party

Hmmm… a Warlock, a Hunter, and me.

“Can you tank or are you heals?”

Ummm… I’m a Ret Pally tallywhacker, said so in my LFG comment.

“You have been removed from group.”

Oh, come on!

Fine.

I’ll go research tanking. Maybe I can get some tips and guides, get a spec, figure out some achievable quest and crafted gear and sign up as a tank for a normal run.

/time passes… slowly….

Okay! I have enough gear to adequately tank regular runs. Not heroics, but I could handle Nexus or Utgardt Keep. Let’s go!

[open LFG]

[sign up for normal Nexus... as a tank]

.0342 seconds later… “You have been invited to join a group”

Uh HUH.

So that’s how it’s going to be, is it?

Three DPS and me… waiting for healer.

Waiting.

Right.

“I’ll just be farming some Thorium until we get a healer.”

30 minutes later… people vamoose.

/sigh.

Eventually, groups form. Runs happen. 

I build up a reasonable DPS Retadin set for heroics. And some tanky stuff, too, of course.

Finally! Let’s get back to the real fun! Tallywhacker HO!!!!

/join LFG for heroic as DPS!

[crickets]

Oh, are you fricken kidding me?

[opens LFG]

Sure enough, a gabillion DPS, no healers or tanks.

A group forms.

A healer and two DPS.

I get invited.

And there we sit. And sit. Periodically, we all check in LFG and in /General and /LFG and /Trade for a tank, any heroic.

The plea goes out in party chat.

“Doesn’t ANYONE know a tank?”

/sigh.

I cannot believe I’m going to do this. This sucks. I don’t want to do this. But I could tank, and I’m not volunteering, and everybody is just sitting and waiting… and I’m being stubborn and not volunteering, and so I’m preventing other people from having fun because I didn’t want to tank…

/sigh.

“I can tank. But my gear is not suited to heroics. It’s at the normal instance run level. Really, I’m not being modest. I’m squishy. We would all die a horrible, violent death if I tank. Really. BUT… if you are all willing to take a chance, and be patient, and watch your threat, and IF the healer is an amazing rockstar healing GOD, maybe we can get through…. Nexus.”

Healer: “Oh, I can keep you alive, no problem, let’s go.”

One miserable freaking pug later, endless wipes, everyone pulls aggro by exploding their DPS instantly…

“Arrghhh! Why? Why did I do that to myself? That sucked! I’m not ready, damnit! And I’m not liking it!”

Fast forward to many pugs, fit in here or there over the course of a week.

Fine. There we go. Since all I’m doing is pugging, all my Emblems are spent on tanking stuff. I’ve done everything I can to prepare my tanking stuff for heroics. I’m ready to go.

Wait, what? What the hell am I doing? I don’t LIKE tanking for pugs! These people are idiots. They just pull, pull, pull! Oh, is there a bad guy? UNLOAD HELLFIRE!!! Hey, Paladin, why can’t you hold aggro? I only have 6K+ DPS!! You loser noob!

I want to swing a big hammer and have fun! If I wanted stress and bullshit, I’d pug on my Druid some more!

This ain’t fun.

/retire toon.

/mourn.

Is my Paladin gone forever?

Nope.

What is my Paladin waiting for?

The new LFG tool, that’s what.

I anticipate that with the new LFG tool, people are going to want to reap the benefits of using the “add a random person to form a group using LFG.”

But are most people going to want to just throw caution to the winds and form totally random groups?

No, I don’t think so.

I think most folks are control freaks. They want a sure thing. They want a known tank. They want a known healer.

But DPS… everybody discounts DPS. DPS are treated exactly the same way upper management and suits with no experience in the real world treat skilled machine operators and technicians… as monkeys.

As in, “Any monkey can pull a switch or hit a button, if we lose a lot of people, just hire in some more temps. It’s us important people in upper management that make the difference.”

To paraphrase the Rutger Hauer movie Blind Justice… “The business world is filled with suits with arrogant attitudes… and failed businesses.” 

Well, the WoW world is full of tanks and healers that think any monkey can faceroll a keyboard and generate 3K+ DPS.

So, I think that a lot of healer/tank combos are going to want to take advantage of LFG to get the extra rewards by adding random people… you guessed it, DPS.

It seems silly, but I really do think that the new LFG is going to mean I might be able to get some pugs in on my Paladin, as the spec I actually WANT to play.

And when that day dawns, my tallywhacker is going to come out of hiding, and have a blast.

Sure, it’s not TotGC25, but that’s not what I want to do anyway.

I’d just like to be able to sign up for the role I’d like to play, and not feel pressured to HAVE to tank in order to get in a group, or to offer myself up AS a tank to make a group happen.

Time will tell, time will tell.

Of course, the true moral of the story is; don’t pug, just run with your friends.

But if I only run with friends, how will I get these wonderfully vicious stories of asshats in pugs? Huh? I ask you!

Comments 29 Comments »

You’re gonna love this.

I like to think that I’m careful… that I arm myself with that most powerful of weapons before taking planned action.

No, not a Holy Hand Grenade, I’m talking about information.

I research. I study the how and the who and the what, but I place prime importance on the why.

When I set out to tank as a Paladin, I went out and looked for resources. I was already armed with a fundamental understanding of Defense and Weapon Skill and how group threat works and all that kind of jazz. It was the nuts and bolts of Paladin threat mechanics I needed to complete the picture.

Right?

Well, it turns out that all the research in the world ain’t gonna help you if you’re a dumbass.

Now, that may seem harsh.

Hold judgment for a moment here, shall we?

(See what I did dere?)

See, I worked with Cassie, and it is work, on a brand new initiative Sidhe Devils is launching to bring fun for all levels back to the forefront.

Doing that, plus work, plus real life, meant zip time for, well, you know… playing.

I had about an hour last night, and then off to bed.

I figure, an hour… maybe, just possibly, I can pop into hordieland and pug a Coren Direbrew gankfest for the crit trinket, or maybe pug a regular ToC and see if my tanking pants finally drop.

Something quick.

I entered LFG as a DPS with interest in regular ToC, and then checked out my gear.

Looking pretty good, looking pretty fine.

So.

Why the hell on the second of the two heroics I ran, Utgardt Keep, did I keep having people pulling off of me?

I ran a Heroic ToC as tank and we kicked ass… and an hour later, I went in as tank with a different crew in Heroic Utgardt Keep and it was damn near a wipefest. I was working my butt off holding aggro, and I have to say, at the end of it I was doing okay, but it felt pretty shaky. Holding aggro with two well geared Warlocks and a Ret Pally was very, very hard for me.

WTF?

Clearly, grasshopper, you’re doing something wrong.

Rotations? Check.

All those other things like the single target taunt, multiple target taunt off a team member, Avengers Shield, all that jazz? Check.

Mana stuffs? Check.

Heck, using Ret Aura instead of Devotion? Check, even.

Hmm, damn, does my gear suck that bad? It’s almost all epics!

No, shoot, it looks great to me.

I must just seriously suck.

At that point, I get an invite for a regular ToC. “Can you tank?”

Sigh.

Oh what the heck.

“Sure.”

I then take another glance at my gear, and notice that I DO have my new dodge rating trinket from Coren Direbrew equipped, but I DON’T have the “on use” function mapped to a macro yet.

I decide to hook it to Consecrate (since I flip between different Judgments), so it goes off whenever it’s off cooldown when I use Consecrate, and when is there going to be a time when I don’t want to use Consecrate?

And as I do so, I do the normal lazy man’s macro method.

I copy a previous “on use” macro tied to a spell, something from my Priest I think, and then clear out the name of the old item, open my inventory paperdoll and click the item to have it’s name automatically entered into the macro, then clear out the name of my old spell, and open my spellbook to click on the spell and have THAT name automatically entered in.

As I leaf through my spellbook, a certain jarring note of discordance tingles in my mind.

The spell I moused over on my button bar was Consecrate Rank 4…

The one in my spellbook goes up to, like, 8 or 9.

Wait, what?

Oh no.

Oh no freaking way.

I start mousing over the spells on my button bar for my tanking spec, and comparing them to the ones in my spellbook.

Wow, I must really rock, being able to almost hold threat using level 50 spells, huh?

Oh yeah, that’s right, baby.

Good old master Big Bear Butt went and tanked heroics in group without having the most current, within 30 levels, ranks of spells on his button bar.

A word to those of you who do not wish to be a dumbass like me.

If you dual spec very early, and you have a damage dealing leveling spec as your main, and an infrequently used spec like healing or tanking as your second (or a PvP spec as your second), and you do not ever actually DING on that second spec…

Your second spec’s button bars do NOT automatically update to the most recent spell like the active spec.

Now, why does this make me a dumbass?

Because I bloody well KNEW that!

Grrrr.

But no, I went dual spec the first chance it was available on my Paladin, and I never, ever let the thought cross my mind that the spells I put on there were the same ranks as the day I started the spec.

Yep, changed things around, went through and updated, went in and tanked that regular ToC, and the group was so delighted that we went in and blew it apart a second time, in less time than it takes to eat a good waffle.

Had a crew with insane DPS  just trying for those rarely seen items like the Black Heart that never seems to drop, and we had no problems whatsoever.

I did get my new pants. :)

Seriously, that’s just lame.

Oh, and FYI before anyone mentions it… you do not need to have the spell rank listed in the macro, if you just use the spell name, it automatically casts the highest level one.

Just wow. Makes me glad I waited to dual spec my Druid until after I’d been 80 for 6 months. No chance I didn’t have the max level spells on that one.

That would have been really embarassing.

Not as embarassing as Mannyac on his Hunter, though.

I’ll never forget the day I was chatting with him about his then level 56 Hunter, back when there was no Burning Crusade, just vanilla WoW.

He was complaining about how hard it was for Kortenharig as Beastmaster to fight mobs without pulling aggro off his pet kitty.

I asked him if he’d gone out and tamed the critters with the highest rank of Claw so his pet was doing more damage. 

His response was, if I remember, something on the order of “There are different ranks of pet skills?”

He was still using his one and only pet, the kitty he tamed in Dun Morogh at level 10.

With level 10 skills.

Yeah, that makes me feel better every time.

Comments 30 Comments »

Recently, I’ve been spending some time developing my level 80 Paladin towards a dual spec of Retribution and Protection.

Along the way, I’ve made some observations that I wanted to share with you. For Paladins, these will come as no surprise. For Bears, this might bring you to a closer appreciation of your class.

Gearing a Protection Paladin for heroics, to be blunt, sucks.

If you do research, then you are told, up front, that it don’t matter how great any of the rest of your gear is, if you don’t hit 535 Defense for heroics, or 540 for raiding, then you are still crittable, and you suck.

Well, have fun getting there with quest rewards, because to reach that goal, you need gems. Big, fat expensive +Defense Rating gems. And guess what quest rewards mostly don’t have on them?

Sockets.

Best bet is to run as a different spec, like Ret, while someone else tanks, and you pick up heroic drops with sockets along the way.

Well, great. So what we’re really saying is, if you want to tank as a Paladin in heroics, someone else has to tank for you first. Blech.

Oh, there are certainly crafted items, but good lord….

For Bear tanks, all you do is make sure you’re fully specced in the talent Survival of the Fittest. You throw any old feral agility/stam gear on from leveling as a kitty, and boom, automatically uncrittable. Is your gear optimized for tanking? Of course not. Will it be perfectly feasible for tanking with a decent team? Yes, absolutely. No special stat requirements of any kind. If you’ve got gem slots or enchants, go with Agility or Stamina. There, done.

My hats are off to the Paladin tanks out there. God, did you get screwed.

I’m sure Warriors and Death Knights are in similar positions, but I don’t play either, so I never had it rubbed in my face before.

Another difference, is Paladins have tons of abilities, each having a special situational use. I’ve tried to get them all on my button bars layed out in fancy formats, and holy crap, that’s a lot of confusing shit. Practise of course improves reaction time in using just the right thing for the right situation, but when you’re tanking a pug of crazy people that attack anything that moves, it’s amazing watching the mobs run past you thinking, “Which shiny button among these dozens of buttons do I press?”

Bears, on the other hand, have single target Growl, and Challenging Roar. And if the target is being passively pulled from healing threat, ranged Feral Faerie Fire, or a good old Feral Charge.

Okay, not a good example, Bears do have lots of situational tools as well. I just know in my gut how to use ‘em. Nevermind.

Anyway, I’ve been working on improving my Paladin as best I can in the hopes of doing some tanking and making a laughing stock of myself. After dinging 80 just barely a week ago, I’ve finally managed to get a set of gear that hit 540+ Defense.

It took spending a ton of money and time crafting gear, buying gems (or having them donated by a friend), and the complete and utter destruction of Icecrown in pursuit of a quest chain that led to my getting a main hand tanking weapon. A weapon that, of course, was immediately replaced by the Argent Tournament axe. /sigh.

I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the sources I found for information that made it possible for me to have any kind of tanking plan at all.

First, Honor’s Code.

Seriously, my single most referred to website during all of my researches was Honor’s Code. I may not have followed his suggestions and advice slavishly, because he is thinking towards raiding success and I just wanted to do the best as a 5 person group tank in heroics as I could, but for Paladin Tanking thoughtfulness, suggestions and resources, this is simply the awesomesauce.

In particular, not only is Honor’s Code excellent in his analysis, but he also presents information in a fashion that should be the standard for blogs that want to help out new players of a class wondering where the hell to start. I know that I’m going to use his style of Protadin 101 sticky as the basis for a new one on my site, because it did indeed give me one hell of a solid place to start from.

Second is Pink Raid Frames, for helping me understand some of the whys and wherefores, and making Protadin sound so much fun! The description and video Pink Raid Frames put together really helped me visualize the 969 rotation in a way that made it easy for me to learn what each ability did, and arange them so that I used them not only in the proper cooldown-efficient fashion, but also knew how to change up order of activation depending on what I most needed at the time, such as a Consecrate to hold threat instead of a Judgment at a critical initial moment of a pull.

Pink Raid Frames looks to be taking a break since Blizzcon… why does this always happen when I start grooving on the awesomeness of a blog?

Third would have to be Maintankadin… but not really in general, more the work of Petrus in particular. Petrus is a genius. I love his cut and dried ranking posts, sometimes you just want to know, no bullshit, what are my options? And damn, does he have an answer.

Petrus’ Gear List, even though it hasn’t been updated for a while, gives a solid place to look for what you could get and from where, and for the newer stuff, well, you should be able to look at the stats on what you’re curous about from Atlasloot or MMO Champion, and compare them to things on his list, and figure out where it would fall from there.

And his Gem and Enchant list… well, that’s just damn spiffy.

What I’ve ended up with, in the most general terms to start out, is the following setup for turning on tanking when switching from Retribution spec to Prot;

  1. Activate Devotion Aura
  2. Seal of Corruption (Blood Elf)
  3. Righteous Fury
  4. Blessing of Sanctuary
  5. Use Divine Aura at all times when off cooldown, work it into the rotation.

I setup the button bar for the 969 rotation, with the two ’6″ second cooldowns on the left, Hammer of the Righteous (whack primary target plus 3 extra) and Shield of Righteousness (whack your main target with your shield). Needless to say, I generally pick Hammer for group threat first if I pulled a bunch of mobs.

Setup the button bar with the three “9″ second cooldowns on the right. Holy Shield to provide boosted Block (and my first actual activated ability in the 969 sequence), and to deal Holy Damage per block while there are charges up, Judgment of Light or Mana depending on group, and Consecration for AoE threat.

The biggest thing, as I said, was knowing what to use, and when.

There are, as I said, tons of other situational abilities, but I’m slowly getting on top of them.

My biggest concern right now is mana. I stop and drink all the time, and I’ve run out of mana on long fights more than a few times.

So, how’s it been going?

Well, let me put it this way.

Last night, I main tanked my first ever heroic instance. It was also my first ever main tanked regular instance.

I main tanked Heroic Trial of Champions.

We had no issues until the last Black Knight phase, when three of the party died on the last phase from the damn AoE deathbolts from the ghostform. We still won, we just had three dead on the floor.

At the end, I felt wrung out. Usually, Bear tanking leaves me bouncing around and happy to go grab another tail to tweak. Tanking on my Paladin left me wanting a margarita and a nap.

Oh, and of course, I’d JUST equipped the crafted Titanium Earthguard Chain and put an epic gem in it, and lo and behold what should drop that I win but The Warlords Depravity.

Noth that I’m complaining, you understand. But still. That was an expensive upgrade, and I didn’t even get a chance to wear out that “New Upgrade” smell from the upholstery.

Wanna see the face of evil tankitude?

Protadinbear

Ain’t he a handsome cuss?

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