Thursday, 26 January 2012

Carrying the flag

One of our main roles as a protection paladin is carrying the flag. We're pretty hard to kill, have a range of defensive cooldowns and can even help the healers out with self heals. I'm going to be talking about this from a random BG perspective so it might not all be applicable to rated BGs. This is also all from am Alliance perspective as I haven't played much horde side.

1) getting the flag. If you're in a random group, you're going to want to get across the map and nab that flag ASAP. I find the quickest way for both flag carrying maps is on the right hand side as you come out of your base. For Warsong head straight across the map and up the outdoor ramp, then through the first door you come to and drop down on the flag. This has the advantage of sometimes not dismounting you until you are right at the flag, and even if you are dismounted as you go inside, you should still easily beat anyone coming up the tunnel as you are mounted for much longer. On twin peaks I like to stick to the right and then cut across the rocks to head for the front door. While this route is longer than the direct route I find I very rarely encounter any resistance. If you have a DK with you, you can stay right and go straight through the water.

2) Flag picked up. The most important thing from now until you cap is keep your healers in LoS! Some healers are good at sticking with you and anticipating, but don't expect them to off the bat. It is better to take combat with your healers than get completely isolated and then get hijacked by a couple rogues and slaughtered.

3) Abilities. Hand of Freedom is brilliant defense against druids and mages snaring you the whole time, make sure its key is near to hand. Guardian of Ancient Kings, Divine Protection and Ardent Defender are all good for reducing incoming damage, and AD even base a free life attached, but if it's triggered you're probably in trouble anyway unless you get a lucky Lay on Hands. Avenger's shield and Hammer of Justice are great for slowing down attackers (I assuming you're glyphing dazing shield). And try get your CS / HotR hits in on anything, even pets. You want you HoPo for Words of Glory.

4) Healing. Word of Glory is a great asset. Pop wings if you can to increase the heal. Lay on Hands is the greatest free reset spell you could possibly hope for. The only thing that would make it better would be I you could cast it while incapacitated. Get the glyph and pop it if you're in trouble and isolated.

5) Beware. Don't get panicked and bubble. This will drop the flag. LoSing enemy casters is a good thing, but make sure you don't leave your healers out of sight as well.

6) Keep an eye on the enemy flag carrier. The default UI will tell you who is carrying your flag. Try target or focus them or watch your raid frames (you do have raid frames that show targets right) and when you see the EFC going down start heading for the flag spawn spot. There is nothing worse than going to all that trouble of returning a flag, only to have it recaptured because your own FC wasn't paying attention and didn't cap.

Finally when you can cap, CAP. Don't be that Guy that stands in the flag room prolonging the battle unnecessarily so that you can "farm kills". Win and requeue, the queues don't take that long, and also it's just rude.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Paladin Tank Resources

World of Warcraft is a complex game. There are necessarily a lot of abilities and nuances associated with each class and spec. If we only had three abilities it would be a pretty dull game. The downside of this is that it takes a significant amount of (at least) playtime and probably a lot of extra research to play well.

All this means that a comprehensive guide would end up being more like a user manual. I've been looking into playing a few alts / alt specs recently and it got me thinking of how I first learnt to play my tankadin, and it really wasn't one guide or resource but several. So I thought I'd share a few of my favourites.
This is quite a small community but very friendly and helpful, and usually happy to give helpful answers to even the most specific questions.
This is a much larger tankadin community, with lots of useful information. Probably the best source for theory craft and numbers. This is the home of the Theck after all. The only reason I wouldn't put this as my number one resource is that there is a LOT of information and most of it is aimed at cutting edge progression raiders meaning it can be pretty overwhelming for a beginner.

There are the more general resources of Elitist Jerks, Tank Spot, Wowwiki and wowpedia. These are full of gems of knowledge. But the wikis are a bit out of date, the playerbase is in a bit of a Cataclysm funk I think. And the other two are again quite overwhelming for beginners.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The value of a team

First a bit of background. I'm a social member of a fairly serious raiding guild (at the time of this story - start of 4.3 patch - the main team was 6/7 HM in Firelands) but I raid with a much more casual raid team. We only raid 2 nights a week and we downed Ragnaros on normal mode the final reset of patch 4.2.
Now shortly after 4.3 started I had an opportunity to go on an Alt run with the majority of the people from the main team. The thing I found though, was that even though these guys were almost all better geared than my usual team, and unquestionably more skilled, for me it felt significantly more chaotic. I didn't understand all the strategies admittedly as there were slightly different from what my usual team used but even straightforward fights, when I had very impressive healers on my back, it felt like my health yo - yo 'ed a lot more. This was farm content so we didn't have any major hiccups but still it felt like something was missing.
What does this mean in practice? Was the main team slacking as this was just an Alt run? Is my casual team secretly super bad a$$?
Possibly, but I think it is something more simple than this. When you do something with the same people week after week, you get to know them. Know how they play. Know what the other person is going to do. You almost certainly couldn't list it, or repeat what you know but you know. When a tank moves, the healer anticipates where he'll go. When the boss gets shifted the DPSers know where he'll end up. You couldn't learn it from a video or a strategy guide but you'll learn it fundamentally by doing it. And doing it the same with the same people.
A good stable team is worth more than gear and "skill". Once the gear and skill gets good enough you can "power" through, but you won't be as efficient or clean as with a well established team.

Class professions

No not which professions are best for which classes but rather which classes are best for leveling which professions.

I'm only interested in the gathering professions as crafting is the same no matter what.

Druids have a fantastically easy time of herbalism, especially when you get flight form. Swoop in, pick a flower and swoop out again, don't even need to shift out. Got aggro? Don't fight that mob, just fly up and wait for him to be on his way, and if he really won't leave your favourite flower alone, root him just out of range, switch to flight form, and go pick.

Skinning, herbalism and I would guess mining are all much easier with pet classes (Warlocks & Hunters) as you can stick a DoT on the mob, send your pet in to kill it (wait until it is close if you're wanting to skin) and get on with your gathering.

Skinning is also a lot easier if you're a tank, round up a ton of mobs and AoE them down, then skin at leisure.

Saturday, 21 January 2012


I'm sure it will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever PuG 'ed into LFR or LFD or even just watched /trade channel for a while that there are some very rude people who play this game.

In case you haven't done any of the above, allow me to give an example from today. I jumped into LFR to see if I could pick up some healing gear to give healing a try, and I won the gloves token. Well we get to the next boss's trash and another paladin whispers me something in another language. I reply "huh? " assuming that he's wrong channeled me, but I get on with pulling slimes and the next thing I know I'm being sworn at. I look back through my whispers and see he's asking if he can have the hand token. That in and of itself is fine, some people roll on things they don't REALLY need, but in the space of 2 minutes to switch to swearing and questioning sexuality ... doesn't really sell your case of getting the token handed over.

Oh well now that's off my chest :)

Thursday, 19 January 2012


Been doing a bit of crafting on alts to try and get some utility.

My hunter is a herbalist / scribe and I must say these professions compliment each other very well. I'm being gated much more by actual leveling than by the profession difficulties.

My priest is a tailor / enchanter and while these to do naturally compliment each other as well, it is much more of a slog to level them. I keep hitting places where I need to buy silly extra mats or send something over from another alt. Not to mention never having enough cloth. Except Neatherweave of which I had in excess of 2.5k of. Even after flying through to 350 I still have over 1.5k cloth left.

My rogue is a Skinner / leatherworker and as obvious as these two are, LW needs an overhaul. Going back to AoE down low level mobs to farm cloth has got absolutely nothing on the grind of farming leather!

My DK is a miner / engineer, which works well as a combo but engineering is a pain to level as you often have to go hunting for rather obscure mats.

My main leveled miner / blacksmith which was a great combo although I did spend a long time farming Thorium (but that was more because I was determined to get myself an Imperial plate set) . I recently switched the mining out for Jewelcrafting, which was also quite an effort, but it does make tweaking gear sets much easier :)

Had a good experience today with crafting the Dragon Soul tanking Bracers. Had to wait around for a little bit for him to gather the mats but when I had made them I was thrilled to receive a 1400g tip! If I could just craft 9 more for the same price I could get my money back from the Travelling Tundra Mammoth I finally picked up this evening.

Starting up

To be perfectly honest I only created this account to comment on Dwarven Battle Medic, but now I think I might try doing some short phone based blogging, just to get the occassional world of Warcraft rant off my chest. Anyway lets see how it goes.