Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

So it’s been about three months now that I’ve been raiding as a paladin, and it happens that this is my one hundredth post at Manalicious! I’ve been waffling about what to write, considered doing a blogaversy style-retrospective of my favourite posts, but I think I’ll save that for my actual blog’s anniversary. I did also want to mention I have been horrible about replying to comments lately, and I’m going to try to get better about it. I do read and enjoy every single comment, and usually I try to always reply to them, too.

On Being A Paladin

This is a preview of a graphic I've been working on for ages with intention to put it on the blog. Secret unfinished image!

It’s ironic and sad for my husband, Voss, that he has such a rivalry going on with paladins. Every Friday when he is able to tweet more, he picks a fight with the paladins on Twitter. It’s actually hilarious to me that most of the people he talks to on Twitter are 1) Blood Elves and 2) Paladins. The cherry on the paladin sundae is that he’s married to someone who also plays a paladin. But, I don’t feel bad about it because being a paladin is fun. I am really starting to settle in to raiding as one. The healing style is in my fingertips, if you will. I have fixed some issues and bad habits and I think I’m doing a better job than ever before. So that aspect of being a paladin is going well.

I think I make better use of my toolbox. My gear has been steadily improving, although both Ragnaros and Domo have stubbornly refused to drop tier tokens while I’ve been in the raid – so now I’m at the point where I expect we’ll be getting heroic shoulder token upgrades and neither myself nor my priest friend will be able to upgrade them because we never got the normal ones. Naturally, I’m unhappy about this. I don’t really have a solution in mind, but four-set doesn’t look like it’s in my future anytime soon. I’ve heard that it’s really not “all that” anyway, so perhaps that’s fine. My fellow paladins may disagree.

Paladins have many neat things that I wind up missing when I am playing a mage (and vice versa). The two speed bursts make up for not having Blink, in my book, while in Retribution spec the Long Arm of the Law gap-closer makes me happy. Playing melee is interesting and it’s definitely been a change from the DPS I’ve been used to in the past. I find myself reaching for Crusader Aura when I am playing any character that does not have Crusader Aura. (Despite world-wide flying, there are still places like the Molten Front where it is incredibly useful).

On Having Divided Character Loyalties

I eased off on trying to re-complete achievements for Vid, realizing that I was burning myself out by trying to regain ALL THE THINGS that Millya already had. Instead of trying to rebuild a pet collection, I collected some more pets until Millya was able to get the Celestial Dragon. Right now I’m doing Brewfest stuff for both of them, but the only thing Millya needs to do is get drunk in Dalaran and then fall off something, so she just needs Brewfest clothing. Vid hasn’t done the achievements at all, but Brewfest is one of my favourite holidays so I don’t mind doing them all again. I also did just enough to get my druid (the original drunkard of my “crew”) a Brewfest Keg Pony.

FOR PONY.

I think I’ve come to the point where I am resigned to the fact that I’ll never have the one character with all of the achievements and things the way that some people do. (Voss, for instance, has all of his raid achievements on Vosskah because he never plays anything else). Me? I will have different achievements depending on the character, and I may go back and re-do some if I feel the urge but I can’t let it bug me too much because I’m too variable to only ever play one character. One of my guildies was teasing me because I said during the My Epic Heals podcast that I would probably play my mage again, and that she is my “true” main. What I really mean, but can’t explain, is that my strongest loyalty lies with her, raiding aside. Raiding is only one aspect of the game, after all. I’ve been playing Millya devotedly for three years, while Vid has only even existed (at max level) for about 1-1.5 years. But her name is also my online identity and I first started blogging while writing about her so… I guess, what it comes down to is that they’re just different. I’m sure I could never abandon either of them. I didn’t expect Vid to become my raiding main, but she has, and she is awesome.

On Being A Mage

My avatar on Twitter.

The Molten Front dailies suck. They really do. The second time around, they suck in a way I can’t even describe for fear of being sucked into a whirling vortex of suckitude. I’m doing them again with Millya because she likes achievements but seriously. 150 Marks to reveal more dailies. Then another 150 until you’ve done the same thing. Then 125…three times over? It just seems excessive. Even the first time, towards the end I was really losing steam with these dailies. And I am someone who really likes dailies. I did the Isle of WTF for weeks back in the day. Anyway, Millya will get some more pets and a mount, but I reserve the right to complain about it a bit at the same time. (I know, I do it to myself).

As far as maging goes I have delved into LFD a bit more with Millya as Vid routinely caps VP through raids primarily. I don’t actually mind the DPS wait too much. I do mind the way that groups often treat DPS, like expendable (and stupid) movable artillery. If you’re unclear about which Hatcher you want killed, you don’t get to yell at me when I kill the “wrong” one when you weren’t smart enough to go pick up the hatchlings, regardless of where they spawned! And the reason we wiped on the last boss is not because I “used Time Warp in the Lynx phase and should have saved it for Dragonhawk.” It’s because you are a terrible tank that wasn’t using your CDs, and the healer was a pretty undergeared and slow druid who let you die. Also, when one DPS does 40% of the damage in a run, you should stop giving him/her a hard time.

Most of my LFD runs go well, and are fun. After healing a lot of the time I find it’s nice to relax back into exploding things with fire in the face, fire on the ground, extra big fire, little fire…! By contrast, when I’m soloing and running around the world it will usually be as Frost. My water elemental and I, Speak, are an inseparable team. I actually did go Frost on the last boss in ZG when our group was struggling, though. The added control on the Spirits made a big difference, and I wish I had thought of doing it sooner!

By the way, my elemental’s name is Speak because of this video a friend inflicted on me years ago. Now, I pass it on to you. Don’t blame me if it gets stuck in your head, though. I dun wanna war. Yee, c’mon.

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Comments on: "100th Post: Paladins, Mages, and Something In-Between" (39)

  1. Some very true statements in there, especially regarding the Zandies. Lots of big egos evolve in there, and an even larger amount of stupid.

    • It’s so true. The part that drives me crazy is that EVERY pug ALWAYS thinks they should be doing a bear run, even when the gear/skill of the people is nowhere near appropriate. So you wind up with fifteen minutes of frantic rush and recriminations that ends in dumb trash wipes (and even THEN, some deluded people still are surprised when the bear timer runs out). I don’t mind doing bear runs but it makes the first part of ZA such hell!

      • You must be psychic. Last night I had a guildmate tell me they got vote-kicked from a ZG pug because…. They were the only ones killing adds on Jindo and tried to tell the group that, no, the ghosts don’t spawn from the void circles.

        I don’t mind attempting a bear run but the people who immediately leave the group if you wipe once and “ruin” the timer (especially if it’s a tank) annoy me. I’m always willing to try but I’m not going to ragequit if I don’t get a bear. I can always queue again afterwards or try again tomorrow.

      • Some people have major entitlement issues. I don’t really understand what they expect from pugs – it’s a random assemblage of people, usually that don’t know each other, and you have no idea of their capabilities or what they will do. Sure, you can TRY to get a bear (and I’ve done it in pugs, but the pug was all from the same guild besides me) but you shouldn’t assume that if a pug can’t do it they are just “fail” and end up dropping group. Everything needs to be pretty much flawless to make it to that bear! You don’t usually hear “pug” and “flawless” in the same sentence. ;)

  2. Congratulations on passing this milepost in your blogging life :-)

  3. Congrats on your 100th post!

    As an FYI: I’m almost positive that the heroic head/shoulder token can be redeemed without having the normal tier shoulders first.

  4. *shudder*

    The Isle of WTF. *frantically searches for shrink’s number*

    • I ran two toons to exalted with SSO back in BC. One was my main the other was an alt that did a lot of alt raids and was (is?) an Aldor Hunter who wanted the neck – which I wore well into Wrath. The cash was good but it got old after a while, especially trying to find that last X to kill or Y to get to drop.

      Fast Forward to Cata and Molten Front…
      I’ve gotten the meta (mount, title, etc) on my main and ran another toon through to the end (mount, no title) because instead of a hunter my alt toon is my Holy Paladin. I’m currently working on toons #3 and #4 for Molten Front and I can only bring myself to do it every other day or so – and even then, usually only one toon a day. Even on my main, I got tired of the outside dailies really fast. I love bear-cub-chuckin’ but I hate being forced to go to the roost. And the howling one? I hate ANYTHING that makes me lose control of my character – even if just for a few seconds.

      Honestly, I wish they’d speed it up a bit. I’m tired of wisps and magmolias and most of that stuff. I’m not even doing it for the achievements – just for the gear.

      • Four characters doing MF? You have me beat, sir. I can’t even bring myself to do it most days just the once. It hurtsss us. And the 365 gear IS an upgrade for alts! I started doing it with my druid, too, which lasted about twenty minutes.

      • Oh, I’m not THAT crazy. I started on my main and gave my Pally about a week lag time. Once they were both done I didn’t touch it for weeks until I pulled my shaman off the shelf. And yes, once a day is about all I can take at this point, especially after unlocking both sides because it just takes so long to do it all. Sure, the money’s good but it’s not worth my sanity. :)

    • What amuses me endlessly is that despite never explaining what I am talking about, everyone automatically KNOWS the Isle of WTF by its name!

  5. I just have to say, that art teaser of Vidyala is freaking ADORABLE. Like… I don’t know, I just have such a sense of her personality from that little grin and the heart and SO CUTE.

    Oh, also grats on 100 posts. ;)

    • Haha, thanks Apple. I had fun with it…I should really finish it. It’s on my “to-do!” Nice to see you dropping by, it was fun to hear you on TNB the other night.

  6. For that clip, you get this: http://youtu.be/zpv5kFMcq8I

    Oh, and you don’t look a day over 99!

  7. Congrats on 100 posts and lots of fun!

    I have had a lot of trouble being motivated to do dailies this whole expansion. I’ve refused, point-blank, to participate in the war between the Dragonmaw and the Wildhammer beyond what I have to do to progress through the zone. My Dragonmaw rep has all come from the tabard. I’ve only done Therazane dailies with my DK; I got my Shaman’s rep from the tabard and my Druid is a Scribe and doesn’t need it. I’ll do the pygmy-smashing daily in Uldum… but only if I’m coming to the zone for some other reason already, such as fishing or herbing. I intend to push all the way through to the end of the Molten Front dailies with Kamalia because I want that pretty orange hippogryph, but I haven’t been bothering with the achievements at all. Even so, it’s a *good* week if I manage to get my Molten Front dailies done more than once. I will probably be more motivated about doing the Cataclysm dailies with alts after WoW 5.0 comes out, in the same sort of twisted way that I was all gung-ho about doing the Argent Tournament dailies with an alt (my DK) after Cataclysm came out.

    Re. ZA and bear runs — I am never, EVER going to finish that quest to rescue the four scouts, am I? I’d been thinking that it was just because people insisted upon doing bear runs and leaving lynx for last, but is it even possible to go around and choose to do him first or second (like you could in the raid) anymore?

    Is it wrong that your twitter icon of Millya makes me think of The Count?

  8. The reason heroic head/shoulder don’t require the normal token is that top-level guilds only kill normal mode once and that’s it. When Paragon brought 11 druids and killed heroic nef and said “hey, where we gonna get the normal hats”, Blizzard realized they had to take that requirement out. So now when guilds bring 14 druids and kill heroic rag, there’s no problem (OR IS THERE?).

    I would expect the same for T13, it would be a nightmare if they tried to make us get the LFR easy-tier before we could upgrade to normal. Or the normal to the heroic, since for all the press Blizzard is giving the two-part Deathwing fight, it’s still dying in week one.

    Voss doesn’t seem to have much trouble with Dem Belves, but if he ever did he can call me in. I use the catchphrase #warriorsrule and people like Rhidach block me on sight because they don’t want to step. What are Paladins gonna do when ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT CRIT BLOCK runs wild on you?

  9. Congratulations!

    I don’t meet too many people accusing me (although there are people who get upset when I time warp on any boss but the last one) but I do meet a distressing number of tanks who are under-geared, or mix geared (pallies and druids with some healing gear on, warriors and dks with mainly dps gear.

    I named my elemental Fizzy, because of all the little bubbles that float around.

    • It’s a “special” kind of accusation, really – don’t they know that you can TW on the first boss, and then either the third or fourth (depending) and still have it up again for the last? I just shake my head. But clearly, TW in the wrong phase was the issue there. ;)

      I like Fizzy, it’s cute. I wish they were still nameable in game!

      • Except that heroing on Lynx is the correct time, since Dragonhawk and Eagle can both be soloed by your tank.

      • I always hero on Lynx because with pug tanks (slow to taunt) and pug healers (I don’t know how good they are) I know that it is the diciest phase with the highest potential for disaster. I still hero then when I have a tank or healer I know, but it’s less of a make-or-break thing.

  10. Vidy,
    First and foremost, congratulations. While I can’t discuss what it’s like to blog longitudinally (since I’m newer than you), I can say that 100 is a big mark – an achievement, so to speak. So here you are:

    [Vidyala] has earned the achievement [100 Blog Posts]!

    As for pallies and mages, well, I loved tanking on the pally, but hate it when it happens on the mage. I didn’t really like healing on the pally, but love Evocate healing myself, and I really dislike dpsing in general, but being able to tie my other buddy in arcane my first raid ever doing arcane (my first time after leveling ever doing arcane, to be fair) was fun! I’m glad you’re liking it.

    As for your art, here I am, a grown man in his 30s, and I can only say that it’s wonderfully adorable, and I mean that wonderfully literally. It never ceases to amaze me the works you show us, from watercolors to every other medium (digital, I assume). I’m looking forward to the next 100, posts, pictures, or anything else.

    Sincerely,
    Stubborn

    • Stubborn, you’re so nice. Thank you for your kind words. We are something like opposite people – I love paladin healing, am leery of paladin tanking (though have tried it), and naturally adore mage DPS. If I could somehow combine the two characters it would be absolute perfection! Is paladin tanking your favourite thing to do, then? I know you’ve been working on getting an 85 of each class.

      • That’s a very complicated question. The short answer is… yes, probably. I also really liked druid healing. I liked Rogue in PvP, too. I know I prefer tanking to healing to dps… and that’s the SHORT answer. The long one will have to come out over several days worth of posts, I think.

        Happy 100th.

  11. Looking forward to another 100 posts :)

  12. As dps I allways confirm the Hatcher and never had a issue except for a tank who could not tell left from right., but funny enough my dps have almost no problem in Zandies, If i have cc I successfully cc 99% of the time, i kill the right mob, I stay out of bad and 15-23k dps does not hurt. I have not failed a zx as dps since before 4.2.

    On the other hand as healer or if I dare to bring a healer alt. I have not seen a single hunter successfully trap on the last pull before the 2nd boss for a month at least, I even had one tell me he did’nt have that ability in his spec when its all hunters. But I bring a healer that still needs upgrades, The tank pulls a scout pull and not one but 2 sets of reinforcements come from scouts and the enhancement shaman is qq’ing that I have to sit and drink, that if they had healed they would have more mana left.

    DId molten front dailys on 3 characters but came to a stumbling halt on two more at the second 150 stage. I find them easy on dps since i only do it while queued for Zx but healers are a lot harder to find the motivation.

    • Sheesh – if you guys lived through the trash pack, plus two sets of reinforcements, the shaman should have been kissing your feet for being alive at all!

  13. Gratz on the 100th post!

    I understand the pain of achievement spread… I’ve more or less switched to my druid being my main for raiding, but my paladin is filled with achievements, pets and mounts and it makes me want to play him to keep that up. Now I don’t raid at the level you do – so I’ve actually managed to keep him at the same level raid-wise, but when I think about which toon to play (and run ZA/ZG on) I feel a bit guilty because I can still improve my druid (I’ve never experienced this thing called valor capping) but at the same time I want to play my paladin and keep him ‘current’ (and hybrid = indecisive for me… making it worse).

    The same applies to doing dailies because I could be getting better gear from the molten front – although thankfully the gear for my druid is not really that attractive.

    But then I keep coming back to – at the level I play – it’s more about enjoying the time I play than meeting an objective – for where I raid (Halfus down for the first time for our guild last night) I significantly out-gear it on both toons. I should just enjoy the time I play – enjoy all aspects of the game… Hence I’ve switched back to healing (in PvE, been doing so for PvP for a while now) again on my pally – and I might try my hand at healing ZA/ZG tonight (I still prefer healing in raids to 5 mans though)

    That said… if I could move achievements/pets/mounts to my druid – I think I would do it as it would remove some of that decision making – although there is still the vanity aspect of those sort of things… which really fits my paladin more than my druid! I guess the satchels of free loot would sort of fit into that category (i.e. my paladin has the hawkstrider because my druid got it in the bag) – but I can’t quite make paladin tanking the same as my bear tanking which was why I made the switch in the first place…

    • Aw, Gameldar. I completely understand you. I like to think about which things suit each character, too. i.e. my druid (third-string alt) has the Anzu mount but you know what, it suits her so perfectly and it’s the only ground mount I ever wanted for her, so I don’t begrudge her having it when my other characters do not. She got it when only druids could summon him. I gave Vid the rooster mount because it’s so absurd – I couldn’t see Millya riding it, and so on. In a way, I wonder if we COULD get what we wanted and consolidate our pets and mounts it might take away something of the specialness of them? I’m not sure. Perhaps a case of “be careful what you wish for.”

      Incidentally, you really threw my guildie for a loop the other day when you recognized his guild from the screenshot he posted on the bear forums. He came back and asked if Fsob knew you and they were trying to figure out where you might have met Fsob, haha. ;)

      • Heh – well Fsob is internet famous by association :) I was just pleased to see your bear on the forums too – as I knew you had one! But that was an awesome first heroic kill :)

        Actually I’d be happy if travel form was full speed land mount and then I wouldn’t have to have a mount on my druid from aesthetics that make sense to me – always seems strange to be on a mount on my druid – if I was worgen I guess I would have that… but I’d prefer if running wild was actually a shape change into a wolf (i.e. shaman wolves) – I think the running wild looks a bit awkward!

        But I definitely have my favourites – the paladin charge being among them. They’re on high rotation on gupet! But somehow the white mounts (hawkstrider, snowy griffon, albino protodrake) for my paladin as well as the horse mounts are my favourites … something about the purity??? :)

  14. Congratulations on your 100th post :) Does that count in all the funny pugging pally stories?

  15. Grats on 100!

    I have a similar problem with achievements. My Paladin is my only raider these days, but I’ve done so much more with my Warlock (51 Exalted Reps, almost all the World Event achies, Bloody Rare, Frosty Rare, all the fishing and cooking achies, and so on), so I would love to be able to combine the two, somehow.

    Bear runs. I join a ZA pug and someone says ‘Let’s go for the mount’, and I look at my Warlock’s 346/359 JP gear and sigh.
    Molten Front. How I hate the underground quests there. I only did those to get the achievements, and once I had done them, I switched to the Forlorn Spire ones. I’m still doing them to get Ready for Raiding 2. As for those tokens, I’ve got about 400 of them in my bag now. Why can’t I buy a pet or a mount or something with them?! You can swap 30 of them for a green, and I do that sometimes if I’m short of Enchanting dust, but it seems such a waste.

    • Bloody Rare and Frosty Rare on another character stings. :( That must have been some significant time investment right there.

      The MF “Into the Fire” quests are so much slower than the “Forlorn Spire” ones! I did those first when I unlocked them and later when I saw how easy Forlorn Spire was I regretted the decision! There’s just the fact that repeating anything that many times is going to stop being fun, though. :/ They could be the best dailies in the world and I’d still silently resent them at this point!

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