Gavel of Unearthed Secrets

I feel a bit silly: I have had access to [item]Gavel of Unearthed Secrets[/item] for quite some time but have ignored it. It's the Lower City exalted spell damage mace. Recall that Seal of Vengeance favors weapon speeds that approach 3.0; since SoV procs 20 times a minute, a 3.0 speed weapon would guarantee a proc each hit. 2.7 is damn close.

Though a 2.7 speed weapon procs JoW/JoL less, it will proc SoV nearly every single time. SoV is very very streaky with my 1.8 speed sword, which has a fail rate of about 30%. In fact, the DoT drops off of the mob quite frequently…it's a problem. A 2.7 speed sword has a fail rate of about 10%. It's worth some testing.

Also, since the AQ enchants are going to be accessible next content patch, I am wondering whether it would be better to put 2% threat on my gloves over 20 spell damage. Need to work the math out when I have time. Mmm threat.

Edit: I didn't notice all that huge of an increase in my TPS, considering I chanted it with +40 spell damage (never bothered doing that on my other weapons, the pattern dropped for me last week…I am cheap and hate outsourcing chants). BUT it was Friday and I was tired. I should test SoV more.

Oh, and I have a new tanking weapon which will be mentioned in the next "Weekly Update." I am feeling posty lately, might even make an entry over the weekend for once.

2.2 PTR Patch Musings

Wow, the 2.2 PTRs are up! I honestly was't expecting the next patch to roll around until after BlizzCon, it's nice to see that I was wrong. The current patch notes though, are lacking anything substantial, so I am assuming that this is a very early build. According to blue posts, "voice chat is undergoing some additional polish."

The paladin blessing durations have been increased: Normal blessings to 10 minutes and greater blessigns to 30 minutes. I am looking forward to having my regeant costs being cut down and not having to rebuff as manically. I never realyl understood why they weren't 30 minutes to begin with. I know that the paladin blessings were designed to be highly situational, but like…how often do you change the greater blessings? lol.

I won't complain, I distinctly remember having to literally reapply the 5-minute blessings in 40 people constantly for 6 hours in the Molten core days (approximately every other pull). Or better yet: reapplying the blessings before a boss pull, only to have someone go AFK or delay the pull in such a way where we would have to buff all 40 people all over again. /rant

What's up with the nerfs, a 1-minute cooldown on Blessing of Sacrifice is harsh, no? Was this change PvP or Karazhan inspired? If the former is true, BoS is an easily dispellable buff, not sure why it's getting the nerf bad this hard…especially when it will affect PvE situations. Perhaps a blue post will enlighten us. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to shrink the duration down to 10 to 15 seconds or something?

The SoV buffs are interesting. The 25% duration increase is nice, though I am not convinced that it's going to make keeping SoV up that much easier, since it's not as if they up'd the PPM (which is 20 if I recall correctly). I am very very interested in knowing how much instant damage SoV does now on mobs already stacked with 5 applications, the spell damage coefficient, frequency, etc. I don't think that anyone is copied over yet though so I will have to wait.

Not paladin related, but I am an enchanter so this is worth noting: All of the AQ enchanting recipes are being added as BC faction rewards (mats are being adjusted). This is great because it was silly having some of the best enchants in the game exclusively from an old world dungeon (and a difficult one at that…doubt anyone is up to farming Twin Emps now-a-days). Additionally, Nexus Crystals will be enchantable into Small Prismatic Shards.

WoW Update 7/10/07


Let’s see, it was a fairly interesting/busy weekend both in terms of WoW and real-life. I was going to only login for around an hour Monday to check my mail and farm, but raided a little bit instead. We wanted to get another crack at Prince before the Tuesday reset. We’re weekend raiders and thus never do Mondays, this was actually a first.

It’s a good thing that we did! First guild Prince Malchezaar kill last night on our first try of the evening. He was at 1% health, 9 people down with a single hunter up. Hunter solos prince! Nearly every single boss in Karazhan dropped some sort of healing gear this week. I think the actual loot percentage is at around 70% healing gear, maybe more. I swear that can’t be a coincidence lol.

Picked up the Breastplate of the Lightbinder to semi-replace the Earthblood Chestguard. The shaman chest has a lot more stamina though, and almost identical healing stats. Also picked up Formula: Enchant Weapon – Major Spellpower last night while questing in Blade’s Edge Mountains. It was off of the second kill too, I was expecting to have to farm for days to get that pattern.

I swear that I am just about to give up on The Sun Eater and settle for the King’s defender, whenever it drops from the Chess Event. The minute that I get and bother chanting another weapon, I bet it will drop. It taunts me…

One of my favorite WoW podcasts, World of Warcast just finished a two part segment on guild management that I thought was well done. It’s definitely worth a listen, especially to those considering starting a casual and/or raiding guild.

On a similar note, I have a fair bit of guild experience myself, having been the guild peon who didn’t know where the entrance to the Molten Core was (in my glorious shitty greens), an inherited guild master (oh God long drama story), a founding guild master, disbander of a guild, witness to guild merger, alliances, implosion(s), casual to raiding transition, etc.

I thought that it might be interesting to share some guild/raid management tips as well as some of the things that I have learned along the way as guild master, since it doesn’t seem to be discussed a whole lot (either that, or I don’t read around enough).

It’s actually a topic that I have been meaning to write about for a month or so, just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet, in between all of the other nonsense that I type. It’s such a large topic, especially in regards to raiding…

Epic Craftable Tanking Gear

“Easily” obtainable epic craftable gear. Easy as in you can get the pattern and craft it. There’s a nice belt pattern that drops from TK and Serpentshrine. I didn’t list it because it requires BoP drops from those instances to craft. The boots listed are BoP upon craft.

The Nether Vortexes are BoP drops from Serpentshrine and The Eye. The Primal Nethers are BoP drops from end bosses in level 70 instances (low drop rate in normal, 100% drop rate in heroics). Nethers are also available for purchase with 10 heroic badges.

From a paladin perspective mind you, so some of the items have spell damage and int.

[item]Bracers of the Green Fortress[/item] Best tanking bracers imo (barring any drops from the high level 25-mans). I’m too poor to afford these at the moment, the Attumen bracers will have to do T_T.

  • From: 365 BoE Blacksmithing Pattern, world drop.
  • Mats: Hardened Adamantite Bar (6), Primal Life (20), Primal Nether

[item]Boots of the Protector[/item] One of if not the best tankadin boots out there. Remember that tier 4 and tier 5 do not include boots.

  • From: 375 BoE Blacksmithing Pattern, Random Serpentshrine and Eye drop.
  • Mats: Primal Nether (2), Hardened Adamantite Bar (4), Primal Water (12)
  • Notes: The pattern itself is BoE, but the item is BoP.

[item]Red Havoc Boots[/item] These are great too, though I haven’t seen this pattern on my server yet. It really depends on how you have your gear distributed I guess.

  • From: 375 Blacksmithing Pattern, Random Serpentshrine and Eye drop.
  • Mats: Primal Nether (2), Hardened Adamantite Bar (4), Primal Fire (12)

[item]Helm of the Stalwart Defender[/item] 1.3k+ armor on a helm o_O. kek I craft these on Proudmoore, just hit me up 😀 $$$.

  • From: 365 BoE Blacksmithing Pattern, world drop.
  • Mats: Hardened Adamantite Bar (8), Primal Earth (22), Primal Mana(12), Primal Nether

[item]Oathkeeper’s Helm[/item] Not all that great of a raid tanking helm imo. Intellect and mana/5 isn’t all that great, not much stamina, and not much avoidance/mitigation, etc.

  • From: 365 BoE Blacksmithing Pattern, world drop.
  • Mats: Hardened Adamantite Bar (8), Primal Might (3), Primal Life (18), Primal Nether

WoW Update 7/2/07

Fairly uneventful weekend. Going to be busy this week with the 4th coming up on Wednesday and masses of people coming over on Sunday. I should finish up my Karazhan guide and/or several of the paladin posts that I have half started one day.
  • Bought the boot pattern and crafted my [item]Boots of the Protector[/item] on Friday before the raid. I know that I have more spell damage than I need at the moment. But, that’s just until I replace my sword, which will be soon (hopefully…)
  • [item]Formula: Enchant Weapon – Sunfire[/item] dropped off of Aran on Saturday evening. Crafted my Runed Eternium Rod, adding to the list of expensive materials that I owe guild mates. Must farm.
  • Farmed 6 of the 12 Primal Waters that I owed on Sunday morning. Was going to farm the rest in the evening or pull people into doing a heroic, but took the evening off to play Kingdom Hearts II, before it rots anymore on my shelf.
  • A guild member and I are working on a side project: We’re tracking each week’s "loot seeder" in relation to the types of items that drop each week to see if there’s a correlation. Yes, I know that Blizzard has debunked the theory at least a dozen times and that there isn’t much basis to this belief in the first place. But, if there is no loot seed, who teh hell are we going to use as a scapegoat?
  • Why I rolled a paladin reason II: Pure vanity, I refuse to roll a main character that does not wear plate armor…which narrowed my choices down to 2 classes 😛


Two site related things first: 
1. Changed the site theme: Got tired of using the Drupal default. I really wanted to code and create a custom theme of my own, but I just don’t have time to do that anymore. There are lots of great Drupal templates out there anyways.

2. Added a link block to the left navigation, for my personal convenience and as a shout out to some of the WoW blogs that I enjoy reading (mostly paladin related). So, if anyone of those sites notices around a dozen hits referring from my site, that is probably me being ansty at work :P.

From the perspective of someone who is in charge of class and role balancing a raid: Let’s say that the raid has a protection paladin and a protection warrior of equal gear, skill, and experience. Against a boss that is not on farm status, I will choose the warrior for the sake of raid utility, unless there is a specific reason why the paladin should MT.

It’s nothing against tankadins, heck I am one! I would probably feel the same way even if both classes were dead equal in terms of tanking abilities, health pool, etc (paladin class problems would be another post all-together :P). In my opinion and experience, paladins offer more in a non-tanking role in terms of utility than a non-tanking protection warrior. Most of our performance honestly, is gear dependent. I can still heal, cleanse, take over main healing if one of the priests bites it, etc.

In all fairness, I’m probably an unusual case, in the sense that I don’t enjoying DPSing all that much. It’s fun, but I’ve raided on my hunter and as a full spec retribution critadin (30% crit fully buffed and potted pre-BC FTW), and found it boring after an extended period of time.

I enjoy tanking greatly, and will insist on tanking on many an occasion since I’ve invested a great deal of gold and time into chanting, gemming, and accruing proper gear. But, I will also gladly stand back and heal if appropriate. What I enjoy most about being a paladin isn’t specifically tanking or specifically healing, but the flexibility the class offers in terms of game play. That’s the reason why I rolled a paladin.

…ultimately, this entire post is just a nicer way of saying: “Keiya has the attention span of a flea” (true fact :P).

WTB: This Pattern

Boots of the Protector: This lovely item is crafted from a BoE pattern that drops in Serpentshrine Cavern and in The Eye. The boots though, are BoP upon craft (Blacksmithing FTW), and are fairly expensive to craft (requires 2 nethers, 12 primal waters, etc). Time to sell shit…when I have time to get on lol.

Edit: Time to farm primal waters and gold. Keiya is poor.

Gone Fishin’

I spent a chunk of Sunday leveling fishing and cooking. No raider is complete without food buffs; Don't overlook them, the buffs are very nice. Don't buy food…just fish and cook it, it's cheaper. Before, I was mailing food materials over to a guildmate to cook, but it really is more convenient for me just to do it myself. Cooking isn't really that hard to level. Find the list if recipies on WoWWiki and buy out the meat on the AH.

So my favorite fishing hole: Zangarmarsh, at the lagoon near Cenarion Refuge. It's a good location because it's relatively close to Shattrath and it's near a mailbox (bags get full fast). It's also good because every fish cooks into something useful.

You get three types of fish from Zangarmarsh: Zangarian Sporefish, Huge Spotted Feltail, and Barbed Gill Trout. Which can be cooked into: Blackened Sporefish (20 sta & 8 mp/5), Feltail Delight (20 sta & 20 spi), Blackened Trout (4320 health over 20 seconds. Pet food). It's a great place to level fishing if you aren't quite at 375 (I'm not high enough to fish or cook the crawdays :P).

WoW Update 6/14/07

I need to edit the site CSS whenever I have time because the links in my entries are too hard to differentiate from normal text. I also need to re-categorize most, if not all of the WoW entries since they are sort of tagged randomly. Netherspite, Curator, and Shade of Aran strategies were added to the Karazhan guide…keep forgetting to take screenshots so that I can edit in positioning diagrams for certain encounters.

This is a hodge podge entry, I figure that it doesn’t hurt to make a post tracking my in-game goals, progress, whatever every once in a while, even if they are devoid of any useful content.

Caved in and spent my 41 heroic badges on the Gnomeregan Auto-Blocker 600, even though it is situationally useful. It’s great in heroics and when I am tanking against multiple mobs, but not really that useful against bosses that deal slow hard hits. With the trinket activated, my block is at around 710 (2 minute cooldown, not bad).

I have been at 265 rep off of exalted with the Keepers of Time for around a month or two. One evening I need to complete it, even though there really isn’t much of anything that I want. I can technically use the Bindings of the Timewalker for my healing set, until the Bracers of Justice drop of of Maiden in Karazhan. I can also craft the Blessed Bracers. Spell crit though, isn’t as valuable anymore since the 2.1 nerf, in addition to the fact that I have zero points in holy.

Speaking of reputation, finally dished out the gold and bought out the rest of my Scryer rep (cost me around 450g). Mostly wanted the shoulder enchants: Greater Inscription of the Knight & Greater Inscription of the Oracle.

Avenging Wrath and Seal of Vengeance

For the past couple of months, I have been inadvertently ignoring Avenging Wrath. I used to use it all of the time, not sure why it got moved off of my bar and why I didn’t notice…lol (probably when I was re-keying my spells a while back). Anyways, Avenging wrath is a level 70 spell that gives you a 30% boost to all DPS; Melee, spell, or otherwise for 20 seconds (it also blows your DS cooldown).

A 30% boost to DPS is a 30% boost to your threat. Avenging Wrath is an excellent spell for frontloading even more threat. I know I keep saying that threat isn’t really an issue, but the higher you can raise your threat bar, the more the rest of the raid can DPS without pulling aggro. As your guild’s DPS scales higher and they become more and more geared, your threat will have to as well.

This is what I will usually do: Blow Avenging Wrath, pull with Avenger’s Shield, Holy Shield, Judge Crusader, Consecrate, Spam SoR/JoR. If JoW or JoL is needed, I’ll rejudge it after AW fades. The extra threat boost is a nice cushion (so that the guild aggro whores don’t have to throttle their damage…you KNOW who you are!).

…and speaking of ignored spells: Seal of Vengeance. SoV is an alliance only paladin DoT. It stacks up to 5 times, doing 120 holy damage over 12 seconds per application. There are two problems with SoV:

  1. It takes a while for all 5 applications to stack. Like SoC, it has a flat ppm application rate (which is 20, unless it was changed in 2.1). So with a 1.8 speed tanking weapon, it has around a 60%ish chance of applying per swing. It can take anywhere from around 10 to 15 seconds to fully stack if you are unlucky. That’s a lot of time.
  2. If SoV fades, you will have to re-stack it all over again. As long as you can keep meleeing uninterrupted, it’s relatively easy to keep 5 applications up on the mob. Against bosses and mobs that knockback, fear, whatever frequently, SoV isn’t really useful because it takes too long to reapply.

Keeping that in mind, in the long run, SoV and JoV does more holy damage with a 1-hander than SoR and JoR, as long as you are tanking a mob that doesn’t interrupt your swinging for too long. I was playing around with it in my spell damage set the other day and SoV was doing quite a bit of holy damage…unfortunately I don’t have time to look up the formulas at the moment or to examine how well it scales.