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Category Archives: Paladin

Cruel Intentions

Everyone knows about the wonderful group quest called Cruel’s Intentions, found in Hellfire Peninsula, right? You know, the one that my mage wiped on 7 times at level 68, even with a group? Yeah, that’s the one.

Well, I remembered how hard that quest was on my mage, so I went ahead and advertised in local chat as well as LFG to try to find someone to help me with it. Nobody replied, which I wasn’t all that surprised about since there were relatively few horde characters in the area.

I know my paladin is strong, and I know that the class is pretty well over powered in many situations, and I know that Lexington can solo a lot of things that other people say he can’t. But, I was not fully convinced just yet. So I sent the question out into guild chat, “Anybody think I can solo Cruel’s Intentions at level 64?” And immediately came my response, “No way, get a full group. Preferably level 70’ish.” A few others piped in with doubts as well. My wife mentioned I could probably do it with a 2 man tank/heal combo, but I know I can solo instance bosses 5 levels higher than me with that setup.

In case you haven’t already seen where this is headed, I don’t take too kindly to people telling me I can’t do something. That’s probably the strongest form of a challenge you can issue to me, and it’s one I usually take up pretty fast. “No way,” you say? Bite me!

Lex_Solo_CruelCruel’s Intention, Soloed at level 64

My Reward: A New Trinket

The Fight
I did, technically, pop a bubble while I was fighting him, but since I have both of them right next to eachother I actually hit the wrong one, protecting myself from all physical attacks. In case you aren’t familiar with this guy, he doesn’t do physical attacks, he just Pyroblasts you in the face in between Shadow Bolts. So while I did bubble, it did me no good.

The fight was fairly easy, and if I had used the correct bubble during the fight I have no doubt it would have been a joke of a fight all together. He does hit hard, and I did have a couple of close moments as you may have guessed from my Lay on Hands being on cool down there in the screen shot. I used a mana potion, and I used a leftover Health Stone from a warlock I ran through ramps with just before as well.

One of the saving factors in the fight was when he summoned a couple of guards to help him in the fight. At the time my mana was running low from trying to throw as much DPS at him early on as I could, and I did not want to use a mana potion early on in case I needed a health potion later. Having his guards there to attack me gave me a chance to replenish my mana with Blessing of Sanctuary though, so it paid off nicely for me.

At the end of the fight, having already used all of my Oh Crap! buttons (bubble, LoH, potion, healthstone, etc) I had to cast Holy Light three times in a row to ensure I had enough HP to continue on, but he died about 2 seconds after the third one went off.

Looking back on the mistakes I made in using certain abilities at certain times, I can say that I honestly think I could have soloed him at level 62, or possibly sooner than that if I had done enough quests to open him up at that level.

Unexpected Response
As I sat down after the fight to take a drink and grab a bite to eat, I noticed some emotes pop up in my chat log from a Dwarf Hunter 80, who saluted, congratulated, cheered, and bowed as he sat upon his flying mount having watched the whole fight. I accepted the praise and gave him my thanks before going back to questing for a short while and then calling it a night.

[EDIT]: I removed the Shaman and Druid tags from the post. They were originally there because I was going to include the poll results here as well, but I forgot to remove them after I split the post into two.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2009 in Guide, Paladin

 

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Paladin AoE Grinding Rotation

As I have the ability to keep a much closer eye now on what is driving viewers to my blog, I have noticed that the most frequent searches are the Level 30 Spec for 3.1, and AoE Grinding Rotation. I have already covered how I spec my paladins, but I have not gotten into the specifics from level 30.

So today I am going to cover both items and go over how I spec my character, level by level, and also the general rotation that I use when I am grinding. The rotation section, as I will mention again when I get into the details of it, is going to have to be general because the situation can change every single fight. There is not a specific rotation that you go through when AoE grinding like there is with the 96969 rotation tanking build for end game.

Spending Talent Points
When leveling a paladin focused on AoE grinding as of 3.1, this is how I spend my talent points from 1-40:

  • Lv 10-14: Divine Strength 5/5 – Adds 15% Strength
  • Lv 15-19: Anticipation 5/5 – Increases Dodge by 5%
  • Lv 20-24: Toughness 5/5 – Increases Armor from Items by 10% and reduces duration of movement slowing effects by 30%
  • Lv 25-27: Improved Devotion Aura 3/3 – +50% bonus Armor from Devotion Aura, Adds 6% healing done to anyone affected by ANY of my auras
  • Lv 28-29: Improved Righteous Fury 2/3 – When RF is active, reduces all damage taken by 4%
  • Level 30: Blessing of Sanctuary 1/1 – Blessing reduces damage taken by 3%. When you block, parry, or dodge melee attacks you gain 2% of your maximum mana
  • Level 31: Improved Righteous Fury 3/3 – When RF is active, reduces all damage taken by 6%
  • Lv 32-34: Reckoning 3/5 – 6% chance after being hit with an attack, that your next 4 weapon swings will generate an extra attack
  • Lv 35-37: One-Handed Weapon Specialization 3/3 – Increases all damage you deal when wielding a one-handed weapon by 10%.
  • Lv 38-39: Sacred Duty 2/2 – Increases your Stamina by 8%, and reduces the cooldown of Divine Shield and Divine Protection by 60 seconds.
  • Level 40: Holy Shield 1/1 – Increases your Block chance by 30% for 10 seconds and deals 247 Holy damage for each attack you block while it’s active. HS has 8 charges that can be expended during its duration.
  • You may notice some differences here from when I last posted about the Paladin spec, in that I no longer put points into Divinity for increased healing. The reason for this is that I have found it to be less effective than Improved Devotion Aura (IDA). Initially I did not see a place for IDA because I had no intention of using Devotion Aura over Retribution Aura. What I found when I read over IDA’s description again though, was that while its bonus to defense is only active when using Devotion Aura, the bonus healing it gives happens to anyone who is affected by any of your auras at all.

    So rather than spending 5 points to get an extra 5% healing done and healing received, I instead spend 3 points to get an extra 6% healing done to anybody that has my aura on them by any source that heals them.

    AoE Grinding Rotation: General
    As I mentioned in the introduction, there really is no set rotation for AoE grinding, so I will stick to a general rotation for you here, but know that you will have to change it up on your own depending on the circumstances of each fight. This is the type of rotation that I suggest up through level 50. My highest paladin right now is level 53, so I cannot go further than that from my own experience, though I can tell you that my wife pretty well does the same with her AoE grinding in Northrend.

    The most basic steps to AoE grinding are these: [Pull], Holy Shield, Judgement, Consecrate, Other Stuff

    Now, a lot of people generally do not think of Pulling as a part of a rotation, but with AoE grinding it certainly can be. Sometimes you start to round up the mobs you want to grind and then for whatever reason (getting stunned, knocked down, snared, etc.) you have to stop short of what you were aiming for and just go with what you’ve got on you so far. In cases like these, I add pulling into my rotation to make sure I keep a nice, large group of mobs around me. Sometimes it’s a matter of pulling others to me, and sometimes it’s a matter of kiting the group I’ve already got so that I can get closer to another group.

    Which Judgement you use is entirely up to you. By default I use Judgement of Light because I have both Blessing of Sanctuary and Seal of Wisdom providing me with the mana that I need. However, that is not always the case, so I do frequently use Judgement of Wisdom as well. Since I use them both on a frequent basis, I use a simple macro bound to my number 3 key to switch between them.

    #showtooltip
    /cast [modifier:alt] Judgement of Wisdom; Judgement of Light

    Which you use is going to depend on your situation and may change from fight to fight even against two groups of the exact same mobs. The only time I use Judgement of Justice is when I am fighting humanoid mobs inside an instance and there are either caster mobs in the area, or I know that my healer could not handle me pulling more groups due to lack of mana or similar circumstance.

    Holy Shield always takes priority over Consecrate, so make sure that it is always up once you get it at level 40. Before level 40, simply take Holy Shield out of the rotation. Holy Shield reduces the damage you take by increasing your Block, and it also deals significant damage to enemies when you block their attacks. Since Consecration only deals damage, and it costs nearly twice as much mana to cast, it is better to cast Holy Shield if your mana is low or the mobs you are fighting are all close to death.

    The “Other Stuff” that I have up there is where you throw anything else that you might want to use. This includes Hammer of Justice, Exorcism, item or trinket use, healing spells, etc. Basically, anything you want to do to help either speed up the fight or heal yourself would go in this slot. Until I get to around level 40 I generally stick to the simple Pull/Judge/HS/Cons rotation and just watch the mobs fall around me. As I get a little higher and mana continues to become less and less of an issue, then I go ahead and throw Exorcism into the mix, and after level 50 I add in Avenger’s Shield if I am high on mana and want to take the mobs down faster.

    Hammer of Justice is a decent filler for the “Other Stuff” category up there if you need to reduce the amount of damage you are taking or if you want to prevent a humanoid from fleeing if they are low on hit points. I generally only use it when I have a spell casting mob next to me since we take far more damage from casters than we do from melee.

    Exorcism is an excellent choice, especially now that we can use it on any type of creature. I started using this more actively after level 40 because that was when I finally started ending almost all of might fights with full mana. I figured that I might as well put that mana to use instead of having it go to waste, and it works out very well. Even against mobs other than undead and demons, I see this spell crit almost every time I cast it. The damage on it is very nice, there is no cast time, and it is great for killing mobs that flee when they get close to dying. Exorcism has also taken over as my most frequent method of pulling mobs now so that I can get a good amount of damage starting out to building up threat.

    Arcane Torrent deserves a very special mention as well. It is the Blood Elf racial ability that silences nearby enemies and also restores 6% of your mana to you. I keep this on my action bar and use it every time the cooldown is up as long as I am not at full mana. I generally activate it right after my first Consecrate in each pull, and then continue to activate it throughout fights as the cooldown wears off. If I happen to be in an instance with caster mobs in it, I do occasionally hold off on using it so that I can save its use for an attempted silence on those mobs when I encounter them.

    AoE Grinding Rotation: Specific
    Alright, so to get a little more specific on rotations and how you go about using your abilities when you are AoE grinding, here are a couple of samples of what I would do at levels 30 and 40, from the start to finish.

    Level 30: Yeti Cave west of Tarren Mill, pulling 3 mobs
    1. Run to the nearest Yeti and cast Hammer of Justice for an attempted stun, but continue running on to the next mob. This particular area does not allow you to use your mount since it is inside the cave, but if you were to go for the Yetis outside the cave, then replace the pulling method with a single mounted body pull for all three.

    2. Body pull the next Yeti, auto-attack if desired, and run close enough to the third Yeti for ranged pull with Hand of Reckoning.

    3. Turn back to target Yeti #2 and cast Judgement of Light

    4. Cast Consecrate, repositioning myself if necessary to get as many of the mobs in front of me as possible.

    5. Cast Arcane Torrent, if available.

    6. Assuming that I am level 30 at this point, I would cast Hammer of Justice to stun one of the yetis and reduce the damage I take against the level 30-33 yetis. Cast Holy Light if health drops below 40%.

    7. Repeat steps 3 – 5 as needed

    At this point, that will pretty well be what you do. As you gain more levels prior to hitting level 40, then you can pull more and more mobs. Test yourself in any area you are in to make sure you know how many mobs you can handle. Generally speaking, if you are fighting something big, like a yeti or ogre, expect it to hit you hard and so be ready to heal. If you are fighting cats or raptors, then be aware that they have high attack speeds which make casting non-instant spells harder, so if you are going to heal make sure you do it before it’s an emergency or be ready to use Hammer of Justice to stun one of them to get your heal off instead.

    Level 40: Pirate on coast east of Gadgetzan
    1. Use your mount to Body Pull as many pirates as you have the guts to take on, being sure not to run across too large of a region that you lose agro on some of the mobs.

    2. Cast Holy Shield to increase your Block and begin dealing damage to the nearest mobs.

    3. Judgement of Light the nearest mob with the highest hit point total. If you just started the pull, then just pick the mob that’s closest to you.

    4. Cast Consecrate, repositioning myself if necessary to get as many mobs in front of me as possible.

    5. Cast Arcane Torrent, if available

    6. Cast Holy Light if health is below 40% but not dropping rapidly. If health is going down too fast, cast Divine Protection to lessen damage, Hand of Protection to become immune to physical damage, or Lay On Hands for a full heal.

    7. Repeat steps 2 – 6 as needed until the fight is over.

    When you are pulling very large groups like the pirates, and by large I am talking about 9-16 mobs which is my average in that area, you may want to cast Divine Protection early on in the pull to lessen the damage you take from all of the mobs before you have had time to wear them down with Consecrate, Holy Shield, Shield Spikes, and Retribution Aura. When and if you do this is a matter of personal preference, so do as you please here.

    As you can see, this particular post only covered up to level 40, which covers all of your beginning grinding needs.

    See Also:
    Part II: Paladin AoE Grinding Rotation
    Paladin AoE Grinding: Glyph Edition

     
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Posted by on April 30, 2009 in Guide, Leveling, Paladin

 

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Palasyn the Paladin – From 30 to 50

Palasyn (Blood Elf Paladin 50)
Mining 257 and Enchanting 303

Palasyn’s Spec

I lost my notes on specifically where I leveled for each of these levels, so I am going to give you a summary here instead specific level notes as I did in Palasyn’s last post.

And for one quick note about the paladin from my play on a new Prot Pally on a different server Knucklerot and Luzran were easily soloed at level 18, further showing the strength of the paladin.

AoE: Level 30 – 36
During this particular run, I do remember that I focused my efforts in Hillsbrad doing AoE grinding runs on the yetis that you find in the caves west of Tarren Mill. I also did a good amount of mining there in that cave as well as the surrounding are.

I would highly suggest going here at level 30 to grind these yetis. Go ahead and start off a little slow pulling just one, then two, then three, etc. Get a feel for how hard they hit, take note of the fact that they will almost always enrage on you, and just keep an eye on what you are doing. They aren’t hard to take out with a Prot Paladin, you just want to make sure that you do not overpull right off the bat.

After I got to about level 34 I stopped being cautious and just pulled as many as I possibly could. The most I ever managed to get into a single group was 6, though if I had used Consecration to kite them I could have done better. But at the time, I was not aware that using Consecration would allow me to kite mobs far beyond their spawn locations.

Razorfen Kraul
This one we ran with a group a couple of times before running it with just Stevetehcow and I. This instance was not one we enjoyed a whole lot, so we did not bother staying with it for very long. The drops were mediocre, the experience was decent, and the mobs had a tendency to be a bit annoying in places. All in all it was a decent place to go, we just did not prefer it over any others. Even with the annoying mobs in there, the place was really rather boring with how easy it was to tank all of the mobs in there. The druid actually did a /sleep on almost every single fight just to emphasize how little work he had to do to keep me alive.

Uldaman (started at level 36)
We ran through Uldaman quite a bit. I think the first day we hit it probably 4 times, followed by another 3-5 the next day. This is another instance where the healer was incredibly bored, so we started pulling several rooms at a time to give him something to do. Again, we had no difficulty at all, even when pulling up to four rooms worth of mobs, save for one area.

There is one mini-boss in Uldaman called the Ancient Stone Keeper where there are several Silence effects thrown around. While this is obviously bad for your healers and mana-based DPS classes, it is also very bad for the Paladin tanking. When a Paladin has no mana, or he cannot cast his spells, his ability to tank nearly vanishes; your ability to generate threat is greatly diminished, and it can easily lead to party members dying.

We tag teamed the instance twice and every other time was with groups of sizes varying from 3 to 5 members. We also did all of our runs here prior to hitting level 40, including the two-man runs with just Steve and myself.

Zul’farak (started at level 40)
This instance was a great deal of fun, and also horribly annoying. All together we ran through here four times, and we only did the ones after the first because of the gear that we wanted. I only got one of the drops I was hoping for and Steve got, I believe, two items that he wanted.

The big problem with this instance is a ridiculously annoying Witchdoctors. They love to cast this wonderful spell called Hex, which turns you into a frog. They also like to cast it on the tank, and they do it every chance they get. Hex can be removed by a few different classes, but unfortunately for us those classes were never available when we wanted to run it. When the tank gets hexed, he looses his agro and everyone else gets to take on those 14 mobs I had rounded up all by themselves.

Since the druid healer has no way of removing Hex from me, we decided not to do this one with just the two of us, but we did do it with a third that was able to dispell Hex.

The one thing that made going here worth it was the big battle you fight near the end where mobs constantly rush up at your group and you have to burn constant AoEs to keep them all off of you. Every time I had run this before we just stayed up on the stairs and waited for them to come, taking advantages in breaks to drink while we could. With these runs though, knowing my healer as well as I did along with having such confidence in my tanking, we ran right down to where the spawn and slew the whole crowd at once. It was an epic battle every time, never a single death, and always a ton of fun.

Maraudon (ran a couple of times around 45-46)
Maraudon was attempted four times in all. The first time we tried it with just the two of us, and while we did not have any trouble surviving, we did have trouble bringing down the mobs with such large hit point totals. It was not hard, it just took forever to kill things. After clearing a couple of rooms we decided to drop it for now and come back with more dps.

The second time we came here half the group went one way, and the other half went another way, with both thinking they knew how to get inside the instance. The problem was, both groups knew how to get in, they just knew different doors. We ended up getting split up and then the party broke apart instead of trying to find each other. We cleared a few rooms with myself, Steve, and another paladin before calling it quits again for lack of dps.

The third and fourth times we had a full group and had no problem clearing it all. The first of these was done in the Orange side, and the second in the Purple. Once we had the dps added in there to take down the mobs it was just a matter of running from one group to the next, killing as we went.

AoE: In the level 40-50 range
In between instances I focused almost exclusively on AoE grinding and mining. Most of my grinding at this point was done on the pirates on the coast east of Gadgetzan. The first group of pirates here (the ones in near the tents) like to use guns which is a little annoying for Consecration’s sake, but not much of a challenge. The second group of pirates though (the ones near the boats and lodges) are wonderful for grinding as they are almost exclusively melee.

When I came here I simply jumped on my mount, rounded up anywhere from 8-22 mobs, and then just AoE until they all run away from me. Then I throw a single Holy Light spell to heal myself, wait a couple more seconds, and then throw another Consecrate. After another second or so the mobs would meet back up with me and die either from Consecrate or my Retribution Aura. After one group is cleared, I just hop back on the horse and go pull another area the same way.

The respawn rate here is very nice and you can pretty well constantly stay on the move. When you pull the exceptionally large groups, some of which I used Consecration-kiting for, you may have to bubble and/or use your Lay on Hands to survive, but a single heal is usually sufficient to keep you going in this area.

New 3.1 Talent Placement
With 3.1 being released last night, I had to redo Palasyn’s spec since they gave us all a free respec and changed up some of our talents. When I do a respec, I do it like I would if I were going through level by level with the character, so here is the breakdown of how I would spec a paladin up through level 50 as of patch 3.1:

  • Divine Strength 5/5 Adds 3/6/9/12/15% Strength.
  • Anticipation 5/5 Increases Dodge by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Toughness 5/5 Increases Armor from Items by 2/4/6/8/10% and reduces duration of movement slowing effects by 6/12/18/24/30%.
  • Improved Righteous Fury 3/3 When RF is active, reduces all damage taken by 2/4/6%.
  • Divinity 2/5 Increases healing done by you, and to you by 1/2%. (this point can go anywhere)
  • Blessing of Sancuary 1/1 Blessing reduces damage taken by 3%. When you block, parry, or dodge melee attacks you gain 2% of your maximum mana.
  • Reckoning 4/5 Gives you a 2/4/6/8% chance after being hit with an attack, that your next 4 weapon swings will generate an extra attack.
  • Sacred Duty 2/2 Increases your Stamina by 4/8%, and reduces the cooldown of Divine Shield and Divine Protection by 30/60 seconds.
  • One-Handed Weapon Specialization 3/3 Increases all damage you deal when wielding a one-handed weapon by 4/7/10%.
  • Holy Shield 1/1 Increases your Block chance by 30% for 10 seconds and deals 247 Holy damage for each attack you block while it’s active. HS has 8 charges that can be expended during its duration.
  • Spiritual Attunement 2/2 (Passive) Grants you mana when healed equal to 5/10% of the amount healed.
  • Ardent Defender 2/3 When you have less than 35% health, all damage you take is reduced by 10/20%.
  • Redoubt 3/3 Increases your Block Value by 10/20/30% and damaging melee and ranged attacks against you have a 10% chance to increase your Block by 10/20/30% for 10 seconds or until 3 blocks are made.
  • Combat Expertise 2/3 Increases your Expertise by 2/4 and your Stamina and Chance to Critically Hit are both increased by 2/4%.
  • Avenger’s Shield 1/ 1 Hurls your shield at an enemy, dealing 1100 to 1344 Holy damage, dazing them for 10 seconds, and jumping to up to two additional targets.

This is the build that I use right now at level 50, and I have no trouble at all dealing with the mobs that I face up to 4 levels higher than me while solo grinding, or when tanking mobs in instances that are even higher than that.

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2009 in Guide, Leveling, Paladin

 

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New Paladin Updates

One thing that you find most commonly when you take a look at existing guides on how to play your paladin is that almost without exception you see the line “spec Retribution until level 30 and then respec into Protection”. The only real variation you see in that is an occasional suggestion to stick with Retribution until level 40.

There is certainly nothing wrong with doing this, and as I am sure most of them have more experience with the paladin than I do it is probably quite sound advice. But, you don’t have to do it simply because someone told you to.

You can look back at my blog and see the information I posted in relation to Palasyn (Blood Elf Paladin 45) to see how I went about playing him, and you can see that I started doing AoE grinding with him at around level 8. While I played him though, there were two things that I did that I wished I had not:

1) I got him several runs through the SM instance(s) to power level him from 20 to 30.

2) I followed the advice mentioned above and started out as Ret rather than Prot.

Fixing These Problems
My wife decided last week that she is tired of being ganked on our PvP server and rerolled a new paladin on a Normal server, and because her friend and long-time questing partner refused to change servers, I decided I would be the one to move over with her. Since I have had such fun playing Palasyn, I decided to go ahead and reroll a paladin on the new server as well.

Doing this allowed me to solve several of the issues I have been facing:

  • Power Leveling via “Run Throughs”
  • Unnecessary Respecs
  • Palasyn’s Name

Power Leveling via “Run Throughs” – Since we moved to a new server where we basically have no contacts, getting ran through instances is pretty well out of the question unless we want to farm ore to sell on the auction house until we can afford to buy them. And since that method isn’t my style, it’s not going to happen.

Unnecessary Respecs – This time around I said to myself, “why bother losing that first, shiny gold piece on a respec that I really do not need?” And the answer that I came up with was that I don’t need to. So this time around I dove directly into the Prot tree and have no intention of ever getting out.

Palasyn’s Name – As I have mentioned before, I did not intend to play with Palasyn when I initially made him, so his name is pretty lame and often confusing when in groups with other paladins. Since we rerolled new characters instead of transferring our existing characters I did not have to stick with Palasyn as my name. My new paladin’s name is Lexington (Blood Elf Paladin 25), which is my preferred name for paladins when playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Plans for the Future
I am short on time today, so this is where I will leave off for now. I want to let you know though, that the next few posts are going to go into more detail about how I am leveling Lexington on a fresh server. I have installed a new addon called MultiShot which auto-captures screenshots for me whenever I gain a level, reach an achievement, or kill a boss (I found out about it here). With the use of this addon, I plan to put together slide shows of Lexington’s leveling career so that you can see where I was each time I gained a level, as well as showing off his various achievements as he obtains them.

If you would like to check out a slideshow of Lexington’s progress so far, please have a look:

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2009 in Paladin

 

(Mar 25) Paladin Tools for AoE Grinding: Deadman’s Hand

One thing I wanted to go ahead and share with you before I forget it, is a tool I found to be very useful in my AoE grinding with Palasyn. It would help any class, honestly, but this is the first time I have ever found the ring even though I farmed the instance countless times with Psynister.
 
The item is called [Deadman's Hand] dropped by Arcanist Doan (SM: Library Boss, 2% drop rate) which is a ring that provides its wearer with +10 Stamina, and requires level 29 to equip it. That’s 100 HP in a ring, which is pretty good in and of itself for a tank like Palasyn. The jewel in this ring though, is its proc ability: “When struck in combat, has a chance of freezing the attacker in place for 3 sec.” According to a little research on WoWHead the proc rate appears to be 5%, and from my experience it seems that when I have a group beating on me that it procs on more than one at a time.
 
The most beneficial aspect of the ring comes when fighting groups of humanoids that like to flee when they are low on hit points, particularly those in instances like Scarlet Monastery who like to go and agro another group of elite mobs for you, just to show you how much they love you. Generally, the first mob that takes off running is the one that you have been using your judgement ability on, so they have been taking weapon damage in addition to everything else. One of your biggest frustrations is when your judged target either runs away, or dies right after you judge them, causing the effect to be wasted. While the ring does not proc constantly or consistently, it does proc often enough to be a very useful item.
 
Another benefit I have found to it is in pulling the mobs. One of the first places I went to grind when I hit level 30 was in the cave west of Tarren Mill where the yetis are. Since many of them are spread out pretty far in there I have a number of different tactics I use for pulling. The one I use most often is to start off with Hammer of Wrath to stun the one closest to me while I run on to the next one and hit them with a judgement. I then continue running on until I can at least use Hand of Reckoning another one or two, and hopefully pull 6 or more of them to me at once. While I do this, the first two targets inevitably catch up to be and start attacking me from behind and often daze me when they do it, effectively ruining my large pull. Having them frozen in place when they come up to hit me actually gives me time for an even larger pull.
 
But wait! That’s not all – As I mentioned above, I have often found that when it procs in the midst of a group I often have several of them get hit by it at once. I know it is not an AoE ability itself since I have seen it hit a single mob in a group just as often, but for some reason it often works out to freeze multiple targets at once. What this gives  you is a bit of a break to use as you wish. Typically when this happens I will take a moment to back up and cast a quick heal on myself if I need it. If not, then I simply stand where I am and lay down another Consecrate simply admiring the fact that my proc went off. When fighting the yetis in the cave though (Level 30-33), they do hit pretty hard when you go in at level 30 as I did and damage comes quick when you are fighting six of them with four of them enraged at the same time.  This is when I throw down another Consecrate while I move backward, and then use a timed healing spell to boost me back up to where I need to be while they are still frozen in place. Even if it only procs on one mob, that’s still one less mob pounding on you when you need a break if you move back a couple of steps.
 
Going back to the bit of research I did on the item, apparently if you are a Hunter this ring also has a chance to proc when something attacks your pet, and this has been confirmed by multiple users. The question was asked whether or not it will proc for warlock pets as well, but I did not find confirmation on that. Also, the proc rate does diminish as you increase in level, though it does still have a chance to proc even at level 80. If you happen to be a mage, the proc also triggers Shatter as you might guess.
 
That’s all I have for you right now, but I will continue posting about useful items that I find as I come across them.
 
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Posted by on April 6, 2009 in Paladin

 

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(Mar 24) Paladin AoE Grinding – Part 1 (Pre-Lv 30)

Palasyn (Blood Elf Paladin 32)
Mining 149 and  Engineering 190

Since I have been having so much fun AoE grinding with my Paladin, I thought I would share some information on the subject with you in case you have an urge to join in as well. In my teen levels I stayed around Silvermoon and Ghostlands for the areas I did my grinding in. Fighting the undead there gives you an advantage with other spells you have that deal damage to undead, make them flee, and allow you to track them down. Most of my grinding in the twenties was done in the southern half of the Ghostlands and in instances that I ran with my guildmates.

Muddler: Engineering (Muddler)
I first started AoE grinding with Palasyn when he was level 8. He did not have any fancy spells that could bring the mobs down faster, but what he did have was a solid defense and a bag full of recently crafted explosives from his engineering profession which were backed up by some solid healing spells when things got rough. The grind at that level though generally consisted of 2-4 mobs of my level or 1-2 levels lower than me, and all in all it was probably worth less than the time and money I put into it. But, it did give me a better understanding of how AoE grinding would work from a melee perspective rather than the ranged perspective I have had for so long with my mage.

While explosives are your first method of dishing out some higher damage to a group of mobs early in levels, they continue to be useful at higher levels as well. The main drawback to using explosives is that you have a one minute cooldown to wait before you can use another one. So you can only rely on them so much. They are great for squishy mobs when starting out, and then as you build the profession you can use them more and more as they provide a 2-3 second stun when they go off as well so they remain useful throughout your character’s career. When I do not have a healer with me, the stunning explosives from engineering can be a life saver if Lay On Hands happens to be on cooldown. Generally I do not need to resort to that, but it is an option if I need it.

Mortar and Pestle: Retribution Aura (Mortar and Pestle)
Somewhere in your teens or twenties, I do not remember exactly right off hand, you pick up Retribution Aura, which dishes out 10 damage to a mob when they hit you. Over a period of time, or against lower level mobs, this is a decent way of getting in some extra damage. I used it all the way up to level 30 and I did notice an impact when using it as opposed to another aura. When you are doing low level grinding, this is just another method of keeping up a slow, but steady grind on your mobs. In most cases I still use it right now at level 32, and will probably continue to do so as well. If I have a healer running with me and we are a little low, then I will switch auras to increase my armor and improve healing on the group.

Millstone: Consecration (Millstone)
Once I hit level 20, I started doing some serious AoE grinding both inside and outside of instances. This was where the paladin really took off for me as an enjoyable class to play. I now come on the verge of having more fun with my low level paladin than I do with Psynister…almost. Consecration allows you to do a burst AoE that works similar to a DoT, save that it affects creatures inside its burst zone rather than the creatures themselves. So if a mob runs outside of the area they do not take damage any more, but if they come back into it they take damage again. One of the nice features with Consecration is that it bursts in all directions around you, so when you are surrounded by mobs you still have it covered.

One thing that you can do if you want to play it a little bit safe is to use Consecration right before you pull a mob and then back up to the far side of the zone so that they take damage a couple of times before they even reach you. I rarely use this particular tactic myself now that I have hit 30, but it helped a time or two in my twenties. Consecration is your biggest damage dealer in the bunch. The only thing I have had deal more damage than Consecration so far has been one case of the Retribution Aura where I ran out of mana because I was not paying attention and the Yeti I was fighting went into berzerker mode and hit me several times in quick succession before I could build up the mana to start throwing down Consecration again. I did have mana pots at the time, but I have grown comfortable with the paladin and know what kind of a beating he can take, so I knew I would be alright.

Until Next Time
I will continue to expand on the paladin’s AoE grinding techniques and such as I continue to level with Palasyn, and I do already have some more to offer for the level 30 bracket, but that will have to wait for later as I am short on time. Feel free to leave any comments, questions, or concerns.

[EDIT: Made some changes for spelling and grammar as well as replaced a few D&D terms with WoW terms. Armor Class = Defense and such.]

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2009 in Guide, Leveling, Paladin

 

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(Mar 23) Palasyn the Paladin – From 13 to 30

Palasyn (Blood Elf Paladin 30)
Mining 135 and Engineering 190

This weekend I focused almost entirely on Palasyn. I had intended to run with Kraal instead, but I logged into Palasyn to gather his mail and level his Engineering a bit and got an invite to tank RFC. I knew that I wanted to level the paladin anyway, so I said “what the heck, send me an invite”. And the rest is history…
Ragefire Chasm: 13 – 15
After that first run through RFC the group did surprisingly well and we decided to run it again. Two members had to bail before we were even half way through the second time though, so one of Palasyn’s guild mates (also in the party) decided to call his brother’s 67 Rogue over to run us through. With a high level character in the group RFC is, of course, a breeze. So after being run through twice by the rogue we managed to find enough other people in the guild with low level characters that we were able to form another group. All together, it took us about 7 runs through RFC, combined with the quests we had that sent us inside, to gain those four levels.

We also found in running it that our group meshed quite well and we all had some time to spare, so we agreed to pull a harder challenge and hit Wailing Caverns (WC) instead.

Power Leveling: 15-18
We got to WC and again found that we were able to just plow right on through whatever was in our path. The group makeup at this point was Paladin x2, Druid, Shaman, and a Hunter/Rogue (the fifth slot went between a couple different players). We only ran this one twice before the group again had to bail on us, but we quickly found replacements that were not satisfied by WC and so it was time to step it up a notch. Quests from WC gave me the boost I needed to hit 18.

Razorfen Kraul: 18-20
When we got to RFK the group changed up somewhat to Paladin x2, Druid, Shaman, Mage. The Druid is one of my primary guildmates and plays as Sogra (BElf Hunter 80) in our guild. He was Balance spec at this point, but he’s an incredible healer even at this level so we had no problems. Both of the Paladins were Retribution spec, but since the prot spec is nearly worthless at this level it wasn’t a big deal. I used the abilities I needed to generate threat and used a mace/shield combo and the other just focused on dps. The other paladin was level 22, so while I kept agro and threw what damage I could at them, he kept Consecration up and laid down the DPS. The Shaman and Mage also contributed quite a bit to the dps, though the Mage was rather annoying in that he thought it his job to pull every mob he saw, even when the rest of us had no mana.

We  finally had a wipe here during our first run when the mage fell off one of the bridges and proceeded to agro most of the instance so that they all came charging in on us at once. After the first run the Shaman had to leave and in came another Paladin.

Once the third paladin was introduced, it was game over for anything that got in our way. None of the mobs of our level, elite or not, could handle three Consecrations with three dps Paladins attacking them. The other dps class didn’t even matter and we even cleared RFK with just four of us, highest level being a 31 Paladin.

Scarlet Monastery (all): 20-30
{20-23} At level 20 we took our four man group to SM: Graveyard and ran through there twice with absolute ease. Level 20 is the earliest you can get into SM, but the suggested level is typically 28. Since I knew from leveling Psynister that SM was a great place for power leveling, we went ahead and called on one of our guildmates (BElf Mage 80) to come and run us through a few times. We went back and forth between the various instances and let the mage do the killing. I did die a few times due to random mobs coming at me in Cathedral, but otherwise it was smooth sailing as usual when getting a run through an instance. The mage didn’t have a whole lot of time because it was already about 4 a.m. so we we called it quits after three or four levels. All of this happened on Friday night and Saturday morning before going to sleep.

{23-26} On Saturday the druid and I went back to the field of battle for some regular runs through SM. He had been higher level than me from the beginning and was also wearing some BoA shoulders that were giving him an extra 10% experience from all of the mobs that we killed, and we found him at level 28 when I was still only 22. We found then that he was able to join the Looking For Group queue for SM: Graveyard at level 28, so he decided he would get his Hunter to run me through to that point so we could go back to groups. With the Frost Mage running us, we were able to clear all of SM, three runs through Cath and one through the others, in about an hour total. I was a bit skeptical with the Hunter running me through as to how quickly a “single-target” class could run me. It didn’t take too long to figure out the Survival Hunter out-performs the Frost Mage.

The first few times were a bit long because he was testing things out, but we found an interesting quirk with is pet. He uses one of the “mage killer” dogs from Dragonblight that shares the AP Buff ability with other canines. When the pet used his buff (which he does constantly), he drew agro off of the Hunter if the only agro he had on them was running into their view to pull them. This proved to be a huge boon as it allowed him to focus his own attacks on AoE attacks and traps. After running all four parts of SM we found that regardless of what level I was the best exp was always the Cathedral, so that’s where we stayed. After finding the trick with the pet taking agro for him and my suggestion that he rush to Mograine and agro the whole instance, it wasn’t very long before we were clearing Cath in 8 minutes. After reaching level 28 we knew that I could join the queue for getting a group, so that’s what we did. That was the end of Saturday night for me, but the druid continued on to level 30

{26-29} At this point I decided it was time to have Kraal mail his BoA shoulders to Palasyn so that I was no longer missing out on all of that experience, so that was the first thing I did. Following that, we managed with little trouble to find a group willing to run SM: GY. Our group was Me (tank), Druid (heals), Paladin (dps) x2, and Shaman (dps). Even though I was the lowest level and drew agro from 30 yards away, the entire graveyard was a cakewalk. We pulled everything in the area to a central location near the healer and then triple-Concecrationed along with the Shaman’s AoE fire totem. Nothing stood a chance, nobody died, and we pulled bigger groups with our low level party than Psynister did with higher level groups. It was epic on a number of levels and we all had a blast.One of the paladins had to pull out after the second run, but we decided with how well we were doing that we could 4-man it. Sure enough, lather/rinse/repeat and welcome to 4-man GY with a tank that should have been too low level to do much of anything.

After the three runs through the graveyard we decided to take on Library instead still with just a 4-man group, and once again we found two runs with epic pulls, no deaths, and a thrilled group that worked together perfectly. The problem with Library at my level, was that even after two runs through there with a group, I had only gained three “bars” worth of experience, so it wasn’t worth it. We lost one of our paladins when I asked to go back to GY, but we found another one of our guild members that wanted to bring in his Warrior 31 and we went right back to it. The Shaman stayed with us almost the whole night with no complaints and all, and we eventually had another guildmate bring in his Warrior 38. Bringing in the higher Warrior actually proved to kill my experience gain from all of the instances, so it was time for a change.

{29-30} Our Warrior 31 rarely plays that alt because his gear was crap and he really did not have much knowledge of how to play the class. So to help him out a bit, the Druid logged back onto his Hunter and ran the Warrior through Cath/Lib/Arm to get him some better gear and some more experience. While they did that, the Warrior 38 jumped back onto his main, Arcane Mage 80, and ran me through the Cathedral, Library, and then Cathedral again to get me the experience I needed for level 30.

Other Details
Somewhere during the 20’s I went ahead and “wasted” a little time clearing up quests that I had had for the past 15 levels or so, including both my level 10 and level 20 paladin quests, but none of the quests gave me anything of particular note save for some experience. I also took the time to solo Luzran and Knucklerot while I was level 24, without any trouble at all. In fact, though it may seem a bit boastful, I honestly think I could have taken both of them at once with how strong the paladin is after level 20. I will drop the rest of my quests today and not bother with any of them as almost every one is grey to me now and unnecessary.

With all the running through instances that I was doing, I made over 100g from selling trash to vendors and putting green drops on the AH. I also go an insane amount of cloth which I sent over to Psynister for his Tailoring as I prepare to drop it for Enchanting. So far I have sold every item I put on the AH except for three. I have been able to purchase Engineering mats from the AH that I stand no chance of farming at my low level right now, and all with just the money that he has made himself from running those instances.

One disappointment I found through this experience was that the level 30 Paladin quest has been removed. I knew you could now train for your mount instead of doing the quest, but I had assumed that they still left the quest open to you as they did with the Warlock. Unfortunately, that was not the case. It felt like I was cheating there, especially since my wife was sitting right next to me with her level 80 Paladin just shaking her head. But, I can’t say it bothers me too much as I’m thrilled to have a mount at last. Playing a mage for so long with not only both epic mount types, but also the ability to teleport wherever I want has really made transitioning to lower level classes again a bit harder. It’s a bit of an adjustment to say the least.

Summary
So, all in all there really wasn’t all that much actual “Power Leveling” going on in the teens as I was primarily running with groups my own level. There was some power leveling going on in the twenties and then on up through 30, but had we been able to find enough members I think I could have easily done it just as fast  had I been grouped instead of run through by the high levels. I think the extra time taken would have probably evened it out a bit as far as experience gained per hour spent playing, but I don’t know that I could have gotten the same number of levels in the same amount of time by strictly questing.

I do have to confirm though, that the paladin definitely gets more enjoyable to play after you hit level 20 and obtain Consecration. You start to get a lot more abilities that you can use in combat, and you really start to see just how strong the class can be. The paladin is a bit strange in their primary offense is actually defense, and their strong defense is actually an offensive weapon, with a little healing thrown in just to be sure you truly fit the mold of “tank”. And I am going to go out on a bit of a limb here and say that I’m beginning to believe that the melee AoE grinding of the paladin actually seems like it might be more effective and more enjoyable than Psynister’s was.

That’s one thing worthy of note when it comes to Leveling Guilds. If the guild sticks to what it does and focuses on helping its members, then it’s not hard to get where you’re going. As I’ve said before, I’m not all that into power leveling characters once we get at or around level 40, and I actually prefer to grind my levels rather than quest for them. Quests are always the same old thing with a different monster to kill or a different item to gather. But every fight is a little bit different and I can change the circumstances on it whenever I want to by going in with less mana, less health, larger pulls, or whatever to make it more challenging.

I know I will be running more SM with the paladin, but I do not currently plan on being run through. If I can, I would rather go ahead and run with a group that’s the right level, but if the opportunity arises I will not likely turn down runs through SM up to level 40-42.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2009 in Guide, Leveling, Paladin

 

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