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Category Archives: Professions

Overlooked Changes

Today we’re going to look at some of the things that have changed in the recent patches that not everyone knows about. Blizzard did an excellent job of leaving things out of the patch notes this time around and it’s been a bit of an interesting search trying to find them all.

I’m sure I don’t have all of the things that have gone unnoticed listed here, so I certainly welcome your input on anything else you may have noticed that others seem to have missed, or which did not appear in any of the patch notes.

Mailboxes in Starting Zones
In case you aren’t aware, every starting zone now has a mailbox in it. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about their plans to roll new alts which include running to the next town to get their bags, gold and gear – but you don’t have to.

All of the mailboxes are pretty close to right where you load after creating the character. If you start a little ways off from where the first quest-hub is then that’s where you want to look as it’s generally right beside the main building in the first hub.

Generalized Professions Trainers
In those second towns that you used to have to go to in order to find your first mailbox, you’ll now find a new type of NPC called a Professions Trainer. They’re almost always located right beside the Trade Goods vendor if you need to know where to look.

These NPC’s allow you to ask about any of the actual professions, not tradeskills, to get a general idea of what they do and how they work. After asking about a specific profession you’ll also be able to train that profession from the NPC.

The good news is, you can no get started on any profession you want without having to hunt down your trainers in specific cities (looking at you, JC trainers). The bad news is, they can only train you up to skill level 75, and they will not train you in the next level of the profession. In order to progress you’ll have to find a trainer specific to your profession.

Dual Specialization and Class Trainers
You can now purchase a dual spec at level 30 (down from 40) and it now costs only 10g (down from 100g in beta, down from 1,000g in 3.5). You still get it from your class trainer, so if you need to know where to buy it just ask a guard for the nearest trainer.

You can also find class trainers for every class in all of your faction’s major cities. The one class that might be an exception to that is the Death Knight, and the only reason I don’t know is because I haven’t thought about looking. Having a portal directly to my trainers kind of removes the need for me to care about where else I can find them in the world.

Battlegrounds and Dungeons
Battlegrounds are now split up into level ranges of 5 rather than 10, so level 10-14 and 15-19 are two separate brackets now and so on up the level range, with 85 being in its own.

You can also queue for some battlegrounds at lower levels than you used to. I did a post on that earlier this week, so if you want the details on that you can read about them here.

That post also includes the new level ranges for the 1-60 dungeons. Most of them stayed the same or at least pretty close to what they were before, but others made some fairly significant changes. See Stratholme and Scholomance for some big eye-openers.

Alliance and Horde Racial Tabards
You can now purchase tabards for each of the 6 races of your faction, including the Goblin and Worgen that aren’t playable yet (for 5 more days, woot!). These tabards give you reputation for killing mobs inside dungeons – all mobs, in all dungeons, at all levels.

You can purchase the tabards in the major cities from vendors you’ll find near or next-to the flight master. Here’s a reference for where you need to go to buy each one:

Stormwind: Humans
Ironforge: Dwarves and Gnomes
Darnassus: Night Elves and Worgen
Exodar: Draenei

Orgrimmar: Orc, Troll, Goblin
Undercity: Undead
Thunderbluff: Tauren
Silvermoon City: Blood Elves

You get the most reputation from running dungeons of your own level, though it is possible to grind rep from dungeons both above or below your level as well.

If you start wearing a tabard and 15 and chain some random dungeons you should become Exalted after about 10 dungeons worth.

[Edit: One more thing about the tabard vendors - They're all riding the racial mount. So if you're heading to the flight master in SW and see an NPC on a horse that wasn't there before, he's likely the tabard vendor. If you go up to the flight master in Org and you see a Troll on a raptor next to an Orc on a wolf next to a Goblin in a tryke - you've just found the tabard vendors.]

Rare Spawns Give HUGE Experience
Thanks to my buddy @Etherjammer on twitter, it appears that Rare Spawns now give you about 15x as much experience as a normal mob of the same level when you kill them. So that’s roughly the value of a quest or two. I haven’t seen anything official on rare spawns, so maybe there’s a formula or maybe certain ones just have certain values or something. I’m not sure what’s going on in particular, but it’s safe to say that if you see a rare spawn – kill it. Or tame it, maybe, if you’re a hunter, but in general – kill it.

Guild Professions Lists
I still see people asking around for links from certain guild members, or asking if anybody has Profession A and so on. If you pull up your guild window you can select “Professions” from the dropdown box up at the top and then view the professions and recipes of everyone in the guild. There’s a checkbox in the bottom-left corner of the guild window that lets you toggle online and offline players, so you can even see the professions of people that aren’t currently logged in.

The new professions windows also allow you to search. Typing words into the professions search window will bring up any items in that profession that contain the word(s) either in the title or in the description. You can also do a search by materials. For instance, if you can’t remember the exact name for that special twink/BoA strength enchant, but you do remember that it uses Righteous Orbs, then you can type “righteous orb” into the search window and it will pull up the Crusader enchant if the person knows it.

If you do a search and don’t get any results then you can repeat that search for the rest of the guild members listed as having that profession. I’m told there’s supposed to be a way to do a guild-wide search with the professions windows, but I haven’t gotten it to work yet so I don’t know if it’s just broken or if it’s not really implemented. But either way it’s not working for me right now.

Dungeon Quests
In running random dungeons I still have people asking the party to share quests. As far as I’m aware, all of the dungeon quests that require you to actually be inside the dungeon are given to you inside the dungeon itself. So if you zone into the entrance of a dungeon and there aren’t any quests for you to get, it’s because you’ve already done them all or you aren’t eligible for them.

There are still some quests that send you to the area where the dungeon is found that still get listed as being in or from that dungeon, but they’re completed outside of it so sharing them would do you no good anyway. If someone drops group in the middle of the dungeon and another person comes in to replace them, then you do want to share with that person since they zone in next to you instead of at the entrance where the quest givers are located.

The slight exception to this rule is found in the next section.

Class Quests
The old class quests are gone, but there are new class quests available to take their place. The first of these quests is available at level 20 and from what I’ve seen they all involve going to SFK to get certain items. The reward for all of these that I’ve seen on my own toons so far is a weapon or off-hand item.

There is at least one other class quest that you get like this that requires a higher level, but I’ve only found it so far on my 80 Mage so I’m not positive what the level requirement is.

The class quests come from your class trainers in the major cities. I’m not sure if you can get the quests for trainers found in other locations or not.

Flight Paths [Edit: Added]
My thanks to @Christman for reminding me about the flight paths. There are now Flight Masters/Paths in all of those 2nd towns I mentioned above (examples: Sin’jin Village, Razor Hill, Kharanos, Goldshire, Bloodhoof Village, etc).

You can also see all of the flight paths on your map now, for both factions. In order to see them you have to have either explored the part of the map that those flight paths are located in, or have an addon that removes the unexplored effect from your map.

I use the Mapster addon which shows me the full map and allows me to put a transparent, colored “fog” over the sections that I haven’t actually explored yet. So I’m able to see the full map, including flight paths for both factions, at all times and I have a green colored fog that hangs over portions I haven’t explored yet so that I can track that as well.

Reduced Cost: Respecialization [Edit: Added]
Another thing I just remembered is that the cost to respec has been changed. It’s not longer a set amount that increases each time you do it, the cost is now based on your character’s level.

I haven’t done it enough or on a broad enough level range to figure out what calculation they might be using for it, but I did a respec on a level 13 Priest and it cost me 11s and some change.

 

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Reputation: Cenarion Expedition

If you’ve taken any time in the last week or so to see the Hand Me Down posts that I put out there you’ve probably seen me mention the change to the Enchant Cloak – Stealth enchant. As someone who likes to make twinks for PvP and who uses gear like those I mention in the HMD posts, this change was significant enough to send me out for a reputation grind.

The faction in question is the Cenarion Expedition, located primarily in Zangarmarsh. The first thing I did was check with both of my enchanters to see if either of them had any reputation to go off of because I knew I would end up doing it on both of them (one of each faction), and I wanted to do it on the closer one first. After that I took a stroll around the internet to find out what I could, and then I asked for advice on Twitter.

I managed to hit Exalted with my Human Mage last night and hope to get my Blood Elf Paladin through it before Cataclysm launches.

General Tips
There are a few things you should look at doing before you start on this rep grind. The first is that there are four items that you can turn in with repeatable quests for reputation. The first can only be used until you’re Honored, and the other three can be used up to Exalted.

There are two things you can do early on to help maximize your reputation gain. First, don’t do any quests for the faction until you’re at least honored. There are some quests you get from the small camp in western Hellfire Peninsula as well as some in northern Terrokar Forrest (there are green moths around there), and a small few in other zones in Outlands as well. There are also a few quests in mid-eastern Borean Tundra in Northrend.

If you’ve already done some, or even all of those quests then it’s not too big of a deal, you just can’t maximize your rep gains.

The second thing you can do to maximize your reputation is to farm, or buy, the Unidentified Plant Parts before you get started. This is the first repeatable reputation item; the one that can only be used until Honored.

If you’re building your rep with a high level character then it’s likely easier for you to just buy all that you need from the AH so that you can skip farming the lowest of the Coilfang Reservoir instances. If you can’t buy enough, or farm enough via Herbalism or killing mobs around Zangarmarsh, then you probably want to go ahead and farm the Underbog and Slave Pens instances both for the reputation from killing the mobs inside as well as their chance to drop the Unidentified Plant parts.

But the more plant parts you can turn in, the more chances you have for another repeatable rep turning that’s only available from tuning in those parts. Once you get to Honored you can’t turn them in anymore so you’ll loose the opportunity to find them.

Another thing you can do to prepare before hand is to keep an eye out on the Auction House for Coilfang Armaments. These are used in a repeatable quest that gives 75 Rep for each turn in. You’ll find roughly 15-20 of them on a full clear of the Steamvault instance, and it’s one of the easier ways to get to Exalted. I found them on the AH from 8g-22g, with most of them being around 15g (until people noticed I was buying them and then tripled the cost).

Neutral to Honored
If you’re going for the fast route, then turning in your Unidentified Plant Parts is the first order of business. The initial quest, Plants of Zangarmarsh, requires 10 of the plant parts in order to make it repeatable, so go ahead and do it for 250 Rep. You can then turn in 10 more plant parts at a time with the repeatable version of the quest, Identify Plant Parts, which also rewards 250 Rep each time and rewards you with a Package of Identified Plants.

The Package of Identified Plants is where you can find the Uncatalogued Species. It’s a rare drop from the package, but it also starts a repeatable quest chain that lets you turn in Uncatalogued Species for 500 Rep each. These can be used all the way to Exalted, so you want to hang onto them until you’re at least Honored. You’ll also get plenty of trash items from the package as well as a few that act like regular food and some that are buff foods. They aren’t bad if you’re doing it at level, but otherwise it’s all just vendor trash.

If you want to farm the Unidentified Plant Parts then you can either do so farming the Underbog and Slave Pens instances to get them from mob drops while also increasing your rep from killing the Nagas inside, or if you’re an Herbalist you can farm the Bog Lords (and other mobs that look just like them) in south-west and north-east Zangarmarsh or in the cave in south-east Zangarmarsh which will allow you to farm their corpses for additional chances for the plant parts while also giving you reputation with Sporeggar (not all of the mobs like this give Sporeggar rep, but the majority of them do).

I recently started a Death Knight on the server that I started with first and leveled him with Herbalism and Inscription. While making my rounds in Zangarmarsh farming herbs I also killed the Bog Lords and similar mobs so that I could farm the corpses for additional herbs. The actual herbs I milled for his inks, but the Unidentified Plant Parts were sent to my Paladin for his rep and the trash of course was vendored making it both worthwhile and profitable all at the same time.

If you’re out of plant parts and still haven’t reached Honored then you can either farm Slave Pens and Underbog, killing the Nagas for reputation, or you can go ahead and do some of the quests that you haven’t done yet.

Honored to Revered
Once you reach honored most of the mobs in Slave Pens and Underbog no longer give any reputation and you can no longer turn in the Unidentified Plant Parts. From here on it’s all quests, the three remaining repeatable item turn-ins, and the Steamvault instance.

I did the Outlands quests and Steamvault runs to get from Honored to revered and saved my Northrend quests for the next stretch. It doesn’t matter which order you do them in though as all of the remaining options are available from Honored to Exalted.

If you managed to find some of the Uncatalogued Species from turning in your plant parts then this is where you turn them in. They give 500 Rep a piece, which is the single-highest boost you’ll see from here on. Turn them all in and then start your quests and dungeon runs.

The most efficient rep grind from here on is to run the Steamvault instance which requires level 67+ to enter. It’s not a raid, but it does have a heroic version if you choose to run it over the normal. The normal version of the instance gives about 1500 Rep for a full clear. The Naga mobs inside also have a chance to drop Coilfang Armaments and an item that starts a quest called
Orders from Lady Vashj. The quest sends you back to the camp in Zangarmarsh where you’re rewarded with 500 Rep for turning it in, and doing so opens up the repeatable quest to turn in the Coilfang Armaments for 75 Rep each.

From here on the most efficient method of getting the rep is to run Steamvault to get rep from the kills and then turning in all of the armaments that you find as well. You can continue on with the normal version all the way to Exalted, which is what I suggest if you’re doing this solo. If you have a few friends that are doing it with you then you can also purchase the Reservoir Key once you’ve reached Honored which will allow you to run the heroic version. You get more rep per kill on heroic, but you’ll most likely get more rep per hour just running the normal version over and over.

There’s one other repeatable quest I haven’t mentioned yet, and it’s called Can’t Get Ear-nough…. It requires you to turn in 15 Nesingwary Lackey Ears which you’ll find in Borean Tundra. There are several other quests you can pick up from the same spot that also reward you with reputation so be sure you’ve done all of those as well.

There are two places in particular that I found especially good for farming the ears. First is a little ways north and slightly west of where you pick up the quest; there’s a quest mob called the Minion of Kaw. These little suckers have a near-instant respawn time and they’re all located very close to each other. They don’t have the best drop rate, but their respawn makes them a very nice target to farm the ears.

The other mob I suggest is found directly south of the quest giver, across the plains where the stealthed guys are attacking the elks, there’s a little coastal area full of Northsea Thugs. These mobs have a similar respawn rate to the Minions of Kaw, but are a little more spread out. However, both the north and south end of their spawning zone have triggers to spawn more mobs once you’ve killed all of the mobs in the area. So the more you kill them, the more you force them to spawn. If you find that all of them are dead where you’re at, just go to the other end and you’ll find more of them. In many cases you’ll kill one and cause three more to spawn right where you’re at and killing those will spawn yet more of them.

Revered to Exalted
Once you’ve reached Revered it’s time to pull out all of the stops and finish up everything you can. If you have any quests left that you haven’t done yet you want to make sure you do those now. You’ll also want to continue trading in Coilfang Armaments and chain Steamvaults runs when you have the time. Basically you’re going to keep on doing what you’ve been doing, just make sure you finish up any quests that you’ve skipped along the way.

Once all of the quests are done it’s time to chain Steamvault runs until the very end. If you finish a run and have just a small amount of rep left to get then you can either return to the camp to turn in your Armaments to finish it off, or you can do what I did and just queue for another run and then sell all of your armaments on the AH to get back some of the gold you might have spent buying them yourself.

My Thoughts
Having completed it on one of the two toons that I’ve doing it on, I have to say that this rep grind really wasn’t all that bad. It wasn’t especially hard and it really didn’t take me that long overall, either. I did purchase quite a few armaments along the way which probably saved me about a dozen runs through Steamvaults.

The toon I’ve completed it with had skipped almost all of the CE quests during his leveling, so being able to do his quests after he hit Revered really helped that final stretch fly by quickly. The toon that’s still working on it had done almost all of his quests while he was leveling, so the Northrend quests are all he has left to help him along. He’s spent almost twice as much gold on Armaments and he’s still 9 runs away from being Exalted (not counting the armaments he gets during those runs).

I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting the second toon to Exalted before Cataclysm comes out next week, though it is does take quite a bit longer to run Steamvault on my green-geared Ret Paladin than it did my ICC-geared Frost Mage. Of course, the Frost Mage can do 70-80k damage in 3 seconds where the Paladin takes about 5 minutes to do that.

So I now have my Cloak – Stealth enchant on one of the two servers that I spend the most time on and am closing in fast on the second. There are also several other recipes that you can get for other professions. I went ahead and bought all of the Alchemy recipes since my Mage also happens to be an alchemist, but I seriously doubt that I’ll ever make a single item from them. They’re available and I’ve got the gold, so I might as well add them to my collection, right?

There’s also a hippogryph mount that you can get when you become exalted. It costs 2,000g if you’re neutral, and 1,600g if you’re Exalted, but you can’t buy the thing until you’re exalted anyway so it costs 1,600g. I don’t like the look of the mount so I haven’t bought it yet and don’t really plan to either. I’m still considering it to a very small degree, but chances are very slim.

I’ve got hundreds of spears, and dozens of strings of ears. But of the druids I steer clear, for my ears can’t stand to hear, the millions of exultant cheers.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2010 in Guide, Professions, Reputation, World of Warcraft

 

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Paladin Leveling: Retribution 1-29

It’s been a good, long time since I last blogged about Paladins. When I first really got into blogging about leveling it was because of my previous two Paladins (both Protection). At that point in time everyone was saying that you should level as Ret, no exception, but I went with Prot and did some crazy soloing and AoE grinding on my quest to level 80, and it was honestly some of the most fun I’ve had in game.

I managed to get my last Paladin, Lexington, up to level 78 before I switched servers and left him there never to be played again. He hasn’t seen any serious play time at all in over a year and a half now. People are always asking me to update the Prot Paladin guides and though I’ve said several times that I would I just never could manage to make myself get over there and leveling give him some play time love. So I’ll make it public here and now that there will not be a Prot Paladin guide or update until I decide to level another one, and at this point in time I’m not planning to do so until sometime in Cataclysm.

Last week I leveled a Holy Paladin to level 10 to twink him for PvP, and on Friday I had a crazy idea to turn his experience back on and raise him to 19 instead for additional healing spells. I wanted to hurry to 19 so I also gave him a respec (which cost only 40-some silver, btw) to Retribution just to hurry it along. What started as a 9 level blitz turned into 23 level joy ride of splitting heads with my axe.

As with my level 80 Druid, Hotstuffbaby, my twink names tend to bite me in the butt when I decide to level them instead. At least Hearmywords can be fun if I macro different sayings to my attacks or something, I guess.

/cast Crusader Strike
/y Can you hear me yet, %t?

/cast Templar’s Verdict
/y Can you hear me now, %t?

/cast Exorcism
/y I said… CAN. YOU. HEAR. ME.

Playing a Retribution Paladin
Ret Paladins play much like any other melee class, where you basically close in with your targets and proceed to bash their face in until they fall over and give you loot. Paladins got a change in play style from the 4.0 patch though in the form of Holy Power.

Back in the early days of 3.x I was able to solo a great deal of content with my Protection Paladin and I really did have an absolute blast leveling him up and soloing five man group quests below level and soloing at level dungeons. I’m not feeling the tanking bug right now though, so this time around I’m going for Retribution instead.

Playing a Ret Paladin in 4.0.1 is very similar to how that Prot Pally felt in 3.x – over powered. It’s even better than it was before though, because now we actually have additional attacks that we can use in early levels instead of waiting for level 30 before we had anything besides auto-attack. Solo play got even better because we now have a healing spell from level 9 on that is not only mana-free, but also instant to cast. While not as good as Lay on Hands (which we still have, and do get in this level range), it also doesn’t have a cooldown beyond the generation of Holy Power, so it’s very easy to use.

Retribution-Specific Tips
To start this section off, we’re going to look first at the perks of choosing the Retribution tree. The keystone ability you get for choosing Ret is Templar’s Verdict, an instant attack that consumes Holy Power for increased weapon damage. You also get Sheath of Light which increases your spellpower by 30% of your attack power as well as giving a 6% bonus to your Spell Hit, and Two-Handed Weapon Specialization which gives you a 20% damage bonus with two-handed weapons. And finishing off the Ret perks is Judgements of the Bold which restores 25% of your base mana over 10 seconds every time you cast Judgement.

Holy Power
Our new mechanic, Holy Power, is similar(ish) to a Rogue’s combo points. You build Holy Power by using certain abilities, primarily Crusader Strike, but they build up on you rather than on your target and they expire with time or when consumed by another ability. You can store up to three Holy Power at a time, and the abilities that use it increase in power with each point.

Rather than having finishing moves, Paladins can burn their Holy Power with either healing spells or additional attacks, and since the HP stacks on you rather than the target you can kill one enemy by building up your HP and then kill another by spending the HP built on the first target. When soloing elites or fighting bosses in a dungeon, you can also contribute a great deal of instant-cast healing by using your HP with Word of Glory. I’ll get into the details of that further down.

As I mentioned, this paladin started out as a level 10 Holy twink, and at level 10 I was able to solo level 19 casters and rare spawns with nothing more than Crusader Strike and Word of Glory. It wasn’t a quick and easy soloing due to a very high miss chance, but there was literally no chance at all that I was going to die, even when I managed to draw agro on two of them at a time. In fact, if I had been Horde instead of Alliance, and had thought to try it, I’m quite certain I could have soloed RFC at level 10.

Seals and Judgement
A Seal is a Paladin-specific buff which typically adds some sort of extra bonus to your attacks. In this level range our only Seal is Seal of Righteousness which adds some Holy damage to each of our attacks. The Seal in use also determines the power of your Judgement spell.

There used to be multiple forms of Judgement, and they used to do different things based on your seal, but now it’s all an amount of damage. Seal of Righteousness provides the single highest Judgement damage of all the Seals at this time. Note that Judgement can only be cast if you have a Seal active, so always make sure that buff is up or else you lose access to one of your most useful attack spells.

Judgement is our primary form of ranged attack or ranged pull at this level, with Exorcism being the only other option that’s not a taunt. Exorcism will eat through your mana and has a cast time, where Judgement replenishes your mana and is an instant cast spell.

Auras
Auras are another paladin-specific buff, but these apply to your whole raid as long as they are within 40 yards of you. Our aura for most of this level range is Devotion Aura which provides a nice bonus to our Armor, which you’ll typically replace at level 26 with Retribution Aura which deals damage to enemies whenever they hit you.

There are several auras to choose from as you get higher in level, but Retribution and Devotion are the two auras you’ll use most often while leveling. I generally run around in Retribution aura because the extra DPS appeals to me more than the extra survivability of Devotion, especially with Word of Glory in our tool belt now.

Important Spells & Abilities
There are a lot of spells and abilities that come with being a Paladin, but I’m going to try to keep it simple and limited to only the most important ones for a Retribution spec. There are other spells that you’ll get in this level range as well, I leave them out only because I do not find them critical to playing a Ret paladin.

Level 1-10:

  • Crusader Strike (1): An instant strike that causes 120% weapon damage.
  • Judgement (3): Unleashes the energy of a Seal to judge an enemy for Holy damage.
  • Seal of Righteousness (3): Fills the Paladin with holy spirit for 30 min, granting each single-target melee attack additional Holy damage. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time.
  • Devotion Aura (5): Gives additional armor to party and raid members within 40 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time.
  • Hammer of Justice (7): Stuns the target for 6 sec.
  • Word of Glory (9): Consumes all Holy Power to heal a friendly target for 115 to 127 per charge of Holy Power.

Crusader Strike is basically the key to everything you do as Ret, because it’s your primary source of Holy Power. It also does a decent amount of damage, but the big thing is that HP. I’m not 100% positive but fairly close, that using it gives you HP every time you use it, even when you miss. I can’t think of a time that I’ve ever used it and not received HP for doing so. Judgement is our primary ranged attack, and also our main source of mana regeneration.

Seal of Righteousness and Devotion Aura are the two buffs that you want to have up at all times. Auras have no duration and persist through death, so the one you have active when you die will still be active when your rez. Seals are only 30 minute buffs though, and must be active in order for you to use Judgement, so be sure to have your Seal active at all times, and if it gets dispelled during combat be sure to reapply it right away.

Hammer of Justice seems mostly PvP related, but it’s also great for questing and dungeons or either stop running mobs or to interrupt an enemy spellcaster. It’s also great for stunning a mob long enough to get off a Crusader Strike followed by a Word of Glory when you’re in desperate need of a heal.

Word of Glory is an amazing spell, one of my favorite additions to the Paladin. It’s an instant cast heal that requires no mana, instead healing you for an amount based on how much Holy Power you have available. Unlike most of your other HP abilities, WoG heals you for a flat amount, multiplied by the HP used. So if it heals you for 120 with a single point of HP, then it will heal you for 360 if you have three points of HP. So if you’re in a fight for your life then you can alternate Crusader Strike-Word of Glory, or you can build up a bigger stack if healing isn’t quite so time sensitive.

Level 11-19:

  • Flash of Light (16): A quick, expensive heal that heals a friendly target for 392 to 438.
  • Lay on Hands (16): Heals a friendly target for an amount equal to the Paladin’s maximum health and restores 160 of their mana. If used on self, the Paladin cannot be targeted by Divine Shield, Divine Protection, Hand of Protection, or self-targeted Lay on Hands again for 2 min.
  • Exorcism (18): Causes Holy damage to an enemy target. If the target is Undead or Demon, it will always critically hit.
  • Hand of Protection (18): A targeted party or raid member is protected from all physical attacks for 10 sec, but during that time they cannot attack or use physical abilities. Players may only have one Hand on them per Paladin at any one time. Once protected, the target cannot be targeted by Divine Shield or Hand of Protection again for 2 min.

I mention Flash of Light rather than Holy Light because enough though FoL cost 3x as much mana as HL, the cast time is significantly reduced, and if you need a heal badly enough that you’re going to spend a cast time on it, you want to make sure it’s big enough to be worth it. If you need to heal, and you need it now, then FoL is the way to go if Word of Glory won’t cover it and/or Lay on Hands is on cooldown. Our other big heal, the top dog of all heals, Lay on Hands appears at the same level. If you, or someone else is about to die, this is a literal life saver. The strongest healing spell in the game, even on a crit, can’t top the healing potential of this bad boy.

Exorcism is one of our trademark damaging spells, dealing a solid amount of Holy damage to the target. As an added bonus, it has a guaranteed crit against demons and undead targets, and our talent points will soon give us a chance to proc the ability to use it as an instant cast spell which makes it an even better DPS tool.

Hand of Protection is one of the Paladin’s “bubbles”, preventing all physical damage to the friendly target that you cast it on. The good thing is, this will keep you alive against all forms of physical damage, including falling damage. The bad thing is, it does nothing at all against Magic damage and it prevents you for using any attack spells either. The best use for this, other than jumping off of cliffs, is to use it when you have no Holy Power, Lay on Hands is unavailable, and you’re being attacked by physical mobs. Pop HoP for immunity and then use your spells to heal yourself back to full. This is about the only time I bother casting Holy Light as I have the time to safely use it with its long cast time rather than spending additional mana on FoL.

One thing to note about HoP, if you’ve gotten the use out of it that you need (such as an emergency heal), you can right-click on the buff to cancel it, which will remove the restriction of attacking. I have a /cancelaura macro attached to my Crusader Strike for this purpose which I’ll have down in the macros section below.

Level 21-29:

  • Blessing of Kings (22): Places a Blessing on the friendly target, increasing Strength, Agility, Stamina, and Intellect by 5%, and all magical resistances for 1 hour. If target is in your party or raid, all party and raid members will be affected. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
  • Consecration (24): Consecrates the land beneath the Paladin, doing Holy damage over 10 sec to enemies who enter the area.
  • Retribution Aura (26): Causes 9 Holy damage to any enemy that strikes a party or raid member within 40 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time.
  • Holy Wrath (28): Sends bolts of holy power in all directions, causing Holy damage divided among all targets within 10 yds and stunning all Demons, Dragonkin, Elementals and Undead for 3 sec.

Blessing of Kings is another buff that you want to have up at all times, increasing your main stats by 5% and giving you some magic resistance as well. The blessing changed in 4.0.1 so that they now hit your whole party and they last for 1 hour as regular and greater blessings were combined into one.

Consecration is a decent ability to use if you’re in a big group of mobs, but the damage isn’t as good as it used to be and the mana cost is ridiculous, not to mention the cooldown was increased. I don’t recommend you use this thing for much of anything unless you’re forced to fight several mobs at once and you feel that you need the extra damage. I used to love that spell so much…

Retribution Aura is our DPS aura, allowing us to deal extra damage by getting hit. You’re now a porcupine with an axe. Holy Wrath is our new AoE spell of choice. It used to only work on undead and demons, but now it works on everything and applies a stun to specific types of mobs. The damage works for everything though and the animation actually looks cool now compared to what it was in the previous version. If you want to spend mana on AoE, do it with Holy Wrath, not Consecration.

Leveling a Retribution Paladin
Starter Rotation: Crusader Strike, Judgement, Crusader Strike
Questing Rotation 1: Judgement, Crusader Strike, Exorcism (on proc), Templar’s Verdict
LFG Trash Rotation: Judgement, Crusader Strike, Exorcism (on proc), DS/TV/Conc*
LFG Boss Rotation: Judgement, Crusader Strike**, Exorcism (on proc), Templar’s Verdict

The Starter Rotation is what you’ll use prior to level 10. Basically just switch back and forth between Crusader Strike and Judgement until everything is dead.

Once you start getting some of your other abilities you can use the other rotations instead. The “Exorcism (on proc)” refers to our level 29 talent point in The Art of War which give our auto-attack a chance to make Exorcism an instant-cast spell that costs not mana and does twice the normal damage.

*On the LFG Trash Rotation includes a “DS/TV/Conc*” at the end of it. This is where you use Divine Storm (DS) if you spent the talent point on it, Templar’s Verdict (TV) if you have a big target that needs a big hit, or Consecrate (Conc) if you have mana to spare and are fighting three or more mobs with a significant amount of health left. Right now I’m not a fan of Consecration. The damage is pretty low, the cooldown is long, and the mana cost sucks. Not that we use a whole lot of mana right now anyway, but still, I think I’d rather spend my cooldowns on Crusader Strikes and Divine Storms than Consecration.

**For the LFG Boss Rotation it’s a little more specific than what I have up there. As things stand right now in 4.0.1, bosses are just like they were in 3.5, so their health isn’t all that impressive and with all classes getting their changes most bosses are a flipping joke right now while leveling. But for a mini-spoiler, bosses that have 3,000 health right now in live have over 28,000-31,000 health in Cataclysm. So for right now you can build up one or two Holy Power and then dump it into Templar’s Verdict to deal some hate to the bosses and it’ll be over before you know it. But once Cataclysm arrives you’re going to want a full stack of Holy Power each time you unleash TV on a boss to maximize your damage. If you get an Art of War proc, fire off that Exorcism right away as you don’t want to risk losing it or missing out on another proc because the current one was still active.

Talent Spec: Retribution 29

  • Crusade 3/3: Increases the damage of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous and Templar’s Verdict by 30% and the damage and healing of your Holy Shock by 30%.
  • Improved Judgments 2/2: Increases the range of your Judgement by 20 yards.
  • Pursuit of Justice 2/2: You have a 100% chance to gain a charge of Holy Power when struck by a Stun, Fear or Immobilize effect. In addition, increases your movement and mounted movement speed by 15%. This effect does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.
  • Rule of Law 3/3: Increases the critical effect chance of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous and Word of Glory by 15%.
  • The Art of War 1/3: Your autoattacks have a 7% chance to make your next Exorcism instant, free and cause 100% additional damage.
  • OR

  • Divine Storm 1/1: An instant attack that causes weapon damage to all enemies within 8 yards. The Divine Storm heals up to 3 party or raid members totaling 25% of the damage caused. Consumes all Holy Power to increase damage dealt by 22%, 74%, or 150%.

In the first tier I started off with Crusade because I saw it as the most likely contribution to my damage while leveling since Crusader Strike is my most common attack, and Templar’s Verdict my most likely use for Holy Power. Improved Judgements came next as I prefer to pull with Judgement and the more range it has the better, not to mention using it to finish off runners or pull threat for mobs chasing after my healer when the tank’s not watching.

For the second tier I decided to go for Pursuit of Justice first because of the increased speed. The holy power from stun/fear/immobilize isn’t likely to happen in this bracket outside of PvP and Wailing Caverns, but the increased run speed is a huge bonus for leveling. I then went for Rule of Law for another damage increase via crit chance for Crusader Strike, and survivability via crit for Word of Glory.

For the sole point in the third tier I chose to go with a single point in The Art of War over Divine Storm because I prefer the damage increase from instant Exorcisms to the potential AoE damage of Divine Storm. With a long cooldown and high mana cost on Consecration now, it’s just not worth it for me to try to AoE my way through all of my quests when it’s actually faster for me to just destroy things one at a time. I did take Divine Storm at level 31 for an extra AoE to use in random dungeons. I love the fact that Divine Storm now hits everything within 8 yards instead of only four targets like it did previously.

Everything here is about increasing our damage output in one way or another, with the slight exception of Pursuit of Justice which is more about decreasing our travel time which makes leveling faster.

Glyphs
I’m going to list at least two options for each glyph type that you can choose from, and below each section I’ll mention why I choose them and under which circumstances I might change from one to another.

Prime

Crusader Strike is my primary attack; It’s how I get my Holy Power and where the majority of my damage comes from outside of auto-attacks. Because of this, I went with the Crusader Strike first, increasing my crit chance by 5%. I gave a lot of thought to using Exorcism instead as it’s a flat damage increase to Exorcism, but I don’t use it quite as often as I do CS, and up to this level range it’s almost guaranteed that if I use Exo on something it’s going to be dead before that 6 second DoT effect would matter. If you’re doing a lot of LFG, then I might suggest Exo > CS for boss fights, but even then you’ll have way more uses of CS than Exo regardless.

Major

I personally went with Hammer of Justice first because I like to use PvP to help me level when I’m not in a questing/dungeon kind of mood and the extra range on a stun is pretty nice. In PvE the extra range doesn’t help a whole lot unless I pull multiple mobs and one of them happens to be a caster. Going with Divinity is more useful later in the game as mana is rarely an issue unless you’re using Exorcism or your heals more frequently. I found it to be useful in LFG, so I have been switching back and forth as needed.

Minor

As with most classes, our minor glyphs kind of suck. The only one I really say is necessary is Lay on Hands since it’s the only ability that you’re likely to use while in combat and its use can actually have a significant impact by allowing you to cast LoH more often. Every other Paladin minor glyph right now just reduces the mana cost of spells that you’ll likely only cast outside of combat anyway, where casting your buffs and then drinking to restore your mana would negate the glyph’s use, not to mention we don’t care about mana much to begin with.

Retribution Macros
I don’t use a whole lot of fancy macros on my Paladin just yet, but I do have a few that are particularly useful.

#showtooltip
/startattack
/cancelaura Blessing of Protection
/cast Crusader Strike [same for Templar's Verdict, Divine Storm, and Exorcism]

This is the one that I mentioned up above that cancels my BoP right before I attack. BoP gives you immunity to physical damage, but at the expense of not allowing you to attack. Generally you want to cast this when you need to heal yourself (if you’re targeting yourself), so after you’re finished healing it’s time to get back to combat rather than just waiting for it to end itself. Basically this one saves me the trouble of canceling the buff myself.

I use a version of this macro for all of my primary attack spells as I mention in the macro text itself.

#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast [modifier:alt] Divine Storm; Templar’s Verdict

This is a typical space saving macro. DS and TV both use your Holy Power for a melee attack. TV is a single-target attack that can do 225% weapon damage with a full stack of HP, where Divine Storm is an AoE attack that burns your HP for up to 150% weapon damage. They both work the same way and use the same kind of resource, so I use a simple macro to switch from one spell to the other when I hold the Alt key.

Gearing Up as Retribution
As a melee class we’re looking for stats that impact our melee performance such as Strength, Attack Power, Hit, Crit, and Haste. We know from our Two-Handed Weapon Specialization that we’re meant to use two-handed weapons, and the general rules apply there; the slower the weapon, the higher the damage.

Stat Priority: Strength, Attack Power, Crit, Haste, Hit, Expertise

In short, we’re going to stack Strength. Crit and Haste are both great stats when you can find them, though Crit is much easier to find than Haste at these levels. Hit and Expertise are both good, but again they’ll play a bigger role at later levels than they do now.

If you have access to heirloom gear and want to know which ones to use:
Bloodied Arcanite Reaper with the Crusader enchant
Polished Breastplate of Valor with the Greater Stats enchant (+4 all)
Polished Spaulders of Valor
Swift Hand of Justice probably two of these

If you don’t have access to BoA items then you want to look for gear via dungeons. Here is a short list of items that come to mind for me:

Ragefire Chasm
Subterranean Cape Cloak, +4 Str, +4 Agi

Deadmines
Rockslicer 2H Axe, 18.4 DPS, +11 Str
Smite’s Mighty Hammer 2H Mace, 19.8 DPS, +11 Str, +4 Agi

Wailing Caverns
Cobrahn’s Grasp Mail Belt, +8 Str, +3 Agi

Shadowfang Keep
Silverlaine’s Family Crest +7 Str, +3 Stam
Arced War Axe 2H Axe, 21.8 DPS, +10 Str, +9 Stam
Phantom Armor Mail Chest, +3 Str, +11 Stam, +5 Crit

Blackrock Depths
Reef Axe 2H Axe, 22.4 DPS, +10 Stam, +20 Attack Power
Algae Fists Mail Gloves, +10 Str, +4 Stam

Razorfen Kraul
Tusken Helm Mail Helm, +12 Str, +12 Agi
Corpsemaker 2H Axe, 29.0 DPS, +15 Str, +8 Stam

Gnomeregan
Thermaplugg’s Left Arm 2H Axe, 32.6 DPS, +18 Str, +7 Stam
Grubbis Paws Mail Gloves, +6 Str, +5 Agi, +9 Stam
Manual Crowd Pummeler 2H Mace, 29.0 DPS, +16 Str, +5 Agi, Use: +500 Haste for 30 seconds (1 hour cooldown).

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 27, 2010 in Class, Guide, Leveling, Macro, Melee, Paladin, Play Styles, Professions

 

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Leveling Overview: Cataclysm 1-10

Beta Build: 4.0.1.12942
Spoiler Types:
– New features
– Low level class abilities or traits
– General impression of starting areas (no specific lore)

With my beta key firmly in hand, and the client downloaded and installed (after 38 hours), a lot of my leveling now is done in the beta rather than the live, and it’s most likely going to stay that way. I don’t want to leave the blog hanging or go off in another direction with it, so I’m going to keep right on blogging about leveling, just with a Cataclysm touch in mind instead.

I’m going to stay away from spoilers as far as the game itself goes, but I am going to talk about new abilities, where you get them, how you get them, and so on and so forth. There will be some small spoilers in relation to those topics, so if you don’t even want to know what abilities are changing and such, then you’ll probably want to ignore me for a couple more months until it comes out live. I’ve said it since Cataclysm was revealed to us in BlizzCon 2009, that it will launch in November and I still believe that that is true.

Each post that I make in relation to Cataclysm prior to its actual launch will have a disclaimer at the top noting which type of spoilers (if any) you’ll find in the post, along with the beta build number associated with the information in the post.

For this post I’m going to talk about leveling for all of the races and classes up to level 10, just to give you an idea of how they’re going to feel coming right out of the box.
Turn the page to find out more…

 

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Gathering Professions: Benefits

There are several professions to choose from in the game, and it’s a question that comes up often when someone rolls a new toon: Which professions should I take? Heck, even I ask it when I’m rolling a new class, or when I’m thinking about trying out a new one.

There’s no definite answer to this question as it can vary based on what you want to do with the character, what you want to accomplish with them, whether you want to make gold, improve yourself at end game, supply your alts, or any number of other reasons. That’s not a question that I can answer directly because I’m not you. What I can do though, is give you a list of what benefits you get from certain professions.

If you want a nice overview of the various professions then I will direct you to WoWWiki Professions for information about what each profession is and so forth.

If you are interested in power leveling professions, then I direct you instead to WoW-Professions.com. When I want to power level my professions (which is basically every single time), this is the site I turn to for reference on what I need to buy and in what quantities.

Gathering Professions: Basic Information
The one term I want to make you familiar with in case you aren’t already is Training Cap. All professions are limited by a Training Cap, which is a certain level of the skill that you cannot go beyond until you have reached certain requirements. The Training Cap (TC) for all professions are multiples of 75 (75, 150, 225, 300, 375, 450). Also, each of those caps requires a certain character level before you can train to move up into the next skill range.

Skill Level 1-75: No requirement (crafting professions require level 5 to train)
Skill Level 76-150: Requires Herbalism Skill 50+
Skill Level 151-225: Requires Character Level 10, Herbalism Skill 125+
Skill Level 226-300: Requires Character Level 25, Herbalism Skill 200+
Skill Level 301-375: Requires Character Level 40, Herbalism Skill 275+ (trainers in Outlands/Northrend only)
Skill Level 376-450: Requires Character Level 55, Herbalism Skill 350+ (trainers in Northrend only)

Herbalism: The Mighty Harvesters

Herbalism allows you to pick herbs across the world that are used by players with the Alchemy and Inscription professions. Other professions use them on occasion as well, as do a few quests here and there, but those are the two sources with the highest demand for herbs. If you want to get crafting professions to go with this one then those are the two you want to choose from.

Each time you reach the training cap with Herbalism you get a new version of a spell called Lifeblood which will heal you for an amount over 5 seconds. Lifeblood has a base amount that it heals you for which is then increased by your character’s maximum health (though I can’t find anywhere how much it is increased).

Lifeblood is an instant cast spell, does not break stealth/invisibility, has a three minute cooldown, and it makes springy little flowers pop up from the ground/floor whenever you use it.

Skill Level: 75 Lifeblood (Rank 1): Uses your skill in Herbalism to absorb energy and nutrients from the earth, healing you for 300 (increased by maximum health) over 5 sec. Can be used while stealthed or invisible.

Skill Level: 150 Lifeblood (Rank 2): Uses your skill in Herbalism to absorb energy and nutrients from the earth, healing you for 480 (increased by maximum health) over 5 sec. Can be used while stealthed or invisible.

Skill Level: 225 Lifeblood (Rank 3): Uses your skill in Herbalism to absorb energy and nutrients from the earth, healing you for 720 (increased by maximum health) over 5 sec. Can be used while stealthed or invisible. (Side Note: This is the highest rank for a level 19 Twink.)

Skill Level: 300 Lifeblood (Rank 4): Uses your skill in Herbalism to absorb energy and nutrients from the earth, healing you for 900 (increased by maximum health) over 5 sec. Can be used while stealthed or invisible.

Skill Level: 375 Lifeblood (Rank 5): Uses your skill in Herbalism to absorb energy and nutrients from the earth, healing you for 1200 (increased by maximum health) over 5 sec. Can be used while stealthed or invisible.

Skill Level: 450 Lifeblood (Rank 6): Uses your skill in Herbalism to absorb energy and nutrients from the earth, healing you for 3600 (increased by maximum health) over 5 sec. Can be used while stealthed or invisible.

Interesting Facts
Though it really makes no sense to anyone, there is a sword called the Phytoblade which requires Herbalism Skill 100 to use. Why do you have to be able to pick fancy flowers to use this sword? I don’t have a clue, but there it is regardless.

The Tauren race receives a +15 Herbalism skill from their Cultivation racial. It’s great for being able to pick higher level herbs faster, but it’s a drawback in that your skill level requirements to gain the additional ranks of Lifeblood are similarly increased by 15, so you receive the first rank at Skill Level 90 rather than SL 75, and so on.

You can purchase a Leatherworking Pattern from an Alliance vendor to make Herbalist’s Gloves which provide a +5 Herbalism bonus which can also be enchanted (see below) to provide a total of +10 to your skill.

There are a number of Enchants you can get to increase your Herbalism skill as well: Gloves – Herbalism +2 Herbalism, Gloves – Advanced Herbalsim +5 Herbalism, Gloves – Gatherer +5 to all Gather professions.

Mining: Hi-ho! Hi-ho! It’s off to work we go!

Mining allows you to gather Ore and the occasional Gem by using your mining pick on mining nodes across the world. Mining also gives you the Smelt ability which can turn Ore into Bars. Raw Ores are used primarily in Jewelcrafting, while Bars are used in Blacksmithing, Engineering, and Jewelcrafting. Materials gathered with Mining are used in some of the other professions at times as well, and in quests (mostly Alliance quests).

Each time you reach the training cap with Mining you get a new version of a passive buff called Toughness which which provides a flat bonus to your Stamina based on the skill rank.

Mining also requires you to have a Mining Pick, or other item that counts as one, in order to gather ore/gems from mining nodes.

Skill Level: 75 Toughness (Rank 1): All your hard work spent mining has made you exceptionally tough, increasing your Stamina by 3.

Skill Level: 150 Toughness (Rank 2): All your hard work spent mining has made you exceptionally tough, increasing your Stamina by 5.

Skill Level: 225 Toughness (Rank 3): All your hard work spent mining has made you exceptionally tough, increasing your Stamina by 7. (Side Note: This is the highest rank for a level 19 Twink.)

Skill Level: 300 Toughness (Rank 4): All your hard work spent mining has made you exceptionally tough, increasing your Stamina by 10.

Skill Level: 375 Toughness (Rank 5): All your hard work spent mining has made you exceptionally tough, increasing your Stamina by 30.

Skill Level: 450 Toughness (Rank 6): All your hard work spent mining has made you exceptionally tough, increasing your Stamina by 60.

Interesting Facts
An Engineer can craft the Goblin Mining Helmet which grants +5 Mining skill when you have it equipped. It binds when picked up so you have to make it yourself in order to wear it, and it does require you to be able to wear Mail armor to wear it.

While Dwarves seem a perfect fit for a racial modifier, there are actually no existing races that provide a bonus to Mining.

There are a number of Enchants you can get to increase your Mining skill as well: Gloves – Mining +2 Mining, Gloves – Advanced Mining +5 Mining, Gloves – Gatherer +5 to all Gather professions.

Skinning: I’ll rip the secrets from your flesh!

Skinning allows you to “loot” skins and hides corpses of beasts across the world after they have already had their dropped loot removed. The skins and hides are used primarily in the Leatherworking profession, but also see frequent appearances in Blacksmithing, Engineering, and Tailoring as well.

Each time you reach the training cap with Skinning you get a new version of a passive buff called Master of Anatomy which provides you with a boost to your Critical Strike Rating.

You can use skinning on corpses of beasts that other people have killed who are not in your party, so long as they have been looted. Also note that beasts in the initial starting area of each race cannot be skinned, nor can critters.

Skinners require a Skinning Knife, or another item that counts as one, in order to use the skinning ability on a corpse.

Skill Level: 75 Master of Anatomy (Rank 1): Skinning all those dead animals has broadened your anatomical knowledge, increasing your critical strike rating by 3.

Skill Level: 150 Master of Anatomy (Rank 2): Skinning all those dead animals has broadened your anatomical knowledge, increasing your critical strike rating by 6.

Skill Level: 225 Master of Anatomy (Rank 3): Skinning all those dead animals has broadened your anatomical knowledge, increasing your critical strike rating by 9. (Side Note: This is the highest rank for a level 19 Twink.)

Skill Level: 300 Master of Anatomy (Rank 4): Skinning all those dead animals has broadened your anatomical knowledge, increasing your critical strike rating by 12.

Skill Level: 375 Master of Anatomy (Rank 5): Skinning all those dead animals has broadened your anatomical knowledge, increasing your critical strike rating by 20.

Skill Level: 450 Master of Anatomy (Rank 6): Skinning all those dead animals has broadened your anatomical knowledge, increasing your critical strike rating by 40.

Interesting Facts
If you want to get extra serious about your Skinning abilities you can get both Finkle’s Skinner (main hand dagger) and Zulian Slicer (one hand sword) which each provide the wielder with a +10 Skinning skill.

While they are not available for play just yet, the Worgen race that is coming in the Cataclysm expansion will receive a +15 Skinning bonus as well as an increased speed in skinning.

There are also two Enchants that benefit the Skinners: Gloves – Skinning +5 Skinning, and Gloves – Gatherer +5 to all Gather professions. There is no +2 Skinning Enchant as with the other gathering professions, though I’m not entirely sure why that is.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 1, 2010 in Guide, Professions

 

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