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Part II: Paladin AoE Grinding Rotation

As I continue to watch what brings readers to my blog, I see that my first post on Paladin AoE Grinding Rotation still brings in more traffic than anything else. But that post only covered you up to level 40. This time, I am going to take you all the way up to level 70 and get you started off on the right foot for AoE grinding in Northrend. Since my paladin is sitting at level 70 himself, the third part of this series will cover levels 71-80 (after I reach that point myself).

While some people have voiced their disagreement that AoE Grinding is an effective method of leveling once you hit Northrend, I can testify both from my own experience, as well as my wife’s, that AoE Grinding still works just fine in the great Frozen North. I am just getting my feet wet in Northrend, having used my AoE grinding methods in both Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra. My wife has been level 80 for a few weeks now and achieved that by gaining all of her levels through the use of AoE Grinding to help her speed through her quests. I don’t support this method simply because I think it’s cool, I support it because I know for a fact that it works.

One thing that I want to specifically point out in relation to the statement above, is that AoE Grinding is not the only means by which you should gain experience. The fastest way to level your paladin is to use AoE Grinding in conjunction with questing and farming. If you have quests that involve mobs in any way (basically everything except the “go talk to this guy” quests), then you have reason to AoE the mobs to take them out faster, thus gaining more experience in a shorter amount of time than you would by another means. If you have mats to gather for your professions, or your secondary skills (particularly cooking), or you need to gather mats for someone else to use to enchant your gear, then you will be able to do so faster if you AoE the mobs to get them. While it is certainly possible to do nothing but kill mobs constantly to gain your levels, it is definitely not the fastest way to do it.

Spending Talent Points
When leveling a paladin focused on AoE grinding as of 3.1, this is how I spend my talent points from 40-70:

  • Lv 41-42: Spiritual Attunement 2/2 – Passive ability; when you are healed, you restore 10% of the healed amount as mana.
  • Level 43: +1 Reckoning (4/5) – 8% chance after being hit with an attack, that your next 4 weapon swings will generate an extra attack
  • Level 44: Divinity 1/1 – Healing you do, and healing that you receive are increased by 1%
  • Lv 45-47: Redoubt 3/3 – +30% Block Value, also gives you a 10% chance when hit to get +30% chance to block
  • Lv 48-49: Combat Expertise 2/3 – +4 Expertise, +4% Stamina and +4% crit chance
  • Lv 50: Avenger’s Shield 1/1 – Hurl your shield at the target dealing holy damage, and dazing them for 10 seconds. The shield jumps to hit up to 2 additional nearby enemies as well.
  • Lv 51-53: Touched By the Light 3/3 -Bonus Spell Power equal to 30% of your Stamina, also adds 30% bonus healing to your critical heals
  • Level 54: Guarded By the Light 1/2 – Reduces Spell Damage taken by 3%, also impacts Divine Plea which you don’t have yet
  • Lv 55-57: Shield of the Templar 3/3 – Damage taken reduced by 3%, Avenger’s Shield gains a 100% chance to silence for 3 seconds when it hits
  • Lv 58-59: Judgements of the Just 2/2 – Judgements reduce the target’s attack speed by 20%, reduces cooldown of Hammer of Justice by 20 seconds
  • Level 60: Hammer of the Righteous 1/1 – Hits the target and up to 2 additional nearby targets for 4x your weapon damage as Holy damage
  • Level 61: +1 Guarded By the Light (2/2) – Reduces Spell Damage taken by 6%
  • Level 62: +1 Combat Expertise (3/3) – +6 Expertise, +6% Stamina and +6% crit chance
  • Lv 63-67: Deflection 5/5 – [Ret Tree] Increases your Parry chance by 5%
  • Level 68: Improved Judgements 1/2 – Reduces the cooldown of your Judgements by 1 second
  • Lv 69-70: Heart of the Crusader 2/3 – Judgements give you +2% crit chance against the target

Spiritual Attunement: The points in this talent can be moved if you desire to do so. Some people like it, some people hate it. Personally, I like it.

Divinity: The point I put in here can also be moved. This is one that a lot of people go crazy over and feel should be 5/5, but personally I don’t find it necessary. You can take it away, or you can add more to it. Do as you please.

Judgements of the Just: This is another one that can have it’s points shifted if you desire. I took it for a couple of reasons. First, because I like to solo elite mobs that are higher level than me and slowing down their attack speed helps me do that. Second, reducing the cooldown of HoJ is a nice bonus because of its use in interrupting spells.

Improved Judgements: There is a lot of discussion about whether you should put 1 point here or 2. Personally, I put 2 just because I like to have it available to me more often. For the 96969 rotation you only need 1 point in it, but other people feel that 2 is better. Decide for yourself. You can get by with 1, but it doesn’t hurt to have 2. I find it useful when running low level characters through instances to be able to throw my judgements more often.

AoE Grinding Rotation: General
As I mentioned in the previous post, there really is no set rotation for AoE grinding, so I will once again stick to a general rotation for you here. If you find something that works better for where you are and what you are doing, then by all means feel free to use your own.

The most basic steps to AoE grinding are these: [Pull], Holy Shield, Judgement, Consecrate, Hammer of the Righteous, “Other Stuff”

Pull:
Pulling includes each of the following: Exorcism, Avenger’s Shield, Hand of Reckoning

If you have other mobs near where you are fighting your current group, and you aren’t being overwhelmed, then feel free to pull them into the group as well. If there are not any stray mobs in the area to pull, then feel free to use your pull spell on one of the mobs you are currently fighting to help bring it to a close sooner. For this, I only suggest using Exorcism and Avenger’s Shield since the damage from Hand of Reckoning is rarely enough to do anything other than kill critters.

You can look at my notes in the previous post about Pulling as part of your rotation for details as to why it is in my rotation as opposed to simply being part of AoE Grinding.

Holy Shield
Holy Shield always takes priority over Consecrate. It was true at level 40 when you got it, and it’s still true at level 80. 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.

Judgements
Which Judgement you use is entirely up to you. By default I use Judgement of Light until level 60 because I have both Blessing of Sanctuary and Seal of Wisdom providing me with the mana that I need. Once I hit level 60 though my health starts to become less of a problem than my mana as I get more and more spells that help me grind down the mobs faster. At that point my default changes to Judgement of Wisdom instead.

Which Judgement 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. I do not believe that I have used Judgement of Justice even once since I reached the Outlands.

Consecration
Consecration is still, and always will be, the bread and butter of your run as a Prot Paladin. This is easily going to cover 40% of the damage that you do. I haven’t kept a close eye on the percentages here lately, but up until I got my achievement for completing 90 quests in Hellfire Peninsula Consecrate averaged out to about 42% of my overall damage dealt.

This is best way to ensure that you continually deal damage to the mobs around you, and also helps you to maintain threat on all of them. With Righteous Fury both reducing the damage you deal and also increasing the threat you generate by 90%, pulling agro away from you is not easily done.

Hammer of the Righteous
This spell is an amazing contribution to how fast you are able to grind. Once you reach level 60 and pick this bad boy up you can finally start to move to a much more aggressive form of AoE Grinding. With already impressive amounts of damage coming from Consecrate and your reflective damage from items and Retribution Aura, the Hammer of the Righteous spell lays a powerful weapon-based beat down on the targeted enemy as well as two other mobs standing next to them.

With only a 6 second cooldown this spell gets fired off frequently, and with impressive results. Unless I have a very large group of mobs around me, or for some other reason feel that I might be forced to bubble or LoH, then I will use this spell in priority even before Holy Shield. I would not suggest that you do the same unless you are comfortable with your grinding and know the actions of the mobs you face. Otherwise, putting a higher priority on using this spell means that you grind through the mobs faster, which means more experience and more loot in shorter amounts of time.

“Other Stuff”
The “Other Stuff” that I have up there is where you throw in anything else that you might want to use. This includes Hammer of Justice, Hammer of Wrath, Exorcism, Arcane Torrent (Blood Elf only), item or trinket use, healing spells, potions, etc.

As you continue to get higher in levels, and you become practiced in pulling more and more mobs, you find that the “Other Stuff” tends to get left out quite a bit. The other spells mentioned in the rotation are the bread and butter of what you are doing, and they should be what you focus on if you are tanking a group of mobs. Once the numbers start to dwindle down as the fight progresses, then it’s alright to throw the other things in there, but when you are fighting a group of high level mobs, it’s better to spread your butter.

Healing: Special Note
If you need to heal, do not be afraid to go ahead and do it. It’s alright to throw off your whole rotation for the sake of saving your own life. Be aware that spells that have a casting time (like Holy Light and Flash of Light) are going turn off your avoidance while you are casting them, so prepare to be hit more often and for a bit more damage while you are healing.

While you are still in your 40’s and 50’s you can probably manage to cast Holy Light without activating your bubble, so long as you are fighting a small group of mobs (around 5 or so) and you have enough health to take their hits throughout the cast time of the spell. If you are fighting a large group, then I suggest you resort to healing while bubbled, or by use of your Lay On Hands spell for a full heal.

After level 60, I no longer cast Holy Light without using my bubble first, and generally resort to Lay On Hands for my healing, or Bubble + Holy Light x2 if LoH is on cooldown. I also make use of bandages at this time to top my health off while I wait for my bubble duration to expire.

If you do use a bubble, then you have two primary options for healing. You can either cast Holy Light on yourself 1-3 times, depending on your total hit points, or you can cast Holy Light once and then use a bandage if you have kept up on your First Aid skill. Using bandages saves you the mana it would cost to cast a healing spell on yourself, and since you are bubbled you will not have its use interrupted. The higher level you are, the smaller percentage of healing you receive from a bandage, simply because they don’t scale all that well. I still use them, but most often I stick with Holy Light.

AoE Grinding Rotation: Specific

At level 50 you finally start to be able to take mobs down at an increased speed with the addition of Avenger’s Shield. It’s a great tool for pulling mobs, but with Exorcism being able to target all enemies now as well as Hand of Reckoning, I very rarely actually use Avenger’s Shield for pulling during my Solo Grinding. I will use it when I am in a group for the sake of establishing agro, but when I am going solo it is merely a tool for dealing massive damage to multiple mobs.

The general methods of gathering mobs that I mentioned in the last post still apply here, and will throughout. Find a method of pulling mobs that suits you and stick with it. If you are in a group then be sure to communicate with everyone else about how you intend to pull and when they should move into action. You don’t want to be in the middle of a large body-pull and have your healer throw a small heal on you that grabs all the agro because you did nothing to establish it. Communication is key in anything you do.

In the list below [OS/P] indicates the use of “Other Stuff” and Pull spells. Use whichever you feel better fits the situation you are currently in.

The following examples assume that you are Solo AoE Grinding, and have already gathered the mobs you intend to grind via your preferred pulling methods:

Level 41-59, AoE Grinding on multiple mobs
1) Cast Holy Shield – it’s better to start off with this to make sure your defense starts out high, than to worry about dealing damage with Consecrate. You increase your block, and those blocks do significant additional damage.

2) Cast Judgement of Light – restore your health while you attack your target. If you are high on health, go ahead and switch over to Judgement of Wisdom instead.

3) Cast Consecrate and reposition yourself if necessary to get all mobs in front of you – establish your primary source of damage and agro

4) Cast Avenger’s Shield [OS/P] – “burst” damage to three targets. Though this is a ranged attack, you can use it in the middle of melee. If Avenger’s Shield is on cooldown, choose one of the other OS/P spells. I almost always use Avenger’s Shield as my first spell in the OS/P category.

5) Cast Arcane Torrent (if available) – restore 6% of your base mana, and a chance to silence nearby casters

6) “Other Stuff” – other attack spells such as Exorcism, or healing yourself if necessary

7) Repeat steps 1-6 as needed until the fight is over

Where the 96969 build optimizes it’s cool downs, you really only have the 9’s of that equation right now, so a lot of your cool downs are going to overlap.

At this stage in the game you need to set a priority for your spells. For me, I set my priority as Holy Shield > Judgement >< Consecrate. The reason why I do this is because HS provides more protection than either of the other two, it deals damage to multiple mobs (assuming you block their attacks), and it has a fairly low mana cost. Judgement and Consecrate are swappable in the priority list, depending on the situation. If you have a lot of mobs around you, then Consecrate is higher priority to take them all down. If you have only a few mobs around you, then Judgement is the higher priority to help you end with as much health and mana as possible when the fight is over.

Level 60+, AoE Grinding on multiple mobs
1) Cast Holy Shield – raise your block, and deal some damage while you do it

2) Hammer of the Righteous and Reposition to be in front of mobs – deal 4x weapon damage as Holy damage to 3 mobs within melee range.

3) Cast Judgement of Light – restore your health while you attack your target. If you are high on health, go ahead and switch over to Judgement of Wisdom instead.

4a) Cast Consecrate – If you want to get more into the rhythm of 96969, then go ahead and use OS/P here instead, and push Consecrate to the next step

4b) Cast Avenger’s Shield [OS/P] – If you already used Consecrate, then throw the Avenger’s Shield here, or one of the other OS/P spells if AvShield is on cooldown. I almost always use Avenger’s Shield as my first spell in the OS/P category.

5) Cast Arcane Torrent (if available) – to restore mana and a chance to silence enemies.

6) Hammer of the Righteous – The 6 second cooldown of this amazing ability means it pops up multiple times in rotation.

7) Repeat steps 1-6 as needed until the fight is over

At level 60 you finally manage to get one of the 96969 components that fall under the “6” category, which is Hammer of the Righteous. This allows you to fall into the general rotation, using HotR as one of the 6’s, and then the OS/P spells to fill the others.

Hammer of the Righteous is also the key to you becoming truly aggressive in your AoE Grinding instead of the defensive stance we’ve had to take for so many levels. Instead of having to rely so heavily on Consecrate and reflective damage, you can now deal a significant amount with HotR to help blow through the mobs more quickly. By no means does that justify no longer using Consecrate and the like, it simply means that you are not more aggressive than you have been up to this point.

I have found in getting closer to level 70 that I often times only manage to cast Consecrate once before my fights are over. If I manage to pull other mobs in during my rotations, then there will be additional castings as well, but I have been pulling for so long now that I rarely miss gathering all of the mobs I want from my initial pull unless I get dismounted very early in the pull. Even then, I have taken more to kiting the mobs around to gather more of them than I previously did now that I know I can get through the mobs faster with HotR.

Wrap Up
And there you have the rotations that I use from levels 40 through 70. As I mentioned before, when you are not fighting solo, there really is no such thing as a specific rotation because you have to be aware of everything that’s going on around you, and you need to be able to react to the situation rather than trying to feel comfortable in a rotation. When grinding solo though, there’s no reason not to have a rotation because you don’t have to worry about other party members or anyone’s actions other than your own.

As always, I appreciate any comments you care to share, and welcome any questions you might have.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2009 in Guide, Leveling, 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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3.1 Patch Update

The 3.1 patch has finally landed, as all of you surely know. Some have been able to try it out, and some are still waiting for the whole thing to download and stabilize long enough for you to do more than see your character load and then disconnect.

As I have mentioned several times before, I am not a raider. So, while I will have a short dip into Ulduar mentioned here, this is not the place to find out about the new end game content. What you will find here, are my thoughts on some of the more interesting changes and additions that I have found so far.

Bugs and Problems
I figured the best place to start off was to start mentioning the things that have caused problems so that you are aware of them. Now, this part is strictly from what I have seen myself as I have not yet had the time to study up on information from other bloggers yet.

The most obvious of these is server stability. It doesn’t happen on all servers, but some of them just keep on going up and down with very little stability. My two main servers are luckily not a part of that and I have not had to deal with it much. I have to assume that server population is a key factor in this as I play mostly on two different low population servers.

The second most common problem is profession links in chat. Sometimes the links work, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes a particular person’s link will work, but nobody else’s will. Sometimes your link will not work in trade chat, but it will work in party chat, guild chat, or whispers. They are all over the grid on both of my main servers, and there is no set pattern to any of it as far as we can tell. This has been a major obstacle in selling my glyphs that I was preparing for before the patch was released. Generally people ask for a link to your profession, they read on down the list until they find something they want, and then you carry on with the transaction. At this point in time though it’s a hide and seek relationship that is very annoying.

Changes
Secondary Professions – The first few changes I wanted to mention, because they are ones that strongly approve of, are the changes to the secondary professions.

  • Cooking: This one has to take my top slot because it has the most impact on my personal play style. The first thing worthy of note concerning cooking is that Blizzard has removed the need for you to go obtain a books or do quests in order to level your cooking skill. Since I generally have my cooking leveled up to its early maximum long before my character could survive in the areas where these books are purchased, this is a great change for me. Secondly, you no longer need those worthless vendor-purchased spices to cook most recipes.. The spices are not all that expensive or anything but it was annoying that you either had to do all of your cooking in town so that you could bank the spices, or you had to waste bag slots to carrying them around with you.
  • Fishing: Fishing has obtained two major boosts as well. First, you no longer have to read books or perform quests to level your fishing. Nat Pagle’s quest is still available if you would like to get a better fishing pole, but it is no longer required for you to level up your fishing skill. Second, you can now fish anywhere you want to, regardless of what your skill level is. If you fish in areas that were previously too hard for you, then you are more likely to fish up junk, but now you do not have to go back to your starting areas to fish if you neglected it for most of your character’s career. If you actually want the fish then it will be better to go to those lower level areas first, but it is not a requirement. I have not taken the time yet to do any fishing since the patch was released, but the time for each cast has been reduced as well, which may cut down on some of the boredom that many of us find in the world of fishcraft.
  • Talent Confirmation
    I know I have fallen victim to a forced respec from a random, unintentional click more than once. Blizzard has finally come to their senses and given us the option of requiring a confirmation before our talent points are actually spent. Applying this to each of my characters was one of the first things I did when I was able to log in after the patch. This is one of those features that come as sort of an added bonus in that it does not actually give you anything, it just makes spending your talent points a little safer.

    Additions
    Vault of Archavon
    A new hallway has been opened up in the Vault of Archavon, with another boss added to the end of it named Emalon. I went into this one with a pug group and Emalon and his minions beat us up and stole our lunch money four times. I keep hearing people talk about the boss being easy to bring down, but after four wipes, all of which came from my mage taking more than twice his HP total in damage, I have my doubts. I planned on going back to take him down last night, but internet connection problems kept me off of the game. Maybe tonight will be the night instead. In addition to the new boss being added, there is also now a summoning stone right outside of the entrance to Vault, which makes it much easier for people to reach both the instance as well as Wintergrasp itself. No more Warlock portals for me.

    Ulduar
    Saving the best for last of course, how could I not talk a little bit about Ulduar? My guild has not been able to run Naxx yet because we are almost entirely composed of DPS classes and our pugs quickly turn into the junk that gives pugging its bad reputation. While some of us have managed to pug Naxx to some degree, our lack of guild raids has left the majority of us undergeared, and thus unable to really run Ulduar either. So instead of trying to fool ourselves and take a shot at pugging Ulduar, we simply stripped down to nothing but our guild tabards and three of us took on Ulduar alone.

    Obviously, we made absolutely no progress at all, but that was just fine with us. What we did manage to do was have a whole lot of fun playing with the siege engines there at the entrance and bashing some of the trash mobs with them. I think all together we wiped about thirteen times or so before we finally left the place and went off to try out other new things, but we had a blast. Knowing that none of us were ready for the instance we have not put any effort yet into reading up on strategies either, so we had no idea what we were supposed to do with the whole “launch party member” option in the vehicles, so we just ran around pulling a big old group and then launching each other right into the middle of them. It was great fun flying in with a Blast Wave at the ready only to be killed before the spell even went off. Good times, good times.

    What I do want to say about Ulduar, is that from even just the small little portion that we were able to see, the place looks really cool. And since having fun is what my guild is all about, I am sure we will have further trips into the wonderful world of Ulduar in the future regardless of whether it be for an honest shot at running through it, or just another fun run full of launching each other into masses of mobs to see who can get the farthest before dying.

     
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Posted by on April 16, 2009 in Patch Notes

 

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