1 0 Tag Archives: 3.2
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And so I have returned from the perilous north where bears and cellphones roam. Despite my best efforts the only time I could find any WiFi was standing outside a tchotchke shop on the main drag of North Conway, so rather than having a chance to post I just consumed as much 3.2 information as I could bring up on my tiny iPod screen. It was fun though coming home to the hecticness of all I needed to do with the new patch, like regemming/speccing, the new engineering toys, etc. More on that later.

Firstly, notice anything different?


Hellz yes, I got my Titanguard. Figures it happens the week a new tier of content came out, but que sera sera. We kind of just threw together an Uld25 this weekend just to do FL and maybe Razorscale and XT (aka the easy bosses) and wouldn’t you know it that little beaut’ dropped.

Side note: the XT encounter was changed, although I’m not entirely sure why. When was the last time Blizz upped the difficulty of an obsolete encounter? For those who haven’t tried XT since the patch, you can’t use the “tank between two piles” strategy anymore, because you can only cut off spawns from one pile now (and only by tanking XT right on top of that pile). Moreover, a lot more adds spawn now, with more bomb bots as well. Ranged needs to stay on their toes and use the bomb bots to dispatch the scrap bots pronto. It’s slightly harder now, but that also may have been because we were gimping the fight to begin with with some… er… creative uses of game mechanics.


Speaking of dungeons, I haven’t had the pleasure of trying Coliseum yet but I hear the first encounter is a lot of fun. In the meantime I’ve been getting my fill of the Tournament by endlessly running the new 5man. The normal version has a very sezzy trinket, the Black Heart, which is just awesome because it has an EH proc. Even better, I don’t have to worry about putting epic gems in my Monarch Crab.

(Sorry, another side note: I hate the proc animation of the Black Heart. It looks like someone just cast BoP on you. When I first saw this proc on another tank I freaked out thinking I accidentally threw a BoP on them and was in the process of wiping the group. This definitely needs a fix!)

Other great items to look for in the 5man heroic are the Peacekeeper Blade and the Mark of the Relentless. Both make up for their 219 iLevel by having a gem slot which makes them strong EH items with a Solid MZ socketed.

With the release of epic gems I’m definitely going to be shifting around some pieces to maximize my stamina and ride the defense minimum on a razor’s edge. I’m thinking of swapping back in the T8.5 gloves, putting the mind control tinker on my helm, and then nabbing the Mark of the Relentless from TOC if I have enough defense to swing all this edge-of-my-pants nonsense.


I’m very excited about the Engineering changes that came with this patch. Jeeves is an awesome toy and was a lot of fun to put together considering all the crazy robots you assemble it out of, not the mention the horribly frustrating several hour grind to get the schematic. Well worth it though to have on-the-hour access to my bank. Also great is the new auctioneer in Like Clockwork in Dal, which saves me the trouble of logging on a bank alt to hit the AH, and the Wormhole Generator which (along with the Crusader’s Tabard) means I’ll never have to sit on a zeppelin to Northrend again.

Lastly, a few quick impressions of the changes to Pally tanking that came with this patch:

  • I dislike not having Exorcism handy as a pulling tool. I used to use to with Hand of Reckoning for those two-mobs-surrounding-a-door pulls where I’d Ex one then Reck the other, then when they got next to each other follow up with a shield toss. Now it’s more like Reck to pull (since you do more damage if the mob isn’t targeting you) then shield toss as a follow up. Less initial threat is a bummer.
  • Vindication is an awesome, awesome change and I really enjoy having my own version of Demoralizing Shout. It’s a little slice of homogeny pie I can get behind.
  • I need to get over my bias of turning down a piece of gear if it has expertise on it, and my revulsion at parry. Both aren’t terrible anymore, and it’s actually conducive to decent threat to be soft capped for expertise now. I definitely recommend grabbing the SoV/C glyph.
  • And of course, how can I not mention our new second cooldown, Ardent Defender. I’ve seen this beauty pop a few more times than I care to admit, but it’s a nice reminder that a bad situation was nearly prevented. I’m also relishing the DK tank constantly calling me OP. Crow, it’s what’s for dinner.

I have a whole list of topics written down of what I want to go over this week, so look for lots of further dissections of various changes from 3.2.

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Time’s running out in Ulduar

When typing out the title to this post I realized I wrote a similar post way back in March (good gawd, so long ago) about Naxx winding down. And that was a month before Ulduar came out.

We’ve now been delving into the titanic prison for the last 14 weeks and most likely this will be the last full raid week before the next patch drops. Tempus fugit.

The question I keep asking myself is: will Ulduar still be worth doing after 3.2? The short answer is probably no. The gear is a half-tier worse than 10man Coliseum (normal mode), and a tier and a half worse than 25man Coliseum (normal, again). That’s a HUGE jump in iLevel, akin to the jump from Naxx10 to Uld25. Moreover, considering the badge haul is less than what you can get from doing a full Naxx clear, it’d be hard to justify an Ulduar run on those merits.

Obviously though we have unfinished business in Ulduar. Yogg needs to die, and it makes me sad we won’t be able to kill him until we’ve basically “cheated” and powered him down in a higher iLevel of gear. Will we probably keep raiding Ulduar three nights a week (or, at least attemptedly)? Probably not. The Coliseum is small enough we can probably devote a day or two to it, and just use the rest of the time to scratch the raiding itch Ulduar.

I can’t imagine outside of learning the encounters it would take that long to down five raid bosses. Even with a stuttered release of one new raid boss per week.

Also, I’m still trying to wrap my head around a raid instance with five bosses. I wonder what the difficulty tuning is like and if it’ll be as hard as Ulduar was when that first came out, before all the nerfs. Can you imagine how freeing it would be if the Coliseum was relatively easy and you only had to spend one night a week in there for loot better than Ulduar (which requires so much more).

That actually sounds pretty nice…

In any case, after 3.2–basically, starting next week–my WoW habits are going to change considerably. The Daily Heroic will be a bigger priority than ever if I want to eventually deck myself out in all the new emblems loot. Including eventually all five tier pieces, which I’ll need the emblems to purchase. And if raiding does turn into a one or two night affair then I can honestly say I’ll probably become a bit more “casual” in how I spend my time in-game.

PS. Titanguard… damn you Titanguard… tonight is your last chance!

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July 28, 2009
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Speccing next patch just got murky

Oh, things used to be so simple. 53/18 was our max threat spec and you could get every utility talent you wanted along the way. Now, how complicated it all seems.

Blizz changed Seals of the Pure so that 15% damage modifier also applies to the 33% weapon damage bonus you get with a five stack up. This change means (as calculated by the amazing Theck) that 5/5 SotP is worth as much threat as the 3/5 Conviction + 3/3 Crusade (major caveat on this below) pairing that most of us are running around with today.

To summarize Theck’s findings, this brave new world of threat looks like this against non-Undead/Humanoid/Demon/Elemental mobs:

  • 5/5 SotP == 3/5 Conviction + 3/3 Crusade
  • 4/5 SotP is ~70 less TPS than the 3/5 + 3/3 pairing above
  • 5/5 SotP + 3/5 Reckoning > 3/5 Conviction + 3/3 Crusade (by ~80 tps)
  • 5/5 SotP + 3/5 Reckoning > 5/5 Conviction + 3/3 Crusade (by ~10 tps)

Ultimately, there are several specs that cascade from this change:

4/53/15 – This spec takes most of the mitigation utility talents plus the delightfulness of PoJ. It’s less threat than the standard 3.1 spec, but not by much.

5/54/12 — This trades PoJ and DG for the final point in SotP and 3/5 Reckoning. This spec is worth ~170 more tps, but you’re trading off 15% run speed and a buffed Sacred Shield for that extra oomph.

0/53/18 — I know everything written thus far implies you can ignore Crusade, but the problem with that is this: if you’re fighting any of the mob types that Crusade does 6% damage to, then this spec is worth about ~140 more tps than 5/5 SotP, but when you’re not getting 6%, this spec is ~100 tps less than 5/5 SotP.

Considering you’re going to encounter more humanoids/undead in 5mans and outside of instances (along with most of the encounters in the Coliseum falling into the 6% category), overall you’ll probably get more threat with the third spec.

If in Ulduar you’re threat goes down a little (and for sure, in the great scheme of things, if you’re doing 8000 tps, 100 tps isn’t that big of a loss) it probably won’t be the worst thing in the world, because you’ll end up with more threat in the Coliseum with Crusade than otherwise.

For anyone who follows my Twitter, you’d have seen this morning that I pronounced Crusade was dead. As I’m sure you all know by now, I tend to stack haste rating IRL, and that was probably a case of me greatly exaggerating Crusade’s demise.

Ultimately though the one absolute you can walk away with from this post from is this: you want Divine Guardian and you want Vindication. Survivability is always a higher priority than 100-200 additional tps.

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July 24, 2009
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Tanks, what 3.2 means to you

Ardent Defender, our new cooldown

Our long national nightmare is now over, we finally have a second cooldown! And a real one at that, not some slap-dash, Mickey Mouse cooldown.

So sum up all the changes to the talent: AD has finally been fixed so that it is no longer leapfroggable (ie, any damage that applies under 35% of your health is mitigated), and it has a new effect that, if you are reduced to 0 hp, you receive an immediate heal to 30% of your max health (assuming you have 3/3 in the talent and 540 defense skill).

Once you receive that heal you get a debuff from preventing that save from occurring again for two minutes. Originally on the PTR that debuff also removed AD’s damage reduction, but that is a bug that has been fixed.

Dodge couldn’t avoid this nerf

Our avoidance is taking a nerf that will reduce our dodge across the board while presumably increasing parry. Overall this will amount to a reduction of our total avoidance. Rather than rehash the numbers, as I’ve done previously, just know the three take-aways on this are: (a) agility/stam gems are now junk for pure avoidance, (b) parry gems are not an immediate red flag for bad tanks, (c) defense is now, oddly, our best avoidance stat. There’s a lot more nuance in this, mind you, thanks to diminishing returns.

Sacred Shield is less awesome, but still great

Not as awful as I originally supposed in my post on Friday. I mistakenly assumed that the Holy Pally hot would only apply if their shield was on you, but any old SS will do. So, despite my earlier ruminations, still get Divine Guardian instead of 2/5 Reckoning. But anyway you slice it, only one Sacred Shield is disappointing.

Sweet, sweet Vindication

This is perhaps my second-most favorite change in 3.2, an attack power debuff to a boss that’s automatically applied. We don’t have to burn rage or gimp our dps/threat to get this up–nope, it comes just from us meleeing. This will be a great mitigation buff to us overall.

You’ll probably want to shift two points from Conviction into this talent, assuming you’re running the 53/18 spec (and you better be! /shakingoffist).

BV is better, but still not better than avoidance

Block value as you know is getting a huge boost. Does this mean you want to start wearing your block set and slapping the Titanium Plating on your shield for tanking Ignis25? Er, no. You’ll still want a heavy EH/avoidance set. Considering most BV pieces also have block rating, you’ll want to continue keeping most of these pieces out of your heavy tanking set, but by all means, use them for trash.

Change is a blessing

Blessing of Sanctuary has been given a +10% stamina modifier (that doesn’t stack with Kings) in order to make it more attractive to Paladins. But is it? Sure, if you can have Kings as well. Kings gives avoidance (through agility) and mitigation (through strength) which between the two makes it the superior blessing for raid situations if you have to choose between the two (which hopefully you won’t). At least now you won’t have to bemoan the loss of Kings’ health while in heroics where the mana return of Sanc is critical.

Exorcism is not for tanking anymore

Exorcism has been retooled to make it a situational move for Ret Paladins. That is, Art of War procs and they fire off an instant-cast Exorcism, and the rest of us shlubs are stuck with a 1.5 second cast time. This change of course makes Exorcism unusable while tanking, because time spent casting is time you can’t avoidance any attacks (and pushback, oh the pushback).

They changed Hand of Reckoning so that it does a lot more damage if the mob is currently not targeting you, which is supposed to make up for losing the Reck/Ex pickup combo for a run away mob. It’s an annoying change overall, but one we can work around.

Expertise isn’t terrible anymore

With the change to Seal of Corruption/Vengeance to do an additional 33% of weapon damage with melee hits after a five stack is up, expertise becomes a valuable stat again. For example, this change makes the SoV glyph the second-best TPS glyph in the game now (and one I’ll happily swap into my spellbook after the patch now that I don’t need said Mickey Mouse cooldown anymore). You’ll probably not want to gem expertise or purposefully gear for it, but don’t shun any gear anymore because it has expertise on it. A junk stat no longer.

Other cool little things

Lastly, two dopey little changes I’m happy about are Auras reapply after your death automatically, and Righteous Fury lost its duration and mana cost.

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July 21, 2009
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3.2 scattershot thoughts

Divine Guardian as a talent is kind of crap now with the nerf to Sacred Shield (only one per target). May be useful if no Holy Pallies are in the raid, but we always have at least one. Because it won’t do much for me for mitigation anymore, I think those two points are going to go somewhere else.

But where? Well, I need to bridge down to the sixth level talents with those two points, so they have to go somewhere in that first half of the tree. Call me crazy, but I might put them in Reckoning.

According to Jasari over at Maintankadin, Reckoning has received a 47% buff of tps per point thanks to the SoV change (assuming a four stack is up). While the tps per point gain isn’t exactly consistent, 2 points in there will net me an additional 66 tps.

Why not Improved Hammer of Justice? I’d rather take a threat increase (no matter how minor) over 20 seconds off an interrupt that is bound to the GCD.

I’m very disappointed about BV threat cap. Gone are the days of my 10-11k ShoR crits, at least for now.

The change to Judgements of Just (can’t be overwritten by a non-JoJ judgement) is pretty awesome however.

Vindication is pretty awesome, and a mitigation talent at that, so it’ll be must have. The points for it though will most likely be leeched over from Conviction (which has a lower tps per point value than Crusade).

Feasible spec come 3.2 would be this, I suppose.

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July 17, 2009
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3.2 Engi changes for tanks (updated and bumped!)

Updated: In the original version of this post I derided the Engineering changes of the first 3.2 ptr build as half-measures. What they’ve added in the last two days though, I would regard those as genuine buffs. I can honestly say I am happy with my decision to drop Mining for Engineering now.

Here are the item enhancement/tinker changes:

  • Flexweave Underlay now gives 23 agi (up from 15).
  • Reticulated Armor Webbing now gives 885 armor (85 more).
  • New helm enchant: Mind Amplification Dish. Adds +45 stamina and an on-use mind control function to a helm. Will not stack with the Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector.
  • Potion Injectors now increase the amount gained by 25% when used by engineers.

Also, some fun new things:

  • A Jeeves robot that can be summoned once per hour to repair/sell reagents and gives bank access to skill Engineers.
  • An Engi-only AH in Dalaran.
  • A wormhole generator for Northrend on a 15 minute cooldown.
  • Rocket boots now add a passive +24 crit rating. Pretty nice for my Ret set!

    The buff makes the Engineer cloak enchant best in slot for avoidance (assuming you’re block capped and crit immune). Titanweave gives .39% avoidance, Greater Agility .42%, and Flexweave Underlay gives .44%. Also, the Underlay gives .44% crit chance and 46 armor. Pretty nice if those numbers make live.

    As for the Webbing, it was already best in slot for EH, and definitely an ideal glove enchant considering how unnecessary increasing our threat is. 85 more armor is miniscule, but I’ll take it.

    The helm enchant is nice too. If you’re crit capped it’s probably a fair trade to get some more stamina plus the MC effect in return for giving up some negligible avoidance. More stamina is always, always a good thing.

    Lastly, as somewhat icing on the cake, the Injectors are being changed to offer a +25% effect to health and mana potions. Not life changing, but can be a nice boost for times when you run out of mana (as rare as that is) or need a quick shot of health (pun intended).

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    June 30, 2009
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    Spec possibilities in next patch

    All the patch news yesterday lead to the inevitable conclusion that some pretty big changes are happening to Paladin tanking when 3.2 drops. Finally we’ll have a second high-mitigation cooldown to help us roll with the new big-hits style of tanking. I am personally ecstatic at the redesign of Ardent Defender and can’t wait for the first time pink angels descend from the heavens to restore me to 30% health because the healers panicked and switched to raid healing during a flame jet, letting Ignis crush me under his iron boot.

    I’m getting carried away though! The changes announced yesterday have some weighty implications on how we spec. Specifically these changes are:

    • Seal of Vengeance/Corruption will also do 33% of weapon damage when a full five-stack of the dot is up. This would theoretically make Seals of the Pure a better talent for threat generation than it currently is. Could also be paired with Reckoning for additional threat.
    • Improved LoH will now provide a 20% damage reduction effect, rather than +50% armor value, making it a more useful cooldown.

    Right now the default spec I see for tankadins is something around 0/53/18, which is a high threat output spec, but this might change. Here are two possible specs we might see becoming viable in 3.2:

    Lay on Hands Spec (12/53/6)

    Yes, I know, the irony is delicious. I’m not super enamored with this spec just yet, though. One of my big concerns with it is having to dump 5 talent points into increasing our Intellect to reach Improved Lay on Hands. Total waste of talent points considering what a non-issue mana is for us. There’s also the question of whether it makes sense to trade the threat and utility of 6% crit, 3-6% extra damage, and a run speed increase for an 11 minute cooldown.

    Vindication Spec (0/53/18)

    This spec takes two points out of Conviction and puts it in Vindication for the attack power debuff. Right now I think this looks like a better deal. It’s a little less tps but adds survivability thanks to the Demo Shout effect. And you don’t have to waste talent points on ineffectual talents. And you can benefit from the target effect more than once every 11 minutes.

    Ultimately all this hullaballoo is just speculation (har har har). I think a lot will change depending on how much tps the new Seal of Vengeance generates and whether it makes Seals of the Pure or Reckoning viable (it probably won’t). I’m finding myself inclined to agree with the speculation Theck laid out in this thread at Maintankadin:

    As the trees stand now, people desiring Vindication will have to go at least 10 points into Ret, unlocking Conviction. If Crusade is still considerably better than SotP (and it will be), it’s likely that 1 Conviction + 3 Crusade will out-threat 5/5 SotP, and give you the added utility of Vindication and SotP.

    That’s probably where we’ll stand when the dust settles.

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    June 19, 2009
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    Our new cooldown revealed, and other changes in 3.2

    This is one happy tankadin. Check these changes out:

    Currently, we think paladin tanks are almost there and that they just need slightly better cooldowns to handle some of the tougher boss fights. Rather than add a new ability that felt like a clone of another class’s ability, we decided to buff an existing talent that was no longer cutting it. Ardent Defender has two important changes. The first is that the damage can no longer “skip over” the 35% health level – it will always be reduced.


    Secondly, it has a new effect that if a blow would kill you, it instead sets you to 30% health. This portion of the ability cannot occur more than once every 2 minutes. Think of it as a Last Stand that you don’t have to push.

    I like this, a lot. It’s like a built-in Guardian Spirit. These changes to AD will definitely be a huge improvement over our current weakness to big hits.

    A second change to Protection is we want to make sure Blessing of Sanctuary is always the tanking blessing of choice. A likely change here is to have it boost stamina as well.

    This is way better than them just talenting the 2% mana gain effect into Kings. Extra stamina is never, ever a bad thing.

    We also recognize that block does not provide the mitigation it once did. While we have long-term plans to change the way block works entirely, in the short term we are doubling the effect of bonus block value on items (so jewelry, but not shields).

    This is a band-aid that won’t change much. Instead of getting an extra 264 BV in my block set I’ll get 528… woo. Interestingly, I wonder if this will apply to the Librams as well. LoO giving +704 block value sounds pretty awesome.

    All in all good changes though. Color me pleased.

    Edit: I just saw this in the Ret changes.

    We are buffing Seal of Vengeance / Corruption and redesigning Seal of Command with the expectation that these are now the seals of choice for PvP and PvE. Righteousness can remain a tanking seal.

    That’s a typo, right? Do they realize that tanks usually only use Corruption for tanking (scary peek into the mind of the developers if not)? In any case, another buff.

    Edit 2: Oh, and this also is in Ret changes:

    Finally, we are replacing the current effect of Vindication with an attack power debuff that works like Demoralizing Shout. In PvP, Ret paladins can still debuff melee targets, while in PvE they can provide another necessary debuff in the case that the tank is not a warrior or druid. In addition, the talent may be more attractive to Protection paladins.


    Edit 3: Ugh, just saw the patch notes. To clarify stuff above (and check out all the new stuff!):

    • Libram of Obstruction and other items that have a duration BV increase instead just have the durations doubled. That means LoO will be constantly up with a 10 sec duration, and my preciousss Lavanthor’s Talisman has a 40 second duration.
    • Blessing of Sanctuary: This blessing now also increases stamina by 10%. This effect is not cumulative with Blessing of Kings.
    • Lay on Hands: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 10/20% instead of increasing the target’s armor. [My threat-heavy spec, noooo! -ed.]
    • Righteous Fury: No longer has a duration or mana cost, remaining until cancelled or death. Also cancelled when a Paladin activates a different talent specialization.
    • Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption: These seals have been redesigned to deal substantially more damage. Now, once a paladin has 5 copies of the debuff from these seals on his or her target, on each swing the paladin will deal 33% weapon damage as Holy, with critical strikes dealing double damage.
    • Shield of Righteousness: Now deals 100% of shield block value as damage instead of 130%.
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    June 18, 2009