1 0 Tag Archives: Cataclysm
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Taking your tankadin to 85

Here we go, folks, oncemore over the breach. There’s a whole new world out there of zone-spanning questlines, dailies, faction grinds, new 5mans, heroics, raids, and so much more. I for one am pumped and I’m sure you are too.

I’m sure many of you are planning to pull some crazy all-nighters tonight and push as far ahead of the pack as you can, and the best of luck to you if so. For those of you hitting the ground running at midnight Pacific time, I offer the following advice:

Vashj’ir or Hyjal?

Personally, I preferred questing in Vashj’ir. I thought the quests were more engaging and a lot more fun. And I thoroughly enjoyed the whole under-the-sea mechanic. Hyjal felt a lot like “more of the same”, while Vashj’ir felt like something new. Of course, your mileage may vary, and I’m sure loregasms alone will bring people to Hyjal.

In terms of practicality, Meloree brought up a great point when I was talking to him. Vashj’ir has a lot of Earthen Ring quests, which will get you a head start on grinding their rep before you even set foot in Deepholm. This will probably help cut down the time required to acquire the helm enchant and some handy tanking pants.


Start with the following spec: 0/31/5. It’ll maximize damage done while skipping talents otherwise mandatory for serious tanking but superfluous in soloing or group leveling.

As you ding, pick up these talents at the following levels:

  • 81, Rule of Law (1/3)
  • 82, Rule of Law (2/3)
  • 83, Rule of Law (3/3)
  • 84, Pursuit of Justice (1/2)
  • 85, Pursuit of Justice (2/2)

Rule of Law is the next best dps talent available to us, so it should be a priority to speed up leveling. If you’re looking for actual speed, you could switch and grab Pursuit of Justice first, but with flying mounts available as you level, I can’t see that being as much of a priority as it might be otherwise.

New spells

At 81, we pick up the mythical Inquisition. This is not a substitution for ShoR in single-target, you still want to shield slam away. However, feel free to go hog wild blowing your Holy Power on Inquisition and then HotRing the night away.

At 83, Holy Radiance can be learned. It’s not as game changing as the other two spells you’ll pick up on your journey to 85, but it can have its uses. Mana willing, it’ll lighten the load for anyone you’re group leveling with.

At 85, we get the big daddy–Guardian of the Ancient Kings. This’ll summon an Ancient Guardian to reduce our damage taken by 50%. Of course, by this point, you’ll be 85, so its effect on leveling will be non-existent.


I leveled 1-70 as tank back in TBC. 70-80 in Wrath, too. And I fully expect to do the grind again as prot this time around. In beta, I found that it was very helpful to collect two kinds of gear as I went. A set composed of plate dps pieces for burning down mobs as fast as possible, and a tank gear set for 5mans and tougher quests/mobs that demand a bit more survival.

Two changes make this a great idea: (1) free uncrittability which we now enjoy via talents, and (2) most gear of the same iLevel and armor class has an equal amount of stamina, regardless of function. Concerning my last point, check out this green versus this green. The only different between the two is the secondary stats. One has avoidance, one has dps stats.

Prioritize gear with expertise and hit for your “Ret set” since those will give us the most damage-dealing bang for our buck. Mastery is also pretty great too. Haste is “meh” for us. As for the baby tank set, bank any parry/dodge quest rewards for when they’re needed.

As for the t10 set bonuses, hold on to the 2pc HotR bonus as long as you can, but don’t gimp yourself to keep it.

Ultimately, you’ll probably find that most of your Wrath gear will be completely replaced by the end of Deepholm.

And they’re off!

The best of luck to anyone tonight attempting to race to 85 for realm firsts. If anyone manages to pull it off, please share a screenshot of your accomplishment (and your Feat of Strength) with me and I’ll put it up. Give those shifty Rets and Holys what-for.

Moreover, please share any other leveling tips you might think of in the comments. Anything you might have picked up from the beta or elsewhere which can make your fellow prot pallies’ lives easier during the grind!

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December 6, 2010
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Enchanting your head, shoulders, knees, and toes at 85

I’m a little behind in getting this post out, but I guess I still have some time left before the first few tankadins start rolling over to 85 and begin the arduous journey of becoming raid geared. In any case, compiled below is a list of the best survival enchants for you prot paladin for each slot and (in some cases) who sells them or what profession they are exclusive to.


  • Arcanum of the Earthen Ring, from Earthen Ring revered.


  • Enchant Cloak – Protection
  • Flexweave Underlay if engineer. (Stacks with the enchant.)


  • Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz is the superior shoulder enchant from Therazane when exalted.
  • Lesser Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz is the lesser shoulder enchant from Therazane when honored.
  • Inscription of the Earth Prince is the best choice, if you’re a scribe.


  • Enchant Chest – Greater Stamina


  • Ebonsteel Belt Buckle is the baseline choice for everyone, regardless of professions.
  • Grounded Plasma Shield is the clear choice for engineering belt tinkers. Keep in mind that if the belt backfires, it will taunt all mobs within 40 yards to you.


  • Enchant Bracers – Dodge is probably the best overall survival enchant. There’s also Enchant Bracers – Major Stamina, but in terms of ROI dodge is probably better, especially with any avoidance that pushes you towards block capping being so powerful.
  • Draconic Embossment – Stamina if you’re a leatherworker. This is the clear winner.
  • Socket Bracer if you’re a blacksmith.


  • Enchant Gloves – Mastery is the best choice for survivability. The Glove Reinforcements from TBC are nice too, but Mastery gives a much larger benefit than what the amount of armor brings to the table.
  • Socket Gloves for blacksmiths.
  • Quickflip Deflection Plates for engineers. Macro this (/use 10) to Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous so you just use it off cooldown for a rolling average of damage reduction of the course of a fight.


  • Charscale Leg Armor
  • Charscale Leg Reinforcements if you’re a leatherworker. Same as the other one, but cheaper to make.


  • Enchant Boots – Mastery if you are specced into Pursuit of Justice.
  • Enchant Boots – Lavawalker if not.


  • Enchant Weapon – Windwalk. Sidenote: the proc‘s speed increase currently stacks with Pursuit of Justice (or so I hear).


  • Enchant Shield – Block is a weird enchant. I’m not sure exactly what block percent the 40 rating turns into [correction: Thanks to a link tweeted to me by Shathus, the 40 rating is worth about .45% block], and with block capping is as desirable as it is, anything that gets us towards that goal is very, very welcome. The alternative is Enchant Shield – Protection when over the block cap.

Coming next week are more posts on gear and gearing for the new end game that will be launch starting Tuesday. Stay tuned for posts on the best pre-heroics tanking gear, the best pre-raid tanking gear, and a new gemming flowchart for Cata gems.

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December 3, 2010
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Engineering and tanks in Cataclysm

Engineering is the profession of kings, and I am overjoyed that it continues to be a great source of tools for tanks in the next expansion. When I first picked up Engineering (well, for the second time, having dropped it previously before Wrath) I was mainly lured back by the armor tinker, and eventually tinkers gaining stats made my decision worth it in the long run. I went from crackpot to visionary. As for Cataclysm, in addition to being able to carry over the parachute and rocket boots from 80 (although more in a sec about the latter), we can upgrade the armor tinker, and add another damage reduction toy to the pile–with a shocking twist.

Something old

Mind-Amplification Disk — Unfortunately this is turning into a belt enchant in Cataclysm, so the brief renaissance it enjoyed after 4.0.1 (when it stacked with the tanking arcanum and both gave a stamina bonus) will soon be over.

Flexweave Underlay — The agility from this cloak used to be pretty incredible before every one jumped on the armor train in ICC. The stats are gone, but the parachute remains. Enjoy it in Cata.

Nitro Boosts — Well, the good news is these are still in Cataclysm, but the bad news is they possibly fail more often and share a cooldown with the Grounded Plasma Shield. However, my understanding is that they cannot fail inside a raid zone, so that first downside is moot. The latter though will require forethought. Considering these are the closest thing I have to a gap closer, I am anxious about their application in a raid setting.

Something new

Reinforced Bio-Optic Killshades — A “free” helm that potentially will last us most of T11, outside of tier sets and heroic-level gear. Very exciting to have a useful pair of goggles that won’t be replaced quickly, like the previous goggles were by Naxx25 gear.

Grounded Plasma Shield — Potentially our most promising new toy, and yet has some caveats with it. For one, (like mentioned) it shares a cooldown with the rocket boots. Moreover, the backfire from this tinker can be dangerous. One backfire I’ve seen mentioned is the device leaks Goblin Rocket Fuel on you, causing self-damage (yikes), and the other is that there’s a chance you’ll have a Plasma Misfire! which will then… attack all enemies within 40 yards and taunt them. I suppose that’s better than the original downside of the item, which was you had no avoidance while the effect was active. We’ll just have to see this in action, either way.

Quickflip Deflection Plates — No downside to this device, thankfully. Probably the best way to use it (since it has such a short cooldown) is to macro it to Crusader Strike/HotR and roll it off-cooldown to reduce damage taken over time and save healer mana. Like a secondary, less-potent Divine Protection.

Something to blow mats on for fun

Loot-a-Rang — Theoretically never have to bend over to loot an enemy again.

Goblin Barbecue — Now we provide the Fish Feasts!

And two pets, a rabbit and a fel reaver.

Plus tons of other things I don’t have the time to list. There’s something for everyone, but most importantly, some really awesome stuff for us.

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November 17, 2010
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Into the breach!

As I’m leaving work today (er, this being post-midnight I suppose it was yesterday) I noticed Rilgon tweet rather cryptically in a fashion that altogether hinted he had received a beta key. In short order, he confirmed this great news with a blog post and named his mysterious benefactor: Curse. In a fit of pique I tweeted them asking if they’d be so kind as to hit me up as well. I figured it was a shot in the dark, closed my computer for the day, and left the office to begin my weekend.

About 20 minutes later while in the grocery store with my girlfriend, I noticed my phone buzzing a few times as if I received a few emails. At the booze aisle I finally checked out what the hub-bub was, and spotted an email from Anafielle saying “YESSSSSSSSSS” and another saying that @cursenetwork was following me now.

I put two and two together and immediately began hyperventilating. “What, what is wrong?!” the gf questioned as I began foaming at the mouth. I stammered the word “b-b-beta” and launched Twitter to make sure this wasn’t some delusion of grandeur.

Yet, there it was. “Holy crap!” I then finally found the breath to spit out, “I’m in the damn beta!” The gf then congratulated me, though we both knew she had no idea what I was talking about. She means well though.

Anyway–you, gentle readers, you understand the magnitude of this! We’re about to embark on a grand journey of math, and screenshots, and endless hours spent in front of test dummies with World of Logs running. I’m going to bloat this blog to the seams with every manner of factoid and tidbit I can of the rollercoaster ride that our class and spec is taking this beta cycle.

I’m beyond excited that rather than just saying “this sounds bad, but I have no idea” or “I bet this would be great in person,” I can actually confirm these changes first hand. I’m also beyond honored that Curse deemed me worthy of receiving this beta key. I’ll do the community proud in presenting some amazing and in depth coverage to justify my presence there.

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July 30, 2010
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Build 12539 brings a flood of changes

Finally we can begin to tinker with our talent trees. It looks like pieces are starting to fall into place and–as you might suspect–there has been much change visited upon the Protection tree. Some talents are gone, some are revised, some are new. I’ve broken down most of the changes into key themes or trends, rather than going tier by tier through the tree. I think it’ll be easier to give an effective overview of everything this way.


How we manage our blue bar is changing. To whit,

We also cut the Spiritual Attunement mechanic… Instead, Prot gets Judgement of the Wise (sans the raid Replenishment effect) as a passive, just like Ret. In essence, the melee paladins should rarely run out of mana, and if they do, they always have Divine Plea for emergencies.

So this is how things stand on the mana front: our mana will naturally regenerate, and should stay ahead of our consumption provided we don’t sit there and constantly recast Consecration. If we do run into a tight spot, we have Divine Plea as a mana “cooldown”. We probably won’t be as obsessed with keeping the effect up, because it will be overkill.

In light of this, I’m confused about Guarded by the Light. For 2 points, we get a no-cooldown DP coupled with an auto-refresh on hit. I would posit that if this talent made it to live, we very well might skip it. I just don’t see the point if DP isn’t going to be constantly used. Using it as a cooldown would preclude two talent points being spent in reducing cooldowns and extending durations.

I suspect the talent will be either changed or removed, but for now feel free to skip it in your drawing board builds.

Edit: Something I completely blanked out on that Kaelandros brought up in the comments was that GbtL autorefreshing gives us a constant 3% damage reduction via the glyph, which would be reason enough to go 2/2 GbtL. Assuming the glyph makes it to Cataclysm, you’d probably having to stick with GbtL, which is a particularly stupid design/reason to have to spec into a talent. I suspect the glyph will not make it to Cata untouched.

Rebuke, the greatest insult of all

Holy crap, Paladins get an interrupt! A real interrupt! … oh wait, it’s in the Ret tree. Four tiers down. Out of reach.


This needs to change. Call to arms!

Grand Crusader is our Sword & Board

Interesting, a proc! I like this, as you can imagine. I’m a sucker for procs.

I can forsee a future where Crusader Strike will only be used when proc’d by this talent (since as just physical damage it will be weak without the benefit of Righteous Fury upping threat, and we have harder hitting single target attacks), which will then flow Holy Power into our coffers.

Holy Shield is our primary Holy Power dump

Holy Power will now extend the duration of Holy Shield by 10 seconds per charge consumed. Baseline, Holy Shield increased block change by 30% for 10 seconds. So, generating 3 HoPo stacks (I feel dirty having written that) and then casting Holy Shield will dump our… HoPo… and push up a huge amount of block. With a 1 minute cooldown, that’s 66% uptime, nothing to sneeze at.

Combined with Mastery giving block, I wonder how much block we’ll have with this ability up. 45%? 50%? More?

We’ll also have the new skill Inquisition (which replaces Blinding Shield as our lvl 83 ability), that can be used to dump Holy Power. Increases holy damage done by 30% for 10 seconds per Holy Power charge.

Sacred Duty/Protector of the Innocent are beyond boring

1% or minute per talent point. 3 talent points to cap. Yawn. This is precisely the kind of talent we were told was going away in Cataclysm, and I expect these are just placeholders.

Raidwall survives the cut

A big sigh of relief from me, for now. I love the raidwall effect of Divine Guardian, and I’m glad to see it in our current tree. I hope it continues to dodge any further changes and stays just as it is from here til live.

… as does Reckoning

Rumors of this talent’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. And, color me surprised, I really thought this was the last we were going to see of this talent. The question now is, with its effect reduced to just blocks having a chance to proc it, how much threat will this talent be. If we’re blocking 35% of hits with Holy Shield up, it’s probably not going to be a lot of threat. At 50% we’re starting to see the chance of a more beneficial uptime.

This is definitely a talent that’s going to need to be mathed out to prove its worth. But, I have a nagging suspicion that because as gear gets better this talent will too, it’s eventually going to be worth it. The question is if it’s going to be worth taking off the bat or not.

How is AOE getting reined in exactly?

So, Blinding Shield is gone. Ok, that’s one less AOE spell. However, Holy Wrath now hits all enemy types. And Consecration is nigh-infinite when talented through Hallowed Ground.

I need to know exactly how the devs are planning to tone down AOE. Between our buffs and Warriors getting their own Consecration (oh yes), it seems like Cataclysm has the potential to become another massive AOE-fest.

I suppose mana costs can be tuned to make AOEing prohibitively expensive, and mobs can be designed that cannot be tanked in a huge pile–but the tea leaves seem to be pointing towards a different future.

10% vs 15%

From the linked GC quote above comes the news that we’ll be getting a +10% stamina modifier not from some talent, but rather

Prot paladins get +10% Stamina at level 10 for choosing Prot spec.

Believe me, unlike some delicate flowers on the official tanking forums, I understand that Beta does not equal final, so I’m not going to freak out in a glorious flash of italics and bolds and poetic similes. However, it is concerning that warriors at the moment have a 15% stamina modifier, while ours is down to 10%. And this is with classes have different initial stamina values.

This will probably change. I hope.

Ardent Defender still is gimped

I’m withholding judgement on this talent until we see what a more realistic/tuned iteration looks like. Obviously, I like the clickability,  but the timing in which is can be active seems off. There’s a lot of questions that need to be answered. The health range should probably also go up to 50%.

Subject to further balance tweaking of course.

Update! Ask and ye shall receive:

Ardent Defender – Activate to reduce damage taken by 20% for 10 sec. While active, attacks which would otherwise kill you cause you to be healed for 15% of your maximum health. 3 minute cooldown. Off the GCD.

Two specs, one tank: Trash and Boss Builds

While screwing around with I came up with two builds. One is primarily for trash tanking, 0/34/7, and has Wrath of the Faithful and Reckoning. The other is more boss-tanking oriented, 3/31/7, and has Divinity and only 2 points in Reckoning (because I can’t think of a better place of them).

I can definitely see myself just juggling two different prot specs in the next expansion. Even while dual specced now I barely ever use my Holy spec… or is it Ret? I haven’t switched specs in about four months and can’t remember while I currently have as my offspec. With only 41 in our pocket, talent points are a precious commodity, so it makes sense to me to have two different specs for two different tanking roles, and not “wasting” points on a talent that I might not need at that moment.

Likewise, I’m seriously considering dumping Pursuit of Justice if run speed enchants return in Cata. Doesn’t seem worth 2 points when an enchant can provide half the effect and those points could be spent on talents more directly affecting our threat.

All in all

I’m pretty happy with the tree. I’m not one for doom and gloom–er, generally–and I know none of this is final. It’s a good step towards the end game (and a huge improve over the last tree!) and I’m sure it’ll only improve and tighten up from here.

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We’ve got the power

Imagine my surprise when I read the leftovers of the Twitter Q&A from Friday and saw that our world had suddenly been turned upside down. Well, that might sound a bit dramatic, but what was announced was a tectonic shift in the play style of the Paladin class. Right now, as it stands, we just throw abilities at the boss while attempting to sync cooldowns and maximize output.

To say the least: Boring. Overly simple as well.

Something had to give and I’m glad to see that we’re finally getting that much-needed complexity that many of us have been clamoring forever for.

All of the paladin specializations will make use of a new resource called Holy Power. Holy Power accumulates from using Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents. Holy Power can be consumed to augment a variety of abilities, including:
An instant mana-free heal: Word of Glory
A buff to increase holy damage done: Inquisition
A massive physical melee attack for Retribution paladins: Templar’s Verdict
Holy Shield’s duration is now extended by Holy Power
Divine Storm’s damage is now increased by Holy Power

969 is dead and rightfully so. We’ll be shifting to using a more priority-based system in Cataclysm that builds on using abilities when the payoff is at its apex. For example, say Crusader Strike builds Holy Power for us, then we would do some normal attacks, mix in CS, and build HP to 3. Once Holy Power is maxed out, that’s when we would pop Holy Shield for a longer damage reduction “break” (which begins to make sense of GC’s assertion that you would only use Holy Shield once a minute or so, it becomes much more manageable when there’s a clear point to use it).

Or, you could opt for casting Inquisition and going for a threat boost (probably more useful for trash or farm content?). In any case, choices! And priorities! We’re not just doing A, C, B, D, A, E, B, C, etc, anymore!

Has it been properly conveyed how excited I am about this system yet? I realize this is a weird reverse of Rogue combo points, where we’re stacking these on ourselves, but I am sure in the end it will be just the tonic class needs.

Likewise, this GC quote from this weekend is pertinent:

We felt like we needed to add several new spells to the paladin rotation, including making Holy Wrath a real part of the rotation. With all of those changes, we thought it was hard to justify having a mechanic to choose your Judgement when you were already choosing your Seal and Aura. It’s just a different model. If anything at the moment I’m worried that we made paladins too complex and might have to reign it back in a little. We’ll see when players can try it out in beta.

Yes, wait and see! After the long time we’ve spent wallowing in “easy mode”, erring on the side of complexity is not a bad thing. Just go with it.

Lastly, I would like to /sign the suggestion given by many on the official forums, as well as by Rohan and Sucidal Zebra: rename Holy Power to Zeal. Holy Power is an undeservingly lame moniker for something with so much potential.

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July 19, 2010
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Prot tree is dead, long live the prot tree

On the official forums, someone asks a question about a few talents. Ghostcrawler gives up that Improved Devotion Aura is dead, Eye for an Eye’s new incarnation is dead, and then just lets the cat out of the bag:

I’m going to regret saying this, but the paladin trees are the most changed in the game. There are only a few of the current beta talents that survived the, um, cleansing.

Well then.

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July 15, 2010
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3 trends you can see in our “new” tree

I did one pass with this morning and came up with this selection of talents. A complete waste of time, though, because our tree is obviously a work in progress. Everything is subject to change. Yet, there are still some trends you can see through the fog of war.

1. A radically different Consecration

Consecration on the beta server right now lasts for 15 seconds and has no cooldown. You drop it in one place, then can move and drop it in another immediately. Old one disappears, new one comes up. Then, the talent Hallowed Ground increases the duration by 15 seconds and damage by 15% for 1 point, and 30 seconds/30% for 2. A 45 second Consecrate.

Basically, the ability shifts to almost like a harmful aura than an actually ability in a rotation. I think this is a good change for sure, especially once you consider point #3 of this post. It’s shifting to more of a “fire and forget” ability. Moreover, even if the 45 second duration doesn’t stay, it’s obvious what the new path they want Consecration to take is.

2. Clickable Ardent Defender

This was probably one of the biggest complaints masochistic Paladins like yours truly leveled at Ardent Defender in the past, that it was automatic. At the beginning of Ulduar, we begged Blizzard for a second cooldown and instead we got the grotesque god-mode that has hung over our class ever since.

As of this latest build, Ardent Defender is now an on-click ability. Finally, some reactivity. Nonetheless, I sincerely doubt this is anywhere near the final version of this ability. Especially since 35%-0% seems too small a window to have for AD, you’re either going to misuse it or miss using it.

I’m still heartened that we’re being trusted with activating our own cooldowns now.

3. Many more buttons to push

Holy Shock, Crusader Strike, Exorcism. Those are three new single target abilities we’ll be juggling next xpac. Well, probably not Holy Shock.

The talent Improved Exorcism returns to us our precious instant Exorcism, though it’ll be a tad late if Hand of Reckoning retains its damage component. And Improved Crusader Strike… removes the cooldown entirely. Um. I can’t imagine this’ll will persist through later builds, unless it’ll be a lingering stupid trap for Paladins that think spamming a physical damage ability is a good idea for threat.

The biggest downside of all these buttons is a severe case of GCD-lockage, which will hamper us with attempting to throw out helpful abilities like a Hand of Freedom, a BoP, a self-Holy Shock in a pinch, whatever.

I would advise against obsessing too much about the tree and spending more than necessary (like I did) trying to finesse a spec with Righteous Vengeance (this will be must have, mark my words) and other major Prot talents. Next build may see a radical shift in talent placements and cost that will change the picture completely. Save your energy for then!

Bonus: What the hell is happening to Holy Shield?

We are going to turn both Holy Shield and Shield Block into short cooldowns. A short cooldown is an ability that you don’t save for an absolute emergency (like Shield Wall) but we also don’t want it to be on such a short cooldown that it feels maintenance-y. It’s a tricky number to get right, but something in the 30 sec to 1 min zone feels about right. Then you might use Holy Shield one GCD instead of SoR or you can choose to save it until the next big boss attack.


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I mourn for my armor webbing

Was just looking over the engineering changes post on MMO-Champ and was a little annoyed by what I saw. For one (and this is my largest complaint) the armor gloves tinker is going from a straight stat boost to a on-use proc.

While 1500 armor is a pretty sexy chunk of protection, I’d rather that be always up than an extra cooldown. I’m all for extra cooldowns, for sure, but… I feel the need to gripe.

Also I don’t see any rocket boots listed, which is a shame. I’ve yet to work the courage up to swap those into my tank set and they’ll soon (well, relatively speaking) be gone.

Lastly, the Cogwheels and Hydraulic pumps thing looks interesting but if I had to bet I’d say it’s just a way to customize an engineering-only trinket so they only have to make one. A +stam empty shell with two sockets, one of each kind. Which basically means we’ll probably be making an avoidance stat stick with this and this. Good starter, but ultimately a yawn-fest for sure.

Hopefully things pan out to be a little more exciting.

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July 13, 2010
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What have I come home to?

Last week I had an amazing vacation and it’s somewhat disappointing to be back at work and in the routine again. However, I do have raids this week to look forward to, so that’ll dull the pain a bit.

I feel like I missed a lot in the week I spent over in Buffalo, what with the Real ID crisis and the 31 point debacle. There’s really not much I can say about Real ID that hasn’t already been said, and a week ago at that, so I’ll keep mum. Not to mention the matter is “settled” so to speak.

As for 31 points, and locked trees, I am very much in favor of this change. First and foremost because it can help remove one of the plagues of the Paladin class, that we’re too powerful at baseline. If they divide up healing, damage taking, damage dealing and lock each specialization up behind that faded out wall from levels 10-70, then that gives the developers a lot more room to make up more powerful in our spec without the risk of a Ret Paladin having too much survivability, or a Prot Paladin being able to toss more than three heals.

It’s also for the best that they’re using the redesign of the talent trees to get rid of the stupid point dumps that no one used and were primarily a noob trap. Like Ghostcrawler said:

[Players] were also given ample opportunities to make mistakes, what we call “traps.” A forum-savy player may know which are the dumb talents nobody takes or which are the mandatory ones that might at first glance seem too bland to take. But why have “choices” that are just there for new players or people who just want to swim against the stream just to be different? We’d rather have actual legitimate choices, which we feel like we can offer by having a stable of fewer good talents.

A prot tree missing Stoicism or Divinity, or only having 1 rank of Spiritual Attunement would be a good thing. As fun as it is for all of us to be in the know and cluck our tongues at those who don’t understand why Reckoning isn’t as much threat as Crusade, there’s no real benefit to having a series of “stupid traps” in the talent system.

It’ll also be interesting to see which talents don’t make the cut in the shuffle. Our tree is very top heavy, has a lot of good stuff, talents that I can’t see living without. Obviously I can, but at a glance I feel like a kid being asked to donate some of my old toys to Goodwill. Everything north of Blessing of Sanctuary feels like some epic Transformers figure.

Can’t wait for the next beta build.

So, how about some other blue posts I missed over the week? First, concerning that worst debuff ever:

[Forbearance] will be reevaluated.

I hope by reevaluated, GC means “taken out back and bludgeoned to death with a dirty toilet seat.” There is no excuse to keep this glorified band-aid any longer in game, with the touch up that so much of everything else is getting. Even if it means each spec only gets one Forbeance-inducing ability anymore, like Holy gets LoH, Prot Bubblewall, and Ret Divine Shie–no that’s a terrible idea. In any case, it’s time for a more polished mechanic than “you used x cooldown, now y and z are locked out for 2 minutes.”

Re: block,

Without defense gear any longer and with no block rating on gear, you’re probably at ~5% block, which is way too low. We need base block to be higher, but we still haven’t fully decided if that’s something all characters get or just warriors / paladins, or just tanks, etc.

I’m assuming by “all tanks” he’s also referring to the DK absorb mechanic and Savage Defense? Otherwise I’m a bit confused. Right now I’ve got 11% block (mostly from Defense), with 30% from Holy Shield, and 30% from the occasional Redoubt. I wonder what the final “base” number they’ll settle on will be. I have no idea what would “feel right” at this juncture, since 30% damage reduction can be very powerful if you’re getting that too often.

Lots of speculation about lots of changes. Let’s hurry up and get that next beta build so we can get a better idea of what we’ll all be working with this fall, eh?

Lastly, big thanks to Anafielle for posting in my absence and keeping some of the cobwebs away! I hope she’ll continue to post in the future, and I request you all shoot puppy dog looks her way to ensure that.

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July 12, 2010