Cata Tip: Don’t hit 80

If you are levelling to 80 before Cataclysm is released then please consider getting your character to level 79.9, and then stopping. This is so they can acquire a full bar (150%) worth of rested xp prior to launch into Cata with. Of course if you’re not going to continue to level that toon, then go to 80 and wait for the rested to accumulate in the normal way.

Tip sourced from Just My Two Coppers Blog & forums, go read for more goodness.

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80 Prot Paladin Talent Build

Now that Diamon (my Paladin) is 80 and patch 3.3.3 is live it is time to update the Protection Paladin talent build. Once again I’ve read through forums, and the base build is pretty steady, but there are a ton of variations for a Tank build.

Here is a Tank build I’m planning to use for Diamon. Like most builds it uses the Retribution talent tree for additional powers and that makes threat building easier.

Now no build is good without some explanation, so here goes:

  1. I’ve seen builds that have more points in Crusade and Seal of Command. This seems to me to be a build for when you’re never out of mana, and also looking for maximum threat. That is not my case as a new Paladin tank, so I’ve taken some points out of these areas.
  2. I did however put a point in Conviction, as a 1% crit chance is always a great thing.
  3. If I was being totally selfless as a new 80 tank, I would have taken at least some points in Divinity in the Prot tree, as it increases the healing that the Paladin receives. But meh, most runs have very over-geared toons, so and I’d rather match the pace of the run to the gear and spec of the characters than try to stay alive the most.
  4. On the flip side of that is choosing a Glyph for reduced cooldown on Lay of Hands. I can’t think of a handier ability for a protection paladin. The self heal is huge, and having that power more often is a godsend.
  5. Some builds will only have 1 rank of Spiritual Attunement, but I want and need both points.
  6. An alternate could also be to put some points into the improved Seal of Vengeance in the Holy tree, but I rate Crusade’s 2% to all and 4% to Undead as a better bonus.

Much of what is good in Tankadins is available for easy reading at MainTankadin.failsafedesign.com.

This post is an update to my previous post for a level 70 spec from October 2008.

Rise of the Paladin, ding 80!

After a weekend of burning through all the rested xp, a stack of instances, and more kills that I can poke a stick at; my Paladin is now level 80!

/happydance /rawr

Diamon (armory link)* was my first Warcraft character, rolled as I like the Paladin class from DnD, and has always been a character that resonates with me. I leveled primarily as a tank, with a bad dps set for solo questing, and honestly I think the tanking is far more fun.

Upon hitting 80 I spent a stack of gold on the skill-ups, equipped a few upgrades that I had in the bank waiting, was gifted a set of ilevel 200 Shoulders (thanks Rakk), bought a few upgrades from the AH too.

Now wearing a mix of blues and purples, and looks ready to strike into the basic Heroics. Bring it on.

In the coming weeks I’ll probably add to my list of daily pugs, all the stories of being an under geared dps and tank, and no doubt will have some utterly stunning stories of ineptitude (like x2 DKs in a CoS run who could not do more that 500-700 dps).  I suppose I should dps a run and see if I can do any better. 🙂

Grats also to Rakk who’s shammy levels with me and also ding’ed last night.

*Armory was down when I posted, but honestly – he is 80.

The first steps at 80

There seems to be a few forum posts out there about what to do at 80. Now if that question is about the long term view, then nobody can tell you what you’ll enjoy. However if its about what you must do first, then there are some obvious things. My first steps upon reaching 80 were:

  1. get the tabards for eac of the reps that is important. Wowwiki.com and wowhead/wowdb are handy for looking up the reps.
  2. get level 80 skills trained
  3. consider a respec, I needed one
  4. check the AH for bargain upgrades for key items
  5. get your last  Glyph slot filled
  6. go to the final zones and complete all the quest chains to unlock the quest hubs. Ebon Hold for example does not exists as a hub until you complete a few quests.
  7. get all the flight points
  8. get your epic flier, so you don’t have to pay the highly expensive flight point costs
  9. max out your professions

Points 6-9 I am still working on, and they’re as fun as the leveling process. The gold rewards at top level make it still really worth doing the quests too.

80 Reasons you’re not Hardcore

With the posts and comments about who is and is not level 80 (thank you Ghostcrawler and others), I’m feeling like a slacker again. Normally I’d have a crafty reason for being 74, but its just life at the moment. So much to do at this time of year.

This little issue is much like most rants and opinions spread around the internet – some folks like to be awesome, and others want to share the word about why they are not. Its a storm in a tea-cup, that needs some sarcasm.

Here is (the start of) 80 reasons you’re not level 80:

  1. you lost your authenticator at the last Trek conference, and the wow subscription is in Mum’s name
  2. the introduction of Death Knights has made you an Alt-a-holic
  3. you used all your ISP download quota on BitTorrent on the 3rd season of Dexter
  4. girl/boy friend acquired, or returned to town (screenshot it or it didn’t happen)
  5. warlock keyboard facerolling does not work since v3.0
  6. or you finally rolled a Warlock for the Subby pet, or a female Blood Elf and now just stare drooling at the screen
  7. just trying to to get exalted with Cenarion before leaving Zangamarsh
  8. budget can’t stretch to pay for Wrath after all the ales and wenches
  9. account hacked! all humour aside, I feel for you
  10. suspended due to ass-hat forum comments! I hate you, re-roll hello kitty now
  11. you’ve stopped to smell the roses (level slowly), and got hayfever
  12. developed a new phobia where you can’t ding a level which is not a prime number
  13. still looking for a healer for normal Ramparts, Nexus, or anything
  14. spent all your time reading blogs and not actually playing
  15. confused and intimidated by the new gear, so instead playing in Goldshire where its safer (well safe-ish, unless you count requests for 1st floor private encounters)
  16. several friends just signed up to WoW and now you’re a high level steamroller to help then powerlevel
  17. you can’t consider another MMO until you defeat the Fashion Derelict Boss in Barbie Online, and get your hairstyling skill to 450
  18. Spent all your time WRITING blogs and not actually playing
  19. Wasted time compiling your WoW Code because of TyphoonAndrew*
  20. Actually read quest texts rather than just hitting accept and looking at QuestHelper*
  21. Find reading Jame’s Leveling Guides more interesting than actually leveling yourself*
  22. Wasted time coming up with 6 more reasons I’m not hardcore*
  23. Noticed that TA lists your blog as pally-specific, wonder whether you should do anything about it and what* (hmm, ty Gwaendar – I’ll fix that. The Twisted Nether list has me in general, and a Paladin Tank used to be my main)
  24. you consider love > work > games, which is also why the guys at the chess association have stopped counting on you for midnight games
  25. in your industry the silly season is all about stupid deadlines and even stupider clients. silly indeed
  26. the Deeprun tram is the only instance you need for your hardcore gameplay. never mind what the final boss looks like
  27. the optimal build for AH farming only requires level 1 (and a few mods, and the patience of a stone)

I thought it would be horrid to make a list of the reasons you’re not 80, but its kind of fun. So feel free to add a few if there are tounge in cheek reasons I’ve missed.

I’ll add more as I think of them, send them in (marked with a * next to them)!

Food for thought, salty goodness?

About a week to go till the 70+ run begins and the choice between 1st and 2nd is still hard. Pally and Druid both still rock, and even my hunches change from day to day. I’m torn and confused. Druid Cat dps output is not high, and I attribute that problem to the lump between the keyboard and chair (me). Pally multi-mob grinding seems awesome and even the *adjustment* in the patch will not totally diminish that role.

Not that it counts as much, but the 3rd and 4th spot of Warlock and Shadow Priest are affected by all sorts of rumour and hearsay,  and while they’re not in the real running, I like to watch them. Especially on the back of the 3.0.3 changes. My initial impression of Warlock and Priest changes from 3.0.3 is that Warlocks did not get as much love as Shadow Priests, and SPrs are getting very serious play at 80. I’m glad both got some love.

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Level 80 pre-selection

The competition for which toon to take to 80 is still very tight. Up until a week ago the Paladin was the strongest contender, and the shadow Priest was the weakest, with Warlock a close 2nd. But now that has all changed…

To make this clearer I’ll use some rankings, where 1 is the current lead, and the others are ranked away from that with no particular scale.

1 – Paladin
2 – Warlock
4 – Druid
6 – Priest

This was because Paladin tanking is a face-roll of awesome, and the Warlocks were still cool with powerful dps. The Priest had equal or worse death recovery than the Warlock and crap damage. Then the Druid was a great all rounder, but still a dark horse due to being essentially unknown, but very versatile.

However as I’ve played the past week or so the tables have turned.

1 – Druid Paladin
3 – Priest
4 – Warlock

All in all the pack is closer grouped than ever, and here is why:

Warlock dps is poor, in whatever build you pick (if you say I’m QQing without doing some serious reading, I’ll slap you). I tried Demo with the Felguard, and it was meh. I looked at Destro and was not impressed, and Affliction was my first love, and I can se pure death there, but its death that takes a long time to arrive. DoTs for grinding and farming are frustrating to me. I want it tagged and then I want it dead. I also didn’t enjoy the micromanagement of a pet, which is an artefact of being destruction for so long. Its made me realise that without huge dps Warlocks bring nothing to the table for a raid group except cookies and summons. Bye bye warlock till they fix them, but Arkham is not out of the running, just going slow.

Priest dps has been improved, or so the simulation mods tell me. Should I trust it, I’m not sure? This puts my Shadow Priest up the rankings, to be ahead of Warlocks. Why? They can heal. With dual specs the Priest can perform two role well, not just wander around doing one. That is worth real ranking right there.

The same dual spec change makes the Druid and Paladin also huge propositions. Which is essentially why they are equal. The race for first place is now about (a) how they will level and generally play, and (b) what will be wanted and loved in raids at 80. Both the Paladin and Druid can bring awesome buffs, roles (tank, heal, dps) and fun to a raid. From what I have seen Paladin tanking is still aoe-god-mode, Druid healing is more diverse, and I am not sure about which does better dps. I suspect that is Ret paladins, but nobody knows what that will mean at 80 at the moment.

Its still a tough race to call, and we have a game that is constantly changing as the player base test and find new things. For all we know Warlock tanking might be the end game holy grail, just don’t bet the house on it.