So... I'm a bit sick. I haven't been playing WoW nor been on the computer the last few days. I don't know when I'll feel better enough to keep updating. Hopefully I'll be better by Thursday or Friday. Sorry guys.
PS: Kudos to Diablo Cody for winning the Oscar for her work on Juno. I'm pretty angry at the Academy for not giving Ellen Page (who played Juno) an award for Best Actress. She really did deserve it.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Posted by Aticus at 12:16 AM
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I've been experimenting on different Holy Paladin variations since 2.3 hit. Not just because I was bored, but because I want to be able to make an effective jack-of-all-trades Paladin. Ever since the original Diablo, Blizzard has set the caster-warrior class as a hybrid and I believe a lot of World of Warcraft players do not realize that hybrids are supposed to be able to a little of everything and not be too great at one feat.
Let me explain why I think this:
Back in Diablo, you could have three classes: Warrior, Sorcerer, and Rouge. Most people thought inside the box and played them as they should be... A tank, a mage, and a ranged fighter. However, I took a different route that not many people took and that is a hybrid of the Warrior and Sorcerer. I named him a Spellwarrior. In Diablo, everyone can learn every spell in the game by finding spell books. If you put the right points (str, vit, energy, etc), you could make any class a hybrid. In this case, I put points into Vitality and Energy. I was able to off-tank, heal, do a bit of with crowd control, and damage with this character.
Once Diablo 2 was released, I noticed that they had made a Paladin class which acted a lot like my Spellwarrior. He could give auras which my guy couldn't, but he could do damage, tank, and heal (well, somewhat... not really helpful in this game). I was ecstatic that I finally have a pure character that fit my playstyle.
The same mindset I had with the Diablo series is the same I had when I came into World of Warcraft: Find and play the jack-of-all-trades class. Now, there are a lot of classes in the game which can do this (Druid, Shaman, and Paladin) but Shamans were part of the Horde and I didn't feel like looking at a bear's butt (:P) so I choose the Paladin. Having played the class for over 7 years, it was the right choice and fit into my comfort zone.
Back to the real point of this post:
Time and time again, I see Paladin running around with 61 points into the Ret tree, 61 in Prot, or 50/11/0. These are all fine and great. I will be the last one to tell you how to play your character. However, in the true aspect of the character, I do not believe this was how Blizzard wanted the character played. All three trees were made to support each other: Holy-Prot, Prot-Ret, and Holy-Ret. There are a view out there who even go across the board into all three trees.
I always laughed when I heard a Paladin complain that Ret was weak and they wanted Blizzard to buff Ret Paladins. The bottom of the Ret tree was weak and will always be weak (in my opinion). Under Sanctity Aura, there is only one good talent and that is Repentance. The others are OK but not something that stands out to me.
Having said that, I've tried three different builds that can be deemed jack-of-all-trades. The 40/00/21, the 41/20/00 and the 40/11/10. I'll start in order.
40/00/21: The pure Shockadin build. Most people believe (as I did) that Sanctity Aura was the key for adding DPS. Well, I was wrong and I think a lot of people are still decieved by it (I'll explain why in the next build). What I liked about this build is that you can heal and do grat burst damage. Vindication is now my new favorite Paladin talent. -15% to the target's stats. That's 15% of their base HP and MP gone. The key for a Shockadin is to get your opponent's health down and then burst Hammer Of Justice for the stun, Judged Seal Of Righteousness, Holy Shock and Hammer Of Wrath for a good 2,200-2,700 damage within a matter of seconds. You also get a nice talent called Pursuit Of Justice which can be very helpful while chasing down an opponent or just to be lighter on your feet. This is a good build but it doesn't work as well as I would have liked it.
41/20/00: Another good build. Not as mana efficient as the 40/00/21 though. That is a huge drawback! After 3-4 fights, you will be drinking. I never thought that Benediction (from the Ret tree) was as helpful as I thought. You really do miss something once it's gone. You also lose Vindication. /cry but we can manage without it. There are 3 bonuses with the 20 in Prot though. First is Blessing Of Kings. 10% to all stats! That's an extra 600 HP and MP (for me). Remember Sanctity Aura? Throw it out the window because Kings is the reason why it's not that great. I had found that my spell damage dropped only 30 points! I went 21 points down in Ret for something I could get with 11 in the Prot tree (also the HP and MP boost). The second is the ability to block more damage with Sheild Spec and Redoubt. Third is Improved Concentration Aura. Your cast bar will never be interrupted by damage and an your party's resistance to silence can help in PVP and PVE. Again, the problem was the loss of mana. I did not like all the downtime the build had.
40/11/10: Can this be the jack-of-all-trades build? In my eyes, the answer is YES! You get your normal 40 points of Holy, you get Blessing Of Kings and you get Benediction for Mana with a 8 second cooldown on your Judges. I can main heal, do decent DPS, and off-tank (badly but survivable). Love to solo? This is your build. You can help in many situations. Just make sure you have Stam, Int and spell damage / healing on your gear. It is important to have a high spell damage and balanced HP and MP. I believe mine is around 9,200 health and 9,500 mana, as well as 600 spell damage, 1,100 healing.
The main important thing here is to learn that Paladins can be more than just pure Ret, pure Prot, or pure Holy. You can play as you want but I would try out some of these builds for the fun of it. I would love to try the new Ret Paladin builds but my gear is not set for it and I feel like I would not be successful without proper gear.
After months of research, the 40/11/10 build, in my opinion, is the best Paladin build if you want to heal, do damage and more importantly, solo. If you plan on getting to 80 soloing, I would highly recommend this build.
(This will be my last post until Monday. I have a very busy end of the week ahead of me.)
Monday, February 18, 2008
I always check my email every mid-morning before heading into work. I knew that the Figure Prints drawing was Friday and I figured it would be the same result as always: Sorry but you weren't selected in this month's drawing. However, this was not the case. It just turns out that I was chosen as one of the lucky view to have a Figure Print made of my character!
I was ecstatic. I usually don't get excited over these sorts of things but after my Diablo 2 Hardcore L99 Paladin expired, I realized then that online games do not last. They don't stand the test of time. Eventually, World of Warcraft, as we know it, will cease to exist. This is the perfect opportunity to show my legacy in this game.
Creating a Figure Print is a very simple task. They did a wonderful job on being able to pick your stances and base. All you need to do is type in your character's name and choose a server from the drop down menu. After a minute, Figure Prints will pull up your character from the armory. They give you a few options like 'no cloak', 'no helm', having your weapon out or not, and displaying your tabard (if I remember correctly).
Next, I had to choose a stance. This was time consuming because there are 35+ to choose from. I wanted the Paladin casting stance but my face was buried in my shoulders :D. From bows, to guns, stealth, and blocks. They have everything. I ending up choosing the attack stance because it was centered with the name and it would look better on my coffee table.
Finally, there are three bases you can have your Figure Print stand on. There is a marble stone base, a tiered base and a pile of gold base. I chose the marble base because it looks more Alliance-like.
He is a picture of what it is going to look like...
It's going to cost $99.99 for the figure and $14.99 for the shipping. It will take 30-60 days to receive Aticus in his glass dome. I really can't wait!
Friday, February 15, 2008
A buff to Holy Shock! Here's the quote from WoWInsider:
Paladins' Holy Shock damage buffed by about 35%, healing buffed by about 75%. Top rank now deals 721-779 damage or heals for 931-987 (was 530-574 damage or 530-574 healing).
Very nice. As a Shockadin, I am very pleased for this. I know Paladins have been waiting months and months for this buff. With spell damage and healing added, most endgame Paladins should be doing around 1,400-1,500 damage and
2,300-2,400 1,800-2,000 healing (un-crit). These are just my guesses. In my opinion, I think this is more getting us ready for Wrath than just setting out a fire. Taking it away from the global cooldown would be surreal and I'm sure it will silence a lot of Paladins out there.
Now, concerning Heal Over Time spells for the Paladin: I've accepted my roll as a one target healer. We're probably never going to get a HOT because that's a Druid's job. Our Flash Of Light is wonderful where it is and Holy Light can have it's drawbacks but it's okay. I would like to see it's mana cost reduced a bit though...
All across the board, patch 2.4 is turning out to be one awesome patch. Once it hits, I'll be switching from my 40/21/0 spec back to 40/11/10. I'm going for that instead of the 40/0/21 because I'm enjoying Blessing Of Kings way too much. That extra 600 health and mana is more helpful than Sanctity Aura. Plus, Kings increases INT which increases crit. I'll sack some damage for HP, MP and crit chance. The only loss would be Vindication. I LOVED this talent while I had it. Because we're made of burst DPS, the less HP an NPC has, the better.
So, I hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day. I know I did. Now I think I will try to go back to sleep :D
**EDIT, Friday, 2/15, 08, 11:50am**
WoWInsider just reported this morning that there has been a change to the Paladin Arena Season 1 and 2 gear bonus.
[Paladin] Healing arena sets 4-piece bonus changed to "Increases the healing from your Holy Shock spell by 30%" (was "Reduces the cooldown of your Hammer of Justice by 10 sec")
Now, Holy Shock will have a 105% healing buff in 2.4! Amazing! I take back what I said about not putting out the fire.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
It's a sad day for those of us who are still grinding out our Sha'tari Skyguard rep. A little portion of the 2.4 patch notes gained my attention today. Under the section "World Environment": Monstrous Kaliri have learned how to chase players going straight up. Where I am glad the Monstrous Kaliri went to flight school, it is disappointing to know that we will no longer be able to fly straight up and evade their attacks.
I was playing today doing the Skettis' bombing eggs daily when I had to evade one. The Kaliri followed me up pretty high. I looked down as The Postal Services' song "Such Great Heights" started playing. I laughed as the chorus played...
They will see us waving from such great heights /
"Come down now" they'll say /
But everything looks perfect from far away /
"Come down now" but we'll stay.
With all the Kaliri circling below, it was just the perfect situation.
Anyways, enjoy flying high for now but be sure to remember to stay away from them after 2.4. They can daze you and knock you off your mount; leading to either death or a nice swim in the lake below.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Not only is it a huge success that the PTR for 2.4 hit over the weekend but also this: WoW has implemented our Weighted Companion Cube into the Lunar Festival! I was walking around Stormwind when I noticed it yesterday morning and so did some other people who have screen shots of this all over the internet (WoW Insider picked out the best one IMO).
For those who do not know what this Weighted Companion Cube is, it is part of a video game called Portal (part of the Orange Box). On level 17 of this game, you get a Weighted Companion Cube to help you along through the level. If you haven't played it, I highly recommend it. Pick it up on Steam or purchase the Orange Box. Also, the title of today's post is from the ending credits song called "Still Alive." You can search for the song on YouTube.
Now, in WoW, you can't touch it, pick it up, or throw it into an incinerator (some people want to throw it into the Great Forge in Ironforge). It kind of makes me sad. I want it as a friend. Imagine having one as a non-combat pet? They already says "So-and-So's Companion". It would be cool to have it say "Weighted Companion Cube // Aticus' Companion." Hey, I can dream.
In any case, I had a long post about the Lunar Festival planned out but I saw this and HAD to post about it. Thank you Blizzard!
Posted by Aticus at 6:47 PM
Friday, February 8, 2008
This past week, Upper Deck Entertainment released its newest game: Warcraft Minis! "World Of Warcraft Miniatures Game" features little figures, much like Warhammer, but already painted. It looks like you and your friends will be able to play one character, an entire group of characters against each other, or fight againstraid bosses (they've already announced Onyxia).
You can get a prebuilt starter set for two players, a Deluxe Starter Set, or booster packs. In these sets, you can play as three factions: Alliance, Horde, or Monsters. Come on... you all know you want to play as the Murlocs (which I HOPE they will create). There will also be figures for each race and class! I am guessing, for example, that there will be 9 warriors for each of their respected races. How cool is that?
My one major question is: Can this be playable by picking up your starter, reading a few pages of rules and jumping right in or will we be having our heads spinning at the difficulty? I hope they make the game easy to play so those non-WoW players can just sit down, read a few pages of rules and jump right into the experience. Many friends of mine do not play WoW but we've been looking for a Warcraft related thing outside of the video game to play. We thought about the RPG board game but it seemed too complicated for the average Joe and the trading cards can get expensive.
I really wish this is a game where you have 5 people over the house and 4 know the game, you can teach that fifth player in a matter of a few minutes. What they should have is a little card board cheat sheet with spells and stats (with descriptions! Ex: Flash Of Light / Costs 150 Mana / Heals a player for 500 Health). Maybe something where each player can buy a starter set, have a 5 man instance or something. This way, each player can learn their class (much like the game). Time will tell because the full website will be released on April 20, 2008 with an expected release in the Fall.
You can view their website at WoWMinis.com or the fansite WarcraftMinis.com
Posted by Aticus at 9:20 PM
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I was running around Dustwallow Marsh today with my Priest when I stumbled upon a little, very fun, quest chain with a very satisfying ending. It took me to the lighthouse right next to Theramore Isle. After collecting 4 oils for the lighthouse, I received a book which took me to the Artisan Fishing Trainer. I then had to coat myself with fish guts so I can attract a shark to me. Finally, after doing that, I found myself back in Theramore. This time though, once I accepted the quest, the skies got black and this massive black sea creature entered the docks.
It's name is Tethyr and it looks like a Dinosaur Naga-Murlock thing. You cannot kill it at your level. It is ?? at level 35. However, you have cannons to help you. It takes 10 shots to kill him while he tries to cast Water Gun on you; leaving a knock-back effect on you. The catch: The 12 Archers which are helping you can be killed and you need to defeat Tethyr before all 12 die.
It's a very easy quest chain but it gives you that "Whoa!" feeling. Go check it out if you haven't experienced the new 2.3 Dustwallow Marsh content.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Have you ever experienced a time when you just woke out of bed one morning and decided that you did not want to play a video game anymore? It happens to a lot of casual gamers who are on the threshold of hardcore. Sometimes they just want to go and push themselves towards a goal (ie: Beating an FPS, getting level 40 and a mount, etc) only to find that when they reach that goal, the game is no longer fun to play. This has been labeled "Burnout". That usually subsides after a few days or a week and the person goes back to their normal gaming routine.
There's a few ways to deal with burnout. I find the most handy technique is to get together with some friends or family for dinner. It brings you away from the game and lets your mind rest by not thinking about it for a day. If you were grinding out those levels to get to 40 (or even 1-70), then a good long break will suit you. In this case, then find a TV show you enjoy and buy the DVD Boxset/s. Pick up a good book; one that suits your liking. You'll be amazed how far you can get by reading one good book. Another option is to spend some time volunteering at a local organization or church. Businesses are always looking for an extra hand. Pay a visit to your Park & Rec and ask if they have a list of places you can go volunteer. You can really fill in your normal gaming hours with volunteering hours.
One last solution is to take a break before the burnout happens. This can be done by devoting a few days a week to any of the suggestions listed above. Slowly cutting down your hours is the most effective way to stop the burnout before it hits.
Have you ever experienced a burnout? Share you story in the comments and if you have any other tips, please feel free to leave them as well.