Lowtotem.com>> Return to the Light

October 17, 2008

The entirety of this post can be read at http://lowtotem.com/site/2008/10/return-to-the-light/

I had a post I was working on.

It had a bunch of stuff, mostly about the new patch, Blizzcon, and some work updates.

Forget all that, because I’m about to flip it on you.

Originally, I was going to make a post about the new patch.  I was gonna talk about what an amazing spec Retribution has become.  I was gonna talk about how with the addition of Divine Storm and the new judgment system, your gameplay options are much wider than if you were playing something like Holy.

Again, forget all that.

I had fun with Ret.  For the less than 24 hours before the hotfix, I felt SUPERHUMAN.  Rogues were a joke.  Druids were a joke.  Warriors were a joke.  Hunters were a joke.  I’m sitting here, decked out in my healing gear with a couple of Ret pieces I picked up while I was leveling from 65-66 and I’m taking down Warriors like it don’t mean nothing.



August 4, 2008

Finally hit 70 on my Paladin.

It wasn’t easy. Trying to complete quests as Holy was a challenge. SO, I would up switching to Retribution for the last 10 bars I needed. In my mind, it went faster, and that’s all that matters to me.

When I hit 69, I finished up my quests in Nagrand. At this point I repec’d to a HOLYSHOCK build. I started running BGs heavily. I also did a couple of low-level instance runs so I could get some healing practice. I actually struggled through Underbog, which I’m like 5 levels above at this time. I blame myself, since I’ve on healed in BGs at this point. My +healing is shit at this point.

That was discouraging. I decide to do some more quests. Start in Shadowmoon Valley. Questing is hard; I do little damage and am getting shredded by mobs. I head to Blade’s Edge. Things are easier, but still, trying to level as Holy is taking a long time. I’m over ¼ of the way through 69.

Friday and Saturday, I do heavy BGs again, filled, while I grind Firewing Point for signets. This gets met to honored with Scryer’s and puts me at about half way through 69.

At this point, I recognize things are going VERY SLOW, so I pony up the gold and respect to Retribution. Even with my crappy ret gear, questing feels noticeably easier. I spend my time in Shadowmoon, completing quests till I’m about 5 bars from 70. At this point, Alliance gank patrols are rampant, and I’m being hunted down by groups of 70s on Netherdrakes. Not fun.

I decide to head back to Blade’s Edge and finish up my shit there. I finished up the quests at Mok’Nathal, and at this point I’m counting down after each mob. “I need 5 quests or 50 mobs.”

I finish up 2 quests and head over to turn them in. I turn in the first and I’m less than 1000 XP from 70. I’m now standing at Leoroxx, about to turn in “Slay the Brood Mother.” The anticipation . . . this quest will put me over the top. I click “Complete Quest” and . . . Your inventory is full. MOTHERFUCKER!

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Paladin Update – Still 64

July 18, 2008

Not much to report. I played for about an hour and 45 minutes last night. Once again, VERY rough going as a retribution paladin. More than once, I seriously considered ending this experiment and switching back to Protection.

I’m about halfway through 64 at this point. I don’t think my goal of reaching 66 by Monday is attainable, as I’ve got plans for the weekend so I won’t be able to play much. Add to that, I am almost out of rested XP, so it’s going to take double the time. So far, I’ve been able to get about 5 bars an hour, taking me 10 hours to level up. With rested XP gone, I’m estimating 20 hours per level. Of course, since I don’t play much, I’ll probably increase my rested XP along the way.

That’s actually a huge chunk of time if you break it down. I figure it’ll take me a week for each level, playing 2 hours a night during the week, plus another 10 hours over the weekend. As long as I hit 70 by the time the expansion drops, I’m golden.

ANYWAYS, things didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped last night. I was struggling as a ret pally, having to deal with being out of mana at very inopportune times. Honestly, it’s like playing my rogue again. Except I’m also paying for water. And once again, life wasn’t made any easier by the level 70 alliance gankers. One hunter in particular was able to gank people inside of Stonebreaker Hold without being attacked by the guards.

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Paladin Update – Ret Regret

July 17, 2008

Switching to Retribution was definately not one of the smartest moves I’ve made. Questing through Terrokar was . . . an experience.

Problem #1 – Weapon Skill

Ret Talents

Like I previously mentioned, my 2H Axe skill was pretty low. I put a dent in the deficit running SM. But even at 290, I was not prepared for Outlands mobs. It was very rough going. The random level 70 alliance gankers didn’t make things much easier.

I can’t say I’m a fan of Weapon Skill. As a casual player, it only hinders my progress. When you play 2 hours a night, having to spend time leveling up your weapon skill is painful. There are a couple of tricks to speeding this up. For example, as a paladin, running a low level instance with Seal of Crusader up can speed things up. And as a Protection Pally, sitting in a pit of fire to proc Reckoning is a good idea. I guess Weapon skill makes sense, since at any given time, people are only playing with the best weapons available to them, so there isn’t much switching. I suppose.

Problem #2 – Gear

I need better gear. I have good Protection Gear. I have decent healing gear. DPS gear? Not so much. The main problem for me is that I’m not 100% sure which stats to focus on. I went mostly for STR, AGI, and STAM, at the expense of my mana pool.

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Paladin Update – Retribution

July 16, 2008

I didn’t get much of a chance to play last night. I decided to actually go out and be social. Oh well.

I did manage to finish off a couple of elite quests, thanks to the help of a level 70 priest. I’ve played with a few priests the past couple of days, and I’m really impressed by their damage and survivability. I’m strongly considering leveling up a Priest at some point in the future. I’ve played casters before, but not “seriously,” so I’d be interesting to take a shadow priest to 70.

The big news however, is that I finally took the plunge and respec’d to Retribution. I hesitated at first, but I figure I can do it for one level at the very least. My gear—well my DPS gear isn’t so great. I’ve still got a few items I need to upgrade, but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I hit the Auction House and picked up a nice little 2H Axe, a couple of gems, and a new DPS ring. Even if I go back to protection, I’d still like to have a decent 2h weapon in case I run into any trouble, mostly in the form of alliance casters.

I didn’t get a chance to really put my new Ret Pally through the numbers. I tried to increase my LOW 2h Axe skill by doing some SM runs. I usually run SM to level up my weapons skill, because it’s close to Undercity and I can load up on gear to disenchant. (Side note: I’m at a weird stage in my enchanting skill. Everything I pick up DEs into something too low or too high for me to use.) I activate SEAL OF COMMAND, and one shot the first guard the SM entrance. Not bad.

Overall, I didn’t get too much of a chance to mess around as Ret. I was just blowing up low level mobs, so it wasn’t indicative of the actual “Ret Experience,” but I’m impressed with damage. You get a lot of nice buffs that increase your damage.

HOWEVER, I don’t think the mechanics of a Ret Pally are as cool or fun as a Prot Pally. Prot Pally has cool tricks like using seal of light/seal of wisdom to AoE grind and take on countless enemies. Ret Pally definitely seems more in line with a traditional DPS class—you go all out on 2 or 3 targets then stop to eat and drink. And running through SM was a hell of a lot quicker on my Prot pally, but that was because you can just pull the entire instance at once.

I’m anxious to see how a Ret Pally fares in Outlands. Prot spec is king for AoE grinding, but I wasn’t really able to get a good grind going once I reached Zangarmarsh. The mobs in outland are so varied and have weird little abilities that make taking on 5 or 6 at a time too risky. I do think Ret will be very good for taking down targets quickly while still maintaining a small part of Paladin survivability.

And there’s always Lay On hands . . .

Paladin Update – 64

July 15, 2008

I dinged level 64 last night—I spent a little more time than I wanted to getting those last 5 or so bubbles. I finished off the last of the Zangarmarsh quests in my log—that put me at about 25k from 64. I picked up some more quests from the troll village, but I just wanted to get things done as quickly as possible, and I certainly didn’t want to travel across the map just for 25k in XP.

Luckily, I killed a Marsh Walker who dropped the final Fertile Spore I needed for the Sporeggar quest, and combined with killing some giant crab, Terrorcrab or something, that put me at about 3,000 XP from 64. Three Marsh Slicers later, I dinged.

I took a look at my gear . . . pretty much all quest blues and greens with the exception of a neck piece I picked up from a disastrous run through Blood Furnace (the first and only Outlands instance I’ve run). I realized picked up a lot of warrior DPS gear questing through Zangarmarsh. All that DPS gear just sitting in my bag doing nothing.

It was at this point, I decided I should respec to Retribution.

I haven’t actually done it yet. I logged almost immediately after hitting 64. Plus there are a couple of elite group quests I still have from Hellfire Peninsula that I figure I should get done first. AND I figure I’ll need to be prot spec when I run UD Strat for the final Pally Mount quest. Oh, and I need a sick 2 hander. And I’ll probably need more gold to cover the cost of a respec and talent points.

Hmm, maybe going Ret isn’t such a great idea.

I definitely want to try running as a Ret Pally. I played a Ret Pally on the Arena PTR and I had a lot of fun. You definitely have a lot of options going into a fight. I figure at the very least, I can run though 64-65 spec’d ret. I think my gear is up for it—especially the slotted pieces I picked up through quests. Purchase a few gems and a big 2H Sword and I should have too much of a problem.

My only real concern is the survivability I’m trading for DPS. One of my favorite aspects of running as a Prot spec pally is how hard I am to kill. I really hate dying in this game because it is a huge waste of time, so I try to minimize risk as much as I can. Being a Protection Paladin, I know that I can survive 99% of the situations I get myself into.

ANYWAYS, short update, since I really didn’t do much. My next goal is 65, which I doubt I’ll hit anytime during the week. But I’m hoping to be at least halfway to 66 by Monday.