Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Machinima About the Vale That I Can’t Make

Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Blue, blue caravan
Winding down to the valley of lights

Vale of Eternal Blossoms

My true love is a man
Who would hold me for ten thousand nights
In the wild, wild wailing of wind

He’s a house ‘neath a soft yellow moon

Tavern in the Mists

So blue, blue caravan
Won’t you carry me down to him soon

Blue, blue caravan
Won’t you drive away all of these tears
For my true love is a man
That I haven’t seen in years

Wrathion

He said,
“Go where you have to,
For I belong to you until my dying day”

Wrathion

So like a fool, blue caravan, I believed him
And I walked away

Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Oh, my blue, blue caravan
The highway is my great wall

Vale of Eternal Blossoms

For my true love is a man
Who never existed at all

Not What He Seems

Oh, he was a beautiful fiction
I invented to keep out the cold
But now, my blue, blue caravan
I can feel my heart growing old

Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Oh, my blue, blue caravan
I can feel my heart growing old

Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Duhfall

In the immortal words of Mike Rowe, "Now THAT is a MACHINE!"

In the immortal words of Mike Rowe, “Now THAT is a MACHINE!”

Siegecrafter Blackfuse

When we first entered the area where we would fight Siegecrafter Blackfuse, I felt amazement because OMFG PIPES AND THINGS!  At last, I had found something cooler than a big evil cavernous hole in the ground filled with fire and angrypants crazyass orcs!

Because this was the first time I’d been in this fight, I automatically suffered a bad, bad debuff to my critical reasoning, spatial awareness and overall level of comprehension, mostly because I was too busy taking screenshots and freaking out about all the things.  The raid had the good sense not to put me on the conveyor belt team (because belts move and stuff happens, duh), so all I had to deal with was the crap on the main floor.

As a result, the fight seemed quick.  Easy, even!  Well, unless you count the lines.  At one point, folks started to tell me not to stand inside the yellow lines, but I didn’t see any yellow lines to stand outside of.  Nope, thanks to my color settings, I saw orange lines.  Given the debuff mentioned above, it is probably no surprise that I thought orange lines CLEARLY could not be the yellow lines my teammates mentioned.  No, there must be yellowyellow lines that I’m not seeing!  Must look for yellow lines, need to be on the lookout for yellow lines!  Turns out that they ARE the same (duh #2), and if you stand inside the lines, you’ll get machined into a million pieces by sixty billion drill bits from the depths of hell.  Whoops!

DRILLBITS OF DOOM They're numerous.  They're practically everywhere.  And they kill you dead.

DRILLBITS OF DOOM
They’re numerous. They’re practically everywhere. And they kill you dead.

Para-gones of the Klaxxi

GOOD FOR YOU Now go be "lucid" elsewhere, plzkthx.

GOOD FOR YOU
Now go be “lucid” elsewhere, plzkthx.

See wat I did thar!?  The Klaxxi were generous to Electrika and gave her the leg token for the tier, as well as a dagger on roll.  THANK GAWD, is all I got to say.  She was previously using Amun-the-heck-is-this-thing (I mean, WTF?  An intellect fist weapon?) and do you know how few good fist weapons there are to mog!?  Beyond that, most of what I remember from this fight is “lsa;fdkjas;lfkjas;lfj bugs.”  I guess they have different abilities and crap.  One even likes math!  Still, they’re trying to kill me!  Somebody get the Raid!  SEE WAT I DID THAR AHAHAHA

Okay fine stopping now.

SADDEST MOMENT OF PATCH TRUE STORY Alas, poor Kovok!

SADDEST MOMENT OF PATCH TRUE STORY
Alas, poor Kovok!

Garrosh Hellderpscream

Drinks All Around We're fine, thanks.  No no, you don't have to go out of your way, Garrosh.

Drinks All Around
We’re fine, thanks. No no, you don’t have to go out of your way, Garrosh.

A cut here for the people who care, since this is like, THE MEANING AND CLOSURE AND STUFF of the expac.

Continue reading

“Midlevel Druid” Set

"Midlevel Druid" Set

“Midlevel Druid” Set

Class: Druid (with staff), Rogue, Monk

H: Tracker’s Headband | S: Spell Focus Shoulderguards | Cl: Not shown
Ch: Jinxed Hoodoo Skin | Wa: Runic Leather Belt | L: Kilt of Living Growth
G: Gloves of Restoration | Wr: Not shown | B: Not shown trollololol

Staff: Staff of the Verdant Circle

Status: Finished

Thoughts: This is the logical sequel to the “Lowbie Druid” Set and uses a couple of the same items, namely the staff (it’s just so druid-y!), gloves and the headband.  When I first planned this set, my druid was a night elf who wore shoes.  Of course, now that my druid is a troll named Betheki, I don’t really have to worry about shoes so much.

I kind of miss shoes.

Goa really wanted to level his warlock to 90, so I wound up leveling Betheki too.  Now that she’s at max level, it’s likely she’ll have some fancier “High Level Druid” outfits in the future.  Though I do have one more happy colorful druid yay outfit in the works, I’m kind of tired of the whole “green life” theme, so her other planned sets are much darker.  As Amber-Shaper Un’sok says, “From death comes life, and from life, death …”

“Wings of Heaven” Set

"Wings of Heaven" Set

“Wings of Heaven” Set

Class: Paladin (Shield as shown requires Alliance)

H: Savage Gladiator’s Ornamented Headcover | S: Chilled Shoulderplates | Cl: Not shown
Ch: Breastplate of Winged Triumph | Wa: Magroth’s Meditative Cincture | L: Not shown
G: Savage Gladiator’s Ornamented Gloves | Wr: Not shown | B: Glintrok Sollerets

Shield: Skyguardian’s Shield
1h Mace: Mace of Transformed Bone

Status: Finished

Thoughts: So Niremere’s been enjoying a renaissance of sorts since I switched from Ret to Holy; the new spec gives me A CRAPTON OF SHINY BUTTONS that sparkle and stuff when they proc and say USE ME!  Lord knows I like having shiny buttons to press regardless of whether or not the spell in question is even useful.  As her gear has improved (NO MORE HEROIC DUNGEON WEAPON THANK GAWD YAY), she’s been having fewer mana issues over all – though long, damage heavy fights like the Fallen Protectors still pose a challenge for me in terms of mana management.  (Is Divine Plea off cooldown yet?  Is it now?  How about now?  Anytime soon?  How do we not have any shamans in this LFR?  Oooh a druid, can I get an Innervate?  Hello?)  I even glyphed Lay on Hands to give 10% mana back when used … but I’ve realized that 10% isn’t actually all that much.  /sadface

But still!  Shiny buttons!  When I want to smash my way though an old school transmog run, I use Protection and am happy.  Then when I want to actually interact with people, I go Holy.

Nir’s been damn lucky with loot, and is currently the only gal I’ve got who has the tier chest from LFR.  When I turned it in, I was most pleasantly surprised to discover that unlike a lot of LFR sets (the shaman’s LFR Firebird look or the paladin’s LFR Lightning Emperor getup, for example), the paladin one is not nuclear snot green!  In fact, it was actually ATTRACTIVE.  The color scheme even made SENSE for an Alliance paladin!  My mind, it was boggled!

So of course I had to mog something around it, amirite?

Avoiding Death by a Thousand Snarks in LFR

Sometimes LFR Does Things Like This The "raid leader" took his group-arrangement very seriously.

Sometimes LFR Does Things Like This
The “raid leader” took his group arrangement duties very seriously.

Since the new raid is just about done rolling out in LFR, I figured it might be too late helpful to share my “mental survival mechanisms” that enable me to make it through repeat exposure to LFR.  Well, I guess my unsolicited advice could be annoying as hell too, but hey!  That shrill, insistent quality of mine should be nothing new.  /grin

Warning!  TL:DR.  I spend a lot of time thinking about LFR.

1. Don’t tell folks you don’t know what you’re doing.  No, seriously.  Nobody wants to know.

Don't Tell Me This Lalalala I'M NOT LISTENING lalalala

Don’t Tell Me This
Lalalala I’M NOT LISTENING lalalala

Trust me, if you really don’t know what you’re doing, we’ll figure that out soon enough.  They say ignorance is bliss, and I want my last few minutes of it before my idealistic dreams and my poor body lie shattered upon the ground.  If you are a tank, take a moment to talk to the other tank instead of telling us all that it’s your first time here.  If you are a healer, you might find it helpful to do a DPS run beforehand.  And if you’re DPS, nobody really cares unless the group wipes repeatedly.  Viva la DPS!

2. Always dress for the occasion!

Go Home and Try Again And NO, your DPS set will not do.

Go Home and Try Again
And NO, your DPS set will not do.

Whoa whoa whoa.  Why are you in Heart of Fear wearing Firelands gear?  That’s like walking into a nuclear reactor dressed in a bathing suit!

3. This is not 10-man normal.  Or 25.  Or heroic, even.  Or whatever it is you do in your spare time.

When In Rome ... You never touch the freaking blue head.  We hate that one.  IT NEVER ENDS WELL.

When In Rome …
You never touch the freaking blue head. We hate that one. IT NEVER ENDS WELL.

Assuming that LFR will do things the “Normal,” “Right” or “Your” way is highly likely to be fatal.  Because 25 strangers are not likely to become a cohesive raid team with solid communication anytime soon, LFR develops standardized methods for approaching every boss and area within an instance.   These defined roles and routines increase everyone’s chances of survival, including yours, whether or not they are wrong and/or inefficient.  Case in point: Megeara.  NO NO NO NO NO WE WILL NOT DPS MEGEARA’S BLUE HEAD IN LFR BAD NO STOP.

4. Don’t turn into a freaking elitist.

Why Not to Be an Elitist Because sooner or later you'll end up saying something dumb like this.

Why Not to Be an Elitist
Because sooner or later you’ll end up saying something dumb like this.

Sooner or later (most likely sooner if you’re attempting the new, fancy LFRs), you’ll encounter the LFR elitist.  The LFR elitist is always unhappy because he or she feels unfairly burdened by carrying everyone else.  At the same time, said elitist is subconsciously aware of his personal inadequacy, for if he really WAS carrying everybody else, the group would’ve cleared the content!  This person typically manages to have a morally superior tone despite lacing language with profanity.   The LFR elitist has no problem detailing every way everybody else is failing, but be aware that he or she may experience issues with grammar and spelling while absorbed in self-righteous fury.  The LFR elitist is a fair-weather player and prone to temper tantrums when things aren’t going so well.

Don’t be that guy.  Remember, numbers don’t justify being an asshat, especially because …

5. Recount is a lie.

Recount is great for getting a sense of where you stand in general, but very bad for getting a sense of where you stand relative to people in this particular LFR.

Take, for example, my Recount screencaps above.  The DK was clearly rofflestomping the living daylights outta everything ever, but the rest of it is a bit more hazy.  Consider Mr. K.  His Recount was showing him “in the top 5,” but what, exactly, was he looking at?  DPS?  Damage Done?  Was he looking at overall data or for a specific fight?  And even if we are looking at the same thing, everyone’s Recount will show something slightly different.  When I looked back at my screenshots, I had one showing overall DPS (including trash, Galakras and Iron J.) which put poor, unhappy Mr. K at #8.

6. Have a Stupidity Limit.

Everyone has a limit to their tolerance, some line in the sand at which you will go no farther and to hell with those who try to push you over it.  When it comes to LFR, I recommend setting a special Stupidity Limit far lower than your point of explosion, but somewhere above the feeling a papercut gives you.  When your Stupidity Limit is reached, leave the LFR.  That way, you surf past the minor stuff, but you leave before things get to be Too Much.  

The Porcupine Leads The Way

The Porcupine Leads The Way

Sounds obvious, right?  But we hang around for all sorts of reasons, even when we’ve become irritated or angry.  Perhaps we don’t want to queue again, because it took so long the first time around.  Maybe you have a friend or a guildmate in your LFR group who just really wants to down the last boss so he or she can get into the next segment.  Sloppy boss kills may drive you up the wall, but there’s that one piece of gear that you really, really want from the next boss, so you’ll stay a little longer anyway.  Maybe you think these people aren’t putting in the same kind of effort that you are, but you need valor for upgrades, so you feel like you’re S.O.L. and have to put up with it.

But once you’ve reached a point where you feel nothing positive or even feel like a victim of the “bad community,” you end up contributing to your own hate of LFR.  You’re forcing yourself to do something that upsets you, and there’s no way that can possibly end with you feeling happy about much at all.  Additionally, if you act poorly towards others as a result of your feelings by snarking or pointing out how you’ve never wiped on this boss before el oh el, you contribute to their hate of LFR.  Either way, you have become part of your problem.

So when your Stupidity Limit is reached, take a break.  Go away.  Do something else.  You will be happier for it.  My personal Stupidity Limit seems to be somewhere around three or four keyboard warriors actively attempting to prove their righteousness and/or that they’re right in instance chat.  That’s when I reference a nope.jpg to remind myself of the solution, and leave the group.

7. Have realistic expectations.

Normally, when people say this, they mean something like “what were you expecting, a real raid group?”  It’s got an additional meaning when it comes from me, which is, “don’t assume this group is a piece of sheeyit before you even get into it.”  LFR is merely a bunch of strangers who may or may not share your priorities.  They are likely distracted by something somewhere, which could be anything from a pet or child to dinner or a recent breakup.  They will have varying levels of skill and knowledge.  Some will come in well experienced and some will come in expecting to learn by doing.

For the most part, they are average people of average intent.  They’re not necessarily there to coast on your skills, eff you over by mucking up the mechanics or intentionally racking up the stacks of Determination.  They’d like to land some loot, get some valor, or see some “content.”

They are, in short, like you.

The Dream vs. The Reality No matter what you say, it still won't have 'em.

The Dream vs. The Reality
No matter what you say, it still won’t have ’em.

Obviously, overestimating the capabilities of strangers will set you up for disappointment.  But consistently underestimating them doesn’t mean that you’ll be pleasantly surprised, either.  It guarantees nothing more than you coming into the LFR with an attitude that’s already kinda lousy and prone to getting worse.  So you think the community sucks and you pretty much never try talking at all anymore?  You’re not the only one, which may be why nobody ever tries talking at all anymore, which may be part of why the community seems to suck and … well, you get the idea.

This is my roundabout way of saying “People, I love you, but not every LFR EVER sucks, and your constant complaining is annoying me while simultaneously contributing to your own unhappiness.”

8. If today is not the day, well, today is not the day.

RNG is Not Your Friend And RNG delights in your misery.

RNG is Not Your Friend
And RNG delights in your misery.

There are days when you just can’t win, and forcing yourself to try is both an exercise in self punishment and a study in futility.  If you are already cranky, angry and tired, don’t even bother queueing.  If the game/RNG seems to have it in for you, don’t go jumping from the frying pan into the fire!  One of the nice things about LFR is that it will be there later.  It took me three runs to complete “Last Stand of the Zandalari” on Daschela, for example.  The first party was just too derpy to live, which didn’t jive well with my general brokeness (repairs ack).  I requeued the same day, but the second party had some jerks that I just did not feel like dealing with.  So I left it alone for a couple days, and the third party I had?  We made it through with no problem.  They were even friendly!

Remember, there will always be a next week, and sometimes peace of mind is more valuable than shinies.

TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT Or something like that?

TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT
Or something like that?

Thok the Bloodthirsty and Terrifying and Scary

Turn Around Right Now It's not worth it!  Leave it down here and lock the big door!!

Turn Around Right Now
It’s not worth it! Leave it down here and lock the big door!!

When I was a kid, I was a bit of an odd duck.  Sure, I liked My Little Pony and horsies and whatnot as young girls usually do, but I also had an enduring fascination with geology (volcanoes specifically), meteorology and all kinds of dinosaurs (interests which persist even now, actually).  The thing is, as a wee little Prinnie, I also had an overactive imagination – no mere monster under the bed would suffice for me!  For example, there just could be mummies living in my backyard who might climb in through the windows after dark, but who could be defeated by touching something white in their presence.  (My bedsheets were white, which made the whole concoction most convenient.  It was nicely thrilling AND I could still sleep at night!)

So even though I loved dinos, GIANT MEAT-EATING DINOSAURS always scared the sheeyit outta me (despite every last one of them being deader than a doornail).  They definitely had to be both Giant and Meat-Eating, because these qualities are very important for inspiring just the right amount of terror.  Jurassic Park was like a horror movie for me.  I got through the book just fine, but when it came time to watch the film, I had to leave the freaking room.  I had nightmares about getting eaten alive by T-Rex for YEARS.

Yes, This Scared Me Very Badly Don't judge!  Also velociraptors ogodhalp

OHAI GUIZE DON’T MIND ME JUST WANT LITTLE NOMS
Velociraptors are scary too ogodhalp

I remarked once that I was glad Horridon was not some sort of Giant Meat-Eating dinosaur with cannons, which of course was probably tempting fate.  And even though I know that my personal karma has nothing to do with why Blizzard went and put THIS guy in the new raid, it kinda still feels like it influenced the decision somehow.

Om Nom Nom? NO NOMS.  BAD THOK, BAD.

Om Nom Nom?
NO NOMS. BAD THOK, BAD.

Thok is Giant.  And he is Meat-Eating.

LITTLE NOMS? Bad Thok!  What did I tell you about nomming on people!?

LITTLE NOMS?
Bad Thok! What did I tell you about nomming on people!?

So Thok, being the Giant Meat-Eating dino that he is, must fulfill his destiny by mercilessly terrorizing anyone in the immediate area.  He does this in a couple ways.  First, he interrupts casting and locks you out of that magic school for two seconds with increasing frequency as the fight goes on.  This, predictably, is annoying as everliving hell if you happen to rely upon spells that aren’t instant.  But if you were thinking that melee had it good, well, no, not exactly.  They are the most likely to get eaten if they don’t get the eff out of the way, after all.  Can you sleep at night, or do you hear big pointy teeth chomping on your armor?

But perhaps even worse for everyone involved, Thok will eat other prisoners in the enclosure and as a result gain abilities that make the life of his next intended dinner – yes, that would be the raid – miserable.  Say he eats the Saurok – suddenly you’re handling not only a mad and mean dinosaur, but one who is all of the above AND poisonous!  Or let’s say he chows down on the Yaungol.  Things also become unpleasant – for when he bleeds, he bleeds fire everywhere.  And there’s nothing you can do to stop him from EATING ALL THE THINGS, other than kicking his ass and staying the hell away when he’s chasing after YOU.

... I AM GOING TO DIE


I AM GOING TO DIE

Since my first run against Thok was with friends who are like, ninety million times more competent and geared than I am, my responsibility in this fight was simple: don’t get eaten.  My personal goal was not to squeak in terror if I got targeted, and I’m proud to say that I shrieked loudly when I did.  Ghost Wolf form helps one escape from being eaten, what with the 30% increased movement speed!  Unfortunately, Thok has a movement speed increase of his own.  I was within feet of becoming a bite-sized snack before a priest Leap of Faithed me the hell out of the danger zone – which is pretty much anywhere in front of Thok and his teeth.

MORE NOMS PLZ One goblin is not nearly enough.

MORE NOMS PLZ
One goblin is not nearly enough.

Sometimes, I wonder what kind of abilities Thok would end up with if he ate a tiny terrified goblin such as myself.  Would he be able to do the female goblin giggle?  Shoot lightning beams out of his eyes?  Kill players via a Big Derp attack, where he unexpectedly trips, falls over, and squashes everybody underneath him?  Or would he be inflicted with a debuff, something like, “Indecision: You cannot pick a mog and are stunned for four seconds until you figure it out.”

My only regret was that I had been told there was a snail kept in the vicinity, but I didn’t see it.  Apparently no one wanted to let it out of its cage …

NO NOMS FOR YOU I'm going to move away now, before he bites me because he was totally just faking.

NO NOMS FOR YOU
I’m going to move away now, before he bites me because he was totally just faking.

Holy Kleenex, Batman! It Was Right Under Our Nose, and We Blew It!

Niremere has long been Retribution/Protection.  Of those two, Protection was my favorite – prance in, throw shield, smash things, dance out!  For the Light yay!  I did, however, chicken out big time when it came to tanking LFR, and I went back to Retribution.  I didn’t exactly LIKE Retribution, but I didn’t really HATE it either, and maybe gear would make it better?

We're More Laid Back Here Downright relaxed, even.

We’re More Laid Back Here
Downright relaxed, even.

I decided to keep on Retting it up after the patch to see if the 5.4 changes made any positive difference for me.  Alas, patch changes or no, I still don’t get Retribution and I just can’t seem to have fun with it.  Sure, Inquisition lasts for a whole freaking minute now (OH BOY DON’T I FEEL SPECIAL), but I still don’t like having to expend Holy Power to keep it up.  Nope.  Nobody need expect the Spanish Inquisition here, because it ain’t happening.

Sure, I Can See My Hands Owait, no, because they're in front of me and my camera angle's from behind.

Sure, I Can See My Hands
Owait, no, because they’re in front of me and my camera angle’s from behind.

Inquisition doesn’t even LOOK cool.  Sure, it gives me glowy hands, but I can’t even see my freaking self in combat half the time, let alone my dainty little hands!  I hit like a tired poodle and I am not feeling the two-handed weapon love, because I still love shields and that’s not changing dammit.  I can only cast like two Flash of Lights before running out of mana (I can’t use Word of Glory for healing somebody, silly, I gotta use that Holy Power for Templar’s Verdict Inquisition I don’t even know anymore) and I can’t offtank worth crap, so there’s no running in and saving the day all dramatic-like in emergencies.*  There’s only repairs.  And being boring.  And feeling like I’m fighting in neck-deep mud.

WELP THAT WENT WELL Tank died.  Tried to pull the Celestial Protector off a healer.  Got eaten.  Celestial Protector then had a nice, priestly dessert.

WELP THAT WENT WELL
Tank died. Tried to pull the Celestial Protector off a healer. Got eaten. Celestial Protector then had a nice, priestly dessert.

Despite that, I kept dragging Niremere through Throne of Thunder LFR, and she wound up with some shiny tier tokens!  I was then regretting exchanging them for Retribution gear (even though I hadn’t actually done that yet), when this conversation more or less occurred:

Me: I know I should use them for Ret … theoretically, a set bonus would help …
Friend: Wait, use them for the spec you hate?
Me: Yesssssssssssssssssssssssss.  Because I shouuuullddddd.
Friend: That’s stupid.  I don’t even know why you play a spec you hate.

Suddenly, I didn’t know why either.  I gave the spec a chance, really!  It just never took.  Niremere has been in Ret spec for the better part of 80 out of 90 levels, aside from tanking sprees here and there.  To continue this way was like bashing my head into a brick wall in the hopes of developing some sort of brain injury that might possibly change my personality, which in turn could possibly make me like Retribution.  It clearly wasn’t working out, if only because I have a really thick skull.

So I decided to commence PROJECT “I DON’T KNOW IF I LIKE HOLY, BUT IT ISN’T RET SO THERE.”

First step was to get gear, because nobody wants to run into an instance naked.  Accordingly, I ran all the LFRs ever, then died my way around the Timeless Isle looking for chests, and finally I bought PvP crap off the AH to fill in the holes.  (I have a new protip for the loading screens: “Warning! The Timeless Isle hurts like mother trucking HELL if you are undergeared!”)

Unfortunately, I am forced to neglect the “finishing touches,” as it were.  Since Nir’s gear rocketed up so quickly (we’re talking like twenty item levels), I can’t afford to fully reforge/enchant/gem it.  She’s reforged and mostly gemmed at this point, though there is no way in hell I’m enchanting that wep from a heroic dungeon whether I can afford to or not.

Once she had something to wear, Nir ran to the nearest Paladin trainer and gave him gold.  It was then time to HEAL ALL THE THINGS.  Kinda.

The worst thing about starting healing with a new class at level 90 is that you are stricken with a general feeling of “oh my GAWD, all the things wat the hell is going on,” which can’t be helped except through exposure to the spec and the diligent application of effort.  (True understanding comes even later.)  And aside from reading a guide to get an idea of what you should be doing, your only real option is to literally click the buttons to see for yourself what they do.

Turns out that not only is it really hard to figure crap out when you have all the things to learn all at once, it’s ESPECIALLY hard to do when they’re almost all named “Holy” Somethingorother.  I CAN’T REMEMBER WHICH HOLY DOES WHAT HEALING THING.  I actually had to write notes down.  NOTES.  TO PLAY A GAME.  (L-shift click, Light of Dawn, HP click, multi target!)

The only other classes I’ve healed extensively on in recent memory, shaman and druid, don’t really have an equivalent to Holy Power that they have to build up in order to spend. As a result, I spent a fair amount of time freaking out about dropping HP clicking on buttons furiously while wondering why nothing was happening.  I would subsequently (and usually abruptly) realize that I had no Holy Power and this particular Holy thing needed it, therefore, fail.  I actually do have the bright red status text on my screen for things like “Not enough Holy Power.”  I just never read it.

Feeling somewhat overwhelmed, I made a little dwarf paladin with the idea of “learning from the ground up.”  But somewhere around level 3, I decided that the effort required to learn crap from scratch at level 90 was probably going to be less than the effort required to level from 1 to 90, so she got left somewhere in the snowy wilds outside Ironforge.  I haven’t deleted the character, though, because people on my friends list had a fit were extremely confused when they saw me playing a female dwarf.  Maybe I’ll surprise them again later!

So I grabbed a beartank friend with good gear (he assured me that with his self heal, he could solo heroics) and off we went into LFD land.  I warned him to be prepared.  I warned him I had no clue what all the buttons did, and also that my keybinds were all freaked up, and finally that I still had to set up Vuhdo properly and whatnot, so be careful!  Did I get said beartank killed?  YEP.  YOU BETCHA.

The next morning I queued randomly by myself, which ended up being embarrassing as well.  I got caught red-handed with Righteous Fury still on from a failed-ret-tanking episode the night before (see * at end, again).  Ugh!  It’s like the hunter who leaves Aspect of the Pack on for the whole fight (which I have NEVER done, nope, believe you me, 100% truth telling here).  Fortunately the party was quite helpful and gave me a number of tips, and there was a shaman who covered for my general ineptitude (in addition to pointing out that whole Righteous Fury thing).

Now THAT'S the Skill for Me Proposed Paladin revamp makes Beacon of Light into something even BETTER.

Now THAT’S the Skill for Me
Proposed Paladin revamp makes Beacon of Light into something even BETTER.

Later that day, I felt I at least had the basics down because people weren’t dying anymore in heroics.  When looking at the Raid Finder to see if there were any LFRs I missed, I realized that Nir had the gearscore to queue for SoO … hmmm.

Crazy?  Hell yes.  Still, it seemed like a slightly less crazypants idea than learning how to paladerp heal via PvP, which was Goa’s suggestion, so I queued up for it.  It was definitely an enlightening experience.  It turns out that not only do I need to know buttons, but I also have to relearn mana management, blah.  Electrika has almost zero mana issues at present because of gear, Water Shield, Mana Tide totem and the Telluric Currents glyph (which returns a bit of mana if you use Lightning Bolt).  Betheki (the druid) is at level 80, which is too high to have the noob type of mana issues, but too low to have LFR “holy crap, please kill it before it ‘zerks” kind of mana issues.

So yeah, who spent practically all of the Fallen Protectors fight using only Holy Shock and Light of Dawn?  That would be meeeeee. While I am more than perfectly happy to coast when it comes to DPS (heeeey we got like, six people doing 200k?  SWEET), I feel immense guilt when it comes to coasting on heals.  I almost left the group three or four times because I felt my heals were too low to justify my presence.  I wound up staying anyway because there was an amazing shaman who covered for me and at least one other healer as well.  Overgeared?  Overachiever?  Don’t know, but he was the key to Nir getting the first gear token from this tier.  (I am overjoyed that the paladin LFR color scheme does NOT involve nuclear snot green.)

* So let me tell you about the last time Nir was fighting Will of the Emperor, a.k.a. Jan-xi and Qin-xi. As you no doubt know by now if you are a regular LFRer, adds and bosses spawn on the far side of the room, opposite where the entrance is.  The idea is to drag the bosses from that end back over to the other, positioning them near the two separate staircases that the raid entered the fight area with.  One boss per set of stairs, easy!

In this particular LFR, we had a tank who wasn’t quite clear on what to do other than “get aggro.”  He grabbed his boss, yes, but then he stood with it at the back of the room, which is bad.  It exposes the DPS to unnecessary heavy damage (which in turn stresses healers), and it’s not like the DPS can go somewhere else to avoid it – adds continually spawn back there for the duration of the fight.  Everybody yelled at him but he went nowhere with the boss, so I whispered him and told him to go up front by the stairs, which he did – sorta.  He pulled it to the same staircase that the other tank/boss was at, which elicited further shouts of dismay from the LFR.  I kept on whispering him, telling him where the second staircase was, and he WAS trying to listen.  It’s just that he dragged his boss over about halfway, which is ALSO bad, because that puts the boss right on top of the healers.

So finally I put on Righteous Fury, used Reckoning twice, and ran like a bat outta hell for the right set of stairs.  Defensive bubbles?  If only I had realized just how squishy I am despite the freaking plate, I would’ve used one.  I took 1.5 hits and was DOWN.  But hey, since my corpse was apparently much easier to see than my living self, the tank finally got the boss to the right spot and we didn’t wipe.  Hooray!