domingo, 27 de febrero de 2011

Can I shake your Hand?

As you probably now Pallys are the most awesome and sexy class, yet I've been finding Pallys who don't use all of their abilities, in particular their "Hand" spells.

Pallys on any spec, have all of the "Hand" spells, and they are there not just to take space on the actions bars, but to be cast at the right time. We are natural friends to everyone, and everybody wants to shake our Hands. You see we were desing for glory.

Knowing when and how to use your "Hand's" makes a big difference, and is on the distinctive traits of a Sexy Pally. Allow me then to share some of my knowledge (As little as it may be).

Hand of Protection makes the target Immune to Physical Attacks. This spells is one of our most iconic spells and serves as a multi utility tool. "Save the Day" spell. When to use it?
  • Some party or raid member manages to be the object of "love" of a loose Add. Works awesome on squishy classes, clothes preferable (Mages have their own shield they are not on top of our priority list, nevertheless don't forget them), our Leafy friends the Druids need protection too, good old Shammys, and help those plate weares too if they are being hit hard, but make the squishier classes your prioritys, specially healers. Be careful on using this on other Pallys, as they will get Forbearance and you'll render them unable to cast the more potent  Divine Shield.
  • Some party or raid member is building a deadly amount of treath. Hand of Protection temporary makes the target disapear from the aggro table, but remeber that once the spell fades, they will return to the aggro table. As long as the Hand lasts the target won't be attacked by physical attackers, that won't be the case with casters. Those seconds not gaining aggro should be enough for your tank to out aggro the protected target.
  • Prevent Abilities. For an example, when you get the storm drake on the Halfus encounter, one loose Shadow Nova hurts the raid pretty bad and theres always a Shadow Nova at the end of his Furious Roar, in order to interrupt them you can cast the hand on yourself or another raid member (make sure to let them know, and that they can interrupt), you will not be affected by the roar,  giving you the chance to interrupt the nova. Divine Shield does the trick too, but in case you have it on Cd or you are affected by Forbearance, enable other raider, so he can interrupt the Nova. Doing this makes raiders happy.
  • Emergency on Arena. If one of your companions ends up being beaten by Melees, act fast. Sometimes its better to cast the Hand before damage occurs; be ready to use it.
  • Removing some Physical Debuffs. The spell can remove some nasty physical debuffs, like Harmstring, or the Boiling Blood debuff that Deathbringer Saurfang delivered.
  • Bubble Taunt. When you have a boss with 2% health, and 2 secs on the enrage timer, Bubble Up, Taunt, and buy your raid or party some precious little seconds of DPS. You can do this with Divine Shield also, thats true, but if you get someone else from your raid do the Bubble Taunt also (That someone needs to have a taunt, or taun like ability), you can buy even more extra seconds. This is called Double Bubble Taunt, sexy name.
Its me being hit by an angry mob of Pally Haters, see how useful Shields are...

Hand of Salvation this spell reduces the amount of treath. "Somebody is doing it wrong" spell. When to use it?
  • Be it that you got a "low treath tank", "big treath dps" or "I can't control mah poweh" raiders, use salvation. Protections Pallys are the only tanks, who can "control" other raiders aggro, you might cover your lead on treath or help and off tank with a particular raider. 
  • Holy Palllys not always use Salvation, and its a shame, you have an advantage point by being at range instead of melee and might reach faster, or just reach that far away squishy mage building some nasty aggro, whereas a protection Pally in order to reach him, need to move with the boss following him. 
  • If you are a ret Pally, and start off with some cooldowns, you might want to use Salvation in conjuction with those to avoid taking the lead on aggro, and don't forget to help with the treath of raiders if needed. 
  • If you Glyph it, instead of reducing some treath over time, completely stops the target from gaining more treath, as long as the spell lasts. It makes the spell instead of a "band aid" a "OMG someone else hit him harder" thing, supposedly the tank.

Hand of freedom makes its target immune to imparing effects, and also removes them. "Who's gonna stop me now" spell. When to use it?
  • When a raid or party member is slowed, or glued  by some evil witchcraft and a "Hope Breaking" ability is going to hit them, if they don't move from where they are. For instance the encounter with Asaad in the Vortex Pinnacle. The static cling grounds the target and you need to avoid the supremacy of the storm by positiong yourslef in the "Safe Triangle of Energy", but not much can be done if you are stuck to the ground. Release those poor people.
  • When you or a partner in Arena or Bg, are snared by some wrong doers. If you are running away you need to do it fast, and that mage's slow isn't helping, or if you need to deliver some melee punishment, that harmstring might not be making it easier, Free yourself. Don't forget to use it on other players, those extra swings your buddy was landing do make the difference.
  • When you want to avoid and ability. On both PvP and PvE, some abilities will snare or inmobilize you, but if you know they are coming, act first, and laugh about their futile intentions. Hunter traps, frostbolts, Static clings, etc.

Hand of Sacrifice you redirect 30% of the incoming damage of your target to yourself. "Take me Instead " spell. When to use it?
  • Gargantuan amount of damage is incoming to your tank or other raid/party member. This spell works almost as a Tanking cooldown, but to do so, when you cast the hand on the target, you'll need to cast Divine Shield, Hand of Protection or even a Glyphed Divine Protection, just make sure you use the correct damage reduction ability (Hand of Protection only stops Physical damage), or you might end killing yourslef, or just complicating the situation. Hand of Sacrifice is a really powerful spell and not all Pallys seem to use it, when my guild was doing Festergut 25, we had one tank dying when the Gastric Bloat was on 8, we had 6 pallys on our raid, so we make a chain wit orr Hand of Sacrifice, and made it until the other tank taunt it. It doesn't matter what spec you play, use this spell. If your tank gets chewed by magmaw; if someone is locked with Acquiring Target when magmatron is up; if somebody is about to get hit by a Meteor and somehow finds himself alone on th valiona and theralion encounter; Use it on any mechanic that involves a nasty amount of damage, you can and should make that ability less painful. Show your Pally golden Hearth.
  • Works awesome in Bgs or Arenas. You do more damage when you and your teammates are alive, than by yourself; specially if you need a burst kill, those extra hits will get the job done. On Bgs, share the pain with your other companions, when defending a nod, each second you last holding the nod is good. When attacking the enemy army leader, help the guy whos tanking, he and the healers will like appreciate it.
  • Breaks Cc. Be that you are on PvE or PvP, you can get yourself out of Cc, with the damage you transfer, kind of like Ozruk shields, wich break his paralysis and let you continue doing your job, or just flee the shatter. On PvP is awesome, if you hear the woosh of a rogue or can't find your opponets, you know they are invisible, or stealthed, land your hand on a buddy, so you may break the Cc that may be about to land; or do so if you feel somekind of Cc is incoming,you need to keep healing or hitting something, don't let an unworthy Cc stop you XD.

Hand of Reckoning this is our Taunt, single taun. "Get over Here" spell. When to use it?
  • You see a Mob running towards your squishy friends, use it. You are a plate wearer and you are sexy, mobs respect enemys who wear plate and are sexy, and you'll last longer than your more squishy friends; have the mob until the tanks pick that Mob, the Mob dies or you die, but don't let it get to your healers, if you are a Healer tough, don't do this. Always take good care of your healers, they will take care of you. Don't forget you can also help other squishy dps, they are not as sexy as us, but helping is the way of the Pally.
  • This is the Taunt, in the Bubble Taunt maneuever. wich is explained in the Hand of Protection part above, but if the damage the target of the taunt does, is not physical, you'll be better by doing the Bubble Taunt with Divine Shield.
  • If a Boss its about to die and you hit the enrage timer, taunt him off even tough you cannot bubble, ask for other taunts, you might just earn some precious seconds for a kill by making the boss run. If you are a Holy Pally, taunt him as fast as you can, you won't be healing much at that point, and you'll need the dps to burn him down, so take the bullet, be a hero (we rock).
  • If the Tank made a horrible pull and you are ret, taunt one add, away of the pull and when he's on you, repentance him, make that bad pull more manageable, everybody will be glad you did. Make sure the add you picked can be affected by repentance, otherwise you are making the pull harder
General Rule

Players may only have 1 Hand per Pally at any time, so casting Hand of Protection, followed by Hand of freedom, will cancel the Hand of Protection. Be careful with those casts, you don't want to override a Hand that's doing what is needed, yet you can make use of these restriction. Hand of Protection won't let you cast Physical Abilities, and you might end up locking a DPS from doing their job, true, you can remove buffs by right clicking on them, but lots of players have custum UIs, and a /cancelaura command in the middle of an encounter gets trick; so cast another hand on them, to let them keep doing their job, help them all the way. Be sure to remind a Hand Protected player. that spells can be cast during the shield, so they can keep doing DPS or Healing.

Those are our hands, and using them, may turn you into a hero, or just a good Pally, it's up to you to save the day. Be warned tough that you might turn into the object of adoration of other players, even complete strangers may ask if they can shake your Hand. But fear not my Pally friend, wiser Pallys (/salute, Ophelie did far a better job, than mine with just one spell Y_Y, but since dungeons and raids seem to be more demanding, I tought a quick reminder of our "Hands" was needed) have had this burden for a long time.

miércoles, 23 de febrero de 2011

Raid Leading: Tales from the Hearth

I don't think I'm a really good raid leader, more like "He's Ok..", but I do listen to all of my raiders and ask a lot of feedback, in and out of raid; and I like smart playing.

I tend to stay cool while im leading at least during the encounters, but sometimes I got carried away so let me share a "mistake" I made. We were on the LK encounter, and had been wiping for an entire weekend and just extended the lockdown. We were almost at phase 3 on our last try, so that was our goal that friday, 3 Phase.

We started slow but near our 5 wipe we had rythim, I explained what to do if phase 3 arrived, everybody had seen the fight and read about it, but we always do small changes to what some guides say. Everybody was quiet at vent, I was tanking the adds, cleasing in case the Holy Paladin in charge of that chore, missed one of the Plagues. I was the one calling for the timers, even tough everybody was really fast at moving from defiles,I always called for one when there were 5 secs for the ability. I was really focused on the fight, I called for our Disc Priest CDs like Pain Supression if I knew we tanks had screwed something, I was the only voice at Vent, and seemed like my voice was really leading those 9 raiders.

On our 10 or 11 try, everything was good. Adds where down at the beginning of the transition, we had no casualties to those ghost (I had always troubled picking those things), on valkyries our Lock got pick up 2 times and he was using his Demonic Circle: Teleport, and phase 3 seemed on the horizon. At some point I tought we had reached the mark for 3 Phase, and we were supose to run to the borders fast because of the transition and we were saving Blood Lust for those last ghosts, to make a cleaner 3 Phase. Then it happened, I was certain the transition arrived and started yelling, and I mean screaming at full voice on Vent: "THIRD PHASE TRANSITION, THIRD PHASE TRANSITION, RUN TO THE EDGES ALL ON ME".

I always call for things with some advanced because my raiders dont always follow me at the order, but when I yelled: "THIRD PHASE TRANSITION....", they didn't even got time to lag, they were on the edge in the formation we had agreed, only to notice arthas was still following me..........................................................

"NOT YET, DPS HIM SOME MORE ALMOST THERE", I was still screaming but my raiders were performing at their best, they ran back to get some more DPS going but harm was done, a valkyrie got one of our healers and one raider was trap between a defile and the edge, he took the bullet (or he panicked) and fell (jump, maybe trip),  a soul reaper incoming, while I kept yelling "A LITTLE MORE DPS" and then it happened, o yes sir, transition for 3 Phase came.

We lost a healer and one dps to that transition, what was left of the raid regroup on the edge. "BLOODLUST WHEN 2 GHOST ARE OUT", I started popping my cooldowns and somehow we made it to the 3 Phase, and our last Healer got Inside the sword, we wiped.

There was like 15 seconds of silence on vent, I dunno if they were just so flaggerblasted or just containing some anger that could not speak, I was sweating really cold, and found the valor needed to push the vent key, "My bad on that transition, nice try guys"......................... 5 long seconds of silence and then, all Hell broke loose. I can't actually recall what I was being yelled, but I could tell they were not angry, they were actually laughing, we had reach the goal and missed the oportunity, but hey it was a fine ride.

I still get to be reminded of my awesome yell "3 PHASE TRANSITION, 3 PHASE TRANSITION......", but I enjoy raid leading and am proud to say we downed him the next Raid Day.  To you all raid leaders out there, YELL till your hearths content, if you enjoy and encounter, this imho is one the rare small pleasures of raiding.

lunes, 21 de febrero de 2011

10 reasons why you should be friends with a Pally

Paladins are a rare sight. I know we are everywhere, but not everyone is a Paladin, not a real Pally.

We rare real Pallys tend to be awesome, and incredible sexy IRL, well maybe not all, but we have a tendency to be sexy.

I will be making a future post about Paladins and Paladins (See the difference?), but today, I'll just give you
10 reasons why should be friends with a Pally

1. We are just plain Good Looking, don't mind what kind of Race you play. Search your feelings you know its true.

2. We are cool to hang out with, and look specially good on "Boss Kill" photos.

3. Famous Pallys on the last Boss on expansions, and its common knowledge we all Pallys are buddys.

4. Pallys are know for they camaderie, with whom they call friends

5. Paladins will always watch your back

6. We trust our friends no matter how dire the battle

7. Pallys stand to the challenge XD

8. They are trust worthy and won't chiken out

9. Pallys are always a force to be reckon

10. Pallys always help

What im trying to say is, chill out with your friends, have fun when you log on. Be it, that you choose to Raid, PvP, run de AH or just quest, do so with your friends. You may be traumatize by some LFD PUGs, but don't let it keep you from doing or trying things with your friends, even better try to get a new one. If you do find a new friend, or just enjoy some time with those you have, then you know why not all Pallys are Pallys.

How I Became a Pally

I have talked about a lot of things,but not about Paladins. Let me tell you how I got to play the most AWESOME class in the game, yep AWESOME, one more time AWESOME.

I started playing WoW like 4 years ago, I got called by a cousin, who had a great game. I went to his house, he was waiting on his room. He was standing, pointing towards the chair in front of the computer, and on the screen the "Create a Character Panel".

I spend a lot of time looking at the races, not because I didn't know them, I had played WCII and III. I really liked the Blood Elf campaing, and loved the way the taurens were introduced to the horde so I was trying to figure out wich to create, but whenever I have to choose a name for a character I tend to overthink it, and end up with something simple. My cousin got a little anxious so went for some chips.

When he came back herealized I was going Horde and said: "O my bad, I forgot to tell you I'm Alliance, and everybody else is, so be an Ally, that way I can help you", some of our friends had already being taken into WoW, when he told me that, my hearth just /sighed.

I created a Blood Elf Paladin, and a Tauren Warrior, just to see the introductions, I was Horde I knew it, but I did't had a clue at the game and was the first MMO I had seen, so I created an Alliance as a way of knowing the game with my friends.

I looked at all the Alliance races, but none of them seem so attractive (I wanted a Tauren Y_Y), my cousin who at that time was really anxious, told me to create a Hunter, his Guild was lacking Hunters, and he said they were really easy to start with since they get a pet at Lvl 10; I wanted a Warriror or Paladin, my most Primal Male Instincts were only going to be satisfied on the front line, Killing things with my bare fist, maybe a Big Nasty Hammer, but my cousin insisted in creating a Hunter, at least until I figure out the game.

I had been hearth brokened twice, just before my first WoW experiencie, but I wanted to try the game, and I tought he was right, the whole idea was to get a Feeling for the game. I created "Hinata", yes "Hinata", a Night Elf Hunter, and went into WoW.

I must have made all the Newbie things possible, starting with "Hinata", I know better know. My cousin leave me to play the introduction quest so I could marvel myself at the gamet, he just explained me, how to move my character. I must say, I miss being that into the game, the feeling I had when I was a really new to the game was awesome. I started questing and soon found myself at Lvl 10, I called my cousin and ask for explination about getting my pet. At that time I had the same bow from the start, and a Staff, cause it fit my Nelf Character, the model was important. Good Times.

He explained and I spent 30 minutes deciding between a Cat or a Bird, the Bird won after one of those killed me. They most be really powerfull if they killed me, right?. I got "Chocobird", and keep on questing, I didn't really like how things went; I sent Chocobird in, he'll get the Monster attention, and I shot them dead. I needed Melee action, as I quested, I cant remeber if it was dropped or a quest reward, I got myself a Fishing Pole, a Hard Hitting Fishing Pole. I was in Auberdine (Broken Auberdine Now) of that much Im certain, that fishing pole had more DPS than all the other things I had at my Bag. I equiped it and start wacking some Bears along the coast, of course Chocobird was helping, and they were dying really slow, but I knew something important then, Melee was my thing.

At that time my cousin checked how was the "Youngling" doing, he watched with a mixture of laugther and horror, how I was killing those bears. He just said: "Ok lets make you a Warriror". He sent me home with the game to Install on my PC, but there was a question in the air, could my old PC handle the game?. This is like Murphy Law, when you dont spec a thing of your old PC, it might surprise you, but when you really need it..

It could not handle the game. I had to wait 2 weeks for a Video Memory compatible with my old PC, to arrive. I installed it. I still wanted to test the Paladin, but all my friends had told me Paladins sucked, and I couldn't understand why. I mean Arthas was a Paladin, and Illidan got Spanked, nevertheless I followed their advise.

I can't complain aboutmy Warrior he was good, he was "Fury", a rogue in plate as some would said back on BC, but once I was 55, with some dungeons and Duels won under my belt; I had experience, I had dreams, I had ambition, and I tested the Pally. I never needed to look at the "Create a Character" screen again with doubts, I know who I am. To this day I have created and leveled 4 level cap Paladins, 2 - 70s, 2 - 80s, and one of those 80s got to 85 on Cata.

The first one, was a Female Human Paladin "Abbie", I was still playing alliance with my friends and family, but as I reached the level cap, I was not happy being Alliance, and I followed my hearth to become Horde. I didn't want to miss the Paladin class quest the Belfs had, so "Kokoro" a Male Belf was born.

Some of my closer friends started playing some time later on another server and I moved with them. I created another Pally "Yola", Male Belf also. Time passed and I real life attacked, I left WoW sometime. I left at the end of BC.

I read all about Wrath and really wanted to get into it, but kept having some issues. Finally things were starting to look better, and one of my friends who had left some time after I did, had restarted playing and called to check the expansion. I went to his house and found him rading Ulduar. I had read all about it, I had seen videos, but being there is different. That same day, I returned home, downloaded Wrath, and found myself creating another Paladin, it was Alliance, my friend had another friends account and his linked. I took that account and he help me power level my Pally, but things were very clear, once I was 80,
I'll become Horde.

The time came and "Visita" got to 80, I waited for other friends who were on the same lane with me, and as soon as they were 80, we went Horde. Home is were the Hearth lays, and I was Home again.

viernes, 18 de febrero de 2011

Mind Control

Mind Control is an extremly fun and useful ability, it may not be the best way to CC a pull, but I don't understand why so many players don't even bother using it, or fail to see how powerful it is. Allow me to demonstrate.

The last pulls on vortex pinacle, can get tricky or messy, but if you have a Priest dont hesitate and MC the healers, they literally top your tanks and players with one heal, making those weird pulls into a succes.

So priest out there have fun MCing, and learn what to MC.

Flying High

A raider got a call during our Conclave of the Wind encounter, the call got longer than we spected, and people began to loose focus and started getting stressed up. So it occur to me that we all got mamuths, and I had a spare portable Hole on my bag, I cant remember why I had one but meh, things might happend for a reason. So I said, "4 Laps Race, all abilities available, The winner takes it all". I tought some people were sleeping but as I position myself in the mark, I found myself nervous at the tought of losing my bag to not so bored and rather greedy Raiders.

We didnt finish the race, at the 4 lap the missing raider came, and we race to start the Encounter.
Have you find a way to cope with AFKing when needed?

We killed the conclave that night, and on a side note, when you kill them, you get a mouse option to jump in a vortex to get yourself to Al akir, so when we were about to take the "kill" screenshot, halve the raid got flushed to Al akir, and regroup was needed to get the screenshot.