Written by | Posted November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm Deconstruction

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

Wait… Whose blood?
comment 13 Written by on February 19, 2010 – 10:01 am

I occasionally indulge in being a ret paladin.

It’s fun, a different sort of game from what I’m used to, and (if I’m honest with myself) a lot less thought. Icecrown is more ranged friendly, and I’m a tank-healer, so I rarely get to do deeps in raids, but it /is/ fun. So I have a decent set of ret gear, and it’s gemmed and (mostly) enchanted. And I’ve got a really substantial weapon out of ICC-10, so I’m pretty happy with my ability to not be a waste of a raid spot if I go DPS.

Of course, occasionally very strange things happen.

Strange things like “All the melee DPS in the raid already have their Shadows’ Edge materials” and “We just killed Festergut, who wants the Acidic Blood?”

Which prompts the following discussion between my husband and I in vent.

“…Whoa. So I think that means one of us is up for these blood drops.”
“Yeah, but it’s a lot less likely that I’ll get to go ret for any of this content. You already get to smack stuff around sometimes.”

At which point a few other people in vent chimed in:

“Yeah it really sucks to tank ICC and get 0 souls over a night because you didn’t actually have the weapon equipped!”

“… you know, it’d be pretty hilarious to see Anna running around looking for more souls.”

“<assorted laughter>”

Which was, of course followed by the message in my chat log: “You have received [Festergut's Acidic Blood].” And shortly thereafter by: “You have received [Rotface's Acidic Blood].”


So…uhhh… Anyone got any saronite?

Out of the Nether Again
comment Comments Off Written by on February 18, 2010 – 10:17 am

It’s that time – the last installment of Dark Summonings. If you’ve not been reading thus far, the story progresses as follows (mixed between this blog and Arrens’ blog):

Since Arrens can’t currently access his blog at work, I posted the last one for him. You can find it here (same as the Out of the Nether Again link above). And, since I’ve got the ability to temporarily hijack his blog, I took the opportunity to thank him publicly there – and I’m going to do the same thing here. (Are you suitably embarrassed yet, Arrens?)

This has been an unbelievable thing to write – both from the first nudges of the idea back in November (yes, it really was that long ago), to filling in the holes in the story, to figuring out just how much trouble we could get Arrens into. It’s been fun, but also challenging, and I’m really pretty darn proud of this. Which is funny, since I’ve only done about 30% of the actual writing – most of this is Arrens in all his writerly awesomeness.

So thanks – for the late night conversations, the multiple google documents, the emailing back and forth to sort through plot while one or the other of us couldn’t actually be working on it at the same time. I can’t wait to see where things go from here.

And, just on a hunch? After the last week in game? It’s only going to be awesome.



Differing Species of Tanks
comment 31 Written by on February 17, 2010 – 2:29 pm

So Bubbles and I were talking today (since we are both the healery siginficant others of main tanks in raid groups), and the subject of various kinds of tanks came up. We discovered, through a lot of laughter, that there are a few distinct species of tanks in WoW – and I’m not talking about classes.

These Tankish species transcend class, and are therefore something like “Tank Archetypes.”

  • Mr. Nice Tank - Average Jane, Mr. Nice Guy sort of tank. Probably relatively new either to your raid or to raiding in general. Good attitude, may not say much in vent.
  • Cranky Tank - What happens to Mr. Nice Tank after two expansions of putting up with the same old bullshit every week from the same people. Probably either very vocal about it (in channels or in vent) … or very vocal about it to whoever happens to be within earshot, sparing the raid her ire.
  • Timid Tank – This is the tank that’s still unsure about this whole tanking thing. He doesn’t really take much initiative, and she’s not really fond of taking risks. A timid tank will be slower, but not necessarily worse, than other tanks.
  • Seasoned Pro Tank: Tanks. Likes tanking. Does it to relax. Doesn’t really understand why other people seem to find tanking so stressful – even after a four-hour wipefest or an accidental four-group pull. In real life, is probably an adrenaline junkie. Tried playing a DPS class once, but found it so boring he fell asleep at the keyboard.
  • Drunk Tank - You’re not entirely sure why, but you start to notice that he’s slurring on vent. And that the nights where he’s not slurring, he doesn’t tank well. The Drunk Tank not only is used to imbibing large quantities of alcohol, but seems to actually do better having done so. Just don’t ask about his liver.
  • Flail Tank – Possibly a newer tank, or possibly just had WAY too much caffeine today, the Flail Tank is constantly running around, mashing buttons wildly (and sometimes not even the right ones). Having a Flail Tank means there’s hardly a dull moment.
  • Huge Ego Tank – Always tanking, always talking about how great they are at tanking, gets offended when you ask someone else to tank. Must be the main tank, refuses to offtank. Often doesn’t get along with other tanks at all, even when not directly competing with them. May cause loot drama.
  • Know-it-all Tank – How dare you question her abilities and knowledge of this game! The Know-it-all Tank refuses to listen to any strategy that competes with how THEY think the boss should be fought (even if they’ve never actually done it before). Regardless of class, will tell other tanks how to play.
  • Lost Tank – Couldn’t find his way around Trial of the Crusader. Don’t even /ask/ about Ahn’Kahet, Sunken Temple or Blackrock Depths. Needs a map to find his own shield. May cause slowdowns in instances after a wipe, may also cause hilarity.
  • Reluctant Tank – This isn’t really a tank. It’s a DPS or Healer in a Tank Suit. Skills and bar-layout are probably both a little rusty, but the Reluctant Tank will probably at least give it her best shot. Unless, of course, you’ve been asking her to tank for the last three months straight, and she hates it and would rather be DPSing. (See: Cranky Tank)
  • AFK Tank – Lights are on, nobody’s home. Possibly not at the keyboard, possibly just pretending not to be there. Subsets of the AFK Tank are the Disconnected Tank and the Alt-Tabbed Tank. Frequently a stress-relieving mechanism for the Cranky Tank. Particularly skilled AFK Tanks can continue to tank successfully while not paying attention.
  • Not-A-Tank: This is either a plate DPS, a rogue (evasion tank go!), a druid, or very occasionally a hunter, immediately after the death of a raid tank. It generally involves changing shape/aura/stance/presence, followed shortly by a quick, messy death. Occasionally will result in a boss kill, if executed at that last, unbelievably long 1%.
  • All-Star Tank – You’re not sure what this guy ate for breakfast, where he got his gear, or how he managed to get Chuck Norris to autograph his shield/sword/favorite bangly bear necklace, but this is the tank that can tank anything. Three extra packs, with casters, around a bad LOS on the stairs, with the other tank dead and most of the DPS taken out by a rampaging Yeti and he’ll tank the whole mob down. Also, the tank that manages to survive the odds, beating back Angry Boss RNG time and time again. Class is irrelevant, she can tank it. And she will.

Of course, through all of this, we came to realize that there’s one last kind of tank. The saddest kind, and the kind that we (as mostly-full-time healers) never want to see.

The Former Tank

All joking aside, though, tanking isn’t easy. Like healing, it requires a specific sort of situational awareness, a lot of mental attention, and occasionally a shot of something stiff to keep you willing to put up with the crap. I’ve run with just about every kind of tank, and while they might annoy me sometimes, I couldn’t be a healer without them.



PS. Now Accepting Ideas for Part2 (Differing Species of Healers) and Part3 (Differing Species of DPS)

PPS – To all those of you visiting from WoW Insider – Hi! Welcome to my blog!
Yes, this is humor. I run with excellent tanks, and this is entirely tongue in cheek. The posts about Healers and DPS will be in the same, lighthearted manner. I’m /not/ QQing about my tanks. Merely pointing out that there can be some funny ones out there!

What part of Holy Paladin did you not understand?
comment 22 Written by on February 16, 2010 – 11:06 am

There’s a rather annoying phenomenon quite common to see around the internet. I see it with regards to paladins a lot, but it happens elsewhere too. In fact, that’s what’s inspired this post.

Someone has written a rather well nice little “rant” about frustrations when healing small groups as a holy paladin. I have some of these same frustrations, and have expressed them before. When I clicked to leave a comment on that post, however, I found myself blinking at my monitor in confusion and annoyance.

The first comment?

“Spec ret.”

Spec ret? That’s the best you can do? Why not tell me to reroll a priest?

If I wanted to be a DPSer… I would spec ret. Obviously, since I am not specced ret, either I or the group of people that I raid/instance/group with would prefer that I take the healing role.

I’m also a damn good healer – it’s something I try really hard to be good at, and I spend quite a lot of time working on being good at it. As a consequence, I’m not that great as DPS. Sure, I can pull numbers that won’t get me booted out of a 5 man, but that’s because I have gear, not because I have any real skill or am used to standing in melee to do much of anything other than smack a mob for Judgment of Wisdom mana regen. I’m also the heal lead in a 25 man raid. Suddenly deciding that I was no longer a holy paladin would be a /bad idea/. It doesn’t help me if my friends would like me to heal instances, since we have a very large, very talented group of DPSers.

(As an aside, I’m very thankful for a few friends who have been using healing offspecs for some of our 5 mans, so I’m not relegated to frustrated healing in 5 man groups every day so that I can keep up with the badge requirements for raiding. Hooray for random heroics being part of the raid progression.)

The next best answer is (paraphrasing) “You heal tanks great, STFU.”

… um. Obviously I care. Since I’m not talking about healing tanks in a raid. In fact, I’m not talking about raids at all. I’m talking about 5 man groups. Being the best 25 man tank healers? Does shit for me if I struggle with healing a 5 man. It does me no good when my tier 10, epic’d out paladin has more trouble healing a 5 man than my noobshat, two piece Tier 9, BOE epics priest.

Other answers include things like “But my class has it harder in raids. At least you have <ability>.”

Know what? I like my abilities in raids too. That doesn’t mean I never get frustrated with other things. Your classes’ lack of paladin abilities in raids doesn’t make it easier for me to heal a 5 man group.


I get it. Paladins are the redheaded step children of WoW. They’re universally disliked, and have been since beta. Sometimes, they’re even unbalanced! (OH NO SOMEONE ALERT THE F*ING PRESS) Sometimes paladins deserve the nerfs they get. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they get knee-jerk, unannounced, Thursday morning nerfs. Rarely do I think a knee-jerk, unannounced, Thursday morning nerf that bypasses the tooltips is warranted for ANY class.

And yes, I know that’s happened to warlocks too. Newsflash, I’m not talking about warlocks. I don’t even really CARE about warlocks unless they happen to be named Arrens, Yva, or Juntu. Just because some other class has gotten a knee jerk nerf doesn’t make all knee jerk nerfs right. And just because I’m not pleased when that happens to paladins doesn’t mean I think it’s OK when it happens to other classes. Same thing goes for balance issues.

My problem or displeasure does not invalidate, push aside, or in any way take away from the fact that there are other problems with the game that you might be encountering.


Ahem. Sorry.

What I am talking about is this:

Being good at one thing (tank healing) doesn’t negate the fact that holy paladins sometimes have trouble with other things.

Wanting to be really good at one spec sometimes means that people run into headaches because of their class mechanics.

Comments that boil down to “STFU and spec ret”, “STFU and reroll”, “STFU and heal tanks” don’t actually answer any of that.

They make you look like a jerk, because they say very clearly “I don’t care what problem you’re having, and I don’t care if it’s balanced or unbalanced. I don’t care about your argument, what reasons you might have, or why you might think differently than I do. I want you to shut up and get out of the way because I don’t like your class and don’t care what you think.”

And really, I’m OK with you not liking my class and not caring. You’re some dude on the internet with a wasp up your butt (FYI: adding “lol” to it doesn’t magically make you a funny-funny person either).

But if you don’t like it and don’t care, why bother commenting at all? Is this just an ego thing? Do people really feel better about themselves because they can shove aside or otherwise verbally marginalize the problems that someone else is having? Someone saying “Lol spec ret” actively stomps on whatever the person (s) who made the original post is trying to say. Shooting off a three word “ha ha loser” comment doesn’t actually contribute anything or encourage discussion. It says “give up now, nobody cares.”

And that’s a pretty crappy thing to say to someone who has taken the time to put together a statement about their frustration.

Expressing commiseration is one thing. Someone saying “Oh yeah, such and such really sucks. I have that problem too when I’m doing <whatever> with my healer (of whatever class) as well. You’d think they’d get this sorted already” or “Yeah, gearing up a new paladin to raid is a pain in the butt because some of the instances are so unfriendly” or “Yeah, my class really struggles with <this thing> and it’s incredibly annoying for me too” or anything of that nature? That’s fine. It contributes to discussion, widening it to include other classes and other people’s experiences. Heck, even giving advice (as much as sometimes that’s annoying too) can be useful. Just about any comment that’s more than 10 words is going to be better. It says that you’ve actually given half a brain cell’s worth of thought to what someone has posted and have related what they’ve said to your experience. This is good! This is how the internet should work.

But I could really, REALLY do without being told to respec, reroll, or just quit the game when I suggest that maybe, perhaps, something isn’t working as well as it should, simply by virtue of my playing a paladin.

I realize, by posting a rant about this, that I have also become some dude on the internet with a wasp up my butt. Spare me the irony and don’t bother disturbing the electrons.


November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …


November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am

The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …

Riders in Lordaeron – Memory

November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm

(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)

The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …

Riders of Lordaeron – Logistics

September 13, 2013 – 7:11 pm

(With Tarquin and Annalea)

Once more, four people made their way through the thickets and hills of Lordaeron, this time in the crisp chill of late morning, seeking after the Rider. Aelflaed had snatched what sleep she could while Chryste …

Riders of Lordaeron – Problematic

September 11, 2013 – 9:47 am

(With Tarquin)

She hadn’t wanted to leave Jolly – not so soon after finding him again – but once away, it took about five minutes for Aely to figure out she had a problem.

That problem had just announced that …

Riders of Lordaeron: Arrangements

September 9, 2013 – 10:05 am

It was an uneasy goodbye for him, but it was agreed by both he and Aely that a stroll back to Hearthglen would not be very easy to explain, nor would the explanation needed for the three Argent soldiers once …

Riders of Lordaeron

September 7, 2013 – 9:02 am

“Light sent me ye when I needed ye afore – an’ now again when I need ye. I canna ask fir more than tha’.” She sighed and slung the shield back across her shoulders. “It’s… Light. Been awhile hasna it? …

Dark Rider of Lordaeron (Part 4)

September 6, 2013 – 2:02 pm

She blinked, but did not drop either of her shields. “Aye, though I’ve been Caltrains fir th’ last near three years. Canna say I’ve any memory ay ye.”

“Yeh’ve far moar’n yeh realize,” he replied evenly, his grip tightening on …

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