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 …

I have a secret…
comment 14 Written by on August 19, 2009 – 10:01 am

It’s a very timely little secret, given the near-fanatical ravings flying around recently about what may or may not be be happening in the upcoming expansion and whether it does or does not suck and if it may or may not totally destroy the game.

I’m not interested in the WoW news that will get announced at Blizzcon.

Quite frankly, I don’t really care. I haven’t even read the “leaks” posted on MMO-Champion!

Now – before you tar and feather me for being a heretic that doesn’t worship at the feet of the next expansion, hear me out on this one.

I’m not interested in the next expansion because I’m too busy playing this one.

I’ve got RP to work out, raids to help organize, healing to do, alts to level, and just frankly too much stuff that I want to do NOW in Wrath of the Lich King.  We’re learning a new instance, Aely’s knee deep in RP (and seriously worried about something called “Yumm-Saron Veggie Stew”… don’t ask), and Annie Mae is just about ready to transition into Outland.

The next expansion will come soon enough.  And when it gets here, I want it to be new and exciting.  I want to be surprised by things, and enjoy the discovery of just what all has happened since we pwnt Arthas (which we haven’t even DONE yet).

Planning out how my class will or won’t work in an expansion that WILL change drastically between now and it’s release is a waste of my time. I can do all the planning I want – and then see it all go up in smoke when someone changes their mind later on.

So I’m not interested in knowing every nitty gritty detail of the next expansion.  Doing so steals a lot of the joy that I get out of discovering things on my own.  It’s the same reason I don’t play on the PTR, or do new bosses on the test realms.

Will I read about it?

Eh – a little, if I get bored and am not getting bombarded by OMG BLIZZCON constantly. I might even talk about it with a few friends, because, as a blogger, I really do need to keep on top of the major currents of the game.

Will it get forced on me from every angle, resulting in my dropping out of chat channels, not logging in to twitter, and avoiding chatrooms for a week so I don’t have to listen to the same info get hashed and rehashed and rehashed over and over again?


I realize that this secret that I have is an unusual one – that “everyone” loves patch notes, loves to speculate wildly, to spend hours getting their blood pressure up about how some change is AWFUL or AWESOME or OMG – but I’m not “everyone”. If reading about patch notes and making crazy speculations and drooling over the new expansion announcements makes you happy?  Go for it!  There are many people that will enjoy the same kinds of discussions!

I want to enjoy what I have now, and I’ll enjoy what’s coming when it gets here.

(My other secret is that I /am/ looking forward to the information about Diablo III that will be coming at Blizzcon.  I’m not actively playing Diablo right now, and I’m looking forward to the new game releasing sometime next year or so.  But I still won’t be compulsively refreshing the webpages or watching the live feed for it! We have months to read about and get used to these changes!)

Seals, Judgments, and Holy Pally Handwaving
comment 16 Written by on August 18, 2009 – 5:46 am

I got a heads-up after my big 3.2 mana regen post that I’d missed a major source of regen that a fellow paladin, Nahyomi, had been using to good effect.

And then I went to test it out… and absolutely nothing happened.

So I was very puzzled.


Here’s the scenario:

  • Nahyomi was receiving a TON of regen from using Judgment of Wisdom regularly – every 6 seconds if possible.
  • When doing so, she was proccing what she called Seal of Wisdom, and was gaining back GOBS of mana – enough to not have to use Divine Plea nearly as often as previously.
  • The change to Judgments with 3.2 makes any Judgment have the same proc chance as any other ranged/melee attack to proc Seal of Wisdom.  Hence my utter confusion – and lack of available regen, since this was totally random and in NO way getting close to the kind of numbers that Nahyomi was talking about.

So there are a few options.  Nahyomi could be lying – but I highly doubt that. She could be seeing the greater mana longevity because she was using a GCD every six seconds to cast a Judgment – which costs less than a big heal. But she also had some concrete regen numbers from a webstats parse – so I decided to dig a little deeper, since in reality, this /should/ be based on Math and Numbers and Stuff Like That.

So I enlisted the help of The Amazing Macmoran (who is one of the best Paladins I know) to see what was up.  He was also summarily confused, but we did some testing anyway, and discovered that, amazingly enough, he WAS getting extra mana regen from Judging.  And I still definitely wasn’t.

/me scratches her head, puzzled.

So Mac respecced, dropped all of his talents, and tried again.  No regen other than the expected, random Seal of Wisdom procs from Judgments as normal attacks.

NOW we’re getting somewhere.

So he applied a few judicious talent points (10 in Retribution, just to get Heart of the Crusader) … and discovered that it wasn’t that Judgment of Wisdom was now proccing Seal of Wisdom – but that if he already had Judgment of Wisdom up on a target, and he Judged it again – which caused Heart of the Crusader to re-apply itself – not only would Seal of Wisdom proc, but the ORIGINAL Judgment would proc off the HotC proc.

Magic!  Double regen!

So we did some more tinkering.  Turns out Vindication and Righteous Vengeance can ALSO proc the extra regen.

Now – it’s entirely possible that this is an unintended bug (there are a pile of bugs right now with Judgments and Seals – including one where Seal of Righteousness can double proc off itself). It’s also entirely possible that this is working as intended as a method of Ret Paladin regen – though unlikely, since Heart of the Crusader is so far up in the Ret tree as to be available to most Prot and Holy pallies as well.

So what’s the difference?

I don’t have Heart of the Crusader.

I’m running a 54/17/0 “Bubbledin” spec right now – and as such, I wasn’t seeing the extra regen. And I couldn’t Judge every 6 seconds anyway, but only every 10. As soon as I swapped to my Retribution spec, I magically got more regen from judging – frequently double procs on Judgment of Wisdom.

What does this mean?

Well, it means now that I no longer have 4 piece T8 (since I got The Pants of Awesometacular in 25 man Trial of the Champion), there is a lot less pull to stay with a 54/17/0 spec – right now.  If this is, in fact, a bug, we can expect it to get hotfixed shortly, as they hotfix all paladin problems quickly and often with little actual testing (… but that’s a rant for another day.  moving on).  If it’s NOT a bug, then there’s a little more benefit to the 51/5/15 spec, as it picks up Heart of the Crusader, as well as makes me take another look at the Paladin Tier 9 two piece set bonus.

Why?  Well, the 2-piece set bonus is as follows:

Increases the duration of your Judgments by 10 seconds.

Since this actually increases the duration of the Judgment on the target, that means we have an extra 10 seconds during which a re-cast Judgment can proc Heart of the Crusader, which will then double proc our regen. Is it suddenly awesometacular?  Not really – but it kinda sucks a little less. Maybe.

Anyway – this is all a lot of speculation, but it’s something interesting to try out, especially if you’re still running with the standard 51/5/15 build. Try it and see what your results are. From my experience, it’s a little more sporadic than “every time” – but it’s definitely a good way to stretch our now more limited mana pools after the patch!

(I’ve not yet respecced out of my 54/17/0 build, because I’m stubborn and I like it, but if this particular gem hangs around after today’s patch, it may be time to switch back to a cookie-cutter 51/5/15 build)

Muddy Monday
comment 3 Written by on August 17, 2009 – 8:28 am
  • Anyone ever thought about what it must be like inside that Coliseum by now, with as many fights as take place every day?  What a mucky, muddy, bloody mess.
  • I’m still reeling from a bout with either food poisoning or the stomach flu (though fortunately I’m actually feeling much better).  Not much fun, really.
  • The combination of leveling speed changes with the bind on account shoulders/chestpiece is… almost disturbing, even at level 54.  Annie Mae completed level 53 in less than an hour yesterday.
  • I’m largely disappointed in the Crusader’s Coliseum – not because it’s easy (which it is, so far) but because the gear in it so outstrips anything that drops in Ulduar that the only reason to really go back there is that there are only a few bosses in the Coliseum, and so gearing up a raid just doing that will take too long.  It’s a little frustrating.
  • The option to extend raid lockouts based on the instance is quite nice, though, in that we can now do Ulduar over two weeks but let the Coliseum reset every week.
  • Aely is not too far off getting her new paladin mount – the only real motivation I have right now for doing any dailies.  I’ve not even started doing the “aspirant” dailies with Annorah.
  • As a reminder – I have no desire to discuss any of the “leaked” changes from anywhere.  I likely won’t even discuss them after Blizzard announces whatever they’re announcing at Blizzcon.  It sounds really grumpy of me (but hey it’s Monday, right?) but I have too many other things going on right now that I need to spend my mental energy on to worry about that kind of thing!
Sources, Belief, and Credibility
comment 11 Written by on August 13, 2009 – 1:38 pm

So there has been some “leaked” information from “reliable sources close to the subject” running around the WoW community lately.  Matticus has an excellent post on why it is that sometimes you just can’t name your source – whether that’s because they will lose their job if it gets back to them or because they’ve simply asked you not to squawk.


Heck, I follow the same guidelines here, more or less.  If you email me with a question, and ask me not to mention your name and server – I won’t.  You’ve asked, and your privacy as a gamer is important to me.

Of course, it’s a little different when you’re dealing with news and not Ask Anna’s Advice Column, but hey – the basic premise is the same.

That said, regardless of the ethics of preserving source confidentiality – nobody is /required/ to buy in to what is posted until it is posted with a defined source. Nor is a blogger /required/ to post that information until it can be decidedly sourced.

Now, I know that things are different for those folks that actually try to break the news.  I don’t (and that’s no surprise to those of you that’ve stuck with me for… what, nearly a year and a half now? eesh…) and so I don’t run into this problem very often. If the Warcraft Head Developer were to email me this week and say “Anna, in the next expansion, Paladins are going to have summonable angel pets as their form of raid healing, but you’re not allowed to use my name or credentials at this time” I’d do a tiny little happydance… and shut up about it.  It’s not my blog’s business to break news.

However – it /is/ the business of other sites to break news.

And if they so choose, they have – like every other journalistic source – the right to publish news with unnamed sources.  It’s a standard practice in journalism.

I, as Jane Peon the Site Visitor, have a different right.  And it’s a right I exercise on major world news sources, gaming news sources, craft news sources, and whatever other sites I frequent.  And that is what I call the Right of Disbelief.

The Right of Disbelief doesn’t entitle me to bash, hate on, flame, or otherwise be an asshat to the person that posted the potentially un-believable subject matter. What it entitles me to is simply this – I can choose to say “that’s nice, and I’ll wait to form an opinion on the subject until we have a qualified source close to the subject that’s willing to pony up the accountability for this”.


Well it’s simple. If the Blizzard lead developer sends me that email about Angel Aoe Pets, and then sometime between now and whatever the heck the next expansion is the entire Dev team shoots that developer down, and the plan changes to giving Paladins little cherub babies as mana regen instead… nobody’s ass is on the line… except mine.  My choosing to report on that (with an anonymous source) only gets MY ass grilled if it’s wrong.

However, if that same developer allows me the privilege of using their name and title, THEIR ass is now on the line as well.  This is why in the early stages of these “releases”, an accredited source is very rare.

And so, I maintain my Right of Disbelief for many many things about WoW.  I don’t freak out about early, leaked Patch Notes, or pre-Blizzcon special “mined” releases. I’ll believe it when I see it.  When, as Matt’s E1-E5 rating would suggest, I have at least an E4, if not an E5 rating on the source.

That doesn’t make a site that is willing to publish E1 information any less valid.  It simply means they’re willing to take the grilling if the source data falls through – a risk I (and my tiny little insignificant website) am not willing to take just yet.


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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