Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Leveling a Paladin 40 - 72 the short and long of it.

40 - 72 you pick up a few more good talent points and the all mighty divine storm. Nothing more to report except what I have come to find out...

What I have learned about my class, while I leveled, help me later?
The short answer is: No. Nothing I could not have figured out in 10 minutes at a practice dummy, little bit of time on a spec blog, short time on developing macros with hit rotations.
The long answer is: There is two sides to every argument. In the case of leveling one side is for leveling as a way to best learn your class on your way to 80. In the case of starting at max level, where questing is not important, the game does not begin until you are 80. What you do at 80 in instances and raids is not what you did while questing. In fact you are going to do everything different at 80. Questing does not make you a better player.

How does killing 10 mobs, collecting 10 boxes, and delivering a letter prepare you for a raid?
The short answer is: It does not.
The long answer is: While questing is a nice source of gold, greens, and exploring the lay of the land. Questing helps in no way prepare you for instances or raids. In fact the only real skill questing teaches you to put the most damage out in the shortest amount of time. This can hurt you in a instance/raid by pulling aggro from the tank and wiping the raid. Blizzard needs to give players the option to start at either 80 or very very close to 80 if you already have an 80 on your account.

The instances/raids will be filled with bads who don't know how to play their class if given the option to start at 80 if you have an 80!
The short answer is: If you are a bad player with another 80 your going to be bad no matter what class you play.
The long answer is: No. How bad a person plays is directly tied to the player and not the class. For example you can get a skilled level 80 mage and give them access to a level 80 warlock. The skilled player will have mastered the warlock in a very short time. Another example is take a bad level 80 warrior and give them access to a level 80 death knight. The bad player is now playing the death knight badly. The learning curve is not directly tied to questing it tied to the player behind the keyboard.

All in all I have been pushing the same 4 buttons when questing. Not really a great way to learn my class now is it? The same holds true for every class I have played to 80. Blizzard recognizes the grind to 80 is boring with the addition of heirloom items with XP bonuses. Not to mention the level cap has only been raised to 85 in the next expansion. Perhaps the option to start at max level may be closer than we think.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Patch 3.2.2 download mirrors

Patch 3.2.2 was released today from Blizzard officially. Having a hard time getting the patch? Then why not get a patch that is hosted at a 3rd party? Let's highlight some of the security reasons this may be a bad idea....

1. 3rd party hosting sites don't have a vested interest in keeping data secure.
Sure they may have the storage and bandwidth to handle the load. But how closely can a 3rd party monitor a single file among 100s of thousands?

2. The file transfer to the 3rd party from Blizzard may not have been encrypted.
If data channels where not encrypted at the time of transfer. Then the data could have been compromised. When else could a key logger programmer have such a time to alter a patch?

3. Malware/spyware has poisoned your DNS.
When you click a link you can see where your downloading data from in the information bar. When your DNS is poisoned (location is really going to bad site) you may think your getting good data, but in fact you may be downloading some nasty malware/spyware.

Having worked in IT security for 10+ years I may just know a thing or three about security. So if you trust 3rd parties to patch the game you play 2 hours a night, have 5 charters on, and it would take days to recover. Then go for it. For myself I will be getting my patch directly from Blizzard.

Don't say I did not warn you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Simple economics is not so simple

The economy has been in a down turn the last couple of years and I can't help but feel the squeeze from every direction. Back when the economy was good it wasn't like cars were cheap, morgages were low, and the price of every day things were rock bottom. Now that the economy is in the pits prices have gone up and not down to reflect our status. It's like businesses are ringing the customer towel trying to get every drop of capital they can. Tollways have added 20 to 35 percent markup on tolls, my grocery bill has risen 8%, and I have not gotten a raise in 2 years. What businesses are missing is to maximize profit in a poor economy you need to move VOLUME and not raise the price.

For example lets say you're in the market to buy a t-shit and your budget is $20. Now you go down to the t-shirt store and the store had some t-shirts you really liked for $20 but they wanted to make some more money so they decided to raise the price to $25 for t-shirts. Well that $25 dollar t-shirt is now out of your price range so you go to another store. The store has lost 100% of their profit for the shirt. If the t-shirt store were to LOWER the price to say $15 they would move twice as many t-shirts and lose very little per shirt but gain a lot with volume.

The lesson here is lower your price, increase your volume, make more money. Another side lesson is the economy is not an excuse to raise prices as much as greed is. Check the prices on things when the economy does go back up and notice the lack of price reduction.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Leveling a Paladin 1- 40

Leveling a Paladin has never been easier than it is right now. Class mechanics of a the Paladin allow for reduced damage, total damage absorption, and total damage recovery. These are key when dealing with ANY pve and pvp situation. When questing you are going to get hit so the more armor and health you have the better off you are. I can go toe to toe with 4 mobs 3 levels higher than me and be perfectly OK. On my priest I would have been running for my life. So now you can take a hit. Can you put out the damage? Yes.

Retribution tree is all about putting out the damage. The Paladin class is all bout crits. Crit healing, crit absorption, and putting out crit damage. The ret tree has been reworked over so just about any combo of talent points you put in are going to be useful.

Glyph of seal of command is an awesome leveling glyph giving back 8% of mana when judging with it. Glpyh of judgment is nice too but look for it under 30 gold. These help so much.

Quest greens are OK when leveling but the fastest way to upgrade is the AH. When scanning the AH for upgrades search for "of the bear". Those items have a good amount of strength and stamina. Two key stats when leveling.

Hit rotation
Open up with Hand of Reckoning > Judgement of Light > Exorcism > finish with White Damage. The mob will be dead and you will be almost at full mana.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Being an avid gamer has enriched my life and allowed me to stay connected with family and friends. People I would have lost contact with if it were not for games. I not only socialize with my real life friends but also with my on-line friends. Watching movies/TV is nice but I would rather participate than view. The skills I have learned from gaming are...

1. Competitiveness
2. Strategy
3. Discipline
4. People networking
5. Computer networking
6. Computer enhancement

Gaming has kept me away from drugs, drinking too much, and hanging out with the wrong people. Also gaming has helped me earn a living, set goals, and modivate myself in every way. Because of games I have a wife, car, and house. I have traveled to different countries and around this great country we live in. I do recognize hard work leads to a positive goal. All this because of gaming.

Games make you a more efficient at what you do. Because they challenge your mind like your body gets challenged in the gym.

Thank you games.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pally Power

I have been leveling a Paladin with my brother the last 10 days. Before I go into detail I have leveled 4 toons to 80 with the priest being the hardest hands down. I tried leveling a Paladin before 3.0 to 70, at the time max level, but was board to tears. I even called ret speced Paladins "lolret" and wondered why they did not respec to tank or healer. Then came patch 3.0 and ret Paladins went from the worst DPS spec in the game straight to top. It was the ret Paladins revenge. After 3.0 came out I would run when I saw a ret Paladin. My my how things have changed for the ret Paladin. Paladins are a force to be reckoned with and feared, still, in BGs and world pvp.

Now let's review bonuses the Paladin class gets over other classes...
1. Can wear all armor in the game.
2. Can full heal every 20 minutes.
3. Can bubble and hearth/full heal every 5 minutes
4. Can reduce ALL damage by 50% for 12 seconds every 3 minutes
5. Can heal/restore mana with damage received and restore health on damage applied
6. Can heal without changing forms
7. Can move faster than anyone once mounted

Being able to wear ANY armor you find is massive advantage over other classes. With a large amount of gear available you will have no trouble gearing up in end game raids. Some DPS mail/leather drops and no one wants it? Take it for ret DPS set until you find DPS plate. Some healing mail/leather/cloth drops? Roll on it for your healing set. ANY plate drops and you have a chance at that too. Being armor versatile means you have options to upgrade faster.

These bonuses are HUGE on leveling and even bigger on PVP servers. When leveling anytime you can reduce downtime and decrease damage taken the time to level is going to be minimized greatly. On a pvp server there are always going to be gankers, greafers, and 80s waiting to take you out. Even an 80 won't be able to kill you once you bubble. A full heal, reduced all damage by 50%, is HUGE in pvp. How frustrating it has been over 5 years of going toe to toe with a Paladin only to see them heal to full, bubble heal to full, and then escape with a bubble hearth. Now it's my turn...

I have been rocking out a tanking Druid but after seeing the HUGE advantages Paladins have. I will be switching my main over to my Paladin once I hit 80. With little down time, reduced damage, great buffs, full heals, and bubble hearth. The Paladin is a very powerful class in all pve and pvp situations. I am seeing why the class is so popular and what other spells and skills they posses.

If you can't beat them...roll one.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

WTB class switch

Blizzard is offering up so many character re-customization options these days. Will Blizzard finial add the ultimate customization class switching? Many many players feel this would be a move in the right direction for the game. If you already have multiple level 80s rotting away because your sick of playing that class why not switch them over to something you want to try for $15? I am leveling a paladin right now to 80 and as much time as I have spent leveling I am sick of the grind. Everyone is sick of the grind to 80. There is almost zero fun in getting a quest, killing 10 spiders, and turning it in for the 1000th time. I already have the 80 so why not? Come on Blizzard take in a little more of my green and offer up a class switch service.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cataclysm - The WoW reset

If you have not turned your PC on in over 3 weeks, avoided checking any gaming and news websites, and not talked with any of your wow gaming buddies. The you have missed Blizzards announcement of it's next expansion titled Cataclysm. Take everything you know about wow and throw it out the window. None of what you know right now about professions, equipment, stats, classes, talents, guilds, ANYTHING will matter in 6-8 months. We are 2 maybe 3 patches away from facing down Aurthus himself in the final battle of Northrend and returning to Azeroth as champions. It feels like I just got to Northrend too. /sad panda

Let's go back to taking down Aurthus for a second. In previous expansions, even in the original world, end game raids were only accessible to the "hard core" raider. Blizzard has made end game more accessible by fixing our talents and making better gear more accessible. Who would want to play a game and not see the end? So a big thank you to you Blizzard for inserting more fun for the non hardcore gamer.

Cataclysm will raise the level cap to 85 and promises a slew of improvements. So now is the time to level that last alt to 80, level cap your professions, and finish any achievements you were wanting. Cataclysm is right around the corner. Are you ready?