Category Archives: Game Info

Loot Progression and Emblem Types

Some information has started to trickle out from Blizzard about the way loot will work in the next tier of raid content. Some of it’s what I expected, some of it surprises me.

Here’s some of what we know, now.

  • There will be a new Emblem type: the Emblem of Conquest.
  • You will be able to spend Emblems of Conquest on Deadly Gladiator gear in the same way you can spend Emblems of Valor on Hateful Gladiator Gear right now.
  • There will be a new boss in a new wing of the Vault of Archavon, who will be able to drop some, but not all, of the new top-tier PvP items (Furious Gladiator gear), random Honor items, and any of the T8 PvE set items.

(Source: this post by Kalgan.)

  • PvE gear progression is basically this: Naxx 10 < Naxx 25 = Ulduar 10 <Ulduar 25.
  • Ulduar-10 will have gear roughly equivalent to Naxx 25 in quality; you gear up for Ulduar-10 in Naxx-10.
  • (That said, Ulduar-10 will have 10-man T8, not recycled 25-man T7.)
  • Ulduar-25 will have gear that’s a step up from the iLvl 213 stuff from Naxx 25; you gear up for Ulduar-25 either in Naxx-25 or Ulduar-10.
  • There’s no mention of a new 10-man Emblem type.
  • The logical conclusion: Emblems of Heroism will continue to buy iLvl 200 stuff (equivalent to Heroic epics and T7.10), but there are no plans for new items at this level. Emblems of Valor will buy iLvl 213 stuff (T7.25 and T8.10). Emblems of Conquest will buy iLvl 226 stuff (T8.25).

(Sources: these posts from Bornakk: 1, 2, 3, 4)

In other words: there’s no benefit to hoarding your Emblems of Heroism, because you won’t be able to buy any new items with them. (I’m spending them on Ret gear.) Emblems of Valor, however, are worth saving for the T8 10-man gear, in case there are some decent sidegrades there.

Paladin Changes in 3.0.9

(I originally titled this post “Divine Plea Nerf Ahead of Schedule” but I thought that sounded too bitter.)

At the end of last week, I posted about the changes Blizzard announced for 3.1, including a nerf to Divine Plea (changing the healing penalty from 20% to 50%).

Not content to wait until 3.1, Blizzard continues the fine tradition of hasty nerfs to paladins (I sound bitter, don’t I?) by implementing this change in 3.0.9, which is going live this week with no PTR test time.

The paladin-relevant part:

  • The duration on all Seals has been increased to 30 minutes and can no longer dispelled.
  • Divine Plea: The amount healed by your spells is reduced by 50% (up from 20%) but the effect can no longer be dispelled.
  • Sanctified Seals: This talent no longer affects dispel resistance, but continues to affect crit chance.

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Holy Light — Your Holy Light grants 10% of its heal amount to up to 5 friendly targets within 8 yards of the initial target. (Down from 20 yards, Tooltip text fix, was already hotfixed to 8 yards in game)
  • Glyph of Seal of Righteousness — Increases the damage done by Seal of Righteousness by 10%. (Old – Reduces the cost of your Judgement spells by 10% while Seal of Righteousness is active.)

If you’re curious why I’m bitter about the Divine Plea change, this post provides some backstory. It’s not that I object to the nerf in principle; it’s the implementation. Blizzard has shown a tendency, lately, to nerf first and test later, and paladins have copped quite a lot of that. Rolling a significant nerf like this into an abrupt live patch release, weeks (if not months) ahead of the overall changes to mana regen mechanics for every other healing class, strikes me as unduly hasty. Again.

Best In Slot Holy Paladin Gear List, v.1

This post refers to gear that drops in 25-man raids. If you’re looking for a list of gear to get ready for raiding, you might be more interested in my Pre-Raid Holy Paladin Gear List instead.

This post aims to provide a nice ‘wishlist’ of holy pally gear to aim for. Let me say up front that if you think I’m wrong about a piece of gear, that’s fine; I know that balancing spellpower, crit, haste and intellect is a personal juggling act and nobody knows your playstyle better than you do.

A couple of points to note:

a) In my opinion, ideal paladin gear has intellect, crit, haste (within reason; excess haste is useless) and spellpower, and doesn’t waste item budget on less valuable stats like spirit or mp5. This obviously affects the selection of items I consider ‘best in slot’.

b) I won’t be recommending anything lower than mail armor, and even then I won’t be recommending a lot of that. The debate about holy paladins wearing cloth and leather rages on, but for my part: I’m a plate elitist, and I make no bones about recommending plate to other paladins.

So, on with the show.

Head

  1. Faceguard of the Succumbed, from Thaddius (and occasionally Gluth).
  2. Valorous Redemption Headpiece, from Kel’Thuzad. (T7 helm)

Faceguard of the Succumbed is the clear winner here, as it features a meta socket. The T7 helm has the meta socket, but unfortunately trades off the Faceguard’s 61 haste for an unappealing 20 mp5. The Helm of Diminished Pride from Maexxna/Gluth has huge crit and spellpower, but no meta socket and no haste, wasting its itemisation budget on mp5 instead.

Neck

  1. Life-Binder’s Locket, from the quest to kill Malygos in Heroic mode.
  2. Cosmic Lights, from Sapphiron.

Despite the mp5, the quest reward necks are excellent. Until you kill 25-man Malygos, however, the drop from Sapphiron is a very strong alternative.

Shoulder

  1. Valorous Redemption Spaulders, from Loatheb or Gluth or purchased with 60 Emblems of Valor. (T7 shoulders)
  2. Elevated Lair Pauldrons, from Malygos.
  3. Epaulets of the Grieving Servant, from Faerlina (and occasionally Gluth).

The Valorous Redemption Spaulders are marginally better than the other shoulders, partly because they’ve got a socket which makes them more flexible, and partly because they contribute towards getting the T7 set bonuses. The Elevated Lair Pauldrons are better than the Epaulets, as an iLevel 226 item, but they waste stats on mp5. They are an upgrade on spellpower compared with the other shoulders, but at this gearing level stacking spellpower is less valuable than stacking int, crit or haste.

Cloak

  1. Pennant Cloak, from Sartharion with 2 or 3 drakes up.
  2. Shroud of Luminosity, from Grobbulus, Gothik, Heigan and Maexxna.

The Pennant Cloak is far and away the strongest cloak for holy paladins currently in-game, and it’s likely to be hotly contested by other casters as well. In comparison, the Shroud is very accessible, and still a very good piece of kit.

Chest

  1. Chestplate of the Great Aspects, from Sartharion.
  2. Valorous Redemption Tunic, from Gluth. (T7 chest)

The Chestplate of the Great Aspects is ahead on every useful stat except Intellect. The T7 chest does have two sockets to the Chestplate’s one, adding greater flexibility, but it just doesn’t hold up.

Bracers

  1. Bands of Mutual Respect, from Instructor Razuvious (and occasionally Gluth).
  2. Bracers of Liberation, from Grobbulus (and occasionally Gluth).

The Bands, despite being mail, are significantly better than the next-best Bracers, largely thanks to their gem slot. The Abetment Bracers from Gothik/Gluth also have a socket, but they waste itemization budget on mp5 so are generally inferior to both bracers listed here.

Gloves

  1. Valorous Redemption Gloves, from Sartharion. (T7 gloves)
  2. Rescinding Grips, from Anub’Rekhan (and occasionally Gluth)

The T7 gloves are best in slot here; they beat the Rescinding Grips partly thanks to the gem slot that makes them more flexible, and partly due to their contribution towards the set bonuses. The Rescinding Grips are good alternatives until you get the Tier token, though.

Belt

  1. Waistguard of Divine Grace, from Patchwerk (and occasionally Gluth).
  2. Girdle of Recuperation, from Razuvious (and occasionally Gluth).

These two items are all but identical, with interchangeable crit and haste ratings. Pick the one featuring the stat you’re stacking.

Legs

  1. Valorous Redemption Greaves, from Thaddius or Gluth, or bought with 75 Emblems of Valor. (T7 legs)
  2. Leggings of Voracious Shadows, from Gluth.

Again, the T7 legs are best in slot; they have marginally more of all the appealing stats, better socket colors, and they’re part of the Tier set. What’s not to love? And best of all, you can buy them with Emblems if the RNG hates you.

Boots

  1. Poignant Sabatons, from Noth the Plaguebringer (and occasionally Gluth).

Really, there’s no competition for these at all, and they’re BoE so you can look for them on your AH.

Rings

  1. Signet of Manifested Pain, from Kel’Thuzad.
  2. Seized Beauty, from Anub’Rekhan, Patchwerk, Faerlina, Noth and Razuvious.
  3. Band of Channeled Magic, bought with 25 Emblems of Valor.
  4. Titanium Spellshock Ring, crafted by Jewelcrafters.

The Signet from Kel’thuzad is literally the only 25-man ring with all the stats you want and none of the ones you don’t; Seized Beauty is next-best, although the mp5 instead of Haste is something of a waste. The other two rings are reasonable substitutes, although I wouldn’t spend emblems on the purchased ring if you have regular access to Kel’Thuzad.

Trinkets

  1. Illustration of the Dragon Soul, from Sartharion.
  2. Soul of the Dead, from Sapphiron.
  3. Forethought Talisman, from Maexxna, Heigan, Gothik, and Grobbulus.
  4. Darkmoon Card: Greatness, from the Darkmoon Nobles Deck.
  5. Je’Tze’s Bell, BoE world drop.
  6. Embrace of the Spider, from 10-man Maexxna and Gluth.

Trinket selection is a tricky business, as they all have different effects. To be honest, this is one area where I haven’t done enough research to feel comfortable saying that X is better than Y. Input welcome, and I’ll update the post with more guidelines.

Speaking personally, I’m after Illustration of the Dragon Soul and Soul of the Dead.

Weapon

  1. The Turning Tide, from Kel’Thuzad.
  2. Hammer of the Astral Plane, from 10-man Kel’Thuzad.
  3. Life and Death, from Gothik and Gluth.

The Turning Tide is an amazingly good holy paladin weapon; unfortunately, it’s also amazingly good for mages and warlocks, and you’ll have to beat them off with a stick. In the meantime, the other two weapons are both solid all-rounders with a healthy amount of each desirable attribute.

Shield

  1. Voice of Reason, from Kel’Thuzad.
  2. Aegis of Damnation, from 10-man Maexxna and Gluth.

Obviously, Voice of Reason is the stand-out winner here.

Libram

  1. Libram of Renewal, bought with 15 Emblems of Heroism.
  2. Libram of Tolerance, from Patchwerk and Gluth.

Libram use tends to be very situational, but the 10-man Libram of Renewal is a more generally useful choice than the 25-man, except in rare situations where you need high throughput more than mana conservation.

The T7 Set Bonus
I’m assuming here that you’re going to want the four-piece Tier 7 set bonus from your Redemption Regalia, since Holy Light is such an integral part of how we heal in WotLK.

The Tier 7 pieces are already best in slot for shoulders, gloves and legs, which means you have to use either the helm or the chest to get your socket bonus. Looking at what you’re giving up (and for comparison’s sake I’ll assume in all cases you’re socketing items with +16 Int yellow gems).

It’s your choice as to which sacrifice you prefer to make.

Mana Regen Nerf Incoming

Just posted on the WoW forums by Bornakk:

As we have suggested, we have become concerned that mana regeneration is currently too powerful, especially for healers. We want players to have to keep an eye on mana. We don’t want you to go out of mana every fight, but running out of mana should be a very real risk for sloppy playing or attempting content that you aren’t yet ready for. When mana regeneration is trivial then certain parts of the game break down – classes that offer Replenishment are devalued, stats that offer mana regeneration are devalued, and spells that are efficient are neglected in preference to spells with high throughput.

Here are a list of changes you are likely to see in 3.1. They will be available to try out on the PTR. Mana regeneration is somewhat technical, so please bear with us.

  • Regeneration while not casting (outside of the “five second rule”) will be decreased. We think that (1) the ability to cast heal over time spells and then sit back and (2) benefitting from a clearcasting proc that also gets you out of the five second rule both provide too much mana regeneration, even over short time periods.

  • To make this change, we are reducing mana regeneration granted by Spirit across the board. However we are also boosting the effects of talents such as Meditation that increase regeneration while casting. The net result should be that your regeneration while casting will stay about the same, but your not-casting regeneration will be reduced. This change will have little impact on dps casters, since they are basically always casting.
  • The specific talents and abilities being boosted are: Arcane Meditation, Improved Spirit Tap, Intensity, Mage Armor, Meditation, Pyromaniac and Spirit Tap. Yes this makes these “mandatory” talents even more mandatory, if such a thing is possible.
  • Since paladins rely less on Spirit as a mana-regeneration stat, we have to address them in other ways. We don’t want to change Illumination or Replenishment. However, we are going to increase the healing penalty on Divine Plea from 20% to 50%. Divine Plea was originally intended to help Protection and Retribution paladins stay full on mana. It should be a decision for Holy paladins, not something that is automatically used every cooldown.
  • In addition, we are also changing the way Spiritual Attunement works. In situations with a large amount of outgoing raid damage, as well as in PvP, this passive ability was responsible for more mana regeneration than we would like. We want to keep the necessary benefit it grants to tanking Protection paladins, while making it less powerful for Holy paladins in PvP or raid encounters with a lot of group damage.
  • We are also taking a close look at clearcasting procs themselves. One likely outcome is to change them to an Innervate-like surge of mana so that the net benefit is the same, but healers won’t shift to out-of-casting regeneration so often.
  • We balance around the assumption that even 10-player groups have someone offering Replenishment. To make this even easier on players we are likely to offer this ability to additional classes, as well as make sure that existing sources of Replenishment are more equitable.
  • These changes are ultimately being done to bring the different healing classes more in line with each other as well as to give the encounter team more leeway when designing encounters, who can balance with these new mana regeneration numbers in mind. In a world with infinite healer mana, the only way to challenge healers is with increasingly insane amount of raid damage, so that global cooldowns become the limiting factor since mana fails to be. An example is the Eredar Twins in late Sunwell. We weren’t necessarily happy with that model, and this change hopefully allows us to move towards giving healing a more deliberate and thoughtful pace rather than frenetic spam.

Paladin-relevant parts bolded by me.

I’m not running around QQing about this just yet, until I see some reasoned analysis of the changes, or try it out for myself on the PTR. But you should be aware it’s coming, and I’d recommend analysing your use of Divine Plea to see what it’d feel like if your healing was cut in half when you used it; to keep an eye out for less healing-intensive moments to trigger it.

Holy Paladin Glyph Choice

An essential part of playing a spec is choosing the right glyphs to support your spell use. Here’s a quick guide to the best glyphs for Holy Paladins, current as of patch 3.0.8. (I originally covered holy paladin glyphs here and here; however, those posts are out of date since the changes during the WotLK beta and in patch 3.0.8.)

Major Glyphs: Your Choices

Glyph of Holy Light
Your Holy Light grants 10% of its heal amount to up to 5 friendly targets within 8 yards of the initial target.

This is an excellent PvE glyph; at no cost, it turns your bomb heal into a mini-AoE which is great for topping up melee in a clustered fight. It’s had a bit of a history; it started in 3.0.2 as a 5-yard range AoE, which was increased to 20 yards in 3.0.8 and then hotfixed down to 8 yards within two days.

Glyph of Flash of Light
Your Flash of Light has an additional 5% critical strike chance.

This is a solid performer. On one hand, Flash of Light is economical enough that you don’t really need the mana return from a crit, and with Sacred Shield up you’re probably critting 80% of the time anyway. However, a couple of crit Flashes of Light will give a big, fast boost to a tank’s health, and more throughput is never a bad thing.

Glyph of Seal of Light
While Seal of Light is active, the effect of your healing spells is increased by 5%.

This is great to use for increasing throughput, obviously, although it does have the downside of preventing you from using Seal of Wisdom and autoattacking between casts to regenerate mana.

Glyph of Seal of Wisdom
While Seal of Wisdom is active, the cos of your healing spells is reduced by 5%.

This is a good starter glyph to improve mana conservation, which can be an issue for healing paladins early in the gearing process. When combined with a high crit rate, and gear like the Libram of Renewal, you can pump out a lot of healing for a surprisingly low mana cost.

Glyph of Divinity
Your Lay on Hands also grants you as much mana as it grants your target.

This can be very useful in the event of a mana shortage, particularly given that potion use is now very restricted. It works particularly well with a minor glyph listed below. Of note, despite some ambiguous wording it does return mana to you when you cast it on a target without mana (ie a rogue, warrior or death knight); if you cast it on yourself, it returns double the mana, giving you effectively a free mana potion. The mana restoration is also independent of the actual amount healed.

Glyph of Cleansing
Reduces the mana cost of your Cleanse and Purify spells by 20%.

This is the least useful of the holy Glyphs; even in arenas the limiting factor on cleansing is generally GCDs, rather than mana. If post-T7 raid content sees a huge return to decursing fights, this might come into its own, but generally it’s the weakest glyph and I’d avoid using it.

What about Glyph of Spiritual Attunement?

If you’re doing a lot of fights where you take large amounts of damage, and you can rely on someone else to heal you back to full health before you die (which is not necessarily a helpful thing to expect of your healing team), then this glyph can provide a reasonable source of mana return. However, given that Blizzard have stated they want to move away from ‘All AoE, All The Time’ fights, this glyph is likely to be situational at best, and there are far more generally-useful options to choose from.

Minor Glyphs: Your Choices

Recommendations

When you’re just starting out at 80, I’d recommend the following:
Majors: Glyph of Holy Light, Glyph of Seal of Wisdom and Glyph of Divinity.
Minors: Glyph of the Wise, Glyph of Lay on Hands, and dealer’s choice for your third minor. (I used Glyph of Sense Undead to help a bit with questing.)

This gives you a nice AoE effect from Holy Light, mana longevity as long as you have Seal of Wisdom up (which is made cheaper by the minor glyph), and a really nice mana regen effect from your Lay on Hands – top up your mana when you’re using Lay on Hands as an emergency heal, or get a whole mana potion’s worth if you use it on yourself. (Obviously, the minor glyph helps here.)

Once you’re better-geared and mana isn’t an issue, I would recommend:

  • Leave your Holy Light (major) and Sense Undead (minor) Glyphs in place.
  • Replace the Glyph of Seal of Wisdom (major) with Glyph of Seal of Light, and replace the Glyph of the Wise (minor) with Glyph of Blessing of Kings if you’re one of the unlucky Holy paladins who needs to spec for Kings.
  • Replace the Glyph of Divinity (major) with Glyph of Flash of Light; leave the minor Lay on Hands glyph in place. You can still use LoH as a mana restore by casting it on yourself, of course, though you’ll only get normal mana return rather than the double helping you’d get if you still had the major glyph.

These changes will generally improve your throughput significantly at the expense of mana efficiency. If you’re still having problems with mana, stick with the original suggestions. You can, of course, tweak your Glyphs differently – for instance, I know a paladin who has both of the major Seal glyphs, because the other healer in his 10-man team dies a lot so he winds up switching between Seals depending on whether he needs output or longevity.

But Isn’t The Flash of Light Glyph BAD?

No, it’s not. It used to be problematic; before Patch 3.0.8 its effect was: “Your Flash of Light heals for 50% less initially, but also heals for 140% of its inital effect over 12 sec.” Most paladins refused to use this, because it rendered Flash of Light incredibly inefficient if you cast it on the same target within twelve seconds, leaving us with only Holy Light (huge and inefficient) as a spammable heal.

Blizzard clearly agreed that it wasn’t valuable enough, and changed the effect; now it’s a flat 5% bonus to Flash of Light’s crit rate, which is much more useful.

One (More) Good Reason To Play The Lunar Festival, Again

Last year, I wrote about the usefulness of the festival dumplings compared with conjured manna biscuits.

Let’s look at it again compared with the level 80 Conjured Mana Strudel. It restores 15000 health and 12960 mana over 30 seconds, whereas the Festival Dumplings restore 4% of your health and 3% of your mana per second for 25 seconds, for a total of 100% of your health and 75% of your mana.

So: if your health is more than 15000, or your mana is more than 17820, the festival dumplings will return more health or mana than the strudel – and it will do it five seconds faster, too!

Since everyone’s going to be flush with coins of ancestry after visiting all those elders for the achievements, if you’re not a tailor or engineer you may as well buy some tasty, tasty dumplings!

Holy Paladin Raiding Consumables, WotLK Version

As with previous guides, two things to note:

  1. I’m recommending consumables that give you a good balance of stats, where feasible. If you’re very well-geared in one area and need to boost a specific stat, you can make your own choices.
  2. My recommendations are specific for holy paladins. If you’re a priest, all those +Spirit consumables I wrote off are great for you. If you’re a protection paladin trying to heal, anything with spell crit is relatively useless and you’re looking for all the mp5 you can get. Et cetera.

In addition, this guide is for consumables buffing your primary function: healing. Occasionally you might need to use consumables to increase your stamina, resistances or other stats; however, they’re outside the scope of this guide.

Potions

Potions are a lot less useful in WotLK than in TBC, thanks to the new mechanic whereby you can only take one potion per combat, regardless of cooldown. Still, they shouldn’t be dismissed. Your options:

Mana & Health Restoration
These are all affected by alchemist-only Alchemist Stone trinkets, increasing their mana/health restoration effects by 40%, unless otherwise mentioned.

Runic Mana Potion. This stacks to 5; combine 20 of them with a Mana Injector Kit to create Runic Mana Injectors, which are exactly the same as the potions except they stack to 20. You should always carry at least some mana potions, for OOM moments.

Runic Healing Potion and its Injector equivalent, Runic Healing Injector. If your mana regen isn’t reliant on potions – and it shouldn’t be, in WotLK – then these are often a more useful tool for low health “oh crap!” moments. You should always take at least some to a raid with you.

Powerful Rejuvenation Potions can be a useful option, but you’re likely to find they don’t restore enough of either health or mana to be worth using. These may not be affected by an Alchemist’s Stone. (Anyone know?)

Potion of Nightmares lasts for six seconds, and (unlike the old Dreamless Sleep potions) can’t be cleansed off you accidentally by a clueless raider trying to be helpful. It restores 5400 health and mana in three ticks; if you can’t get all three ticks you’re better off using a Runic potion instead. You can move to interrupt the effect if you desperately need to heal, but that will waste a tick or two.

Crazy Alchemist’s Potion is currently a random effect between buffs or health/mana restoration; in Patch 3.0.8 (going live today) it’s being changed to always restore health & mana, with random side-effects. These are Alchemist-only, and are currently not affected by the Alchemist’s Stone trinkets.

Other Potions
These share the same one-per-combat limitation as health & mana potions, but are a very good alternative if you’re not relying on Mana potions for regen purposes.

Potion of Speed – a great throughput potion for those ‘clutch heal’ moments, where you have to crank out a lot of healing very, very fast.

Potion of Wild Magic – similarly, good for boosting throughput at a critical moment.

Your choice between the potions is best made with reference to your own gear – for instance, if you’re already high on Haste, you might be better choosing the Wild Magic potion. However, whichever you prefer, everyone should carry a stack of one of these for emergency healing moments. (Unless you’re cruising through farm content that’s trivial for you, in which case you’re probably not using full consumables anyway.)

Flasks and Elixirs

You can use either one flask, or two elixirs (one battle elixir and one guardian elixir). Generally, two elixirs is more effective than one flask, but a flask lasts through death where an elixir doesn’t, making them economical for progression raiding.

If you’re an alchemist, you’ll get increased effect and/or duration from the Mixology effect when you’re using flasks or elixirs you can make yourself.

Flasks

Two choices here: the Flask of the Frost Wyrm for throughput, or the Flask of Pure Mojo for mana longevity. As a general rule, throughput is probably more important, but if you’re having troubles with going OOM consider switching to the Pure Mojo flask.

Edit: Two commenters have reminded me of the Flask of Distilled Wisdom, which is a pre-TBC-level recipe. If you still have access to the mats, this flask can be a better regen option than the Pure Mojo flask – if you have the right raid composition. Based on the maths outlined in this post, Distilled Wisdom beats Pure Mojo if you have access to a resto shaman and better than 72% Replenishment uptime. If you don’t have a resto shaman, or can’t rely on getting reliable Replenishment, the Flask of Pure Mojo is still better for regen purposes (although Distilled Wisdom also adds spellpower and crit chance).

Battle Elixirs

Your options:

Your choice is really up to you, depending on your balance of stats and what you need to boost. As a rule of thumb, I would recommend using the Spellpower Elixir while you’re still gearing up; once you’re reasonably well-geared, use the Haste or Crit elixirs instead, as they still boost your throughput and also enable you to respond faster when things go wrong.

Guardian Elixirs

Your choices:

Looking purely at the regen effects of Intellect, the principles outlined in this post tell us that: if you have a resto shaman in your raid and at least 50% Replenishment uptime, 45 Intellect is better than 24 mp5. The more access to Replenishment you have (more shadow priests, survival hunters and retribution paladins), the greater the relative value of Intellect. With 90% Replenishment uptime, the Intellect is worth just under 28 mp5 – plus it boosts your spellpower and crit chance to boot.

If you have no resto shammy, and none of the Replenishment specs in your raid, 45 Intellect is worth about 16 mp5. Under those conditions, you’re probably better off with the mp5 elixir; otherwise, choose the Intellect elixir.

Buff Foods

Now this is where you’re spoilt for choice.

There are four types of food buffs that might be of interest to you: Spellpower, Haste, Crit or mp5. Each food buff comes in greater and lesser versions; the stats of the greater version are higher, but making these foods requires doing the cooking dailies for the recipes, and ingredients that only come from the cooking dailies (or for a premium on the auction house). For each buff type and size, there’s one food from fishing and one from land-based mobs.

All of these food buffs are comparable, and you’re best off choosing a food buff that balances your stats. Speaking personally, I use the 12 mp5 food as a cheap stam buff food for trash and easy bosses, and the 40 Haste or 40 Crit buff food on boss fights as appropriate.

Spellpower:
46 Spellpower & 40 Stamina: Firecracker Salmon, Tender Shoveltusk Steak, Fish Feast
35 Spellpower & 40 Stamina: Smoked Salmon, Shoveltusk Steak, Great Feast

Haste Rating:
40 Haste Rating & 40 Stamina: Imperial Manta Steak, Very Burnt Worg
30 Haste Rating & 40 Stamina: Baked Manta Ray, Roasted Worg, Shoveltusk Soup (available only as a quest reward),

Crit Rating:
40 Crit Rating & 40 Stamina: Spicy Blue Nettlefish, Spiced Wyrm Burger
30 Crit Rating & 30 Stamina: Poached Nettlefish, Wyrm Delight, Succulent Orca Stew (available only as a quest reward),

mp5:
16 mp5 & 40 Stamina: Spicy Fried Herring, Mighty Rhino Dogs
12 mp5 & 40 Stamina: Pickled Fangtooth, Rhino Dogs

Other Foods

These aren’t buff food, but worth mentioning anyway: if you’re going to be fishing for the raw materials for the above buff foods, you may find it useful to stock up on the fish used to make Grilled Bonescale, Sauteed Goby, or Smoked Rockfin. All three foods give the same amount of mana and health as the Conjured Mana Strudel from mage tables, and it can be handy to carry a stack of the cooked fish as an alternative for when you don’t have a mage on hand for free strudel. (Particularly useful for 10-man raid groups who may not have regular access to a mage.)

Jewelcrafting Dailies

More of my Google traffic comes from ‘jewelcrafting dailies’ than any other single search term, so obviously people are looking for some good information. Hope this helps.

Unlike most other tradeskills, there’s a daily quest for Jewelcrafters to complete. Each daily rewards you with 13.23 gold (or 7.4 gold and 12,650 experience if you’re doing it before level 80), 25 Kirin Tor reputation, and the most important thing: a Dalaran Jewelcrafter’s Token. These tokens are essential to acquire for any serious jewelcrafter; they’re used to purchase most of the core rare-quality gem cuts (for more on the cuts available in WotLK, see this post). The tokens are also used to buy recipes for high-quality crafted necklaces and rings, as well as the raw gems for JC-only cuts.

The Questgiver

All of the quests come from one NPC, Timothy Jones in Dalaran. He’s also the main Jewelcrafting Trainer.

Jewelcrafting Trainer Location

The Quests

You can’t do the daily quests until you’ve completed a basic starter quest from Timothy called Finish the Shipment, which just asks you to take him a raw Chalcedony gem. The quest is available at level 65 and requires 375 Jewelcrafting skill.

Once you’ve completed that, Timothy gives one daily quest a day, selected randomly from the following list:

Each quest involves combining a quest item from a Northrend mob with two different uncommon-quality raw gems. As with the starter quest, the dailies are available at level 65 and require 375 Jewelcrafting skill.

Note that there’s no actual crafting involved; once you have the quest item and the gems, just right-click the quest item to combine it into the final hand-in.

The gem requirements are balanced, in that if you did all six quests once each, you’d need two of each type of uncommon gem.

Blood Jade Amulet

The quest item drops off any Vrykul in Northrend.

  • Easiest for low-level JCs: vrykul around Kaskala in Borean Tundra, or outside Valgarde in Howling Fjord.
  • Closest to Dalaran for high-level JCs: vrykul in Ymirheim in Icecrown, or Valkyrion in Storm Peaks.
  • Can combine with: a run through Utgarde Keep or Utgarde Pinnacle, as it can drop from the Vrykul in there, or the various daily quests for Ymirheim (from Orgrim’s Hammer/the Skybreaker) or Valkyrion (from Brunnhildar Village).

Bright Armor Relic

Northrend Revenants

The quest item drops off elementals in Northrend.

The quest description says the item comes from revenants, the new style of elemental mob found in Northrend, but other elementals do carry them as well.

  • Easiest for low-level JCs: Ice Revenants at the frozen lake east of Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight, .
  • Closest to Dalaran for high-level JCs: Crystalline Ice Elementals in the North of Dragonblight.
  • Can combine with: farming in Wintergrasp, the Hot and Cold daily quest for Sons of Hodir, a Halls of Lightning run, or any number of other quests.

Glowing Ivory Figurine

The quest item drops off any shoveltusk in Northrend.

  • Easiest for low-level JCs: shoveltusk packs all over Howling Fjord.
  • Closest to Dalaran for high-level JCs: shoveltusk packs all over Howling Fjord.
  • Can combine with: not much. Farming for meat, perhaps, if you’re a cook.

Intricate Bone Figurine

The quest item drops off any proto-drake, small or large, in Northrend.

  • Easiest for low-level JCs: Proto-Whelps in the Ember Clutch in Howling Fjord.
  • Closest to Dalaran for high-level JCs: Stormpeak Wyrms in the centre of Storm Peaks.
  • Can combine with: an Utgarde Keep run.

Shifting Sun Curio

The quest item drops off any ‘scourge mob’ in Northrend. This basically means almost all undead. Check this list to see who drops it.

  • Easiest for low-level JCs: take your pick, seriously.
  • Closest to Dalaran for high-level JCs: mobs south-east of Mordrethar in Icecrown, or ghouls around Galakrond’s Rest in Dragonblight.
  • Can combine with: Ahn’Kahet, Drak’Tharon Keep, CoT: Stratholme, Utgarde Keep, Utgarde Pinnacle, Naxxramas, or any number of daily quests.

Wicked Sun Brooch

The quest item drops off any iron dwarf in Northrend.

  • Easiest for low-level JCs: the iron dwarves in Giants’ Run in Howling Fjord.
  • Closest to Dalaran for high-level JCs: Stormforged Dwarves around the Temple of Storms in Storm Peaks.
  • Can combine with: nothing significant.

Damaged Necklaces: The Non-Daily Repeatable

Apart from the daily quests listed above, there is one way to get Dalaran Jewelcrafter’s Tokens. Acquire a Damaged Necklace (which is a BoE drop, and usually sells on the AH for hundreds of gold), and use it to start the quest. The quest asks you to repair the necklace using an uncut chalcedony, and then return it to Timothy Jones.

Unsurprisingly, the Damaged Necklaces are as rare as hen’s teeth, and will possibly cost you an arm and a leg on your realm’s AH. (They’re 600g or more on my server’s Alliance AH, for instance.) However, if you’re desperate for extra tokens and you just can’t wait, they’re your only option.

Item Changes in 3.0.8

A few of the items I recommended in my Pre-Raid Healadin Gear Guide are seeing some changes next patch, and they’re worth looking at. (Source: this MMO-Champion thread.)

  • The Titansteel Guardian is being nerfed; its spellpower is being reduced from 490 to 457. Other stats are unchanged. It’s still an excellent mace, and worth getting if you can’t get your hands on something better, but it’s now a less competitive alternative if you do have the War Mace of Unrequited Love from Heroic Keristrasza.
  • Je’Tze’s Bell is becoming BoE. That’s a damn nice trinket, although I suspect prices are going to be sky-high.

Carry on!

Two Wintergrasp Tips

Two handy Wintergrasp tips for you:

  • It’s a great place to get the With A Little Helper From My Friends achievement. WG is one place where it’s fairly easy to get a lot of HKs without getting repeatedly killed by the other side, provided you’re smart and you use cover and teamwork appropriately. It’s easier if you’re the defending team, of course. And best of all, there’s no deserter debuff – if you loseWeight Exercise your gnomeness halfway into the match, just nip out, regnomify yourself, and get back in there to finish the battle. I got all my kills in about 25 minutes of a defending WG this morning.
  • If you’re a healer, you can heal from the back of a moving siege engine. I had always assumed it would be impossible for spells with a cast time, that you’d get prevented due to movement, or that you’d be locked out from doing anything when you’re a passenger. But no! Protected by the tank, and free to cast to my heart’s content? I have a new favourite hobby.