Tag Archives: websites

Learn 2 Ret!

A lot of Holy paladins dally with Ret when they’re not busy raiding, and with good reason: Ret has never been more fun, dynamic, interesting or well-balanced.

However, for the dedicated Holy paladin, Ret is quite a shift in approach, gearing, playstyle, the works. It takes a while to learn your way around this very different, very fun, playstyle.

For a while now, Josh over at Eye For An Eye has been my definitive go-to source for learning how to play a Ret paladin, and how not to. He’s now teamed up with an Enhancement shaman blogger (Stoneybaby of Windfury Crits) and a Rogue blogger (Zaltu of One Rogue’s Journey) to offer a new, definitive melee DPS source: Big Hit Box, a collaborative melee DPS blog.

I look forward to learning how to not suck as Ret. :)

Link Round-Up

A few links wot I recommend:

Josh of Eye For An Eye has posted an excellent guide to playing Retribution in Wrath – for those of you planning on picking up PvE Ret as your second spec, this is pretty much invaluable, especially if your last experience with Ret was back before Molten Core like mine was.

As a counterpart, Ferraro’s blog Paladin Schmaladin provides a good analysis of talents for Ret paladins; if you’re trying to L2Ret, this is a good summary of the decisions you should be making – and the reasons why.

On a non-Paladin note, I recently stumbled across Artisan Level, a general WoW and Guild Leading blog that I’m really enjoying; great writing and relevant – if fairly non-specific – content. You can find it at oriniwen.wordpress.com.

For the longest time, I thought I hated world PvP, and the idea of a PvP zone in Northrend filled me with ‘meh’. But on a whim I tried a couple of games of Lake Wintergrasp and found I really, really enjoyed it! If you’re interested in checking it out, Mooonfire! has written an excellent guide: “Ten Things I Think You Should Know About Wintergrasp”. It’s definitely worth a read; some Wintergrasp mechanics aren’t at all clear when you first try it out, and a guide like this is a great help.

And one last link useful for anyone who’s likely to be tanking – or off-tanking. Honor of Honor’s Code has written a useful guide to tanking caps in WotLK – uncrittability, the block cap, the hit cap and the Expertise cap. Dedicated tankadins probably know all this, but it’s a handy reference for those of us who are, at best, part-time tanks looking to work on our offspec gearing.

Another Useful WoW Tool: TalentChic

I got an email about this from David, the site owner, a couple of weeks ago, and I haven’t blogged about it yet due to the deluge of 3.0.2-related posts and playtime. Thanks for the headsup, David!

TalentChic is very interesting; it looks at armory data to determine the most popular specific spec choices for each class/spec option, and then it gives you an ordered list of alternative specs, in order of popularity.

For example, apparently 51/5/5 is currently the most popular holy paladin build (a pretty much by-the-numbers Holy build, plus Kings from Prot and Benediction from Ret), with 54/7/0 and 56/5/0 following close behind.

For possibly the first time ever, however, there are more Ret pallies than Holy or Prot pallies – the premier Holy build is beaten by two different Ret builds, and Prot doesn’t make an appearance until #15 on the list. (I bet that will change, though; even apart from the upcoming nerfs, I suspect a lot of those ret pallies are usually healers or tanks, slapping on the DPS gear and owning it up in battlegrounds for some relaxation before Wrath hits.)

The Caveat
Bear in mind that the site tells us:

We don’t just look at any old character though! We have spent the last few months finding the best players in all parts of the game (according to their gear). Since patch 3.0.2 released, we have furiously been scanning the armory to find what talent specs these top players have chosen.

Now, apart from the fact that we don’t know how they determine someone is a ‘top player’ (average ilvl of gear? arena rating? membership of a guild clearing X much content? T5 gear? Sunwell gear?) there’s a factor to bear in mind: endgame play is not necessarily the same as pre-endgame play (and I don’t mean at the level cap vs. levelling, either).

To use an example from holy paladin gameplay: in raids like Karazhan, Holy Paladin play is generally Flash-of-Light spam, with the occasional Holy Light for spikes, and regen generally comes from mp5-based talents and gear. As you move through the tiers of progression, Holy Light becomes more and more essential, and spellcrit (via Illumination) takes over as the main source of mana return. In the real endgame – Sunwell Plateau – spellhaste is essential, and mana efficiency is less of a concern. So, a Sunwell paladin is going to want to maximise spell haste and spellpower from their talents, someone in late Tier 5 content is going to be looking hungrily at all that crit rating in the first few tiers of Retribution, while someone in Karazhan is going to be worrying about mana efficiency. Obviously, that’s a broad generalisation – and it’s not entirely accurate now 3.0.2’s gone live, either – but you can see how a Sunwell healadin wouldn’t go anywhere without Judgements of the Pure, while a paladin in T5-ish content is going to be more excited about Conviction and Sanctified Seals. That said, that doesn’t mean the site is only useful for endgame players – far from it! Just make sure to think about the talents the popular builds don’t take, and whether you need them.

The Bottom Line
This site has a lot of potential to be very useful – both to keep an eye on new developments for your class, and to look for inspiration when you’re changing your build. Frankly, I think it’ll be even more useful for alts – let’s face it, most people who do research their class know their mains pretty well by now, but when your new alt hits 70 (or 80) and you want to start instancing or raiding with them, this is a great way to instantly tap into common consensus about the class.

Just make sure to bear in mind the caveats: look at the builds the site’s suggesting, and make sure you’re not missing out on important talents for the content you’re doing. And, of course, a million people can, in fact, be wrong. ;-)

Alltop, the (WoW) Magazine Rack

I hadn’t actually heard of Alltop until the WoW subsite launched and Matt posted about it, but now I’ve taken a look I like the concept. Alltop presents a selection of recent posts from a number of editor-selected blogs on an issue, allowing you to browse like you would at a magazine rack. It’s a good concept, especially for people who don’t tend to read blogs via feed readers, and I was very proud to find that Banana Shoulders is featured as one of the blogs there.

If you’re interested, you can find out more at worldofwarcraft.alltop.com!

Link Round-Up II

Some useful links for your day, in bite-sized chunks:

Bre of Gun Lovin’ Dwarf Chick has a very useful list of pre-raid gear guides, by class and spec. She’s kieeping it updated, too.

Seri of World of Snarkcraft has a great guide to reputations. It’s aimed at priests, but there’s a very useful roundup of all the major Northrend factions in there as well. Wynthea over at World of Matticus just made a similar post, too, so between those two your rep-guide needs should be covered.

Last week, Anna of Too Many Annas posted a great rant about why dual specs aren’t the answer to healer DPS woes. I echo that — when I gripe about holy paladin DPS, people feel compelled to point out that healers shouldn’t be able to do great DPS. All I want, though, is parity with the other freshly-DPS-buffed healing specs.

There’s a meme circulating the WoW-blogosphere at the moment: the noble and virile Ratshag, of Need More Rage tagged me to answer: who was the first commenter on your first post? Well, my first commenter was my old friend Leafshine, welcoming me to the ranks of WoW bloggers. It’s his fault that I’m WoW-blogging at all, in fact.

Although I love healing, it’s not without its problems and frustrations. This thread on the official forums (relinked from a recent post by Anna) does an excellent job of summarizing the main frustrations of the role.

New Blog Recommendation: I’m really enjoying Binary Colors, from a RPing paladin on Feathermoon-US. I don’t RP in-game, although I do think about how in-game events would affect my characters, and I’m a veteran player of pen-and-paper RPGs. Binary Colors is, I’m finding, insightful and interesting and funny.

Isle of Quel’Danas Progression

By now, all servers should be well into the world event to unlock the village on the Isle of Quel’Danas. If you’re interested in your server’s progression compared with the rest of the world – or you want to check on your server’s progress without logging into the game – there’s a handy website collating all the data.

Check out the leaderboards for US realms and EU realms at Gorgonnash.

(I’m particularly proud as my server, US-Proudmoore, as we’re top of the US charts. As I write, we’re currently at 35% of the way through Phase 2 and 60% of the way through the Portal; the nearest competitor is US-Medivh on 32% and 55% respectively. Pwnmoore, excelling at PvE grindfests since 2004!)

WoW Character Watch

I’ve got a big post half-written at the moment, but I’ll interrupt that to make a quick website recommendation:

WoW Character Watch, a website developed and offered by Alinden of Moar HP Than Jesus, provides a handy service for anyone interested in keeping track of their friends, enemies, and anyone else. (The tagline is “We watch so you don’t have to.”)

Sign up at the site and you can create a Watch List; every 24 hours, WCW checks the Armory for changes to characters on your watch list. It reports changes in gear, skill levels, character level and guild. Keep track of your friends’ progress; keep an eye on that troublemaker ex-guildie!

Just a note; it’s currently in beta so there may be a few kinks. A contact form will be up within 24 hours; in the meantime, if you have any problems, head over to Alinden’s blog and report them there.

Also note that I believe it’s limited to the US Armory at present, although EU functionality will be added shortly.

Edit: The Armory may be blocking it at present; a few people have reported issues with not being able to look up their characters. If you suffer that, leave a comment here and I’ll make sure the dev sees it.

Edit 2: It should now be working fine again, and EU support has been added.

Blog Redesign

Excuse the chaos around the place, I’m just implementing a new blog template; hope you like it. I’m told the menu misbehaves in IE7; I apologise to anyone benighted with it, and I’ll fix it as soon as I get a chance to test it in IE7 (not something I usually have to suffer through, as a Mac user).

Also, I’m still updating the full blogroll. Man there’s a lot of good WoW blogs out there…

WoW Blogger’s Forum

I’m behind on my RSS feeds, so I espied this in Leafshine’s blog rather than the WoWInsider post everyone else seems to have stumbled across: Blog Azeroth, a forum for WoW bloggers to talk about, well, WoW and blogging. And WoW blogging.

Needless to say, WoW and blogging are two of my favourite things, so talking about WoW and blogging and WoW blogging is very appealing. I think the forums are going to turn out to be a great resource, from the looks of the discussions already happening, and I’m hoping to get to know a lot more of my fellow WoW bloggers.