Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pimp My Purse

Howdy, my fighting, fearless friends. As this is my first post among you, let me introduce myself as a quiet, gentle mage who farms mats late into the night, wades through Dalaran sewers in search of wayward potions of Tuskar proportions, and enjoys walks on the beach preferably with someone I like.

With that said, let us begin with a topic near and dear to my heart--money.

Yes, we females love money. Mostly because one can find satisfaction without all the necessary gibber jabber other things require. But don't fret you fine specimens of testosterone. Even male orcs can be sexy too. Think of it, you in Cataclysm with your 310 mount all paid for by your economic virility and her perched on top of Deathwing Lair waiting for someone to give her the ride of her life. Yes, that can be you with a pimped out mount carrying a heavy purse and hot babe. To prove it, I'm going to include a video where not only can green pectorals be entertaining, but said pectorals can actually induce undulating monetary ecstasy by simply following this fellow-blogger's direction on how to make gold with Jewelcrafting and Enchanting in less than 10 minutes. You read that right. 10 minutes!

Alas, there is one thing that is critical...well, two things: 1) use the tools he recommends, and 2) timing is of the essence.

First, macros and add-ons take much of the work and simplifies it similar to a microwave is to hot pockets. He provides links to the add ons and instructions for macros.

Second, timing, timing, timing... It can't be said enough. With Cataclysm around the corner, you want to make sure items like epic gems are sold now. Make sure they're cut and make sure to use cuts people would want to buy (i.e., haste/spellpower, strength, spellpower, etc.). The blue quality gems sell best uncut, frankly. I know he has a few cut, but honestly you can make a lot more selling them as mats for professions and more so right after Cataclysm comes out. Remember, people will be leveling their worgens/goblins, so they will seek the Auction House for mats to level their professions.

Okay, this may not be the magey-goodness you expect, but you can't deny its yumminess. Nosiree. Like me, you too will drool and gasp in awe as you learn how to make 1,500 gold a day spending only 10 minutes of your life in the game. Say it with me... YEAH, BABY!

Stay tuned for my next installment, where I discuss "How to contend with burnt-hair-smell as a fire mage in Cataclysm."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Woo! Happy Birthday to PC

Yep, we're coming up on our first year anniversary on Sept 29th!

I'd like to thank my co-poster Redbeard, and even though Satyana has been MIA from the blog for a while, I'd like to thank her for her contributions as well.

And most importantly I'd like to thank the readers and the wonderful people who take the time to reply.

I wasn't so sure we'd be as successful as we have been. 

And I'd also like to welcome our newest contributing poster!  Welcome to Ehna!  I'll let her do her own introduction, but I believe she'll make a great addition to the team!

I'm looking forward to all of the topics Cataclysm will bring out, and all of the exciting changes in store!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Intentionally handicapping gameplay

There's all sorts of ways players intentionally inhibit themselves, and I'd like to touch on a few that have bugged me recently.

Character control

We've been running Ulduar 10 hard modes in an effort to acquire a 310% mount before Cataclysm is released.  A few members of the guild are very very close to getting Glory of the Ulduar Raider finished
up.  I, myself, am only lacking one achievement, which we just attempted for the first time last night and got three solid attempts in - making it to phase two of Yogg'Saron +1.

Doing these hard modes makes me realize a few things.  There is NO WAY a keyboard turner can complete some of these achievements.  You just can't... 

Case in point, we have a few players in our guild who actually DO keyboard turn. (I find this to be more prevalent on PVE servers where you can lazily run around with out having to look for incoming attacks).  And we struggled for three nights on Firefighter.  One of our tanks happens to keyboard turn.  So when shock blast is about to go off, he turns, starts to run and promptly drops dead.  And that same player has to execute a left turn, forward run, right turn just to dodge cold flame on Marrowgar.

/facepalm.  Ok, fine I guess I won't get to try out my new pve fury dps spec.  Back to tanking...

And another quick pet peeve... if you have to run from something, RUN.  Don't backpedal, don't keyboard turn yourself around - use the mouse to turn and then strafe (you can still move at full speed doing this) or just quickly face the opposite way and run your happy ass out of the bad stuff.

 This is a multiplayer game at its core.  Sure, you CAN do most things in the game solo, but for all of the good stuff (raids, pvp, dungeons) you will need to interact with people.  The best way to do this is find a guild.

But you don't want to join a guild because you're not good enough?  How do you expect to improve on your gameplay?  It doesn't just happen naturally

For example, you learn very very quickly not to use Hand of Reckoning in a group setting if you're not the tank.  A new player would assume that this spell does damage and it's OK to use in your rotation.  And that new player would never change his mind if he were not exposed to a group environment where you learn how to properly apply your class skills.

Beyond that, you make new friends and acquaintances.  Developing your social skills are good, albeit they're internet social skills...

Having friends in the game can really help motivate you, too.  I probably wouldn't have finished out my nether drake on my warrior (third nether drake grind now) were it not for a friend wanting to do it and joining up with him.  And we're even working on getting random reputations built up - things I never though I'd do.  Because frankly... it sucks.  Rep grinds just are NOT fun.  However, having a friend there to idly chat with and crack jokes really doesn't make it so bad.


"I've seen everything there is to see in the game because I'm a hard core raider and there's nothing left for me here."  Or perhaps, "I've played this game since launch - it sucks.  Xyz new game will kill warcraft."  Or even "This will be my last blog post for a while, I've just lost interest in playing the game."


I hate that sort of overly dramatic whiny nonsense.  Get over yourself.  There's nothing left for you in game?  That's fine, to each his own.  But I don't care to read about how bad you think the expansion will be and how your flavor of the month class is going to be nerfed and you can't figure out what the next class of the month will be.

SHOW SOME ORIGINAL THOUGHT.  There's tons of stuff to do in the game.  Level an alt, try out the other faction, finish leveling out your trade skills, play at the auction house, pick an achievement and try to get it.

I'm tired of reading about people who are stuck in the pre-expansion lull and whine about it.  This is the first time where end game as been so readily available to the average player.  Have you conquered all of the raids and dungeons in the game to date?  If not, find a group and set to it.  

Say you have actually conquered everything in game as far as raid / dungeon content goes.  That's fine too.  Pick a raid achievement and get it done.  You'll get a spiffy reward.  And you may even have fun doing so.

Don't get yourself stuck in a rut where you focus on the negative.  

So the moral of the story is: Nobody likes a negative nancy, level 72 death knights, or gnomes.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Cure for the Common Ganker

I started writing this post about two or three times before I decided I wasn't going to write about pugs.  I could return to my regularly scheduled grumblings another time, but this post will be pug-free. 

(You're off the hook, Mr. "Gnomer-is-so-boring-and-I-spend-so-much-time-yawning-that-I-forget-to-tank.")

I was on Neve, working on some quests in Hillsbrad while waiting for the LFD queue, when a thought struck me.  "You know," I said to a fellow guildie, "this has to be the first time I've leveled in Hillsbrad without constantly looking over my shoulder."

Old PvP habits die hard.  When I first showed up with Neve in Hillsbrad, several months ago, I was completely unnerved by the Alliance characters just blithely passing me on the road.  After having spent my formative WoW years on a PvP server, I was used to ganking as a way of life.  If you were out farming for ore, you kept a close eye on your surroundings before you stopped and picked that nugget of Iron up.  Even when you got flying in Outland and Northrend, that meant you had to watch the skies as well as the ground.  You could be out questing at 3 AM server time --Stormscale is a Pacific Time Zone server and I live in the Eastern Time Zone-- and found yourself caught from behind while working your way through Stromgarde Keep.  After a while, you get twitchy when you go through different locales, wondering where the next attack is coming from.

Switching to a PvE server does help eliminate that inherent nervousness, but I think what really helped in the long run was leveling on the Alliance side.  No, I'm not talking about some great kumbaya moment about how we're all one great happy family, but rather going out and leveling in unfamiliar places.  Redridge Mountains.  Darkshore.  Dun Morogh.  Loch Modan.  Wetlands.  Westfall.  Azuremyst and Bloodmist.  All of those places are strange territory to this Hordie, and the lack of opposing faction toons finally allowed me to relax and enjoy the environment.

After that experience in low-ish level areas, returning to Hillsbrad on Neve was almost a non-event.  I saw a few Alliance toons heading up to Alterac, but since I didn't have the PvP flag turned on, there was nobody to worry about.

Except for the fellow Hordies who thought that Neve needed company or something to protect her from the big bad Murlocs.

Now, if I could only figure out how to attack people on my own faction....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Whispers in the Dark

Have you ever had that feeling where people are talking about you behind your back?  Perhaps you developed that sense in middle school, when rumors could sweep through your classmates before you even knew what happened.  Or maybe you were clueless then, but in office politics you have to keep an ear to the ground, lest you be swept aside by some conniving young punk a few cubicles down.

In real life, that feeling is often accompanied by the looks you get from others while they're huddled together.  WoW, however, doesn't have that visual cue.  You have to rely upon actions or words instead.

Before you ask, I don't intend to talk about guild drama.  There's enough posts out there on the subject by other bloggers that you don't need me to chime in.  And to be honest, I avoid guild drama like the plague.  Sure, I like to know the whys behind a move within the guild, but that doesn't mean I want to inject myself into the drama.

What I meant was in relation to instances.  In raids, you have Vent (or equivalents), but not in a regular old 5-man pug.  Maybe in a heroic Northrend instance you expect silence, but in the lower level instances you expect people to talk, to say they need to drink, and to discuss strategy.  Unless the entire group is composed of people at the high end of the level range, you simply aren't OP enough to wing it.  And if people start doing some bizarre behavior, you can bet that there's some discussion going on behind the scenes.

Take a recent experience in Maraudon, for example.  Thankfully, Blizz cut Maraudon into chunks for LFD, which makes it easier to run.  This particular run was the Orange Crystals wing, which ends at Razorlash, and the party consisted of three guildies from another server (tank, healer, and hunter DPS), a lock, and Tomakan (me).

The first sign of trouble was when the lock and hunter died a couple of trash pulls in.  From what I could tell, the hunter pulled aggro on some of the mob, and that subsection of the mob killed both of them.  I kept expecting the Warrior tank to yank the mob back, but he instead he pressed on.  I rezzed the lock, the healer rezzed the hunter, and the two guildies ran on to catch up with the tank while the lock and I drank.

I expected something to be said in party chat by then, but it was eerily silent.

We got to the oozes and dispatched them without much issue.  The tank headed left to the next trash, and I engaged just as I realized that there was nobody else behind us.

The other three had engaged the oozes on the right instead.

By the time we got back to the others and finished off the oozes, the lock had died again.  The healer rezzed the lock and then ran on ahead with the rest while the lock and I drank.  I don't know what was going on in the lock's head, but I was detecting a pattern.  The healer was behaving more like DPS, and I was spending some of my mana keeping both myself and the tank upright.  I checked the roles, and yeah, the healer wasn't me.

What was more worrisome was that the tank seemed blissfully unconcerned about trying to pull back aggro when someone else acquired it.  I know all about the "you yank it, you tank it" concept, but this was different.  At one point, I got aggro and I popped Hand of Salvation and stopped hitting, but I kept aggro.  I bubbled, and I still kept aggro.  Standing there in the middle of the mob with nowhere to go and waiting for my threat to go down was an exercise in frustration, especially when the hunter was also pulling aggro, the tank seemed to be on auto attack, and the healer was jumping around and popping Holy Nova.

Somehow, we made it to the end and defeated Razorlash.  I was typing in my standard "thanks for the group" when the tank and hunter ran onward, obviously going to Celebras.  Whatever, I thought, and followed along.  I could use the extra XP, after all.

Well, Celebras wasn't the end.  The tank and his guildies kept going, and it was obvious by now that they wanted to take out Theradras herself.  I hadn't signed on for this, and the only time party chat was used was when the lock died for the third time and the healer said "I'm not rezzing you any more."

"Send me a heal now and then," the lock replied.

I grimaced and kept going.  I could have taken the easy way out and dropped, but I wasn't going to leave the lock alone with these clowns.  Besides, their asshatery hadn't really risen to my "I'm dropping group" threshold.  The mobs got tougher, and they started getting silence effects.  The way the healer was jumping around and attacking meant he was well within range for being silenced, and I knew it was a matter of time before the mobs got big enough for us to wipe.  Right at a choke point that happened; the tank pulled two groups, and about 20 seconds later that was that.

Almost immediately the three guildies dropped.

Maybe they just did it on a spur of the moment, but to the lock and myself it sure felt like they were leading us on until we both bit it.

"They had to be on Vent together," I told the lock.

"How so?"

"There was no way they were working all this without there being a chat going.  And since nobody paused to type, they had to be on Vent."

"I think they had it out for me.  The priest hardly healed me at all."

"He hardly healed anybody.  I was healing the tank as much as he was."


I now know why some people cringe when they see several people from the same guild in a LFD pug.  If they're talking on Vent, doing their own thing, then they're not really participating in the group.  This ain't exactly a formula for success, especially when you're one of the people being ignored.

How do you fix it?  Be more open.  Don't play like this is a private club.  If it were, you wouldn't need extra puggees, right?  On the flip side, don't ding and drop.  People hate that, and it gives your guild and your server a bad name.

In short, don't make a pug run into all about you.  It's a team, remember?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

For the Darkspears!

The Darkspear Trolls are kind of the bastard stepchild of the Horde.  They were kicked out of Stranglethorn Vale by their own race, they had a home until Zalazane took over, and Vol'jin now hangs around in Orgrimmar as Gilligan to Thrall's Skipper.  ("Right-o, Little Buddy!")  At least he got to hang around with the Wrathgate event, whereas Loth'remar wasn't even invited to the party.  I guess Sylvanas was afraid he'd try to pull rank on her or something.

Well, Vol'jin finally got up the gumption to go after Zalazane and kick him out of the Echo Isles.  He sent out requests for aid to anyone and everyone in the Horde, and we came by the thousand.  When Quintalan made it to Sen'jin Village, the crowd had noticeably thinned, which was just the way he liked it.

Nothing like the sight of your character leading
a pack of Troll Volunteers into Sen'jin Village.
(Venomhide Raptor Not Included.)

The Retaking the Echo Isles event was part Wrathgate, part BG, part Raid, and thoroughly enjoyable.  Sure, you're buffed to the point where you won't take any damage, but you actually get to participate as part of a group in one of these Lore events, not as a single toon.  This was a real undertaking, and Vol'jin and Co. impart a degree of seriousness to the event that is very welcome.  The entire event could have turned into an excuse for bad puns and terrible jokes, but by keeping the tone serious I think Blizz hit this out of the park.

When Vol'jin asked for the aid of the spirits in his undertaking, he made it plain his motives were for his people.  In that respect, it was an eerie echo of the end of the Wrathgate event, where an inconsolable Thrall is in the throne room of the Undercity, and he's talking to Saurfang the Elder about how all his hopes for his people have just been dashed.  Vol'jin, like Thrall, is thinking about his people first, the way a good leader should.  It's a lesson that Varian and Garrosh --and to a lesser extent Sylvanas-- have yet to learn.

It would not surprise me in the least that a major theme of Cataclysm is one that was learned at the end of the Battle of Mount Hyjal:  we have to all hang together, or we will most assuredly all hang separately.  To that end, history points out that people on rival factions who have fought together for a common cause do not think of themselves as enemies.  If Blizz wants to emulate history a bit, all of those people who fought in Northrend alongside the Argent Crusade are the perfect group to stand up to the ongoing war between the factions, saying that the fighting has to stop if the mortal races are going to save the world from Deathwing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


First picture of warrior tier 11 concept art.  And best of all, no PIGS ON THE SHOULDERS!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


"This is a freaking Loregasm out here!"

That was how someone in Gen Chat described the chaos surrounding Senjin Village last night.  I haven't seen framerates that low since Ruby Sanctum opened, and almost never in an area not called Dalaran or Orgrimmar.

I will freely admit that I avoided the High Tinker's call on my Alliance alts, but that's not due to any Horde bias.  My head hurt after watching framerates in the upper single digits while I was playing as Neve, and I didn't want to deal with that again.

Now, for few short comments about the Vol'jin's call to arms:
  • I loved the opening letter.  It was well written and spiced with a lot of true troll flavor.  You got the sense of "we're tired of being shoved out of the way, and we're not going to [expletive deleted] take it any more from Zalazane and his dark magic!"  If I've the bank space, I'm going to keep that sucker around for a while.
  • I thought it interesting that we got to ride bats when tossing the frog-spies onto the markers in the Echo Islands, and it was all done without a Forsaken NPC in sight.
  • The sight of riding into Senjin at the head of a group of Troll recruits on raptors was really cool.  "Don't mess with the voodoo, mon!"
  • The integration of the hidden Troll Druids into the lore was well done.  Since the Trolls were finally going to take back the Echo Isles and defeat Zalazane, they felt they could finally come out in the open and join Vol'jin.
  • There was a lot of annoyance that only L78 and up could finish the quest chain, and I can't say I blame people for that.  Here's the vital part of lore being added to, but a chunk of the WoW populace would be unable to participate.

When I run the quest chain as Q and on the Alliance Alts, I'll write those up.  But for now, this has me pumped.  We had the teaser with the Tauren speaking of the power of the Sun in Thunder Bluff and the Highborne showing up in the Temple of the Moon, and now there's this as an appetizer.  I can't wait until the next changes happen.

EtA:  Apparently the Take Back the Echo Islands Event is broken environment-wide.  So I haven't missed anything by not having Q run through the quest chain yet.

EtA:  It's fixed!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Finding a place to call home

So what is it about Warcraft that feels right for any individual player?

Is it a faction?  Maybe it's your chose faction?  Or perhaps you feel most at home playing a certain class or role.  I'm sure it's a combination of all of the above.

What about a literal place you call home in game?

One of the main differences between the Alliance and Horde main cities is the fact that there's housing.  Of all of my time playing as Horde and spending so much time being bored in Orgrimmar, the only place I could really call home is the bank roof or perhaps the rock next to the palm trees and mailbox outside the bank.

The Alliance cities however, seem to have an abundance of housing, albeit most of the doors in Stormwind are shut.  And I spent some time riding around the main cities recently looking for a spot that would feel the most homely for my character.

I'd like to first introduce you to my main character.  Deftig the proud Dwarf warrior.
Rawr!!  Fierce, ain't he!?

I found a spot that I think suits my character quite well.  Firstly, it's in Ironforge... and he's a Dwarf.  It just fits.  Additionally, I seem to prefer Ironforge to any of the other Alliance main cities.  I'm not sure why, perhaps it's because I worked in an iron foundry for a while myself, or the fact that it's centrally located and most importantly you don't have to take any fall damage when you port there and run out of the portal chamber (as opposed to Stormwind jumping off the mage tower, or falling down the side of the city in Org) - I don't know what that bothers me,  but it does.

The spot I've picked is in the Military Ward part of the city, and it's right between Craghelm's Plate and Chain and Timberline Arms.  Can't pick a nicer spot that that...

Riiiiiiight here

So with out any further ado...
Come on in!
Main room properly decorated (click to read text, I made it a bit small)

Yep, this house has it all; good location, perfect decorations, great neighbors, and it's quiet most of the time.

So what spot is home for you?  I'm looking forward to seeing some replies and hopefully some blog posts detailing your own homes in game, and the reasons why.

Paladin Sends Mage Alt Into Shadowfang Keep! Film at Eleven!

So what are you looking at?  Can't a guy send an alt into a 5-man without commentary?  Sometimes, you just want to stop playing your main for a little while.

Oh, right.  Most of my alts are Paladins too.

Well, I was up way late last night with sleep nowhere in sight*, so I got on WoW.  Instead of clicking straight through to Quintalan when I selected the Area 52 server, I paused.  My mage was staring back at me, with her Blood Elf snarky attitude, daring me to pick her instead.

Why not?  And why not actually try her on an instance?  At L26, she's ready to go, and I think I know enough about instances to handle ranged DPS.  ('Just keep yer threat down, willya?')  A place like Shadowfang, which is a straight shot without lots of trash coming at you from behind, seemed the perfect first instance.  Well that and that it's fairly short, and at L26 Neve is right at the maximum level for the dungeon.

I queued her up, and proceeded to wait about 1/2 hour for a group to assemble.  In that copious time, I
  • Conjured up about 100 Food and 100 Water, ready for when people needed it.
  • Cruised through the Barrens and Mulgore, working on the Exploration achievements for each.  After months of riding the Thalassian Mount and Charger, a hawkstrider just doesn't look right.  (Neither would a raptor, for that matter.  A worg?  Now that'd be interesting.)
  • Practiced on sacrificial raptors in the Barrens.  It had been months since I'd done anything with her other than level Tailoring and Enchanting, and I needed to get back into the swing of it.
  • Danced with the Flight Master in Camp Taurajo.  Hey, if you're gonna go, go out with a bang, right?
When the LFD tool finally assembled a group and we ported in, the instance was very nearly over before it began. 

I started buffing people with INT, and asked if anyone needed food.

"Do I look like a Mexican?" the warrior DPS snapped.

I'm still not exactly sure how, but I resisted my almost immediate urge to /drop group or /smack him for that crack.  "You look like an orc to me," I finally responded.  I made a mental note of the timer left on vote kick, because I wasn't screwing around with this guy.

At last the Warrior tank moved forward, and we got going.  He pulled the first group of trash, and I mentally counted out the time where I felt comfortable with his aggro lock, ran forward, and....


I immediately burst Frost Nova and skittered back to the edge of the group, where I remained.  Every chance I got, I found a corner to cast from, watching my threat the entire time.

Because I'd never run Neve through an instance before, I was pleasantly surprised when Healbot came in handy for her.  You'd not expect a healing add-on to give any extra boost to a decidedly non-healer, but when you right click on a member of your group on the Healbot bar, it's the same as using a macro to assist whatever they're attacking.  Very handy indeed, and saves me a key binding.  Decursive saves me another slot, because Remove Curse is used very heavily in Shadowfang Keep.

For the most part, I managed threat well; in fact, the only time I pulled threat was when the tank died, and being the one dishing out the most damage, I was the one that the mob aggroed on.  Scratch one squishy Mage.  The rest of the group finished off the mob, so it wasn't a total wipe, and the Tree was nice enough to raise me once the fight was over.  Not that I can't run back in Shadowfang, but let's face it:  a Mage is armored with glorified tissue paper, and wandering mobs are not soloable by a Mage.

The fight with Arugal, however, was a bit of a problem.  The tank left him on his spot at the top of the steps, and I couldn't get a good line of sight to cast at him without getting far too close for comfort.  Looking around for somewhere, anywhere to go, I saw the top of the steps that you entered with.  I ran over and up the steps, and I was in range for casting.  That was very considerate of Blizz to set that up for ranged DPS that way.

My only regret?  The mouthy DPS dropped before the kick timer expired.  He was earning a vote kick throughout the instance, but I never got the chance to initiate one because he dropped after the the tank death incident.

So, what did I think of something decidedly non-Paladin?  Not bad at all.  Once I got over my initial urge to go in there and mix it up in melee, I learned the joys of staying to the rear and keeping an eye over your shoulder.  You have to manage Blizzard --even if it is off cooldown-- because of the mana bite it takes.  You also have to stock up on mana potions, because you might just end up with a tank that won't listen to anyone and will just keep pulling.

I do have big issues with being so squishy, but I guess that's something I'll have to live with.  At least I won't feel guilty when I see her in the startup screen.

*The allergy medicine I was taking left me wired to the point where I couldn't sit still and read.  Not fun.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Don't forget your Swiss Army Knife

In this era of role silos, I’ve found that I like playing the jack-of-all-trades.

This isn’t exactly a revelation to anyone who has read our blog the past year or so, but I’ve found that leveling new Paladins on the Alliance side has reinforced that attitude.

I’m the guy who actually likes handling the stairs on Drak’Tharon:  I can heal myself, use Righteous Fury and Consecration to draw aggro, and do enough damage by myself to keep the scourge from causing issues with the crew down below before Phase 2 of the fight.  Healer getting overwhelmed with debuffs or damage in a scrum?  I can step in and plug the gaps as needed.  Tank losing aggro to the ranged DPS?  A quick Hand of Salvation or a pull using Righteous Defense will drag that trash back into threat range, and a bubble will drop the threat right off of me, enabling the tank to reestablish control.  Garfrost’s stacking debuff hitting everyone hard?  Frost Aura will take a bite out of it.  Those Ymirheim Flamebringers blasting everyone with AoE over in the Pit of Saron?  Interrupts, Fire Aura, and Holy Wrath will stop that.

The bag of tricks that a Paladin has is an eerie echo of my own personal set of tools for work.  I might not be the most knowledgeable person at my job, but I’ve got a wide set of homegrown tools that will assist me in whatever is thrown my way.  By comparison, every Pally has the ability to heal, tank, and DPS right out of the box, but it’s the application of those various little abilities that let a Paladin really shine. 

When was the last time you saw a Ret Pally switch out of Ret or Protection Aura to help mitigate damage?  There are plenty of opportunities to do that in places such as Razorfen Downs, The Old Kingdom, the Scarlet Monastery, Halls of Lightning, and Pit of Saron, but why doesn’t it happen?  Because the theorycrafters say that’s not optimal DPS?  Why don’t Ret Pallys help out more with an occasional debuff removal?  Because they’re in their own silo?  Believe me, having run as a healer, if someone wants to assist with the occasional Cleanse, go for it.  Don’t overdo things, because it’s not your primary role, but if you want to help out, a zap or two of Cleanse in the middle of your rotation makes my job easier and lets me concentrate on the tank more.

As an example, I was in Razorfen Downs with Tomakan last week.  Tom’s reached that point where his Holy Spec gear isn’t being replaced fast enough, so he has mana issues.  Rather than burden a group with Tom being underpowered, I queued him up as DPS and switched to the 2H Heirloom Axe.  However, it was obvious that the healer and tank were struggling with the ranged DPS pulling aggro, so I pitched in with some debuff clearing and an occasional HoS or Righteous Defense to help out.

After about 10 minutes, the healer finally spoke up.  “Tom,” he asked, “are you cleaning debuffs?”

“Yeah,” I said.  “I’m guilty.  I wasn’t going to say anything about it, though.”

“Oh, that’s fine.  I’m having lag problems, so by the time I see it pop up it’s already gone.”

The next instance that night was Scarlet Monastery, and I was doing the same routine:  clean debuffs when I can work it in, and help with crowd control without stepping on the tank’s toes. 

About halfway through the instance the Priest healer piped up, “I don’t believe it!”

“What?” the tank –also a Paladin—asked.

“Paladins who clean their own debuffs!  Not one but two of you!  That never happens!”

You know, maybe it should happen a little more often.  Working as a team means acting as a team, not just confining your actions to a specific set of keyboard strokes.