Archive for 2009

Sights Seen: Don’t Do the Bottle


I knew Dalaran was the City of Mages, but damn! Funny what happens when you swill an Underbelly Elixir, huh? Note to self: Don’t drink scary stuff found in a bottle in the sewers.

Hey, this may be odd, but at least I didn’t bug out like last time.GavBuggedOut

That’s all shades of wrong, there.

Does DPS = Dumb, or Tanks/Healers = Jerk? Not Really

A recent topic on the Blizzard forums has gotten me thinking. DPS is currently at odds with healers and tanks. Tanks and healers seem to have garnered a serious ego problem. They think, since DPS is dime-a-dozen, we’re noobs, losers, and poor players. I’m a DPS pally, as everyone who reads here knows, so this obviously stung. This is my response, away from the runaway train wreck the original topic has become.

DPS are common because they are the best leveling and soloing class. Also, every class has a DPS spec they can go in to. Can warriors heal? Can priests tank? No. Therefore, healers and tanks are a specialized breed, only available from certain classes, played by players of a certain mindset. You have to want to tank or heal, and you can only learn to tank or heal in a group. We’ve all been DPS, to some extant, leveling from 1-80. You may group allot, but you’re going to find yourself on your own sometimes, and healers and tanks have it rough alone. DPS is the cruise control of leveling; just line up the bad guys and watch them fall.

My opinion of instance groups, as it pertains to this topic, is that we NEED each other. Personally, as a ret pally grouping as DPS, without a tank, I’m dead. Without a healer, I’m dead. We DPS are not alone in this symbiosis (if only by definition of the word); you tanks can get the crap beat out of you without us DPS to drop those mobs you aggro’d. Healers are either going to be bored or dead ithout some DPS between themselves and the tank, depending on if the tank ever kills his draws or if he eventually gets killed. Likewise, tanks and DPS alone can’t get very far. Just DPS and healers are usually a fatal combination. People, we’ve gotta work together.

DPS players are often disrespected – especially us retribution paladins – because we’re so many, and as such we have more bad apples. Believe me, I’ve had poor tanks that can’t hold aggro, and healers that got every one killed because of their ineptitude. I know healing is hard, I’ve done it a number of times. It’s a headache, and that stress is a primary reason why I dropped my holy spec in favor of a PvP one. I’ve never tanked, and I don’t intend to. Tanking, in my experience, requires some degree of instance knowledge and experience to manage pulls – something I’m usually unable to bring to a group.

Unfortunately, I’m a bad example. I usually describe myself as a hammer; a simple, blunt tool for breaking things. Point me at a target, tell me when and how hard to hit it, and I’ll do my job. That is my level of DPS skill. I don’t ruin runs, and I’m compliant and amiable, but I give DPS a bad name just with my extremely basic approach. This can lead others to see me as stupid or a newbie when I just have a basic, working strategy for success.

This is a really touchy subject for some people. There are folks who would swear that there are no ‘real’ players who play DPS, and there are others who would claim that all healers and/or tanks are jerks. I think of it this way: we’re all DPS at heart. DPS is like any other role; you have to work at it. If you’re healing, it’s to keep those who put effort into maxing out their DPS alive so they can kill your enemies. If you’re tanking, you’re also doing it to keep the dedicated DPS out of harms way so they can clear the way to success. I saw a few slandering quotes on the original topic that spawned this post. One that struck me was ‘tanking is a job, healing is a passion, dps is a game.’ I see it more like what it was probably intended as – a concentrated war effort. You need the heavy tanks to clear the way for the soldiers, you need the soldiers to kill the enemies, and you need the technical staff to keep both the tanks and soldiers on the front lines. If any part of that harmony falls out of place, the battle can quickly go belly up. So remember, you’re standing by your allies so they’ll stand by you… and if you want to be selfish about it, remember that if they’re not standing by you, you’re dead. Period. Doubt me? Go solo ICC and lemme know how that goes. The rest of us (who can and will play nicely together) will be waiting for you at the top.

Catching Up: 12-24-09


It’s been a while since I’ve updated you folks on Gavelier’s status, so here’s a summary.

  • My new guild has talked me into getting on Vent with them, but I had no microphone – or so I thought. I managed to jury-rig my Xbox 360 headset through my Xbox 360 Controller for Windows, and whadya know; I’m chatting. The funniest part was listening to a conversation and piping up finally, prompting a girl to ask – in a very quiet voice – “who’s that…?” Everyone said, “It’s Gav, don’t worry.” I’d been on vent earlier in the day when we went soul searching.
  • By ‘soul searching,’ I mean that we went into (non-heroic) Forge of Souls, the new 5-man instance. It was an incredibly smooth run, aided by our kick-ass DPS and the voice chat. What a difference that makes! Anyway, I came out of there with the Plated Grips of Korth’azz for my trouble, and the bosses were pushovers. One more note; with out group we fielded in there, we goofed and pulled a few more baddies then we should have at times, but we never died. Go team!
  • Unfortunately, that adventure in the Forge of Souls came after we got our asses kicked in Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. We barely made it to the first boss (wiping twice on the way), and he killed us easily three times before we called it off.
  • We also ran The Oculus tonight for our (mostly ‘my’, guess) random heroic of the day as well, and completed it, netting me two Emblems of Frost. Yay! We wiped on the final boss three times before we lost one of our random members. We replaced him with a guildie and beat the ever-loving tar out of Ley-Guardian Eregos. Well, my guildies did. Like my last trip in there with my old guild, I died before the boss was dropped. Oh well.


Well, that’s about all Gav’s been up to. I lastly wanted to point out that about a month or so ago I netted the ‘Crusader’ title, so I am now Crusader Gavelier. Nice ring, ne?

WG is Ours!


Recently Gav dropped his Holy spec for a PvP Prot spec. The reasons are many, but chief among them are my dislike of healing’s stress and my desire to do better in Wintergrasp. However, it seems I may be wasting my time. Most of the time now, the Horde on my server hardly even contests Wintergrasp. Case in point: the other morning I took my new PvP Prot spec to Wintergrasp (after spending upwards of an hour leveling my one-handed axe skill) and was shocked to see everyone getting their butts kicked by a few random Horde. They had, it turned out, a Tenacity of more then 15. However, there seems to be very, very few of them. We estimated there were about six Horde total in Wintergrasp. With those paltry numbers they were easy enough to beat back, tenacity or no. It was to the point where I was recognizing the same Hordies over and over again. They were decimating our ranks early as we tried to go in small groups, but once we started hanging around in large numbers even a tenacity of x17 wasn’t that big a deal. They’d ride a vehicle up to the keep and 10-20 of us would decimate it. They actually got into the main courtyard while we were still disorganized early on, as you can see. Death to the Horde!

I had bought up some new Prot gear for Gav prior to the battle, including a Teldrassil Protector and Titan-Forged Bracers of Triumph. Since I’m not planning on using this spec for PvE, I’m stocking it up with Resilience. Hopefully this will keep my dumb butt alive longer.

En Guard, Utgarde!


Tonight was my first random dungeon run, and it was with an all-guild group. We landed in Utgarde Pinnacle, and it was an experience. We didn’t do bad through the first part, but the first ‘gimicky’ boss was a trick. Skadi the Ruthless was tough, and I almost died twice; once via the ice his dragon spat on the walkway and once from his whirlwind attack. But hey, we kicked his ass. Onwards to the next and final boss, King Ymiron. He was a pushover of epic proportions. He ran through his four ‘boat’ abilities in no time and then died at our feet. Hence, we cleared the dungeon. No big deal. I didn’t do too bad, but I did almost get myself killed while walking to the group and accidentally aggroing a series of baddies. Not the best long-life plan, I know.

3.3 Delays

Another large content patch, another long maintenance session. Of course, no one who’s been through a few of these it surprised. I just hope it’s not as bad as patch 3.1 was. While we wait, let’s discuss the patch.

My biggest draw in this patch? The eased leveling curve for low level toons. Now I may be able to get some of my characters out of the levels 5-10 range and into their 20s, where the game starts opening up. Ret paladins aren’t getting nerfed or buffed significantly this patch, which is a nice change. I miss getting a new toy or having one of my existing ones buffed, but I don’t miss getting walloped with the nerf bat. Prot and holy pallys took the hit this time. Wait, I’m half holy! In truth, I don’t see much that’s going to affect my play any.

The big ‘ooh, aah’  feature this patch is the Random Dungeon Finder, which will group you with people to do dungeons, heroics or raids based, bypassing the age-old pick-up group social barrier. It’s allot like queuing for a battleground in that you sign up for an instance, and once a group is formed you teleport straight to the dungeon. When you are done, you get ported back to wherever you were when the instance started. Via the random dungeon system, you can actually run heroics more then once a day.

In any case, my server is up now, so I’m off to test the waters. Adieu!

Return of the Equal-Opportunity Team Killer


The scene: a paladin enters the monster’s lair with his allies, set on her destruction. The monster, however, is aware of his approach and engages him in conversation before the battle.

  • Cyanigosa: “You again. Returning to the site of your greatest victories? What more have I that you want?”
  • Gavelier: “Your head, fiend. I’m here to put an end to you once and for all!”
  • Cy: “That’s a fool’s errand, boy. You and your allies are doomed here, and my guards will see to it that you will never even get to me!”
  • Gav: “That’s the only way you could survive, beast; hiding behind your minions. You always were a coward.”
  • Cy: “I still remember the cold pain of your blade from the last time you were here, oh so many months ago. Where have you been, young champion?”
  • Gav: “Err… off. Off on great adventures. Conquering other mighty beasts. Yeah. In… other games.”
  • Cy: “What?! You would forsake your life and duty here to ‘play’ in other lands? Ha! I doubt you could even get off a Divine Storm before I slay you!”
  • Gav: (mumbling) “I’m not here as ret, actually. I’m healing. See? Blue armor? Small sword? Glowing shoulder-thingies? I’m the healer.”
  • Cy: *guffawing* “You’re screwed. Don’t make too big a mess wiping, and close the door on your way out.”

Cyanigosa was right: I was screwed. My group (consisting of one guildie and a handful of his friends) died three times on Ichoron, twice with a Death Knight who was doing under 650 DPS and once with a good boomkin Druid doing around 2k DPS. Once we cleared that hurdle, we died on Erekem before calling it quits. I never even saw that accursed dragon. The bad part was, with patch 3.3 dropping today, that was my last chance to do and turn in the Heroic Violet Hold daily, and I failed. I did net Dehydration the time we dropped Ichoron, though.

Back and Guildless?

Well, there’s good news and bad news. Good news is that I’m back. Kind of. I reinstated my WoW account, but I’m not sure how much playtime I’m going to get in. The bad news is that my guild is kaput.

Savagely Dysfuntional apparently had some kind of falling out while I was gone, and all my friends in the guild are gone. Also gone are all but 9 members. Dammit. I bailed on that dying guild since I no longer had a social tie to it and joined a new one called KILLING SPREE. Yes, all caps. I don’t know why, either. In any case, it’s looking good so far. My new guild likes to run heroics and is a social, mature group. We’ll see if that holds over time.

Alazar on Hold

Alazar is being placed into stasis for now. I’m not playing WoW at the moment, and won’t be too soon. As such, the planned Alazar 2.0 will be properly launched whenever I get back in to the game. No timetable has been set. What is here shall remain, though, for anyone who wants to read it.

Lack of Posts

You may or may not have noticed  dearth of posts here at Alazar; what happened was that I hit a financial crunch and had to put my WoW account on hold. I’m going to restart it  once i get paid in a few days. In preparation for that, though, I’ve overhauled the look here on Alazar, dubbing it Alazar 2.0. It isn’t exactly accurate, since this is at least the fourth look I’ve had for the site, but this is my second hand-made theme for it. I’ll restart posting once I’m back in the game. Gavelier shall return!

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