Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

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Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby Artagel » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:57 am

This character, my first, is a Paladin.

************** First Spec: Holy *******************************************

One spec is a straight-forward Cleric (Holy) and is intended to be used only in groups. I'm not sure if I need to explain further - and I probably can't explain it well if I tried :roll: .

The link to the holy spec-tree is here: http://www.wowarmory.com/talent-calc.xm ... 0000000000



************** Second Spec: Retribution/Protection *************************

The other spec, however, is a hybrid between Retribution and Protection. It is meant to be used either in solo or in groups. Yes, I wanted it both ways: to be able to deal massive damage as a DPS and to be able to tank effectively. Considering I have little experience in Wow, I don't know if this is viable, particularly when (and if) I reach level 80.

The link to the Retribution/Protection spec-tree is here: http://www.wowarmory.com/talent-calc.xm ... 2130201300

From the advice I've gotten from my guildmates, this spec-tree is much more questionable than the first and, thus, warrants my best attempt at an explaination/elaboration:

First, the context and the goal: I'm playing on the RPPvP server Ravenholdt. Hence, the purpose of this Ret/Prot spec is not simply DPS or Tank in an instance, but to "succeed and survive in the overall atmosphere of the realm", whether it be soloing, grouping, arena, BG or getting jumped on by Horde players.

Perhaps what I'm asking is not possible; perhaps an acceptable balance can't be struck; I don't know but that's why I'm asking the experts here:

Is this the best solution for what I'm trying to accomplish?

Might there be a better way in your opinion?

I understand the philosophy that the shortcomings of the specs are overcome by the skill of the user (which includes macros) but that's not what I'm asking. I'm asking about the best spec-tree to augment my skill, which will certainly improve in time along with my macro manipulation and programming.

Where is the spec weak?

Where is it strong?

In what situations?

How do I improve it?

Will the problems result in a critical failure when (and if) I reach 80?

Any criticisms are welcome, and in fact, encouraged. I'll thank you for it because I won't learn anything otherwise.
Last edited by Artagel on Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby Robbert » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:05 pm

Haven't played holy in ages, but even with the changes in 3.3 a holy/ret build for healing seems to be the way to go. That being said, I'm sure the spec you're looking at, at least as a basic concept, has some merit as well (picking up DG/DS, improved Devo, and Divinity would give you a slightly different niche and if you're never running with a prot pally or resto druid would bring a unique party/raid buff in the extra healing done.

As for your second build, you'll neither deal massive damage or tank heroics/raids reasonably well. Most of the defining abilities for both tankadins and ret pallys are found deep in their respective trees, and you're getting none of these abilities from either tree. You'd be better served picking either Prot or Ret and focusing on being either a tank or a dps as one of your specs. If you're generally running 5 man instances and non instance content, a holy/prot combo could serve you well as you'll rarely have to wait in queue for instance runs and prot is still a very effective solo spec. If you're looking to get into raiding, you'll likely (mileage may very depending on your guild) be better served with ret as one of your specs. It's easier to swap roles in raids when all the tanks and healers have a viable dps spec. When you start adding in a tank/heal mix then you tend to bump more people around in roles when swapping. As mentioned above tho, if your guild likes having the prot/holy combo around then go for it!
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby Artagel » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:39 pm

Robbert wrote:As for your second build, you'll neither deal massive damage or tank heroics/raids reasonably well. Most of the defining abilities for both tankadins and ret pallys are found deep in their respective trees, and you're getting none of these abilities from either tree. You'd be better served picking either Prot or Ret and focusing on being either a tank or a dps as one of your specs. If you're generally running 5 man instances and non instance content, a holy/prot combo could serve you well as you'll rarely have to wait in queue for instance runs and prot is still a very effective solo spec. If you're looking to get into raiding, you'll likely (mileage may very depending on your guild) be better served with ret as one of your specs. It's easier to swap roles in raids when all the tanks and healers have a viable dps spec. When you start adding in a tank/heal mix then you tend to bump more people around in roles when swapping. As mentioned above tho, if your guild likes having the prot/holy combo around then go for it!


I can see your point: in a fight, you want your talent tree to be used to its fullest effect, and the use of that effect is dependant on your role. Unless the battle-strategy breaks down, one talent set of my Ret/Prot Paladin will remain unused...the only exception being if that breakdown happens, and I end up becoming an off tank.

That was one of the benefits I saw in my spec-tree: it could be a very effective, very flexible off-tank.

This entails the ultimate question: is it easy to change your talent specs in mid-battle. Changing gear is easy enough (at least the weapons being held), but is there a button or a macro that can change your talent specs instantly?

If there is, then there is no off-tank benefit to my spec-tree because you can switch in battle from Ret to Prot without the trade-offs.
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby Artagel » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:52 pm

Robbert wrote:If you're generally running 5 man instances and non instance content, a holy/prot combo could serve you well as you'll rarely have to wait in queue for instance runs and prot is still a very effective solo spec. If you're looking to get into raiding, you'll likely (mileage may very depending on your guild) be better served with ret as one of your specs.


I'll try to explain my reasoning for how I came up with my spec tree and why I thought some Ret abilities deep in the tree were transferable to Prot; thus giving me the ability trade off prot talents deep in the tree for Ret talents:

There were 3 talents down the Ret tree in particular that I thought were useful to Paladin tanks. They were Judgements of the Wise, Sheath of Light, and Art of War.


***********Judgements of the Wise****************

I have consistently heard Paladin tanks at my level (60) complain that they constantly run out of mana or can't use all their abilities even though there CDs are done. This may because they're soloing and they need healers to restore their mana using the Prot talent Spiritual Attunement.

I don't know.

However, as a Ret Paladin (currently leveling), I've never had a problem with mana. Take this into consideration: My Judgements are landing every 8 sec, restoring 25% of my base mana each time they land.

The effect? With no absolutely no mana buffs, as an example, my mana goes down in increments of about 4% every 16 sec in battle. 16 seconds is a long time.

And with my Blessing of Wisdom self-buffed?

I am chaining Consecration, Crusader Strike and Judgements on a macro and adding in Excorcism and Flash of Light when AoW procs against bosses for long battles. There are virtually no delays in my casts when an opportunity to cast presents itself.

At the end of the battle?

My mana bar is still, for all intents and purposes, full (except for the 3-4% margin resulting from my use of Hammer of Wrath at the end of the battle).

As long as I have Judgements of the Wise, mana is no concern to me. I'll be able to continuously cast Consecration and aggro anything in range of my spells, throwing in my instant casts and AoW instant casts whenever I want. I've tried to deplete my mana with a mana buff applied....and failed miserably.

***********Sheath of Light****************

There's more than one way to endure during a long battle given a set amount of HP.

One of them is to mitigate damage.

The other is to heal it.

In that sense, the ability to heal almost acts like an armor buff - only far more effective, in my opinion. Another way of looking at it: self-healing is like having extra Stamina. In fact, if I wanted to give my Ret Paladin an edge in tanking rather than DPS, I could switch the 2 points in One-Handed Weapon Specialization to Sacred Duty.

Sheath of Light is the Ret Paladin's answer to the Prot's Touched by Light. Whereas the benefits of Flash of Light would be otherwise negligible due to the amount healed, the increase in spell power gives the spell more bang for the buck. When I combine it with the Prot talent Divinity, the effect is of the talented is compounded.

Essentially, both Rets and Prots can cast heals on themselves, and use all the other damage mitigation techniques, for one purpose only: to buy the healers extra time to cast and regenerate mana. And the heals of both the Prot and the Ret are mathematically the same given Sheath of Light, Touched by Light and the easy access of Divinity to both.

Except for one very important difference:

Time.

***********Art of War****************

Having talked to many Tank paladins, they all say the same thing: They never use Flash of Light when getting hit by a crowd of mobs, especially in raid.

I'm sure you know why.

Even with the supposedly short cast time, there are too many things that go wrong during the cast.

It gets pushed back (even with Spiritual focus).

It gets interrupted.

And the entire time they're casting, the rest of their instant cast spells are waiting. And that doesn't account for the CD after the cast. And besides, they don't need it anyway because they're Prots.

The risks and drawbacks don't outweigh the gain...and so the extra "armor buff", "stamina", whatever...the extra time afforded by Flash of Light to the healers goes unused by Prots.

Not so for the Ret.

My Flash of Light is an instant cast.

But it requires Art of War to proc?

My Art of War is always proc'd and refreshed. Especially with a one-handed weapon, which is what I'll be using when tanking. With all the hits that I deal, I never have a problem with too few AoW procs. I have a problem with lacking spells to cast while the AoW time meter runs down.

If I'm really worried about it, I can forego Exorcism while I tank (unecessary I think).

But what if I'm knocked down? Or stunned?

I don't have to heal at a set time. I can heal any time below a reasonable HP % (say, an 85% threshold) because the idea is not to "save myself" (That's what Lay on Hands is for), but to buy the healers a consistent "cast time allowance" every cast cycle. I just have to be conscious for a split-second and Flash of Light will fire.

Are my fingers that dextrous?

No.

I just have Flash of Light and Exorcism hooked to my mouse wheel (spinning "up" with an ALT mod), as well as my cast-sequence macro (spinning "down"). And the AoW proc shows up plain-as-day because of my addon.

If a mob crowd can keep me unconscious under the 85% HP threshold for the entire time unto death without an AoW proc , then I submit that even your run-of-the-mill Prot Paladin would die in my place.

And, of course, the mob crowd wouldn't have to do this for just one cycle, but consistently for multiple cycles because the healers would compensate, short term, for the loss of my Flash of Light.

The odds that even a large crowd could prevent me from casting in one cycle are slim to none.

And again, if they can prevent me from doing so, then a Prot Paladin would probably be just as vulnerable given the required over-powered nature or strategies of the mob boss or mob crowd (charm, dealing damage too fast, etc).
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby Artagel » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:12 pm

Robbert wrote:If you're looking to get into raiding, you'll likely (mileage may very depending on your guild) be better served with ret as one of your specs. It's easier to swap roles in raids when all the tanks and healers have a viable dps spec. When you start adding in a tank/heal mix then you tend to bump more people around in roles when swapping. As mentioned above tho, if your guild likes having the prot/holy combo around then go for it!



Thank you for the response BTW!

I will definitely ask my guild to see what the needs are.

If you still believe that my Ret/Prot spec-tree - as well as the philosophy and strategies behind it - are seriously flawed, please tell me. Especially if you think it will dampen my enjoyment of the game.

I have no problem going to a Ret&Prot or Prot&Holy or Ret&Holy Dual spec. While I enjoy exploring and testing different avenues of problem solving and meeting requirements, I also understand that "unique" is not the same as "good".
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby theckhd » Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:16 pm

Artagel wrote:If you still believe that my Ret/Prot spec-tree - as well as the philosophy and strategies behind it - are seriously flawed, please tell me.

I do.
Artagel wrote:I also understand that "unique" is not the same as "good".

This is why.

I'm not even sure where to begin here, other than to say that the trees are designed to be bottom-heavy to prevent exactly what you're trying to do. They don't want one spec of one class to be able to swap from effective tank to effective DPS. I think that despite your goal of succeeding in the overall atmosphere, you'll find that your spec will underperform everywhere. It's a "Jack of all trades, master of none" spec.


Artagel wrote:Is this the best solution for what I'm trying to accomplish?

Might there be a better way in your opinion?

My advice is to pick a tree and dedicate yourself to it. It's entirely possible to be good at PvP while still maintaining a decent prot spec, and similarly it's entirely possible to do the same with a ret spec. The ret spec won't tank very well, and the prot spec won't DPS very well, but that's the trade-off. By comparison, your spec won't do either very well.

Artagel wrote:Where is the spec weak?

In short, everywhere:

Threat - dropping Hammer of the Righteous makes your threat output much weaker, roughly 2-3k TPS lower than it could be. You also miss out on Combat Expertise, which is a strong talent in several areas. You also chose Sanctity of Battle over Crusade despite the fact that Crusade is several times stronger point for point. And despite talking about how Sheath of Light is equivalent to Touched By the Light, you have neither, which cuts you out of a significant amount of threat (another 1k or so, I'd guess).

Damage Intake - your spec misses out on Judgements of the Just, Ardent defender, Guarded by the Light, and Shield of the Templar, all of which are significant mitigation talents. You also chose to forego Vindication, which is another big mitigation talent.

Healing - For all your talk of healing as mitigation or imaginary health, your spec doesn't have Art of War. Even if it did, Flash of Light is a small amount of healing when you're talking about tank health pools. And in general, mitigation is always preferable to healing just because mitigation is passive, while healing requires a global cooldown.

Mana Regen - Though 25% of base mana is going to be roughly 1250 mana every 8 seconds, or 781 mp5. Spiritual Attunement varies, but can be upwards of 600 mp5 per point. On the other hand, JotW gives you a consistent source of mana, but we already have that (and 3% mitigation) in Divine Plea. All in all, protection is actually pretty well set as far as mana goes - I'm not sure why you think it needs to be re-worked.

Artagel wrote:Where is it strong?

Well, I guarantee you'll be unique with that spec...
But in reality, nowhere. You'll do less damage than you would as full ret OR full prot, generate less threat than either, mitigate less damage, heal yourself less effectively, and regenerate less mana when tanking anything that does more than tickle.

On the other hand, if you want to solo mobs several levels lower than you, your mana regen will be spectacular.

Artagel wrote:How do I improve it?

Honestly, by scrapping the idea and picking one tree to focus on. Both trees have advantages and disadvantages, but by learning the nuances of the class and spec, you'll figure out what they are and how to overcome them.

Artagel wrote:Will the problems result in a critical failure when (and if) I reach 80?

I don't know what level you are now, but it's already a critical failure if you're 60 or higher, because you've chosen to miss out on your 51-point talent in either tree, both of which are integral abilities to the role that tree represents.
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby bldavis » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:05 pm

wow, i really dont need to say a thing

just look at thecks post!

all i can add is that i went from 10 - 40 as prot, duelspecced and lvled to 80 as ret, tanking instances while i went (SM-GY all the way to HoL)
if your worried about healing, DS, and AoW proc-fueled FoL do wonders for ret, and just for an idea as to the power of full prot, i was in Pit of Saron, had my grp die due to adds spawning on top of them and getting one shotted (locks life tapping right before didnt help either) but i was left with 15-20 mobs ranging from 80 non elites to 82 elites, was able to tank them all down, and only popped LoH when i had 2 left and about 2k hp.

like theck stated, the deep tree talents are the bread and butter of the specs.
in ret, your rotation revolves around Divine Storn and Crusader Strike, both deep talents (41 and 51 i think) and your prot rotation includes HoR.

I would suggest going ret, i had NO downtime once i duelspecced. and a holy paladin? WIN in my book. i love healadins healing me when i tank, i NEVER run out of mana!

also if you want to level as prot, i dont remember wat talent it is, but a deep prot talent resets your DP on hit be it on a mob, or a innocent creature! :shock: i have had DP go for close to 5 min (then we had a gap in groups and couldnt find a critter to kill) :twisted:

basically i agree with theck and say you will be better off picking one, and doing the role well, then splitting and doing it crappy.

if you want to be an emergancy OT, you could go ret and sword&board it, your threat be off the charts, but you could get oneshotted by many a boss. i would stick with either dps and go full ret, or tanking and full prot.

edit: oh and very appropriate title, you will get a lot of both! :twisted:
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby Artagel » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:55 pm

theckhd wrote:
Artagel wrote:If you still believe that my Ret/Prot spec-tree - as well as the philosophy and strategies behind it - are seriously flawed, please tell me.

I do.
Artagel wrote:I also understand that "unique" is not the same as "good".

This is why.

I'm not even sure where to begin here, other than to say that the trees are designed to be bottom-heavy to prevent exactly what you're trying to do. They don't want one spec of one class to be able to swap from effective tank to effective DPS. I think that despite your goal of succeeding in the overall atmosphere, you'll find that your spec will underperform everywhere. It's a "Jack of all trades, master of none" spec.


Artagel wrote:Is this the best solution for what I'm trying to accomplish?

Might there be a better way in your opinion?

My advice is to pick a tree and dedicate yourself to it. It's entirely possible to be good at PvP while still maintaining a decent prot spec, and similarly it's entirely possible to do the same with a ret spec. The ret spec won't tank very well, and the prot spec won't DPS very well, but that's the trade-off. By comparison, your spec won't do either very well.

Artagel wrote:Where is the spec weak?

In short, everywhere:

Threat - dropping Hammer of the Righteous makes your threat output much weaker, roughly 2-3k TPS lower than it could be. You also miss out on Combat Expertise, which is a strong talent in several areas. You also chose Sanctity of Battle over Crusade despite the fact that Crusade is several times stronger point for point. And despite talking about how Sheath of Light is equivalent to Touched By the Light, you have neither, which cuts you out of a significant amount of threat (another 1k or so, I'd guess).

Damage Intake - your spec misses out on Judgements of the Just, Ardent defender, Guarded by the Light, and Shield of the Templar, all of which are significant mitigation talents. You also chose to forego Vindication, which is another big mitigation talent.

Healing - For all your talk of healing as mitigation or imaginary health, your spec doesn't have Art of War. Even if it did, Flash of Light is a small amount of healing when you're talking about tank health pools. And in general, mitigation is always preferable to healing just because mitigation is passive, while healing requires a global cooldown.

Mana Regen - Though 25% of base mana is going to be roughly 1250 mana every 8 seconds, or 781 mp5. Spiritual Attunement varies, but can be upwards of 600 mp5 per point. On the other hand, JotW gives you a consistent source of mana, but we already have that (and 3% mitigation) in Divine Plea. All in all, protection is actually pretty well set as far as mana goes - I'm not sure why you think it needs to be re-worked.

Artagel wrote:Where is it strong?

Well, I guarantee you'll be unique with that spec...
But in reality, nowhere. You'll do less damage than you would as full ret OR full prot, generate less threat than either, mitigate less damage, heal yourself less effectively, and regenerate less mana when tanking anything that does more than tickle.

On the other hand, if you want to solo mobs several levels lower than you, your mana regen will be spectacular.

Artagel wrote:How do I improve it?

Honestly, by scrapping the idea and picking one tree to focus on. Both trees have advantages and disadvantages, but by learning the nuances of the class and spec, you'll figure out what they are and how to overcome them.

Artagel wrote:Will the problems result in a critical failure when (and if) I reach 80?

I don't know what level you are now, but it's already a critical failure if you're 60 or higher, because you've chosen to miss out on your 51-point talent in either tree, both of which are integral abilities to the role that tree represents.



Oi, I think we have a partial misunderstanding of my own making: I linked the wrong spec which was one of many iterations I tested.

The link has been fixed.

Please take another look at the spec again.

Chances are your overall judgment may not change, but I'd like to hear your feedback about the details of the actual spec rather than a discarded iteration.

Again, I apologize for the confusion.
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby Artagel » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:21 pm

bldavis wrote:edit: oh and very appropriate title, you will get a lot of both! :twisted:


:lol: I thank Theck for showing me my place in the pecking order.

I knew what I was stepping into when I made this post...and now I've asked him for a second helping because the spec he was looking was the wrong one due to my utter incompetence.

Not that it will change his opinion of "splitting the tree" but I hope the spec I linked is least consistent with the logic I outlined at great length.
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby Robbert » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:19 pm

I can see what you're trying to do with the updated spec link, but I still think you'll be better served choosing either ret or prot and going with something close to one of the mainstream builds. You're still missing enough key talents in both trees to render yourself mediocre at either role at best.

The closest you'll come to being a dps who can hop into the tanking roll on a moment's notice is to spec ret, gear in pvp gear, and set up a macro to turn on Righteous Fury and swap to a tanking weapon and shield. You'll be very squishy in heroics (although much less so than the dps surrounding you), but with a good healer around you might just be able to stay alive. Also, for most heroics you can equip a full tanking set as ret and (again with a good healer) do a decent job of it.
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby theckhd » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:00 am

Artagel wrote:Oi, I think we have a partial misunderstanding of my own making: I linked the wrong spec which was one of many iterations I tested.

The link has been fixed.

Please take another look at the spec again.

Chances are your overall judgment may not change, but I'd like to hear your feedback about the details of the actual spec rather than a discarded iteration.

Again, I apologize for the confusion.

That spec at least lines up a little better with your description. But most of my criticisms still stand - you're speccing to be mediocre at everything.

A good example of this is the lack of synergy - The only deep prot talent you have is 2/3 One Handed Weapon Spec. While that's a good threat talent, you can't use that at the same time as your deep Ret talent, Crusader Strike.

And since you haven't taken any of the deep prot stuff, you'll be fairly weak at tanking anyway. You don't have Holy Shield, Avenger's Shield, or Hammer of the Righteous, and you don't have any of the deep prot mitigation talents. All of the mitigation talents you do have are accessible even with a full Ret spec anyway. For example, this build gives you almost all of the defensive stuff while letting you have Divine Storm. The last 3 points three points can be put in either Prot (Imp. RF or Devo aura) or in Ret (Swift Ret, Divine Purpose). And you'll still be nearly as powerful as a full PvE ret build. If you want to go more towards the PvP end of things, you can shuffle things around to get Eye for an Eye, Stoicism, and Guardian's Favor.

When you want to tank, throw on some prot gear to get defense capped and 2-H tank. This will be fine for leveling, and even most regular dungeons. Sure, you'll take more damage than a prot spec tank, but you can compensate by pulling more slowly, using crowd control (Repentance on the pull), and assigning a kill order.

You won't really be able to do lvl 80 dungeons this way, but you wouldn't have with your other spec either. Nobody's going to run a heroic with a tank specced the way you suggested - you'd be vote-kicked as soon as possible.
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby Epimer » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:38 am

theckhd wrote:...defense capped...

:shock:
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby bldavis » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:54 pm

Epimer wrote:
theckhd wrote:...defense capped...

:shock:

seconded :shock:

i believe he tore me a new one when i said the same thing back when i was a young paladin cutting my teeth on my t-steel epics (god that WAS a long time ago!) :shock:
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby theckhd » Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:49 pm

bldavis wrote:i believe he tore me a new one when i said the same thing back when i was a young paladin cutting my teeth on my t-steel epics (god that WAS a long time ago!) :shock:

I doubt it, I don't think I've ever harped on people about that. That's usually Majiben.

I still haven't trained myself out of the old usage, so when I'm not careful I'm liable to slip up. Pretend I said "defense minned."
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Re: Noob needs advice/criticism on his two talent specs

Postby bldavis » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:50 am

come to think of it, i bet your right theck, I apologize.

now back to LaLa land where theck really said def-min :twisted:
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Brekkie:Tanks are like shitty DPS. And healers are like REALLY distracted DPS
Amirya:Why yes, your penis is longer than his because you hit 30k dps in the first 10 seconds. But guess what? That raid boss has a dick bigger than your ego.
Flex:I don't make mistakes. I execute carefully planned strategic group wipes.
Levie:(in /g) It's weird, I have a collar and I dont know where I got it from, Worgen are kinky!
Levie:Drunk Lev goes and does what he pleases just to annoy sober Lev.
Sagara:You see, you need to *spread* the bun before you insert the hot dog.
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bldavis
 
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