The Everlasting Gift

 Hello there! *Waves nervously*.  My name is Kaelynn, or Kae for short (not to be confused with the druid Kae from the Dreambound Druid). You can normally find me rambling over at ShadesOfKae. I’ve never written a guest post before, but I was very excited to take part in this year’s Blog Azeroth Secret Santa. I’ve spent a bit of time perusing Tarinae’s blog to get some idea of what she might want for Christmas. I can guarantee that I will not be able to provide any useful Holy Paladin advice. My current main is a Resto/Elemental Shaman, and my paladin is still level 52 (and hasn’t healed since Mauradon broke her heart).

I thought about writing a post about shields… because that is one thing that healadin’s and resto shaman have in common. Those darn offhand things never seem to ever drop – I know that healadins share my pain there. Then I realized that would likely be a post full of QQing. It’s the holidays, and not time for QQing. It’s time for giving, cheer, and fun. Many bloggers write Secret Santa posts in the style of the blogger they are gifting it to, or come up with something humorous. I’ve never been particularly great at being funny – be glad I spared you that.

Then I saw the phoenix at the bottom of Tarinae’s about page, and it suddenly clicked. It’s obvious that we share an obsession with phoenixes. I’ve never really discussed my love for them on my own blog, but previously to WOW the phoenix was very tied up with my online identity.

The Origins of the Phoenix

The phoenix or firebird has long been a popular mythological figure. Many cultures cherished a bird-like figure that was identified with the sun, such as the Chinese Fenghuang or the Persion Simurgh. The phoenix as we know it today is thought to be a beautiful bird that bursts into flames and rises from its own ashes. There have been many variations on this myth, with Greek, Roman, Christian, and even Egyptian and Hindu sources. The word “phoenix” derives from the Greek word for the color crimson.

The phoenix has long been romanticized by artists and authors, such as the beautiful and haunting musical composition by Igor Stravinsky named “The Firebird”. Even Shakespeare referenced the phoenix.

The Phoenix in Popular Culture

Jumping forward a bit in time from Shakespeare, we can see the phoenix all around us in the modern world. From Harry Potter’s phoenix, which heals wounds with its tears, to the X-men’s Jean Gray, to Final Fantasy’s resurrecting Phoenix Down, we are obviously still fascinated with the myth.

It’s easy to see why so many have fallen in love with the concept of the phoenix. It represents immortality, life after death, and starting anew. It is a symbol of hope, of persevering in the face of adversity, of rebuilding. The phoenix is the cycle of life, the beginning and the end. It’s also an insanely beautiful creature – usually depicted with a long flowing tail and wings tipped with fire, and imbued with an incredible grace.

I don’t know exactly what the phoenix means to Tarinae, but I know that it has helped me through some hard times. When all hope seems lost, and the phoenix approaches death, it burst into flames and starts over. It helps me to think of this symbol, to know that I can start over and rebuild even when it seems so impossible.

The Phoenix in WOW

I could only find a few tidbits about the lore of the phoenix in WOW. Kael’thas Sunstrider has a “pet” phoenix named Al’ar (“the phoenix god”), whom he apparently summoned from its home in the Elemental Plane. The phoenix is the most powerful spell that a blood mage (such as Kael’thas) can cast. The phoenix also serves as a symbol of the blood elf race, which rose from the ashes of the high elves.

A phoenix can be captured by players via the mini-pet Phoenix Hatchling, which drops from Kael’thas in Magister’s Terrace, after you defeat him and a fearsome phoenix (son or daughter of Al’ar). Of course this was merely a setback. You fight A’lar as the first boss in the Eye of Tempest Keep, and can receive a very rare drop from Kael’thas which is the Ashes of Al’ar, a phoenix mount.  Sidenote: I’m sure you’ve probably heard that the first ever phoenix mount in-game was given to a young man named Ezra Chatterton, after visiting Blizzard’s offices as his wish from Make-A-Wish foundation. I think that is such a beautiful gesture on Blizzard’s part, giving an item which symbolizes hope and rebirth to a dying man.

Although I have farmed Magister’s Terrace frequently, I have never seen a drop of the lovely phoenix hatchling. It is a bit of a sore spot for me – I would give up all my epic loots for that hatchling. That hatchling is my white whale, my unicorn.

As of Cataclysm, Blizzard introduced two new phoenixes that you can acquire. The Reins of the Dark Phoenix are obtainable by completing the Guild Glory of the Cataclysm Raider achievement, and the Dark Phoenix Hatchling is rewarded from the guild achievement United Nations. These are essentially recolored models of the previous phoenix mount and hatchling.

I am curious about the lore of a dark phoenix. Is Blizzard implying that Deathwing’s rupture of the elemental plane has somehow corrupted even the phoenix? Perhaps he has experimented with their eggs, like he did with the Nether dragons? Or perhaps Blizzard just thought that a Dark Phoenix would be “cool”. Whatever the case, I’m thrilled to have a sure-fire way to capture one of the gorgeous creatures for myself.

A phoenix also appears when fighting High Prophet Barim in the Cataclysm 5-man, the Lost CIty of the Tol’vir.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope that you all enjoy the holiday festivities, whether in-game or out. Thank you for reading my Secret Santa Gift to Tarinae (I’m sure you’ve noticed that brevity is not my forte, and I appreciate you sticking around)! May the new year bring you a fresh start, rising from the ashes of 2010.

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Tuesday with Tarinae 12/21

Okay, so today has started off on the wrong foot. I woke up to an email that said my billing address for my iTunes account had been changed…well I don’t recall moving and getting a new fancy address within the last three years….so my first instinct (after a paypal disaster) was to check my bank account, it is safe…I realized that my credit card was not attached to my iTunes and I decided to check that…WHERE THE HELL DID MY $4 go…great, someone hacked my iTunes.

Now before you go hating on me for not protecting my computer, I do. I have Kaspersky that was heavy duty enough to remove a root kit on my boyfriends old computer before it completely destabilized and destroyed his computer. I stay away from questionable websites, don’t use any P2P services like limewire, or anything of the like. I don’t know what is going on.

3 Years ago my wow account was hacked and held hostage by a playful hacker who wanted even more money from my friends but he got caught. Blizzard was great in helping me and I have an authenticator now.

I hadn’t used PayPal in over a year since I had been a sophomore in college and one random day they hack that and steal my credit card and non-existent money to buy Aion. The bank was great at handling the fraud case, amazingly awesome in fact.

And now, iTunes. On Thursday I bought some Florence & The Machine songs and downloaded them on my computer. I frequently run these virus and spyware scans and they return with no threats detected…how is this getting through, I think to myself. I don’t understand; it really does a lot to make you feel vulnerable and insecure.

But apparently, there was this massive mess with email addresses and usernames and I wasn’t the only one who happened to have their iTunes wanted…but they did happen to get mine.

I have used my secure iPhone to change the password and account information and have a response form into Apple, they claim a response in 24 hours so I will wait and see, I hope they are as good at handling this as everyone else has been in the past.

But really…that should have been a rant for a personal blog…and I don’t want to taint this lovely column with my bad mood, so here…have some pretties…I told you I would save them for a rainy day.

Naga infested areas can still be beautiful, huh!

The World Pillar

The Ruins of Lordaeron

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Throne of Tides: The Paladin

My current level is 83 and I have been within the Throne of Tides thrice. Each one yielding a new something…

Trip 1: I was under the impression that this may have been the shortest instance in existence given that we only fought the Shaman & the Neptulon event. It turned out that they had lost a couple people in the group and had already defeated the first two bosses. I was a noob.

Trip 2: Started the full instance but no quests were involved. I saw…for the first time in a VERY LONG TIME…crowd control! I also got to experience the cut scene and all the boss fights!

Trip 3: I just finished EVERY single quest in Vashj’ir (I would note that is the FIRST and ONLY zone I have ever done that in!) and comlpeted the Loremaster achivement for the zone as well as [20, 000 Leagues Under the Sea] and [Visions of Vashj'ir Past]…when I entered this instance this time, there were quests to be had and a superior level of understanding to what is actually going on in this instance and I found it absolutely amazing.

Also, every time I have been in this instance, I have seen something new drop. Something paladin that makes my heart swoon; but I also know the healing mechanics and so I thought I would write it all up and share it!

I won’t talk about spec, I am using the same spec that I have already covered recently in build analysis, but I have dumped my 81, 82, and 83 points into finishing off Crusade (in Ret) and maxing 2/2 in Eternal Glory (in Prot).

Healing things to note:

  • It is important to keep your beacon up on the tank at all times. Remember that with Protector of the Innocent, you know longer particularly benefit from putting it on yourself. Something to note about Beacon, with the latest hotfixes, you can no longer get HoPo from Tower of Radiance by using Holy Light on your Beacon, it will only benefit and grant charges from Divine Light of Flash of Light (I’m sure I will talk about that in depth at some point).
  • Deep Corruptors…the Faceless ones…they have an ability that will pick the group up and then let them fall. At that point they proceed to do a stomp-like AOE sending damage across the party. This is a good pull to make sure you have HoPo charges for Light of Dawn. You can escape further damage by exiting the area of melee and healing everyone back up. Remember as a holy paladin, you can benefit by saving yourself to heal last because of Protector of the Innocent.
  • Watch for people standing in the bad!
  • During the shaman fight, there is a period in transition between phase 1 and 2 where a party member will be taken over. They are expected to take damage as the party members must attack them but don’t fret, they will pop back up somewhere near full health after their stint as an octopus puppet is over.
  • The Neputlon event is very easy to heal, the damage isn’t massive that randomly throwing out Flash of Light across the party will keep everyone exactly where they need to be. There may be some line of sight issues, I’m not entirely sure but its a round room so be sure to place appropriately if you want to Light of Dawn, but that isn’t too necessary given the small increments of damage that occur. In the ending phase, there is a constant damage AOE but everyone has massive health pools and you will have massive through put!
  • On the way to the Neptulon event there is a small gauntlet of these little puple elemental voidwalker things. It is very easy to grab healing aggro and for a while I didn’t realize it was necessary to run through, but it can be a little difficult to heal if the tank isn’t doing a heads up job and noting where all the mobs are targeting. I lost a clothie here once. The damage can be minimal, moderate, or extreme. Be sure to note the level of expertise in your tank (not the stat…the smarts) and be prepared! Based on that Light of Dawn, Holy Shock, and Flash of Light are strong favorites for fast healing if the adds get out of control.

Holy Paladin Gear:

Prime/Optimal (Normal iLvl 308):

Suboptimal/General Upgrade:

Remember that there is a plate specialization that increases highest stat (Intellect) by 5% and the inclusion of the sub-optimal list in in no means promoting their use nor am I telling you to get it, just putting it out there for the sake of information!

Also, for those of you, like myself, who may be questing as Ret, there are some amazing drops that come from here. I have had the fortune of rolling need off-spec against other people who also want off-spec ((PS. Warrior and Paladin Tanks….you don’t NEED that two handed weapon…you has shield like I does!)).

Retribution Gear:

Overall, the instance is enjoyable and has some interesting mechanics as a whole. The quests are readily available and do not require you to have quested in the zone of Vashj’ir. At this moment, my character sheet reports that my iLvl (in either set?) is 299. Upon understanding the instance, I haven’t lost anyone since but my healing gloves are on and Holy Radiance is mine!

Be on the look-out for more healadin goodness and remember that you must discover all instance entrances before you can be put into them!

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Tuesday with Tarinae 12/14

Okay, so last Tuesday I had requested the day off so that I could play Cataclysm, and I spent 12 hours playing a worgen mage. This Tuesday however, is sad…The Lady Tarinae is ill…It isn’t anything nearly as bad as the flu and I am taking medicine but the level of stress (hello new task at work with tiny deadline) and the sickness are making for a very fragile me. So today, I am going to bring you a small piece of news, some link love, and some screenshots.

But first the news…

The guild achievement Everyone Needs a Logo seems to be bugged at the moment. The last time I checked, this was not on the list of known issues and I know that a lot of other people are having this problem. The achivement is earned by creating and purchasing a guild crest. Well, if you look at your tabard, the design is your crest…ask the Tabard Creator dude and he will tell you! As a GM, I have redesigned our tabard at least once a year, if not every six month to bring our theme out…that and most people didn’t like the original orange. But anyways, I tried to change it the other day, thinking that would acknowledge the completed objective but that was not the case. An interesting turn of events here is that if a guild did NOT have a crest before Cataclysm, they can create one now for the guild, but having one previously is not allowing for completion.

So, I opened a ticket about it….and the ticket was escalated (which I thought would yeild good results!)…and then I got the response. In the short, they admitted to looking in to it and noticing that it wasn’t working, told me to keep an eye for known issues, and that they couldn’t guarentee when or IF there would be a solution.

Let me just say, if a solution is not found…that will make for some very…VERY…unhappy guild leaders, myself included.

Link Love

Last week we talked about what everyone would be doing that first day and so this week, now that everyone is beginning to put up their one-week markers, I’d like to direct you to them to see how things turned out…

  • Rohan discusses dungeoning and an unforseen part of the healing rotation.
  • Kurn makes some epic points about how dungeons are seeming to be headed. I for one thought we were done with Wrath and CC was supposed to mean something again. Why play this game if nothing is a challenge? On twitter earlier Derevka comments “Heroics are supposed to be just that: Heroic. Not ZOMG I HAVE THE MIN ILVL FACEROLLZ!” and I don’t think I could have said it better.
  • Rhidach recounts his first 24 hours!
  • Ophelie can sum up the start of Cataclysm for her in three words.
  • Anexxia talks about things she love and things that drive her crazy. She also did a Friday 5 on what she had done so far!
  • Cynwise reminds us that patience is a virtue.
  • Jaedia shares first day excitement!
  • I couldn’t help but giggle when Zelmaru discusses being a hunter!

And because it is highly informational, I think you need to check out Bossy Pally’s guide to Crowd Control (CC)!

Screenshots

Okay okay, I fibbed a little bit. I was going to upload the really pretty images but I can save those for another day…this is just too good to keep to myself!

Keep on having fun and I am going to go take my horse pill of an antibiotic and settle down for my sick day.

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/tar the line /lay….

Laying it on the line…

I recently had a discussion with someone who is one of my most influential bloggers, it was the eve of the midnight release or thereabout and we were talking about what would he would be doing in Cataclysm. The conversation drifted to us discussing what we want to do vs. what we see our expectations being set as as bloggers. Recently, viewers and readers to my sight have been slightly above normal given the expansion release but I want to let you all know what you can expect from me. What to expect from me as a blogger…what to expect from me as a player…what to expect from me as a Paladin…and even what to expect from me as a Guild Master; because the expectations I set will be from a perspective that will still maximize my enjoyment and entertainment while not letting you down because you don’t see what you expected you might.

First as a player and a paladin my goal is not to 85 as fast as I can. I don’t want to get to the end goal and two months down the line out of at least 24 be wondering what to do next. I have legitimate joy right now balancing the “Characters to be leveled” list with three 80s and a slew of freshly rolled alts I had been waiting for. I want to get to 85 and experience the first tier of end game content or heroics but I never want to feel about heroics like I did in Wrath again, so if I can hold that off just a while longer…I will. As a paladin, I want to know if the healing at 83+ is better than healing Wrath content was, because I will admit I didn’t like it. The mechanics were built for a different style of damage and while there were those that perservered and succeeded, I went back to melee dps for a few go’s, but I never tried for the Lich King again after the release of 4.0.3. I was out of the Wrath mindset and much too excited for the characters I would be rolling soon. I was still okay with the progress I had made. I saw the inside of most tiers of end-game content and finished completely Naxxramas and TOC. I also finished OS and Malygos but never RS.

As a blogger, you can expect to see the same things you have been seeing. Lately, I have slacked off on the emphasis of holy paladining because the basis or the foundation wasn’t changing but as of this moment you will still see this information. It will range from leveling a new alt to leveling out of 80 and when I get there, healing at 85. There is so much I can talk about when it comes to being a holy paladin and if it comes down the line that I won’t be healing any more…not saying this is the case btw…you will be the first to know. But in addition to that, you can expect to see fun tales of that worgen I rolled or here me talk and go on about just how much FUN I had starting a goblin…which btw, if you haven’t done it, do it!

And on top of all of those expectations, I am still guild master to a wonderful guild <Age of the Phoenix>. We are about to hit Level 2 and I have responsibility to them. But like I explained to my friend, I am not setting any goals for them…they can level when they want, they can level what they want or not even buy Catacylysm at all right now because what I am stressing us to do as a guild is be happy…the theme for us right now is CHOICE. We even opened an alliance sister guild for those who wanted to roll worgen because we support them in whatever they do. I would LOVE to post about the guild interface and changes to guilds and I will, it is a facet of who I am as a player, but right now, I am going to go play instead. I don’t what I will do today, but it will be something that won’t ding me 85 (maybe 82…possibly) I am pretty certain of that.

I would very much like to take this time to redirect you to some of the posts that you will find extremely helpful in your paladining that cover healing through the Wrath content and level 80:

TL;DR

You can expect to see the same hodge podge of posts you have been seeing but I won’t be pushing to 85 so you won’t see end game Paladin stuff until I am there. I want to have fun not burn out too early and be done with the experience. Don’t forget I am a GM so you will more than likely see stuff on that too!

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Tuesday with Tarinae: Cataclysm 12/7

 

Well the day has finally come when the expansion is live. We have waited for this day for a while now and I would love to have introduced it as the end of the world, but we know that The Shattering has already happened, Deathwing is out and about killing people with his wings of flaming death but yet here we are, still waiting but the wait is over. Regardless of whether or not you bought the Digital Download, the Collector’s Edition, or physical DVD’s you still had to wait until that lucky moment of 12:01 AM in the Pacific Time Zone. For me, that meant that I wasn’t able to play until 3AM, and I’m okay with that, I have taken the day off work, and for approximately 24 hours will be pretending that nothing else exists.

Last Tuesday I asked for submissions about what everyone will be doing today (or this morning) because there are a plethora of options available. Are you going to be a Realm First Illustrious Grand Master? Are you going to be one of the 2×10^45 worgen or goblins in the starting zones? Are you heading to Hyjal or one of the other zones to work to 85? Are you exploring the zones? What about archaeology? Will you immediately train flying in Azeroth?

I am sure I can keep going with the options but instead of asking the questions, I will jump right into what people are saying for their answers. As for me, I will be starting a worgen initially then I will work to find a delicate balance between 85 and my 1200×10^20 alts that may currently exist. I am very excited to fly in Azeroth; can you imagine the screenshot opportunities?

Allexant of Shadow Council-US  & Lou will be leveling worgens; a priest and druid respectively.

Gazimoff has told the mage forums his launch day plans:

I’ll probably be hitting the Tailoring and Enchanting trainers first before diving into Vashj’ir. My first aim will be to get to 81 and start running the Throne of the Tides as soon as possible.

Jaedia says:

Move over to Hyjal/Vashjnir and QUEST LIKE A BITCH :3 *ahem* level my Priest speedily.

Rades has an interesting take on the experience:

I will be making a new goblin and worgen. Questing can wait, but that initial swarm of excited ppl won’t! One-time experience!

Moody is…

Going to try to get up to 85 first. May take breaks to start a goblin and a worgen.

AF Guildmate @Zombiegopher says:

Probably 85 first, with dungeons on the way. Unless the 80-81 zones are so packed it drives me insane. :P

Tasha will be joining me…

I’ll be rolling my Worgen Warrior and playing through the starting zone then showing my favorite warrior Aleksondra some love.

R&R’s Angelya comments:

As soon as midnight PST strikes however (6pm at my place), I’ll be on my Druid, heading for Mount Hyjal :) Can’t wait!

Fobok blogs that his plans are to get his paladin to 85 and he discusses there just how he is going to do that!

My loving boyfriend says:

I’m going to be waving to all of my friends from puppy land.

Psynister makes me smile:

My plan is to roll more toons so that I can delete more toons…in order to yet, roll more toons!

And after a great chat with Cynwise, he has decided that he has not decided.

So there you have it, what your friends around the WoW community will be doing come this Tuesday, whether it be 3AM or 6PM, we will all be finding our very own ways o enjoy this game. As far as I am aware, race changes will be available to the new races upon the release of Cataclysm but there are not Realm First racials any more to compensate for race changes.

If I don’t see you in game, I would still love to know what you have been up to today or what you will be up to!

I hope you all enjoy the expansion release day!

((PS. I just threw in random block quotes to break up the text a little bit, blocking it all made it very spacey!))

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The Cataclysm Line Experience

Only three people deep, I have successfully been in this line for 2.25 hours and my feet have gotten sore and I am horribly bored.

I stood in line for CE:Wrath for 15 hours and had a blast watching Kung Fu Panda and eating Subway in lay away. After a while we had a little group chatting it up…even if they were elitist.

But what has the digital download done to the “standing in line” experience? Virtually ruined it…see what I did there?!?

Even when you pre order you get to stand in line for the handout buy when you go digital why leave the comfort o your own home?

When you live in major cities where awesome events are occurring (can’t link at the moment) then the draw to go out is there but what about in cities like mine, it is just depressing and freaking zero degrees with windchill.

So here I am, sitting with Paul and another gentleman either waiting for the big crowd boom or to go home…at which point I will be forced to wait three more hours to play!

What. A. Day.

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