Monday, May 3, 2010

Late in the afternoon, and all is well

I didn't have nearly as much time to play as I thought I would over the weekend; despite that, I still managed to get Aeven to level 53. Along the way, she got to Run Marudon (purple) and Zul'farrak. Both went well - the only comment about her gear was from one of the folks running ZF, and that quickly turned into a "pallies are OP" discussion.

What with one thing and another, Aeven - fully buffed, including buffs from other players in the parties - managed to pull just slightly over 150 dps through those two instances. She did a lot better on the trash, thanks to her AoE abilities; but still, it seems as if her damage output and her threat are perfectly respectable, especially after she hit level 52 and had the extra talent point to spare to learn Holy Shield.

Then I dropped 1000 gold for Dual Talent Specialization and Aeven became a Protection/Retribution paladin... and I learned what real paladin dps is like.

The first mob I hit after switching over to retribution, I honestly was confused at what was happening. Why did he fall over so quickly? Did I somehow pick up a low-level mob or something? Wait... what are all those buff icons for? Vengeance? The Art of War? What happened? Oh, yeah, those are my talents, now - cool! Let's see how much that helped me out... and Skada says...


200+ dps.


And that's before I remembered to turn on Retribution Aura.

And no, I'm not exaggerating. My normal single-mob attack pattern is to hit them with a Hand of Reckoning, follow that with an Exorcism, and then whatever judgement is suitable... then auto attack until I can judge again, 8 seconds later. For tough mobs, or when the RNG was being unhappy with me, I'd have to maybe throw down a third judgement, and maybe another exorcism, and cap it all off with a Hammer of Wrath. So, say, roughly 25-30 seconds to down a same-level mob, all told.

With her full-on Retribution spec, Aeven's nailing same-level mobs with enough damage that the initial salvo of HoR, Exorcism, and judgement are taking mobs all the way down to 30% damage or so. A few auto attacks, and before I can toss of another judgment, I can let loose with HoW and finish them off. All done in around 8-10 seconds, depending on whether or not I can instant-cast Exorcism due to an Art of War proc.

Yep. Our little lady is almost literally three times as good at killing things now. She makes me proud, she does! Aeven is now entire capable of plowing through appropriate level mobs like... well, like a very sharp thing that cuts very flimsy things. You know what I mean. She's still sporting a simple 1H weapon and shield, too - hopefully upgrading to a real 2H weapon with a decent enchant will increase her dps even further.

As advertised, there will probably be little Aeven news this week - at least, not until I manage to finish of School of Hard Knocks on my main. I've heard everything from "oh, man, that was the worst time in my life" to "wow, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be." In any case, it seems like it's better to get in early and try to get the battleground achievements, so that's just what I'm going to do this week... though I'll be trying to do it as quickly as possible, so I can get back to Aeven as she pushes on towards the magical level 60.

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