The new Holy (long, with a smile at the end)

Okay, so a few days ago, just for my own lazy-bookmarking, I linked to a guide on making a “AoE”-specced Paladin. The reason for this was because the instructions on that post (and here )revitalized my enjoyment of playing my sub-main, a dwarf paladin who’s been gathering dust for awhile now.
I’m going to talk about that in more detail in this post, because I keep thinking about it.
It was a great, fun day of playing with her, and since she was unceremoniously booted from her guild a month or so back for not being logged in enough (writing a book, helloooooo), those moments of enjoyment with this character have been few and far between.
So anyway, it’s Tuesday. I’ve hit level 59 with Grezz’k and I’m 1001 points from 60 (in one-third the play time it took me to hit 50 with Hangtime, and half the time it took me with Hype. *coff*), and I don’t want to level any further with him just yet — there were some lower-level quests I wanted to finish with him before dinging, so I left him sitting.
I’d been reading the paladin thing, so I logged on Kayti and followed Ze Instructions.

1. Go to the trainer and respec. Put at least 31 points into the Protection Tree. Make sure to get Blessing of Sanctuary, Holy Shield, Redoubt and Reckoning. Imp Holy Shield is also great if you can get it (if you’re putting more than 31 points in prot.)

First, for MMO-but-not-WoW players, each character class has three ‘trees’ they can put their Talent points into, which give you special abilities not typical available. In CoH, you have a Primary power and a Secondary. In WoW, you have three Primaries, but only enough “slots” to really max out one and half-max another for supplemental stuff… or half-max all three, or something.
Anyway, Kayti had been all spread out between the Holy (I R HLR), Protection (Tank), and Retribution (Melee damage) trees, because I was playing around.
I bitched a bit about these instructions, because this spec is supposed to be viable at right around her level, and I don’t have 31 points to put in there, I have 25. Still, I loaded up as much as I could.

2. Put on a sword/mace/axe and shield. The weapon should be fast — around 1 hit/2 seconds speed is nice — and if it sometimes gives you an extra attacks, so much the better. The shield should have a high block value and a shield spike attached (any blacksmith can attach these if you buy them off the AH.) The rest of your gear … eh.

Eh. I’ve been using a really REALLY nice two-handed axe, with a shield and one-handed axe in my backpack for tougher fights… but I’d also been DYING alot, so I switched to the shield/weapon mix without too much pain. I couldn’t find a shield spike of any kind of the Auction House, and still can’t, but whatever. I’ll be charming and play “the funny gal on the public channels” until someone takes pity and sells me one.
Anyway, I’m set up as well as I can be right now.

3. Find a nice-looking group of mobs. Preferably, they’ll be melee fighters and clustered closely together. Bonus points if they don’t run away at low health and if they have fast attack speeds.

I look over my quests and I notice I have one for taking out a bunch of Syndicate thieves and cutpurses. Sounds good.
Now, the trick with this build is this:
– You activate the power on yourself that damages anyone who hits you. This is called Aura of Retribution, appropriately. To do this, I have to forgo other auras, like the one that buffs my armor a lot. 🙁
– You bless yourself with another thing that will sometimes hit your attacker with yet more damage whenever you block an attack with your shield. IE: useless with a two-hander. Check.
– You hit the “Tank Aura” that makes you generate a ton more aggro with your attacks. Useless by itself, but I have a talent that makes it reduce incoming damage, which helps alot.
At this point. I’m a City of Heroes fire tank. 🙂 Two last thing to do:
– Bless yourself with the power that HEALS YOU (sometimes) WHEN SOMEONE HITS YOU.
– Lay a Judgement on your opponent so that when you hit them (sometimes) it ALSO heals you.
So I try one person. Wow. I don’t die. This is a marked improvement.
I try another person. He runs off a low hit points and brings back two friends. I scramble a bit, but I’m okay.
I try another. HE runs off and brings back four friends, one of whom is a caster. I have pretty much zero defense against casters. I die.
I mutter. I go back. I rez, circle their camp, and try another angle.
1 guy.
2 guys.
1 guy, who adds two more later.
1 guy, who adds two more later, who then both add another… scramble… put up shield-of-no-touchy-for-six-seconds and heal… heal again… scramble… reapply auras… WIN.
2 guys, one of whom goes and gets the same caster who burned me down before. I see her coming, charge her, pulling in two MORE guys, stun her and burn her down as fast as I can, while hitting my own lowly area attack to hurt the others…
Win. WIN!
My god, on the old build I wouldn’t have made it TO the caster. WOW.
Oh, look, I finished that quest and got my guys. Right.
What’s next?
Oh, I need to go fight ogres? Okay.
Ogres stand far apart from each other and attack really slow. This build likes several fast-attacking guys on you at once, so …
Well, I didn’t die, and I was never close to dying. it wasn’t AWESOME, but it was a DAMN sight better than I’d have done the day before. I finish that one up with no problems.
What’s next? Oh, stop the depredations of the Mountain Lions on the villagers livestock? Okay.
Sweet. Holy. Mother.
Mountain lions attack FAST. Fast, relatively low-damage attacks. And they don’t run away when they get low on health.
Three of them? Sometimes four? The attacks are coming in so fast it sounds like raindrops hitting the roof, as Starbuck would say.
My health bar never dropped. The heals from the Blessings of Light proc’d so fast that the healing messages covered up the damage messages on the screen. It was EXACTLY what this build was built to do, and it was AWESOME. I finished up the quest in record time and DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE. So much fun!
So I turn in those quests and ding 35. Put another point into Protection on the way to the really GOOD power that comes up at 40.
I look at my woeful gear and look at the recommended cool stuff to get to help my in my new line of work.
“Hmm… that shield drops in Gnomeregan, of the boss. I’ve RUN that instance before. I know it. I just need a group.”
I find a group. They want to know if I’ll heal.
Umm. Sure. I am a paladin, after all. I’m prot-specced (he said proudly) but if that’s what you need… Sure. (I just want the damn shield.)
I look at the people in the group and there’s no tank but me. I ask who’s going to tank.
“My pet,” says the leader.
Okay, I’m a hunter on my main. I get that the pet can totally tank, if you have the right spec. I ask if he’s a Beastmaster.
He isn’t. He laughs and assures me it will all be fine.
The group is completely ass. I’ll talk about the hunter later — the one with the pet that didn’t have Growl (the taunt power) who he thought was going to tank the instance. The guy specialized in ranged attacks who fought in melee all the time. The idiot.
However, I DID get a very fast sword that has a 5% chance of hitting your target with an electrical attack whenever you hit (those wacky gnomes). Upgrade! Woo. Then everyone died and I left.
Later the same day, I get into another Gnomeregan group.
I join, and everyone’s dead. Oooookay.
I look over the group. They have a pally — another female dwarf pally — which is WEIRD and RARE, but okay. A couple shamans, who can both heal and fight. A hunter leading them. Ooookay.
I ask who’s going to tank. They hunter says “You are!”
I breath a little sigh of relief. Doyce speek tank gud.
We go in. We fight. They LISTEN. They let me go in, drop my little AoE, get aggro, and don’t hit em until I say hit em.
I’m running a little mod that tracks everyone’s total damage and healing and stuff, and I have it set to track healing for Kayti, cuz paladins aren’t that great for damage.
I’m SECOND in healing dished out, SOLELY because everyone’s hitting the mob I’ve put that heal-the-hitter blessing on. That’s cool.
No one dies. NO ONE. Not the whole run. The lost city of Gnomeregan is peopled with crowds of one or two elite bosses surrounded by a half-dozen non-elite guys who run in and attack you with fast, low-damage attacks.
Can you see my smile from here? I thought you could. The healer didn’t even have to heal me most of the time. 🙂
We get to the boss. I’m not as good against one big slow opponent, but we still burn him down.
The shield I wanted drops. I get it. I am happy. 🙂 ((5% chance to hit the attacker with an electrical attack on each successful block. Woot.))
Everyone compliments my “awesome” tanking. I’ve upgraded the two main pieces of gear I needed for my new build. I leveled for the first time in maybe two or three months on this character, and I’m halfway to the next level.
Afterwards, I flipped that stat tracker around to see the damage-leaders from the run.
Little ol’ Kayti, with her reflective damage ‘o retribution and shield-block damage and one piddly Area Attack? 35% of the total damage done. Roughly the same damage percentage that Grezz’k gets on the Horde-side runs.
#1 on the charts, #1 in our hearts.
Good day to be a paladin. 🙂

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