Holy Paladins in 4.2 - What You Need to Know

The release of Patch 4.2 brings with it the first major new content of Cataclysm: A new raiding tier taking place in a gigantic zone, a new quest hub and dailies with excellent gear rewards, a Legendary Staff for the Mages and Warlocks to fight to the death over, and a new, epic questline advancing the story of Thrall and the Earthen Ring. Not to mention getting a chance to kill Ragnaros once and for all and an opportunity to finally shove all that goddamn dirt that we gathered right in Fandral Staghelm's snarly face. Good times.

But with this patch, as always, come a lot of changes, balances and tweaks to the classes. Holy Paladin's are getting off pretty easy this time around; avoiding drastic changes but getting some quality of life changes, a couple of buffs and of course, getting the mana cost of our direct heals nerfed yet again.

I have put together a list of all the changes in this patch that are relevant to Paladins of the Holy persuasion, along with my comments. Full Patch Notes are here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2993743


  • All healing critical strikes now heal for 2 times a normal heal (+100%), up from 1.5 times a normal heal (+50%).
A straightforward buff to all healers throughput, and an attempt to make Critical Strike rating a desirable secondary stat for healing. I'm still not completely sold on the viability of Crit as a stat for Holy Paladin healing, but I'm not going to say no to any extra 50% buff that Blizzard is willing to give me. Since Blizzard is doing everything they can do to force us away from Divine Light and to the smaller, more efficient Holy Light, this is a very welcome increase to our healing that will help make up for the fact that we'll be less able to spam our biggest heal.

I am, however, looking forward to seeing those big, juicy Divine Light crits.


  • All class abilities which place a buff on friendly targets no longer generate any threat. This goes for raid-wide buffs like Mark of the Wild and Power Word: Fortitude, as well as triggered effects such as Blessed Resilience or Fingers of Frost, and single-target buffs like Dark Intent and Hysteria. The exception is buffs which directly cause healing or damage, such as Thorns or Renew. Abilities such as these still generate normal threat.
This is a really small change, but it's one of those blindingly obvious, "why wasn't it like this in the first place" changes. It happened rarely, but every now and then I would refresh Beacon of Light or a Blessing just as the boss is being pulled and get aggro. I'm not really sure why a boss would think that Beacon of Light is a threat and want to rearrange my face, but it's been known to occur. This is just a quality of life change, really, but it will make your tank's life just that much easier and may prevent you from getting your head pounded into the ground on occasion.


  • Divine Light mana cost has been increased to 35% of base mana, up from 30%.
  • Flash of Light mana cost has been increased to 31% of base mana, up from 27%.
  • Holy Light mana cost has been increased to 12% of base mana, up from 10%.
Okay, ouch, this hurts. In a recent article on the official WoW blog, Ghostcrawler said "We concluded PvE Holy paladins were ending fights with too much mana relative to other healers, so we raised the mana cost of their single-target heals" and this change steps in to correct this. 

If I was to look at our mana situation objectively and not as a completely partisan class zealot, I would tend to agree and I think that these changes are reasonable. Looking at other healers, Paladin's have it enormously easier when it comes to mana. Often during raids I'll hear a healer call out for an Innervate or a Hymn of Hope while I'm sitting pretty with 80% mana having done about the same amount of healing. So while the zealot in me is storming through the house knocking holes in the drywall, I can appreciate that this is designed to bring Paladins to the same level as the rest of the healers and I think I'm okay with that.

 The Divine Light increase stings though... a 17% increase is a big jump.

    Delicious, but
    while healing.
  • Holy Shock mana cost has been decreased to 7% of base mana, down from 8%. 
A small buff to make up for the last one. I don't think that making Holy Shock cheaper is going to have any effect on my Mana as the cost now is unnoticeable and I'm already casting it on cooldown as much as I can anyway. So, thank you, Blizzard, for doing the equivalent of tossing a Gummi Bear to a starving man.

Still, a Buff is a Buff.

  • Beacon of Light can no longer be dispelled. In addition, it now transfers 100% of the heal from Holy Light, but still 50% of the heal from other spells.
Beacon of Light can no longer be dispelled, which I assume is going to be great for PVP. I've never run into this as a problem, so I will refrain from commenting further.

However, the transfer of 100% of Holy Light to the Beacon target is a fabulous change that I am very happy to see. 

I'm not sure how everyone else does it, but when I'm healing and responsible to keep a tank up, I still rely on my Beacon of Light to do a lot of the heavy lifting for me. At 50% transfer, Holy Light was next to useless when trying to keep a tank up through the Beacon, forcing a lot of Divine Light casts on Raid members that, strictly speaking, could likely have been kept up with a Holy Light. With Blizzard doing whatever they can to get us away from spam casting Divine Light, this will allow us to cast our ultra-efficient Holy Light more often and have it be effective in more situations.

  • Illuminated Healing (Mastery) has been adjusted slightly so that if a paladin refreshes an existing copy of his or her own Illuminated Healing on a target, the new absorption amount will be added into the old absorption amount and the duration will be reset. The total absorption created can never exceed 1/3 of the casting paladin's health.
I posted in depth about this change in my previous article: Illuminated Healing in 4.2: New! Improved! 100% More Shiny!.

I think that the buff to our Mastery coupled with the improvement to Critical Heals and the change to Holy Light will go a long way to make a Crit and Mastery gearing strategy viable for Tank healing in Raids, and I'm very intrigued to check the numbers out. I think some more research is needed on this one before it can be fully understood. As of now, however, I am going to stick with my previous Haste-heavy build.

  • Infusion of Light can now lower the cast time of Flash of Light by 0.75/1.5 seconds, in addition to Holy Light and Divine Light. In addition, the old Denounce spell overlay effect has been transferred to Infusion of Light since Denounce is no longer a proc.
Nobody uses Flash of Light. It doesn't heal enough to compete with Divine Light, it's too expensive to compete with Holy Light and isn't fast enough to make it worth casting over either of them. 

If only it was instant I might actually use it.

What's that? Infusion of Light now reduces the cast time by 1.5 seconds? Ahh. I see. Right. Carry on then.

  • Speed of Light now increases movement speed when Holy Radiance or Divine Protection are cast. In addition, this talent now reduces the cooldown of Holy Radiance by 13/26/40 seconds, up from 10/20/30.
This buff is nice, but not, I think, in the way Blizzard intended. I think that they view this as allowing us to use Holy Radiance more often, and therefore being more effective at AOE healing, which is true. However, I have rarely found that Holy Radiance is on cooldown when I need it, and I'm not sure how it being available 10 seconds earlier will change things dramatically. But it may allow us to move a Talent Point from this and put it elsewhere and still have virtually the same cooldown as before.

Actually, the thing that I am excited about with this change is having the Speed of Light movement increase be activated by both Holy Radiance and Divine Protection. It makes a lot of sense, actually, because when I need to quickly move out the fire Divine Protection's damage reduction is also likely to come in handy, not to mention save me the mana cost of Holy Radiance (which ain't cheap).

  • Walk in the Light now improves Word of Glory healing by 30%, in addition to its current effects.
Sweet Merciful Neptulon! An actual, no-bullshit BUFF! In Ghostcrawler's words: "We buffed Word of Glory for three reasons: We felt Holy Power was mattering less to Holy paladins than it did at Cataclysm launch. We wanted to provide more uninterruptible healing in PvP. We knew Light of Dawn was trumping Word of Glory in almost all cases in 25-player raids". Excellent.

As a 10-man raider, I use Word of Glory a lot, and this buff makes it's use in 10-mans a complete no-brainer, as well as making it a viable option in 25-man content. Consider this slavering class zealot pleased. I almost regret the car bomb I put under Ghostcrawler's minivan for the mana nerfs. Almost.


  • Players are once again free to dance in combat (without causing graphic errors). Other animations, such as attacks, will take precedence over dancing. The dance animation will be suppressed until the higher priority animation is complete. Fun has been unnerfed.

Can there be anything better than dancing while healing a boss encounter? I don't think so. Trash mobs will flee from the shear magnitude of my dance machismo, and Bosses will cower from my epic arabesques and drop their epic loot as I do a plate armour version of The Hustle. So You Think You Can Dance will have nothing compared to my Holy Warrior hoe-downs.


I will defer to the experts on this one: Kurn put together a great list of Holy Paladin Firelands gear. She and I generally agree on gearing and stat weights (by that, of course, I mean that I read her stuff and say, "Yeah, that makes a lot more sense than what I was thinking"), and I'll probably be using her guide myself, so I see no point in duplicating it here. Go visit her!



Illuminated Healing in 4.2: New! Improved! 100% More Shiny!

I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high,
Nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams
They fade and die. - lyrics by James Kendis, James Brockman and Nat Vincent[1]

Ahh, Holy Paladin Mastery. You are so young and yet have lived a very checkered and unappreciated life. Greeted with an overwhelming wave of indifference when you were born which turned into outright hostility as you grew up into an awkward adolescent that no one knew what to do with. It became so bad that people could barely look you in the eye any longer and simply reforged as much of you away as they could, pretending that you didn't exist. It's not really fair, is it? We all had such high hopes for you.

Patch 4.2 represents a coming of age of sorts for Illuminated Healing. The awkward teenage years of short, non-stacking, pimple-like bubbles are gone. In it's place is a more mature and grown-up Mastery ready to take on the real world and make a difference.

Alright, I think I've taken that metaphor as far as I can go. Consider yourself spared the Clearasil jokes.


As a stat for Holy Paladins, Mastery in 4.1 is generally considered beyond worthless. It is the automatic choice for reforging. Our mastery ability, Illuminated Healing, puts a shield on the target of a Paladin's single-target healing spells for 12% of the healed amount, modified by mastery. Sounds great, in theory. Who wouldn't want an across-the-board 12% increase in their healing effectiveness due to the mitigation of incoming damage? Discipline Priests have made a living with doing just that through two expansions now.

The Evolution of Illuminated Healing
The problem is that it just doesn't play out that way in reality. The shields are too small to be meaningful. They don't last long enough to reliably be counted on to absorb damage. And they don't stack - meaning a heal cast on a target with a shield on it will overwrite it with a new shield based on the new healing spell. These three things combined means that most of the Shields simply go to waste and the ones that are used are small enough to be insignificant.

Throughout Cataclysm, Blizzard has been steadily tweaking Illuminated Healing with a series of small buffs. It's very apparent that they are being cautious with our mastery in an attempt to ensure that it doesn't become overpowered. Each patch has come with tiny little buffs and balances to answer the ability's critics in the hopes of finally making Mastery a desirable stat for a Healadin. 


Patch 4.2 finally answers the final critique of Illuminated Healing with the addition of stacking shields up to 33% of the Paladin's health. Here is the patch note detailing this:
Illuminated Healing (Mastery) has been adjusted slightly so that if a paladin refreshes an existing copy of his or her own Illuminated Healing on a target, the new absorption amount will be added into the old absorption amount and the duration will be reset. The total absorption created can never exceed 1/3 of the casting paladin's health.
The reactions to this change have ranged all over the place. Kurn, Rohan and Adgamorix all posted widely varying opinions on the subject, as have many others.

I look at this change, and the changes that have preceded it and am satisfied. I think that Blizzard has finally got Illuminated Healing to a good place and it will finally start working as it was initially intended to: To have each direct heal that a Paladin cast give it's target a shield to reliably be counted on to mitigate a portion of future incoming damage. And now that subsequent casts will increase the amount absorbed and refresh the duration, it's much less likely a shield will go to waste.

Will we be able to pump up the shield to maximum quickly and efficiently before the pull? No, but that's alright because that's not the way it's intended to work. Are we going to be able to quickly shield a raid using Holy Radiance? No, but that's alright because that's not how it's intended to work. Will we be able to shield both the target we're healing and the tank we have Beacon of Light on in a single cast? No, but that's okay too.

All of those things would be extremely nice, but likely would be unbalanced. As it is, Blizzard can't help but nerf all of our single target heals every single patch, so let's not give them any more incentive because of an overpowered Mastery.

I feel that the intent of our mastery is to provide a buffer: The more we heal a target, the smoother and easier to manage future damage becomes, and I think that this buff goes a long way to making this concept finally work.


The big question this change brings up is: Should a Holy Paladin gear for Mastery?

I still believe the answer is no: Haste is still a better throughput stat for Holy Paladins. I am still a big fan of a Haste-heavy build if for no other reason than to increase the responsiveness of my healing. To me, it feels better to be casting quickly and more often. Mastery is still valuable with this gearing strategy since quick heals will allow a Paladin to stack shielding quicker.

However, the changes to Illuminated Healing coupled with Critical Strikes now healing for 200% certainly do make an argument that a Critical Strike and Mastery gearing strategy could prove to finally be viable come 4.2. Slow, frequently critical heals that leave a shield twice the size of a normal heal could prove to be equally effective as faster heals that crit less - and may be easier on the mana pool, something that may prove important as we move into the Firelands to play with Ragnaros and his diabolical minions. I am no theorycrafter, so I will let others do the math on this one, but I'm curious to try it out and see how it works.

That being said, I think that Mastery is still not as important as either Haste or Crit, regardless of which gearing strategy you decide to go with. My order of preference for secondary stats is as follows:
In this scenario, Haste and Crit are equal, but separate. Choose one at the expense of the other. Either way, Mastery is still not something that a Paladin should go out of their way to get, but having it on otherwise well-itemized gear is no longer quite such a detriment.

In this sense, Mastery is still a bit of a troubled child. No longer is it completely worthless, and Illuminated Healing is now quite good, but that extra little bit of shielding that the Mastery stat provides pales in comparison to what Haste and Critical Strike provides. I guess it's not out of the Clearasil years quite yet.

But honestly, short of scrapping and redesigning the Holy Paladin Mastery ability completely with something better, I'm not sure what Blizzard can do to make a Holy Paladin want to go out of their way to gear for it.


Day Two: From the Military District

Dearest Thallie,

I left Kharanos yesterday an' I just past through the gates into the grand auld city of Ironforge. Th' blast a' heat an' smell o' brunstane from the forges an' furnaces in the centre o' th' city hit me as soon as I walked in and brought a cheer t'me heart. Dwarves arn'a meant tae live above ground.

I'm sittin' in Tinkertown waitin' fe th' Tram - infernal Gnomish contraption tha' it is - ta take me tae Stormwind. Me ol' friend Theodrus tol' me that there's a portal there that'll tak me straight tae th' top o' Mount Hyjal, an' anythin' that'll save mesel' two weeks on a boat is a fine thing, tae my thinkin'. Ye know just how much I like the water! Gie me dry land any time!

I stopped by tae pay me respects to Sara when I passed through the Military District on me way to the Tram (which is runnin' late, by the by). She still seems weighed down w' pine an' greivin' about Sully's death, but a right sight better than when I delivered his letter tae the poor lass. She whipped me up one o' her delectable meat pies and I showed her the drawing of our dear dwarfling that I made a'fore I left. I tol' her that ye'd ha' come tae visit yersel', but that ye're stuck at home takin' care o' the little one.

She mentioned summat interestin' tha I thought ye might want to know: The way Sara tells it is tha' by the time the first new snows fall on Loch Modan, Ol' gaffer Ironboots is set to be movin' tae be with his sons out Thelsamar way. I know that you're of Wildhammer stock 'n all, an' love livin' on the mountain, close to nature and the elements, but I've always dreamed o' movin' to the bright lights o' Ironforge. To have me own place near the great forge (nae tae mention how close we'd be ta Bruuk's place an' his world famous Cherry Grog!) an' tae be able to visit the depths of ol' Ironforge whenever it struck me fancy; well, lass, it would be a great thing.

The Tram's arrived. Magni's beard, I wish there was a way t'strap meself to th' seat.


This post is part of Through Your Interface. A screenshot oriented blogging challenge put forth by Saz of World of SazAs I never like to do things the easy way or the same way as everyone else, I am putting a unique spin on my screenshots: They will take the form of sketches and be accompanied by letters - written in character - from my Dwarf priest Fannon to his wife Thallie, and will tell the story of his personal journey through the dangers of Azeroth.

In our second installment, Fannon writes about the place where he dreams of living.


An Accusatory Slash and Five Harsh Letters

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I posted a month ago about the difficulties that Shadowgarde was going through as this tier of raiding winds down. I'm sorry to say that things haven't gotten any better.

Since that post I feel like I've tried everything I could think of to get my guild raiding again. I attempted to recruit and organize a new raid team, which proved only marginally successful. We did manage to get a few raids off the ground by utilizing a fairly random cross-section of PUGers as getting guild members to show up was near impossible. The results were not quite disastrous, but hardly high-end progression. I really felt like we were spinning our wheels and sliding backwards.

Short of cattle-prods or cash bribes, I don't really know what else to do to get people motivated and raiding again. Shadowgarde has always been a casual and social guild that raided, but it seems as though almost all of the core group of raiders have drifted away from the game or from raiding to other things, so staying is not an ideal situation for someone who still has the Progression Bug. Moving my main to a more active raiding guild was the logical choice, rather than trying to turn a guild into something it's not.

However, I am glad that I decided to try to get raiding back on track. I feel like it would have been discourteous to sneak out in the middle of the night when our raiding stumbled without at least giving it a solid effort to turn it around.

Typing /gquit felt decidedly harder than I thought it would. That slash at the front of the word seemed very accusatory, and the five letters that followed it have a nasty, unsavoury look about them.

"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way." - Dr. Seuss
I admit that I've been quietly shopping for a new raiding guild since I wrote Unfamiliar Waters, just in case things didn't work out. Even before writing it I had started paying attention to the Guild Recruitment spam in Trade Chat again, and I had been checking out the odd guild website but not really finding anything that really intrigued me enough to put in an application.

However, the real impetus to actually make the move was when my good friend and Shadowgarde guildie mentioned to me that he was thinking of finding a more active raiding guild as well. Having some support really kicked things into high gear, and two days, one Mumble interview and one exceptionally smooth run through five of the Blackwing Descent bosses, I am now a member of Mountain Top

Mountain Top is a new guild created by a couple of people that I've come to know from the WoW Twitter community: Gniesha and Mylindara. I approached Gniesha (who is a regular reader and commenter of Battle Medic and Dear Dwarfling, a blogger, and a very flirty Twitterer) about her new guild and before long, we were in their Mumble channel chatting away like old friends. These folks seem like a lot of fun to be around, and seemed to be genuinely excited about having me come on board, which fells really great.
"We will stomp to the top with the wind in our teeth." - George Mallory, English mountaineer who died climbing Mount Everest.
One of the nice things about joining a newly formed guild is the opportunity to get in on the ground floor. While it seems as if Mountain Top's goals and attitudes are compatible with my own, there is a much greater chance to have an influence on the direction of a new guild than there would be if I joined up with a large guild that already had their culture, policies and attitudes established for a long time. This new guild will evolve and grow as it establishes itself, and I get to be there from the beginning (well, practically, they started two weeks ago) to see where it goes and perhaps nudge it's direction now and then with a suggestion or two. That's almost as exciting as starting my own guild, but without all the paperwork and ulcers.


If there is one thing that I'm worried about, it's that their raiding schedule is not yet set. When my guidie and I talked about leaving Shadowgarde, we made a pact that no matter where we went, we would go together. His schedule is even more hectic and uncertain than my own, so finding a raiding guild that will not only welcome both of us together, has the attitude and skill we are looking for, and yet still works for both of our schedules is a daunting challenge. Time will tell all, but I'm hoping Mountain Top is that guild.

Mountain Top


Day One: Thunderbrew Distillery

My Dearest Thallie,

I write this letter having just left yeh and our dwarfling behind to yet again head off to war.

I'm sittin' in front o' the roarin' fire at the Thunderbrew Distillery an' I canna help but think back to when we first met here. Aye, lass, ye were such a pretty thing - an' too full a' spirit fer me ta take me eye off of!

I've always found it hard to tell ye the things that're on me mind. At th' end o' the day I just want to sit next to the fire, my feet up and surrounded by a cloud o' pipe smoke an' remain lost in me own thoughts. Sometimes I wonder if tha's bein' unfair to ye.

I dunna know when I'm goin' te be back ta see yeh or our daughter again, but I'll try to scribble a few words to yeh as oft'n as I can spare, an' I'll send ye a drawin' with each letter to show ye where I am an' that I'm thinkin' of ye.

I'm certain that I'll find myself in many-a different inn or tavern throughout m' travels, but the snap o' burnin' logs an' the smell a' roastin' meat will always bring me mind back to thoughts a' hearth an' home. From wha' I can gather from the tales being told 'round the fire, the slopes o' Hyjal are beautiful an' deadly, but the snow covered mountains o' Dun Morogh are where me heart lies, an' already I long for the day when we can once more sit together at the Thunderbrew an' share the simple pleasures of a foamy mug o' malt.

Dun Morogh.

This post marks the beginning of Through Your Interface. A screenshot oriented blogging challenge put forth by Saz of World of Saz. As I never like to do things the easy way or the same way as everyone else, I am putting a unique spin on my screenshots: They will take the form of sketches and be accompanied by letters - written in character - from my Dwarf priest Fannon to his wife Thallie, and will tell the story of his personal journey through the dangers of Azeroth.

In our first installment, Fannon writes from his favourite place to spend time, which is - not surprisingly - associated with alcohol.



Worlds Collide, Then Have Brunch

For the first time my WoW life has intersected with my real life.

The lovely Bossy Pally.
Not Shown: Her Giant Spoon
One of my favourite Paladin bloggers, Ophelie from Bossy Pally and the Giant Spoon is moving to Alberta to start her new career after graduating University in Newfoundland. On her way to go apartment hunting in her new town, she was planning a quick stopover in Edmonton, and I managed to convince her to meet up with me and spend a couple of days hanging out together.

Bossy Pally has always been one of my absolute favourite Paladin blogs, and Ophelie's mix of sharp, intelligent class commentarty and intimate, personality-filled writing were very influential in defining the style and topic choices that I would adopt for Battle Medic. Of course, I didn't tell her that in person because I didn't want to come off as a drooling fanboy, but it's true nonetheless.

We had a great time while she was here. Ophelie is an remarkably engaging and vibrant person who is incredibly easy to talk to. Surprisingly so, considering she is constantly describing herself as "Super Shy" and an "Insecure Nervewreck" on her blog. We had no difficulty maintaining great, interesting conversations the whole time she was here. I don't think I have ever met a person who maintains better eye contact while talking than she does, and she gets this intense, measuring squint to her eyes when she's listening to what you have to say. Suffice it to say that I think we hit it off pretty well - my dogs and the Dwarfling were certainly taken with her.

She arrived in Edmonton on Thursday morning and I picked her up at the airport. I had seen the photos of her that she had posted on her blog, but had never seen her in person before, nor did she have any idea what I looked like. So to make sure that she would know who was there to pick her up I made a Giant Spoon Chauffeur Service sign, which actually proved to be an effective ice-breaker.


After a nice brunch with my wife, the Dwarfling and a some friends of mine visiting from Saskatoon for the U2 concert, Ophelie and I headed to the Alberta Art Gallery to check out an exhibition on Andy Warhol. It was the only Canadian stop of this particular exhibit, so I'm glad we managed to catch it as it was filled with some amazing work. In particular, there was an installation called Silver Clouds; neutrally bouyant balloons that floated around a room that was very cool.

Andy Warhol's Silver Clouds
A rather odd moment happened as we were touring the gallery. It struck me as quite trippy that I was standing there with someone who I knew, but didn't know; a surreal blend of new and familiar. It was a odd moment of realization that my online world and real world were colliding in a way that I had never really experienced before. The fact was brought home rather humourously when I sent out a quick Tweet from my iPhone about it, and less than a minute later her cell phone buzzes with the notification of the Twitter Mention. We had a good laugh, and it sparked a great, half-hour long conversation in front of a psychedelic-pink silkscreened version of The Last Supper.

After the art gallery, we wandered the downtown core for a few hours and then went to Da-De-O, a cajun-style hole-in-the-wall diner that is a local institution. Their sweet potato fries and Po'boys are legendary in Edmonton.


There is a punchline there, somewhere...

Friday night saw Ophelie and I meet up with another Edmonton blogger, Corath. Who, despite living in the same city, I had not met up with before. We arranged to meet at The Bothy, a ultra-cool, upscale wine and whisky bar that I go to frequently because my best friend is the bartender there and gets me cheap drinks.

I admit, the meetup started out a little awkward. Once we got the table snafu sorted out and sat down there were a few rather uncomfortable moments of silence; all three of us looking in different directions and not talking. It took a couple of "So, WoW!"-type proddings to get the conversation moving, but once we broke the ice we had a great time talking about WoW, blogging, wine, cheese as well as a whole bunch of other topics.

Corath is an interesting guy, as it turns out. If you have never read his blog - straightforwardly named Corath's Blog - I highly recommend it. He is a diverse writer and blogs about a lot of widely varying topics. It turns out we have a lot in common. His biggest flaw: Dirty Hordie DPSer.


During our walk through the art gallery I told her about my previous career as a portrait photographer and I asked her, somewhat timidly, if she would be interested in letting me photograph her. It's been a while since I have had an opportunity to do a portrait for anyone outside my immediate family, so I jumped at the chance when Ophelie agreed. It was a lot of fun; Ophelie is a natural in front of the camera and we got some great images.

My god, did it feel good to get behind the camera and do a portrait session! It's been far too long since I've had a subject in front of me that wasn't directly related to me. I don't think I ever feel more alive than when I have a camera in my hand, a person in front of me and the freedom to create whatever I feel like. Why don't I do this more, seriously?

It also helps when your subject is a looker.


I had a great time getting to know Corath and Ophelie. This was the first time I have met any of the people that I have been getting to know through WoW, Battle Medic and Twitter, and it was nice to have someone to talk about the game and blogging with in person.

The idea of turning a casual, internet acquaintance into an actual, real-world friend is a very cool prospect. Up until now my online life and the life that is spent with my wife and child have been very separate because my wife has absolutely no interest in the game, and I don't know anybody who plays. This was my first opportunity to show my wife that there are real, interesting people that can be connected with through this game, and not just a bunch of Internet Dragons to slay.