Lower Level Holy Paladins and Quest Reward Gear

I have been BUSY! Not just in real life… although that has been plenty busy lately. No, I’ve been busy trying to track down where exactly my gear is supposed to come from. When I have had the chance to log in and play in the past few weeks I haven’t gotten to do any healing in dungeons.

Glorwynn isn’t in a “real guild”. She’s in a guild full of my alts, my husband’s alts, and the occasional person who gets invited because I’d be okay with inviting them into my home in real life. The most guild members it’s ever been possible to have online at one time is four.

Muchao is in a “real guild”! There aren’t enough characters in that guild around her level to do dungeons together, though. Guild groups will be a very real thing once I level her up higher, but not right now.

The whole point of healing LFD groups has been to learn the hard way. I’m not even sure I would want whole groups of guildies at this point. Taking a tank I can depend on and maybe one dps is enough for me. And if I’m worn out and don’t really feel like I can handle healing a dungeon, putting together a group of understanding and supportive people isn’t going to fix that for me.

Besides, running dungeons is not, for me, “playing the game”. It’s running dungeons. You might feel like that is playing the game. You might feel like end-game is the whole point, LFD was the best thing that ever happened for leveling, and somebody ought to get rid of at least 80 of those really annoying 84 levels before you get to the REAL game. If that’s what you enjoy and it works for you, go for it! For me, I want to see the quests. I want to feel like the dungeons fit into the overall story.

I also think gear drops are not really a “reward” so much as a tool to allow you to go on to the next level of content, and that it would help if… Ahh, but that’s a whole other post topic!

So sometimes I need some time to catch up on quests, crafting, etc. And since I’m not completely relying on dungeons to get gear, I have to go look up now and then where it is I can expect my next gear upgrade to come from. I certainly can’t ask people who are just going to say, “Just que for dungeons. You’ll level faster, too.”

(No, seriously… “que”. I will spend two or three minutes arguing with myself because my brain is pronouncing that word “kay”, but I know they meant “kyoo”. People, it’s not “que”. It’s QUEUE!)

Here’s what I’ve noticed: I’ve been following the questlines the way I’m “supposed to” with Glorwynn. The gear upgrades from quest rewards don’t come as often as I’d like, but they do come regularly.

I’ve kind of been skipping around with Muchao. Some of that is because the Horde questlines actually do seem a little more flexible in where you’re “supposed” to go next. You’re offered a choice more often than with Alliance zones. But some of it is that I’m reaching the point where I’ve done certain zones enough times since Cataclysm that I’d like to go see how things have changed in some other zone.

I’m also having a harder time getting the gear upgrades for Muchao with as much regularity as I’ve gotten them for Glorwynn. I was doing fine until I started going on to whichever zone I wanted to instead of whichever zone I was told to.

My first reaction to realizing this was that it’s another way to push us into following the storylines the way Blizzard wants us to. There’s enough pros and cons to that subject that I could make another post just about how “good” or “bad” the new questing experience is. But I don’t think it’s actually relevant here. I don’t think this is something that applies to all classes, and probably not even to protection or retribution paladins.

I think this is part of the “Blizzard doesn’t like spell plate” issue. It would imply that they don’t like lower-level spell mail, either. (Shaman are wearing leather at that point.) I had no problem with my mage even when I skipped around, and my shadow priest didn’t run into any trouble until Outland. I admit I didn’t skip around on the shadow priest, but she actually upgraded gear so fast because she was also getting plenty of green drops she could use that I started thinking there was just an endless Fountain o’ Robes somewhere.

Warlocks, mages, and priests will use cloth rewards. Hunters, rogues, and some druids and shaman will share leather rewards. Some druids and some shaman will share other leather rewards. Prot pallies and warriors will share mail rewards, and ret pallies will share mail rewards with fury and arms warriors. Holy paladins will share… shields with shaman. And skipping around zones disrupts the Shield Reward Schedule. By following the questlines into the next zone the way I’m told to, I can count on every other shield reward offered having intellect. If I’m told, “Hero! Go to Nextzone and meet up with Helpless Dude in Thesedudesarescrewedmar!” but I say, “Um… I was really thinking I might go see how things are looking in Screwedheretoo’jin. Walk with the Earthmother!” I don’t know when I’ll see a shield I can use again.

We won’t even discuss what was wrong with a paladin using a Plague Cauldron lid as a shield, or why Chromie gives me a shield that is supposed to be “Chromie’s Mirror” but looks more like “Spare Part From the Exodar”.

My best advice, assuming you’re not leveling through dungeons, is follow the questlines the way you’re told to or make sure you run dungeons often enough that you aren’t relying too much on quest rewards.

Glorwynn has Plate Specialization now. I’ve got this list bookmarked so I can find out where to get my plate gear. I also don’t want to have to look at Baroness Anastari for a while.  I didn’t want three wands, a necklace, and two robes. I wanted my gloves!

If Blizzard isn’t happy with spell plate, they could give us something (a talent, a buff… I don’t care) that would give us the 15% damage reduction Moonkin form gives to Balance druids. Make it so that it does not work if the paladin is wearing plate, remove spell plate from the game. I’m sure somebody can come up with some numbers to show me why that’s a bad idea, and it certainly wouldn’t fix some of the things they don’t like about the idea of letting holy pallies wear something else:

Yes, a Holy paladin could wear mail… at which point their silhouette would look a lot like a shaman instead of a paladin.

I’m guessing that’s a high-level issue. Either that, or the “Well, that’s not a shaman because they’ve got some plate but… are those leather boots?” look is exactly the iconic Holy Paladin look they’re going for.

Or they could just learn to love the spell plate and take Rades’s suggestion.

The gear issue is the only thing that’s really bothered me so far about playing a holy paladin. In the grand scheme of things, that’s a small annoyance. It got a little bit bigger after I read what Ghostcrawler had to say about spell plate, though. As I said before, not liking spell plate kind of implies that they don’t like low-level spell mail. I don’t feel like my holy paladin should have to suffer on gear just because they don’t like the very thing they designed her to wear.

So don’t kick yourself too hard if you’re having trouble getting gear. It’s out there! Just not a whole lot of it. That clothie dps that kept tearing aggro from the tank and then got mad when you let him die? He deserved it. He’s gone through more gear in the last two days than you’ll see all month.

(Disclaimer: We at Heavy Wool Bandage love clothies and do not believe they ever deserve to die just because their closets have more robes than Darnassus has elves. Really.)

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5 Responses to Lower Level Holy Paladins and Quest Reward Gear

  1. koalabear21 says:

    Are you looking for gear just from quests or dungeons? I don’t know if you use it or not, but Atlas Loot is very helpful for finding the bosses that drop your gear for you.

    I know that a guildie of mine was also leveling a holy paladin and she had a heck of time finding gear too. She mostly ran dungeons for her gear though.

    Good luck! :)

    • I don’t do a lot of dungeons. For me, “a lot” would be doing at least one most nights out of a week. Sometimes I can do two in a night, then two the next night, then I won’t see a dungeon for two weeks. Sometimes I can do in a night maybe two or three nights in a week. If I need gear for Glorwynn that comes from a dungeon and don’t actually feel up to running them, my husband will go with me. Glorwynn is still low-level enough that his level 85 paladin can clear the place. If I do feel up to running a dungeon, I’ll queue for a group and hope I get the loot. Muchao only sees the inside of a dungeon when I feel up to it.

      Since I do spend a lot of time questing, I can’t rely on gearing up through dungeons. So I pay attention to what’s offered as a quest reward. It also changes what I’m willing to wear. If I were mostly doing dungeons, I’d be okay with wearing a bunch of leather and cloth. That makes me feel squishy when questing, though, so I won’t wear cloth and I wear only as much leather as I really feel I need to.

      I imagine it sounds like I make this harder for myself than it needs to be, but this really is the easy way for me. I find it interesting when I notice the patterns in how gear is offered for quest rewards, things like that. Running more dungeons would be murder on me, though.

      • koalabear21 says:

        That is what I assumed. :)

        Are you finding that you are keeping lower level gear if you don’t get a replacement or are you taking the +str plate gear?

      • Muchao isn’t wearing plate yet, so I’m still taking mail when I can and leather if it’s been so long since a piece was upgraded that the leather actually is a clear upgrade. Glorwynn has been getting played less and less lately, so she’s still wearing the plate I made the effort to get for her when I got Plate Specialization. (Glorwynn is Alliance, Muchao is Horde. I love the guild I have Muchao in, so I log her in to be around those folks.)

        I haven’t had any reason to take gear with strength. It would make me attack for more with auto attack, and I guess it would help with my Crusader Strike. It would add a bit to my Judgement damage, but I have talents that take care of that. The Denounce talent that procs a free, instant Exorcism from my Holy Shocks happens so often that I can count on Exorcism as a regular part of my rotation even if I never use it except when it’s no mana and instant cast. If I do have trouble with a mob, I can just use Word of Glory to heal myself in combat. I get a charge of Holy Power every time I use Holy Shock or Crusader Strike, and I’ve got nothing except Word of Glory to spend it on.

      • koalabear21 says:

        Cool cool.

        It always helps having a great guild there.

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