Archive for July, 2009

It’s funny how things work out.  Just as I was getting seriously misty-eyed about old quest lines and muttering “They don’t make content like they used to!” at innocent bystanders, Blog Azeroth sprung nostalgia trips on us all as this weeks’ shared topic.  So now I get to unleash a geriatric, semi-coherent rant at unsuspecting vistors and I can pretend it’s all in the name of some wider community blogging service.

Cool.

First, allow me to address the point, often made these days, that modern content, such as that in Outland or in particular, Northrend, is so much better than the content we crusty old-timers enjoyed back in the days of vanilla WoW.  The charge is often laid, that the majority of vanilla content was boring, tedious, repetitive, poorly-designed and often involved backtracking over the same stretches of featureless real estate over and over to hand in quests at hard to locate quest givers.  The challengers claim that this sort of Stalinist questing would never happen under New Labour the New World Order.  It’s an excellent argument, and one that deserves an equally incisive and pertinent reply, and here it is:

What utter bollocks!

First, anyone who thinks pointless tracking backwards and forwards over a zone simply to speak to one npc after another is a relic of vanilla gaming has clearly never done the Crusader Bridenbrad questline in Icecrown.  At least those quests in the Barrens that had us trudging from one end of the zone to the other over and over had the decency to confine our tribulations to a single zone, and a stunningly gorgeous one at that.  Bridenbrad not only makes you trek back and forth across the featureless wastes of Icecrown until you want to bury your keyboard in your face, but he throws in trips to Moonglade, Dragonblight and Shattrath bloody City to get your passport stamped too!  He is, in short, a git.  Noble, self-sacrificing and dead, but a git.

Much is made of the epic nature of the questlines in Northrend, and I have to admit, this is a fair point.  It may even be one I’ve gushed over in the past.  Now I am an unashamed Tirion Fordring fanboy, I admit it.  His credibility may have taken a knock with the utter farce that is the Argent Tournament and Collisseum, but..

No.  It’s no use.  I have to get this out of my system.  It is not often that I use proper grown up swearing on this blog but what in the name of FUCK is going on with that Tournament?  Bear with me, dear reader, while I put the Argent Tournament/Colisseum  into some sort of context for you all.

The news from the frontlines is pretty grim.  After the slaughter of crusaders in the disastrous Wrathgate and Light’s Breach assualts, the future of the entire campaign was in serious doubt.  The Argent Crusade clawed back some ground with a successful attack on Crusader’s Pinnacle that finally gained them the breathing space and beachead into Icecrown that this campaign badly needed, but things have stalled into a deadly war of attrition that can only favour the Scourge.

Thanks, Bob.  Now here’s Tirion Fordring with the sports news.

Seriously, just fuck right off, right now.  Tirion Fordring does NOT work for ESPN.  I wouldn’t care so much if he hadn’t been the focus of my second favourite and most emotionally involving questline ever, and no, it wasn’t an Outland or Northrend quest.  To see him reduced to a pimp for a sports stadium makes my inner fanboy want to drown puppies.

Way back in the bad old days when most of this were nowt but pixels, Tirion Fordring was living in hiding as a hermit in exile in the Eastern Plaguelands.  He was reduced to this sad state of affairs after sparing the life of and hiding an Orc unjustly sentenced to death.  His enemies in the noble houses of Stormwind seized on this opportunity to have him kicked out of the Order of the Silver Hand and stripped of his titles.  In order to save his family, he chose exile.  His son, Taelan was shaping up to become a noble paladin just like his old man, but without Tirion around to guide him he was seduced by the power of the Dark Side of the Fo..  er..  Scarlet Crusade, eventually becoming Highlord and turning the Fordring family home, Hearthglen, into a bastion of the Crusade.

That’s where you come in.  At first, Tirion’s just some crazy old hermit, living out on the edges of the Dune Sea..  er, Eastern Plaguelands (sorry, fanboy fever taking over again) who gives you three incredibly tedious quests of the “collect 10 bear’s asses” variety.  Yes, they’re pointless and stupid and everyone hates them, but there IS a point this time dammit!  Tirion wants to redeem his son but can’t move alone and isn’t willing to entrust his family legacy to just any old moron zipping through the levels as fast as possible on the way to 80.  So he tests you.  If you’re the type to stop and spend time and energy helping a crazy old man for no better reason than because he needed your help, you’re the type of noble soul he wants to recruit.  And so the quest begins, taking you on a truly epic oddysey that results in Tirion getting seriously medieval on some Scarlet Crusade ass before screaming his rage over the body of his slain son and swearing to renounce his exile and resurrect the Order of the Silver Hand.

All of which leads directly to the Wrath of the Lich King, the Battle of Light’s Hope Chapel, the formation of the Knights of the Ebon Blade and the assualt on Icecrown.  And it was written into the game before Molten Core was open for business.  You want epic questlines?  We got your epic questlines.

Sure, Tirion’s crusade in Northrend is epic, stirring stuff, and I loved every minute of it.  But it doesn’t engage you on any kind of personal level other than the “ooh, I’m taking part in some epic lore moments” way.  And another thing, a lot of the time in Northrend you’re not taking part in any epic lore moments.  You’re watching NPCs act out some epic lore moments, which is cool too but it’s not the same.  Infiltrating the Cathedral of Darkness with the Argent Crusade and watching Tirion smack seven different shades of shit out of the Lich King’s frozen heart is cool.  The Wrathgate is cool.  But you’re a bystander, not a participant.  Worst of all, if you’ve never done the original vanilla questline (and I’m not even sure you can anymore) then Tirion Fordring’s just some mega boss npc because Blizzard says he is.  You may even care who he is but only because Blizzard have told you you should.  You don’t actually know who he is or how he came to be the force in Northrend that he is because no-one quests in Eastern Plaguelands anymore.  Of course if all you care about is getting to 80 as soon as you can so you can start the loot accumulation treadmill then you probably don’t care and don’t even know where the Eastern Plaguelands are, but you’re missing out.

You know what else is epic?  Molten Core, that’s what.  Yes, I know the boss fights are scoffed at these days and yes, there was far too much really annoying trash, and yes, herding 40 cats through the place three times a week broke raid leaders on a daily basis but that’s not really what I’m talking about.  Just getting into the place was epic.

molten_core

If you’d done all the Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge quests (and let’s face it, back in vanilla WoW, you had done them) then you’d heard ominous rumours of trouble from the Dark Iron Dwarves in the depths beneath Blackrock Mountain.  Hang on, I need my Sir Ian McKellan voice for this…

They’d delved too deep in their thirst for power over the surface world and awoken…   something evil.
<ominous chord>
Information was sketchy, only a whispered name had been mentioned fearfully…  Ragnaros.
<another chord, more ominous than before>

Getting to the bottom of it all, technically, required nothing more than a simple quest: Attunement to the Core, given out by a high elf npc at the entrance to Blackrock Depths.  What Lothos the Summoner failed to mention, of course, was that to get anywhere near the Core fragment he wanted you to retrieve for attunement, you were going to need the Shadowforge Key that granted access to the lower levels of Blackrock Depths.  And to get the Key, you needed to find a questgiver who only appeared while you were dead.

Yes, you read that right.  Dead.

On your many, many corpse runs back into the Depths you’d see a ghostly dwarf npc in Forgewright’s Tomb who, if anyone bothered to stop and actually interact with him, gave a quest that began with finding a particular Dark Iron Dwarf npc further in the depths and killing him, then retrieving an item from his body and using it in a statue further in the depths to create the Shadowforge Key.  Great, now you can finally get into the Core and get attuned right?

Nope.

The next cockblock you came across was the Grim Guzzler, a Dark Iron Dwarf bar in which you REALLY didn’t want to start a fight, with a back door guarded by the grandaddy of all bouncers who absolutely would not let you pass.  There were a number of ways of getting this door open, one of which involved a quest to go to the hot springs in Un’goro Crater, which is about as far from Blackrock Mountain as Pluto is from Mars.

When you finally get past the Grim Guzzler there were numerous bosses that had to be faced down and hordes of trash to be killed before you finally got to the entrance to Molten Core, which incidentally, was guarded by some seriously nasty Fire Elementals and could loot your Core fragment and return to Lothos to complete your attunement quest.

Oh, and just in case it wasn’t clear, this wasn’t just a simple case of “check Wowhead, go here, kill that, loot this, hand in quest” series of events.  Blackrock Depths is HUGE.  People get lost in there and not in a “Oh-My-God-Why-Does-Every-Room-In-Maraudon-Look-The-Same?” way.  It’s big like Jupiter is big.  People whine today about how Naxx is too big, Ulduar is too big…  Christ up a tree!  Take a walk around Blackrock Mountain one day and then enjoy your nice warm cup of shut the fuck up!

Let’s just go through the tickboxes here.  Blackrock Mountain contained Blackrock Depths, which was not only bigger than Naxxrammas and Ulduar combined but itself contained the entrance to Molten Core.  It also contained Lower Blackrock Spire, and Upper Blackrock Spire, which itself contained the entrance to the greatest raid instance ever created – Blackwing Lair.  That’s roughly a hundred bazillion raid and dungeon bosses, several trillion items of loot and about seven and half years of entertainment, all in a patch of real estate on the map no larger than Ulduar.

People complain about how the boss fights were too easy.  Funnily enough, I don’t remember people at the time saying “This shit is too simple, let’s play Solitaire instead” when they were busy being cockblocked on Baron Geddon and Shazzrah for the second month in a row.  I don’t deny that a lot of the boss fights relied on the same cliched mechanics, but seriously, come on!  Baron Geddon’s bomb ability?  If you’ve never been blown to bits by some utter bastard of a warlock who’d dismissed his demon after Geddon turned it into the Bomb, only to resummon it in the middle of the Ironforge Auction House with the timer still ticking after the raid, then you haven’t lived.  It’s what being a warlock used to be for!

And as for Ragnaros himself.  Oh.  My.  God.

ragnaros2

I’m still working on Hydraxian Waterlord rep on Calli, so I still do semi-regular Molten Core runs with her.  They’re a laugh, and you can still get your ass killed in there if you don’t know what you’re doing (Core Hound Packs and people who don’t know what NO single target dps means, I’m looking at you).  We run in there with anyone level 60 or higher, the place really isn’t much of a challenge these days, as you’d expect, and as well as the rep I also get to rebuild my Tier 1 Arcanist set.  Everyone who’s there for the first time, and I mean everyone, without exception, even the level 80s who came to the game after the Burning Crusade release and are decked out in their level 80 epics, everyone shits their pants when Ragnaros emerges.  He really is that awesome.  If you’ve never seen him, you owe it to yourself to get into Molten Core one day and put him down.  Tell everyone you’re doing it for the achievement if you’re too embarrassed to admit you’re a gushing Old World fanboy, I don’t care, just do it.

And while we’re on the subject of epic Old World bosses.  Onyxia, you had me at “How fortuitous…”

30418onyxia

Anyone still awake at this point may recall how a few thousand words ago I said that Tirion Fordring’s questline was my second favourite?  Onyxia is the number one, all-time, all-star best questline there has ever been in this or any other game.  Don’t argue, you’re wrong, it just is.

People started the Onyxia questline by accident.  I won’t spoil it for you with the full details, but try doing Dragonkin Menace in the Burning Steppes one day and then see where it leads you (answer: Blackrock Depths, Upper Blackrock Spire and Winterspring).  If you don’t agree that your single most awesome experience in WoW is marching through the streets of Stormwind City with Marshal Windsor, and all the city guards kneeling before you in respect, on the way to confront and expose Lady Katrana Prestor as Onyxia, the brood mother of the Black Dragonflight, then you’re probably dead from the neck down.  Either that or you’re playing after patch 3.0.2 when Blizzard removed the questline from the game in its’ entirety and robbed, yes robbed you of experiencing one of the finest and most immersive experiences in any game, ever.  Or you’re Horde and could never do it anyway.

*cackle*

So I’m obviously still stuck in on the old sleek, grey missionary of death, praying for war, with not a lot of actual war going on.  Despite our fearless leaders’ best efforts, that leaves not an awful lot of anything to do other than browse da interwebz (competing for limited bandwidth with 280 other users never gets old.)  I’m not sure exactly what it was that brought Tamarind to my humble abode, but I’m glad he left a comment or I’d have never found his site.  And lucky reader that you are, I can now link it to you.  There is comedy gold in them thar interwebz, and Tamarind seems to be mining the motherlode.  Not sure where the name came from, a fan of old Omar Sharif movies perhaps?  Doesn’t matter, read him, bookmark him, shower him with compliments and forgive him for being a fruit elf.  Tamarind, if you’re reading this, I must recommend Big Blue Dress to you, it’s so you.

But moving on swiftly, it’s now 15 days until I can scratch my WoW Itch again, but what is it exactly that I’m looking forward to?  Well there’s the obvious raiding and accumulating of phat lewtz, which means competing for a raid spot on Calli (shouldn’t be too hard with the Summertime Blues in full swing) and looking for Naxx PuGs on everyone else.  I guess I’m lucky in that I enjoy the whole spectrum of what WoW has to offer, not just raiding.  I couldn’t face going back to Naxx on Calli, but playing the same content on Jingles, Gorn, Fingers, Galadan etc keeps it reasonably fresh for me, it’s just the quality of the company you go in there with that makes or breaks the deal.  I also have a poor neglected Hunter and Shaman languishing at level 70(ish) who might be fun to break out of storage once again.  Then I need to get Aluriels’ fishing and cooking up to scratch.  What exactly is it about the game that keeps me coming back?

Talk Dirty To Me
I love trade and general chat.  I know I shouldn’t, but it’s like picking at a scab that will never heal.  Just when you think you’ve got a winner for the Dumbest and Most Annoying Prick of the Year, there’s always someone who’s willing to go that one step further to be even more inane or offensive than the last guy.  Trade and General chat are like the massive bumrush that were the Northrend starting zones on Wrath release, filled to overcrowding with the creme de la creme of the games’ smacktards, all determined to screw you over just so they could complete their quests 30 seconds faster than you.  As previously mentioned, this is not a bad thing.  It gets them out from under the stones where they fester, in the open where you can identify them and log their names for future reference.  Trade and general chat serve a similar, vital function.  Without them, you wouldn’t know who the cretins were until you *gasp* were grouped with them.  Eeeew!   I have a sick fascination with the idea of rolling a horde alt on a heavily populated server just so I can experience Barrens chat in all its’ perverse glory.  Can it really be worse than Ironforge on a Friday night?  Does anyone actually know where Mankrik’s wife is?

Ain’t Lookin’ For Nothing But A Good Time
I also have a dark secret.  I love PuGs.  For those jaded multitudes of us who’ve seen it and done it all, I highly recommend instancing in PuGs on an alt.  No wait, stop, come back!  I mean it.  Sure, this probably means you’re going to be grouped for Blood Furnace with a Ret Pally called Killerpalla who really doesn’t want to heal and 3 lolknights called Aarthas, Arthaas and Arthaaz, but what’s the worst that can happen?

Ok, bad example.  Let me put it another way.  Sure, the vast majority of your PuG experiences are going to be like having teeth pulled without the benefit of anaesthetic, but it’s the rare good ones that make it worthwhile.   If even one of the group is either competent, or inexperienced but willing to learn, you just made a friend for life.  That PuG tank in greens who’s obviously tried really hard to get the best tanking gear from quests but didn’t quite get how threat and aggro worked?  A few friendly words of advice from you instead of the usual ranting and /leave and that guy could be your 10 man raid group tanking superstar in a few months.  At the very least, you’ve got a more effective PuG tank for the night and someone who thinks you are a superstar.  There are rough diamonds in those PuGs, trust me.  Of course there are cocktards of the highest degree too, that’s why they’re in PuGs and not doing guild runs, but 11 million subscription fees proves that new people are playing too.

Don’t be one of the asshats that gets added to the new players’ ignore list.  Some of the worst pricks I’ve encountered in PuGs are the alts of hardcore raiders who just don’t have the time, patience or social skills to play in PuGs.  They want that instance done yesterday and they have no patience for people who’ve never seen the instance before.  They’re PuGging it because they’re such antisocial dickwads not even their own guildies will boost them.  Screw them.  Pre-80 instances are for newbies and alts who have the patience to play with newbies.  Take some patience into your PuG experience and everyone benefits. 

One thing I love most about new players in PuGs is when some useful loot drops.  I’ve levelled 8 characters to 80 and have two in the low 70′s.  If an upgrade drops in Azjol’Nerub or Hellfire Ramparts I’m not especially excited by it anymore, and that’s my loss.  I’ve become jaded.  I know it’s not gear I’d be using for longer than a few days and It’s really difficult to get a hard-on over it.  On the other hand, I can still remember when I was a newbie hunter, couldn’t get into an instance for love nor money and looked with unmitigated envy at people wandering around Ironforge in the Beastmaster Tier 0 set.  Heck, any level 60 blue gear at all was beyond my reach.  Getting a gear upgrade is a BIG DEAL when you’re new, no matter how transient or illusory it might really be.  No matter how much we jaded veterans might scoff, if you’ve never heard of heirloom gear and the best item you ever owned was a BoE level 61 blue you saved up for on the Auction House, that Polearm from the chest at the end of the Ramparts is a Big Deal.  I will not spoil the moment for that new guy, I will pass on the loot for him.  The gushing of thanks and obvious glee they experience is another part of what makes PuGging fun for me.  I genuinely feel happy for the good newbie who gets a blue in an instance, and I get a kick out of being the nice guy who helps them understand their group role better, improve as a player and help them upgrade their gear.

Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Of course, the chances are you’re going to end up in the PuG with Killerpalla, Aarthas, Arthaas and Aarthaaz.  The PuG where you’re the last person to join and yet somehow always the first one to the instance.  Where you spend half an hour at the summoning stone waiting for the rest of them to decide which of them should should move their lazy arses from Ironforge/Dalaran/Alterac Valley first to help you summon the rest.  The one where when everyone finally arrives, someone forgot to repair and has a hearthstone on cooldown.  The PuG where they spend the first 10 minutes in the instance arguing over who’s going to tank and then when one of them grudgingly agrees to do it, the rest do their level best to pull aggro off him every chance they get because a) He can’t tank for shit and b) the rest of them are all cocks.  The PuG where none of the buffers have any reagents and none of the mana users have any water.  That PuG where they all go afk after every meaningless, soul-destroying wipe and then bitch at you after you’ve run back for not rezzing them faster.  The one where the dps who stood in the fire spam “rez plz” over and over while the rest of you are still in combat.  The one where everyone stands in Fire and it’s somehow the healer’s fault.  Where the healer has no mana to heal because he was busy spamming moonfire/smite/chain lightning/Consecrate.

It’s not all bad, these PuGs can be fun too.  You just have to get into the whole spirit of the group.  Roll Need on the Collosal Skull-Clad Cleaver when it drops and then disenchant it in front of them.  For that piece de resistance, just to show you really care, open them a portal before you teleport out.  To Theramore.

You have to take your enjoyment where you can.  I never claimed to be an angel.

You ever get that sinking feeling when joining a group just from looking at the names of the players involved?  Sure you do.  I’ll bet most of the time you just go ahead with the group, hoping against experience that maybe this time it’ll be different?  It never is, is it?

Rule number 1.  Never join a group with any Deathknight whose name looks like something that could have been signed by Arthas if he were dyslexic.

I joined a normal Halls of Lightning on my priest, Aluriel.  It was a while back, a guildie needed a healer to get the instance done on his alt, I was bored and Aluriel was so overgeared she could heal normal HoL with Renew, so along I went.  On joining the group I saw two level 78 Deathknights.  Turns out one was the tank.  A Deathknight willing to tank is usually a good sign, and this guy was no exception.  He was inexperienced but keen to be as good a tank as he could be, and that goes a long way in my book.  He was happy to listen to advice and did as good a job as could be expected, I’d group with him again in a heartbeat.

The other one was called Aarthas.

Yeah, he was as bad as you’re imagining.  He managed to pull off a very spectacular 600 dps.  Just to put this into perspective, Calli was doing 1900dps on Brutallus at level 70.  Aarthas was managing a third of her dps 8 levels later.  I didn’t know it was even possible for a Deathknight to do such miserable dps.  To make matters worse he wouldn’t listen to advice.  Remember the first boss in HoL does that Whirlwind which carves up melee when he goes into Berseker stance?  Recognising young Aarthas for the smacktard that he was, I advised him to simply run clear and not dps at all whenever the boss went into Beserker stance, as I judged him incapable of being able to know when to run out on his own.  Boy did I ever call that one.  I was wasting my time of course, he stayed in and managed to get his arse killed anyway, despite being pre-shielded and HoT’ed.  He was also impatient, dangerously so, causing two wipes due to his pulling adds that neither I nor the inexperienced tank were ready for.  I later found out that he’d been bugging the Deathknight tank in whispers all through the instance to pass on the Axe from the last boss.  This would be the axe that only drops in Heroic mode, of course.

*sigh*

Rule Number 2.  Similar to Rule 1.  Avoid grouping with any Night Elf hunter whose name is based on any derivative of the name “Legolas”.

As I’m sure the horde have discovered since The Burning Crusade was released, nothing attracts the smacktards like a pretty character avatar.  As the wave of moron fruit elf paladins engulfed Silvermoon City, the Horde got a taste of what the Alliance have had to put up with since Orlando Bloom first put on his pointy ears.  Thankfully, instances of Rule 2 are relatively rare these days, as all the night elf huntards called Lególaas are now having fun playing their Deathknights called Arthaaz.  Hopefully, they all rerolled Fruit Elf too.  No reason why the Alliance should enjoy the monopoly on cretins.

Rule Number 3.  If he’s got his class in his name, he’s almost certainly a inbred smacktard with an IQ slightly lower than his shoe size.

Exceptions to this rule are very, very rare, but they do exist.  The exceptions tend to come from those guys, usually from Eastern Europe, who didn’t speak or write English too well when they bought WoW and struggled to come up with a useful name to use on an English language server.  They’ve usually learned to speak pretty decent English since and are now hideously embarrassed at their choice of name and have either taken advantage of the paid name change facility or no longer play “Killerwarrior” as their main.  That’s okay, I’ll forgive anyone who’s prepared to learn and grow as a person.  On the other hand, “Roguefradk” on Hellscream-EU who forms PuGs for Vault of Archavon, kicks out anyone who isn’t covered in epics, wears greens and blue quest rewards himself, struggles to get over 1000dps and kicks anyone who criticises his own dps… well, he can just die in a fire. 

Rule Number 4.  If he has any of the words “dark”, “night” or “shadow” in his name, fake illness and leave the group immediately.

Again, there are exceptions to this rule, but they are pretty rare.  The exceptions tend to come from the same background as the exceptions to Rule 3.  If in doubt, just run screaming for the hills while pulling the cable from your modem.  You’ll thank me in the end.

Rule Number 5.  Any player whose name contains a combination of any of the above 4 rules should be treated with the same morbid fascination as someone who managed to contract both bubonic plague and yellow fever at the same time.  By all means tell your friends, but don’t touch under any circumstances.

We once had a player in our guild who was called Shadowdruid.  His alts were Shadowhunter and Shadowwarrior.

We no longer speak of him.  Ever.

They Think It’s All Over…

Posted: 3 July, 2009 in misc
Tags: ,

Surprise!  No, I’m not back at the wheel yet, but this newfangled internet thing seems to have actually found its way onto Her Majesty’s Ships, so while I can’t play for another month I can at least write about playing.  A poor second best, but beggers can’t be choosers.

One fact that hasn’t escaped my attention is that it’s just over a year since I was last stuck in some godforsaken military outpost with little to do other than read WoW Blogs, all of which inspired me to start my own, the results of which you can see before you.  One year later, two facts leap to mind.  The first is that Pew Pew Lazerz is a year old and I hadn’t noticed.  The second is that there’s nothing written on another blog that I can’t shamelessly rip off and use as inspiration for my own!

So, drawing “inspiration” from one of the posts at Egotistical Priest I’ve enjoyed reading on those long night watches, my question to you is this:

If you could sit down with a WoW developer over coffee and bagels for a half hour, what would you ask them to change about the game?

I’ll kick off with a few examples.

1.  Remember at Blizzcon before WotLK was released when the devs said Mages were going to be the undefeated, unparralled, unrivalled masters of AoE damage?  Apparently what they meant by that was they were going to give everyone an AoE ability that was just as good as anything we had.  Except for those classes that already had better AoE than us.  Obviously.  So what I’d ask for is something, anything, that mages could do better than, or at least as well as, anyone else.  Just a friendly word of warning before someone shouts “portals!” or “Gief cake!”  We have very long memories, we hold grudges and we can set you on fire by just thinking about it.

2.  This next one I read over at Egotistical Priest and I think it’s awesome.  Make Consecration heal any friendly target standing in it.   There may be a dozen different reasons why this is never going to happen, but I don’t want to think of any of them because the idea is just so awesome.  It doesn’t have to be a massive heal, let it tick for the same amount that Consecration already does damage.  Paladins won’t care, they’ll be too happy to finally be able to heal more than one person at once without a bandaid or a glyph.  It even makes sense from a lore perspective.  Take a good look at your nearest Holy paladin.  More armour than the USS Missouri and a shield you could block the Death Star’s exhaust port with.  WHY is he/she standing at the back with the squishies?  Alexandros Mograine, Tirion Fordring, Uther the Lightbringer…  these names ringing any bells?  When the brown smelly stuff hits the air recirculation unit, these were not people you saw at the back, hiding behind the priests.  Get the paladins into battle where they belong!

Except Galadan, obviously.  He’s too pretty to get his armour dirty.

3.  Make flying mounts work everywhere.  Yes, I know it would mean a crapload of effort that could be used making new stuff instead, and I know it will never happen.  But we can fantasise.

4.  Let Calli be a Gnome.

5.  Get someone who’s actually been to Scotland to do the Dwarf female voices.  Please.

So.  What would your choices be?