The Light and How to Swing It — Kurn's Issues, Part 1

Okay. I am not *generally* a bitch. But, sometimes, when properly motivated, I can be very, very good at being a bitch.

In this post, I will discuss the fact that Mr. Chase Christian, better known as the  rogue columnist at WoW.com, got the position of the Holy Paladin columnist as well. Further, I will explain how I feel that the justification used to placate me when I was intially outraged appears to be false.

Full disclaimer: Yes, I applied. Yes, I was disappointed that I wasn’t selected. It’s not so much that I didn’t get the position, but rather that Chase Christian, the rogue columnist at WoW.com, got the position after a public call for applications went out. And, of course, how could he be at all qualified to write the holy paladin column?

Well, I wrote to Mr. Adam Holisky with regards to my application after the news broke and asked, politely, what the deal was.

Among other things, Mr. Holisky informed me of the following, and this is a direct quote:

“Chase is a guild and raid leader who fills a spot in his raids as either a rogue or as a holy paladin healer.  He has cleared all content at all levels an in all expansions with both characters, and has exceptional knowledge concerning both classes.  He was the most qualified candidate we’ve received (although some folks such as yourself do come close).”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure he was attempting to placate me by saying that I came close and other things he said about my application. I understand that and accept that I was being placated. I don’t really mind that. Further, I’m certain that I wasn’t the only person who received a message along those lines. Again, I don’t think that’s a bad thing to say; it recognizes the effort applicants put into their applications. At the time, I appreciated the mail and the time he took to write to me in order to, basically, justify their decision. Mr. Holisky had no need to justify anything to me, some random person who applied. I thought this was a great thing to do on Mr. Holisky’s part towards preventing people from having bad associations with WoW.com. It’s unfortunate that I believe these justifications to be false.

At any rate, it was at this point, after Mr. Holisky’s email, that I decided to give Mr. Christian 2-3 articles to show me he knows what the light is, never mind how to swing it.

Well, Mr. Christian made the mistake of taking a screenshot for his column of February 7th. The screenshot allowed us to see the name of a character, Cure, who has Beacon of Light, Sacred Shield and a Flash of Light HoT active on them. Since this did not appear to be in a raid environment, I came to the fairly obvious conclusion that Cure was likely Mr. Christian’s paladin. His bio states that he plays on Azgalor, Horde side. Wouldn’t you know it, there’s a blood elf paladin named Cure who is holy on Azgalor. Further digging reveals that Cure is the GM of the guild Trademarked. On WoWWiki’s Azgalor page, it is said that Mr. Christian’s rogue, Madsushi, is the GM of Trademarked. Thus, given Mr. Holisky’s information that Mr. Christian is a guild leader, I have concluded that Mr. Christian plays Cure, who has been made GM of Trademarked.

Naturally, I looked him up on the armory. Ask anyone who knows me — it’s what I *do*.

After examining the armory, it is my firm belief that Mr. Holisky lied to me about Mr. Christian’s qualifications in an attempt to justify the selection of Mr. Christian as the new holy paladin columnist. I could potentially be in error about my conclusion, but I kind of doubt it. Here’s exactly the information that I looked at which indicated to me that I’d been lied to:

First of all, Horde paladins weren’t even available pre-BC. But let us give Mr. Christian the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he had an Alliance paladin that he then transferred to Horde once faction changes became available.

Old-school reputation from raiding includes:

– Hydraxian Waterlords (Molten Core)
– Zandalar Tribe (Zul’Gurub)
– Cenarion Circle (AQ20)
– Brood of Nozdormu (AQ40)
– The Argent Dawn (Naxxramas)

Let us examine Cure’s rep for each.

Hydraxian: 1046/3000 into Neutral
Zandalar: 387/6000 into Friendly
CC: 2736/3000 into Neutral
Brood: 16202/36000 into Hated
Argent Dawn: 8839/12000 into Honored

Well, now. Apart from the Brood rep (which can be obtained these days while solo-farming AQ40 for bug mounts), that doesn’t look all too impressive. My main raider in pre-BC was my hunter, Kurn, and Madrana only really got into raiding in October/November or thereabouts.

Let’s look at Madrana’s reputation, in comparison:

Hydraxian: 1174/12000 into Honored
Zandalar: 8984/12000 into Honored (this does include about 4000 rep gathered in BC/Wrath)
CC: 2954/6000 into Friendly (I hated AQ20)
Brood: 2860/36000 into Hated (mostly gained post-Wrath)
Argent Dawn: 999/1000 into Exalted (mostly gained in Wrath, but I was at least Revered pre-Wrath)

Considering I never actually CLEARED Molten Core, never really set foot into Naxx or AQ40… that’s not horrible rep. It’s certainly much better than Mr. Christian’s paladin. Mind you, my paladin has a 10% rep bonus through the human racial of Diplomacy, but that still doesn’t seem to account for the large differences in our rep.

I suppose that we can always assume that perhaps Mr. Holisky meant BC and Wrath by “expansions”, though, right? So let’s give Mr. Holisky and Mr. Christian the benefit of the doubt, yet again and assume that Mr. Christian is probably well-versed in Burning Crusade raids.

The major BC raiding rep factions:

– The Violet Eye (Karazhan)
– The Scale of the Sands (Hyjal)
– Ashtongue Deathsworn (Black Temple)

That, of course, doesn’t include the myriad of factions for helm enchants (Honor Hold/Thrallmar for a holy paladin), shoulder enchants (Aldor or Scryer), etc, which any raiding character would need to have rep with in order to be taken seriously in T5+ content.

Let’s look at Mr. Christian’s paladin’s rep for BC factions.

Violet Eye: 999/1000 into Exalted
The Scale of the Sands: 0/3000 into Neutral
Ashtongue Deathsworn: Not listed (has yet to encounter in-game)

… really? I raided primarily as Madrana throughout Burning Crusade, clearing all of T4 content, T5 content, clearing Hyjal and Black Temple. Let’s look at Madrana’s rep.

Violet Eye: 999/1000 into Exalted
The Scale of the Sands: 999/1000 into Exalted
Ashtongue Deathsworn: 999/1000 into Exalted

ALL of that was painfully done at level 70, during progression raids.

And Mr. Christian’s paladin hasn’t even MET the Ashtongue Deathsworn. He hasn’t set foot in Hyjal or Black Temple on his paladin. That much is incontrovertible fact, unless he wiped on the first wave of Hyjal trash repeatedly, since it gives no rep. Still, that’s certainly not “clearing all content at all levels in all expansions”, now, is it?

So the paladin is clearly Mr. Christian’s alt, but he should still know the content well enough from raiding on his rogue, right? His rogue, Madsushi, on Azgalor, is also a blood elf. So let’s not even bother looking at pre-BC rep. Let’s look at Burning Crusade stuff.

The Violet Eye: 17360/21000 into Revered
The Scale of the Sands: 0/3000 into Neutral
Ashtongue Deathsworn: 275/3000 into Neutral

You’re kidding me, right? I believe that was my exact thought when I saw the rep. This indicates to me that, on his rogue, Mr. Christian has STARTED the BT quests and still hasn’t done anything in Hyjal. Neither his paladin, nor his rogue, sport the title Hand of A’dal or even Champion of the Naaru. (I’m a Hand of A’dal, for what it’s worth.)

How on earth is any of this clearing “all content at all levels an in all expansions with both characters”?

It’s not.

Okay, so let’s look at Wrath stuff. Let’s look at some of his achievements. If he’s been raiding seriously on his paladin and rogue, his achievements and titles should be comparable to my own. Right?

Paladin: Sarth 3D (10) (09/24/09)
Rogue: Sarth 3D (10) (09/23/09)

Now, there are no 25-man equivalent achievements listed for his toons, but that’s okay. Just because I go to 25-man content almost exclusively doesn’t necessarily make me a better paladin or anything. But look at those dates. T9 content had been out for a few weeks at that point. That substantially reduces the difficulty of even a 3D zerg run, which was quite frequent on my server at the time (Bronzebeard) throughout the months we were in Ulduar.

Madrana: Sarth 3D (25) (03/18/09)

Yeah. In Naxx gear. Before Ulduar came out.

Let’s talk about Ulduar.

Okay. He’s got Glory of the Ulduar Raider (10). I’ll give him that. But he got it on February 1st, 2010. Two weeks ago. I haven’t been back to Ulduar in months because I don’t particularly care about a drake and I don’t like doing content that’s a lot easier than it was when I’m using gear out of instances 2 tiers after the fights were designed.

He has Algalon (10) on his paladin with a date of January 16th, 2010.

I have Algalon (25) on mine with a date of November 22nd, 2010.

ICC-available gear (2 tiers ahead of content) vs. 245 and a bit of 258 gear (1-1.5 tiers)

How on EARTH does any of this mean that Mr. Christian has better/more experience than me as a holy paladin in a raid setting? Just because he’s a raid leader? Hi, I did that, too. All throughout freaking BC. And pre-BC. And you know what? For months in Wrath, too. Not to mention the six months I spent as the healing lead in the guild I was in on Bronzebeard.

Clearly, Mr. Holisky was trying to smooth things over with me and try to instill me with confidence that Mr. Christian wasn’t, as I’d initially charged, “a rogue with some holy experience“. However, after even just a small amount of research, it’s clear that my experience in pre-BC, BC and most of Wrath surpasses Mr. Christian’s. And I’m sure I’m not even the most qualified applicant. There are people who are WAY more experienced than I am, who went through Sunwell, for example, or who have gotten Anub’arak on 25-man heroic.

So for my own experience to clearly surpass the experiences of Mr. Christian on his rogue and his paladin, well, it raises doubt in my mind that Mr. Christian is the right person for the job. Even if Mr. Christian does have experience on other characters, Mr. Holisky assured me personally that Mr. Christian had cleared all content in all expansions on both characters to which I was referring. Well, that’s clearly false. You can’t go to Hyjal without gaining rep. You can’t go to Black Temple without gaining rep. You can’t go through Molten Core without gaining rep.

Now, were these the only problems with Mr. Christian’s appointment to the holy paladin columnist position, I would probably suck it up and deal with it. You’d never have known from me that Mr. Holisky falsely represented Mr. Christian’s experience to me and to the habitual readers of “The Light and How to Swing It“. I’m not a sore loser, I’m not a petty person. And, believe it or not, I’m not fighting for the position. I have zero desire to work with people who will not only exaggerate a friend’s experience, but outright lie about it to justify the decision to others.

So why, then, am I besmirching the “good” names of Mr. Christian, Mr. Holisky and WoW.com? I am concerned for the holy paladins who actually need guidance and support and who read the column. As anyone who had spent any time at all reading The Light and How to Swing It, Gregg Reece was certainly not the best paladin to cover a holy aspect. It was clear that either the column needed a separate holy version or needed a new columnist to cover all three specs adequately. It was obvious that there wasn’t a lot of good information for a holy paladin at WoW.com prior to the addition of a holy paladin columnist.

As I said, I had told myself that I would give Mr. Christian 2-3 columns to prove to me that he knows his stuff about holy paladins. And that if I found his articles as in-depth and knowledgeable as mine could be (obviously, mine can be epic in length, but I wasn’t going to hold brevity against him), then I’d just cool down, ease off and continue ignoring wow.com’s idiocy.

So I read the articles and sighed heavily as I did so. The content produced by Mr. Christian, thus far, is not what I expected of anyone who would be granted such a position ahead of me, based on experience.

My nitpicking on the quality of his articles will come soon enough, as much of this was written before Mr. Christian’s third article came out and I will be spending some time deconstructing all three of his first few articles, then posting my resulting /facepalms.

Suffice it to say, however, that I have issues trusting a holy paladin who uses XPerl as their raid frames.

12 comments

  1. RDruid says:

    Believe me you’re lucky to not be associated with wow.com…

    Their articles have been going done hill for some time and I rarely visit the site anymore for any “technical” information on my class.

    We all know that wow.com is a site that caters to a mass market and unfortunately that doesn’t mean providing useful information. They don’t care about the content of an article, only that they have something new posted for people to read (factual or fictional). That’s unfortunate as it really means they’re not focused on serving the player community, only profiting from it.

    If anyone reads what I’m posting be aware that a well run guild WILL ask those that apply not only about their past raiding experience but also where they get their raiding and class info. In fact it’s not uncommon for a solid guild to try and entice (enforce) its newest members to visit certain websites for raiding and class specific information. I would be very surprised if ANY top guild on ANY server would recommend wow.com as a source of raiding or class information. They just don’t have that kind of cred in the raiding community.

    Really I don’t know if any of us are all that shocked at what you’ve posted. Maybe just a bit more shocked that you somehow expected something different…

  2. kurn says:

    Of course wow.com isn’t an amazing source of raiding or class information, I completely agree. My concern is that the newer players WILL turn to such a site that caters to the mass market. And the quality of the content they’ll be presented with just makes me want to cry, really. I think it’s important that people present quality information and content when they turn to dedicated sites. I had hoped that I could bring that level of quality to the holy paladin column, but apparently, I don’t quite reach Mr. Christian’s level of awesomeness. ;)

    They don’t care about the content of an article, only that they have something new posted for people to read (factual or fictional).

    Completely agree with this. I’ve plain stopped reading wow.com (with the exception of Mr. Christian’s holy columns, for the pure purpose of evaluating them) due to the simple, every day errors that are in just about every article.

    I guess, in the end, I was simply expecting that, if someone went out of their way to justify something to me (which they had no need to do), I’d be told the truth. If there’s no truth to the justifications, there’s no reason to go out of your way to lie to people, unless it’s to save face. Which, of course, can end up blowing up in said face. ;)

  3. RDruid says:

    Let’s be clear here Kurn…we don’t know that Mr. Holisky “intentionally” lied to you. (I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.) It may very well be that Christian “oversold” his skill as a player and used his existing position on the site to convince Holisky that he could handle another column.

    In all of this I think Christian has more to be ashamed of than Holisky. Christian should realize that he doesn’t have the technical background or skill set to write about the paladin/specs and that his lack of experience and true insight into the class not only hurts newer players but will reflect poorly on the site overall.

    I already know that there are more than a few guilds and several of us that check the “Korner” daily.

    People know good information when they read it…and that is what keeps them coming back. (that and the sex, drugs, and rock and roll)

  4. [...] Welcome to Part 2 of my issues with the current holy edition of The Light and How to Swing It, a column written by Chase Christian at WoW.com. This post will focus primarily on the three articles written thus far by Mr. Christian as well as expound on the reasons why I believe his lack of experience as a holy paladin will be detrimental to the holy paladin community as a whole. If you’d like to read the post I wrote detailing his lack of experience and the apparent false justification Mr. Adam Holisky offered to me regarding Mr. Christian’s appointment to the column, you can do so here. [...]

  5. kurn says:

    R – You’re right. It could absolutely be that Mr. Christian oversold himself as a holy paladin or even a rogue. However, Mr. Holisky has a responsibility as an editor at WoW.com to research the experience of their staffers. It was so easy for me, someone who has no familiarity with Mr. Christian at all, to bust the claims of his experience. Certainly someone who works with him ought to have at LEAST that much knowledge.

    Even if Mr. Holisky didn’t know what an utter lack of experience Mr. Christian has on his rogue and his paladin, wouldn’t it have been his responsibility to verify that information BEFORE he chose to write to me? At the very least, Mr. Holisky is guilty of being lazy and/or complacent enough to pass along false information to me. At worst, he is guilty of lying to me — and probably several other readers as well.

    I do agree with you about Mr. Christian’s lack of expertise and that he has more to be ashamed of than Mr. Holisky does in this situation. However, Mr. Holisky should be ashamed by association.

    Speaking of why people come back (because of my AMAZING content, no doubt!), I have a funny story to share. I was doing a search on Mr. Holisky’s name in my gmail to find the email he sent me, so I could accurately quote it, and found a very old application from Mr. Holisky to Apotheosis. I looked up the discussion on our old forums about the app and realized that we just hadn’t gotten back to him fast enough and he’d apped to another guild (which was one the reasons we then stream-lined our application system).

    Small world, isn’t it?

    So glad you check in here regularly, you know. You’re one of the most awesome people I’ve encountered in my life post-Apotheosis. (FYI, I bitched out the gnome you and I both have had run-ins with. Drop me an email and I’ll detail it, if you like. ;))

  6. RDruid says:

    We’ll have to talk on vent sometime and catch up on current events.

  7. [...] Kurn they have found someone willing to take the time to dig a little deeper. Her excellent post is here and I recommend that you give it a look. To sum it up, she emailed Holisky asking why she [...]

  8. [...] I got email notification earlier last night that I had a new comment on the blog, on the post that details my primary issues with WoW.com, Mr. Chase Christan and Mr. Adam Holisky, particularly with respect to the holy [...]

  9. Nazaniel says:

    Just out of curiosity, what’s wrong with a holy pally using xperl for raid frames? It shows range, health, names, aggro, cleansable stuff (although Decursive shows that too)…

  10. kurn says:

    In my opinion, the major issue with xperl (apart from the fact that it’s not updated super quickly after a patch, which is why I now use ShadowedUF as my unit frames) is that it’s not designed to be a compact method of viewing the raid’s status.

    So what? Perhaps everyone but me is running at a ridiculously high resolution and has oodles of real estate on their screen. But then we run into debuffs.

    As I recall, the debuff icons are less than user friendly in xperl, stacking awkwardly (albeit, you can tell them where to stack in relation to the unit’s frame), particularly in a 25-man situation. But Grid has excellent, I mean just downright formidable, management for debuffs. Everything from ignoring stuff you don’t care about to giving certain priorities to other debuffs.

    Example: I’m healing, I don’t know, Stone Grip on Kologarn. So I DO care who has that debuff. Grid has a great method of showing the debuffs quickly and clearly without needing to examine the debuff too carefully. It helps so much with reaction time on debuffs like that. It makes you less reliant on raid icons for debuffs; it lets you know who’s got The Terribly Bad Thing That’s Going To Kill People NOW…

    I think Vuhdo is similar, but I’m about 1000 times more familiar with Grid than I am with Vuhdo or Healbot.

    I’m of the mind that people should use raid frames for their raid frames, not their regular unit frames. There’s just too much that’s awkward or doesn’t show properly/easily with unit frames that raid frames handle so much more easily.

    Last example: In TOC on Faction Champs, if there’s a warlock in the opposing group, I know I do NOT want to cleanse Unstable Affliction from my raid, so I don’t get silenced. Instead of a magic effect showing up in my Grid, I now get a red dot telling me “hey, check it out! This dude has Unstable Affliction! Cast Cleanse on this unit and you’re going to feel stupid.”

    Whereas, I believe you’ll always see an xperl frame tinged blue (or whatever colour you like) when the unit has Unstable Affliction, if you have magic effects turned on. :)

  11. Nazaniel says:

    Hmm, ok. I don’t use mouseover macros to heal, and I’m using Decursive for cleansing (which avoids that Unstable Affliction issue).

    I might have to give Grid a try, to see how much of a difference it is. Thanks!

  12. kurn says:

    Strongly recommend you use it in conjunction with Clique. You’ll be amazing how fast the heals go out! :)

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