An Interview with Vodka’s Holy Paladin, Adam

Posted on June 5, 2012. Filed under: Home, Interviews |

For those of you that have played World of Warcraft for a while or are tuned into the Raiding community know of or have heard of the Hardcore Progression Raiding Guild Vodka.  They have been one of the top progression raid teams since Vanilla and continue to stay strong through Cataclysm.  Part of their core raid team is Adam, Vodka’s main Holy Paladin.  At Blizzcon 2011,  Vodka was there in full force for the Live Raid between them and Blood Legion.  I was lucky enough to meet and chat with members from Vodka including Adam.

Myself being a Holy Paladin, it was quite the honor to meet Adam and talk a little Holy Pally shop with him.  Since then I’ve been in contact with Adam exchanging ideas and picking his brain on information regarding raid content and strategy.  This finally led to an idea I wanted to do for a post on my blog.  Why not do an interview with Adam and write it as a blogpost.  I mentioned the idea to Adam and he  agreed to do it.  So we met up on Mumble and talked away for two hours.

Megacode:  Most  players of World of Warcraft have been playing games for sometime.  How long have you been gaming and what games were most impressionable to you?

Adam:  I have been gaming for a long time since I was little. Having a father who was into technology and three brothers,  gaming was part of our life. Growing up we were into sports so during our downtime we were playing on our Sega Genesis. Earlier on I spent a lot of time on Mario Cart, Perfect Dark, and the James Bond game “Goldeneye”.  It was here where I really took a liking to the whole group co-op gaming style. 

Megacode:  So can we assume that World of Warcraft wasn’t your first MMO game?

Adam:  While attending college I played around like most with games like Halo and/or Call of Duty,  but found that  I was more into the PC MMO genre like Ultima Online and Everquest  where I would group up with my brothers.

Megacode:  How long have you been playing WoW?

Adam:  “Chuckles”…Well a long time I suppose.  I was in Beta and kept playing when it continued live so like  7 and a half years now.

Megacode:   Was Paladin your first class to play when WoW went live and how long have you been Holy?

Adam:  I started with a Hunter then eventually moved over to playing a Warrior.  I then created two alt characters, a Paladin and Mage.  It was around Blackwing Lair Raid when I decided to make my Holy Paladin my main so I’ve been playing on him for about 6 years now.  Long enough to have been through all their changes.

Megacode:  What made you decide to heal as a Holy Paladin?

Adam:  Once Blackwing Lair came out healers were in big demand and I really liked the way Paladin plate wearers looked so I decided this was the class I wanted to heal with.  I liked the flow of their big heals up front in your face and the whole Holy Light wearing plate really was cool to me. I also liked how they could throw out some DPS melee style if need be.  I looked at the priest but they  were more about AoE magic heals and not big single target heals which was more my style.  To this day I find healing as a Holy Paladin fun, challenging and not boring.

Megacode:  Do you like where the Holy spec is today as compared to before?

Adam:  At first we had just a few heals to use, but then in Wrath of the Lich King we were given Beacon of Light and Sacred Shield which gave our spec more tools to use for healing.  Blizzard tends to take things away for an expansion then to give them back at a later one (Sacred Shield).  I actually preferred the 30 second Holy Radiance as compared to the castable one now,  but I know Blizzard is just trying to balance everyone out for raid healing.  Even though I preferred the days when we were just casting big heals and being used mainly as tank healers, I’ve adjusted well to our new style and feel we’re in a good place today.

Megacode:  What would you have different with this class if Ghostcrawler gave you one wish?

Adam:  “Chuckles”….Well lets see, I’d have to say that I’m happy where we are right now moving into Mists of Pandaria.  A few years back I had this conversation with GC about changes to Divine Plea, and now in MoP with a glyph, it will be instant mana regen.  Also Sacred Shield is getting a comeback.  I’d also like to see Gnome Paladins, “Laugh Out Loud!”

Megacode:  Will your Holy Paladin be making a return in Mists of Pandaria and if not, what class and spec will you be then?

Adam:  Thats what we’ve been discussing in Vodka because Mistweaver Monk is really looking good.  Unless we get more players switching to the monk  healing spec, I’m 80% sure I’ll be transitioning into that role.  Shouldn’t be too difficult since my alt is a Restoration Shaman and  the Mistweaver Monk spec feels like a Paladin/Shaman hybrid mix.  So far I like what I’ve tested out.  Holy Paladins were in high demand come Cataclysm and I feel Mistweaver Monks will be the same in MoP.  We shall see.

Megacode:  What motivated you to start progression raiding and for how long now?

Adam:  Most of my time playing WoW has been competitive pvp and casual raiding with close friends.  At the end of the Wrath expansion I decided I wanted to up my game and compete in world first pve.  Having been part of Vodka’s season 1 pvp team I was no stranger to them, so when Vodka needed a Holy Paladin for Cataclysm raiding they asked me to switch servers and join their ranks as their core Holy Paladin.   You hear of other players having to ladder their way up guilds into a top progression team but in my case it was luck that they needed a Holy Paladin and knowing current members of Vodka from pvp  so they knew my play style.  Being rank #1 in pvp every season definitely helped with my transition into top tier pve.  At first it was somewhat hectic but I grew into it very fast.

Megacode:  What is the typical schedule for you when you’re in progression mode and how does it affect real life(family, friends, work)?

Adam:  During the first week of progression we all take a week off from our daily activities to hit the content hard.  We start clearing content and only take small breaks here and there when people need it.  After the first week,  because people have to go back to school or work, we start raiding around 2 or 3 pm est.  Now because we spend a lot of time in Beta and PTR the content isn’t new to us thus allowing us to get back into sort of a normal schedule come second week.  Most of us are only getting like 3 to 4 hours of sleep and it’s something you have to get used to for the weeks to come if your trying for world first.  Lucky for me since I was in college, the 3-4 hrs/night sleep schedule was something I was already used to.  After progression we take about a 3 week break to relax and take care of personal stuff, then we return for one night a week of raiding until next tier.

Megacode:  Now besides World First, what are you looking forward to in Mist of Pandaria?

Adam:  I really enjoy new expansions so when one is announced, I really look forward to its release.  I get excited for the freshness that comes with a new expansion, new places to explore, new dungeons to level, and new blues to replace our Heroic Tier 4-Piece…Laughs.  Because I am into watching  Anime and have an interest and understanding of Asian culture, the whole Asian theme for MoP is something I’m glad they incorporated with this expansion.  What I am looking forward to most is Mistweaver Monk.  I’ve been able to level one up to 89 and so far I really like playing this class and spec.  People have had doubts about this expansion and with Pandas, saying Blizzard is not taking this expansion serious. The last thing Blizzard would do is get complaisant and have people jump ship to another game.  I have no doubts that this will be a really great and fun expansion.  With this expansion I’m also looking to get back into competitive pvp with my Paladin and Monk and work on obtaining all the mounts and achievements that come with it.  Not to sure if I’ll be too involved with the whole pet battles game. Perhaps that will be something in my down time.  Most of MoP looks really good and well worth the wait.

Megacode:  How did the most recent charity event with Vodka vs Method come about and will there be more?

Adam:  It came about shortly after Blizzcon.  We had such a fun time at Blizzcon’s 2011 LIVE RAID we felt that this would be fun to do and for a good cause. We met up with renowned gamer Athene who helped us set up the whole event on  Since there aren’t  a whole lot of pve competitive Live shows out there, we decided to try and make something happen.  It took a lot of time and preparation behind the scenes but once it got started it was a lot of fun.  Initially it was supposed to be Vodka, Method and Paragon competing against one another but Paragon had to drop out due to time restraints.  We felt that it was time to get the pve side of the game more exposure and since this expansion has been out for a while now, something new and exciting that is pve based would be a good thing for many to enjoy.  If possible we’d love to do more like it.

Megacode:  What is your all time favorite expansion and raid?

Adam:  I really enjoyed the Burning Crusade expansion from its storyline to its difficulty of raids.  It was here where I first started doing Arena’s and was ranked #1 in 5v5.  All time favorite raid for me was Black Temple.

Megacode:  Which raid in Cataclysm is your favorite?

Adam:  I would have to say Tier 11.  New bosses with a lot of new mechanics, plus we hit Heroic Modes wearing some blue gear which really had us pushing the envelope.

Megacode:  Which boss in Dragon Soul was the most challenging for Vodka?

Adam:  For Tier 13 the most difficult due to mechanics was Spine of Deathwing.  There was so much stuff going on and one tiny little mistake would cause him to roll, wiping the raid.  I think our first kill on it was like 15 min long.  We had a lot of lag issues on this fight because of all the bloods on the ground.  Healing  pre-nerf was very challenging because of the dps checks. Because of this, healers were usually last to get any upgrades to gear so healing Spine was very challenging.

Megacode:  Which boss in Cataclysm do you feel was most difficult and challenging for Vodka?

Adam:  Definitely Ragnaros due to all the phases and dps checks.  Over all it was an awesome well rounded fight.  We had no clue that there was a last phase after meteors until we read the Dungeon Journal.  We pushed him really hard through the meteor phase expecting a kill, then all of a sudden he was healed back up and standing for round 2.  Very well done fight.

Megacode:  What type of mechanic would you like to see in an upcoming raid?

Adam:  Lets see, so many options.  As crazy as it might sound, if they could weave some of the mechanics from Diablo 3 into WoW that might make for an interesting fight if it’s possible.  A blend between the Diablo and Ragnaros fights, would be a challenge I’d be up for.

Megacode:  What would be the route that a new raider would need to take in order to get into a top progression raid team?

Adam:  Right now I would suggest working your way up the ladder and getting some experience.  Right now that’s what Vodka is really looking for in our applicants.  If your good enough you’ll be perfectly fine.  You just need to  make sure your real life schedule is in place for progression.  It’s not entirely different from any other raid team except your playing with like minded people who want to be world first and are generally really good players.

Megacode:  Are you playing Diablo 3 and how do you like it so far?

Adam:  I sure am.  I anticipated it coming out so I took a few days off so that I could enjoy some serous play time.  I am really familiar with the Diablo games from playing through 1 and 2 so I don’t mind the grind of a Dungeon Crawler.  The graphics update and new class characters makes it really fun.  I find it very relaxing to hang out with other guild members while playing in co-op mode.  What’s even better about co-op is that I can even enjoy it with two of my brothers.  

Megacode:  Which class did you choose to play?

Adam:  First, my co-op team and I decided to configure the best group composition to level to 60 fast.  I went with the Witch Doctor because it had Heroism and other good spells which I felt would contribute to us getting to 60 quickest.  We got through Inferno Mode and killed Diablo the first week.  Feeling that the Witch Doctor was underwhelming I switched to playing with a Wizard.  Compared to Witch Doctor, I feel there’s so much more I can do as a Wizard so for now I’m content with playing one.

Megacode:  Was there a race to World First Diablo 3 Inferno Mode kill?  If so were you and Vodka competing?

Adam:  There was a race with a few players including Athene and Kripparion whom are well renowned gamers.  One of my guild members was part of Kripparion’s team but as far as my group, we were only trying to get the Inferno Diablo kill as fast as possible.  Method got the World First co-op kill but it was actually a Wizard who took on the first Inferno Diablo kill, and surprisingly he did it solo.  Personally I felt that the bosses in Inferno Mode were under tuned. There were some Rare Elite Mob packs that had enrage timers that were very difficult at times to take down.  It would have been better if they were flip flopped giving the bosses the enrage timers and in doing so,  I think the game would have gone longer before anyone got a World First kill.

Megacode:  Who is your favorite Super Hero?

Adam:  Not sure if anyone would guess this but Wolverine.  I grew up reading the comics and he sort of grew on me.

Megacode:  With the new Avengers movie out, who is your favorite Avenger?

Adam:  I would definitely say Iron Man.  Iron Man 1 and 2 were really great movies leading up to The Avengers.  I liked the way he tinkered and engineered with things.  The Engineer side of me really appreciates his character and the super hero powers he obtains from technology.

I really appreciated the opportunity to chat for a long time with Adam, and to get a better understanding of what it’s like to be in a top tier Hardcore Progression Raid Team.  Just from the interview, I can see now what type of commitment and dedication it takes tier to tier when going for world  first boss kills.  Also, getting Adam’s input and take on Holy Paladin healing past and present was fun to listen to.  I really look forward to seeing what Adam and Vodka do in future expansions from world first PvE to number one rankings in PvP.

Adam can be found at:

Twitch    Watch his kill videos.

Vodka Guild-  Reach him on the forums here.


I hope you all enjoyed this interview post as much as I loved doing it.  I do plan on doing more from time to time.  If you have any questions please leave comments or send me a message through Twitter or Email.  Thanks,

Megacode 🙂






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4 Responses to “An Interview with Vodka’s Holy Paladin, Adam”

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Awesome write-up! 2 thumbs up!

Thanks Sprinks. I really had a blast doing the interview then writing it into a post. I’d really like to do more like this.

Great read definetly. He sounds like a really down to earth and awesome person. Hope I get to meet him at the next blizzcon (whenever that is), being a holy paladin myself 🙂 I look forward to reading more of your posts! Great job.

Thanks for the kind words. Adam was a really nice guy. Really enjoyed interviewing him. The other members of Vodka whom I met briefly were nice as well. I’m really looking forward to MoP not only for gaming but also for writing, so plan on more posts to be published. 🙂

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