Thursday, February 25, 2010

The World Event Menace

It's been a while. More than two weeks, in fact. I've got two major reasons for that, apart from the looming reason of laziness. And some trouble with blogspot. Using Chrome helped.

First, I've been unable to sit much in front of a computer for medical reasons. Second, I've been busy with the World Event stuff recently. Which is the first thing I'd like to discuss.

The World Event Menace

I've got a bunch of characters, as you may have guessed by now. Of which I "invest" in five of them. One for each healer class, and a death knight. That does not mean I try to get every one of those top-geared. Just that those five are the "mains" I switch between. My usual pattern is a few weeks on one "main", then I switch to another for a while. Since I've rolled my DK, I've done the daily random heroic each time with him, but I've spent a lot time on various healers too. I like tanking, but I also enjoy healing.

Anyway. When Cataclysm arrives, stuff will change... again. Equipment gained today is useless tomorrow. Doesn't matter if I've gotten a full tier 10, it will be replaced within a month anyway. Thus, that's only a temporary investment. Very handy and necessary to get the job done, but not something I hoard for the sake of it itself.

Crafting materials will also be reduced to dust-collectors, with a few exceptions. Some special items will still be worth making, such as the item that grants an extra gem socket on a belt. Some special items will be worth making for others that doesn't have them already, such as the tailoring flying carpets, the engineering turbo-charged flying machine, non-combat pets... but it's mostly useless.

Gold in itself will still be valuable. However, it will suffer some amount of inflation. 5k gold in one year is most likely the same as 1-2k gold is today. Still, it's worth selling stuff that's still valuable to get gold for later.

Profession skills are somewhat useful. The actual recipes/patterns/design will most likely be less used, but the skill points make it easier to get to top-level again. However, the first skill points for each new expansion is ridicilously easy to get anyway, so it's only a minor help. Some recipes will still be worth selling, though, especially for levelling up. The exception is Inscription, many of the low-level recipes there will be useful forever.

For achievementcollectors, very few of those go away, and so they're useful in themselves. I care very little for achivements for the sake the achivement itself. I do care some for "internal" achievements. That is, goals and challenges I overcome and feel I've achieved something myself, not because of another 10 points on the achievements page. Successfully beating a hard mode boss you've spent time mastering would be such an achivement.

Vanity items, such as clothes, fireworks and all that junk that's filling a bag in your bank is worth exactly as much next expansion as today.

But... one thing will be useful... Oh so useful. 310% flying mounts. Getting quest done faster, spend less time travelling. Makes looking for metal nodes or herbs easier too.

However, since I'm not in any serious raid force, there are only two ways to get a 310% mount. First, a random drop from certain raid bosses. Second, the "What a strange, long trip it's been" meta-achivement for doing most world event achivements.

Trying to get one of those rare mounts from various bosses are practically a waste of time. In the first place, it has a 0.2% chance of dropping 25-man mode only, and then you've got to win the following raid roll. Even if you raid the same boss every week, you've still only got a 10% chance of seeing the mount actually dropping, and then you haven't even started the raid roll!

My own conclusion is that I've got to do the World Event stuff on all characters that I want to someday get the mount. Sadly, when WotLK launched, I didn't know about the reward and couldn't care less for the achivements themselves, so I got started kinda late.

My shaman just got her Violet Proto-Drake. She was my main at the time I first started doing these achievements, May last year. I started doing it with my druid as well when the Fire Festival event started, meaning she lacks only two world event meta-achivements now, Noblegarden and Children's Week. I started doing stuff with my death knight on the Hallow's End event, so he'll be done with the Brewfest this year. Finally, I just started doing the meta-achivements with my priest and paladin. Since neither is level 80, they couldn't get the Love is in the Air meta-achievement (requires you to enter Naxxramas which requires level 80), so they'll be done around this time next year.

Doing the achievements with all my characters is a huge time-sink. Fortunately, I've combined most of them with reading manga (History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, an awesome manga on while travelling, making it much less annoying to get it done.

I feel sort of forced to do this. Since I know myself, I know that I'll be switching back and forth between my characters a lot later too, that's why I "need" to get it done with all of them. There is no time when I feel more addicted to this game than this during these events. Bah. I'd rather want to skip it, yet I still do it. How important is that 10% flying mount speed increase worth, really?

Current status for each of my characters:

Kirba (shaman)

Done with the entire world event stuff. Yay!

To get the achivement Charming, I've joined a lot of heroic dungeons as dps. I find Elemental a lot less stressful now. I believe it's the same with almost any dps spec, you'll get used to the "rotation" (or priority system) if you practice enough.

Healing 5-mans is just trival for shamans. Not that it's hard for any class, but Earth Shield + Healing Stream Totem will cover practically all damage taken by both the party and the raid. For ease of convinience, I've glyphed Healing Stream Totem. 500 health to each party member every 3 sec? That's 2.5k every 3 sec, or 833 health per second.

I've also started to see how powerful Chain Heal can be. The problem, though, is that it requires a good knowledge about the positioning of the raid. Hit a hunter at max range, and you'll get no bumping at all. Melee are almost always safe bets. Tanks in particular. I often cast it on myself during raid damage, both to heal myself up but mostly because I always know who is within range of myself by looking around.

It seems to me that Chain heal has higher throughput than most other forms of raid healing. I guess Prayer of Healing can outpace it, but since it only targets one group, chain heal have a higher probability of hitting targets that's in need of actual healing. Good organization of the groups or knowledge of who does what (in effect, a stable raid group) also helps. Well, rogues, death knights and warriors are always in melee, but any other class can be almost anywhere.

I found that it was much faster doing quests to get Charming. I could - barely - solo a 5-man quest in Icecrown as Elemental. Much easier as Restoration, but a bloody lot slower. Questing in itself is awfully painless as a 'mental shammy, though. No downtime, not much running (the mobs run to you once you hit them), lots of cooldowns to blow if you're feeling threatened or just bored.

Ayeba (druid)

Done with this world event. To get Charming done with her I spent two instances dps'ing. However, I found that kitties aren't generally the killing-blow scorers. Bears are actually better at it. Kitties might be better if you're working hard on timing, but if you're working towards optimal dps they don't get too many killing blows.

So, I spent a lot of time tanking with my druid to get all the charming stuff and then all the elders of the dungeons. You know what? AoE threat for a druid is rather low. Even spamming swipe until my fingers bleeded (macroed with Maul so I get single-target threat too), dps would regularly pull aggro on one of the AoE targets. To get aggro on all, I had to tab through the crowd to get in mauls everywhere as well. Good thing I'm fast on my taunt-finger. Granted, many dps were better equipped than me, but still...

Like Kirba, I ended up soloing and questing to get Charming done. Not only because it's faster, but also because there were some quests in Icecrown I'd like to do just for the lore. I easily soloed the questline with the Scarlet Onslaught, including the end-boss. I think it was even easier than on my death knight. The 4% of your maximum health heals (Improved Leader of the Pack) every 6 sec just rocks too much combined with low incoming damage (relatively) and the higher health pool of druid tanks.

Vigan (death knight)

On the topic of the world event thing, Vigan is the one I've done the least with. Not because I'm not interested, but because I can do that while waiting in LFR or for battlegrounds, something I don't do too much with the other characters. Yay for 20% speed increase from talents. Just lacking Azjol-Nerub of the dungeon elders, gotten the rest through random daily heroics.

I'm still enjoying tanking as a death knight. Will respec to Blood soon to test it again with the changes to the talents in 3.3.5. Two pieces of Tier 10 should help on AoE threat as well, especially if I throw in a glyph as well.

Regarding PVP, I've gotten kinda dis-hearted. Great survivability, but not enough pressure. Without a healing debuff we got lots of trouble in arenas against any team with a healer. Rather than go get a tank class with a MS debuff (warrior), I've shifted more towards being a healer. Than someone else can bring that debuff. Or I can go with a caster team or something.

Zuna (priest)

Lacking Kalimdor, Utgarde Keep and all the high-level dungeons. She's level 77, so she can enter almost all of them now. After those are done, I won't play her more for a bit. The other characters of mine interests me more.

I've found I'm in need of a lot more practice before I can master the shadow rotation. Particularly on trash; How many mobs should there be before I ought to use Mind Sear over single-target dpsing the mobs? There's also something about the shadow stuff... it's just not as cool (in my mind) as throwing lava and lightning around.

Mirlei (paladin)

Done with the season except for the high level dungeon elders. However, she can't access them yet because she's only level 74, so I got to level a lot if I want to get it done this year with her.

Though I played her to get some healing done, I ended up with a tank and a dps spec. It's just much easier to get groups as a tank, and much less annoyance involved when I control the fights. So many bad tanks out there... Interestingly enough, I pull 1.5-2k dps on trash groups. Granted, that's AoE, but unmatched by almost any other dps at that level. I'm sorely beaten (as I should be) on single-target boss fights, though. The curious thing is that I don't have a single heirloom item, enchant or gem with her, while many of the other dps are way better equipped than me.

I could spec tank and healer, but I'm on a PVP server and want to level painlessly. I even got drafted in as dps in a group once recently. That was quite the intresting experience. I'm learning the retribution stuff, but it seems to me the most effective is to use Crusader Strike every 3rd GCD and weave the other abilities in-between those. Perhaps every 4th GCD with decent amount of haste to push the GCD down to 1 sec. Further, Seal of Command seems to be the trash-clearing seal while Seal of Corruption (since I'm horde) is the preference for boss fights. When tanking I just go Seal of Corruption all the time for the ton of extra expertise I gain from the glyph. Can't beat that.

I've had some fun using my abilities in a high-level dungeon (for me). I joined Drak'Thron Keep as dps at level 73. We got three groups at the same time, and our healer wasn't exactly top-notch. So I tossed Hand of Sacrifice on the tank, blew Divine Sacrifice and healed like crazy, judging to get up mana and stunning and silencing to reduce incoming damage. A bit earlier I had tanked the raptor boss after the tank died, successfully. If Divine Sacrifice and Hand of Sacrifice actually stacks when used at the same time, that's a crazy amount of damage reduction.

Posts I want to write

  • Shamanic healing
  • Challenge of non-heroic dungeons at the appropriate levels
  • Dee Pee Ace

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hear my plea: Will a paladin suit me?

Ah...paladins. Being Horde in classic WoW (before BC) meant I hated paladins. Then BC came, and I intended to switch main to a paladin. However, I found their playstyle to be dirt boring, so I gave up and returned to my other characters. Now I'm "back" again. I still think their playstyle is boring as hell at low level, but now it no longer bothers me much because I'm far above the level where that is a problem.

Demand 1:

PVE healing style that fits me

Hm. Paladins have changed since BC, but a lot remains the same. First and foremost, the huge difference between the healing spell design of paladins vs other healers mostly remain. Priests and shamans both have a quick healing spell with good throughput and low mana-efficiency, Flash Heal and Lesser Healing Wave, resepctively. Druids have lacked such a small heal for a long time, but got one at level 80. In addition, priests, shamans and druids have a slow-casting healing spell with good throughput and good mana-efficiency, namely Greater Heal, Healing Wave and Healing Touch. But... since it's so slow and big, you can't use it all the time.

Now, paladins have the opposite. A quick healing spell with low throughput which is mana-efficient, and a slow-casting healing spell with great throughput but bad mana-efficiency. So, while the other healing classes wanted to use their big spells as much as possible to be as efficient as possible, paladins wanted to spam their small heals until kingdom come.

Of course, more than that have changed. A discipline priest speccing and glyphing for it has a fairly mana-efficient flash heal as well. Druids have gotten Nourish, which is mana-efficient when specced and glyphed and their target is hotted up. Not to mention they can now turn their big slow Healing Touch into a small fast heal by glyphing it, though few do that at 80. Shamans have gotten more utility with Lesser Healing Wave, namely 25% crit as long as Tidal Waves is up. In addition, paladins' spells have changed a bit as well, particularly the glyph of Holy Light which turns it into a semi-AoE spell.

Interestingly enough, paladins have only three heals. Flash of Light, Holy Light and Holy Shock. The latter is the only instant, direct healing spell on a low cooldown in the game. Can be glyphed to 5 seconds too. Granted, Empowered Healing, Riptide and Prayer of Mending might count, but the first two aren't very powerful (and it's very unwise to spam them on the same target mana-wise), and the last requires another hit to actually heal, which is not guaranteed when healing a non-tank. But, in addition to their three heals, paladins have a rather big toolbox of meta-spells (Divine Favor, Beacon of Light, Divine Illumination) and utility spells (Hand of Freedom/Sacrifice/Protection/Salvation etc). If you want to stretch it, you can also call Judgement of Light a healing spell. Stretching it even more is calling Seal of Light a healing spell. Granted, it indirectly heals, but only the caster when he's auto-attacking. I've never ever seen a paladin healer do that in 5-mans, for a good reason.

For a long time, I used to call it easy-mode healing. Now, healing in itself can be challenging as any class, but I believe there is still some truth in this. However, a lot changed when the Beacon of Light was added and modified until it's current version. Their Beacon of Light (or Bacon of Light, if you deliberately want to misspell it) is now one of paladins' most defining class features. I've been envious of the beacon on several occasions. For PVE, they can snipe heals on raid members while healing the tank, much to the annoyance of my shaman who was trying to heal them up with chain heal. In the end, I gave up and sniped heals myself with Lesser Healig Waves, when it had less than a sec cast time. Paladins can also heal the main tank and off-tank at the same time... I was red with envy when I watched a single paladin keep up both tanks on Koralon during Meteor Fist after every other healer had died. Or they can just heal around while being practically immortal by beaconing themselves.

They used to lack any type of healing over time (like Renew, Rejuvenation and Riptide) and healing on demand spells (like Earth Shield, Prayer of Mending and Living Seed). They still do, up 'till level 80. That's the most annoying with healing in 5-mans as a paladin, you have no way of easing the incoming damage without brute-force healing it down like a crazy whack-a-mole game. If they'd still lacked them at 80 too, I would never think twice about considering paladins. Too annoying for my taste. Since I don't have a 80 paladin yet, I don't know how powerful their heals are. However, I know that Sacred Shield is considered "bloody powerful" by a lot people. It was not without reason that it was limited to a single target.

They also lack any direct AoE spells. However, with the advent of their Beacon, they can at least hit two people at the same time. Still, for the few occassions where everyone is taking damage in 5-mans a paladin healer really got to make use of every single global cooldown to keep everyone up. Loken, for example. However, they have the advantage that they never have to make the choice between keeping the tank up or keeping everyone else up. As long as the beacon is on the tank, they will keep the tank up while healing the other party members.

Speaking of tank healing, paladins are certainly among the elites there. Add to that that they got a damage reduction spell without spending a single talent, Hand of Sacrifice. It has a limit on how much it absorbs and might still kill the paladin, though, but combine it with either self-healing (still with beacon on tank) or Divine Shield or Divine Protection, and they're good. On cutting-edge raids, Nature's Swiftness (both shaman and druid version) can't compete at all with abilities that scale, such as Hand of Sacrifice, Pain Suppression and Guardian Spirit. But hey, paladins can even spec into another emergency button, Divine Sacrifice. Has some limits as well, but is now fail-safe in the sense that it can no longer kill you. Speaking of Nature's Swiftness, paladins have an even more powerful version of that, Lay on Hands, which doubles as another damage reduction abilitiy when specced for it. A single healer can have three such emergency buttons... did someone say overpowered? Definitely powerful in the hands of a skilled healer. On the other hand, they lack an Inspiration-like talent, but druids have managed fine for a long time without it.

There are also their buffs... in particular Blessing of Kings. I've seen 25-man raids that refuse to start until they've got a paladin to buff Kings. Blessing of Wisdom and Might are also powerful stuff, but can be duplicated by others. Handy that they no longer need to be refreshened every 5 min. They are also the most powerful buffers in the sense that three different paladins can provide three different buffs. Shamans can come close, but they only have two unique buffs for most slots, unless you are in need of a particular resistance. Oh, and then you can have three different paladins provide three different auras. Not only that, but their auras have a longer range and are more reliable than a shaman's totems, making them the first choice for resistance effects such as Fire Resistance.

On the topic of survival... let's see... plate armor which allows them to mitigate a lot of physical damage, divine shield that makes them completely immune to (almost) everything, and their various "hands" which can reduce threat, remove any movement-impairing efect, completely drop aggro / ignore physical damage and the ability to spam huge heals on both themselves and the tank at the same time? Yes, they are solid.

The ability to help recover from a wipe, or at the very least ignore any repair costs once in a while, Divine Intervention, is just icing the cake.

Yes, I think I can get used to the paladin toolbox.

Demand 2:

Potential as PVP healer

Again, I have no direct experience here at high level. The only experience I have is battlegrounds at lower level. However, clearly show that paladins are among the most common healer in arenas... in fact THE most common healer, from what I can see. That alone should say something.

The infamous bubble is perhaps their most known (and hated) feature. While it can now be dispelled by two classes, no matter how fast you dispel it it will at least clear you of all debuffs. If there are no dangers to your bubble nearby, you've got 12 seconds of free healing... almost. Solid, but a paladin can't rely on that alone. However, there is also another use for the forbearance trick: Divine Protection. It is clearly weaker, but has the advantage that it can't be dispelled by warriors, has a shorter cooldown, and priests often miss that it's on due to it's rather subtle graphics. Compared to Divine Shield at least. A good priest won't be fooled, though.

What else do they have? Hand of Protection to give an ally (or yourself) completely immunity to all physical attacks? Nice. Hand of Freedom to make an ally or yourself completely immune to movement-impairing effects? Very nice. Slap it on a warrior and watch him crush the mage into small pieces, unless he's got his Ice Block off cooldown. Hand of Salvation which glyphed provides a -20% damage taken buff on yourself? And I thought I was going to miss barkskin. Hand of Sacrifice and Divine Sacrifice to make you immune or at least highly resistant to a lot crowd control, not to mention it makes the damage on your target much more manageable.

Oh, and there's still beacon. Except now you'll slap it on yourself instead, and copy all healing you do to yourself. Mohahahaha! In arena it's just as good to slap it on a team memer, depending on who's going to take more damage. Add to the survivability that they also has a lot of armor that will always passively protect them.

In battlegrounds you can really feel the difference with Crusader Aura. Not least, this enables you to ride away from others. The opposite is rather frustrating, when you only got 100% speed and your tail got 120%... trust me on that one. Crusader Aura is handy when travelling anywhere, not just in arenas. Paladins are the only healer with a mounted speed buff of any kind.

Now, they lack a snare, but they have a very special ability... Judgement of Justice. As a holy paladin, it has a 40 yard range. Use it to semi-dismount people from a long range. They can't run away using abilities such as Ghost Wolf, Travel Form, Sprint or a mount.

Paladins got a reliable stun, on a 40 sec cooldown talented. They can also fear and stun undead and demons. But that's the limit of their crowd-controlling abilities.

On the topic of mana, 1 min cooldown on Divine Plea rocks for battelgrounds. Can't say how well it works in arenas, with the healing debuff slapped on it. I know that my arenamate (a paladin) and me could outlast a lot of enemy teams. The only ones we had trouble outlasting was druids... but they couldn't run us out either. After about 15 min, they gave up.

What do they lack? Well, they lack any sort of sprint themselves. Shamans and druids can often run away, while priests and paladins have to stay to take the heat unless they got enough range to mount up. Fair enough. Just as in PVE, they don't have Hots to play with. They do have one, but it's on one target only, making it unusuable for healing damage in battleground effectively. Sure helps on that one target though. Going to miss that from my druid. Aura Mastery allows them 6 sec of playtime every 2 min, but they can still be stunned and death gripped. So under heavy fire, they're not always able to get out heals at all.

Aside from Hand of Freedom, they have a hard time with debuffs. Sure, they can remove 3 different types, but only every time they hit cleanse and burn a global cooldown. Priests, shamans and druids all have a "persistant" dispel that keeps dispelling several times after the initial gcd (Abolish Disease, Abolish Poison, Cleansing Totem). Priests can also dispel two magic debuffs every gcd, making them able to compete with a frost mage's ability to apply debuffs. The talent Sacred Cleansing can help, but it's not reliable.

Now, paladins have the same problem as druids; lack of dps in healer spec. But there's also a difference: While the druid can only cast heals, paladins can actually cast other spels as well. It came as a surprise to me, but my paladin partner could actually throw in a decent nuke to help me (as a DK) finish my enemies off: Hammer of Wrath, Holy Shock and Judgement actually made a difference. My healer often ended up with more killing blows than me, of course with me being a heck of a lot higher on damage done. That may make all the difference to me. I don't need a lot of sustained dps in a healer spec, only the ability to throw in a decent nuke. Like priests can chain Holy Fire (+ Smite) + SW:D for some burst. Druids lack that. The closest thing they come is chain-gunning Wrath if they've spent talent points to get it down to 1.5 sec. Shamans have a very decent burst with Flame Shock + (Lightning Bolt + Chain Lightning) + Lava Burst.

PVP healing will take some time to get used to since I've been healing a lot as a druid earlier... but it'll work out, I hope.

Demand 3:

Potential as ranged dps


Second options

Paladins can't do ranged dps, but they got two other options: Tanking and dpsing. Why would I want to tank as a paladin when I can tank as a DK? For one thing, it might be easier to find groups that way. Tanks are in even shorter supply than healers, but it's pretty easy to get groups as a healer too. And who knows, I might really like their tanking. I can't tell 'till I've tried. Well, I have tried, but not as a full-fledged high level protection paladin, only as a retribution paladin at level 71 and a protection paladin at level 62. Might write a seperate post about that.

The tempting thing about going Retribution is that it allows you to be a semi-healer in PVP. You don't have the faintest chance to compete with a full-fledged healer, but you still got Hand of Sacrifice and Protection. In addition, Hand of Freedom can be used to remove stuns when talented, and why skip that for PVP? While dpsing, you can also throw out a lot of instant Flash of Lights, and Cleansing is possible as well. Too much of it will naturally drain the mana pool in no time, but judging on every cooldown with a glyphed Seal of Command generates a pretty good amount of mana. I have tried it a bit at 71, and it was fun. With that said, as a DK you can peel your allies extremely well, use Anti-Magic Shell to reduce damage taken, use ghoul stun and silence casters to prevent incoming damage. In effect, I'm trading one toolbox for another, and it's not necessarily a better one for my purposes.

One decent thing is the ability to self-heal between combat in battlegrounds/Wintergrasp. As a DK, I'm forced to eat unless I've taken so little damage that a bandage will do.

So, I'll have to give up the idea of going ranged dps. I think I can live with that, but then I might just as well go druid, right?


Generally, I don't like paladins. No, seriously, I don't like the paladin feel.

To start somewhere... the original paladins were special members of the church who were given permission to dabble in heretic magic to further the church's goal. That dissapeared somewhere along the line. I don't like the "purity" and "holier than thou" feeling. Granted, the wings are cool, but belong to priests, not paladins. I like the feel of blood elf paladins a lot better, as they didn't care for the holier-than-thou stuff, just for the power.

But... it's "just" a game, and I'm not roleplaying much these days.


Need more experience

I'll just have to spend some more time finding out if they're suited for me. As Gravity noted, I'm a crazy altoholic, and this won't exactly reduce that impression.

The paladin I will level (Mirlei) is on a RP-PVP server, where all my other characters are on a RP server. Tirvin, my paladin on Earthen Ring, is dedicated to play with my wife. And she doesn't play much at all these days. Since Mirlei is on a different server, she can't benefit from all the high-level crafting materials I've gathered, my max-level jewelcrafting, inscription, engineering and enchanting, and she can't have heirloom items. ... Actually, the worst part is not being able to fly. Old-school. Extra challenge too? The game isn't exactly very challenging itself until max-level cutting-edge content.

I'm not going to migrate her to another server. I want to try some world PVP action, and the ability to gank alliance that annoys me. Note that I don't do that without reason, only if they go after my mining veins. If anything, I could transfer a bank alt to her server with gold, heirloom items, crafted items and stuff. But that costs real money, and it's hardly worth it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Test of Faith: Are priests my thing?

Zuna, my priest, was my first 60. I've healed a lot with her, and watched the priest class move through changes. When I think about it, though, priests have been one of the more stable classes in the game, except for the complete re-haul of Discipline.

Because of my uncertainty, I decided to pick her up again and play with her a bit. Test things out.

Demand 1:

PVE healing style that fits me

Priests have two distinct PVE healing styles to choose from. To be completely fair: Every healer class have several healing styles, but none as different as holy vs discipline. With that said, it is different to raid heal with a shaman laser-chain-heal style and tank heal. Same with a druid. Can't speak about paladins, no direct experience in raids there.


I've only got experience as a raid-healing priest at lvl 70, and that was as holy. Still, I don't think it is a completely different experience now... well, except that Circle of Healing is on cooldown.

Holy has, when specced for it, a very strong hot in Renew. Glyphing it is completely overkill for normal 5-mans, but I can see how that could be useful in raids. Empowered Renew remind me of Riptide. I like it.

Surge of Light is also fun, especially since it can proc multiple times on a single Prayer of Mending. However, if I were to stay a holy priest, I'd get some addon that shows me when I've got a proc up. Too easy to miss.

Mana regeneration is also top-notch as holy (including Meditation, mind you). In fact, I often threw in some damage because I had mana to spare.

I didn't get to test out a lot of Holy's group healing in 5-mans. A random Circle of Healing (which practically guaranteed a Surge of Light following), once in a while a Prayer of Healing. I know from experience it is solid. In fact, I think Holy has the best tools for handling damage to a lot of party members in 5-mans.

I enjoy Guardian Spirit. It is very powerful and fun. I also played around with Body and Soul. Fun, and handy in PVP, but not a MUST-HAVE. Inspiration is as usual powerful.

The thing I didn't like so well with Holy was handling lots of tank damage. But that's comparing to Discipline and druid-healing, which is a bit unfair.

All in all... I liked holy healing fairly well.

What I didn't like so well is the Shadowfiend. Long cooldown (compared to Innervate and Divine Plea), too. That's not limited to Holy, though.


Ah... discipline. For a loooong time, I insisted on being a discipline priest, long before the rehaul that made discipline actually good. Back when Divine Spirit was the 31-point talent.

Anyway... I like discipline too. Powerful shields which can be tossed out extremely fast thanks to Borrowed Time and Penance that can heal a tank up from nada to full (almost) in no time are the two main selling points. Renew ticks for a lot less, naturally. Prayer of Mending is still powerful, though.

But, to start somewhere else: Discipline is not scaled well for below-max-level mana management. The mana returns from Rapture is just way more powerful when you got a good lvl 80 mana pool. At 71, I had trouble with my mana as discipline. Had to sit down and drink every third pull, less with a very tough tank. I know from second-hand experience that Discipline's mana is in a pretty good state, though. Had a disc priest heal my DK when I tanked the two groups after Ick and Krick. He ended up with more mana after the two groups than before he started, and he didn't use his Shadowfiend.

I also find the lack of a instant-heal slightly frustrating. Ironically. I'm tossing out shields like there's no tomorrow... which translates to everyone having Weakened Soul on them all the time. At least everyone who is taking damage. But it isn't that bad, I'm just not used to it from being a holy priest for a long time.

Discipline has a lot more cooldowns to play with. Good thing? Bad thing? Definitely something I need to learn. I didn't use them too well.

By the way, Engineering gloves enchant + Berserking troll racial + Power Infusion + Borrowed Time + Enlightenment is a sick amount of haste together. Resurrection in 4 seconds, anyone?

Demand 2:

Potential as PVP healer

If you look at any kind of rated arena, Discipline is the only way to go. Blizz has tried to make Holy viable with talents like Body and Soul, Blessed Resilience and so on, but Disc is still king. I don't mind, though.

Disc priests are very powerful in PVP. Priest-Mage-Rogue, anyone? They have powerful crowd-control in their Psychic Scream, shields that ignore any healing debuffs, penance that insta-heals the first tick and nearly the second too, Mana burn goodness for the right compositions (double healer + dps, for example), both offensively and defensively dispels, quick nukes at the right times... powerful, indeed. They're not built for outlasting another team, they are an offensive-type healer.

Sadly, I can't test too well. Walking into PVP with no resilience these days is a sure way of getting blown up, particularly as a healer. So I'll just have to take the word of the community, which says priests doesn't suck. Still... cloth means that my nemesis is warrior and to some extent rogue. I liked being tough and not fearing warriors as a DK.

Shadowfiend is worse in PVP. Can get kited around and killed easily, reducing my possible mana returns.

Demand 3:

Potential as ranged dps

Interestingly enough, this is the first time I've really specced shadow during all those years of being a priest. Dual-spec, I love you.

I like shadow. It's cool with the shadow ... stuff which seems to evaporate from you all the time. I like having three dots to play with, one CD nuke and one no-CD nuke. Creates a game of weaving, where I need to make sure stuff are up all the time. I can get used to that, and thrive with it. No proc-watching involved.

It wasn't so entertaining in PVP, but then again that might steem from my complete lack of resilience. There are some shadow priests among high-ranked arena teams, which should say they are viable. I liked the immunity Dispersion provides. The only good answer against a bladestorming warrior... haha, eat that.

I missed a snare. Mind Flay provides a semi-snare, but I have to stay immobile to maintain it, and that means I can't kite anything around.


That's a tough question... do I like the priest feel? The question is really, what is the priest feel? From the artwork on some of their armor, they're sort of Oracles, bringers of divine fury, angels... stuff. What do they worship? Easy to answer or a human or night elf, hard for a troll or an undead. And come Cataclysm, and we'll have gnome priests as well.

Angels and stuff are cool and all that, but it's not ... well... shamans are cooler, I'm certain about that.



I think the priestly playstyle might fit me. I'm not completely sure.