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Archive for the ‘Priest’ Category

So, patch 4.0.1 has been with us a few weeks and I’m  starting to get used to the changes.

One thing is very clear at this point — I was not prepared.

I thought I was in good shape. I had looked at the new talent trees, read about some of the class changes and my inscriptionist knows every glyph. I figured it would be about on par with 3.0.

Now I realize exactly what needs to be done for each character spec before they are really ready for Cataclysm.

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My poor priest Alt with her dual discipline and shadow specs, has stressed and fretted over how to spend the few emblems of frost she has earned from Alt raid-runs and Pugs of various success.  I enjoy playing both specs and daydream of owning both the tier 10 sets for healing AND for shadow.  Seriously, that shadow 2 piece bonus sounds delicious!   However, as an Alt, who doesn’t pug herself out in trade chat all too often, this dream isn’t possible.  So this means I would have to choose between the two.

As a result, I had decided that I’ll run VoAs every week with hope that some priest tier gear will drop and whatever spec it is for, that will determine which spec I’ll gear myself for.  We will let fate guide me!  And avoid all responsibility of choice!

Of course, this meant priest tier gear would never drop.

It’s finally hit me that Cataclysm is coming.*cough* With around 200 EoFs, it’s high time that I spend them!  I finally decided to gear for healing with the idea that it will be more useful to my guild and those instances I dare step in to with a Pug.  I had read that the some pieces of the shadow set are actually better optimized for discipline then the healing set but I haven’t been able to find an armory of any disc player actually wearing shadow gear.  Plus, being an unexperienced healer, any bonus from the tier set to my healing is an added benefit that I shouldn’t ignore.   So I purchased the healing helm and shoulders (still hoping for a free drop of gloves or pants in VoA).

And then I saw myself for the first time in my new gear.

Headless Much?

Where is hell is my head??

This might take some time to get used to…

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Look at this.  Isn’t this weapon stunning? 

Definitely not your average staff!

Wait… the above screenshot does not fully express it’s beauty. 

I can only presume that this is what happens when you “let the Frostscythe’s chill flow through you

Beautiful Tiny Snowflakes!!

Is that not phenomenal?  If I had a night elf toon, I swear I would bounce at joy at owning such a weapon.

 I am of course talking about the newly updated midsummer festival boss’s drop, Frostscythe of Lord Ahune.  Upon reading that Bear Pelt had won his Frostscythe today, I did a bit of research and was left wowed at the images I saw on WoWhead.

 And then I looked harder at the stats on it.  Tragically, this beautiful weapon is not an upgrade for my priest who is currently sporting the Surgeon’s Needle from Garfrost in H.PoS and the Scourgelord’s Baton off LadyD 10man.  The haste would have been a joy …. /sigh.

/CRUSHED

/Shadowform

/sulks

Ah well.  I know a certain troll priest who would make good use of it.  Even if he is a Troll.

And who knows, maybe one day that troll will turn into a beautiful Tauren!   😉

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Hybrid Indecision

I’m DPSing in a heroic dungeon. 

Suddenly, the tank’s health drops.

What do you do?

As a hunter, there really wasn’t anything that I could do.  My job was to focus fire on the tank’s target without stealing agro and protect the healer.

However, these days I’m running as a shadow priest and there are things I could do to help keep the tank alive.  Or the healer.  Or a fellow dpser.  But am I supposed to?

On my hunter, my role is clear but on my shadow priest, I find myself in a grey area and I’m not too sure where the lines are.  As a shadow priest, I am choosing a damage role but as a hybrid class, I can do more than just damage. And personally, it would be wrong to do only damage. 

Obviously, if the healer goes down, then shadowform falls off and I do my best to get some emergency heals out in desperation that the tank stays up.  These are (supposed to be) rare occasions of heroism and I’m quite clear on my duty to do whatever necessary to save the group from a wipe.  I’m more concerned about a normal run.  What’s expected from my hybrid priest?

At a start of a fight, I don’t shield anyone.  I signed up as a DPS and that’s what I should concentrate on. There is a reason that someone else has signed up as a healer. 

However when the tank’s health drops to 50%, my spell rotation gets messy.  I start blindly button smashing while I keep my eye on the health of the group.  Depending on how the instance has been going and if the tank or the healers’s health drops more, I might toss out a shield to buy some time for the healer to get that big heal cast off (which I hope is coming).

In other cases, if a fellow DPS’s health is low, I might throw a shield on them because the more people we’ve got alive, the faster the fight will end. 

Is this sort of behavior rude?  Does it send a message to the healer that I don’t have faith in them? 

Or is it welcomed?  Is it recognized as a preventive, helpful measure?

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Disc Priesting Newb Take 2

After that first initiation into party healing with the guild, I knew I was still an uber newb.  I was fully aware that my “success” that first time was due to the fact that I was primarily healing level 80 with raid level gear in a regular level 70 dungeon. I knew that the only way that I was going to improve was to get more experience.  And that meant pugging as a healer.

Worse – pugging as a newb healer. <insert Dramatic Gopher>

A terrifying proposition to be sure!  However, I had recently read something that had helped me decide it would be better to learn at Lv 70 then at Lv 80.

Heartbourne at Project Lore had written about his experience using the Dungeon Finderto to level my Death Knight from level 75 to 80. In that leveling process, I found groups instantly when I queued as a tank, and generally other players were gentle with helping me learn how to tank”.

He also described how “The story changed when I hit level 80” when normally the Dungeon Finder would group him with well geared 80s whose first reactions were to judge his low gear and laugh at his health.

That pretty much decided it for me then that I had to at least give it a chance.  It was now or never.

So I gave myself a week to prepare.  I studied up on the dungeons available to me – Utgarde Keep and Nexus. I even took notes on each boss and what their abilities were – what to watch out for.  I reread my how-to-disc guides again and tweaked grid.

And then, the day finally came.

With Regis’ warlock in tow for moral support and suffering, we queued for Utgarde Keep.  I hadn’t read up on Azol-Nerub so I decided to pick a specific dungeon to be safe.  Nervously, I selected my role as healer and waited for the loading screen to instantly appear.

Which it didn’t.  In fact, our wait time was long enough for me to forget about being nervous, get tired of catching weeds in the fountain of Dalaran and consider requeing for a random dungeon instead.

How did it go?

I guess it depends on the evidence.  You be the judge.

I did not come out at the start and say “Hello.  I am a newb healer” or “This will be my first time healing in a pug.”

The Tank (a warrior) was a runner who did not always wait for the healer while cleaning trash.  And I did not speak up at any point to ask him to wait.  Maybe it was a rage thing?

One of the Melee DPS (DK) died on trash and I didn’t think of rezing them.  “Oh, right… I can do that” crossed my mind when it was too late of course.

That Melee DPS later dropped the group without saying a word, I think after she had died again.

I kept the tank alive thou.  Until the last boss, when the wipes began…

I started the instance with 20 x water.  I finished with zero.  I hear that’s a sign of overhealing…  and of neglecting my shadowfiend puppy.

I managed to use spells that I had “forgotten” the last time:  Penance, Prayer of Mending and Binding Heal.  I think I “oooh” the first time I Penance’d.

We got a new DPS… which didn’t die but did drop the group because they “gotta go”ed.

I didn’t use any damage dealing spells.  I was too focused on the length of the green bars.

I’m not sure how many times we wiped on Ingvar.  I would guess at least 3, maybe 4, times before the tank paused for a good length of time and then disconnected.

Regis says it wasn’t my fault.  Supposedly the tank didn’t step out of the way of Ingvar’s Dark Smash.  Personally, I think I could have done something more…  like applying Pain Suppression to the tank as soon as I hear the warning.   I think I probably stumbled over my buttons and just wasn’t as quick as I needed to be.  I’m fairly sure that I should be able to heal though it if I choose the right spells.

Not once did anyone blame the healer.  Perhaps I was lucky? It was suggested that maybe the warrior tank had thought he wasn’t getting the proper heals and that was the reason behind him dropping the group ….

The newest DPSer was a friendly DK who offered to step in as tank, in DPS gear since the Dungeon Finder was taking its sweet time to find a replacement.  It had no problems finding a Shaman DPSer to finish off the party, who was kind enough to offer to throw up some heals on our improv tank.  I’m not sure how much healing the shaman might have contributed but whatever it was, added to the fact that the friendly DK doged the Dark Smash, was enough to make the difference down went Invgar!

So we got through it.  That’s gotta count for something!  Right?

So, my dear fabulous readers, are there any other tips you could give me about learning a new Spec or Role, regardless if it’s switching to a healing role or a new DPS spec?

Or is the secret as simple as practice, practice, practice?

How do you study for new fights?  Or with all of your healing experience, do you just go in there and rock it?

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