Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wrath Upon Us

So, it has been quite an eventful two weeks on the Dark Iron server. I thought I'd throw up a quick update of what's been going down, because in less than 24 hours my soul will have been consumed by the expansion.

1. Kil'jaedan dead! That's right, I was invited by my friend Sayedie to accompany her guild to clear the Sunwell. It was by far the most intense fight I've ever had to heal, and the most absolute chaos to survive through. Well done Vigilant! And congratulations to everyone on loots! PS. Sorry if the pictures are big. What's 'edit'?


2. Black War Bear: Check! In our exceedingly annoying boredom, the guilds Vigilant and Fear Engine put together two late night raids on all four horde cities, and we were able to get our cool mounts for the occasion. We were also able to defend our cities from any invading horde, as shown in this video:

Here are some screenshots that I think commemorate the event accordingly. This was the most fun I've ever had in WoW, period.

Thanks to everyone who woke up at 3AM server to get this done, I'd say it was worth it.

3. Lich Invasion? Two days ago, massive frostwyrms swooped over the Stormwind Harbor, eliciting mixed responses. While the effect was cool, and it was semi fun to watch, there wasn't really anything we could do. The guards were defending the city well enough, and whenever we killed one, nothing happened. I did, however, manage to snag a few pics, so enjoy!


It's been an amazing few weeks. I've been having the time of my 'life', if you will ;)

Grats to everyone who has been downing new bosses, seeing new content, defending cities, etc., and I'll see you all in Northrend!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Attempt at PvP

So, while I initially expressed my extreme dislike at anything at all related to PvP, I have to say... I have changed my mind. Let me explain.

What started this whole bit was my (horde) friend telling me that his guild, has a 'if it's red, it's dead' policy for anyone they spot in world PvP, and that they are going to strictly implement this while leveling in Wrath. My first reaction? GREAT. Not only do I level slowly to begin with, but if I'm getting ganked every other step I take, I'm never going to hit 80!

The solution? I decided that I needed some practice in the field, and maybe get some gear with resilience to level with. Some friends of mine; Iliana, Aegus, and Marilyn, all of whom are infinitely better at this whole PvP thing than I am, were doing some BGs already, and offered to let me come.

At first, I tried to heal in BGs as holy. This, my friends, was not fun. At all. Not only was I being torn apart based on gear (I have 34 resil! That isn't enough?), but I had no defense; i.e. pain suppression, reflective shield, lessened mass dispel cast times, etc. After one BG, I went to the priest trainer and respecced. I was kind of making it up as I went, but this is what I came up with. Please note that this is strictly a Battleground spec, and I wouldn't use it for arenas.

After respeccing and trying again, I noticed a significant difference in survivability. In fact, after gaining a little confidence, I was able to 1v1 other players of decent pvp gear and somewhat equal skill (which isn't saying much).

Some things I recommend:

1. Keep Power Word: Shield up on (especially) you, and your friends as often as possible. If you don't have a shield on yourself, at least, you're going to be ripped apart rather quickly. Having the shield and prayer of mending up on yourself gives you a second to start casting a big heal in the time that it takes for whoever is attacking you (mostly melee more than anyone else, I noticed) to break the shield down. Hopefully someone is working to defend you (<3 Aegus), and you can manage to stay up while you're being beat on.

2. Stay mobile. Don't be a sitting duck! You'll piss off more melee this way, and you can trigger the 'Target must be in front of you' for casters. This is the glory of a priest's versatility. Shield, PoM, renew, and started movin'. If you have a rogue, warrior, shaman, or all three with you, there's an excellent chance whomever is attacking you will be poisoned, hamstrung, or earthbound, but if you're just standing there, you're going to be eaten alive.

3. Note: This ONLY applies if you're a Night Elf! (rawr). If you're being targeted by a pet of any kind, whether it be hunter, warlock, or even a shadowfiend, you can now use SHADOWMELD (!) and it will automatically remove you from combat, and, therefore, drop you as a target. Why is this important? When you are removed as a target, the pet in question will run back to it's owner and leave you alone. What I've been noticing is that many warlocks and hunters will sic their pet on a healer and start nuking someone else. Therefore, it will generally take them a second to realize their pet is either a. doing nothing, or b. attacking whomever they are attacking, and not the intended target. This may only grant you a bit of time, but it's definitely helpful if you're being silenced/poisoned/annoyed.

4. If you're doing Battlegrounds with some friends, convert to a raid before you queue up, and give each other raid marks. As a healer this is really helpful, because you can see where the people who matter are through buildings/hills. It's also helpful if you're hesitant about running into help one or two allies against a group of horde. If you know your friend is in there, you're gonna want to go in and help.

5. Try to remember to equip your PvP trinket, and if you don't have one, I seriously recommend getting one. Try to get the two minute one, as well, as it only costs about 8k honor. The trinket is highly useful in PvP situations, but also in PvE situations, so it's definitely a worthwhile investment.

Some spells to focus:

Prayer of mending, and flash heal are going to be your main direct healing spells, with power word: shield as a primary spell always. I've also found binding heal to be invaluable as well, and greater heal if you are specced into Divine Fury, and especially if you have some haste going on. Renew is semi useful, but your GCD is generally better used on a flash heal, as renew doesn't tick for as high as a PvE priest, and if your target needs fast heals, renew probably won't tick before they die.

Anyway, I've been having a surprisingly fun time learning this stuff. If you have any suggestions/comments/questions on anything I've posted, please leave a comment, or e-mail me at

Thanks for reading ^_^

Thursday, October 23, 2008

3.0 and Achievement Madness

First off, I'd like to apologize for the significant lack of updates in the past few weeks. Midterms have really been kicking my butt lately, not to mention the overwhelming new achievement system. So where to begin?


In a previous post, I explained some of the talent specs I was throwing around. The spec I ultimately decided upon was this one. I sacrificed Guardian Spirit for Meditation. I was reluctant at first, but it was a very good decision in the long run. More on this later.

Some things I've noticed:

Critical chance seems to be just as important as I'd previously assumed. Almost everytime I crit off of a heal, something procs. Whether it be Surge of Light (my favorite new talent, hands down), Holy Concentration, or Improved Holy Concentration, it's almost guaranteed that some sort of red text will pop up on my screen dictating what my next spell should be.

Surge of Light: This talent used to only apply to mana free, instant cast smite bombs, but as of patch 3.0, it now also applies to instant cast, mana free FLASH HEAL. Yes, you read that correctly. This is a wonderful change, especially if you're trying to pad the healing meters ;) You're able to get that quick heal on someone who took a bunch of damage, before another healer can even finish their cast. It's also great for regenerating some mana, although I'm not sure if the 5 second rule is still in effect because of the changes to mana regeneration. I'll be sure to get some research done on that and perhaps have a post dedicated to it.

Holy Concentration/Improved Holy Concentration: If you spec into both, you have a 45% chance to proc both a mana free cast, and two 30% faster casting spells. This helps with mana regen, and quicker heals on tanks. A win/win situation. There's really no reason for you NOT to spec into this.

Mana regeneration as of 3.0, is, to put it quite plainly, painful. Granted, my guild doesn't run with either a shadow priest or a ret paladin, or even a survival hunter for goodness sake (/sigh), but even so, I could still potentially see myself having mana problems. What with the loss of downranking, and with the addition of the 'potion sickness' debuff, it's really difficult to keep mana, and raid members, up. Some things I suggest: don't wait until the last minute to use a mana potion. I know it's worrying to use a mana potion at the beginning of a fight, but really, using one when you're out of mana is almost useless. Try to start off with using a shadowfiend, too, because if you use it early in the fight, there's a better chance that the cooldown will complete before the fight is over, giving you some extra mana towards the end of the fight, when you could potentially be out of mana.

Also, do your best to practice canceling spells mid-cast if someone heals your target before you do. Granted, if you are specced into Serendipity you gain some mana back, but it's only 25% of the spells cost, and any time you can avoid spending mana is preferable.

Another thing to consider: Circle of Healing is obscenely overpowered now that it has a 'smart' heal effect. What this means is that instead of only healing your target's party, some of whom may or may not need a heal, it heals your target, and four other people near your target who DO need a heal. So, if you're targeting a tank and hit circle of healing, it's going to heal the tank and then perhaps hit four melee who may have been taking some AOE damage. Basically, Circle of Healing is going to search for the people who need the healing the most in it's radius, and heal them over someone who doesn't need the heal. This is GLORIOUS. Every time I hit Circle of Healing, it heals for about 6000, and all to people who need it. This results in not ONLY a more effective and worthwhile spell, but also owns the healing meters. Three of our top four healers in Sunwell were Circle of Healing priests, the other being a Wild Growth spamming druid.

Now, enough of silly talents, lets talk achievements.

What a way to bring people back to the game. I have seen more people on consistently in the past week than I have in, well, forever. Exploring, doing quests, finishing dungeons, raiding classic instances, searching for pets, grinding rep, leveling skills and professions; you name it, chances are someone is doing it. Some achievements I've been focusing on have been the exploration and reputation specific achievements. In fact I am now Bellezza, Guardian of Cenarius. If you are looking to get this title, you need to be exalted with the Cenarion Circle and the Cenarion Expedition. I was already exalted with the Expedition, so Circle was the only one left. Not too bad, I thought. I looked at my current reputation: Neutral. Lovely.

Off to Silithus!

This is how I spent my Sunday: Grinding Twilight Cultists. All day. Literally. Getting Cowls, Robes, Shoulders, summoning elementals, killing ?? bosses that you needed twenty people to kill at level 60, and turning in texts. And bugs. Oh, lots of bugs. However, it paid off in the end. Special thanks to my friends Iliana and Aegus for helping me :)

For those of you reading this, thank you. If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at

Also, /cry for the loss of Starshards and other priest racials. You will be sorely missed. This is a travesty for priests everywhere.

Monday, October 6, 2008

3.0 Priest Talents

I'm not one of those people who spends all of their waking hours on the Player Test Realm, tinkering with specs, working out mechanics, reporting bugs, owning Sunwell. I do, however, enjoy going to WoWhead and messing around with the talent trees they've posted. Some of my more recent discoveries have been cause for extended thought.

When the Wrath talent trees were initially released, there were some talents in the priest tree that were easily overlooked in favor of more beneficial talents. "Serendipity", for example. If your spell healed the target for less than half of it's intended effect, you were refunded 25% of the mana spent. The situational factor of this spell made it basically null and void unless you were doing a fight like Anetheron. Even then, in my opinion, it's not worth the talent points. So, I skipped over it and happily spent my valuable points elsewhere.

A few days ago, I decided to check up on things with regards to the talent trees. 2/2 Healing Focus, 3/3 Improved Renew, okay, things are looking good. Then I skip down to where Serendipity had been, only to find it had been changed. If you spell heals the target past their maximum health, you are refunded 25% of the mana it cost. Hold on. Wait a second.

Really? That's amazing! Everytime I overheal, I get mana back?


However excited I was about this, I was initially a little torn between the new and improved Serendipity, and the talent called Test of Faith. Test of Faith increases healing and spell critical chance by 6% on targets at or below 50% health.

When 3.0 comes out, and I'm still at level 70, I'm well aware that I won't be able to spec into Guardian Spirit immediately. The 30% of mana regeneration while casting that comes from the discipline talent Meditation is too valuable to lose. I will be able to go down far enough into the holy tree to get either Serendipity or Test of Faith.

With the newfound importance of crit chance, Test of Faith seems like something interesting to toy around with. However, I think that Serendipity will be altogether more beneficial for mana conservation.

It's a tough decision though. As it's looking now, priests don't seem capable of quickly running out of mana. With improved Holy concentration, after ANY critical heal, your next spell cast has a 45% to be mana free. If your next spell is cast outside the five second rule, AND overheals your target, not only do you gain the mana back from 'While Not Casting' regeneration, but you GAIN 25% of your spell's cost BACK. Also, if you spec into the Surge of Light talent, your spell criticals also have a 50% chance to proc your next flash heal into costing 0 mana, and INSTANT CAST, but incapable of a crit.

What does this mean? It seems to me that Blizzard is wanting priests to maybe start gemming or enchanting for crit chance. Here's a sum up of why:

-A spell crit has a 50% chance of giving you an instant, mana free flash heal.
-A spell crit has a 45% chance to have your next heal be mana free, and give you 30% spell haste for your next two heals, or 20 seconds.
-Spell crits also give your target inspiration, increases armor by 25% for 15 seconds.
-If your spell crits, there is a good chance that it will overheal your target, giving you mana back.

I don't think that critical chance will replace say, spirit or bulk healing with regards to what priests will stack in the expansion, but it's certainly something to think about.

Here's a link to the spec I will be most likely using at 70:

And the one I'm planning on using, at this point, at level 80:

Let me know if you have any thoughts about it, I'm really interested in the new stats.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Priest Healing Encounter: Illidan Stormrage

Let me preface this by saying the reason I have chosen the illustrious Illidan Stormrage for this particular explanation is because many guilds, at this point, have either stopped raiding, trying to finish BT, or trying to progress/farm as much of Sunwell as they can before the expansion rears it's beautiful, exciting head. I thought this might be a helpful guide to you priests who are in guilds who have gotten past RoS, Teron, and Council, and are ready to face the Betrayer himself. Hopefully this guide will prepare you for the encounter. /giggle.

How to Prepare
(I'm sorry, I'll stop. Heehee)

Bring all of the basic consumables. Personally I'm more drawn to the extra Intellent (and find it's cheaper) of the Flask of Distilled Wisdom over the regen of the Flask of Mighty Restoration. Bring fishsticks, some spirit scrolls if you only have CoH priests, and anything else as you see fit. Use elixirs at your own disgression, though I tend to lean towards the Draenic Wisdom and Elixir of Mastery combo.

Phase One

Phase one healing is the easiest phase by far. The way my guild does it is to have all casters and healers stand in the middle of the grate, while the tank and melee dps move Illidan away from the fire around the edge of the grate.

As long as the tank doesn't miss a shield block (Illidan's tank must be a warrior) for a shear, he will not be taking an obscenely ridiculous amount of damage. However, when the tank does take a shear, which significantly reduces his health (our tank drops to around 8k max HP) for a short period of time, be ready with Power Word: Shield, prayer of mending, and be spamming greater heal 7. If healers aren't on top of their game, the tank will die almost immediately. It is also helpful for the warrior to hit last stand, which increases his health, but sometimes it can be difficult to remember. His shear ability is the one he is casting when he jumps in the air and comes down on the tank with swords out.

The only other thing to worry about in phase one: Illidan will randomly target a person in the raid (it can even be the tank) and put a debuff on them, causing 3000 damage every 2 seconds, for 10 seconds. Once the 10 seconds is complete, two shadowfiends will spawn on top of the person. The MOST important thing here is to kill the shadowfiends as quickly as possibly. They will randomly target another player who is highest on the global threatlist, and if they get close enough to the player to melee attack them, the player will receive the debuff causing damage, and the shadowfiends to spawn on them as well. This ability is called Parasitic Shadowfiend.

If you are targetted for this, a message from either Deadly Boss Mods, Big Wigs, or an anxious guild mate will pop up on your screen, telling you that you have it. At this point, you need to move outside of the grate, away from the raid, and stay there until the shadowfiends spawn. Once they spawn, it is safe to move back to the center of the grate. If the tank receives the debuff, the melee must move out.

That's phase one in a nutshell. Pretty easy, unless the tank takes a shear.

Phase Two

Phase two of Illidan Stormrage is arguably the most difficult phase of the encounter. This, my friends, is where the Circle of Healing priest shines.

This is the way my guild does it: Each group stands closely clumped together on the different points on the grate. Group two stands on the north end, three to the west, four to the east, and five to the south. Melee dps's the flame that is the most safe, and healers/casters in the melee or tank group stand in various other groups. Our two fire tanks tank the flames on opposite (East/West) sides of the grate, keeping them far enough away from the grate. Because this is a healing guide, I'm not going to go into what exactly the tanks/melee are doing, because as long as they're not being dumb and running through fire, thus needing heals, they are no concern of mine.

Flame bursts will hit each group every few seconds, where Circle of Healing is key. We usually have 2-3 CoH priests in the raid, so keeping these people up is pretty easy, unless the flames decide to continually bash down on us without a break (Which has happened before.).

About every minute or so, someone in the raid (again, it could be anyone), will be afflicted by a debuff called Dark Barrage. This is a KILLER debuff. And I mean that quite literally. This debuff will cause 3000 damage every second for ten seconds. Paladins can bubble out of it, mages ice block, hunters feign death, rogues cloak, but for priests, warlocks, warriors, druids, shamans, but most importantly priests, the only thing to do is heal through it. The heals have to be quick, and well chosen. Generally, the first thing I do is throw a shield on the person, absorbing at least one tick, giving the rest of the healers time to get off a heal. What will happen is the person will go from about 3% health to full, once everybody's heal ticks, so use Prayer of Mending for instant health and start using flash heal.

During the rest of the phase, Binding heal could potentially be your best friend. Binding heal is my favorite spell, hands down, and it is especially useful for this encounter. So if, like me, you hadn't used it before, consider putting it on a hotkey for both this fight, Kalec, and even Council. When you're not spamming CoH, it's really quite nice!

Something to worry about, but not really for your sake, is a fire tank being hit by an Eye Blast. If any player comes in contact with one of these (which spawn from the swords in the ground and move towards one of the elementals), hits the person for 20,000 damage, which, almost instantaneously, kills them. This is what wipes raid the most, only closely followed by raid deaths due to fire blasts. If you can get past this phase, you're almost in the clear.

Phase Three

First thing, ahem, SPREAD OUT. Don't be within 5 yards of another player. If you have DBM or Big Wigs, it should have a little box pop up to tell you if you're too close to someone, and do your best to move away.

This phase is almost identical to phase one. He will spawn shadowfiends, use shear, and trail fire that the tank must move away from.

The main goal of DPS is to get the shadowfiends down ASAP. The person targeted by the debuff needs to move away from the raid, preferably to the back, so that the shadowfiends don't reach other players once they spawn. Remember to heal these people, the debuff does cause damage. You may have to adjust yourself position-wise, because these people tend to move out of range, and quickly. Even while you're moving to help them, stay as far away from other players as you can, because of another ability called...

Agonizing flames. Again, Illidan will target someone, a big blue flame will fall down on their head, and if ANYONE (including hunter/warlock pets) are within 5 yards of the targeted person, they will receive the debuff as well. This debuff causes an initial 4000 damage, and 3000 damage every 5 seconds for 1 minute. The kicker to this one is that the DoT will increase as the debuff remains. This person will need intense and constant attention from healers. The key to avoiding it is to just stay spread out; don't hug your best friend. When you are afflicted by it, try to keep a bubble on yourself as often as you can, and a renew ticking, PoM whenever the cooldown is up. Binding heal can also be useful here, on a tank.

That's phase three. It's not too difficult, people just have to be on top of things.

Phase Four

Phase four is hard. Hands down. During this phase, a warlock will be tanking Illidan off the to the side, and he'll need at least four healers. Trick is, you still have to be spread out. If anyone is standing near the warlock tank (who is in shadow resist gear) they will be hit for around 11k shadow damage and (most likely) die.

Illidan will also send out a flame burst every ten seconds, which deals around 4k damage to everyone in the raid. Additionally, if you are standing near someone else in the raid, there will be splash damage, and you will take more. Again emphasizing the need to keep spread out. Also another key instance in which Binding Heal is life saving. Circle of healing is virtually useless here because no one is grouped up. Flash/binding heal will be your primary spells, not excluding PoM and renew in the least. Everyone needs to be at full health, because remember that another one will come in 10 seconds.

The most difficult aspect of phase four is when Illidan spawns shadow demons. Four will appear under his feet, targetting a player. This player will have a purple line connecting them to the demon, and they will be incapacitated. The demons slowly move towards the player, and it is helpful for a mage to frostbolt, or hunter to ice trap them to slow them down further. If the shadow demon reaches it's target, the player will die, and the demon will target another player, incapacitating them, and killing them if they reach as well. The demons are the priority of this phase, and a reason to stay as far away from Illidan as possible. During the shadow demons, there will still be flame bursts, so be ready to heal the raid up even though there is chaos.

Another reason not to stand too close to Illidan is because he has an aura that deals 1000 shadow damage to anyone in range, and stacks a debuff, increasing shadow damage taken.

Illidan will alternate between phases three and four until he reaches 30% health.

Phase 5

Phase Five will begin when he reaches 30%, at which point he will imprison everyone in the raid in a 'Shadow Prison'. You are immune to damage, and can't move, but Illidan is a little preoccupied with Maiev Shadowsong, who has come to help you finish him off. (A great time for mana regen, phew!)

The prisons will remain intact for 30 seconds, and after they break, your warrior tank will need very fast healing. PoM, bubble, renew, and then the basic GH1 and/or flash heal. This point in the fight will be exactly like phase 3, except Maiev will scuttle about, placing traps. Don't let your raid be fooled into thinking that just because Maiev has placed a trap that you should automatically drag Illidan over. Sometimes it is just plain unsafe to do so. She will place traps when he has a soft enrage, increasing his damage output and speed for a period of time. This is generally when you would drag him to a trap, which incapacitates him and makes him vulnerable to damage.

However, as a healer, you really need to be aware of your surroundings at this point in the fight. Once again, I implore you, SPREAD OUT. It is imperative that you don't take the splash damage from Agonizing Flames, and remember to run to the back of the raid if you are targeted for shadowfiends. Keep raid healing up, and yourself up. This phase is very frantic and is often grounds for a wipe because people get excited and sloppy.

Illidan will also switch to demon form, and have all of his abilities from phase 4 available.

Rinse and repeat until he's dead. Then you get a nice little conversation in while Maiev realizes that a hunter is nothing without her prey, blah blah, where's my loot.

So remember:

- Key spells are Binding Heal and Renew, and Circle of Healing during phase 2.
- Remember to SPREAD OUT. And let your raid know if you have the Agonizing Flames debuff, and especially shadowfiends.
- Don't panic, relax. Remember, even though this is fun and you're getting into it, if you panic, chances are that you will goof up.
- Stay away from tanks at all times, whether it be the warlock tank, or warrior tank. Getting close to Illidan is a no-no.

If you have any questions, or this was in any way unclear, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to help out :) Good luck, and get the Memento for me!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Alliance vs. Horde?

The age old question. We've all heard the arguments: 'Alliance are all 9 year olds who don't take the game seriously.', 'Horde are 40 year old assholes who have nothing better to do.'. Personally, I've given up on this particular debacle. I have, however, noticed a trend in the individuals who persist with the bashing of the opposite faction.

Generally, players of a lower level, or who have less experience in the game are far more impassioned with their faction. There are a few reasons for this, at least in my opinion. The first being a lack of exposure to the opposing faction. At level 70, I find I have far too much free time, time spent trolling our realm forums. By reading the different posts made by both horde and alliance, one begins to realize that there is a fact a person behind the undead rogue who just ganked you, cannabalized you, and hearthed in the time it took you to get on your main (Yes, I'm bitter. You know who you are!). Maybe they really are a remorseless jerk, but often times they are a logical human being, capable of organized thought and witty banter.

All the while leveling, and even now, there are random level ones in major cities, spamming trade chat in the form of claiming allies should all quit and kill themselves because they're terrible, and horde is so obviously better. I have to wonder if they really think this is a good idea. Suppose that everyone who played alliance suddenly quit and rerolled horde. PvP would be virtually eliminated. There would be no battlegrounds, only arena, and PvP servers would be an oxymoron. Without variety, the game would fail. Blizzard caters to all types of players, both hardcore and casual, both alliance and horde.

Assumptions made about both factions also don't do a thing to help the animosity. Honestly, all of the assumptions made about one faction can be turned around and made about the accuser. I play alliance, and yet, *GASP* I am actually not a nine year old child with a mental deficiency! At 18, I am considered a baby in my guild, most of whom are in their early to mid twenties. Sure, people have moments of immaturity. You'll find that in any player. But it's not recurring, and it's not constant. On the flip side, I've only met one horde with whom I had a serious conflict, and it had nothing to do with the fact that they played horde. The assumption here is that they are all 40 year old virgins, when in fact, I've never met a horde over the age of 30. Of the people I have met, they are reasonable people. Sure, being on a PvP server, I am ganked all the freaking time, but it's the risk I take for having rolled on one. In fact, many of the players that I have met, on both factions, are either my age, or within 5 years of it.

The reason I bring this subject up is because of something that transpired between a real life friend and myself. Upon discovering that she played WoW as well, I asked her what characters she played. At this pont, she had become aware that I played alliance. She told me that her main was an undead hunter (...), and promptly scolded my choice of playing alliance, claiming that in order to take the game seriously, you must play horde. The irony was almost palpable. I responded, halfheartedly, that when I started playing I didn't want to play a skeleton or a cow, so I played alliance. I then changed the subject, so as to avoid further conflict, but there was a nagging in my mind.

My cousin, the paladin with whom I leveled, after playing alliance for a number of months, rolled a tauren shaman to play with my brother, who had recently started playing. I decided to ask him about the differences, of which he said was a moot point. There is immaturity where ever you go. There will always be a Chuck Norris joke, a 'your mom' joke, or the newly instated 'ANAL: [link of an ability or item]'. It doesn't matter what faction you play on, it's going to be there.

The point being that we're all gamers. We all have a level of immaturity, but there is reason and logic as well. Factions don't really make a difference.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Itemization; Stats for Priests

Two weeks ago, while clearing the trash in Sunwell Plateau to reach Kalecgos, a tailoring pattern dropped that I had been waiting for since patch 2.4 was released. Pattern: Robe of Eternal Light dropped, and if you ask my guild members what they heard next, they would answer with high pitched squealing and, 'did she just have a heart attack?'. For whatever reason, the other priest in the raid didn't want to roll on them, so they were looted to me. Over the next 24 hours I farmed out the mats for the primal mooncloth, and had the robes the next day. There are, however, a few issues I have with the robes.

1. There is a very significant lack of Spirit on them. Spirit, as I am sure I have mentioned before, is key for both +healing, and mana regen for priests. I'll take Spirit where ever I can get it, so obviously I was a little uncertain.

2. I would be losing my Tier 6 four piece set bonus, and while the two set bonus is almost laughable, the number of times that I use greater heal rank 1 (they're taking away downranking, *sob*) during raids is absurd, and losing the extra 5% is taking an unnecessary hit.

So, after gemming it with two 11healing/5spirit gems and a 10spirit gem, and enchanting it with 15spirit, I set it aside, keeping the set bonus.

The next week, the Bracers of the Fallen Conqueror dropped, and I was allowed to roll. Winning the roll, I promptly gemmed, enchanted, and equipped. I compared the robes again, this time keeping the set bonus.

However, I was still torn. While I was gaining +healing and mp5, the bonus was minimal, and I was losing significant spirit, and some stamina.

On the other hand, there is 40 spell haste rating on the robes, which is very tempting.

Unsure of what to do, I posted on the priest forums. There was an overwhelming response in the direction of wearing the new robes, and I began to realize what the real idea of Sunwell gear is about.

With the addition of Tier 6 belt, boots, and bracers, people are better to swap in other gear to replace tier 6, without losing set bonuses. Granted, a lot of people have already discovered this, but I was pretty excited about it! Because honestly, the tier 6 bracers for holy priests aren't godly. Bracers of Martyrdom , with the extra spirit are actually better, in my opinion. But in comparison to having the new robes/bracer combination, they are not better.

This could just be ramblings from someone who's behind on realization, but I thought it was interesting all the same. Here: is the link to the post where I pleaded for help from my fellow priests. There were some interesting responses, from some knowledgeable people.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Priest Races

When you roll a priest, you've chosen one of the most unique classes in the game. When you choose a priest, you are the only class that gets a race specific spell, in addition to the racial benefits of the class. So which race is best for the faction you're sided with? I can't make that decision for you, but I can explain the mechanics of them.


The draenei racials, to begin with, are rather enticing if you are looking to heal, or dps, as a priest. The most notable spell being Gift of the Naaru, which is an extra HOT that you can put on the tank, mana free; it even scales with your plus healing. All draenei also have the Inspiring/Heroic presence, which increases your party members' chance to hit with either spells (if you're a caster class, or an enhancement shaman), or melee/ranged physical abilities. They also have increased shadow resistance, which is very helpful in Black Temple, and increased gemcutting skill.

Priest racials for the draenei class include some interesting spells.
  • Symbol of Hope: Greatly increases the morale of your party members, restoring 33 mana every five seconds, for 15 seconds, on a 5 minute cooldown. At level 70, this effect scales to 333 mana every five seconds. This can be a life saving ability in some situations; definitely something to think about when rolling a priest.
  • Chastise: Chastise the target, causing 47-53 holy damage, and incapacitates them for up to 2 seconds. Any damage will cause the effect to cease. It only works on Humanoids, and causes low threat. Eh, this is alright, but honestly, in a raid situation this is useless. Even in PvP, two seconds is not a very long time, and it can be trinketed out of.

What used to be the main pull of rolling a Dwarf priest was the fact that they were the only race that had the spell Fear Ward. Now, however, all priests can train the ability, so the dwarfly allure is gone. However, they still have the unique Stoneform, which removes all bleed, poison, and disease effects, as well as making the Dwarf immune to these effects for 8 seconds. Also increases armor by 10%, on a 3 minute cooldown. Good for PvP, but I've yet to encounter a situation in a raid where it is necessary for a priest to utilize this specific ability. Especially since Paladins are usually in a tournament amongst themselves to see who can cleanse the fastest. Dwarves also have their frost resistance increased by 10. While not particularly useful in BC, icy Northrend seems a viable area to make use of this. They also have the ability to find treasure on the minimap. This is more of a vanity ability; not inclusively beneficial to priests.

  • Desperate Prayer: Instantly heals the priest for 134-170, on a 10 minute cooldown. At level 70, it scales to 1637-1924. While this may have been a worthwhile trait in a dwarf or human before, it is being added as a priest talent in Wrath. Therefore, I wouldn't use this as a basis for rolling a dwarf priest. Also being on a ten minute cooldown makes it a little tricksy. I myself know that in waiting for the right moment to hit this spell, I would probably miss it, and die.
  • Chastise: Chastise the target, causing 47-53 holy damage, and incapacitates them for up to 2 seconds. Any damage will cause the effect to cease. It only works on Humanoids, and causes low threat. Exactly the same as the Draenei spell.

The first to note if you plan to roll a human priest is the extra 10% bonus spirit. This, straight up, is a reason to roll the race as a priest. The benefit that priests receive from spirit has been increased exponentially as of patch 2.4. Granted, the 10% is being reduced to 5% in the expansion, but any bonus is key in my book. This 5% will stack with stat increases buffs/elixirs/flasks, making it even more beneficial. The second most important racial ability, in my book, is the Diplomacy factor. Humans receive 10% extra reputation in all situations that involve reputation gain. This may not seem important at lower levels, but when you're stuck in Zangarmarsh, repeating the same quests over and over, all for the love of a sporebat non-combat pet, you'll be glad you picked a human. Humans also receive increased mace and sword skill, but unless you plan on being a melee priest, this isn't important in the least. The last racial I'll mention is the Perception spell. As of right now, activating this spell will greatly increase your stealth detection for 20 seconds, on a 3 minute cooldown. This is an incredible PvP ability, however, come Wrath they are removing it, instead granting humans a passive increase in stealth detection.
  • Desperate Prayer: Instantly heals the priest for 134-170, on a 10 minute cooldown. At level 70, it scales to 1637-1924. Same as dwarves.
  • Feedback: This spell surrounds the priest with anti-magic energy, causing any succesful spellcast against the priest to burn 18 of the attacker's mana, 165 at level 70, and cause 1 shadow damage per mana burned over 25 seconds. While this sounds like an exciting PvP ability, it is virtually useless in a PvE situation.
Night Elf

Ah, the Night Elf priest. Often mocked for it's racials, it is the only priest race in the game that, according to lore, doesn't follow the path of the Light. Rather, Night Elven priests worship the moon goddess Elune, calling upon her blessings to aid themselves and allies. Yes, I'm a lore freak. And I had to justify myself for rolling a Night Elf priest by saying something other than, 'but they're pretty!'. Anyway, onto the racials! Night Elves receive an additional 1% chance to dodge. I know this seems silly, but I do oftentimes dodge attacks from major bosses, sometimes even enemy players, giving me an extra chance to get off a heal, or for a Paladin to be nice and DI me. The second is the ability to shadowmeld. While right now this ability is practically useless, in the expansion, it will enable the Night Elf to become invisible, even while in combat, reduces their threat. I have a feeling it will become very important for most dps classes that are Night Elves, and even healers in some situations. Upon death, Night Elves become a wisp spirit, able to travel 50% faster than their slowpoke allies running in their normal body. This is kind of useless, and, in my opinion, should be a widespread ability, but meh. It's still fun :B Night Elves also have 10 extra resistance to Nature damage. At this point, I can't really think of where this is useful... unless of course you're the nature resist tank for Hydross the Unstable.

  • Starshards: Rains starshards down on the enemy target's head, causing 60 (785 at 70) arcane damage over 15 seconds, on a 30 second cooldown. I have mixed feelings about starshards. On the upside, it costs absolutely zero mana. For a shadow priest, any extra damage is helpful, I'm sure, but as a holy priest, I rarely use this. Usually if I'm bored, or soloing, or both. Or in the second phase of Reliquary of Souls and everyone is OOM. I love the animation, too. So pretty. But really, not very useful in a raid situation. PvP it can be useful, but is easily dispelled and doesn't do much damage.
  • Elune's Grace: Reduces the chance that you'll be hit by melee and ranged attacks by 20% for 15 seconds. This is a situational thing. In PvE, it is rarely useful, because honestly, if you're being directly attacked by a mob there is a very small chance that, as a priest, you will live through the first hit. I like to use it when targetted for the Fel Enrage on Gurtogg Bloodboil, as it works the same, only less effectively, as a rogue's evasion. In PvP I would imagine that if you remember to activate it, it could be quite useful.


Blood Elf

The Blood Elf racials, because their race is based around the use and consumption of mana, generally revolve around mana. Their first racial is called mana tap. When activated, the Blood Elf reduces their target's mana by (50, +level) and charge you with arcane energy for ten minutes, and stacks up to 3 times. This is one of the only racials that depends on another, separate racial ability to be fully operational. It's counterpart is called Arcane Torrent. This ability silences all of your enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds, and, depending on how many mana tap charges are currently affecting you, you gain mana back, on a 2 minute cooldown. While immensely useful in PvP (I can't tell you how many times I've been silenced mid-heal...), the only use that I can possibly think of in a PvE situation would be to load up a boss with three of the debuffs, and try to get some mana back throughout the fight. Blood Elves also have 10 extra enchanting skill points (often a profession chosen by priests), and all resistances increased by 5.

  • Touch of Weakness: The next melee attack against the caster will cause 8 (80) shadow damage and reduce damage done by the attacker by 2 (35) for 2 minutes. Um. Okay. I guess this can be kind of useful in PvP, but 35 really isn't a considerable number to reduce damage by. And if you're in a raid or heroic situation, you'll be dead on the first swing.
  • Consume Magic: Dispels one beneficial Magic effect from themself and grants them 120 to 154 mana. The dispelled effect must be a priest spell. 2 minutes cooldown. This is an interesting spell. I suppose if you're extremely hard pressed for mana it can be useful, but in arena, if you're against another priest, or a lock or shaman, you rarely have any buffs left by the time you're out of mana. If you're in a raid situation this might be interesting, but you have to be careful; if you dispel fortitude, or shadow protection in certain situations, it could mean your death.

The first Undead racial is Will of the Forsaken. This is a very good overall racial. In PvP, if you're sheeped and a team mate is being obliterated, you can use this, and then trinket out of the next one. Plus, it's only on a two minute cooldown. In a PvE situation, it can be useful in the Archimonde fight, or even Nightbane in Karazhan. The second ability is Cannibalize. First off, ew >.<> Undead also have a 300% increase to their underwater breathing, which is kind of like the Night Elf wisp racial; situationally useful, but not really beneficial to any specific class.

  • Touch of Weakness: The next melee attack against the caster will cause 8 (80) shadow damage and reduce damage done by the attacker by 2 (35) for 2 minutes. Same as Blood Elves.
  • Devouring Plague: Afflicts the target with a disease that causes 152 (1216) Shadow damage over 24 seconds. Damage caused by the Devouring Plague heals the caster. This could be a very useful spell in both PvE and PvP situations. Especially if you're a shadow priest, and can't afford to shift out of Shadowform, but still need a heal.

Beserking is the first racial granted to trolls. When activated, it increases your attack speed/casting speed by 10%, or more if you are lower on health. It's on a 3 minute cooldown. This is a really cool racial, in my opinion, but for priests, more useful in PvP than PvE. The reason being that if you are on low health in a raid situation, you're probably not going to be able to pop this racial and heal up before you're facedown on the floor. This could be an incredibly racial for other classes, and even shadowpriests if timed correctly. Their second racial is Regeneration, allowing Trolls to regenerate 10% more health inside and outside of combat. This is a pretty good racial, depending on your class. I suppose it doesn't hurt, though. Trolls also cause 5% extra damage when fighting against beasts. As a holy priest, meh, but as any other class/spec this could be very nice, especially in the days of ZG and other animal based bosses. In addition to these, Trolls have extra critical chance when using a thrown weapon, or a bow. Useless for a priest, but nice for a warrior, rogue, or hunter.

  • Hex of Weakness: Weakens the target enemy, reducing damage caused by 2 and reduces effectiveness of healing spells by 20% for 2 minutes. Really, really nice for PvP. Or so I would imagine. To be honest, I don't think I've ever encounted a Troll priest >.> But I would imagine this would be very useful. With a DPS warrior in a raid who is MS specced, I doubt this would be very useful in a raid, especially if you're spamming heals, but it could be interesting to play around with.
  • Shadowguard: The caster is surrounded by shadows. When a spell, melee or ranged attack hits the caster, the attacker will be struck for 20 (130) Shadow damage. Attackers can only be damaged once every few seconds. This damage causes no threat. 3 charges. Lasts 10 min. This reminds me quite vividly of the shaman spell, Lightning Shield. It could be useful for soloing, maybe a little PvP, but it doesn't seem terribly important. Perhaps it's situational.

A lot of things to think about, I know, but remember that priests are the only class that have specific racials! Exciting! If you are planning to play Alliance, my recommendation would be to roll a Human, even if they are getting the teensiest of nerfs in the expansion. The extra 5% spirit is too delicious to resist. The main reason I didn't roll a Human is because I play a Human... I mean... am... a Human in real life; I didn't want to play one in a game too. I was disappointed with my choice in a Night Elf after learning the other racials, but have come to love the lore aspects.

As for Horde, after really looking through the racials, I would say Forsaken as the first choice, then Blood Elf. Forsaken mostly because of the all-over racials. Even if they look a bit... off. And Blood Elves have the mana regen, sort of, ability, which could be fun.

Hope this has been helpful. Have fun with your priests! :D

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oh, hello.

So I suppose a good introduction to a blog starts with an introduction to the author, huh? I'll give it a try.

You can call me Belle, and my character is a level 70, holy, Night Elf priest, who answers to the name of Bellezza. Having been holy since being able to choose talent points at level 10, it's been an interesting road.

Let me start by saying that my beloved priest was not, in fact, my first character. The first character I ever rolled was a Night Elf hunter, named Nalie. However, if you weren't already aware, hunters are incredibly difficult to figure out, especially if you're totally new to the game. Unless of course it's just me, which is completely possible >.>

Anyway, my computer broke a few weeks after I rolled my hunter, and I didn't bother getting it fixed for a few months. At this point I was in no way addicted to the game.

This all changed in the summer of 2007.

I did a little research on the game, read the guides, looked at different blogs, and decided that what I really wanted to do was heal. I thought it would be exciting, and unlike anything I had previously experienced in an RPG. Granted, my only other RPG experience was about a week of addiction to Diablo 2, but still!

After some consideration, I picked a priest as the class I was going to play. I also picked a Night Elf. Why? One might ask. They are the least priest-friendly. Well, they are pretty. I am a human in real life! Why would I want to play one in a game!? And dwarves... eh... and, at the time, I wasn't digging the whole tails 'n hooves deal. And, no offense, I totally didn't want to run around with a bunch of cows and skeletons. So Night Elf it was!

I leveled... slowly. My cousin rolled a paladin and decided to spec protection to level, so our basic strategy was for him to run in the middle of all the quest mobs, wrangle them all up, and slowly, ever so slowly, tank them all down while I healed him. Anyway, I finally hit 70 in December, and was immediately thrust into my first raiding guild: Snakes on a Raid.

After a good few months of raiding Kara, I was ready for more. I transferred to the Dark Iron server and was accepted until to the guild Varsity Cheerleaders. However, at this point, the memorable patch 2.4 had already been released, and after hoarding my badges, I carefully spent them on worthy upgrades. Therefore, I was, apparently, tier 6 viable.

I saw in trade chat that the guild Kind of a Big Deal had a spot open for a holy priest, so I decided to put an application in. After two very stressful trial runs, I was accepted, and have been with them ever since :D

Now, you may have noticed that this kind little tale did not detail any pvp experiences, even though I've always been on a pvp server. This is because, well, flat out, I'm terrible at pvp. Usually, I would just stand there while some angry horde beat on me, and let him kill me, giving him a /wave while he danced underneath my Spirit of Redemption. I didn't do my first BG until level 66, and I have less than 2000 Honorable Kills, and I am a veritable faliure at anything pertaining to Arena/Battlegrounds. However, I will do my research as I see fit for information relating to priest pvp, simply for the sake of this blog.

Something interesting to note about this particular blog post is that the bulk of it is being written while my guild (and I) is in Black Temple. We've just downed Teron Gorefiend, and are lining up to pull the trash to Reliquary of Souls.

Here's something to think about: I'm vaguely considering posting basic priest healing strategies for various endgame boss fights, but the impending expansion is making it a difficult aspect to approach.

Anyway! I don't want to bore everyone to death on the first post ^_^. Thanks for reading! I'll try to make helpful and interesting posts as often as I can.