Apr 11, 2011

Holy Rollin'!

Think back before the Dark Portal reopened. Back when Rag’ and Nef’ were the be all end all. Now think about the Burning Crusade and even in to early Wrath. Good memories, eh?

Now ask yourself if you would roll and level as a holy priest or priestess during those times. I’d be right up there with you saying "No way," remembering how poorly equipped to level a pure holy spec was.

Now though, with so much more at our disposal it’s a much different World of Warcraft.

I roll how I play. I play how I roll.
First, a bit of perspective. Even with the introduction of dual specs, I intended to roll my priest as holy. I just feel that I get a better understanding of the nuances of the spec if it is what I am constantly in. I prefer not to switch between specs and try to adjust to two learning curves simultaneously.

So the first 20 levels or so were a bit painful. My wands got a rediculous amount of usage, which is sadly unique to priest leveling it seems. Once I had a decent feel for the class and an ok caster set -- somewhere around level 27 or so -- I started queuing in the LFG tool as a healer.

Elune be praised!
Levels have never gone by so fast. I could manage almost a full level per instance. On my priest I have by far the fewest flight paths. Why? Because I’ve never had to set foot very far out of Stormwind. In fact I’ve leveled from 27 to 44 almost entirely through the LFG tool. You might not think so but It is refreshing actually, because after having done the Loremaster achievement on my druid main, the prospect of questing again (especially through the tedious 40s and 50s) does not appeal to me much.

And my gear gets some fairly regular updates. I try not to be greedy, rolling on only true upgrades. And it’s nice to be in predominantly blues for a change. But why is it so damn hard to find a wand upgrade? Hey Bliz! How about an heirloom wand next?

Alliance rep is also now sickeningly easy with the inclusion of the faction tabards.

Oh and a floating priestess is just awesome! Gotta love Levitate. “BEHOLD THE POWER OF THE GODESS!”

Holy sacrifices
LFG leveling isn’t all roses and gold though.

First my professions suffer. On my other flower children, herbing was effortlessly easy. But on the priest, my herbalism takes a concerted effort to level since I’m not out in the zones questing. It is further compounded by difficult travel as I have very few flight paths. Even the level 40 “epic” mount upgrade doesn’t really lessen that pain enough.

Enchanting has been decent, though it is one I doubt I will keep. It's startng to become tedious again.  I will more likely switch over to a alchemy once I transfer her over to Wildhammer with the rest of the Jarr-heads.

Finally, you do run the same things with some disturbing frequency, especially at the higher vanilla levels. I’m quite tired of Dire Maul already, though Scholomance is still one of my all time favorites.

Healing ain’t so scary
My biggest fear was actually jumping in and being a competent healer. Having done decently on the druid and ok as a Wrath resto shaman, I wasn’t too worried. But coming in as a lowbie priestess with largely single target heals was intimidating. To those of you feeling the same way, here is my advice. Just do it! Remember the truly epic words of Patrick Swayze as Brody “Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.”

It’s not that hard. It just takes attention to detail and a willingness to triage. Plus a few tools will make this much less intimidating.

First, set up some mouseover macros for all of your healing / resto abilities. For example here are a few from the priestess:
/cast [target=mouseover,help,nodead] Renew

Second, set your key bindings to be convenient. I’m not much of a configuration freak in this regard. I’d rather play than try to learn a whole new key set. Just be sure that your most used and most important abilities are tied to your most easily reached keys. For example on the priest I have Heal bound to “1”, Flash Heal to “2” , Renew to “3” ,Shield to “4”, and Greater Heal to “5”. Ideal for all players? Probably not, but it works for me. Find what works for you and roll with it.

Third, get a couple of add-ons that track your buffs and healing. I love Grid because it’s highly configurable and allows you to have your entire party / raid in one convenient frame. Plus it makes those mouseover macros even more potent.

Power Auras is another that I swear by, though I use it more on my other characters than this one currently.

Queuing Healer LFG
So I continue my trek, the Dark Portal beckoning on a not-too-distant horizon. Once I hit 51 I’ll be moving ‘Angel here over to Wildhammer (cursed gold limits) to rejoin my Calvary cronies. Perhaps there she will continue to find some competent groups to healbot.

“Healer LFG for randoms. No fatties.”

Apr 3, 2011

Sometimes it's something simple

This made me laugh out loud when I found t`his on my Blackbery this morning.  It's the simple things in life we have to enjoy the most sometimes.

Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" played on the Iowa State University carillon