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Author Topic: Playing a Priest (WoW)  (Read 14278 times)
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Butterknife
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« on: November 30, 2004, 05:39:10 PM »

Here are the advantages to playing a priest, as I see them.  Not coincidentally, I play a priest and am very much enjoying it.  

The biggest advantage is that everybody loves you.  I mean, everyone.  I play pickup groups all the time, and I'm always welcome.  Two people total have turned me down for a group (currently level 14) and both times it was because they were logging off for the night, not to mention both were extremely apologetic and nice about it.

Everywhere I go, I throw buffs at random people I see.  When possible, I resurrect people who fall.  I especially like to buff mages, as they will throw Arcane Intellect right back at me.  I suppose that makes me a "nice guy", but that's what my spells do, so why not use them?  People hand me all sorts of cool stuff in groups, and everyone wants to group with me.  I've had several guild invites as well, which I always consider, but have yet to join.  The class is rare, which also appeals to me -- I like hunters for example, but I am turned off by the 1-in-4 people playing them too.  The same actually goes for the other popular classes.

As for the "watching people's health bars" thing, well, that is true to a certain extent.  However, a priest who only heals is wasting themself, in my opinion.  I have some decent damage spells, and I'm starting to get some crowd-control stuff as well, now.  Basically, I consider that I did a good job if I'm the first person to die, and I have no mana left.  Luckily, that doesn't happen often, usually only after venturing somewhere that is a bit too high of level.

The priest is a hard class to play, not an easy one.  Just sitting and watching people's health bars is certainly one way to play, but typically I am concerning myself with several things, including how quickly the enemy is dying, how quickly my group is dying, who is getting hit, for how much, and whether or not I am going to draw the attention of every monster we're fighting if I cast a particular spell.  Priests can quite easily get a monster's attention by healing someone or casting particular spells (shield, for example).  So, I will often try some tricky tactics, like drawing the monster toward me on purpose so that it can be wailed on by everyone for the entire trip over, and then it gets to me only to find that I'm shielded and it can't do damage anyway.  One of my favorite tricks.  The real key to playing a priest is timing.  Some battles I do nothing for the first few seconds except cast a damage over time spell, merely because I am waiting for the right moment to strike.  One other trick is to use a heal-over-time spell for healing, or even a less-strong version of the healing spell, in order to not draw attention to yourself.

Priests are a really fun solo class, as well.  They aren't any good if you are in a hurry, though, because you don't do lots of damage to the bad guys, so they don't die quickly.  As a result, the priest class is a take-your-time class, and therefore not suited to everyone.  The nice thing about soloing is just how much safer you are than everyone else when playing a priest.  If a warrior alone runs low on hitpoints, he has the option of running or a healing potion (with it's accompanying 2-minute cooldown).  Once the healing potion has been used, his only option is to die fighting.  A priest, though, when played properly (i.e. don't use up all your mana on spells, fight with the mace a lot) can heal and defend for almost indefinite periods, as long as the damage being taken is reasonable.  Basically, I can take 2 guys my level at the same time, or 1 guy at a time 2 or even 3 levels higher, or 1 guy at a time indefinitely who is the same level (as my mana and life keep regenerating during the fighting).

As an herbalist/alchemist, I am well-loved by those who have adventured with me in the past, too.  I always hand out some healing potions before my group goes out "just in case I'm lagging" and typically will receive all sorts of random junk from the others in return.  But, next time that sweet orb drops, you can guarantee they'll give it to you, even if you didn't roll for it.  My priest is currently "tricked out".

I'm also going to be focusing on the Shadow talent tree, which I would recommend for most priests as well.  Healing is all well and good, but the fact is that a priest is the best healer of the game, even if they don't focus on the Healing talent tree.  And, since I do enjoy soloing as well as grouping (I'd say my time breaks down at about 50/50) the damage spells can be lots of fun, as well as all the neat side effects.  There are plenty of good effects in the Discipline talents as well.

Anyway, this whole (rather long) post was in response to Lockdown's post in the Hunter Pet Stats thread, and I decided not to derail their thread.  But the priest is fun, it just takes a particular type of person, which I agree is rare.
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Lockdown
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2004, 06:52:22 PM »

Great post.  And again, I think you deserve alot of credit.

Good form.

LD  :wink:
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Toe
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2004, 07:06:42 PM »

I am also playing a priest for retail. I was an experienced cleric in Everquest and so have a good feel for the class. I am 19th level currently. (i was a 52nd level warrior in beta)

A few comments I would like to throw out.

Quote
As for the "watching people's health bars" thing, well, that is true to a certain extent. However, a priest who only heals is wasting themself, in my opinion. I have some decent damage spells, and I'm starting to get some crowd-control stuff as well, now. Basically, I consider that I did a good job if I'm the first person to die, and I have no mana left. Luckily, that doesn't happen often, usually only after venturing somewhere that is a bit too high of level.


I wanted to add there that when the going gets tough, and by this I mainly refer to battleing elite monsters, you can not be wasting precious mana on offensive spells. You will be OOM and heals will be needed and bad things will happen. But, you can get a wand and use it. They are fast cast and do not use any mana. smile.

A priest job is to stay alive at all cost. Because if only he survives, he can res the group (a paladin or shaman can as well but priest are best suited for it). I guess i just approach it more like, "I conisder that i did a good job if the party did not totally wipe." Which means, if i was the only resser and I died, we failed.

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So, I will often try some tricky tactics, like drawing the monster toward me on purpose so that it can be wailed on by everyone for the entire trip over, and then it gets to me only to find that I'm shielded and it can't do damage anyway. One of my favorite tricks. The real key to playing a priest is timing.


Two thoughts here.

Most melees do not like chasing mobs that are ping-ponging around among party members. Its generally best to avoid this. Unlike games like DaoC, there is no /stick command that keeps a melee stuck to a target automactically. Your tanks and rogues will appreciate it more if you did not draw agro unneccessarily.

And secondly, Power word Shield is not an efficent use of mana. You really want to limit using it. I use it in two situations (when grouping).
1) save someone's butt. if a caster is getting beat on fast and a heal will not be fast enough, drop a shield on them (since it is insta cast), then follow up with a heal. 2) cast it on a pulling tank because you should be able to regen most of the spent mana back before you start toss out spells. In the situation you describe you are better off casting a heal on yourself than using power word shield because it would be much more efficent.

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I'm also going to be focusing on the Shadow talent tree, which I would recommend for most priests as well. Healing is all well and good, but the fact is that a priest is the best healer of the game, even if they don't focus on the Healing talent tree. And, since I do enjoy soloing as well as grouping (I'd say my time breaks down at about 50/50) the damage spells can be lots of fun, as well as all the neat side effects. There are plenty of good effects in the Discipline talents as well.


Actually, if you look at the numbers, a healing specced shaman or druid are better healers than a shadow specced priest.

When you are doing tough elite instances (which is really the heart and soul of this game by they way), you are not going to have the time or mana to do much but heal (if you are designated as the primary healer of the group). What that means is that all your spec points in shadow are now worthless, because you can not do what those talents benifit, nuke.

A holy specced priests heals faster, uses less mana, heals more per heal, and generate 20% less agro. Trust me, that will be the difference between wipe and no-wipe more times than you seem to think.

Don't get me wrong, a shadow-specced priest is fun class to play and if left to choose between no priest or a shadow-specced priest, they will pick a priest. They can solo very well and are awesome in 1vs1 PvP. They can heal and res and shield. If you solo a lot, its definately something to consider. Just don't expect to get the same "respect" you are getting now when you reach the end-game. Because then, its those holy-specced priest that people are generally falling over to get in their groups.
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Butterknife
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2004, 07:34:30 PM »

So what are you telling me, Toe, that I'm doing it all wrong?!?! Grrrr.

Just kidding slywink  Anyway, World of Warcraft is my first Massively Multiplayer game, so feel free to disagree.  I hope I didn't come across as a know-it-all, and I appreciate all of the good advice.

I would agree that going straight holy is playing to a priest's strengths, which is always good in games like this.  But, it also makes you a one-trick wonder.  Yeah, you can heal, but that's really what you do.  So, by the end of the game, you are pretty much only playing grouped and to me that just wouldn't be fun.  For a power-levelling, hardcore kind of person (like you sound to be) I would pick what you advise.

I'm a casual gamer (as much as anyone who can be who posts here) and I like to "have fun" with my games, which isn't an insult, it just means I will often spend loads of time just doing boring stuff that doesn't actually increase my levels or skills.  Sure, a Holy Priest is better at their "job", but for me I think that a Shadow priest is more fun.  Considering the number of healers running around, I think a group will take whatever kind of healer they can get, Druid, Shaman, whatever, and I don't see that changing by the late game.  Naturally, if you have a choice, you will pick the Holy guy over the Shadow guy, but I can live with that in order to have a greater likelihood of getting to the late game at all.  If I stop having fun, then I'll stop playing -- and like Lockdown said in the other thread, staring at people's hit point bars for 75% of the time just isn't all that fun.

Your tactical advice during battles is great stuff.  The "ping-ponging" thing is something I've never seen, typically I don't draw a monster off of a tank unless the tank is almost dead, at which point there isn't much choice -- casting the heal is what draws the monster off.  I just try to get a shield up before it gets to me.  I don't know why I never thought to shield the tank before he goes into battle, that is a particularly good idea.
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Toe
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2004, 08:27:32 PM »

Quote from: "Butterknife"
So what are you telling me, Toe, that I'm doing it all wrong?!?! Grrrr.

Just kidding slywink  Anyway, World of Warcraft is my first Massively Multiplayer game, so feel free to disagree.  I hope I didn't come across as a know-it-all, and I appreciate all of the good advice.


No problem.

Quote
I would agree that going straight holy is playing to a priest's strengths, which is always good in games like this.  But, it also makes you a one-trick wonder.  


Not really. Because what I said about holy-specced priest and group healing, you can just turn around for shadow-specced priest and nuking. Mean, a holy specced priest has access to most all of the damage spells a shadow priest does. They can nuke and solo effectively, just not on par with a shadow specced priest. The holy line even offers a few offensive tweaks if someone wanted to take those. So holy priest is really not a one-trick wonder.

Quote
Yeah, you can heal, but that's really what you do.  So, by the end of the game, you are pretty much only playing grouped and to me that just wouldn't be fun.  For a power-levelling, hardcore kind of person (like you sound to be) I would pick what you advise.


Hehe, "power-levelling, hardcore" are about the last two things most people use to describe me. I do like to play, don't get me wrong. But I do have a job and a wife that need attention. smile As for hardcore, the only thing I am hardcore about is roleplaying. Hehe. I am an avid dwarven roleplayer and you will never find me out of character in game.

Quote
I'm a casual gamer (as much as anyone who can be who posts here) and I like to "have fun" with my games, which isn't an insult, it just means I will often spend loads of time just doing boring stuff that doesn't actually increase my levels or skills.  Sure, a Holy Priest is better at their "job", but for me I think that a Shadow priest is more fun.  Considering the number of healers running around, I think a group will take whatever kind of healer they can get, Druid, Shaman, whatever, and I don't see that changing by the late game.  Naturally, if you have a choice, you will pick the Holy guy over the Shadow guy, but I can live with that in order to have a greater likelihood of getting to the late game at all.  If I stop having fun, then I'll stop playing -- and like Lockdown said in the other thread, staring at people's hit point bars for 75% of the time just isn't all that fun.


Whats fun (for me) is when my group faces a particularly tough battle and we barely survive, using every last ability we can.

Last night i was with a rather inexperienced group between 16-20 and we did a Deadmine run (an elite dungeon). Two battles in particular we barely survived. Had I not had 10% bonus to each heal (due to being holy specced) there was a good chance we would have died those encounters. Thats how close they were.  

After that little raid, 4 players added me to their friends list. Two sent me tells later saying how great a healer I was. That is fun smile. If I was shadow-specced, we might have died one of those 2 times and then they would not have been sending me tells slywink.

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Your tactical advice during battles is great stuff.  The "ping-ponging" thing is something I've never seen, typically I don't draw a monster off of a tank unless the tank is almost dead, at which point there isn't much choice -- casting the heal is what draws the monster off.  I just try to get a shield up before it gets to me.  I don't know why I never thought to shield the tank before he goes into battle, that is a particularly good idea


One thing about shielding the tank prior to a pull, be sure he knows what it means. Hehe. Often with new players they do not realize that our shield only last a short time and will just stand around while it burns away.

Also, not sure if you use Cosmos yet (the user interface customized mod) but I highly recommend you get that puppy. The extra bars are a godsend to a priest (and I am sure to other classes as well). I set up macros for /v inc, /v oom, and /v help and put them on a side bar for quick access. The /v makes them vocal so your characters says "Help" and other can hear him. I found this helps a lot because often players do not realize you are getting attacked (when they probably should, but thats another story smile)
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Lockdown
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2004, 08:45:01 PM »

I apologize ahead of time for getting off topic, but this is something that I really am interested in:

Using Cosmos....  

Can I create as many quick bars as I want?
Can I place them anywhere I want on my screen?
Can I place them verticle instead of horizontal?
Can I "dim" them so they don't appear until I scroll over them with my mouse?

I got the other custom UI interface (gypsymod), which I love, but I think it only adds one extra toolbar, and I don't think I can seperate them and place them verticle.

Thanks, and great posts by everyone.

LD
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2004, 08:46:10 PM »

I like to play healing class characters in MMOs as well.  Like you, I seem to get a personal enjoyment out of helping out everyone I can.  Great post   biggrin
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Butterknife
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2004, 08:56:32 PM »

Cosmos is awesome!  I'm already using it, it is fantastic.  I'd really recommend it for any character -- I don't think a shaman could even play without it.

Forgive me for the "newbie" question, but what does "inc" mean?  I understand "oom" is out of mana, and "help" is obvious.  Maybe I should set up a macro for "run" slywink  I didn't know about the verbal command, that is particularly good advice.  I've already noticed that you can make your character laugh in game by typing the right stuff, which is just downright cool.

One last thing -- I've got 5 talent points saved up (level 14) and I haven't spent any of them yet, so if you talk me into playing a Holy priest and it isn't fun, well, feel my wrath!  Actually, I had my mind pretty much made up, but now after talking to you, I'm not so sure.  Any other thoughts on this?  I'd try both, but unlike my beloved single-player games I can't just add a new save slot, and I'm unwilling to spend the time at this point.
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2004, 09:06:51 PM »

Butter, "Inc" typically is short for "Incoming" as in incoming mob that the group has pulled.
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leo8877
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2004, 09:54:48 PM »

I have this to say, random buffs cast on me are appreciated.  This goes for you too Druids!  biggrin
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2004, 02:19:35 AM »

Quote from: "Butterknife"
Cosmos is awesome!  I'm already using it, it is fantastic.  I'd really recommend it for any character -- I don't think a shaman could even play without it.

I saw the 'thumper' refered to, but how does it work?  How do you set it up?

Quote
One last thing -- I've got 5 talent points saved up (level 14) and I haven't spent any of them yet, so if you talk me into playing a Holy priest and it isn't fun, well, feel my wrath!  Actually, I had my mind pretty much made up, but now after talking to you, I'm not so sure.  Any other thoughts on this?  I'd try both, but unlike my beloved single-player games I can't just add a new save slot, and I'm unwilling to spend the time at this point.

Go over here and see what kind of spec 'end result' you are happy with.  IMO its nice, because if you get to half way on one spec and either find you like that more, or like it less, you can just jump to your other line and fully spec that one instead.  Personally, I only plan on doing half Holy, not full (will likely go full Discipline, and probably no Shadow).

Another thing to remember- you cal always 'respec' your character at some time in the future.  Ive heard it will get more expensive the more you respec, but is there any price cap?

[edit] also, dont forget to list your character.
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zinckiwi
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2004, 02:31:49 AM »

The talent respec, as far as I know, costs 1 gold the first time, 5 gold the second, then 5 more gold each time after that (10 the third, 15 the fourth etc.) Haven't heard of any cap.
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Toe
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2004, 12:18:43 PM »

I use the /v inc (incoming) for wandering mobs that are approaching our party that others might not be aware of.

There is a whole list of /v (vocal) commands that you can either click directly from the standard interface or type in. To see these, left click on the little chat bubble in the upper left corner of the chat window. Then go to Speach. That is the list of all the availabe vocal commands.

Cosmos adds row of 10 buttons above your standard bar, another row of 10 buttons to right above the interface bar which, when you mouse over pop ups another row of 10 above it, and it puts two 6 button bars on the left and right side of the screen. You can move those around vertically inside the configuration setting for cosmos. You can turn off, and I think adjust the opacity, of all of these. I did not see an option to make them invisible until moused over though, but I did not look for that option.


Quote
One last thing -- I've got 5 talent points saved up (level 14) and I haven't spent any of them yet, so if you talk me into playing a Holy priest and it isn't fun, well, feel my wrath!


The first talent respect cost, 1 gold, is not a huge amount really. At level 20, i can get that farming mobs or fishing during 1 evening session if I forgo travelling (questing).  

But you for sure do not want to waste it friviously. 5 gold to a level 60 really isn't that much either. So think about it like you have 2 respecs and plan accordingly. Many priest like to go shadow and solo mostly up to higher levels (like 40ish but sometimes all the way to 60th) then respec to holy since your primary means of fun is going to be those tough instances then.
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Butterknife
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2004, 03:53:57 PM »

I didn't know you could change all of your talent points around halfway through the game, that is very cool.

Obviously that won't happen any time soon, though, so I guess I'm going to have to make a choice.  For now I think I'll go with the first few points in Discipline talents, and I'll go from there.
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Toe
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2004, 04:46:51 PM »

Quote from: "Butterknife"
I didn't know you could change all of your talent points around halfway through the game, that is very cool.

Obviously that won't happen any time soon, though, so I guess I'm going to have to make a choice.  For now I think I'll go with the first few points in Discipline talents, and I'll go from there.


Yeah, you can't go wrong with a little discipline. smile

If you are going to be a holy priest of shadow priest, most of those builds have some points in Discipline anyway. I think up to that one talent that increases your mana pool, forget the name.
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2004, 07:57:24 PM »

Is Divine vs/ Shadow the WoW equivalent of the "are non-empathy defenders worth playing?"  Because I really enjoyed playing a defensive/support character that wasn't just healing on City of Heroes, and I wasn't aware that WoW had an equivalent.
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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2004, 08:06:04 PM »

Quote from: "ChrisGwinn"
Is Divine vs/ Shadow the WoW equivalent of the "are non-empathy defenders worth playing?"  Because I really enjoyed playing a defensive/support character that wasn't just healing on City of Heroes, and I wasn't aware that WoW had an equivalent.

Not to that same extreme.  If you played a shadow priest you'd still have a lot of healing power, just not quite as good as a priest that went healing all the way.

s
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2004, 06:11:06 AM »

Its more like the "Smite Cleric vs. Healing Cleric" debate from DAoC, but not as fierce, since, as has been pointed out, a non-healer focused Priest is still an adequate healer.
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2004, 03:27:05 PM »

Oh well, I was really hoping for another online game with some more unusual ability sets.  Is there anything like that in WoW, or is it all pretty standard?
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2004, 03:39:57 PM »

Quote from: "ChrisGwinn"
Oh well, I was really hoping for another online game with some more unusual ability sets.  Is there anything like that in WoW, or is it all pretty standard?


Thottbot has a little interactive talent tool. You can use it to see all of the available talents (as well as plan on a particular build). There are 3 different talent trees for the preist, you can access the other two by clicking on the links in the bottom left corner of the tool.

http://www.thottbot.com/?ti=Priest

There are some talents that grant abilites in each of the trees.
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2004, 10:17:32 PM »

The thing which makes the Thottbot one inferior to the WoWVault version is that Thottbot doesnt have the "dependency" arrows!  I dont know whether the dependencies work (and just have the arrows missing), but it could lead to inaccurate builds.
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Butterknife
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2004, 05:55:09 PM »

Overall, though Thottbot's database is vastly superior superior to the one at WoWVault on ign.  The talent tool is a small thing, Thottbot is so awesome when playing I can't recommend it enough, if you, like me, hate to wander around lost.
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Butterknife
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« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2004, 04:55:20 PM »

It's been over two weeks now and I've made it to level 20 (yeah, I'm slow), so here are some new thoughts on how it is going to play a priest.

I decided on going with the Discipline skill tree.  Discipline is kind of a middle-of-the-road tree for a priest, between the Healing tree and the damage dealing Shadow tree.  I have currently put talent points into the following skills:

Silent Resolve 5 points -- Reduces threat generated by damage spells by 20%.  I made a mistake with Silent Resolve, I should've picked Unbreakable Will (reduces chance to be stunned, feared, or silenced by 15%).  It only reduces threat from damage spells, and when I'm in a group I'm casting healing spells, not damage spells, so I generate threat anyway.  When I'm soloing, threat doesn't matter.  When I "nuke"

Improved Power Word: Shield 3 points -- Reduces duration of weakened souls effect by 15 seconds.  This skill is awesome!  It comes into it's own while soloing, Shield absorbs damage while being attacked and this lets me cast it every 15 seconds if need be.  While soloing this is the best way to get some spells off.

Improved Power Word: Fortitude 2 points -- Increases effect of Fortitude spell by 30%.  Nice, but my feelings are lukewarm.  I think it will pay off in the long run.  At my current level, it gives fortitude an extra 2 points of effect, so effectively an extra 20 hitpoints to whomever I cast it on.

Mental Agility 1 point -- Reduces mana cost of instant-cast spells by 2%.  Not such a big difference now, but I'm going to keep putting points in it.  I didn't really realize just how many instant-cast spells I really have, but I have quite a few, and this makes a difference on many of my spells.

I noticed while looking at several other profiles on Thottbot for priests that nobody was using the one-handed mace and orb combination that I was using to fight.  Everyone was using staves.  So I put together some cash, made the trip to Thunder Bluff, and bought myself a decent staff.  It has made a world of difference while soloing!  As a priest you fall on your "Plan B" attack pretty much every battle, and I now hit for twice as much damage, not to mention having the +4 to intellect and +4 to spirit.

Mainly I shop for my items at the Auction House, I have a couple items from quests but this seems the best way to get what I want.  Items I want typically have plus to intellect (more mana) and plus to spirit (faster regeneration).  The focus of my character is regeneration -- I love healing while I fight and so I keep up my spirit as much as possible.  This made a world of difference last night, I kept drawing enemies a few levels below me and somehow managed to fight for 10 minutes straight, no respite to recharge mana or health.  I couldn't believe it when I survived (and hope not to do that again any time soon).  Thank you, Spirit skill!

I had 8 new spells available when I levelled to 20, but I had been saving up my cash and could afford almost all of them (I didn't get Shackle Undead yet, I will at some point but I haven't fought any undead lately and it seems almost useless).  As far as cash goes, Alchemy is starting to come into it's own.  I have healing and mana potions whenever I need them (and I use them often enough).  Also the extra buffs before a hard dungeon are worth it, assuming you remember to use them.  And, assuming that you don't die.  

I have found that Potions of Giant Strength sell well at auction (about 10s per stack of 5) and they are easy for me to get ingredients for, but I am starting to get to the point where that amount isn't worth it so I am trying to find a new "money-maker" potion to focus on.  Not all potions sell well, some of them you have to give away.  At this point I get more money off of loot and quests, but I still find time to fish.  I even spent the gold piece on the Expert fishing book, we'll see how that goes later.

I am very much enjoying the "nice guy" approach to playing, throwing buffs on random people, resurrecting everyone I see die, healing people fighting near me, etc.  People are generally nice, I am still having a relatively easy time finding groups.  At this point I'm glad I'm on a high-population server, it would be much more difficult to find groups on a low-population server (and that much harder to play a priest).  Last night a warrior entering the Wailing Caverns told me he didn't want to group.  I was on a collection quest, so I decided to just follow him and heal him while he fought (since he was clearing things out for me, and I could get to the plants easier).  After two battles he threw me a group invite -- obviously I'd either proved my worth or he was feeling guilty about getting all the loot and experience. smile
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Toe
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« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2004, 06:34:19 PM »

Quote from: "Butterknife"
It's been over two weeks now and I've made it to level 20 (yeah, I'm slow), so here are some new thoughts on how it is going to play a priest.smile


Thats not slow. Seriously, never feel you have to rush to "get to the good stuff". WoW is a different beast than any other MMOL game out there (in my opinion). Definately worth it to "smell the roses".

Quote
I decided on going with the Discipline skill tree.  Discipline is kind of a middle-of-the-road tree for a priest, between the Healing tree and the damage dealing Shadow tree.  I have currently put talent points into the following skills:


Yeah, its a respectable tree and definately has a few goodies in it.

Quote
Silent Resolve 5 points -- Reduces threat generated by damage spells by 20%.  I made a mistake with Silent Resolve, I should've picked Unbreakable Will (reduces chance to be stunned, feared, or silenced by 15%).  It only reduces threat from damage spells, and when I'm in a group I'm casting healing spells, not damage spells, so I generate threat anyway.  When I'm soloing, threat doesn't matter.  When I "nuke"


I went straight holy for most of my 31 levels, but decided after I got the threat reducing one (for healing spells) maxxed, to start bringing up my secondary line (which is Discipline) some. Next level I will start putting 3 points into the following talent....

Quote
Improved Power Word: Shield 3 points -- Reduces duration of weakened souls effect by 15 seconds.  This skill is awesome!  It comes into it's own while soloing, Shield absorbs damage while being attacked and this lets me cast it every 15 seconds if need be.  While soloing this is the best way to get some spells off.


Yeah, this is a great talent and definately one of the "must haves" no matter what build you end up staying with.

It still is a mana hog even if you max out Mental Agility, so not something I use a lot. My normal solo routine for even cons or +1-2 higher (at level 31) is to Shield myself before the pull and blast away with Smite and Mind Blast until they knock through the shield, then melee the mob the rest of way, using Mind Blast as it recycles. On lower level mobs I usually do not worry about shield, as its more mana efficient (although takes longer) to just Smite, Mind Blast, DoT, melee. Then Renew and re-DoT as needed, maybe throw in another Mind Blast.

Quote
I noticed while looking at several other profiles on Thottbot for priests that nobody was using the one-handed mace and orb combination that I was using to fight.  Everyone was using staves.  So I put together some cash, made the trip to Thunder Bluff, and bought myself a decent staff.  It has made a world of difference while soloing!  As a priest you fall on your "Plan B" attack pretty much every battle, and I now hit for twice as much damage, not to mention having the +4 to intellect and +4 to spirit.


Staves are the way to go for priests. Staves just plain kick the crap out of 1-handed mace (or dagger) and off-hand item in both total +'s to attributes and DPS. Meaning even with an awesome 1-handed weapon and off-hand item, you are not going to equal the bonuses from a great staff. Here is what I am using (got it at 20th level from the first Alliance instances as a quest reward)..http://www.thottbot.com/?i=2273

Some priest, however, like to go dagger because if you get a fast one, you can often get hits in between wand blast, which is pretty nice.

I try to keep all 3 up (and wands) to decent levels just in case I run across something nice.

Quote
Mainly I shop for my items at the Auction House, I have a couple items from quests but this seems the best way to get what I want.  Items I want typically have plus to intellect (more mana) and plus to spirit (faster regeneration).  The focus of my character is regeneration -- I love healing while I fight and so I keep up my spirit as much as possible.  This made a world of difference last night, I kept drawing enemies a few levels below me and somehow managed to fight for 10 minutes straight, no respite to recharge mana or health.  I couldn't believe it when I survived (and hope not to do that again any time soon).  Thank you, Spirit skill!


Spirit is very nice, but I am not sure if you are aware, but Blizzard toned down the regeneration you gain from Spirit as you get a lot of it. So +spirit items do give diminishing returns the more you get. Although at lower levels you will not notice, so go go spirit. smile Luckily, anything with +spirit on it usually has other good stuff like +intellect or +stamina which do not have diminishing returns.

Quote
I had 8 new spells available when I levelled to 20, but I had been saving up my cash and could afford almost all of them (I didn't get Shackle Undead yet, I will at some point but I haven't fought any undead lately and it seems almost useless).  As far as cash goes, Alchemy is starting to come into it's own.  I have healing and mana potions whenever I need them (and I use them often enough).  Also the extra buffs before a hard dungeon are worth it, assuming you remember to use them.  And, assuming that you don't die.

I have found that Potions of Giant Strength sell well at auction (about 10s per stack of 5) and they are easy for me to get ingredients for, but I am starting to get to the point where that amount isn't worth it so I am trying to find a new "money-maker" potion to focus on.  Not all potions sell well, some of them you have to give away.  At this point I get more money off of loot and quests, but I still find time to fish.  I even spent the gold piece on the Expert fishing book, we'll see how that goes later.
 

Hehe, that funny because I did the exact same thing (could not afford shackle when I turned 20th). Keep sticking with Alchemy. I know a lot is dependant on your server (and how many other Alchemist are trying to make a buck) but as I mentioned in a previous thread, Elixers of Defense (needed for some tailoring recipe i believe) sell great in stacks of 2. And Greater Healing potions still sell very well for me. I am up to 32 gold now, most of it coming from potion sells. I would give you some pointers are how (and where) I harvest plants for these potions but since you are Horde it prolly will not be relevant. Be sure to search for the herbs you need in Thottbot and go to the Map link. It will show you the spots they can spawn. Good stuff.

I assume the Horde has a fishing location similar to Metheril Harbor in the Wetlands. These coastal waters bring up a fairly decent supply of Oily Blackmouth and Firefin Snappers which can be used to further your alchemy skill. Also you can take a break and go search the nearby waters for Stranglekelp which is good for lots of recipes.

Quote
I am very much enjoying the "nice guy" approach to playing, throwing buffs on random people, resurrecting everyone I see die, healing people fighting near me, etc.  People are generally nice, I am still having a relatively easy time finding groups.  At this point I'm glad I'm on a high-population server, it would be much more difficult to find groups on a low-population server (and that much harder to play a priest).  Last night a warrior entering the Wailing Caverns told me he didn't want to group.  I was on a collection quest, so I decided to just follow him and heal him while he fought (since he was clearing things out for me, and I could get to the plants easier).  After two battles he threw me a group invite -- obviously I'd either proved my worth or he was feeling guilty about getting all the loot and experience. smile


I really have not been that focused on finding groups. When I need one for a tough quest or an instance, I will annouce that I am forming one and usually can get something going pretty quickly.

If someone says they need a priest for a group, I tend to be a bit picky. I want to know who all is in the group in terms of classes and levels. If we don't have a tank, I usually pass. If we are doing a more difficult area where we will be fighting tough mobs in groups of 2-3, I want a mage in the group.  

For those odd-ball groups (that often can lead to frustration) I tend to stick with guild and alliance people since its more than likely to be fun no matter what happens. [/quote]
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Butterknife
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« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2004, 09:14:11 PM »

Toe, your staff is awesome (not that kind of staff perverts!).  I'm very jealous.  If I were playing alliance, I'd go on that quest tonight.  Since I'm not, I'm just going to have to stay with this staff which I got at auction for a reasonable price.
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« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2004, 01:14:25 PM »

O.K.

After reading through this thread multiple times, and being convinced that not everyone in the world is a moron, and playing a Priest could be fun, I went ahead and made one (again).

My story is sort of funny.  My main character in the game is a level 17 Night Elf Hunter.  Totally insanely awesome character.  Between my pet and I, the damage and safety of attacks is just fantastic.  There are however three problems with this character.  One is that the whole world is full of hunters.  Two is that fighting is getting rather bland.  Send in the pet, shoot arrows, win the battle, next opponent.  And three, the only way to ever really assist someone without helping them kill, is to reinforce their armor.  The hunter is very "me" oriented.

So, I went to the roleplaying server and created the very first character I wanted to play, a female Night Elf Priestess.  She is now level 13.  Because I am on a roleplaying server, the intelligence of the average gamer seems to be much higher (at least I am assuming this is the reason).  I have made some wonderful contacts and adventuring partners from time to time.  Soloing is incredibly challenging compared to my Hunter, and since I don't care one lick how fast I level up, I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

Thanks to everyone in this thread for your encouraging words regarding the Priest.  I STILL think it takes a special kind of person to play one, but I am certainly enjoying it much more now that I can apprectiate the challenges it brings.  And I love the talent trees.  All 3 of them are cool.  I have no clue whatsoever how I will spec. her yet.

By Elune's Grace,

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Ibby
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« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2004, 06:55:47 PM »

I've enjoyed playing my Level 25 NE Priest.  I've been splitting my talent points between shadow and holy, but I'm sure I'll be respeccing later on.
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Toe
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« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2004, 07:21:15 PM »

Quote from: "Butterknife"
Toe, your staff is awesome (not that kind of staff perverts!).  I'm very jealous.  If I were playing alliance, I'd go on that quest tonight.  Since I'm not, I'm just going to have to stay with this staff which I got at auction for a reasonable price.


I just did a little search and found that the horde has a similar staff reward for this first instances...

http://www.thottbot.com/?q=626

So get cracking! so you can get to cracking some skulls with that staff. smile
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Butterknife
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« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2004, 07:37:53 PM »

I just picked up that quest last night!

A staff that has +7 to stamina, intellect, and spirit!  And, it's got a nice smack to it too!  I'm drooling over it all right.  Just have to find the proper group for it.  smile
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jpinard
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« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2004, 11:56:28 AM »

Butterknife (and tohers) what servers are you on?
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Toe
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« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2004, 12:44:02 PM »

I am on Cenarion Circle server (roleplaying, regular type)
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jpinard
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« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2004, 12:46:00 PM »

That's what I'm on!
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« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2004, 12:46:15 PM »

That's what I'm on!
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Toe
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« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2004, 02:40:27 PM »

Badaf is my priest's name. He is who I am playing the most right now. He is almost 33rd level.

I bit the bullet last night and respecced my talents.

I mainly was holy specced, but I am just not having a lot of luck finding groups at the moment. I am not really looking very hard, but I just hate sitting around waiting for anything, so I hit the road and go out and solo more often than not.

So I decided to go with a tri-spec that focuses on shadow initially (for soloing) then bring up holy and discipline (for grouping).

Here is my idea for my end spec...

Shadow Total: 18
Spirit Tap Rank 5
Blackout Rank 3
Improved Shadow Word: Pain Rank 2
Improved Mind Blast Rank 5
Mind Flay Rank 1
Improved Fade Rank 2

Discipline Total: 8
Unbreakable Will Rank 5
Improved Power Word: Shield Rank 3

Holy Total: 22
Improved Renew Rank 5
Spiritual Healing Rank 5
Subtlety Rank 5
Improved Healing Rank 5
Improved Flash Heal Rank 2

Total
Total Points Spent: 48
Level Required: 57

I call this spec my "Survivor" spec. Meaning, specced to survive getting agro in a group situation. With Subtlety for threat reduction on heals, Improved Flash for channel bonus when being hit,  Improve Fade 2,  and Improved Power Word: Shield, I have all the best tools to avoid getting agro when healing, and surviving when I do get it.

My last 3 points are what I have trouble decideing on. Silence in the shadow line is pretty nice and great for PvP (although I am not on a PvP server, I think the battlegrounds will be a blast, so I plan on doing that some at least). That would cost 3 points to get. Or, I could get Martydom and Focus Casting in the Discipline line, which would fit more with the "survivor" aspect of this build.

Since I am 32 now, I have all the shadow talents I have listed and 5 in the holy line already. I think I will max out Subtlety, then get the 8 in Discipline for maxxed Improved PW:S, the finish out Holy, then decide where I am going to put those last 3 points.
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Butterknife
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« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2004, 03:56:46 PM »

Plenty of time to decide where to put the last 3 points, before level 57 slywink

That is a very interesting build you have there.  I think a priest who solos a lot (like I do) needs to seriously consider both the discipline talents, and the pain talents.  I think your build is a good one.

I'm currently playing a level 20 troll priest named Follicle on the Doomhammer server.  Guess I should put my character's name and stats in the thread for it.  However, I have about 6 other characters (yes, 6) on the same server and I am playing all of them off and on, so don't expect me to be levelling at a "normal" rate.
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Toe
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« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2004, 04:53:54 PM »

Quote from: "Butterknife"
I'm currently playing a level 20 troll priest named Follicle on the Doomhammer server.  Guess I should put my character's name and stats in the thread for it.  However, I have about 6 other characters (yes, 6) on the same server and I am playing all of them off and on, so don't expect me to be levelling at a "normal" rate.


Hehe, i have lots of characters also. I really really want to play them also, but I am holding myself back because I want to get my priest up to 40th and get his mount, then funnel some cash/items to my horde of alts. Yes, I like twinking my alts out. I like them having four 8 or 10 slot bags. I like them training in all their available weapons and being able to afford all skills when they can get them. I know some people do not like to play that way, but I like it. I also want that mount cause it will allow me to harvest herbs a lot faster and easier.
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« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2004, 02:02:55 PM »

I have a priest to 8 and so far I have to say it's one of the least impressive characters I have played.  I have played hunter, warlock, warrior, and rogue to the low teens and they were all better soloer's by a large margin and more....robust.  Maybe the priest comes into their own later.  Obviously I have just scratched the surface of the character at this point.
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Scott
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« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2004, 03:13:13 PM »

Quote
I have a priest to 8 and so far I have to say it's one of the least impressive characters I have played. I have played hunter, warlock, warrior, and rogue to the low teens and they were all better soloer's by a large margin and more....robust. Maybe the priest comes into their own later. Obviously I have just scratched the surface of the character at this point.


You will be one of the most popular characters in the guild and most areas as a priest though, or the warrior as well smile.

The hunter is a great solo class, but I think not terribly useful in efficient groups.  Rogues are a lot of fun though.
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Toe
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« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2004, 03:17:08 PM »

Quote from: "Jafisob"
I have a priest to 8 and so far I have to say it's one of the least impressive characters I have played.  I have played hunter, warlock, warrior, and rogue to the low teens and they were all better soloer's by a large margin and more....robust.  Maybe the priest comes into their own later.  Obviously I have just scratched the surface of the character at this point.


Yeah, priest are definately slow starters. But you seem to get a new ability just about ever 2 levels (although there are some levels where you just get upgrades). Right now I have two hotbars (24 total hotkeys) full of priest spells/abilites. Some are situational (like Shackle Undead for example) but still, lots of stuff to use. I can definately solo better than a warrior at my current level and probably a warlock also (but no where close to a hunter).
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Toe
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« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2004, 07:10:35 PM »

Welp, I hit 40th this weekend. 9 days, 1 hour played.

Most of this was done soloing quests. I had a few instances runs of the Deadmines and Stockade and did the 1st 3rd of the Scarlet Monestary. I did do some grouping on occassion to complete some of the more difficult non-instance quests, like some in Stormgard keep.

I tried to grind some around 37th-38th. I did what was recommended, which is basically chain-pull mobs 1-2 levels lower than yourself. I did that, but the exp gain just was not cutting it I felt. Quests seemed to be the best option.

My build listed a few post above is doing well. My shadow tree is filled out as listed above and I am 1 or 2 points from maxxing out Subtelty in the Holy line. At that point I am going to go ahead and put the next 8 points into the Discipline line for Improved Power World: Shield. I am pleased with my build at this point. It works awesome soloing, great for duoing, and good in groups.

The biggest suprise i guess is that Mind Flay (in the Shadow line) has proven much more useful in group situations than I would have figured. With the tons of paladins around and few warriors, I find that often my Mind Flay is the only thing that is slowing down runners. (warriors have Hamstring which slows time down). When the crap hits the fan, most of the time its due to a runner getting away.

I spent a lot of time on tradeskills. Got fishing and cooking up to 225, herbilism is at like 280 and alchemey is at around 260. When i dinged 40th I had 135 gold. That came almost entirely from making and selling potions. smile After getting my mount, new skills, philosipher's stone, all the alchemist recipes from trainer, etc, i was down to 20 gold. frown But now, i ride. slywink  

Completed the Artisian fishing quest last night so now can work up fishing to 300. Plan on working on the cooking artisian quest tonight (need 12 giant eggs which will take a lot of killing of rocs in Tanaris). Fishing and cooking go hand in hand cause you keep fishing up better fish that you can use to increase your cooking skill.
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