Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So You Rolled A Priest...

So you rolled a priest. Maybe, like me, you just wanted to try something else. Maybe your raid needs a healer. Maybe this is your first character! Now you're level ten and staring at your talent trees.

This is intended as a leveling guide, not an end-game guide. Spell rotations and specs will reflect that.

Priest Specs-The Basics
Ask yourself several questions.
-What do I want to do with this character?
-Do I mostly want to heal? Do I mostly want to DPS?
-Do I want to PvP, or focus on PvE?
-Am I going to be soloing, duoing, or instancing my way to 80?
-How crazy am I?

Shadow is considered by many to be the 'default' leveling spec and is arguably the fastest. If you plan on mostly DPSing and/or mostly soloing, this is likely the route you'll take. You will likely get asked to heal as shadow, because people are silly like that. If you don't mind, it's entirely possible to heal as shadow until fairly close to end game.

Holy is a healing spec. If you plan on soloing/questing, this is...probably not the way to go. If you want to level primarily through instance groups or with a friend, holy is fine. Learning as you go is a great way to get a handle on healing and you probably won't lack for groups!

Disc is another healing spec, and my personal favorite (warning: bias ahead!). It's good for healing in PvE, with some different talents it's also great for healing in PvP. I leveled as disc on a PvP server and not only was I durable, I was dangerous! If you want to heal instances but know you'll be doing a lot of questing on your own, disc might be for you. And you get to heal with pew pew lazers later on. :D

Regardless of your spec, you're likely going to want to take points in Spirit Tap in the Shadow tree. I didn't, but I'm nuts. I'll post leveling specs when I can get home and can actually look at the talent calculator. :o For now I'll throw up what I've got.

Disc Specs: Here is one leveling path... I put all my points into disc to start and only went into holy later.
Holy Spec: How about this one? I don't know, the mere idea of a holy leveling spec kind of broke my mind.
Shadow Spec: coming!

Spell Rotations
As Disc, my DPS rotation while questing was as follows:
Shield > Holy Fire > Shadow Word:Pain > Devouring Plague > Mind Blast
If mob was at less than 50% health, then I'd wand them to death for mana conservation. If it was not, then I'd bust out the smite until it was. At higher levels, PW: Death is great to finish things off as long as you're careful. It might seem a little slower to wand things to death, but you save time drinking, so it evens out.
While duoing, I holy smite everything I can just because it's funny. My tank is less amused, but tossing dots up on whatever he's aoe tanking does help things go faster.
Can you lolsmite DPS in groups? Yes. Are you going to do awesome DPS? No. Does it matter in Maraudon? Not really.

Holy would switch up the disc rotation a bit. Or more than a bit, I suppose. Er. Here!:
Holy Fire > Smite > PW:S > Smite > Smite
Toss SW:P and Devouring Plague up for tougher mobs that will live long enough for the DoTs to be worth it.

I picked the brain of a shadow priest or two or four, and came out with the following rotation:
Vampiric Embrace > SW:P > Vampiric Touch > Mind Blast > Mind Flay
Use SW:Death judiciously, as always, and use MB in between MFs when it's off cooldown. Rotations are a bit different for max DPS in groups, and you'll want to keep your DoTs refreshed, but that's getting into stuff a little too complicated for this disc priest and her healing-focused blog.

Don't forget to keep Inner Fire up!

Leveling gear is generally whatever the hell you can grab. With today's quicker leveling until 70, the gear you get before hand isn't terribly important. You're usually looking for stamina, intellect, spirit, and spellpower on your lower level greens. Later on you might pick up some peices with mp5 and crit.

What you want to focus on depends on your build. A holy priest is more focused on spirit/mp5 than a disc priest, who is likely going to lean more towards int/crit. A player on a pvp server might want a bit more stm.

For shadow, you'll want to pick up some hit gear where you can. Spellpower, crit, and haste are what you're after next, in that order. For all specs I'd consider haste the least of your concerns until nearer end-game, however.

If you get a peice with gem sockets, look at what gear you have now. What are you missing? If you have a lot of mp5 peices, consider crit gems. Int gems are always good. Spirit for holy, etc. Don't spend too much money on gems sub 70, because you're likely to replace the gear soon. On your way to 80 the gear replacement slows down...a little. That said, Lyr's had three different weapons in 2 levels.

Sources: the many fine players of the wow_ladies community! <3

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