Monday, June 6, 2011

A Wild Priestling Appears!

Healing is something that I have enjoyed since discovering my Resto Shaman back in TBC. I will admit the demand Sunwell had for Shamans probably played a part in that (it’s nice to be wanted). Regardless though, the act of keeping those health bars full is what I enjoy doing in this game. This has lead me to venture off into other realms of healing to see how green the grass really was. Such ventures ended with me switching my main to my Paladin for Cataclysm, while others have just been plain frustrating (I’ve yet to go back to Druid healing…someday maybe).

I had wanted to level a Priest almost all through Wrath but I held off for some reason. Ultimately I decided I wanted to save the class to be my Worgen character. After finishing the paladin, the Mrs and I began the alt leveling. The Worgen starting zone was quite fun (aside from totally missing the profession trainers…oops!) as well as the new Cataclysm leveling experience. With the lowered requirements for Dual specs, I opted to have a healing spec for random dungeons and shadow for questing. The healing changes we have seen in Cataclysm start early, which surprised me. I thought I could get away with WotLK style spamming, but this was not the case. I was glad to see Blizzard started the training early though.

Speed Bumps and Master Plans

Then we hit Outlands. Boy what a difference Outlands is now compared to the 1-60 range. I remember the day when getting to Outlands was something to celebrate. Now it was a bad taste in the mouth, a long dull grind through the same old quests and the same old dungeons (hai 2 u Ramps). It became a hurdle, and took us some time to complete mainly due to burnout and at the time, the bite of newly launched Rift MMO.

Eventually we were in Northrend, and soon enough back in the Cataclysm zones. We were strategic in our leveling, heading to Vashj’ir first to unlock the Earthen Ring Quarter Master and gain access to the tabard. I am not a fan of Vashj’ir so it was good to get it done and not look back. Next we popped into Hyjal briefly and did enough quests to again, get friendly and gain access to the tabard. Including the randoming we had been doing up to this point, we were able to get 82 and open up Deepholm, our next goal.

Deepholm is a required zone. I say this because to unlock the Therazane Quarter Master, you must complete a good majority of the quests in the zone. I don’t mind the zone itself, I like the look of it but it can get tiring after too long, or doing too much on a number of alts. We opted to grind it out though, get the tabard and then get the heck out of there! I would advise the same to anyone serious about leveling an alt for potential raiding, at least until Blizzard makes the shoulder enchants Bind to Account. From there it was a quick start in Uldum for the tabard, and then finishing off in Twilight Highlands, unlocking the portal and tabard as well, randoming all the while.

Heroic Frustrations

The random groups were manageable when it was spamming normal modes, however once we hit heroics, things changed drastically (as we all know). Heroics have been nerfed from when Cataclysm was first released so they are not as hard as they used to be. People take this for granted though, and make things far more difficult than it needs to. Not once did anyone cc or interrupt the Earthshapers in Stonecore. Using no cc on some of the huge pulls in Grim Batol (especially with the ascended elementals) is near suicide. DPS standing in fire, tanks running off not keeping an eye on mana…none of these are new issues but it surprises me they are still so prevalent.

These issues carry have carried over to the troll heroics as well. I have successfully healed both on the priestling, even with barely 346 item level, but it is all the more challenging in a PuG. Impatient tanks on Venoxis, no one killing adds on Jin’do, no one interrupting things on the bosses that can be interrupted, the list goes on. There will always be a few bad apples but these mechanics are not entirely new, nor are they difficult. My patience has and will continue to be tested though as I aim to gear the priestling for some alt 10 man raiding. I won’t even go into the rage that Death Knight tanks are causing me…oi

Because maybe plate mail does not automatically mean you should tank…