Tuesday, February 13, 2007
WoW Journal - 13-February-2006
In the last month I had a crazy work load and schedule, which didn't leave me much time for playing World of Warcraft. Nevertheless my undead priest is now level 68, and if all goes well I should reach level 70 during the weekend. That seems nearly too fast to me. In quests I have finished all of Hellfire Peninsula and Zangarmarsh, and am half-way through Terokkar Forest. Which at my level means that I'm mostly doing green quests with quest reward items that are not really good. But in parallel I'm doing as many 5-man instances as I can get invites to, and those give me all the gear I need. My latest acquisition is a wand from mana tombs with over 100 dps. I also already have the hallowed pants of the priest "dungeon set 3", aka "tier 3.5", the blue set that is the level 70 version of the level 60 tier 0 devout set. And while leveling to 70 went faster than I thought, right now it seems that at 70 there are more different dungeons to visit and things to do than you had available at level 60.
I absolutely love the new priest spells shadowfiend and prayer of mending. Shadowfiend summons a combat pet, which only lasts for 15 seconds, but with every hit it lands it replenishes your mana. As you can use it every 3 minutes, this is a nice way to deal some additional damage while filling up your mana without having to sit and drink. Prayer of mending is a curious spell which at first view seems to be made for group play: You cast it on somebody in a group or raid as a 30-second buff, and if he gets hit during those 30 seconds, he automatically gets healed for about the amount of a flash heal, and the buff moves on to a random other group / raid member. That works reasonably well in a 5-man group which is fighting multiple mobs, because many group members get hit, and the buff travels a lot. In calmer group situations, and it raids, the buff quickly finds a target which never gets hit, and expires. In solo play it doesn't trigger as long as my bubble is up, which makes it less useful. But I found one brilliant soloing application, based on the fact that it is an instant heal: Sometimes I get a bad pull and need to run away with several mobs hitting me. In those cases the bubble goes down faster than its 15-second cooldown, the regeneration heal is not healing fast enough, and I can't get another heal spell through. But I can spam prayer of mending on myself, and as long as I have mana it is impossible to kill me now. That was especially useful in a fun Terokkar Forest quest, where I had to disguise myself as a member of the shadow council and talk to some people in their village. But sometimes I got spotted there, my disguise dropped, and half the village was after me. I wouldn't have survived that without prayer of mending.
The only problem I have right now is that I can't find a guild group for a 5-man instance as often as I would like. This is due to the typical composition of a raiding guild: There are far more healers than tanks in the guild, because a raid *needs* far more healers than tanks. So if you split a hypothetical 40-man raid group up into 8 5-man groups, you have enough healers and damage dealers, but not enough tanks. Fortunately a lot of druids went feral in the Burning Crusade, and I did lots of instances with a feral druid tanking in bear form, which works reasonably well.
Sometimes I think I leveled the wrong character, if I would play my warrior more and my priest less, I'd get more invites into 5-man groups. But soon we'll start raiding again, and then a holy spec priest stands a better chance to get invited than a tank. In most guilds the main tank(s) are also the officers responsible for organizing the raids, and thus they have reserved raid spots. I don't think a 25-man raid will need more than 2 or 3 tanks, except for some very peculiar bosses. So for raiding I'm better off with my priest, and I'll level him to 70 first before playing my warrior as an alt. I just hope that by that time there will still be demand for a tank, there is a risk that by then everybody in the guild is 70 and not much is happening in the lower 60s levels.