Tobold's Blog
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.
"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."

There are hunters there. They spot you trough disguise. Just watch their path and all be fine.
I think you have hit a big design flaw on the head with this post.
Prior to Raiding, there are a lot of people playing 5 man instances that need a tank. Once you hit end-game, tanks are pretty much on the scrap-heap, bar the few needed for a raid.
Druids seem a much better alternative to Warriors these days - good at healing and tanking.
At least you are playing 2 character clsses that are in demand prior to end-game (tank and priest). Those of us who chose DPS find it a lot harder to get into 5-man groups.
There are a lot more level 70 instances then lower level ones but they have varying degrees of difficulty.

The Botanica is quite easy for a full group of 70s while the developer who designed the Shattered Halls should be shot.
Still being shadow (I'm hoping to at least get to the heroic instances, if not finish them, as shadow) because I have millions of mobs to kill still, I never run out of mana anymore I love it. Between Vampiric touch and shadowfriend (and all the gear with spirit on it), I barely had to drink. But now there is also a mushroom trinket from the sporegarr that gives you 200 mana every time you kill a mob, with that, I never drink at all.

I also found the trinket in the Crypts that has +35 spelldamage and gives you 1000 mana when you kill a mob, but that mana gain is "on use" every 2 minutes. So it's not as much mana, but the spelldamage seems to make up for it.
I hate raiding - really. Nothing seems to ruin guilds faster or pit normally reasonable people against one another than having to fight for raid slots and loot. Throw in a model that requires people to fit a required raid 'mold' and not play the character they want and you get ... well - work...writ Wow-like.

That said - I've enjoyed the end game stuff I've done - but the angst that seems to go along with the whole raiding scene just seems lopsided as far as this casual gamer sees it.

5 to 10 man instances are optimal in my mind. You can make more of them - scale the difficulty level with less difficulty and still create an epic experience.

Bah...sorry - just venting...slow day at work!
I think that's the first time I've ever heard a priest say that he/she couldn't get into a group. My guild seems to have the opposite concern... Plenty of tanks and not enough healers.
Tobold, the first time when I saw your blog, I thought I was reading my own.

My priest is 65 (finished half of the marsh's quests) and my warrior just turn 57 (can wear BC gear) yesterday.

Nice blog :)

Officially in my "Daily" bookmarks now.
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