I started a Draenei Priest alt in World of Warcraft a few days ago as I fancied trying something a little different to my Warrior. I role-played a cleric in Everquest about 8 years ago (has it really been that long?!) and thoroughly enjoyed it and have kept meaning to try a proper healing class again since then (I also started an Inquistor in Everquest 2 but that’s another post).
The first thing I noticed about my Priest is just how tough, or rather, slow it is to quest and level up. Killing mobs takes forever compared to my Fury spec’d Warrior and I have to stop and drink and eat after every 2 kills or so. I’m also extremely fragile as I can only wear cloth so I die easily when a 2 or 3 opponents gang up on me which can be a little frustrating sometimes. Priests in WoW are interesting because they lend themselves more to classic mage casters than to the usual Cleric dipiction. In many fantasty MMOs and roleplaying games, Clerics are able to wear plate armour which makes them more sturdy and they focus their offensive capabilities more on melee than magic.
All of this has meant I’ve started to spec down the Shadow talent tree just to try and make my solo life a little easier and I’ve heard they end up putting out some respectable DPS. I’m a little annoyed at this though because I want to be a true healer and group as much as I can and do all of the dungeons I missed with my Warrior. I’m hoping that my native healing abilities will be enough to see me to level 40 even as a Shadow Priest and by then the dual-talent system will have been released.
My predicament makes me understand exactly why grouping is so uncommon in WoW and why good groups are so hard to find compared to other games like EQ2 – everyone specs down the DPS talents just to make their solo life easier! I have a Fury Warrior and now I’ll have a Shadow Priest! I feel pretty guilty too because I want to be a true tank and a true healer… but I’m just too lazy to give up my soloing ability. I think the dual-talent system is going to have a huge impact on the WoW community.
Despite my struggles with leveling, I’m enjoying my Priest and plan to invest a decent amount of time in him – if for no other reason than the high level armour sets look awesome. I’m also planning on posting about my experience with a low level Inqusitor in Everquest 2 and hopefully it will provide an interesting contrast.
I like WoW’s talent system, a lot more than I thought I would in fact. It’s so simple and clear compared to EQ2s AA system which is now becoming bloated and messy after so many expansions. I really like the definitive nature of the WoW talent trees, each offering a different way of specialising and playing your character. Unlike other MMOs, in WoW you are a ‘Shadow’ Priest or a ‘Restoration’ Druid and your talents really make a difference to your character and the way you play.
The big downside to all of this though is that you’re severely shoehorning your character. For instance, my Warrior is Fury spec’d which, while a lot of fun, means I’m focused on DPS and I’m completely unable to tank for groups. I’d face the same problem if I went down the Arms tree so the only viable option for me is to spec Protection if I want to tank. And the problem with that is if I spec Protection I’ll be dramatically reducing my DPS and making my solo questing sessions incredibly slow and painful.
Coming from EQ2, this is all a new experience to me. I’m used to tanks being tanks regardless of their AA spec – sure some might be more DPS orientated than others but all are able to tank regardless of how they spec. Same goes for healers. I don’t remember anyone ever challenging me on my AA specification or refusing me a group because of it yet this is common place in WoW. Guilds only recruit ‘Holy Priests’ or ‘Restoration Druids’ and groups have tremendous difficulty finding tanks and healers because everyone specs DPS to level up quickly via questing.
I’m very much looking forward to the dual talent system which will hopefully arrive in the next update. I think it could make a huge difference to the lack of grouping WoW at the moment. I’d love to be able to switch between a DPS spec for soloing and a tank spec for grouping and I’m sure others would to.
I’ve been leveling my Warrior with an Arms spec but when I finally hit level 60 yesterday I decided to re-spec and try out the Fury tree. OK, I admit it, as much as I loved Arms the lure of Titan’s Grip was too much for me – I just had to give dual wielding two-handed swords a shot… and yeah, it’s pretty awesome.
The problem is, I’m not sure which spec is better or what they are both meant to be used for. Seems like Arms is designed for using two-handed weapons whereas Fury is for dual-wielding as the abilities do fixed damage based on attack power (Bloodthrist) rather than percetange based on weapon damage (Mortal Strike). I can’t help but wonder if I’m actually shooting myself in the foot and losing dps by switching to Fury.
Arms also seems to suit Battle Stance perfectly which was good for soloing. Rend was improved to do increased dmg plus allow the activation of Overpower. Overpower was boosted to have a 50% crit chance (plus I used a glyph to allow it’s use if my enemy parried) and all my critical strike bonuses were increased and caused bleeding dmg. Throw in an instant attack with Mortal Strike and Sweeping Strikes and Bladestorm for handling adds and you’ve got some very nice combinations going on. I think I’m going to miss Arms.
Fury seems more complicated and confusing to me. Should I use Battle Stance or Berserker Stance? I’m kinda reluctant to use Berserker as I lose out on Charge, Rend and Overpower, three very useful skills. Rampage doesn’t seem to be as good as Mortal Strike because it’s dmg isn’t based off weapon dmg (not so good when using two-handed weapons) and I can only using Cleave or Whirlwind for multiple opponents, the latter requiring me to switch stance mid-fight, something I’m not used to.
However, I have the feeling that Fury will become incredibly powerful after level 70 or so as I start putting points into Arms alongside it. Dual-wielding two-handed swords with Impale and Deep Wounds seems pretty sick.