January 18, 2009

Being Prepared: The Holy Priest

Posted in General, WoW tagged , , , , , , , at 4:34 am by Andrea

Looks like Garen has got a whole series of priesting posts for my readers to enjoy. Perhaps he’ll eventually become a full time writer here… in the meantime, here’s Garen’s post on priest preparedness…


I warn you now, this post may seem a bit controlling, BUT, this is how I learned, and some of the things it taught me were actually very helpful. So, take it for a grain of salt.

When I was younger, between the ages of 12 and 18, I was in the Boy Scouts. While enrolled in that great institution, we had a motto. 
Be Prepared!
Seems simple enough doesn’t it?
Make sure you have what you need, when you need it, so that you don’t die, someone else doesn’t die, and you don’t get eaten by a bear. From that idea, with the exception of the bear thing, it seems like Boy Scouts and Priests have a lot in common. Well, Priests don’t usually carry Gnomish army knives. But that is neither here nor there.
What I intend to rant about in this space is what all a good priest needs in order to be prepared. This will include things to carry. Macro’s that are helpful. And simple tips that a lot of people/priests don’t always consider. It’s a tips and tricks of the trade kind of thing.

I’ll divide this up into two sections. I hope you enjoy.
What to Carry

The basis of being prepared is what do you take with you when you go places? This can be instances, raids, battlegrounds, etc. Everything you carry is all you have to work with. You can’t take the bank to battle.

Bags: (Big) You start the game with a single 16 slot backpack. This is enough to keep you happy until level 2. MAYBE level 3 if you are competent. But, from that point on, bigger is better. As a level 80 priest, bag space is at a premium. There are a few different methods of acquiring bigger bags. If you are the raiding type, then Zul’Aman is an option. Onyxia’s lair and Magtheridon’s lair are options as well. But if you just wanna burn the cash, then picking up tailored bags of the 18-22 slot variety is your best option. Once you have a stack of bags, you are going to want to designate ONE of them as your utility bag. Set it as your last bag slot, because we will be keeping it full of fun stuff.

Candles: (4 Stacks) Priests have three major buffs that they hand out to their parties/raids. This is Prayer of Fortitude, Prayer of Divine Spirit, and Prayer of Shadow Protection. These buffs utilize candles. Now, since a recent patch, buffs affect the whole raid, not just parties. This is limited the number of candles that each priest must carry. However, since I’m lazy, as most people are, I plan to be prepared.  I carry FOUR STACKS OF CANDLES. That’s 80 candles. That’s enough mats for around 30 buffing sessions. Put these in the bottom row of your utility sack.

Food: (2 Stacks) Food is interesting for a priest. Since you can heal yourself, you don’t really NEED to carry food, but there are those times where you don’t want to drink, heal, then drink some more. So, food is useful there. However, there is another type of food. Stat Food! That stuff is awesome. As a healy priest, I usually carry +Spell power and +Spirit food. But if that isn’t available, then anything that increases spell power or haste is always a good thing. You want two full stacks of this. Nothing is more irritating that starting a boss fight and realizing you ate your last firecracker salmon on the last fight. You want the highest level you can get your hands on.

Water: (2 Stacks) Heals take mana! Mana is restored by drinking. If your regen is high enough, then having a lot of water isn’t really needed, however, there are times you need to drink. (Flashbacks to that 10K hp “tank” at level 80 who didn’t own a shield and preferred the stats of leather and cloth!) Two stacks make sure that you are ready. You want the highest level you can get your hands on.

Potions: (1 Stack of Each) Potions come in many colors. I assume the different colors do different things, but I’m not sure what. Okay, I’m kidding. I know what they do. Considering the dynamic nature of priesting, you always need to have one stack of Mana and one stack of Health potions on you. They stack to 5, which isn’t bad, but could be better. Blizzard made it better by introducing the potion injectors. If you grab an injector kit, you can fill it with 20 charges. That’s usually a better option than only carrying 5.

Elixirs: (1 Stack of Each) Elixirs come in two styles. Battle and Guardian. Each can grant different buffs. Since I’m still leveling my alchemy, I don’t know which ones I’m going to carry yet. BUT, you’ll need one stack of each.

Weapon Oil: (2 vials) The new level 80 oils haven’t been released as of this writing, however, as soon as they are, there will be two vials of the stuff in my bag! +Spell power is preferred.

Bandages: (1 Stack) While it IS true that priests can heal themselves, there are times in combat where you are unable to heal for various reasons such as mana constraints, silence, and so forth. For this reason, your first aid needs to be maxxed out and you should have one full stack of bandages on you at all times. You never know when heals may get that critical.
Inventory of your “Utility Bag”: (Assuming 20 Slot)
1. Candles
2. Candles
3. Candles
4. Candles
5. Food
6. Food
7. Water
8. Water
9. Mana Potion/Injector
10. Health Potion/Injector
11.Guardian Elixir
12. Battle Elixir
13. Weapon Oil
14. Weapon Oil
15. Bandages
16. Profession Specific Slot
17. Profession Specific Slot
18. Profession Specific Slot
19. Fishing Pole
20. Hearthstone
How to light a fire under water

For this section, I will provide a few little tools that will make you even more useful that you already are!

Trinket Macro:  Most priests carry trinkets of the healing sort. A good number of these trinkets have a “/use” feature. And again, a good number of the priests who carry a good number of these trinkets never use a good number of these /use features. A hunter friend of mine (Dechion) found a way to combat this. I have since made it part of who I am and how I play. BEHOLD…. A macro.
/use 13
/use 14
/cast Greater Heal
The reason this is attached to the greater heal is because you use it all the time, which means your trinkets will get used all the time. Also, you won’t be opening the fight with greater heal, so you don’t waste your trinkets on a spot where they aren’t needed.

Rez that Jerk!: In scenarios where there could be multiple deaths, there is the problem of numerous healers trying to rez the same person. This causes lost time and a confusion as to who rezzed who. How do we solve this? Well, this is a throwback to days of yore in the Molten Core!  BEHOLD…. A macro.
/s %T, way to die! Now I have to rezz you. (Or some other witty comment)
/cast resurrection
Now, the “%T” is the important part, because that is what will tell the crowd who you are resurrecting. If you would like suggestions for something witty to say, you can hit the priest forums on the WOW forums. They always have a thread up about witty rez macros.

Sunscreen: A couple of years ago, Baz Lurhman put out a song called “Sunscreen”. It was about good advice that could be attributed to life. While I am not nearly as successful as he apparently was, I offer the following.

Do Not Let Your Tank Die! The results of keeping your tank alive have been proven to increase your life span and the life span of those you are partying with. This will reduce your repair costs, the cost of reagents for buffs, and frustration from your party. The rest of my advice is just that, advice!
•    Always open combat with a prayer of mending and a renew. It gives you a good start on any encounter.
•    Don’t shield the tank unless you have to, or he has sufficient threat/rage. Shielding him can cause him to not generate enough agro to keep the party safe.
•    Use your shadow fiend at every opportunity. You never know if you will be around at the end of the fight. The same goes for your  Inner Focus.
•    If you have to pick a member of your party to let die… It’s going to be the rogue.
•    You are the person keeping the party alive. If they don’t treat you well, you can always leave. But, don’t be a snob, your reputation can precede you.
•    And for the love of everything holy… You don’t need crit rating. That stuff is for mages! You want haste and spirit and regen!

That’s my series of thoughts on the above matters. Now, it may seem like this post came to an abrupt close. And you’re right. It did. I apologize for that. I’ve just been working on it for two days and I’m sick of looking at it. So there you go. I hope it helps. This is my personal contribution to being part of the priesting gustapo.

I’m gonna go write a post about how things are supposed to be pronounced.
And then I’m writing my damn farming guide. Money for free baby!

December 15, 2008

Holy Paladin Spec

Posted in General, WoW tagged , , , , , , at 5:48 pm by Andrea

Hope everyone had a Happy Weekend! On a personal note a young girl passed away this weekend that was suffering from a tumor in the brain for the last four years. Please keep Hadley Fox’s family in your prayers as they spend this Christmas season coping with the loss of their daughter.

I managed to hit 80 finally this weekend, and that means its time to start gearing up and choosing a spec, here’s the one Im pretty set on.

Here’s my intended spec for level 80 raid/pve healing: (51/0/20)

The first thing you might notice, is that I did not take Blessing of Kings. Why not? Well, I’m going to try out this build and see what it does for a Crit/Haste build.

So, now, lets break down the spec. Starting with the Holy Tree.

Tier 1:

Spiritual Focus (5 points) – Reduces pushback on spells by 70 percent. I put five points here. Its always nice to get a spell off even when you’re getting the beat down

Tier 2:

Divine Intellect (5 points) – Increases Int by 15 Percent. This should be a “duh” factor but just in case it isn’t, in this crit/haste build (or any holy build) I will not be focusing on Int or Mp5 as top priority, so i gotta take it where I can get it.

 Healing Light (3 points) – Increases healing on Flash of Light and Holy Light and effectiviness of Holy Shock by 12 percent. The ultimate thing about being holy? Packing as much punch into a heal as you can. This talent will help you there.

Tier 3

Illumination (5 points) – Gives mana back 100 percent of the time when you crit. This is essential to the paladin’s ability to sustain for long period of time! Do not skip this one.

Improved Lay on Hands (2 points) – Give the target 50% armor bonus for a few seconds, and reduces the cooldown by 4 mins. Its not an essential talent, but I needed to stick in two points somewhere to continue down the tree, and this seemed the most reasonable for healing.

Tier 4

Improved Blessing of Wisdom (2 points) – Increases the effect of Blessing of Wisdom by 20 percent. ZOMG what? More mana and Mp5? Wootness!

Tier 5

Divine Favor (1 point) – Grants a new spell that, when activated, gives my next heal spell (Flash of Light, Holy Light or Holy Shock) a 100% chance to crit. I usually pop this with a Holy Shock when I run into trouble and the tank takes a massive hit.

Sanctified Light (3 points) – This grants a 3% increase on the chance to crit when using Holy Light or Holy Shock. Both are not spells I use often, but when I DO need them, it’d be awesome if they crit.

Tier 6

Holy Power (5 points) – Increase the crit chance of my holy spells by 5%. This should be self explanitory for a crit build. Holy Pallies get mana back on crits, get high enough crit rating and Mp5 issues are a thing of the past… at least, thats the theory.

Tier 7

Light’s Grace (3 points) – Gives my Holy Light spell a 100% chance to decrease the next cast of Holy Light by .5 seconds. This is awesome for healing up a tank. Yes Holy Light can and does hit for 11k healing in crap gear at 1300 spell power, but a well geared tank can be sporting 30K health… so if they’re really low it will take a couple of shots to fill them up. This spell can speed up that process.

Holy Shock (1 point) – Gives the new spell, Holy Shock. This is an instant cast heal or DPS spell with a 6 second cool down. It is not mana effient to spam it when healing, but its occasional use can save a party member from very near death. I use this a lot when doing dailies and such, too.

Tier 8

Infusion of Light (2 points) – When Holy Shock crits (use Divine Favor, and it will!) this ability reduces the cast time of Holy Light by 1 second and Flash of Light by 1.5, making it an instant cast. This works out great in a situation where many people in your group are low at once. Pop Divine Favor and Holy Shock on one, and then an instant cast Flash of Light on another. If you had Beacon up on your tank, you’ve just fully healed three out of your five in two seconds or less.

Holy Guidance (5 points) – Increases spellpower by 20% of my intellect. Every little bit helps, right?

Tier 9

Divine Illumination (1 point) – Gives a new spell that when activated reduces mana cost of spells cast by 50% for 15 seconds. I usually pop this after Divine Plea has run out, increasing how long I can keep healing for. I try to predict heavy healing before I pop it though.

Enlightend Judgements (2 points) – Increases the range of my judgements by 30 yards, and increases hit chance by 4%. Not really a nessecary addition to this spec, you could put these two points anywhere in the tree. I choose this because I like to throw judgement of light on a boss sometimes and watch my tank throw heals of his own.

Tier 10

Judgements of the Pure (5 points) – Using judgements increase haste by 15% for 1 minute. This is a crit/haste build, after all.

Tier 11

Beacon of Light (1 point) – Gives a new spell that I usually put up on a tank. Allows any healing I do to anyone else in the group to heal the tank, too. You can do this the other way around, and put it on a squishy and then spam the tank. This spell effectively allows a paladin to heal two people (three or more if you have the Holy Light Glyph) at the same time.

Ret Tree

Tier 1

Benediction (5 points) – Reduces mana cost of instant spells by 10 percent. Divine Favor, Illumination, Beacon of Light, and Holy Shock are all instant cast spells. This talent has potiental.

Tier 2

Heart of the Crusader (3 points) – Judgements increase crit chance against the target. Obviously you aren’t going to be judging your tank, so really, this spell is not needed, but we needed to get to the next tier so we put the points here.

Improved Blessing of Might (2 points) – Increases the attack power by 25%. Melee love this stuff.

Tier 3

Conviction (5 points) – Increases crit strike of spells and attacks by 5%. Yay more crit means more mana back and bigger heals. We like bigger heals.

Pursuit of Justice (2 points) – Decreases disarm effects by 50 percent, and increases movement speed by 15%. These were the last two points I had and I put them here on the idea that if Line of Sight becomes an issue, I can get to my target that much faster. You can put these two points anywhere you like, including into Blessing of Kings if you wish. I decided I wanted to run fast XD

Tier 4

Sanctified Seals (3 points) – Increases crit chance by 3% with spells and attacks. Also reduces chance of seals to be dispelled by 100%. This of course adds to my crit stat for this build… which is what I intended it to do… but has the added bonus of your seals not being dispelled.

And there you have it. So far I’ve had success with this build. Let me know if it works out for you.

November 24, 2008

Paladin Healing in Wrath

Posted in General, WoW tagged , , , , , , , at 6:49 pm by Andrea

Well, now that I’ve had a chance to level a bit (which I am doing Holy, and ding, 76 btw) I guess I can say some things about healing in some of the instances. First and foremost, I must declare my love for Beacon of Light. I no longer have to choose between the tank and a DPS. I love being able to heal both at the same time. This have become useful in fights that have an AOE ability. I generally just keep it up throughout the instance, though that is hardly nessecary.

For the standard five mans from level 70 to 75, I’ve noticed a lot of recycled fights and areas, but some are really unique. I came across one instance that didn’t have any trash really, only bosses with mulitple waves of baddies before it. These kind of fights do a number on my mana regen. The first time through I didn’t know what to expect, and of course we wiped, but once I saw it I was able to adjust, and with proper rotation of my abilities I was able to not only sustain my mana, but never have to use a pot. So here’s that casting rotation that I use all instance long. It allows my tank to continuously pull without me needing to stop and drink.

Beacon of Light — I always cast this on my tank. That way, should there be an AOE ability, I can heal up my DPS first, and not have to worry about the tank going down. Very handy for the single target healers like us.

Gift of the Naaru (Draenei only as needed) — I put this up on boss fights that have fears or other non casting spaces in them. It holds over my tank until I come out of it.

Divine Plea — I hit this innervate like ability every single time it comes up. I have a handy mod that makes a sound each time one of my cooldowns comes up… so I don’t forget. So long as you remember to pop this every time it comes up, you’ll have little to worry about in terms of mana.

Trinkets — I usually pop these when I use Divine Plea. The reason for this is you DO take a spellpower hit in using Divine Plea. I use my trinkets to help counter that.

Divine Illumination — I pop this usually AFTER my Divine Plea has finished. This allows me to spam away and use less mana… and lasts 15 seconds… so I only cast using full mana without regening for 45 seconds more… and then I pop Divine Plea again.

Lay on Hands (as needed) — Desperate times call for desperate measures. If I must use this spell, I throw it down and then pop my divine plea. There is also a Glyph that rewards mana back to you when you use this spell.

Light’s Grace and Holy Shock (as needed, NOT MANA EFFCIENT) — I ONLY use these two, and always together, in a desperate attempt to get my tank back up to a relatively safe point, so that I can resume normal healing.

Rinse and Repeat

All the while, while healing, I actually rarely use my Holy Light spell. It just takes too darn long to cast. I have a bit of haste on me, but I still prefer to spam my Flash of Light. It’s quick, it casts often, and crits often. Of course with crits comes more mana back for me, which in turn still leads to my sustainability. 

Currently, my paladin sits with 1230 spell power, 11k hitpoints, and 28 percent crit holy. She’s still half in TBC gear, and her build is just made up. It isn’t one I picked up online. I generally put the points where they sounded nice, and Ive started building down the ret tree a little bit hoping to make my questing a little bit easier. She also has all her Glyphs, which I will post about in due time. For now, I wanted to get this casting rotation out there, for anyone who might be struggling with mana regen in the new instances.

September 23, 2008

Gear Guide Up

Posted in General, WoW tagged , , , , at 7:26 pm by Andrea

Sorry for no post for a couple of days, but no worries, the Holy Priest Gear Guide for the Solo Player is up and ready to go. Perfect if you are frantically leveling an alt before WotLK. Hopefully Warlocks Guide will be done next. Enjoy!