I took some inspiration from WoW Insider blogger Natalie Mootz for today's post; on Blood Pact, Natalie give some wonderful advice on transitioning from one's main class to playing a Warlock. One of our best friends and guildies recently started a Priest from a career of Rogues, and although she's going for more of an "lolsmite" spec, it's still been interesting to watch the transformation.
So - are you thinking of starting a Priest? Long considered the "pure healer" class, Priests are really coming into their own as mighty damage dealers. First, some pros and cons of the class.
- High caster dps
- Talents for threat reduction
- Ability to generate health and mana for self and party members while dpsing
- "Oh crap!" panic-button in PW:S
- CC abilities (Psychic Scream and Shackle Undead)
- Can switch to healing up to non-heroic 5-mans with appropriate gear
- PW:F buff, Shadow Protection, Dispel Magic, and Cure Disease
- Ability to Resurrect fallen teammates
- CC abilities are situational
- Cloth armor = squishy
- VE & VT generate extra threat over dps
- Must keep 2 sets of gear for effective cross-spec utility
- Cannot self-rez
- Holy / Discipline specs are sub-par in dps, leading to slower leveling and grinding
If your main is a Tank:
You're used to either charging your target or pulling back to you with a ranged weapon / spell and then staying in it's face. As a priest, you'll learn that what you really need is distance - mobs that invade your interpersonal space are dangerous for you. And unless you're a Paladin, you'll need to learn how Mana is different from Rage and / or Energy. While Rage is used as it is generated, Mana needs to be rationed out. It doesn't regenerate as quickly as Energy does, either.
If your main is Melee DPS:
You're used to using your weapons or abilities "up close and personal," and again, maintaining your distance will be your biggest challenge. Learn to use the strafe (see my article HERE). Many melee dps classes also prefer to position themselves behind their targets whenever possible, and this just isn't going to happen for you while soloing.
If your main is Caster DPS:
You probably won't have much problem with the Priest class if you've already played a Mage. Warlocks will need to get used to not having minions upon which to call and a completely different mana regeneration / conservation strategy. Stacking Spirit and MP5 as a Priest will help make up for the lack of Life Tap and Dark Pact abilities. Whereas my Warlock carries only health pots, my Priest carries a couple of health pots and two stacks of mana pots. For us, Mana = Health - for everyone. You'll need to get used to watching your tank and melee party members; if you can Fear Ward, Cure Disease, or Dispel Magic, DO SO. Yes, even if you're not the party healer.
If your main is a Healer:
You should have no problems transitioning to a Priest. The ability to heal oneself, dps while solo, and manage your mana will all be familiar tools to you. We are, however, the most fragile of the healing classes and can't rely on Mail / Plate armor or a quick Shapeshift into Bear Form if we get into trouble.
If your main is a Hunter:
Hunters don't fit perfectly in either melee or caster dps categories, and are most closely related to the Warlock in play style. If your main is a Hunter then you're familiar with mana and its conservation. You're not going to have the uber-high dps, ability to multiple- or chain-pull, or a pet to take the heat for you. Your Fade ability does just that in comparison to a Hunter's Feign Death. At this point, you're probably asking yourself why you'd ever want to leave your Hunter in the first damn place, especially for a Priest, of all things. And honestly - I'm not sure, either.
Oh - yeah, now I remember. For a spot in groups! When was the last time you saw "LF1M for Old Durn and g2g - need Hunter!"? Yeah, never. When was the last time you saw a guild recruitment ad, "Needs Hunters! Priest recruitment currently closed" Again - not f'n likely.
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