It’s all about negotiation. When I was young /*sigh — was that only last year?*/ I had plenty of time for playing PS2 or World of Warcraft with Rob. Life seems busier now with grad school and a bigger house (and bigger kids) to take care of. We played some WoW over the xmas break (when I was debating dropping out of school) but I stayed enrolled and had to give up the WoW again. Or so I thought.
He must have heard me stressing about housework because all it took for him to get me on board for a weekly 2-hour WoW date was his offer to clean the bathroom on Saturday. So for the past month, we alternate who cleans upstairs and who cleans down —– plus vacuuming the stairs every other week. Now every Tuesday night we head to a coffee shop with free wifi and get busy questing on Deathwing. Last week we each got a level, this week I did. Next week it will be his turn again.
Part of the deal is that we show up ready to play. Any training or playing barbies (looking for gear on the Auction House and/or running to the bank for new clothes) has to be done ahead of time. I’m surprised by how much I look forward to it — and love that the bathroom is clean and shiny all the time.
She’s enjoying life as a level 40 with a nice new brown ram to ride. Travel is faster and now I can outrun the beasties of Stranglethorn Vale. Looking at my character though, I realized that zipping through the 30s so quickly as I did, I didn’t pay attention to what I was wearing and my gear is all old and out-of-date. It was decent when I hit 30 but now at 40 it’s in serious need of an update.
I’m looking for gear that will give me as much shadow damage bonus as possible. Mana regen is also welcome but since getting Shadowform at level 40 I’m doing some pretty decent damage. I figure the more shadow damage I can cause the better.
As a tailor I can make myself some pretty sweet stuff, just as I had planned when I chose the profession. I used the Firefox WOWArmory plugin to find my character on the server. Then I inspected my gear and discovered that mousing over each item brought up a “Search for Upgrades” button. Clicking this gave a list of recommended gear. I recognized many as items I could tailor. I did have to return to Stormwind to learn Shadoweave tailoring from Jalane Ayrole (coords 26,77). She’s underground with the Warlock Trainer.
Searching for the items on Wowhead.com gave me the list of materials for creating each item. (Armory does this too.) I logged into WoW, sent my tailor all the mats she was going to need and started crafting.
Here’s what she’s wearing now:
Regal Sash of Healing
Rob sent me a Ruby Crown of Restoration for Winter Veil so that’s my new headpiece.
For now I’m keeping my bracers: Lunar Bindings of Shadow Wrath.
I’ve got Black Mageweave Shoulders ready for as soon as I hit level 41.
At level 43 I’ll add Shadoweave Boots.
I need a new cloak but haven’t decided on that yet. I also need to revisit my rings and necklace. A trinket or two would be nice.
I like that I’ve been able to make so much of my gear myself and I’m glad I saved mats in my bank. In total she’s now got 144 bonus Shadow Damage and 116 bonus for healing (after all, she is a priest).
I love my new respec as a dwarf Shadow Priest. The last three levels zoomed by and I am now a proud level 35 with my tailoring maxed out at 300 until I hit level 50.
I was able to make myself some great new gear: a Spider Belt and also Robe of Power. The Spider Belt is resistant to immobilizing effects and the cool blue robe gives +12 Intellect and +8 Mana and increases damage and healing done by magical spells and effects by up to 14.
I picked up a Thistlefur Branch of Shadow Wrath for my off-hand too, adding +11 Shadow damage.
I had good luck soloing a pile of quests in Stranglethorn Vale, killing NPCs up to level 38. For a priest this is new territory for me. When I was a combo Holy/Discipline/Shadow priest I could never go more than one level above my own. I think it’s the Vampiric Embrace talent that makes the biggest difference. When I use that, health regenerates every time I cause Shadow damage to the target. I have run out of mana but the only time I’ve run out of health is if I get mobbed (or if some Horde starts beating on me while I’m fighting an NPC).
I start out with Holy Fire to get my target’s attention. This has a long cast so the only time it’s useful is if I initiate the attack. Next is Shadow Word Pain. Then I put on my shield, apply the Vampiric Embrace and by this time the target has caught up to me and has started work on me. If they’re a caster I watch for the glowing hands and use Silence but otherwise I use Mind Flay > Mind Blast > Mind Flay [repeat] until they die. I’ve got these spells attached to number keys to make it easier:
2 = Holy Fire
3 = Pain
4 = Shield
5 = Mind Blast
6 = Mind Flay
Silence and Vampiric Embrace are on my left action bar so I hit those with the mouse with my left hand while the right hand is going through the number keys on my keyboard.
If I’m getting bored or low on mana I use #7 which is my wand. It’s not as powerful since I dropped the wand specialization from the Discipline Talent Tree but it still works, especially if I’m shielded.
Grouping is a bit different because a priest has to keep an eye on the other players’ health and heal accordingly. Vampiric Embrace saves the day again because it heals everyone in the party as long as I’m doing damage but Heal and Renew come in handy too.
It’s taking forever but I haven’t given up yet. The last time I redid my talents I switched from an emphasis on a Holy/Healing priest to put more talents in the Shadow tree so that I could do more damage when I’m out trying to level by myself. I like healing in a group so this was a big decision for me but sometimes it’s hard to find a group to join (and I’m tired of being a low level player.) I want a mount!
Over the past 10 or so levels I’ve picked up some great gear with plus shadow damage and plus healing spells. It’s like the gear was designed specifically for a shadow priest. My favourite spells are Holy Fire — I open with this one as it has a longer cast on it. By opening with it I can cast before the target knows they’re under attack. My other favourite is Mind Flay. It even sounds dangerous. It creates a line of light between my priest and the target — almost like their belly buttons are joined. I can just imagine the target’s brains oozing out through their navel while I flay their mind. Yum.
But it isn’t enough. I’m still not gaining levels as quickly as I’d like so I’ve done some research and decided to respec completely in the Shadow tree. At level 32 I’ll be able to keep Mind Flay and reach all the way down the tree to Vampiric Embrace.
I’ll be a crummy healer but I should do much better at grinding/leveling. I’ll hang on to the gear I’ve got with the plus healing bonuses so that if I ever am in a group I’ll be worth something. I think I might miss my wand specialization from the discipline tree that I like to use when I’m getting low on mana but I’m hoping with this shadow spec I may not run out of mana. Here’s hoping.
Here’s the tree I’ve got planned:
- Spirit Tap (5/5)
- Blackout (3/5)
- Improved Shadow Word Pain (2/2)
- Improved Psychic Scream (2/2)
- Improved Mind Blast (5/5)
- Mindflay (1/1)
- Shadow Reach (2/2)
- Shadow Weaving (1/5)
- Vampiric Embrace (1/1)
- Silence (1/1)
And in another half-level I’m going to add
Improved Vampiric Embrace (1/2) and then (2/2). I’d also like the Focused Mind to reduce mana costs of Mind Flay, Mind Blast, and Mind Control but that will have to wait. As long as I can keep carrying mana and healing potions I’m okay.
Here’s a peek at the build I’m planning from the play chart at worldofwarcraft.com.
My priest in World Of Warcraft is Level 28, working her way up to 60 bit by bit. With the latest Before the Storm patch every character gets their Talent points reimbursed so that you can re-spec given the changes that have been made to each class, race and talent tree. Lots of things have changed so it’s worth looking into to see what’s new and also to change your style of play if it suits you. I’ve switched my Dwarf priest from Holy priest to Shadow. (more…)