Thursday, December 6, 2012

Developing Discipline

I made a [Leap of Faith] (HA? See what I did there?!) recently and made a solemn promise to myself that I would do something that I've secretly wanted to do since I first started playing WoW. I don't know why, but I've alwaysd wanted a white-haired, thick bearded Dwarven healing Priest with enchanting and tailoring as professions. I never rolled one because (gasp!) it's sub-optimal given that there are better racial choices in the Alliance...

Let's look at this a little deeper after the jump.

Humans have +3% Spirit, +10% to reputation (a definite plus in MoP), and a free CC break. Gnomes, who can now be Priests, have a bonus to mana pool (again, a plus in MoP given the homogenization of mana pools), and a sort of CC break. Draenei (a personal favorite race of mine, don't ask me why) have a built-in HoT. Worgen have a speed boost and a bonus to crit (and the WORST casting animation in the game). Night Elves don't really have anything special to offer a healer, though Wisp Form makes corpse running a little less arduous, and Shadowmeld is useful if you have an over-zealous but under-skilled Tank (though to be honest, that's what [Fade] is for).

Almost any of these races would be a better choice than a Dwarf. Dwarves have some good racials, but for a healing priest? Sure they make good hunters and pretty sturdy tanks, but... Healing Priest? Definitely not.

But you know what? I don't care. I've always wanted a Dwarf Priest, and by the Old Ones, that's what I decided on.

I went ahead and race changed my Human Priest. May I also note that my Priest was maxed in Alchemy/Herbalism... This would have to be changed as well. Now, you can't just throw real-world money at your professions and max them out (at least not legally or ethically). This called for a dramatic campaign to power-level my profs to MoP levels before grinding from 85-90. I'm not sure what the bill was in the end but it was definitely more than 8,000 gold, and about 8 hours of making bolts of cloth and disenchanting things and agonizing over hard-to-find mats that weren't in the Auction House. I'm proud to say that I was able to max both professions without leaving Stormwind (much), and let me tell you, when I dinged 600 on both of those profs, I had a profound sense of accomplishment.

(EDIT: I was reminded by my wonderful Guildmistress that it certainly helps to have some guildies toss you mats on your long slog to profession mastery. Thank you, Prydain, for sending me a ton of cloth and enchanting mats. That ding's for you.)

I've played Priests for a while now, in fact my raiding main in WotLK was a Shadow Priest. Even when I healed, though, I always specced Holy. I don't know what it is exactly about it, but I always shied away from Discipline. Maybe it was that mitigation wasn't really my thing as a healer... I've always been a pretty good reactionary healer, and pre-empting damage in an efficient way wasn't really my forte. Regardless, I decided to give Disc a chance as my main spec in MoP.

And I have fallen in love.

There was a learning curve, and I still find it easy to fall back to my old ways sometimes... Spamming Renews and Prayers of Healing rather than relying on Power Word: Shield, Penance, and Atonement healing. I've had to make a fundamental paradigm shift in the way I approach the whack-a-mole game of staring at health meters. I find a sense of satisfaction in watching the little translucent bubbles of Divine Aegis spawning all over my party, the burst of healing issuing forth in golden waves from Penance, and in watching my tank's health barely flinch as my Power Word: Shield absorbs blow after blow.

One of the best quotes I've read about tanking definitely applies here. Unfortunately, I don't know the origin of the quote, so I can't give credit, but it's so very apt. I've adopted it as my Dwarf's motto:

Weapons? My allies are my weapons. And I am their shield.

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