Choices

The more I play and read about the beta, I find myself struggling with an unexpected dilemma. Do I keep playing my Priest even though I’m not 100 percent happy with some of the changes or do I switch to my Druid?

Whilst I do want to get back into raiding at some point during the next expansion, given the fact that I’m about to start a new job in a new city a month before MoP is released, plus we’re going to be moving house in the next couple of months, raiding other than LFR is out of the question probably for the first tier. So it’s not the PvE side of things which bothers me, after all I was healing heroics at the start of Cataclysm despite the “Oh, it’s a priest…. this is going to suck” comments from my party members. In the words of the song, “I can get by“, grumpily sure but I’d manage.

My problem is PvP which brings with it a whole new set of issues and problems. The thought of losing to certain people, the ones that my current Disc Priest can happily beat in one v ones at the moment despite the fact that they’re similarly geared and dps specced is enough is to make Sprout curl up into a ball and cry (I know I probably have that effect on them but that’s totally different okay!). We’re losing so many of the tools I use on a day to day basis and getting little in return.

  • No more shadow cast time spells. Ignoring the kick/interrupt aspect especially when fighting melee because you can get around that, smite just doesn’t have same oomph as “mind blast” or “mind spike” in terms of the imagery it conjures up.
  • Mind control being a talent with a 30 second cooldown. This is perhaps my biggest issue because  I use it a lot in PvP. It’s won me arena games, it’s allowed me to hold nodes solo in maps like AB and of course throwing people off cliffs is priceless.
  • Losing our damage reduction talents. Resilience will probably fix it but you never can tell.
  • No more holy nova unless you glyph for it but you can’t afford the glyph slot because you need a whole bunch of other glyphs to get back the stuff which has become optional but isn’t really for PvP. Now I know mind sear works just as well for killing snakes and stopping people from tagging flags but when you’re solo, it doesn’t help you find the rogue that you know is sneaking up waiting for his moment.
  • Mana being a bit of an issue. Although not sure this is a real issue, at least in random battlegrounds because drinking is always an option if you’re careful.
  • The cooldown on dispels helping create an issue with mobility, something Priests have always had a bit of an issue with.

Which brings me to my Druid. A class that like the Priest I’ve played since vanilla and just like the Priest I have multiple Druids scattered across servers. I lost interest in the class when Tree of Life was introduced because it went against everything I loved about mine. I didn’t want to be stuck in one form, which all things considered was a bit odd since I’d spend hours chatting away to people sprawled in catform next to a brazier in Ironforge, purring at passer bys. I kept trying but I couldn’t bond with mine any more. The final straw was feral charge being moved out reach of Resto and my Druids, disillusioned and angry became feral and balance. I went back to Resto last season because playing the underdog is always interesting if not always fun. Tree form as a cool down, not a permanent form definitely helped too. I like being able to blend in, not being the healer instantly recognisable by anyone because they look like a slightly past its sell by day stick of broccoli.

In terms of off-spec, I’d much rather be Balance or kitty cat than Shadow which is a plus for the Druid. Also who doesn’t love pouncing people. But then am I looking back with rose tinted spectacles. The days of being able to tank 5 mans as Resto merely by changing your gear are long gone. As are the days of perhaps my Druid’s greatest triumph, holding the Blacksmith solo versus five or six well geared Horde through feral charge, cheetah and lots of healing whilst reinforcements rode in.

Perhaps it’s time to play something else entirely. After all, having healed for over seven years maybe it’s time to just dps and let someone else take care of the healing. Both the Druids and Priests have some fundamental flaws at their core, healing mushrooms and chakras for example. I’m not also hugely in tune with Blizzard’s movement towards pushing healers into dpsing because to me it’s for the wrong reasons. You should be dpsing to dps, not to gain mana or boost your healing. I suppose that’s partly why I’ve grown to prefer PvP healing than raid healing even though I still miss the buzz of downing bosses with people I generally like. In raids it becomes routine, you learn what the boss does and figure out the optimal strategy to counter that but in PvP that’s not possible because there are too many variables to consider.  Of course there is a rough order to your spell choice/the abilities you choose to counter the enemies choices but it pushes you to find uses for all your spell book. Whilst both are dances, in pvp especially encounters outside rated/arenas it’s like comparing “Strip the Willow” (PvE – formulaic unless someone screws up) done properly to a wedding disco where everyone is dancing to a totally different beat (random battlegrounds). Arena should be more like ballet but often ends up resembling the disco too. I suspect the over all theme here is that most people can’t dance. I actually got knocked unconscious once doing Strip the Willow because my partner had two left feet and far too much muscle. The fact that we were both drunk at the time was purely accidental.

Of course, the eventual end-game will be to level them all my characters but which one will come first, right now I’m really not sure and that is a source of great frustration.

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14 Responses

  1. I’m struggling between my druid and a shaman. Of course, I prefer my druid, but we currently don’t have a shaman in our raid (nor a mage). So we really could use heroism or time warp =/

    • Having been in a similar situation, I’d say follow your heart. Playing a character for others, regardless of whether or not it’s to your benefit tends to take some of the shine off the experience.

      I switched from my Paladin to my Shaman for the Sunwell because all our healing ones decided to quit at once and whilst it helped, I didn’t find it particularly enjoyable. Although raiding at the time, since our RL was going through a meltdown wasn’t fun full stop come to think of it.

  2. I don’t even know where to start, I guess the shaman, then priest, then …lost. Poor girls. Feel like I’m up a patch creek without a paddle.

    http://wowsugar.blogspot.com/2012/07/rtmt-slaughterhouse-50.html

    • I’m bouncing around all over the place, the only “consolation” is that we are not alone and misery loves company or so I believe :p

      My husband is toying with the idea of switching from his rogue to his paladin because all the things he loves about pvping on his rogue are being removed and I know quite a few others who are trying to decide as well.

  3. Well I would have said priest but I’m biased :P
    Since you’re not too impressed with a lot of the changes to the class though maybe your druid would be the right idea to level first though.

    • That’s why I never thought I’d be in this position. I love my Priests and I’ve always regretted allowing my Burning Crusade time to be dictated by others, pushing me first into my paladin and then my shaman.

  4. You sent me off on a video tour, had to see “Strip the Willow” performed! Definitely Druid but then like Cym I’m biased.

    • Not sure why but Scottish Country Dancing was considered an important part of our education. Surprisingly enough, it’s turned out to be a fairly handy life skill though. Also being swung around by strong men in kilts is always good :D

      Currently trying both out on the beta and trying to decide. Thank goodness for the glyph of cheetah though, predator > prey any day. Not sure I could be a druid if the stag was my only travel form option.

  5. Argh! I’m also having a hard time deciding on choosing “the first” to level. I’ve been playing my priest more lately though and it’s been super fun… Maybe level Sprout first then one of your druids?

    • Probably going to wait until the pre-patch comes out and see which feels better in PvP. I hate not knowing though.

  6. My choices fortunately are simple. For someone who has no real alts and hates levelling I can only level my druid thank goodness. But for variety I will try a tank. That’s why I love my druid, I can try a bit of everything.

  7. I’m with you. I’m more or less abandoning all healing except in PvP. I keep grappling with which class to go with in that respect (I have Resto Druid, Shammy and Disc Priest, among others), but I’m still leaning towards Disc because I like Shadow more than Balance.

    Really I’m most miffed about the nerfs to mana regen. It’s tough enough being a healer at the best of times, and dealing with early pulls, or “let’s pull everything”, blaming the healer for the wipe etc. Having to content with a loss of 35K mana in my Resto Druid’s case (courtesy of the 100K mana cap) AND reduced mana regen is just salt in the wounds.

    I understand the need to leave room to progress to 90, but the new healing changes just don’t sound fun to me.

    • I’m not happy with the mana cap either. I want to see a visible progression from my gear and that includes mana pools, entering and ending an expansion should in my opinion have a noticeable difference in stats.

      If they want to make mana an issue, go back to the 5 second rule and/or downranking so all healers are balanced around the same principles. Introducing different mechanics for each class is doomed to failure in terms of balance. Power word:Solace in particular seems like attempting to use a My Little Pony band aid to stem the flow of an artery.

      I suppose as well I’m still semi sulking from the start of Cataclysm. I managed fine, even beating our Paladins in some of those first painful raids but I had to work so much harder. That’s without all the horrible 5 mans in which everyone combined about me being a priest and how we’d wipe horribly before anything even got pulled (we didn’t but I really think if I hadn’t shared the same guildtag as the tank, I would have been kicked from a bunch of groups without a chance) and it looks as if we’re gearing up towards Cataclysm mark 2.

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