Quick thoughts on Battlegrounds

Since hitting level 110, I’ve been doing quite a lot of battlegrounds. Yes, Demon Hunters can quite frankly go and do something obscene with their ranged interrupt and the next Retribution Paladin who thinks it’s in any way amusing to /lick or /kiss whilst stabbing me with their Blade of Justice can just take a running jump off the Lumber Mill (with or without the aid of mind control) but over all it’s been a lot of fun.

Healing versus one or two is okay, healing versus 3 or more hitting you a lot less so. I found myself missing Spectral Guise and Fear because whilst Mind Control is great one versus one or even in larger scale combat when no one is hitting you (won the Lumber Mill quite a lot by throwing their non Priest healer off the cliff) it’s pretty useless when every melee in range is thumping you. I’m currently talented in Shining Force for more throwing power and it definitely boots people a long way if you’re up high when you cast it but unfortunately is pretty useless if you aren’t up a cliff or a tower or standing next to the edge of the map because everyone just bounces right back at you.

My new favourite PvP toy is the tailoring cloth chests. Having colour coordination is so important if you want to win. It’s even better when you convince your entire raid that they want to dress as Dalaran Citizens.

wowscrnshot_091916_000009

The Honour talents annoy me slightly though, I don’t like the idea that I have separate talents for one area of the game which don’t apply in others but that’s minor compared to the annoyance of having to farm Honour to gain abilities like Inner Focus which I’ve previously had although to be fair, if it still makes “that” noise…the Priest Class Hall would be a nightmare if you could use it anywhere outside PvP.

I have a definite hankering after the various Prestige rewards so in-between hoping for a nerf of interrupts (or a limit to how many melee are allowed to hit me at any one time), I will be hanging out at the Lumber Mill, taking towers in Alterac Valley, lurking by the edge of the map in EotS and because Holy Nova is so going to get nerfed soon bouncing in the middle of Kotmogu holding an orb whilst confetti-ing people to death.

Heroic Efforts, Good Luck Raptors and “that” hit of Adrenaline

Running Black Rook Hold last night I finally figured out what stops me running dungeons like “normal” people. It’s not the healing aspect which is why I can heal in pvp with zero problems (other than I attract Horde like ladybirds to marigolds) and it’s not even the fear of falling to avoid standing in fire during combat. It’s stuff like this:

wowscrnshot_091216_205723

 

Brings me out in a cold sweat every time.

We’re now 5 dungeons down of the 8 available to us. If I had to rank them in order of my favourites it would go something like this:

  • Halls of Valor
  • Maw of Souls
  • Black Rook Hold (too much trash)
  • Eye of Azshara

The scoring criteria takes looks, easiness (for doing with 2 people) and general feel into account.

I can’t really place Darkheart Thicket because I haven’t done it on Normal, just on Heroic. With hindsight, it probably wasn’t the smartest Heroic to pick for running with just two people and it took us a couple of goes to figure out how we would deal with the nightmare/paranoia overlaps on the final boss. A paranoid tank and a silenced healer really doesn’t work well especially when there is only the souvenir raptor left undebuffed.

wowscrnshot_091316_212155

That feeling when the Shade of Xavius finally bit the dust was the same hit of adrenaline I used to get when raiding, that feeling which physically effects you with shaking hands. I could potentially get addicted to it again. I don’t mean raiding per se, but perhaps Karazhan isn’t the impossible dream I thought it was.

Slightly insanely the plan is now to see if we can finish running the other three dungeons we’re missing and before trying to complete everything on Heroic. Then perhaps this weekend actually branch out into playing with player controlled characters rather than just the souvenir raptor (awesome as he is).

A Weapon for All Seasons – The Three Priest Artifacts

I’m now level 105 and possessor of all three Artifact weapons available to Priests. My experiences of the quests might be slightly different to most Priests as I did all three quest chains as Holy but if I had to rate them, it would be as follows.

The easiest by far was Shadow. No annoying NPCs standing in burning floors, demon goop or anything else dangerous to their health. I also liked the outdoors element of the chain, where you could group up with other Priests if you wanted/needed. In fact, I think this was my favourite over all quest, even the dreadful “Scottish” accent of the Dwarf couldn’t ruin it. I love the snarky evil talking blade, it’s a shame it’s not a staff though or that it can’t be transmogrified into one as I’d love to use the Anathema skin.

Priest Specific spells needed: 1 – mass dispel although Holy Nova worked just as well at killing them.
WoWScrnShot_090116_212644

Next on my list would be the Discipline artifact. Again I liked the fact that I could group up with another Priest on the outdoor elements and that it wasn’t all purely instanced. I’m possibly also slightly biased by the fact that my experience with the Beta was a lot harder (Thanks Azuregos…who clearly hadn’t forgiven me for killing him once a week for 18 months in vanilla and did nothing to help me during the middle part of the quest) than it was on live. I’m guessing if you are actually playing Discipline, you do the end part of the quest with a bit more finesse than my Holy Priest did but if it works, it works right?

Priest Specific spells used: 2 – levitate and mind control
WoWScrnShot_090116_135647

 

Finally Holy, the first quest I completed and my least favourite of the lot. I hate Jace Darkweaver with a passion and sincerely hope if I ever have to group up with him again, he’s learnt to stay out of the fire by then. I think that’s a big part of my issue with the chain, how I can I be a hero if I need a motley bunch of minions to carry me to my artifact quest. Yes, I’m a healer and group part of play is a huge part of that but the Protection Warrior artifact weapon doesn’t exactly have you tanking for a party, the way that the Holy Priest quest has you healing people. I think that made it a bit bland compared to some of the other artifact quests I’ve done, for example the Assassination Rogue one.

Priest Specific spells used: 2 – levitate (because I could) and resurrection
WoWScrnShot_082916_232244

All in all a lot of fun and provided a good break from questing/doing profession based things.

WoWScrnShot_090116_135310

Totally Unnecessary Picture of Snow hanging with Azuregos

A Whole New World

Last night was a revelation. A launch night without as far as I could see a hitch, no getting ported to your doom, no getting stuck in or outside your garrison, no servers falling over repeatedly…instead everything worked first time. Latency was great, no six second delays between spell rotates and no speedups/slow downs.

All the problem areas I anticipated worked brilliantly, the moving of Dalaran, the class hall and artifact weapons had no hiccups at all. Even when about 100 hunters landed on me during the start of my weapon quest the server held up.

WoWScrnShot_082916_232244

It took us approximately an hour to get to level 101 and that included getting the weapons, picking up a couple of pets/drops off rare spawns and finding the time for a bit of a picnic.

WoWScrnShot_083016_003954

All in all, a great start for what I hope will be a great expansion.

If I’d designed the Priest Class Hall for Legion …

Many moons ago, Mr Harpy and I spent a couple of months in Mexico. This is a photo of a place called Cholula (I’m assuming I took it whilst in a traffic jam) and the reason it’s in this post is that Church is not nestling on a hill but a Temple.

acapulco to puebla 005

That recycling and re-purposing of sacred spaces would be the theme of my Priest Class Hall. From the outside, you’d see a church sitting on a slight hill but inside, it would be so much more.

The Shadow Hall

Imagine if you will, a Temple to an Old God deep within the earth. Dank, shadowy and with something which doesn’t bear too close an examination dripping down the walls. The air is thick with candle smoke and pallid pools cast strange reflections on the ceiling. If you look too deeply into the water, tentacles (or maybe it’s just pond weed) wave, encouraging you to wade in.

At one end of the room, we find a library full of dusty books whose subject matter seems to involve flaying of minds and melting of souls. This coupled with a pile of empty coffins beside them doesn’t paint a particularly wholesome image.

A pile of abandoned Anathemas lie sadly in a corner.

Famous Priests:

Shadow Priest Allister, author of that famous tome “Holy Bologna: What the Light won’t tell you” can be found sitting at a desk in an alcove asking for help deciding on the title of his new work, muttering different possibilities aloud.

Mistress Natalia Mar’alith, High Priestess of C’thun tends to the pools, every so often chanting something sibilant softly which has the waters churning with what looks like blood.

WoWScrnShot_062116_221128

Vivienne Blackwhisper can be found playing cards with her Alliance counterpart Brienna Nightfell. In between hands they complain about their non Shadow Priest raid members in the Trial of the Crusader and discuss strategies for the upcoming Arena season.

Stairs rise up, twisting away from the fetid cellars. The space widens to provide a burial ground for those who died for their faith. Nightelf graves lie side by side with Troll, Tauren next to Gnome before narrowing again.

Discipline

At some point, the Night Elves were drawn to the power of the Temple below (or perhaps they thought building on top of it would help them guard it for the eons to come). Here within what was once a Temple to Elune, we find the Discipline Priests going about their business. One end of the room holds training dummies for the practical application of both Light and Shadow. Just like downstairs, there is a nook full of books although these seem a lot less forbidding, apart that is from the one that is shackled in an alcove. Through an Elven arch, we discover a Moonwell, complete with a statue of Elune, trees and benches make this a comfortable resting area.

WoWScrnShot_062116_202357

Although the windows to the outside must be nothing more than illusions as the Temple is covered in rock and gardens, the moon is clearly visible through them at all times of day.

High Inquisitor Whitemane (yep, she’s still refusing to stay Dead and I don’t care what other classes think, she’s a Priest!) is teaching some Acolytes the art of resurrection.

Argent Confessor Paletress is in charge of the Confessional, step inside to confess your deepest darkest sins and receive a suitable and fitting penance. Every so often, you’ll discover one of the NPCs has beaten you to it and is admitting all sorts of scandalous stuff.

Moon Priestess Maestra has relocated from the Post which holds her name and can be found in conversation with Tyrande (a much more logical class “leader” choice given the Night Elf theme of the expansion.

Sister Aquinne has finished her training and been promoted to Full Priestess from Novice.

Thomas the Altar boy from Stormwind Cathedral runs errands between the NPCs, bringing one a book they need or another a bottle of holy water or a glass of wine.

Again the stairs climb upward, this time when they widen out, a small infirmary has been built into the alcove. Run by Chief Surgeon Gashweld and her Gnomish minions with assistance from some Goblin Priests.

Holy

WoWScrnShot_062116_225502.jpg

 

Finally and more recently an intrepid (or lost) bunch of Humans or maybe Worgens came along and found the ruins. A whisper of the power once held inside captured their imaginations and a church was built, capping off the two Temples which came before it. In honor of the Priest takeover and our Draenic friends, the gardens outside have been given a distinctly Draenei flavour and inside the Church, proximity to the Naaru has caused things to begin to alter. Regardless of the time of day, sunlight streams through the windows.

A Lightwell glitters by the altar and Priests come and go in the pews, listening to sermons, chatting, praying quietly.

Ishanah

High Priestess MacDonnell has finally lost interest in Scourge Cauldrons and moved in search of a newer enemy to fight.

WoWScrnShot_062116_225001

 

Random Details

The ghost of Erin Havenfire wanders randomly through the Class Hall, talking to herself about the balance of light and shadow. When clicked upon, she offers to show you why that balance is so important. If you want you can see a short video of her pressing some random Priest into service to help her gain the redemption she sought.

Books from all three “Faiths” move through the Class Hall, occasionally dueling each other with much smiting, mindflaying and a touch of holy nova from the glittering Holy books.

NPCs wear a variety of Priestly outfits, all the tiers are in use somewhere across the Class Hall.

The various Priest Class trainers all make appearances, conversing about such topics as their most terrible trainees and debating points of theology (I so want a Male Priest answering every question on religion with “that’s an ecumenical matter” and if you haven’t watched Father Ted you should).

In the gardens outside, you find dueling Priests and in a rose covered arbor, a two Worgens sit watching. The Trolls have distributed their Loas throughout the complex depending on where their beliefs lie.

 

Toys, Trinkets and other awesome stuff

A Spirit of Redemption combat pet, if you kill a critter with her out, she tells them it’s not yet their time and resurrects them. Should you aoe a whole bunch of cute little bunnies, she casts mass resurrection.

Devouring Plague, a pet.

WoWScrnShot_072216_182036.jpg

Every so often, she enters shadowform and casts devouring plague on a critter, cackling.

A Travelling Sermon, yep if you can’t get your raid to come to listen to Paletress, you can take a miniature but equally loud and annoying holographic version of her to them…one of the less discussed “benefits” of letting Gnomes and Goblins be priests.

Mini Benediction/Anathema, follows you around casting sparkles every so often (think holy nova but either gold or shadowy). That way, even Shadow Priests can still have their Anathema out whilst using their Artifact weapon.

Holy Priests can purchase a toy entitled “Inept Shadowfiend”. On a 3 minute cooldown, you can summon an “inept shadowfiend” for 12 seconds. It will appear, stand around looking a bit dazed and confused for a bit, hug your feet, drool on the floor and then vanish back from whence it came.

Titles

One of the “flavour” aspects which drew me to the Priest Class was the race specific spells we used to have. In order to recapture that idea that we’re very much drawing on different religions, the titles reflect the differences between the races.

Night Elves: Moon Priest/Moon Priestess

Gnomes/Goblins: Chief Surgeon

Humans/Dwarves/Troll: High Priest/High Priestess

Tauren: Seer

Draenei: Anchorite

Forsaken: Shadow Priest/Shadow Priestess (Torn on this one. The lore might say one thing, but not all Undead Priests are shadow).

Yes, this is a very Alliance centric vision but so is the one we’re getting in Legion. There would obviously be more Horde NPCs but in my admittedly quick look, I was struggling to find that many unique Horde Priests who stand out.

Edit: If this post leaves you with the idea that I’m not hugely taken with the Priest Class Hall that Blizzard have designed, you would be correct.

 

 

Post Patch Positives

And perhaps the odd negative.

First up, I’m “Fabulous”. Who knew I was hoarding that many items of clothing. With the exception of my Shaman, everyone else is hiding shoulders and is likely to be doing so for the foreseeable future. I’ve also found so many things I didn’t know I had like the scythe off Ahune and the Blessed Leggings of Undead Slaying.

The changes to the Toybox have given me lots more bag spaces as well as the Robo-Gnomebulator.

Gnome Hunters…every baby Gnome I encountered at the start zone had a mechanical Bunny in tow.

Snow has decided to go back to her roots. The achievement for Benediction has made her very happy, even to the point that she let Sprout transmogrify Anathema.

WoWScrnShot_072016_130102.jpg

Playing a Holy Priest today though felt a lot less fun than yesterday. Now part of that is definitely the content I’ve been doing, we did heroic UBRS as a Protection Warrior/Holy Priest duo and then did a couple of the Pandaria raids with the same combination. Mana really wasn’t really an issue even when someone pulled all the first packs of UBRS at once (glares in Warrior’s direction) so I had the talent which lets your single target heals refresh renew. That meant for virtually all of it, I had to cast renew once per fight, then flash heals interlaced with smite spam, holy fire off cooldown and loot.

No inept Shadowfiend, no mind sear, no shadow word pain, no power word shield, no fear and no mind vision. I didn’t think I’d miss them but I do. Obviously raid/pvp healing will need more than those 3 spells to sustain a fight but I liked having a tool box bursting at the seams with spells.

The removal of Basil the inept Shadowfiend probably hurts the most. Not because he was needed for damage or mana but because I have fond memories of his ineptness during raids. In an ideal world, we’d get a cosmetic glyph which lets Holy Priests summon an “inept shadowfiend” which would bounce around being useless for 10 seconds on a minute cooldown.

On the plus side, getting Mind Control back gave me a big smile. I never felt I could justify the talent point on something so specific but it’s fun for duoing five mans at the appropriate level and it’s a great source of amusement in PvP.

Finally no more gold missions at the Garrison makes me very happy, okay it essentially paid for my mobile Transmogrification Yak but feeling I’ve escaped them even if it’s temporarily is a wonderful feeling.

Pre-Patch Nerves and “Fond” Farewells

Knowing the Patch is going to come and knowing exactly when the patch is coming have turned out to be two entirely different things, at least in the Harpy Household.

My plan for Wednesday morning has entirely centered around transmogrification and the long awaited Wardrobe feature. Can I imagine using “the Fabulous” title on any of my characters…absolutely not but from the little Beta testing I’ve done, the ability to hide shoulders along with cloak and helm makes me very happy. Especially because I love some of the older cloth robes and they just don’t have shoulders which match perfectly.

In fact my only bugbear is the way they’ve changed the mechanics behind the “hide” feature. Having to return to a Transmogrification NPC whenever you secure a new piece of equipment is for want of a better word annoying. I know in the grand scheme of the game, it’s a very minor problem and one that perhaps 75 percent of the player base won’t even see as an issue but it grates for me.

So I finally gave in and purchased this:

WoWScrnShot_071916_194346

It’s probably an accurate representation of the luggage I take for even the smallest trips too.

 

I’ve exchanged all my garrison resources for gold, I’ve mailed out all the bind on equip gear which my bank alts have been hoarding since the Wardrobe system was first mentioned and I’ve taken farewell pictures of Snow’s Chakras (I know I hated them, hated the giant “I’m a holy Priest come and try and kill me” targets on you in PvP, hated the noise they make whenever you switch but I’ll still miss them).

WoWScrnShot_071916_194513

Technically I’m ready for the dawning of a brand new age but despite the fact that I didn’t enjoy Draenor, I can’t escape that tinge of sadness.