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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

R.I.P Starshards

Well its a few more hours til the EU servers go down for the night, but once they do….. no more starshards.

When I first rolled a nelf priest, I didnt even realise there were priest racials. I wanted a priest because of two shadowpriests I had played against on my warlock. Shadowform looked cool and I really hadnt given the matter much consideration beyond the coolness factor. We were changing server and the gnomeling announced his intention to go druid again, our faction choice was limited by a friend who refused to go Horde so nelf druid it was. Out of laziness I made a nelf priest as well so we could all start together.
As soon as I got starshards, even its original channeled form it was love at first sight. Nothing beats big arcane arrows shooting down on someone’s head pointing out to the whole world…. “Here I am, come gank me!!!” 
Then we come to its current incarnation, instant cast and manafree still with those wonderful graphics. What is there not to love? In arenas, I used it whenever it was off cooldown, in pve whenever I could spare the globalcooldown. 
Starshards, you will be missed, its the end of an era. 

Goodbye to Priest Racials

Blizzard have finally given up on trying to balance the priest racials and are removing them. Im in two minds about this really.

In an upcoming build all Priest racials have been retired, except the following:
– Desperate Prayer – This is now the 11-point talent in Holy, Holy Nova is now a base ability. Cooldown also reduced to 30 seconds.
– Devouring Plague – Now a base ability. Cooldown reduced to 30 seconds, mana cost greatly reduced.
– Symbol of Hope – Now a base ability. Now restores 5% base mana every 2 seconds for 8 seconds to your party. Renamed “Hymn of Hope.”

While this change does reduce the “uniqueness” of different Priests, we feel game balance as a whole will benefit. Note: These new “racials” are not racials, they are trainable to all Priests.

Its scary that the developers feel we need desparate prayer on a 30 second cooldown however, especially if they arent scaling its healing down.

I liked the variety between priests, even if my own toons didnt always have the best ones.

However Blizzard did take 3 decent racials to apply equally.

  1. An extra form of dps is always good, that form of dps fitting in with your major magic schools and healing you into the bargain is not to be sneezed at.
  2. Holy Nova is a bit too gimicky to be a talent, especially since downranking has been removed, so making it baseline is a buff, especially since its been replaced with something useful.
  3. Self heals on short cooldowns that dont need mana are a wonderful thing, up there with whiskers on kittens and raindrops on roses.
  4. Hymn of Hope is another reason to take a priest to a raid, abeit a weak one. Plus an extra method of regen is always welcome especially given the potion nerf and the removal of downranking.

All in all, I think its positive, but ill miss the Starshard graphics, huge arcane arrows following your target around was pure win.

No more shadowmeld & drinking

My precious precious shadowmeld nerfed….

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Blizzard announced last night that they are making changes to the racials and already there are pages and pages of threads crying, complaining and demanding.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Bob Dylan

It seems that Bob Dylan was spot on. Personally Im in two minds about the whole thing, yes its Blizzard’s game and they reserve the right to chance what they want when they want, but they must be aware that certain people roled certain class/race combinations with race in mind.

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