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

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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.

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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.

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

For the Horde! (again)

Much to my surprise, I’m now the proud “owner” of a level 100 Troll Druid.

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Although I think I’ve reached saturation point with Demons, can’t say I’d be saddened if I never saw another. We’ve gone from level 30 all the way to 100 almost entirely by slaughtering them. I’ve made 2000 gold from the lock boxes and have an army of felbats hibernating in my bags. Even more surprising, it turns out I can actually dps…

A Tale of Two Druids

On returning from our holiday, we used our free boosts on a Druid each. It’s class we’ve both played a lot, possibly I even have more play time on Druids than I do Priests as I tended to raid on the Priest, PvP on the Druid in vanilla so I was a bit taken aback by the “class familiarization” tutorial.

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I know that level 100s running around without a clue as to how to play the class isn’t a good thing but this little training school scenario doesn’t change that, especially since it forces you into playing dps. It does however explain some of the quite frankly weird behaviour I’ve seen from undergeared level 100s in the Broken Isles scenario, they must be brand new characters.

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However like a well trained Kitty, Heartsease ripped and shredded on command, stopping only to mourn the loss of “pounce” as a spell in it’s own right, oh and to quibble about being told what to do by a Human. Having survived the Broken Isles scenario (and possibly got more Alliance killed than the Burning Legion so far…people without stealth really shouldn’t follow stealthed cats into hordes of Demons) and sorted out a transmogrification, I was at a bit of loose end.

Then I remembered our Troll Druids, abandoned on the same server at level 30.

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It didn’t take long to sort out their bars, respec where needed and head off in search of the nearest Demon Invasion. A few short hours later, they’ve gone from level 30 to 59, made quite a lot of gold from selling the contents of their lock boxes since a level 10 item sells for the same as a level 100 one and are now hoarding boxes with a view to opening at what level they reach before Legion comes out.

Just as I intend playing my new level 100 Druid as feral, my baby Troll is a kitty too and playing almost from scratch is helping me get my Druid groove back.

We haven’t paused for many quests but one of the few chains we managed to complete between invasions was the Camp Taurajo one. Let’s just say it made defending Westfall from the Demons a tad tricky.

Sunday Screenshots – Demon Invasions

It seems to rain a lot whenever those pesky Demons are doing a spot of invading, bringing a whole new meaning to “Acid Rain”.

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If you can’t beat them…

The Burning Legion are one of my all time favourite villains. They quite literally have it all, style, pithy one liners to be quoted in guildchat ad nauseam and unshirking commitment to their goals.

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So, in the build up to Legion and in at attempt to get back into blogging for more than a week every six months, I’m going to be celebrating all things demonic.

 

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.

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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.

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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.