Month: March 2014

Power Word: Priest

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Next on the list of favorite classes is the Priest! Priests are awesome because if you like to heal, like I do, they offer 2 specializations of healing and one for damage. They were originally designed to be healers, so their healing specs excel far beyond their DPS spec.

Class Information

Class : Priest
Available Races : [A] Draenei, Dwarf, Gnome, Human, Night Elf, Worgen | [H] Blood Elf, Undead, Goblin, Tauren, Troll | [N] Pandaren
Role : Healing, Ranged DPS
Specializations : Discipline, Holy, Shadow
Gear Type : Intellect Cloth
Resources : Mana
Alternate Resources : Shadow Orbs (Shadow)
Useable Weapons : Dagger, 1-Hand Mace, Staff, Wand non-shield Off-hand

 

Rating

Levelling Speed : 7/10
Survivability  :7/10
Gameplay : 7/10
Utility : 7/10
Soloing Capability : 5/10
Transmog Options : 9/10
Overall : 7/10

 

Review

Priests are primarily a ranged class, so there is no real need for them to be in melee range. They have a lot of awesome abilities, and if you like to dungeon crawl , they can level relatively quickly. However, priests have minimal soloing capabilities, as they cannot sustain as much damage as other classes.

Leveling Speed

Leveling as a Priest has always been a very slow and painful process for me. In the beginning you only get smite and Power Word: Pain for about 15 levels. If you choose to pick up a healing spec at 10, your offensive abilities never really grow from that. Shadow does not get interesting until around level 70 when all the “good” offensive abilities show up in your spellbook. Since priests have 2 healing specs, I prefer to just chain-run dungeons until I hit 85, then switch to shadow to quest to 90. I have read that a lot of priests stay as Disc or Holy and just smite spam their way to 90, but I personally find that extremely dull.

Survivability

Priests are a bit tricky to review in the survivability aspect. In PvP they are very difficult to kill while in their DPS spec (Shadow) due to an ability called Dispersion. It reduces incoming damage by 90%. Unfortunately it is exclusive to the Shadow spec. If you choose to level as Holy or Discipline, you will rarely die as long as you have enough mana to heal yourself, but it will be a very slow process. I personally prefer not to solo anything as a priest because it either takes a long time, or you die a lot….which also takes a long time. Priests just take a lot of time.

Gameplay

If you manage to get your priest up to max level, they become so much more fun and rewarding. I guess it’s a pretty good trade off for the leveling experience to be so mind numbing. Since priests were originally designed to heal, and only heal, naturally their two healing specs are the best designed.

I personally switch between both Disc and Holy depending on how lazy I want to be. Disc was designed to turn damage into healing, while Holy is just raw healing with little to no damage. In LFR I prefer to play Disc because it’s the lazy-man’s way to topping the healing charts. Though if you put in the time to research Disc, it is a very rewarding spec that actually is considered to be one of the top healing specs in this expansion.

 priest2

Utility

Priests have some awesome utility abilities. One of their abilities, Leap of Faith, grabs another player and yanks them to your location. Some people like to mess with party members by using it to get them killed…..while the good priests use it to save lives.

Void Shift is also an interesting ability. It swaps your health with your target’s health. Again this is another ability that can either kill someone or save their life.

Disc priests have some awesome abilities that add to their preventative healing utility. Abilities such as Pain Suppression, Power Word: Barrier and Spirit Shell are my top 3 favorite Disc abilities. Pain Suppression reduces the target’s threat as well as the amount of damage they will take while the ability is active. Power Word; Barrier creates a golden dome on the ground that if players are inside of it, reduces their incoming damage. And finally, Spirit Shell is an ability that places an extremely strong absorption shield on the target.

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Holy priest get a neat ability called Divine Hymn. Divine Hymn is a massive AoE ability that acts much like a druid’s Tranquility, healing all targets in your party for about 8,000 health every second. It also increases all healing received by 10% for 8 seconds. Next up on Holy’s ability list is the Lightwell. The Lightwell is a little well that players used to be able to click on to receive heals, but due to a lot of priests complaining that no one EVER clicks the lightwell, it was transformed into Lightspring. The Lightspring does the same thing as the Lightwell, but it does not require players to physically click on it.

 priest4

 

Soloing Capability

As I said earlier, I hate soloing things on a priest. It takes forever. Maybe I’m just a bad priest, I don’t know. I primarly heal on all of my priests, so maybe I have never fully experienced the awesomeness of a shadow priest’s damage, but this blog is about my personal opinion is it not? I just don’t like it. Either things refuse to die because I don’t do enough damage, or I die because I can’t heal myself or take much damage. Either way, I do not recommend trying to solo things as a priest.

Transmog Options

Oh Transmog…my favorite part of World of Warcraft. Priests get the BEST looking gear as well. They can be creepy, heavenly or just plain epic. A lot of cliché priest transmogs include white, gold, blue etc, but there are some really awesome ones available due to the sheer volume of cloth armor in the game. It’s safe to say my Paladin is jealous of how awesome my priest looks on a daily basis. Unfortunately I did choose an undead priest, and nothing looks nice on an undead, that’s for sure.

Here’s some examples of my favorite priest Transmogs done by other players

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Overall

Overall I really enjoy healing on my priest. He’s my third most played character in the game, and if you can master them they are a lot of fun. Unfortunately he doesn’t really do much but raid because well, I don’t like doing anything but raiding on priests.

So if you are looking to heal, or want a challenging DPS spec, my third most favorite class is a priest. They have a LOT of healing utility, but have something to be desired in their DPS abilities.

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Hunters – Apsect of the Daze

Hunter Banner

Unlike Paladins (my previous post), Hunters are a pure DPS class. My very first character in WoW was a hunter simply because it was recommended due to how fast they can level. Hunters are not only a ranged class, but also a pet class. Your pet can essentially hold threat on something while you kill it from a distance. My favorite part of playing a hunter, recently, has been the PvP (player vs player) aspect. They are incredibly powerful, hard to kill and have great personal utility. These things, among others, have brought the Hunter class 2nd on my ranking for favorite classes.

Class Information

Class : Hunter
Available Races : [A] Draenei, Dwarf, Human, Night Elf, Worgen | [H] Blood Elf, Undead, Goblin, Orc, Tauren, Troll | [N] Pandaren
Role : Ranged DPS
Specializations : Marksman, Beast Mastery, Survival
Gear Type : Agility Mail
Resources : Focus
Useable Weapons : Bow, Crossbow, Gun

Rating

Levelling Speed : 10/10
Survivability : 9/10
Gameplay : 7/10
Utility : 5/10
Soloing Capability : 10/10
Transmog Options : 7/10
Overall : 8/10

Review

Since Hunters are a ranged DPS class, you are restricted a little bit into what you can do to level and at end game. Leveling as a hunter is often a lot quicker to just quest and occasionally que for a dungeon. Dungeon ques for DPS are typically anywhere between 5 and 25 minutes.

Leveling Speed

Leveling as a hunter is by far one of the fastest and easiest experiences in the game. Since hunters have a pet that basically takes all of the damage for them, the death count while leveling is usually fairly low. I also found hunters to level quicker through questing, since dungeon ques are slightly longer than those for healers or tanks. The most efficient method by far is queing for dungeons while you quest.

Survivability

Since hunters rely heavily on their pets to take most of the damage, as long as you can keep your pet alive with Mend Pet, you’ll be just fine. However if you let your pet die, you can expect to shortly follow suit without using any of your very limited defensive abilities. Hunters have a very unique way of avoiding death by literally pretending to be dead. In PvP this ability will only annoy your enemy, but it will not actually save you from death like it can in PvE content.

Here’s an example of a funny feign death comic I found. Pretty much sums up the experience.

Feign Death

Deterrence and Disengage are also useful defensive cool downs. Deterrence reduces incoming damage for a few seconds while Disengage sends you flying backwards from your target in an aide to run for your life.

Gameplay

As I said in my opening, I am particularly fond of hunters in PvP. In PvE they are also powerhouses that can ruin anyone’s day, but I just prefer the experience of a hunter in PvP over PvE. In PvP, depending on which spec you play, it is neigh impossible to be killed with the right pet/talent combinations. I have taken on up to five people at once and came out victorious. If you are more into PvE or raiding, hunters can also give a satisfaction of being the highest on the DPS meter. As always, true gameplay excellence follows the skill of the player, but overall hunters are a very easy class to do well at.

Utility

Freezing TrapHunters have a lot of utility; unfortunately it’s only for them (those selfish jerks!). As previously mentioned, hunters have Disengage, Deterrence and Feign Death. Hunters can also provide traps, which can either slow or freeze enemies. In addition to their traps, they also have an ability called Misdirect. Misdirect causes all incoming threat to the hunter to be directed towards a friendly target. This ability is often used while leveling so the hunter doesn’t pull threat off of its pet. This ability can also be used to pull raid or dungeon bosses to help the tanks establish a high amount of threat even faster. Other than those few abilities, hunters do not have much to offer to the party, but their pets do! Hunter pets can provide buffs that may otherwise be missing in the group’s composition, such as melee or spell haste, crit, mastery, attack power, etc.

Soloing Capability

Hunters have one of the highest soloing capabilities in the game (next to death knights of course). Once again, due to the hunter’s pet, he can solo a variety of different encounters without so much as a scratch on himself. I personally prefer to solo any content on my hunter in comparison to any other class because it is just that easy. Some fights have mind control mechanics, which make it a bit hairy for a hunter to solo because they would either have to dismiss their pet, or try to DPS through the enemy’s health fast enough as to not risk the mind control mechanic going off.

Transmog Options

I am personally not too fond of the hunter transmog options. Most of the sets either make you look like a bear or like a boss in the raid instance. However hunters do have a lot of options with mail items, as they share that gear type with shamans. Mail armor is also available from level 1, so obtaining unique or strange armor sets is rather easy, it just requires a lot of time, research and patience.

If you spend enough time on getting creative with your mail pieces, you can take an otherwise brutish looking set of gear and make it into your very own 3-D stripper!

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However unless you plan on spending your days dancing on top of a mailbox in Orgrimmar, I would not suggest dressing your hunter this way. It also looks pretty awkward for the boys to be wearing that style of armor as well. Be sure to check out WoW Hunter’s Hall for more transmog ideas.

Overall

Overall I really do enjoy the hunter. The leveling experience is easy enough that I have two of them at max level. As for ranged DPS, they are by far my most favorite, but that may be mostly biased on the fact that it was my first. I would definitely recommend a hunter to any new player as the ease of this class is extremely high and requires minimal effort to be decent enough to blend in. However if you do put in the extra time, effort and research, hunters offer an extremely rewarding return. Since the class is easy to play decently, those who master it are nearly unstoppable.

So in conclusion, hunters are ranked 2nd in favorite class list because of their ease to play, how much fun they are, and the ability to solo things that most classes cannot. Hunters are a very good class for players who love to hunt for achievements, rare items and collect pets, as there are literally hundreds of unique pets that hunters can tame.

Related Class Links

WoW Hunter’s Hall – Hunter Blogger that blogs about all things hunter!
Petopia – Website dedicated to tracking all types of hunter pets available in the game! My favorites are the spirit beasts 🙂
WoWHead – Hunter Class Description Page. This site also offers the entire game database at the user’s fingertips from quests, NPCs, raid boss loot and much more.
Warcraft Hunter’s Union – Another blog dedicated to all things hunter! Includes guides on how to play a hunter
Huntsman’s Lodge – Blog dedicated to all things hunters

To finish off this post I will leave you with a screenshot of my hunter obtaining her legendary cloak! Happy Hunting!

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Paladin – The Holy Hand Grenade of Azeroth

Paladins became my favorite class for a couple reasons, mostly that captivating flashy cone of light, which I later found out is called Light of Dawn. They have extensive utility in raid environments. I also enjoy their ability to cheat mechanics in a fight and wear the strongest form of armor all at the same time.

Light of Dawn

 Class Information

Class : Paladin
Available Races : [A] Human, Dwarf, Draenei & [H] Blood Elf, Tauren
Role : Hybrid (Tank, Healer or DPS)
Specializations : Protection, Holy, Retribution
Gear Type : Plate
Resources : Mana
Alternate Resource : Holy Power
Useable Weapons :   2-Handed Axe, Sword, Mace & Polearm, 1-Handed Axe, Sword & Mace, and Shield

 

Rating

Levelling Speed : 8/10
Survivability  : 9/10
Gameplay : 8/10
Utility : 10/10
Soloing Capability : 7/10
Transmog Options : 8/10
Overall : 8/10

Review

Since Paladins are a hybrid class, they can take on whatever role you want. You can melee DPS in Ret, Heal in Holy, or Tank in Prot. You can literally experiment with all three to find out which one you prefer the most.

Levelling Speed

Levelling a paladin can be challenging at times, but very rewarding. I found Paladins to be faster than most classes because of their ability to adapt to different roles to get faster dungeon ques. However if you plan on questing, I would recommend going either Ret or Prot depending on your skill level and capabilities on staying alive. I would recommend going to Ret once you get to Pandaria regardless of what spec you want to play at max level. I have personally leveled through pandaria in all three specs, and from my experience prot is far too slow, holy is almost useless, but Ret is very squishy, though a steady stream of damage.

Survivability

I struggled quite a bit while leveling as a Holy paladin. In Holy, you do almost no damage but never die; in Prot you do a lot of damage till about level 70 and you almost never die, and in Ret you don’t do much damage till 70 and you will die a lot. I was very disappointed in Ret’s durability or lack thereof. I was getting my ass handed to me on a silver platter most of the time unless I spent my Holy Power on healing myself, and since your main abilities in Ret will require use of holy power, keeping myself alive meant doing less damage; thus leveling even slower. However slow the process was in Ret, it was a hundred times faster than the other two options.

Gameplay

I find Paladins by far the most fun class in the game because you can cheat mechanics (which I’ll go into more detail in the utility section). But to brush upon it lightly, you can survive things that would otherwise kill any other class. The healing experience is my favorite of the three specs and my absolute favorite style in the game. You use a combination of your mana and Holy Power to AOE, single target, preventative and HoT your targets. It’s incredible. Holy Paladins are also extremely hard to kill in PvP due to their utilities if they are played properly, which makes it even more fun to see people get frustrated that I just won’t die.

Here is a video of a Ret paladin playing in PvP arenas.

Utility

Paladin using Divine Shield to escape certain death

The main abilities that paladins have that other classes do not are things like Divine Shield, Devotion Aura, Hand of Protection, Hand of Freedom, Hand of Salvation and Hand of Sacrifice. All but one of these abilities can be cast on your entire group, individual members or yourself. Divine Shield can only be used on you and it makes you immune to literally everything. With this shield up, you take no damage, you cannot be interrupted, stunned, or feared. You go into god-mode for 8 seconds while it is active. Devotion Aura is not only a 20% magic damage reduction for your entire raid or party, but it also protects you and your entire party from being interrupted during spell-cast. That’s right, you can prevent up to 40 people from being interrupted all at the same time, which is an extremely useful ability if you are in a large battleground group or raid. The Hand spells (Protection, freedom, sacrifice and salvation) can all be cast on you or a raid/party member. Protection grants immunity from physical attacks (ie melee attacks). Freedom removes all movement impairing effects on you or your target. Sacrifice can only be cast on someone else unless you have it glyphed. If you do not have it glyphed, it will sacrifice your health for your target’s health when they are taking damage. It essentially redirects 30% of the damage to you. If you do have it glyphed, it is a flat 30% damage reduction ability. Finally, Salvation reduces the threat of you or your target. All of these abilities have saved lives in raids, making Paladins very useful in a raid or battleground environment.

Soloing Capability

Unfortunately, as I previously mentioned with Ret being rather squishy, Holy being useless for damage and Prot doing very little damage, it is often times difficult to solo content as a Paladin. I would recommend using Ret to solo things, but be warned Ret is known to take a lot of damage. Unlike warriors or death knights, Ret seems to be significantly squishier when they take smacks to the face. Ret does seem to be heavily reliant on gear, so it is safe to assume the better gear you have, the easier it is going to be to solo an encounter. Holy also has a severe lack of AoE damaging abilities, so I would never recommend soloing anything as Holy.

Transmog Options

My favorite part of WoW is now the Transmog feature. In case you aren’t familiar with it, it allows you to change the appearance of your current armor into something more….fancy! (Or in a paladin’s case more sparkly.) Paladins have some of the best looking plate gear in the game, however if you are interested in going for anything that isn’t gold, red, or white, think twice about paladins. Finding and obtaining gear that for a Paladin to transmog that is not those three colors is either neigh impossible or extremely difficult, expensive and time consuming to obtain. I’m still trying to make a black armor set for mine, but all the good black gear is specific to other classes.

my_paladin_transmogrification_by_laretsu-d4qxeym     drillbore

Overall

In general, I adore Paladins, if you haven’t figured that out already. I have been raiding as a Prot paladin for almost two years, and as Holy paladin for nearly a year. The class can be deemed as somewhat easy, but to be really good at it, it will require a lot of research, dedication and time playing the class and finding all the intricate details. Personally I enjoy finding what I can and cannot die from while using Divine Shield (yes I said you get total immunity, but Blizzard wouldn’t let TOTAL immunity happen…but it does work most of the time!)

So in conclusion, if you are looking for a versatile class to learn how to play the game on, Paladin’s are your best bet. They are by far the simplest of classes to understand, but are also extremely rewarding if you are willing to dig deeper into their rotations, abilities and strengths.

Now I will leave you with MY paladin doing light of dawn!

Now I will leave you with MY paladin doing light of dawn!