Tag Archives: 3.3.5

Leveling Challenge: The Early Teens

In the interests of scientific inquiry, Liala rolled a brand new priest on a brand new server: Liala the Second was born on US-Drenden without a penny to her name. Without heirlooms, without alts, without money of any kind, Liala II is an experiment in leveling a priest in 3.3.5 using wits alone. Follow along, if you dare…

StatusSee Liala II’s progress on the Armory

Time To Level

  • 9 – 10: 23 minutes. At this point I’d pretty much had it with Eversong Woods, which bores me to tears, so I hit Silvermoon to pick up my new priest spells (Renew, Lesser Heal, Resurrection; Fade, Mind Blast, and Shadow Word: Pain). The Translocation Orb for Undercity just so happens to be right next to the Priest trainer, so I hopped on that, took a zeppelin to Ogrimmar, another to Thunder Bluff, and ended up in my favorite leveling zone- skipping the hated Ghostlands in their entirety. I had to ask a level 80 raiding priest for directions to the Thunder Bluff zeppelin, and she was perfectly charming about it (WTB flight points). I waited. And waited. And WAITED for that damned thing. Seriously, you can get to and from Northrend every three minutes, but two blocks down to Thunder Bluff takes ten?
  • 10 – 11: About three hours. I diddled around running to Mulgore (where I love to level), leveling a bit of fishing, cooking and first aid, visiting the Auction House, and generally pootling around. I also remembered very late in the process how much faster you level taking a whole slew of green quests rather than desperately hunting one or two orange ones. Without heirloom gear, this is the way to go.
  • 11-12: 1 hour, 20 minutes. When fighting alone, it’s important to remember that you can Shield yourself and drag the enemy you’re fighting out of the path of a potential, roving enemy. Better to take a few hits from one as you run than to pull two at a time- not a priestly strong point.
  • 12-13: 3 hours. At this point, I pretty much wanted to lay down and die. I couldn’t kill anything even remotely my level without taking a serious breather afterwards despite pressing danger, like a fat man on a fire escape. Ice Cold Milk. Ice Cold Milk! ICE COLD MILK! Things were not helped by logging onto my hunter and accidentally gaining two levels in 45 minutes. We still can’t use the LFD and self-leveling is, to be generous, extra-grim.
  • 13-14: At least four hours. Urge to kill… rising. No longer attempting to stifle screams of rage and tears of frustration. At some point I make a banker character, which does nothing to assist in the leveling process.
  • 14-15: At least five hours, including time spent clutching the Crossroads mailbox weeping copiously. I begin to see the background music. The Donner party’s actions now make complete sense to me. Loss of bowel control. Weeping continues uninterrupted. PvP is attempted and proves to provide even less XP than standard leveling practices. Seppuku seriously considered.

Rotation

Smite to get their attention. Mind Blast. Self-shield. Shadow Word: Pain. Smite. Smite. Smite. Whack with stick.

Statistics

Total Deaths: 16
Money earned: 17 gold, 46 silver
Alchemy: 39
Herbalism: 53
Ice Cold Milks Consumed: 87
Creatures killed: 432
Quests completed: 73
GearScore: 6

Conclusion

Nothing could ever, ever suck as much as this.

If you are actually starting a lone, boost-free priest, it’s insanely difficult to get through these first 15 levels.  If you want to heal in LFG dungeons, though, you won’t have the money to respec and so must start out as you wish to continue. The monotony and difficulty of these pre-LFG disc priest levels cannot be overestimated. Godspeed, noble Disco.

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Liala’s Priest Leveling Challenge

I get a lot of mail asking about alternatives to heirloom gear for people without sugar daddy 80’s. It’s one of the reasons that the Discultimate Gear Guide is dedicated to non-heirloom leveling gear.

A particular email struck me, though:

“So, I don’t have any level 80 characters, and I don’t have any heirlooms. How long has it been since you leveled your priest? Will it take me forever without them?”

I had to ask myself how long it had actually been since I leveled my priest- and… phew, it’s been a while. More than two years!

It feels like just yesterday, gentle readers, and I’ve been writing the leveling portions of the blog from the excellent memories of those days. But things change, and it’s been positive ages since I’ve tried to level all on my own.

No moneybags alts to keep me rolling in dough. No free enchanting mats, no maxed-out bags. No enchanter at the ready, no jeweler to cut on command. No solo-running low-level instances to pick up the best blue for your alt’s level and shipping it off to them.

When Cataclysm drops, lots of people will be playing WoW for the first time. Even now, we’re rolling alts on new servers to pass the time, or to lay the groundwork for multiple alts on a new server (I don’t know about you guys, but I hit my realm’s character max light years ago- and I NEED a goblin and Tauren drood, dammit!).

It’s time to revisit the leveling process for priests. I’ve decided to roll a brand-new priest on a brand-new server.

I chose Drenden-US, which is another server on my Battlegroup whose members I’ve always enjoyed PUGging with, and where I have no other alts. And because I did it Alliance last time, I’ve chosen to go with the Horde.

Say hello to my leetle friend...

Feel free to stop by any time to say hello. She’s taking her first steps tonight… Let the games begin!

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The Discultimate Leveling Guide: Levels 40 to 50 In Five Days

Level Forty To Fifty: Tanaris Is For Lovers!

BY LEVEL FORTY, you should have this whole healing thing well in hand. Whether you’ve taken up with a sympathetic tank and the two of you terrorize the countryside, or you’ve become a past master of the Looking For Dungeon Tool, this stretch of leveling road is an opportunity to truly hone your craft.

Your Satchel of Helpful Goods these days will contain items for your shoulders and fingers; with two fingers, you’ll likely make out with three free blues in this leveling section, rather than two. Don’t forget and accidentally purchase those expensive, uber-sexy shoulders right when you ding 40.

Acquiring higher-end (read: more expensive) crafting mats should drive much of your choices about where to level. Mats for items in the 200-300 level range can be more expensive than top-tier crafting mats, and buying them on the auction house is likely going to bankrupt you (unless that tank you found happens to double as your sugar daddy). To add insult to injury, much of what you’re crafting at these levels isn’t going to sell for much, if anything. Mageweave in particular is tough on the pocketbook at this point, but can be farmed successfully in Felwood at this level. Tanaris becomes particularly profitable for miners and skinners from these levels forward, and you can quest there to boot.

And don’t forget to pick up your Journeyman riding skill and a sweet new mount when you hit 40.

QUICK FACTS

TALENTS

  • 40    5/5 Mental Strength
  • 41    1/2 Focused Power
  • 42    2/2 Focused Power
  • 43    1/3 Enlightenment
  • 44    2/3 Enlightenment
  • 45    3/3 Enlightenment
  • 46    1/1 Power Infusion
  • 47   1/3 Improved Flash Heal
  • 48   1/3 Focused Will
  • 49   2/3 Focused Will
  • 50   3/3 Focused Will

ROTATION

  • Shield/Renew tank
  • Flash Heal small damage
  • Greater Heal big damage
  • Shield specific DPS/yourself if they’re consistently taking a lot of damage
  • Spam Fade if you’re taking a lot of aggro
  • Power Infusion on yourself at 25% of your mana level

QUEST AREAS

  • Feralas (40-50)
  • Tanaris Desert (40-50)
  • Badlands (35-45)
  • The Hinterlands (40-52)
  • Stranglethorn Vale/Searing Gorge (43-50)
  • Feralas (40-50)
  • Tanaris Desert (40-50)
  • The Hinterlands (40-52)
  • Searing Gorge (43-50)
  • Azshara (45-55)
  • The Blasted Lands (45-55)
  • Felwood (48-55)

LEVEL 40-50 SPELLS

40 – GREATER HEAL

A slow casting spell that heals a single target for X to Y.

Slow and big. Big and slow. Though the name couldn’t be more boring, and it is a spell geared towards Holy priests, this is a handy spell to rely on when you know your tank is about to take a massive damage hit. Also useful for topping yourself up from near-zero after a particularly nasty solo leveling run-in.

48 – PRAYER OF FORTITUDE

Power infuses all party and raid members, increasing their Stamina by X for 1.00 hour.

Prayer of Fortitude, like the later Prayer of Shadow Protection and  Prayer of Spirit, is a party-wide buff that uses one Devout Candle as its reagent. You’ll be casting all three before every raid and instance, and it’s useful not to have to stand around and hit five people individually with Power Word: Fortitude. Party-wide buffs are your responsibility as a good healer, so do stock up on the candles.

LEVEL 40-50 TALENTS

MENTAL STRENGTH

5 out of 5 points: Increases your total intellect by X%.

Continuing from last time, you’ll finish picking up these talents at 41, 42, and 43. At this point, your mana pool can handle the drain of mana that all those more powerful spells will require.

FOCUSED POWER

2 points: Increases damage and healing done by your spells by X%. In addition, your Mass Dispel cast time is reduced by Y sec.

Focused Power is a no-brainer, now that it increases your healing by 2% with the first rank and 4% with the second rank. Mass Dispel also gets a boost, but that will come in handy more in the Icecrown Citadel fights than in the earlier instances.

ENLIGHTENMENT

3 points: Increases your Spell Haste, and Spirit by X%.

It’s popular these days to pooh-pooh Spirit, but its importance to the size of your mana pool is undeniable. As mana management becomes more of an issue,  Spirit’s importance grows. As you level, mana pool size is more important than it is during raiding, when gear can pick up the mana slack, so pick up both levels here. And in no universe is more haste not a good thing!

POWER INFUSION

1 point: Infuses the target with power, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and reducing the mana cost of all spells by 20%. Lasts 15 sec.

Though I hesitate to add anything to your casting bar so early on, I go for Power Infusion this early in the game to give every aspiring Disco priest an opportunity to remember to use it. Power Infusion is a fantastic ability, but with its long cooldown and slightly obscure usage, its easy to forget to mash it when needed. Part of the reason you’re leveling as a Disco is to really learn to use your spells to their best effect: picking up Power Infusion early will hopefully increase your use of this, the most underutilized of utility spells.

IMPROVED FLASH HEAL

1 out of 5: Reduces the mana cost of your Flash Heal by X% and increases the critical effect chance of your Flash Heal by Y% on friendly targets at or below 50% health.

Start pushing points into a very unexciting but useful talent that improves your Flash Heal substantially by the time you take all five points (which you will, in the end). Though unsexy, you’ll be glad you did.

FOCUSED WILL

3 points: After taking a critical hit you gain the Focused Will effect, reducing all damage taken by X% and increasing healing effects on you by Y%. Stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 8 sec.

Finish out your talent tree to 50 by picking up all three ranks of Focused Will. Though ostensibly a PvP talent, if you find yourself running a lot of PUGs with tanks who can’t hold aggro, or solo/duo leveling, you’ll be glad you did. This makes it onto my list of essential talents in the as you finish up towards fifty solely because when you hit level 60, the Outlands instances you’ll be running introduces you to a massive influx of Death Knight tanks who have little to no experience tanking. There are exceptions of course, but chances are enormous that you’ll be on the receiving end of a larger number of hits than ever before. It’s nice to roll with the punches.

LEVEL 40-50 TALENT TREE

By level 50, then, your talent tree will look like this:

Discipline Priest Talent Tree, Level 40 to 50

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The Discultimate Leveling Guide: Levels 30 to 40 In Five Hours

Levels Thirty To Forty: Alterac Mountains? But I'm Squishy!

IT SEEMS LIKE just yesterday you were languishing for your mount, navigating the troublesome world of the Dungeon Finder for the first time, and exalting in your first Satchel of Helpful Goods. Now the feeling of excitement is waning, perhaps (Tumultuous Cloak of the Bandit AGAIN?), but the 30 to 40 grind actually has quite a bit to recommend it.

From levels 20 to 30, your Satchel of Helpful Goods contained back and waist items, so you could safely ignore spending money on those upgrades. From levels 30 to 40, however, your bag will give you items for your neck and hands. Whatever else you do, don’t bother getting that snazzy, expensive necklace upgrade right when you hit 30!

This stretch of leveling road is an absolutely excellent time to get serious about your trade skills, particularly cooking, which will pay off with real money in the long run, and fishing, which will make cooking even more profitable. Selling high-end buff foods before raid nights- Firecracker Salmons, Giant Feasts- will pad your pocket most comfortably.

At level 30, you’re high enough level to breeze through the primary gathering skill spots (you do have one gathering skill, right?) with ease.  This is the perfect time to visit them. You should also keep your hands on all the wool and silk you’re accumulating to turn in to capital city Quartermasters for increased faction reps.

QUICK FACTS

TALENTS

  • 30    1/1 Soul Warding
  • 31    1/5 Holy Specialization
  • 32    2/5 Holy Specialization
  • 33    3/5 Holy Specialization
  • 34    4/5 Holy Specialization
  • 35    5/5 Holy Specialization
  • 36    1/5 Mental Strength
  • 37    2/5 Mental Strength
  • 38    3/5 Mental Strength
  • 39    4/5 Mental Strength
  • 40    5/5 Mental Strength

ROTATION

  • Shield/Renew tank
  • Flash Heal small damage
  • Greater Heal big damage
  • Shield specific DPS/yourself if they’re consistently taking a lot of damage
  • Spam Fade if you’re taking a lot of aggro
  • Inner Focus at 25% of your base mana

QUEST AREAS

  • Arathi Highlands (30-40)
  • Desolace (30-40)
  • Thousand Needles (30+)
  • Stranglethorn Vale (30-45)
  • Hillsbrad Foothills (20-30)
  • Arathi Highlands (30-40)
  • Desolace (30-40)
  • Badlands (35-45)
  • Stranglethorn Vale (30-45)
  • Dustwallow Marsh (35-45)

LEVEL 30-40 SPELLS

30 – MIND CONTROL

Controls a humanoid mind up to level X, but increases the time between attacks by 25%. Lasts up to 1 min.

Feel like being a DPS for a hot minute? Healing failPUGs got you down? Why not mind control a nearby enemy and use him to bash the brains out of his companions! Fun for the whole family! … Except, you know, if you need to, say, heal someone. Absolutely a Shadow-only spell unless you’re just having a larf or solo leveling.

30 – PRAYER OF HEALING

A powerful prayer heals party members within 30 yards for X to Y.

Finally, something useful. When you hit 30, the long slog of no new spells you’ve endured since 20 is finally broken. PoH is worth waiting for. It’s pretty great in 5-man PUGs when all of your party members take damage at once from some AoE, but it really shines in raids. You can target any raid member and heal their entire party, wether or not you’re in it. Hit your ‘Inner Focus’ cooldown just before using PoH to obliterate its long-ass casting time and staggering 48% of base mana cost.

30 – SHADOW PROTECTION (Buff)

Increases the target’s resistance to Shadow spells by X for 10 min.

Until level 56 and 60, when you pick up Prayer of Shadow Protection and Prayer of Spirit, respectively (which buffs the entire party at once), you’ll have to individually cast this buff on every member of your party (including yourself, natch). But there’s a lot of shadow damage out there and SP comes in handy, as do all your buffs. Don’t skimp on buffing, as you’re the one who’ll pay the price for people taking more damage.

30 – DIVINE SPIRIT (Buff)

Holy power infuses the target, increasing their Spirit by X for 30 min.

See Shadow Protection.

32 – ABOLISH DISEASE

Attempts to cure 1 disease effect on the target, and 1 more disease effect every 3 seconds for 12 sec.

Pre-Cataclysm, casting Abolish Disease didn’t cost you mana unless there was actually a disease to dispel, meaning you could smack it down any time someone looked peakish (just in case). In Cataclysm, however, you pay the price for casting even if you have no diseases to dispel. Sadly, you’ll have to learn what icons stand for disease and what icons stand for poisons to make this an effective, mana efficient spell.

34 – LEVITATE

Allows the target to levitate, floating a few feet above the ground. While levitating, the target will fall at a reduced speed and travel over water. Any damage will cancel the effect. Lasts 2 min.

Though I thought of this as a ‘slow fall’ spell for years, its greater utility is actually the ability to travel over water. This can save you vast swathes of time while leveling through Outland, and with a minor glyph- Glyph of Levitate- you can eliminate the Light Feather it normally costs to cast. An under-appreciated but very useful little trick!

40 – GREATER HEAL

A slow casting spell that heals a single target for X to Y.

Slow and big. Big and slow. Though the name couldn’t be more boring, and it is a spell geared towards Holy priests, this is a handy spell to rely on when you know your tank is about to take a massive damage hit. Also useful for topping yourself up from near-zero after a particularly nasty solo leveling run-in.

LEVEL 30-40 TALENTS

SOUL WARDING

1 point: Reduces the cooldown of your Power Word: Shield ability by 4 sec. and reduces the mana cost of your Power Word: Shield by 15%.

Nothing says happiness to a disco priest like shielding more and harder. If you use this spell and Rapture, a later talent, together, you’ll be returning truly unseemly amounts of mana to yourself.

HOLY SPECIALIZATION

5 points: Increases the critical effect chance of your Holy spells by X%.

Yeah, yeah, yeah- we’re not Holy. I get it. But think about all the Holy spells you use that could benefit from going all the way into Holy Specialization: Lesser Heal, Smite, Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, Binding Heal, Holy Fire, Prayer of Healing, Circle of Healing, and Holy Nova. So there.

MENTAL STRENGTH

2 out of 5 points: Increases your total intellect by X%.

Increasing your Intellect grows the power of your spells. I don’t go straight for this talent in all five points yet because having too much Intellect can make your spells so powerful that they drain your mana pool too quickly; give it until levels 41 and 42 to take the next two levels, when your mana catches up to your power.

LEVEL 30-40 TALENT TREE

By level 40, then, your talent tree will look like this:

Discipline Priest Talent Tree, Levels 30 to 40

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Head Games: An Introduction

As some of you may know, I had the extreme misfortune to chop off (or very nearly) my finger whilst cheerfully, obliviously hacking a tomato to pieces a few weeks ago.

It hurt.

Like hell.

I’ve never actually injured myself on that kind of scale, and for the first week or so I pretty much existed in a drugged haze of the most entertaining (to others) variety. Despite my twice- or thrice-weekly guild raid schedule, my Excel spreadsheeted alt leveling program, and an Auction House addiction that Goldcapped alone could understand, my WoW playing came to a screeching and immediate halt.

Once the fog started to lift (hey, drugs that good are in seriously limited supply) and I could think anything beyond, “OWIE OWIE OWIE OWWWW!”, a new problem became apparent: my right hand, encased in Borg-like apparatus and then wrapped like a mummy, was essentially unusable.

I’m right-handed.

(Don’t ask why I was slicing tomatoes with my left hand. That takes us down a bleak road filled with recrimination, regret, and possibly a sad story about showing off my mad knife skillz to sincerely bad effect).

At one point, about three weeks P.D. (Post Digit) I logged into my hunter alt just to say hello to my guildmates.

They were in ICC, pwning, I have no doubt, and were as delighted to see me as I to see them. I excitedly typed replies to all the welcomes left-handedly- not too bad, I thought, just a little clumsy! But a few seconds later, I realized how fast I was falling behind:

Them:
“How’s the hand?!”
“I can’t believe that happened, how are you feeling??”
“Yayy, you’re back! Ouch, yay!”

Me: “T…h…a…-“

Them:
“That was so crazy.”
“It’s so nice to see you! Ouch, ouch!””
“Ew, is your hand all gnarly and funky now? Please say yes.”

Me: “…n…k…s…!”

And they weren’t in any way going fast, mind you. But it was depressingly obvious that I wasn’t going to be using chat for a while, and a much larger problem had just become obvious:

I couldn’t use my mouse.

My clicker finger had been decapitated and reborn, and I was under strict instructions- from both doctors and internal urgings- not to do a damned thing with it until it recovered from its trying ordeal.

Typing was a bitch, but clicking…? Out of the question!

Luckily the guildies were still safely on Vent, but non-playing? Not being a PRIEST?! Inconceivable! I needed an outlet and needed it bad.

My first thought was that I simply had to become sufficient at left-handed mousing. I secretly started a warrior (less finesse, more faceroll, I figured) and commenced to experiment.

It was ugly.

After quietly burying my warrior in an unmarked grave, my second thought was that I could just not play or think about WoW- hey, everyone’s on pre-Cata vacation! I can hit the beach with the best of ‘em!

That lasted approximately three days and I was practically barking for a glimpse of Dalaran.

Finally, I realized that I could still read about playing, get into the Cataclysm changes, and really explore some of the more complex aspects of priesting that I’ve blown off in the past for being too complicated (like Haste), too boring (ie underused abilities), or too weird (exploring super non-standard disc builds).

With the help of Word, which has a built-in voice recognition writing system (who knew?!), I could theorize, blabber, and cool my heals (typo and it stays) until the mummy wraps came off and right-handedness returned to my repertoire.

This post kicks off a series of articles I’m going to focus on involving the theories behind our priestly behaviors now and in Cataclysm, a journey I hope we’ll all enjoy and (heaven forfend) learn from. With my discovery of the voice-to-type thing, regularly scheduled leveling and gear posts should resume, as well.

For those who have offered their condolences, you have my most sincere gratitude for not only your words, but your readership. Thanks for sticking by my finger, even when it didn’t stick with us!

PS- If it’s not too horrifying when the wraps come off, I’ll post a picture of the offending digit!

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Elevated Discourse: Déjà Vu All Over Again

It's A Burning Question

A number of exceedingly interesting posts this week talk quite a bit about potential changes in Cataclysm (I think this is all pretty spoiler-free, though the posts themselves are not):

”This [varying your main] is one of the reasons why Cataclysm will shake things up, even for people who don’t expect it. You may think you are in a tight knit raid guild right now, but how many of those raiders will decide that actually they’d rather focus on a different alt on a different server when the expansion hits?”
Spinksville

6. The road gets approval.

7. The loot gets approval.

8. And that gets TOTAL approval. Now we’re angry about the last years of not having it.

9. And that.”
Big Red Kitty

“Blizzard has big plans for gnomes and trolls, with brand new starting areas and questing experiences available for those races when Cataclysm launches. But before that can happen, they need your help! There are some awful baddies that’ve been crashing on their couches, and they’ve been kickin’ around for far too long.”
Michael Sacco, WoW.com

All this speculation put me into a very curious state of wondering what things people (a) expected last time, but didn’t happen, and (b) didn’t expect at all that totally changed the way they play.

As a non-player when Lich King came out, no doubt there were huge, burning issues that became burnier or moot in the actual expansion that I know nothing about.

If you played pre- and post- Lich King (or Burning Crusade, for that matter), how would you answer the two questions above? (Assuming that I’d posed them as questions, natch, which I’m too lazy to go back and do.)

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Self Discipline: The Mark Of The Facebeast

... But I Don't WANNA Be Ubiquitous!

Like many, many, many of us, I am utterly nonplussed at having discovered that only through the magic of Facebook will we be able to utilize the cross-realm friends list coming out in 3.3.5.

I do not care for everyone to see my grown-up, official email address – you know, the one that was so secure you used it to log in to your account- just because they happen to be friends of friends of friends of some decent tank I ran with once and friended.

To avert disaster and maintain some semblance of privacy for those I friend and those who friend me, I have implemented a clever workaround (well, I think it’s clever; more likely everyone’s already thought of it and I’m the last one disembarking the short bus as usual):

  1. Create a new, anonymous email address from a fine establishment like Yahoo, gmail, or Hotmail
  2. Change your Blizzard login email address to the new anonymous one (and get an authenticator, yeah?)
  3. Create a new Facebook page with your new anonymous email address
  4. Amuse yourself by guessing what your main’s favorite quotes might be

The absolutely immense bonus of this, beyond the simple expedient of protecting your privacy, is that it is THE funniest thing ever to set up a Facebook page for your main character. That alone makes it worth the price of admission!

Those of you who wish to leave slavish messages of love upon Disciplinary Action’s Facebook wall may now do so by searching for ‘Liala Jenkins’.

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The Discultimate Gear Guide: Levels 20-30

Let's See Those Psionic Aliens Get Through THIS!

ABOUT LEVELS 20-30

Now that you have your first twenty levels under your belt, it’s time to branch out. If you’ve accumulated enough gold you’ll be purchasing your mount at some point during this leveling block. Increased speed equals increased questing equals more money, which translates into MOAR STUFF!

At this point you’ll be looking at more serious business gear. Your discipline specialization is starting to become more pronounced as you add in talents, and your gear less disposable. You’ll be looking at it a lot longer too, so do try and get something that looks pretty. Last but not least, real headgear is now available to you.

At this point, we still want:
Spellpower > Intellect > Spirit or MP5 or Stamina

Check out our Discultimate Leveling Guide: Levels 20 – 30 In Five Minutes

FINDING & PURCHASING GEAR

Particularly for the first forty or so levels, the fastest way to gear up will be through the Auction House. If you’re playing the well-funded priest alt of a high roller, all well and good. If this is your only character, you are, as the British say, for it.

I’ve tried to include gear that comes from a variety of sources that may not be the absolute top stat gear to provide the non-high-rollers with a selection of gear that allows for some variation in following quest lines, and just plain personal preference (I refuse to set foot in Silithus, for example, no matter what Discipline Robe Of Shazaam might be there).  And for those of you with a Daddy Warbucks alt suppling you with a steady stream of allowance packets, or far-reaching hopes, there’s a ‘Best In Show’ category as well.

Heirloom gear is not included in this list, but is discussed here.

ENCHANTING LEVELING GEAR

An exhaustive list of enchantments would be too exhausting to contemplate, so for each piece I simply recommend one enchantment that I think gets the job done and will serve you well for most of your ten levels. Re-enchanting leveling gear is, I think, neither time nor cost effective given the relatively small benefit you’ll enjoy.

SECRET TIP O’ THE DAY: I always carry two extra pairs of gloves with me at lower levels. I buy the cheapest gloves I can find and then enchant one with [Enchant Gloves - Herbalism] and one with [Enchant Gloves - Mining] (my two professions), then make a macro to slip them on quickly. When I hit that “just a little too high!” herb or mine, I’ve got them in the bag and ready to go.

BEST DISCIPLINE PRIEST GEAR AND ENCHANTS: LVL 20-30

CHEST

Best In Show: Robes of Arugal (Usable at 20!)

Alternative 1: Green Silk Armor
Alternative 2: Azure Silk Vest BEST BUY!
Alternative 3: Death Speaker Robes

Enchantment: [Enchant Chest - Greater Stats] or [Enchant Chest - Major Mana]

LEGS

Best In Show: Gaze Dreamer Pants

Alternative 1: Azure Silk Pants BEST BUY!
Alternative 2: Sanguine Trousers
Alternative 3: Leech Pants

Enchantment: [None until Level 50]

FEET

Best In Show: Acidic Walkers

Alternative 1: Spider Silk Slippers BEST BUY!
Alternative 2: Silver-thread Boots
Alternative 3: Boots of Darkness

Enchantment: [Enchant Boots - Minor Speed] or [Medium Armor Kit]

SHOULDERS

Best In Show: Batwing Mantle

Alternative 1: Resilient Mantle
Alternative 2: Luminescent Amice
Alternative 3: Silver-thread Amice

Enchantment: [None until Level 60]

WRIST

Best In Show: Glowing Magical Bracelets

Alternative 1: Nightsky Wristbands
Alternative 2: Fingerbone Bracers
Alternative 3: Silver-thread Cuffs

Enchantment: Enchant Bracer – Mana Regeneration or Enchant Bracer – Greater Intellect

HANDS

Best In Show: Hotshot Pilot’s Gloves

Alternative 1: Gloves of Old
Alternative 2: Hands of Darkness
Alternative 3: Phoenix Gloves BEST BUY!

Enchantment: [Enchant Gloves - Minor Haste]

BACK

Best In Show: Cloak of the Faith

Alternative 1: Cloak of Rot
Alternative 2: Yeti Fur Cloak

Enchantment: [Enchant Cloak - Greater Resistance] or [Enchant Cloak - Greater Defense]

HEAD

Best In Show: Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator

Alternative 1: Shadow Hood BEST BUY!
Alternative 2: Moonsoul Crown
Alternative 3: Azure Silk Hood

Enchantment: [None until Level 50]

NECK

Best In Show: Darkmoon Necklace (30+)

Alternative 1: Crystal Starfire Medallion
Alternative 2: Amulet of the Moon
Alternative 3:  Brilliant Necklace BEST BUY!

FINGERS

Best In Show: Advisor’s Ring [H] / Lorekeeper’s Ring [A]

Alternative 1: Electrocutioner Lagnut
Alternative 2: Seal of Argas
Alternative 3: Wicked Moonstone Ring BEST BUY!
Alternative 4: The Queen’s Jewel

Enchantment: [None until Level 70 and then enchanters only]

TRINKETS

Best In Show: Defiler’s Talisman [H] / Talisman of Arathor [A]

Alternative 1: Rune of Perfection
Alternative 2: Gnomish Universal Remote (Requires Engineering 125)
Alternative 3: Minor Recombobulator (Requires Engineering 140)

WEAPON

Best In Show: Kam’s Walking Stick

Alternative 1: Bloodscalp Channeling Staff
Alternative 2: Wind Spirit Staff
Alternative 3: Rod of the Sleepwalker

Enchantment: [Enchant 2H Weapon - Major Intellect] or [Enchant 2H Weapon - Major Spirit] (or Lesser versions of either)

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The Discultimate Leveling Guide: Levels 20 to 30 In Five Minutes

Levels Twenty To Thirty: The Wetlands Await!

NOW THAT YOU have the first twenty levels under your belt, and a fancy-pants mount to boot, it’s time to start digging in for the long haul. You’re starting to get comfortable with a spell rotation, you have general idea what it is this priesting lark is all about, and with any luck you’ve even gotten a few PUGs under your belt.

The 20-30 level grind is lightened by the availability of your new mount, the chance to take in new leveling areas, and some of the funnier quest streams going. So let’s talk about how you can get the most out of your healer in this range with the minimum personal fuss.

QUICK FACTS

TALENTS

  • 20   1/3 Improved Power Word: Shield
  • 21    2/3 Improved Power Word: Shield
  • 22    3/3 Improved Power Word: Shield
  • 23    1/1 Inner Focus
  • 24    1/3 Meditation
  • 25    1/3 Mental Agility
  • 26    2/3 Meditation
  • 27   2/3 Mental Agility
  • 28   3/3 Mediation
  • 29   3/3 Mental Agility
  • 30    1/1 Soul Warding

ROTATION

  • Buff yourself with Shadow Protection, Divine Spirit, and Power Word: Fortitude
  • Shield/Renew tank
  • Flash Heal small damage
  • Greater Heal big damage
  • Shield specific DPS/yourself if they’re consistently taking a lot of damage
  • Spam Fade if you’re taking a lot of aggro

QUEST AREAS

  • Redridge Mountains (15-25)
  • Ashenvale (18-30)
  • Wetlands (20-30)
  • Duskwood (18-30)
  • Ashenvale (18-30)
  • Wetlands (20-30)

LEVEL 20-30 SPELLS

22 – MIND VISION

Allows the caster to see through the target’s eyes for 1 min.

Of great utility in PvP (you can see through hostile and friendly players’ eyes), Mind Vision has very little utility in PvE or instancing. If you’re watching your pennies, don’t even bother purchasing the spell for now.

24 – MANA BURN

Destroy 10% of the target’s mana (up to a maximum of 20% of your own maximum mana). For each mana destroyed in this way, the target takes 0.5 Shadow damage.

If you come up against a boss who keeps healing himself, mana burn can be critical in halting the damage/self-heal cycle. I can’t say I use it very often, though, and a set of obscure rules keeps it pretty underpowered in PvE. In PvP, though, it’s handy, and I hear it’s a laugh riot if you use it as a Shadow Priest in conjunction with Vampiric Embrace.

30 – MIND CONTROL

Controls a humanoid mind up to level X, but increases the time between attacks by 25%. Lasts up to 1 min.

Feel like being a DPS for a hot minute? Healing failPUGs got you down? Why not mind control a nearby enemy and use him to bash the brains out of his companions! Fun for the whole family! … Except, you know, if you need to, say, heal someone. Absolutely a Shadow-only spell unless you’re just having a larf.

30 – PRAYER OF HEALING

A powerful prayer heals party members within 30 yards for X to Y.

Finally, something useful. When you hit 30, the long slog of no new spells you’ve endured since 20 is finally broken. PoH is worth waiting for. It’s pretty great in 5-man PUGs when all of your party members take damage at once from some AoE, but it really shines in raids. You can target any raid member and heal their entire party, wether or not you’re in it. Hit your ‘Inner Focus’ cooldown just before using PoH to obliterate its long-ass casting time and staggering 48% of base mana cost.

30 – SHADOW PROTECTION (Buff)

Increases the target’s resistance to Shadow spells by X for 10 min.

Until level 56 and 60, when you pick up Prayer of Shadow Protection and Prayer of Spirit, respectively (which buffs the entire party at once), you’ll have to individually cast this buff on every member of your party (including yourself, natch). But there’s a lot of shadow damage out there and SP comes in handy, as do all your buffs. Don’t skimp on buffing, as you’re the one who’ll pay the price for people taking more damage.

30 – DIVINE SPIRIT (Buff)

Holy power infuses the target, increasing their Spirit by X for 30 min.

See Shadow Protection.

LEVEL 20-30 TALENTS

IMPROVED POWER WORD: SHIELD

3 points: Increases the damage absorbed by your Power Word: Shield by X%.

Sweep in and pick up all the points in Improved PW:S right away while leveling. From 20-23, this should be a no-brainer way to spend your talent points. Your shield is the best weapon in your arsenal; why wouldn’t you devote as many resources as possible to it?

INNER FOCUS

1 point: When activated, reduces the mana cost of your next spell by 100% and increases its critical effect chance by 25% if it is capable of a critical effect.

Inner Focus is a very nice “Oh, shit, I’m out of mana” save. If you use it in conjunction with Circle of Healing, in particular, it gives you a massive party-wide heal for free. Since you won’t pick up CoH until level 30, though, don’t spend this talent point until you reach level 29. Between 29 and 30, play with using it to make regular Heals cost-free.

MEDITATION

3 points: Allows X% of your mana regeneration to continue while casting.

You won’t be regenerating an immense amount of mana with Meditation, but you have to spend at least five more points in Tier 3 (that’s this current set of talents) in order to move on to the juicier Tier 4 talents you’ll pick up in the next ten levels. Meditation is as good a way to spend your points as any, and as you move onto more challenging instances, you’ll realize just how much of your time you do spend casting. Pick up all three points here.

MENTAL AGILITY

3 points: Reduces the mana cost of your instant cast spells by X%.

Our best spells- Power Word: Shield, Renew, and later Prayer of Mending- are instant cast. Reducing the mana cost of those suckers is essential. Grab all three points.

LEVEL 20-30 TALENT TREE

By level 30, then, your talent tree will look like this:

Discipline Priest Talent Tree, Level 30
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