Category: Priest Leveling Challenge

Disciplinary Action LIVE!

Disciplinary Action is now Livestreaming at regular intervals. Episodes include:

  • Comic Creation: Watch your favorite webcomic come together with a desktop capture of Liala drawing this week’s episode. We’re currently working on The Orc Detective, which uses Illustrator & Photoshop CS5 and extensive use of the a Wacom Intuous 4 tablet.
  • Disc Priest PvP: Watch me get my ass handed to me… in real time!
  • Discipline Priest Raiding: Follow along as Waypoint (Medivh-US) takes on the universe from the perspective of a Disc Priest.
  • Priest Leveling Challenge: Follow along as I take a brand-new priest from level 0 to 85 in 5-level-sized intervals. Includes leveling specs, rotations, and gear!

Watch live or catch up on past episodes at!


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.


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


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


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.

Leveling Challenge: The Ethical Conundrum

Liala the Second is going strong in her leveling, but she’s fetched up against an ethical conundrum. I thought I’ d put it to you, the viewer, to decide her fate:

She’s leveling in a brand-new server without any alts, heirlooms, or gold to reproduce the experience that all brand-new players go through, and to adjust my leveling guide accordingly. However, it turns out that I do in fact know several players over there. One would be, very kindly, willing to port Liala the Second into Dalaran.

So here’s the conundrum: Is taking a high-level port contrary to the spirit of the enterprise?

On the one hand, it seems unlikely that a brand-new player would know anyone to port them to Dal, be able to purchase a port (a 10G tip is my going rate in Farstriders), or even know that such a thing was possible. I remember landing in Dal for the first time as a newly-dinged 75, for example, and being awestruck.

On the other hand, many new players land in guild and have the service offered to them, or can request it from fellow guildies for a purely nominal tip, if any.

On the other hand again, the whole point is to level from the perspective of a newbie; would it hurt the purpose of this noble enterprise to merely hearth-port-swish into Undercity, say, from halfway across Azeroth? But then again, letting people know how to get to Dalaran and set your hearthstone there could simply be part of any reasonably thorough guide. Gah!! /headexplodey

You see my problem.

So enlighten me, readers, and pick the path the Second should walk!

Leveling Challenge: Early Days

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

When you start the first day of the rest of your life with a priest, you come to life equipped with two scant spells: Lesser Heal and Smite. Because I’ve rolled a Blood Elf, I also have the snazzy Arcane Torrent, which silences enemies and restores mana (shweet).

These spells and a dollar will get me a cup of coffee.

Knowing this time around that nothing in the entry area will attack me and- again, unlike last time- understanding that you can actually pick up more than one quest at a time enabled me to sweep through my first ten levels in a scant few hours…

I’ve forgotten how orange Sunstrider Island is. With the orange-and-green color scheme, luscious sunlight and all those tanned, lithe blondes running around, it feels like WoW’s version of 1970’s California.

After only two levels under my belt, I’m embarrassed to say that I was practically barking for Netherweave bags and the 20% experience increase of my heirloom shoulders and chest. I’m afraid I’m going to dream about my Dreadmist Robe, but so far I’ve remained upright and true!

Time To Level

  • 1 to 2: 2 minutes, 5:24-5:26 (including getting my ass handed to me by a lvl 3 Springclaw Lynx).
  • 2-3: 6 minutes, 5:33 – 5:39.
  • 3-4: 10 minutes, 5:39 – 5:49 (including waiting for an Arcane Torrent cooldown, since I didn’t actually read the quest before zapping the first thing I could see).
  • 4-5: 10 minutes, 6:22 – 6:32.
  • 5-6: 20 minutes, 6:35 – 6:55, and I got to go out into the great wide world, where things attack you on sight.
  • 6-7: 11 minutes, 6:55 – 7:06; plus I knocked out my first priest quest by blessing a brace of Silvermoon Rangers
  • 7-8: 53 minutes, 9:32 – 10:25. This stage was seriously held up due to finding out that (a) about a thousand bloggers I know reside on Drenden and (b) one of them was Rades who (c) directed me to a most charming guild, after which I decided having six silver was truly too ridiculous and therefore (d) took my first profession in skinning. Temporary, but deeply satisfying.
  • 8-9: 38 minutes, 10:25 – 11:03. I switched back to my intended professions, Herbalism and Alchemy, simply because I finally figured out where the trainers were. It felt right, Brian. It felt right.
  • 9-10: At 11:29 I finally gave up my quest for ‘ten levels in one evening’; the quests were too spread out, and I’ve always hated leveling in Eversong Woods at the very best of times. So at 30% through I gave up the ghost.

In one solid go-’round, I accumulated 25 levels of Herbalism, none in Alchemy (ouch, but I couldn’t be buggered to go find a vial vendor), and 34 silver, 17 coppers in dirty, filthy lucre. I visited a trainer last at level 6, so I’m completely off on which spells I should have by now- no matter, since I can’t afford to train them anyway!

Ancestral Robe: GearScore of 4, suckahs!

I also obtained 4- and 6-slot bags from drops and some lovely GearScore 4 robes (bringing the total GearScore up to… four), forgot to skin practically everything skinnable I killed whilst I was a temporary skinner, tied PW: Shield to the wrong hotkey so that instead of Shield I gave myself Fortitude every seven seconds, and generally pottered around like a fool after I hit level 7. And I died five times (that I’m willing to admit).

Power Word: Fortitude every 30 minutes, then Power Word: Shield before I attacked a creature with my Smite, adding in a very, very mana costly Shadow Word: Pain in emergencies or for large creatures before I started with the Smiting. Occasionally I whacked things with my stick, when mana ran unaccountably dry.

After the stick-whacking started I pretty much inevitably died, but the fabulous thing about being an under-10 is there are positively no consequences for dying! I’m afraid I rather took advantage of that fact, but tomorrow’s level 10 crackdown will most certainly eject me from those lucky ranks.

Until then, bubble yourself first, gentle readers.

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!