Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Priest DPSes Deadmines and heals Shadowfang Keep

After returning from vacation I decided to give my Hunter a rest and stop doing heroics for a while. Instead, my fingers itched to get some leveling done on my Priest.

Two nights ago I took the plunge and used the Dungeon Finder to join a group for the Deadmines. I signed up as both healer and DPS. I specifically chose Deadmines from the Finder because I have always liked this instance. Of course, I haven't done it in a group for almost 4 years now so I was excited to go back there, and even more so as a healer.

What made me decide to finally do some dungeons with my Priest were two factors:
1) I finally got my Dignified Headmaster's Charge staff and I enchanted it with a scroll of +30 spellpower that I bought from the AH for the not-so-measly price of around 420 gold.
2) I wanted to see how easy and/or fun it is to level by doing instances instead of questing.

Alas, as luck would have it, I was assigned the role of DPS for Deadmines. I didn't mind though. I performed my job well enough. In fact I was the highest level character in the group at level 22. The others were 20, 20, 17 and 16.

All things considered, I believe we overpowered the instance by a comfortable margin. We blazed through it in 40 minutes (I remember in the old days it used to take 2 hours sometimes and countless wipes) and we didn't wipe at all, in spite of several bad pulls of about 6 elites. I think this goes on to prove once again that skill is very important and besides, all the guys in the group probably had high level characters, seeing that some of them were also sporting heirlooms.

Apart from getting the satisfaction of killing Van Cleef's ass yet again, I also got my sweaty paws inside a pair of Gold-flecked Gloves, dropped by Sneed. I gained one whole level while in there, going from 22 to 23.

The second night I used the Dungeon Finder to find a group for either Wailing Caverns or Shadowfang Keep. I got into Wailing Caverns as a healer (first time yay!) and things went ok for a short while but our DPS kept leaving. Eventually the druid tank got tired of this crappy dungeon and said he would leave. Since he was doing well and was also leader, I suggested we queued up for another dungeon.

We ended up in Shadowfang Keep. We started killing things but shortly into our foray we remarked that our DPS paladin was taking a lot of damage so I had to heal two people instead of just one. Both me and the druid tank noticed at the same time that he had Righteous Fury up. We both told him to take it off but there was something very wrong with the guy because he kept pulling mobs in an obvious attempt at tanking, but he was completely silent and oblivious of what we were telling him.

Since he pissed all of us off, we discussed it amongst ourselves and decided to kick him. Unfortunately we couldn't because we had to kick two other people earlier in Wailing Caverns and apparently we had reached our limit for voting to kick people. I know, weird. So we were stuck with him.

The guy kept on "tanking" although we repeatedly told him to stop that. He wouldn't or couldn't listen. Eventually I decided to stop healing him and then he started talking, but in /s, not in party chat. "heal pls". I let him die and he died many times but kept coming back for more.

What amazed me is that the guy was so persistent in his idiocy that I was inclined to believe he was a bot or something. He was basically tanking elites and no one was healing him, he would beg in /s for heals and would eventually heal himself when his health got too low. Amazingly he survived many such encounters by healing his own ass. Unfortunately some of our DPS were helping him out so he didn't die as quickly as me and the tank would have wished.

Well, this story is getting very long as it is but it's one of my weirdest encounters so I will finish it, dammit! To make the whole thing more interesting, he was also wearing a couple of cloth pieces, didn't have all his talents assigned and rolled Need on absolutely everything. For that reason I advised the group that we all roll Need from then on.

Just before the last boss, Arugal, we finally got him to remove Righteous Fury. I'm telling you, there was something very weird and creepy about this guy. In the end the run was worth it because I won the roll for another nice drop, namely Belt of Arugal. This dungeon lasted a couple of minutes over 1 hour and that's all thanks to that asstard. We also wiped once due to him rushing in the middle of a large group of elites.

Now a few thoughts on healing. I was a little bit nervous at first but I shouldn't have been. Healing is fun! I really love it. It seems extremely easy compared to DPS-ing and even more so than tanking, I'm sure. I use Healbot as an addon and even though it's not 100% configured correctly, I just need to click on the tank whenever he's below 3/4 health with Flash Heal and that's about it. Occasionally I would also heal another group member but that would happen rarely.

Easy job, healing. Perhaps it seemed so because I was a bit overpowered for Shadowfang Keep. Hell, I went in there at level 24 and I sported all those heirlooms with close to 100 spell power. Raid healing is a whole different beast altogether but I don't foresee ever healing raids. For that reason, once I hit 40 I'll most likely get Dual Spec and create a Discipline build which, I've heard, is awesome for single-target healing or in other words for healing 5-mans.

One final word about Shadow. I'm still leveling as Shadow, of course, but I'm starting to learn more about Shadow Priests as I go along and I tweaked the proposed build that I posted earlier. Instead of 2/2 Improved Spirit Tap (which I've been told is pretty much useless outside raids), I'm gonna get 2/2 Improved Vampiric Embrace. I've also shifted my talents around a bit so that they look something like this at level 30.

Now I gotta go heal another instance.


Stranic said...

I have a pally as tank and a priest on disc 74 and 72 respectively. From my experience things become fairly easy regarding healing with a good tank but I encountered numerous occasions when everyone wanted to blast everything. Now, that is a challenge, to heal such a party.
Also, from what I have noticed during game play, a healer can manage to do a respectable job even if he is a few levels lower for the respective instance if the other members of the party know their job and do it well. For me, the best reward when healing is after a crappy pull when everyone is disoriented and all are attacking almost at random and I manage to keep all or almost all alive.
In good groups, or when having a higher level than the one of the instance, a healer can afford slacking or alternate DPS with healing.

Edgar said...

I've been leveling my priest with nothing but instances and battelgrounds also, and it has been great. I took Holy to start but I tried Discipine and never went back. The great thing about Disc Priests are their Uber-shields. I highly recommend using Disc for leveling, it's great for single targets, and gives you really good shields to protect people who pull aggro as is often the case in lower level instances.

And if you really want to have some fun, try some BGs, stick with some DPS and keep them healed. This is a good way to learn how to use all your spells, and if you talent for it, it generally helps for solo leveling as well. Generally when leveling, I tend to take PvP talents as it helps with survivability anyways.

I don't think I will bother with DPS on her as that's hat my main and many alts are for. Her exclusive roll is healing.

Jerry said...

Great story! I'm glad to see you're enjoying the Dungeon Finder as much as I am. Coincidentally, my Shadow Priest just hit level 80 last night. I really loved leveling her, but only went Shadow from 50 onwards. Before that I was Holy. You might consider the same if you want to heal or DPS. I was really doing so good as Holy that I almost didn't respec. Of course, I'm glad that I did. After lvl 50 Shadow outpaces Holy for damage.

I've looked at your level 30 build and I think it's solid. Imp Spirit Tap will be more useful to you once you pick up Twisted Faith. By that time you will want to get Imp Spirit Tap, as it will be a nice DPS boost. I've had the talent all throughout my Shadow leveling, but it really came into full play in Northrend dungeons. The bosses live long enough for the DPS boost to count.

I'll be looking forward to your continued reports of leveling in dungeons. I'm going to try the same thing with a rogue. I leveled her to 15 last night, and plan to try to do dungeons only. It might be hard as DPS to do this, but I've quested so many times that there's really nothing new about it. Dungeons, however, are very new for me and will make it more interesting. I've even thought about blogging the experience.

Also, you must be using an add-on to capture those achievement notices. What is the name of it, or how do you do it? I'd like to start doing it as well. Thanks!

Darth Solo said...

@Stranic I outlevel these instances so much that I heal half the tank's health with a single Flash Heal. It's funny!

@Edgar I'll have Disc as my healing spec at 40 but I'll still level outside instances as Shadow. I like Shadow too much for leveling. In fact it's an advantage to be good at both DPS and healing with the Dungeon Finder because I can select both roles and get into a group much faster.

@Jerry thanks. Like I said, I'll take Dual Spec at 40 and go Shadow/Disc. Right now I'm doing great at healing even as Shadow. As for leveling in dungeons, it's pretty quick for not much work, provided the group is solid. I'm already 28 and tomorrow will probably hit 30. The addon I use is called "the Print Screen button" :) My reflexes are so well honed that I can press the button in a fraction of a second, right when an achievement pops up.