Should I play a priest in WoW Classic?

I have a long history playing a priest in World of Warcraft. It was the first character that I leveled up to 60 and the character that I first experienced large group raiding on. I’ve often been teased about deciding to play a new class and then going back to play priest. It’s a pattern that I’ve followed for the past several WoW expansions.

Many claim that Priest is the strongest healer in World of Warcraft Classic. As a priest you will have a big variety of spells in your toolkit to help you with many different situations. You have strong single target heals as well as heal over time abilities and a group heal.

As a leveling player:

  • Pro: WANDS! One of my favorite things about playing a priest is that for the first 30 or so levels you will be using your wand as a large part of your damage. Wands are not effected by spell pushback and can often out DPS your mana expensive damage spells
  • Pro: Levitate is a great spell to have in your arsenal since some areas in the world of Azeroth have steep falls.
  • Pro:  Psychic Scream is fear that will send several of your enemies running scared for several seconds and is great to have when you are running the risk of being overwhelmed
  • Con: Psychic Scream a double edged sword. Sometimes you will seriously save your own butt with a well timed fear but you can also send the bad guys running into the arms of their friends….and then the friends come to help. So use with caution!

As a solo player:

  • Pro: A Priest has some great survivability if you are playing on your own. Since you have both damage and healing spells you can top your health up if you get too injured.
  • Pro: Shadow Form will reduce the amount of damage that you take by 15% and can make you a much more solid cloth-wearing-wizard out in the world
  • Con: Mana management can sometimes become an issue, but if you run out you can always use your wand to auto-attack mobs.

Playing with groups:

  • Pro: Groups are very easy to find since you will be one of the most sought after healers in the game.
  • Pro: Fearward [Dwarfs Only] is a buff that you can cast on yourself of friendly players to negate a fear. Fears are prevalent in the game in dungeons, raids and in PVP. When effected by a fear effect you lose control of your character and will run around (sometimes into more angry mobs) until the effect wears off.
  • Pro: You can buff party members with Prayer of Fortitude which will increase your party members health.
  • Con: If you want to be a competitive players in high level dungeons and raids you will most likely be asked to heal. Shadow priests have huge mana issues and are not a great option for most groups

Priest is the first class that comes to mind when I think of healing in WoW. As a priest you will have a large variety of heals and be in a position where you will be asked to join groups. I haven’t 100% decide what class I’ll be rolling in WoW Classic but priest is one of my favorites and a strong contender.

Should I play Mage in WoW Classic?

With August 27th just around the corner you may be asking: What class should I play when the game comes out? Mage is a great choice for many since they bring respectable damage, utility and the ability to teleport everyone to your major cities! Mage has been one of my favorite classes since I created my undead mage back when World of Warcraft first came out. Here are some pros and cons too keep in mind when considering mage.

As a leveling player:

  • Pro: You can conjure your own food and water. In WoW Classic you routinely had to sit and regenerate your health and mana bars before you were able to carrying on fighting creatures. Having the ability to create ‘free’ food and water are huge money and time savers as you level up.
  • Pro: Early leveling slows are great for fighting tough mobs. This enables you to keep some distance between yourself and everything else that is angry with you in the game.
  • Pro: Slow Fall is a great spell to have in your arsenal since some areas in the world of Azeroth have steep falls.
  • Con: you will be moving a lot while fighting. Mages are considered glass cannons and therefore will do high damage but will also take high damage if hit. I’ve found that of all the classes you are the least durable as a mage in general but make up for it with cooldowns like Iceblock and Ice Barrier.

As a solo player:

  • Pro: Great at killing stuff. As a frost mage you have the ability to group up several enemies at once and kill them slowly with your blizzard and cone of cold abilities. You can also spend talent points to increase your slow effects on your enemies and make it even easier to kite (run away from) mobs as you kill them. Here’s a deep frost build that can help you with some solo farming: https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/mage/230001–05350233132351351
  • Pro: Portals are an easy way to make money. If you are available in a major city, you can almost always pick up some easy gold selling portals to other locations. That and you can quickly teleport yourself to difference cities.
  • Pro: great solo utility in spells and can play highly diverse play styles depending on how you spend your talent points.
  • Con: Mana management can sometimes become an issue, but if you run out you can always use your wand to auto-attack mobs.

Playing with groups:

  • Pro: You will probably find it easy to find groups since mages bring good ranged damage and the ability to Polymorph humanoid mobs.
  • Pro: As a mage you can create food and water for your group at no cost to you.
  • Pro: You can buff party members with Arcane Brilliance which will increase mana users intellect and mana pool.
  • Con: If you are the only mage in a large group, creating water for everyone can take up a ton of your time.

You should play mage if you enjoy playing ranged classes with a large variety of abilities. If you enjoy people needing you for things like portals/water/sheeps this will be a great way to fill that people pleasing need. Mages are strong in both PVP and PVE content. If you enjoy having just one main character and spending time in all aspects of game play in WoW Classic, mages are a great choice.

New BFA raid Siege of Zuldazar! Method vs Limit REMATCH!

The latest World of Warcraft expansion has received a fair amount of criticism, Blizzard has made a lot of design choices that fell flat with their audience. One thing that Blizzard is doing well in the Battle for Azeroth expansion is showing unique story differences between the Alliance and Horde factions. If you like playing the game on both factions you are able to experience a completely different story and zones. In the second raid for the BFA expansion they have carried forward this theme by having unique horde and alliance perspective encounters. This doesn’t mean that you are limited to the bosses that you are able to experience but rather you are changed to the opposing faction depending on the fight.

On Tuesday the Mythic version of the raid will be available for play which will no doubt be an event to rival the popularity of the Uldir race to world first. What I’m most looking forward to is the rematch between the guilds Method and Limit. Both were neck in neck for the World First title with Method pulling the win in the end. For the first time ever, several of the top raiding guilds were streaming their boss kill attempts gaining a huge audience on Twitch.tv. Historically guilds would not publish videos with their attempts or strategies until well after several guilds have figured out the fight for themselves. With the growing popularity of streaming games on twitch, there is a lot to gain by showing your attempts. I know that I was watching Method’s attempts, sometimes on the edge of my seat as they had those super close attempts and 1% wipes.

Limit has been pulling out the stops when it comes to preparing for this next race to World First. I’m hoping that Limit will join in with streaming their own content, which could generate a lot of fans and revenue for the players of the #1 US guild. Limit has reportedly transferred over to the Alliance faction in order to take advantage of the benefits that the faction will receive from warmode. Will they transfer back to Horde side which has been their home or will they capture the hearts of the newly adopted alliance brothers and sisters? It would be refreshing to see Limit represent the Alliance in the race and hopefully help balance the represented factions in high end raiding.

Method will be streaming their raid attempts once again will no doubt be flooded with support for their stream team. I’ve been watching many of their players maintain steady viewship since the release of Uldir back in September 2018. Prior to Method streaming their Uldir progression I would have told you “World of Warcraft raids are not that popular to watch on stream” but here I am eating my hat. The streaming of Uldir brought streaming of wow to a whole new level and some well deserved attention to all the players that work so hard to play at a high level. They once Method will be teaming up with Redbull to give their content a professional level of production value.

I’m hoping to see more high end raiders get into streaming. I know that I will be tuning in to twitch to watch those gracious enough to share their journey with us plebs. Tune into Twitch.tv for this epic event starting on Tuesday January 28th and get hyped!

Is personal loot killing raiding guilds?

It’s been a rough couple of months both in and outside of the game.  I was sick with one thing or another for about a 2 month stretch and have finally kicked the illness!  The only thing is, now that I’m finally well again I’m tempted to invest in surgical masks to keep it that way.  My daughter brings home all forms of sickness from daycare and it just goes with the territory in this phase of life.  

Before the holidays I told you all how my guild entered into a guild merger which seems to have failed spectacularly but not in the way that you would think.  We were as egalitarian as we could be in these sorts of mergers and acquisitions.  Myself and the GM of the guild that were combining forces with entered into a co-gm type relationship which before now I would have balked at for being an smoke screen for disguising who was really in charge.  Turns out that it was me by default, since the other GM seems to have vanished into thin air.  On our third week as a new guild we had abysmal attendance and all of the former officers and big guild contributors had quit and were citing the game as the problem.  We had 30 people the first week ready to play together, and then 21 the second week and now 8 the third.  

I’m finally feeling great again, health wise, but find myself with the scraps of a guild, all my friends have decided that World of Warcraft is now boring and not worth their time (including my husband).   I still want to play, so what’s a girl to do?  For the last several weeks I’ve been joining pug raids, pug being the gamer term for Pick Up Groups, and have been enjoying these random encounters and variety of players I meet.  

I’ve been spending time on alts and should be spending time making money in the game but it’s so different from what I typically what do to make money that I haven’t spent the time to learn new methods of gold generation.  

Remember racing to a chest and hoping that you would be quick enough to grab it’s contents before the person next to you?  Oh the good ol’ days

I’ve also been day dreaming about World of Warcraft Classic and remembering a simpler time where people needed to actually show up if they wanted to get some loot.  Personal loot may very well be the death of a large number of raiding guilds since much of the incentive to stick with the same group was loot driven.  Why would anyone stick with a group if you could just walk into any guild and instantly get gear without having to go through a month long trial period or wait your turn for the most sought after items when your guild is using DKP or loot council?  What personal loot does is cater to the casual player and kills social communities that are bound together by their desire to better their characters through raiding.  It’s not all bad I guess, since I’m able to pug raid on my alts and not worry about having items I can use ninja’d away from me, which was the big argument for switching to this system.  As upsetting as dealing with this unfairness was, it pushed me to create strong ties in a community where I can play with the same people each week and make friends that kept me playing the game.  Assuming that personal loot remains a thing going forward, is WoW going to be a strong enough game to keep those casual players playing without the strong social ties that we typically create in raiding guilds? 

Guild mergers and acquisitions

It’s finally happened! I found the Goldilocks guild that compliments my guild perfectly. This last couple weeks have been exhausting both, looking for that merger candidate and recruiting players at the same time. After all this hard work and long hours spent on the non-game part of the game, we finally get to actually PLAY!

I found these guys by chance. After all the work I went through sorting through guilds on wowprogress.com and looking through logs and tracking down the guild leaders, I happened to see a guy shouting in game that they were looking for players. What stuck out to me was that their play times were very close to when we play.  By chance, we also had another long time player that joined these guys earlier in the expansion, so we had that mutual tie.

Within 10 minutes of taking to these guys I decided that I liked them and that they run their group similar to how we run ours. In under an hour we had all the leadership in agreement that we were going to give this a go.

We both decided that we had to go into this with a clear plan. We took our combined people and created our first raid group with basically an even split of players from each guild. Everyone involved in leadership worked fast to get this first group in place. Then we were off to the races!

Our first raid was on a Tuesday and I tried my best to take a step back and let the other guild leadership lead the group through the fight.   I talked less than normal and focused on my own performance as a player.  I felt a renewed vigor in myself and felt great.  I had more fun this night than any other night in the past 6 months in game.  I think we all felt this way.  Remember how I said that guild recruitment is like dating?  I think we found a keeper.

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

Each week my guild has been getting just a little bit better and a little bit bigger.  We has a large amount of interest in our guild the first few weeks that we were raiding in the new expansion.  I was talking to several people per day about how we run our group and what we expect of our members.  Some players I turned away, if they had never raided before or if they seemed to have a “my shhht don’t stink” type of attitude.  I wasn’t putting a whole lot of effort into seeking out recruits, they were mostly coming to me.  Things seem to be going in the right direction until a couple weeks ago when our steady stream of recruits seemed to dry up.  I went from talking to several people per day to talking to maybe 1 or 2 per week.

Last weekend I busted my butt to get our numbers up.  I had a goal of bring in 6 new people and ended up finding 8!  It was a lot of time and effort to get this many people but it would be worth it if we could just fill our raid group for both of our scheduled nights.  Tuesday started out well.  We got down the bosses that we killed in the previous weeks and moved on to start learning some new bosses.  We had exactly the number of people we needed to play but our group set up was far from ideal.  We were a healer short and melee heavy for 2 out of the 3 fights available for us to work on.  It was a rough 1 of progression but we got through it, which was more than can be said for the previous week.

Thursday was a different story.  Of the 8 people that I recruited the weekend before, only 2 showed up, 2 had work conflicts and the other 4 were just nowhere to be found.  We ended up running our heroic clear with less than clean execution.  We brought in a few friends of players that were just not great players and we were carrying them pretty hard.  I ended up sitting one of the friends due to poor performance and being dead the whole fight.  We also had one of our tanks leave in the middle of Thursday -_-  tanks should be the most reliable players in any raid group.  It’s such a coveted position, why risk it with absences?  I’m at a lose for which direction to go.

I’ve talked to a few different guilds about possible merger/collaboration but most seem to want to cherry pick our best players and leave the rest, and that’s not the direction that I want to move in.  If only I could get like 8 players that are here on our 2 nights that we have scheduled content…then we could move forward and work on some new bosses.

I keep telling myself baby steps will get us there, but it is super slow and I want to already be there.

Being a Woman in Gaming

Typically there would be at least one other female gamer in the guild that I was in.  I don’t know if this is because we tended to find each other due to the type of leadership that the guild had.  I had refused to play with certain guilds due to how I was treated, or if they had provocative pictures on their forum.  I am fine with pictures of beautiful women but I’ll be out the door if they is pornography in your player forums…just….no.

In my experience there is always a lot of flirting in games.  When your guild has a male to female ratio of 15:1 you tend to see the women getting a lot of attention.  I have benefited from lots of help over the years in the game, I will assume that it was due to being a female.  I always try to pay it back or pay it forward but I’m sure there is an imbalance in my favor.

Along with the attention, women can also be the target of unwanted harassment.  There have been more than a few times where I received inappropriate and unwanted private messages.  It was even worst if it came from people that I played with on a regular basis or members of my guild.  It was a difficult position to be put in.  If a woman deflects advances she gets called a bitch and I’ve seen this type of negative notions get spread throughout a guild because rather than nurse a bruised male ego quietly, it was done with rumors and trash talk.  For about 2 years I refused to play in the same guild as my husband (boyfriend at the time) because there was this ONE GUY that would call me a “little c**t” every time I joined up with them to do group content.  I told him to cut it out, but he saw that it irritated me so he kept doing it.  One of the benefits of being the guild leader is that people don’t test my boundaries like this.  If they were to call me any sort of derogatory term they would be out the door faster a speeding ticket.

I’ve been exploring the world of how female players are treated in gaming to gain a broader understanding beyond my own experiences.  I found the Not in the Kitchen Anymore where a Jenny Haniver publishes clips of negative interactions that she has with other gamers.  I will tell you that I’ve listened to these clips and was shocked to find that my initial thoughts were “yea I hear this all the time” and it didn’t seem out of the ordinary.  Have I grown complacent to the verbal abuse that we face in these games as women?

So why do these men berate women in these games?  Is it a power thing?  Are the motivations to cat call women on the street or call them whores in video games the same?  I’ve often heard that women would be better off if they confronted the abuser and to this I am conflicted.  A few weeks ago I was the target of unwanted advances while at a fair grounds.  I will tell you that I did not give him an ear full for a few reasons, first – he was operating a ride that my child was on and I didn’t want her to become a target for retaliation after I rejected this man.  Second – I didn’t know what this guy was capable of, was he prone to violence?  or stalking?  I don’t know and I’d rather not put myself in a position to find out.