Monday, 19 May 2008

Raiding Spec's

Raiding specs

I was reading a post over at egotistical priest about different talent specs for different roles in the game. I’ll skip past the more obvious pvp/solo builds as they should be pretty self-explanatory. (May do a pvp post a bit later).

We then get to the stuff im particularly interested in which is the “instancing and raiding”.

The gist of it is that for 5 man instances you should have a holy or hybrid build, but once you get to raiding you’re expected to be shadow. The caveat in this post was that they’re only summarising what they have read on the boards and every priest is different.

That’s all well and good, but it highlights to me that guilds just aren’t looking for holy priests anymore, and that just doesn’t sit well with me. I haven’t raided post TBC, so I cant comment personally, but surely holy priests still provide value in raiding, other than just for spirit buffing?


Cynra said...

As someone who has leveled more priests than I care to admit (who am I kidding? I love my priestly alts), I can say that our dominance has faltered since the expansion. Remember the "good ol' days" of pre-TBC raiding when priests were lords and high masters of healing? We were coddled, revered, exalted, venerated, and treated with such care because, dammit, losing a priest was one of the worst things that could happen to a raid group.

A lot has changed since then -- and mostly for the better, as far as I am concerned. Other classes were given the opportunity to shine in raids by having them specialize in specific areas (druids for HoTs, paladins for single-target healing, and shamans for raid healing), which significantly increased their desirability. Unfortunately, priests fell behind and aren't in the lofty position that they were before.

And, no, I don't think the other classes need to be nerfed; in fact, with a little tweaking we could find ourselves in more raids again. A couple of changes have favored us (Lightwell, boosts to Circle of Healing, and the 2.4 changes to a Spirit-based mana regen), but it's not enough. Consider the benefits gained by stacking each of the other healing classes:

* Paladins each provide a unique class buff, which is awesome,
* Shamans have unique totems that can be placed in each group, and
* Druids get a bit of the shaft, though they do have their Tree of Life buff for their groups.

Stack another priest and what do you get? Well, another priest that can use Prayer of Healing on her group -- but if you're stacking shamans who can heal indiscriminate of their group and bring unique buffs to the raid why does that matter? The Improved Divine Spirit buff could be easily snagged by a Shadow priest who takes one for the team or your token Discipline priest (more common in Hyjal and Black Temple than any other area; Discipline is typically frowned upon before then unless you're on the battlefield).

Typically, most raids like one priest for Circle of Healing and maybe another for Improved Divine Spirit if no one else is doing it. Until recently, I was my raid group's token healer, being the only priest in the entire 25-man raid. Because of this -- and my preferences -- I didn't even spec for Circle of Healing.

Overall, unless you're looking at competative end-game raiding where you're fighting tooth and nail to get progression as soon as possible I don't think being a priest is as much of an issue as people make out. The list of our faults above is pretty daunting, but we're still the most versatile healing class and a damned fine healer is never ever going to be turned away (barring other strikes against her). Many groups are desperate for healers since they're usually the most difficult slots to fill.

So, my suggestion? Go healing if you want to heal or Shadow if you want to damage and provide further utility to the raid. Play what you enjoy and not what people need. Just make sure that whatever you choose you research and do the absolute best you can.

Merlot said...

Priests still rock my world. I haven't done much raiding, but in my limited experience I'd say they are still the most amazing and versatile of all the healers. They may not do everything the best, but they are the only healing class imo that fills all healing assignments with equal excellence.

Calandris said...

lol most people rember when all you wanted were priests. In TBC a mix of classes is prefered for many reasons. As a holy priest, I have never had a problem getting a raid spot. In fact we have taken 5 holy priests into SSC and rocked the place. But as a strategist a mix of healing classes is better. whoever is saying that no one wants holy priests in raids is crazy...or they are a jealous otehr healer role...lol.