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Always the discipline of steel remained…

Ok, so last night I went on a death knight bender.  After a few weeks of being all squishy and aichmophibic, I had an irresistible craving to whack some mobs with something sharp and heavy.  I feel like I’m on step 2 of a 12 step program for pointy object obsession.  Hello, my name is Faust, and I am a whack-o-holic.

Old habits die hard, in life and in WoW it seems.  Perhaps I have spent too many years as a tank.  It just feels…odd…somehow not to be smashing heads and slashing through armor.  Indeed, my faith is being tested.  As his father said to Conan (the Barbarian, mind you, not that Destroyer blasphemy), when speaking of the Discipline of Steel: “…no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.  This you can trust.”  Lok’tar, John Milius!  In WoW, Conan would have been an orc.

By the way, I named him “Angvar” not realizing at the time that Scott Johnson had probably planted a seed in my head with the “I’llpaintmyfacewithyourblood!” emote from Ingvar the Plunderer, of Utgarde Keep fame.  I think I realized it half-way through the starting area while I was painting my face with the blood of the requisite 20 “citizens”.  By then, however, there was no deviating from Angvar’s fate.

The death knight starting area is honestly one of the best things in the whole game.  Playing a Forsaken carries just the slightest bitter taste of evil.  The death knight starting area has the full flavor of damnation, and that flavor is rich. It is strangely, perhaps perversely, satisfying to be the right hand of doom.  As you stroll through the ruined, burning village, people cower and beg for mercy.  Like a true agent of the Scourge, however, you are powerless to give them that mercy.  After all, their skulls are the only thing standing between you and a shiny new quest reward.

I had fun playing through the whole starting area, emerging into Eastern Plaguelands.  It made me wonder what Cataclysm holds for that area.  It seems that they would have to keep the Plaguelands…er…plaguey, in order to preserve the storyline.  However, with Arthas’ inevitable defeat looming, you wonder if perhaps those lands might be under the dominion of a new master.

In any case, like a junkie for the hard stuff, I got my fix.  No doubt I will shortly return to the well-traveled interior of Hillsbrad Foothills and my priest, who I believe is silently meditating in the middle of Tarren Mill, obediently filling his rest bar.  Nice work, little buddy.


Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here…

Cattle have herds, wolves have packs, and I guess idiots have the new Dungeon Finder.  I hit level 15 and promptly headed directly for this new cross-realm magical group finder, intent on hitting Ragefire Chasm.  As an added bonus, I got to use the “random” feature for the extra blue item bonus prize, even though I was only qualified for a single dungeon.

This is truly a double-edged sword for the intrepid leveler.  On one hand, you now have easy access to a PUG, complete with a convenient teleport feature that takes you right into the dungeons (assuming instances are available, but that’s a subject for another time).  On the other hand, you will likely be teleported to the instance, only to have one or two people quit, and you’ll be left standing there, incomplete.

I assume people quit because they do not want to be in the “random” instance that fortune has selected for them.  Apparently a 15 minute debuff is not sufficient to discourage this I-want-the-random-reward-but-not-the-randomness behavior.  I’m sure pantheon of design gods at Blizzard will think up some new ignominy to shame them into politeness.

When you do, finally, find your way into a complete group, you are likely to have at least one member of the moron family among your party.  Not just any moron either, but the variety of moron that only the Internet can provide.

I humbly offer several examples of my misfortune for your reading amusement:

  • The tanking warlock who charges ahead of the actual tank and his pet to be swarmed and killed, only to yell for heals.
  • The party member that insisted we stand by the corpse of the first boss because it will respawn and “give us more stuff”.
  • The paladin, warrior, and druid who all wanted to tank and…did.

I could go on, but you get the idea.  It goes without saying, given the above, that there was a general lack of mana awareness among the parties, despite my repeated assurances that I was, in fact, OOM. I hereby create a new acronym for routinely ignored priests: FOOM, in which the F stands for…well, I’m sure you can guess.

Despite the somewhat uneven first experience with this tool, I’m encouraged.  I’m actually considering leveling discipline (gasp), so that I might continue to sample the company of the finest breed of moron available on the Internet.

Call me crazy.


There is a lot of inertia involved in starting a priest from scratch.  You have this thimble-sized pool of mana and a tiny little fly swatter of holy damage with which to flail your enemies into oblivion (feel my holy wrath, insect!  only twenty more swats and you’ll be dead!).

I exaggerate only a little.  You actually have at least three fly swatters, only one of which is holy, but it’s the only one that won’t make the fly roll on the floor laughing at you.  I refer, of course, to Smite .  But Smite carries a relatively large mana cost at this level, so you need to smite judiciously.  As the Templars of old once said, smite often, but smite wisely.  Part of this can be mitigated with the aforementioned wand, but what else can you do to minimize the time that you stare at your motionless toon, sitting cross-legged on the gound, drinking water?  (i.e. times when even they look bored)

You either use less mana to slay each beast or you stretch that thimble until you have a full tablespoon.  Of course, you can also  sacrifice your body and take a few whacks while you’re wanding them down (you’re a healer, suck it up).  Fortunately, thimble-stretching and improved body-whacking are within your grasp.  You can actually improve your stats relatively cheaply at this level by becoming a tailor!  Running around Tirisfal Glades and Silverpine Forest, you’re going to hit a lot of things that drop linen.  Use it.  You can be decked out in greens before you hit level 13!

My warriors and paladins were always blacksmiths for similar reasons, and while it’s hard to visualize my unholy Forsaken priest cackling with diabolical laughter while executing a Herringbone Stitch, it’s hard to argue with the results.

Finally, my fellow true believers, you should look into maximizing your bang for your buck.  What are the three most important secrets to maximizing your damage per mana point?  As my realtor would say: rotation, rotation, rotation.  …or do they say something else?  Anyway, when you are fresh out of Sunday school you pretty much have only Smite to work with and your non-effective fumbling with a melee weapon.  But now that you’re, say, at mighty 13th level, you have a few options.

Here’s what I’m using now (half-way through 13th level): Power word: shield, Shadow word: pain, Mind Blast, Smite, Smite, and wand, baby, wand.

I find I can get through at least 3-4 mobs this way without drinking.  You’re mileage may vary.

Ala peanut butter sandwiches!

So I got a good tip recently from a long-time priest (first time caller) when I complained about the miles I was accumulating with my frequent dier card.  He said, “Get a wand.”

Get a wand! So concise.  So simple.  So mind-bogglingly game changing.  These old time priests really are clever.  I feel like my mana bar just doubled.  My drinking problem has been mitigated significantly.  I’m a new man.

So, fellow acolytes, I felt compelled to share this pearl of wisdom, even in the middle of my work day so as not to deprive you of it one more second than necessary.  Now go forth and exercise your wands.


June 2018
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