I'm guessing a lot of you play World of Warcraft, right? Well, healing in WoW is just as hard as it is anywhere else. At the high end, the hoops you have to jump through ... well, you'd almost think that you'd need some sort of advanced strategy. Perhaps people could even make a hobby out of commenting on what it's like to play a priest?
What do you know, both of those things are out there? Today's Adventures from the Back Row will try to offer up a few reliable resources for channeling the Light (or Shadow) in Azeroth. I'm also going to point out some bloggers who make it their business to channel the divine. Whether they're professional or kwai, upbeat or uber-cynical, everyone who wears the halo in World of Warcraft has one thing in common: idiot groupmates delusions of grandeur not enough mana.
For the basics, I would refer you to the mother of all WoW informational sources, WoWWiki. Their article on The Priest offers up a comprehensive rundown on the class, including what races can choose it, racial spells, spell lists, talent choices, and even a few words on what you can expect from other players in your role as priest.
- The ultimate resource for priests on English-speaking servers is the official priest forum on the World of Warcraft community site. There are stickied posts that will keep you up to date on the bleeding edge of the class, and you'll have access to some of the best priest players in the US via the forums. And, of course, buckets of forum drama. It's win/win. I especially recommend the PvE Priest's Handbook as a guide to getting the most out of your light-swinger.
- For another brisk ongoing discussion, the Allakhazam Priest forums are the place to be. They have stickied FAQs on playing both sides of the Light/Shadow divide that will be really helpful for priests new and old.
- As a spellcaster, how you use your priest abilities is the name of the game. Like every WoW character, though, the clothes make the man. WoW-Loot and Kaliban have on offer a comprehensive loot list so you can know what to shop for.
- The Elitist Jerks forums Class Mechanics area is a hotbed for theorycrafting World of Warcraft characters. If you're looking for ways to squeeze just a bit more performance out of your mana-spong, look no further. In particular, the Holy Priest Raiding Compendium will come in handy for healers looking to work the high-end content.
- If you wear your sunglasses at night, you're probably someone who would be interested in the Shadowpriest.com Forums. The discussion isn't as brisk as one might want, but there are several thoughtful sticked posts that will give you context for your Shadow priest decision-making.
- The TenTonHammer Priest forum likewise has a goodly amount of useful archived discussions. I personally found their discussion on 'What does the Main Tank expect from the Main Healer' really interesting.
- My two favorite priest blogs (in my mind) go hand in hand. On one hand you have the Egotistical Priest. This twice-weekly updated site offers some deep insights into the way that priests interact with other players, and insights into the high-end game through descriptive text. On the other hand you have Priestly Endeavors. That site offers a more occasional post on Shadow-speccing, and tends to approach the game with a very technical eye. Both blogs are regularly updated, well-written, and extremely well-done. These two sites are a must for anyone looking to take their priestly duties seriously.
- I may be biased here. Just the same, in addition to being partial to WoW Insider in general, I'm a fan of the semi-regular column Spiritual Guidance (written by Eliah Hecht and Elizabeth Harper). They offer posts targeted subjects, and do their best to keep WoW players up to date on what their healers can expect whenever the next patch settles down.
- Three other sites offer some more personal approaches to being a healer in Warcraft. The Holy Light and Musings of a Holy Hybrid both offer first-person perspectives on the hard job in the healing trenches. The very new site Kestrel's Aerie is about half a step between the detachment of the two 'serious' priest blogs and the first-person approach. All three are well worth referencing to gain perspective on being a bastion from the back row.