Penance Priest

Discipline Priest Blog

Holy cow. We got it! I wish I had grand strategic tips to share with you, but this post is about something else. (Actually here’s a grand strategic tip: keep the tanks alive. You heard it here first!) Mainly though, I’m surprised at how excited I am at having been part of a team that conquered Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I mean, drakes. Yeah, drakes. I couldn’t sleep, and I’m having a hard time at work today. WOOOT!

The setup

On our previous attempts we got very close. Enough that I was convinced we’d have it in one more solid night of working on it. Unfortunately I would be missing that raid for other commitments. So needless to say I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be part of (what I expected would be) our guild first. And on our kind-of-sorry server, only three other guilds, both factions included, have done it.

I logged on 3 hours after raid time, just to check mail and say hi, see how it went. Before I could say boo there was a raid invite from the GM. Whoa, ok cool! At the same time I noticed our raid leader/officer logging off his priest and onto his mage. My first guess was confirmed in raid chat: they had been struggling for 3 hours, gotten him tantalizingly close (3 drakes down but no healers left when they got to Sarth himself), and needed a different healer. I just joined this guild, so I don’t actually know how well our raid leader plays his priest, but his mage is crazy good. I was honored that they felt I’d make enough of a difference that they were willing to stay late to give it another shot.

The kill

It took fifteen minutes. Probably the longest boss fight I’ve ever done. It was damn solid, with maybe six or seven dead by the end of it, and it only took one attempt. (Well, one attempt after I joined, probably closer to ten attempts for everyone else…) I’m convinced we’ll repeat it pretty easily. Voidwalker tank, 65k health before the debuff, made my job almost easy for most of the fight. The warlock who made it happen won the roll for the mount. Perfect.

What is Disc anyway??

After the fight I checked my raid leader’s priest out on armory to see what the big fuss was about replacing him. His gear was a mix of the awesome and the old, some Naxx25 and some T6. Should easily be serviceable by a skilled player though. Then I checked out his talents. Have a look.

Say it with me. Oh. Mygod.

Yes, it’s a discipline spec. But wow…it looks like an oddball pvp spec, maybe thrown together before a fast arena match. Hard to know why one would put that many points in the disc tree and not take Penance. My only guess is that he’d never used Penance before and did not expect to learn how to use it without practicing.

Ok, so in all fairness, he’s a great raid leader, a super mage, and just an all-around terrific guy. I’m sure he stepped in on his priest because they were short a healer, not because he’s a committed priest. So I’m not really harping on him personally. It just made me realize that even a priest can completely misunderstand the discipline spec. And by that I mean, WOW, so far off the mark that he’s discipline in name only.

He’s not the first. Other disc priests I’ve seen on our server failed in more subtle ways: stacking too much spirit, or missing a few key talents, that kind of thing. Usually I chalk it up to a holy priest wanting to see what the fuss is all about. Which is of course kind of sweet, and certainly a good thing for everyone.

Know thy class! Hell I haven’t had more than 14 points in holy since Penance first appeared on the scene. But I find it terribly important to have some grasp of talents in the holy tree and cookie-cutter holy priest specs.

Ok, just a skitch of ego

This isn’t a “me me” blog; I try to keep it philosophical and practical. But if there’s a time for a little bit of patting myself on the back, I think this qualifies. I’ve had the honor of being called a clutch player more than once. I’ve been called in at the last minute to (hopefully) save a failing raid twice on Kel, once on Sapph, and back in the day on Nightbane. Anyone who’s paying attention in my raids knows that I don’t top meters and never will; certainly if you’re reading this blog you understand that as a fundamental mechanic of the discipline spec. So what is it that makes someone clutch if not massive HPS? Is it all my shiny purples?

Well just imagine you were there at the start of the S3D raid. Our raid leader is on his mage, his main, waiting to see if any other healers log on. They knew I wasn’t coming, but I’m sure they were hoping for others to pop in. Nope. “Sigh, ok, I guess I’ll bring out my priest, let’s go!” That, dear readers, is not confidence inspiring. Of course that isn’t all there is to it, but it counts for a lot in a team situation. If you’re not 100% confident in your main tank healer, isn’t there a little part of you that’s scared, maybe already given up?

Someone tell me there’s a reader out there old enough to remember Larry Bird. (He played basketball in the 80s, the decade of A Flock of Seagulls and leg warmers, god help us.) Bird was one of the greatest players ever, whose genius was not his ability to pound the lane through traffic, or hit three-pointers, although he did that and more. What made Bird special was his ability to make other players better. One statistic that he owned was assists. That’s right – even though he was a fantastic rebounder, free-throw shooter, and ball-stealer, his presence on the court was not all about himself and his chart-topping performances. He was a team player. (In basketball, for those not already in the know, an assist is when you give the ball away to someone else to shoot.) Sure, he could trash talk on the court, and he was league MVP three times, so there’s no question he was a star. But he passed the ball like no one else, knew what the other team was doing better than anyone else, and made good players play like great players like no one before or since.

And that, dare I say it, is what makes someone so valuable. They must be able to do their job, and you must be able to trust that they’ll do it with as little ego getting in the way as possible. And if they do it with dignity, confidence, and maybe even style, then you are freed to do your job, without being in any way distracted by doubt.

Hello, my (toon’s) name is Paolo, and I am a team player.

Hm, is that ego? Being proud of being a team player?

(4) Comments

  1. 3/16/2009 10:42 PM Ben

    I hope the ego has a soft landing ;-)

    Grats on the Goldilocks achievement though.

    OMG yes that Disc spec has issues.

    3/17/2009 12:01 AM Sengkangboy

    i am still trying to get mine . Hopefully this week!

    A Disc Priest on Aman'Thul

    3/26/2009 1:35 PM Angie

    I know I've been away for a while, but what in the world is Goldilocks and the Three Bears? I mean, I know the story, but what is it in WoW?

    3/26/2009 1:36 PM Angie

    nevermind....I actually took the time to read your entire post and figured out what it was :P
    Congratulations on getting them down!! How exciting!!


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