So this last week was an interesting week for me! Hope it was for you guys too.
I had my first opportunity to DPS for my raid. Scary proposition in itself, I’ve been a healer for a long .. long.. (did I mention long?) time. Disc atonement healing doesn’t count! Setting up my UI and borrowing from my healing gear was an interesting prospect. Despite what anyone says, healing gear does not a dps set make. Seems like Disc and Holy are fairly interchangeable this expansion – Spirit, Crit/Mastery, with as little Haste as possible is what I’ve been rocking and doing spiffy with.
Shadow priests are backwards! O.o Favoring haste to a plateu and then crit and mastery, my gear was ALL wonky! So after an hour or so of equipment evaluation, regemming and reforging (ohhhh the struggle to magic up haste), I hit the road and got warmed up by queing up for a LFR. Throwin’ myself to the wolves! Mom always said “if’n y’gonna do somethin’, go all in!”. Or was it “Hey you, with the face, get outta my coffee!”? I forget. Anyways, my first experience was kind of a flop and I feel bad for the people in my LFR. Dots flying willy nilly, mind sears all over the place.. It went something along the lines of “Hey! I’m missing cooldown buttons, I need to move my bars, where’s my notifications, this button goes here AHH A BOSS IS HITTING ME move dispersion here ah poogas, I’m dead.”. My Takeaway? Holy heck, you have a lot to keep track of as a Shadow Priest!
For those of you who don’t know me, I enjoy reading the HECK out of forums. Literally. The whole heck.. not just half of it. My usual stop of www.plusheal.com wasn’t really sufficient for the shadowy goodness that comes with being a shadow priest, but they came through again – a regular there, Derevka of Tales of a Priest fame also helps with another site, HowtoPriest. Boy was I blown away! The guys there have put together a literal treasure trove of information about all three specs there too. I found an excellent post by Woaden there entitled Shadow Raiding: the Primer, 5.1 edition. It’s like they knew I was coming!
I also found a few interesting videos. A regular watcher of the Youtubes, I came across a playlist entitled Preach Gaming which had a pretty spiffy video on getting started as a shadow priest, or spriest, or spriesty, or whatever we happen to be called nowadays. Fresca? I dunno. Anyways, he also covers other classes and can be pretty fun to watch or at least listen to. Can’t meet a more outgoing guy. If you’re not into reading, I recommend giving this video a watch at least, especially if you’re considering keeping a shadow offspec.
So, having brushed up a bit on my Spriesting, I jumped back in the game, but this time in my actual raiding group. BZOW! Well, it wasn’t as life changing as that, but I felt a bit more confident and it showed in my dps. It helped that I had a patient team who was willing to wait a few while I fine-tuned my ui after fights. Felt like I was making my date wait for me while I was styling my hair. /fluff fluff.
It also helped to get a good tracking timer (like Shadow Timer or Weak Auras.. I’m actually still experimenting) and arranging my toolbars (thank you to Bartender and the people that make it!) so I can quickly see what needs to be cast next helps so much. Preach talks about why he doesn’t choose Divine Insight along with FD;CL because of how the cooldowns sometimes co-incide, but having mindspike and mind blast right there helps me track it well enough that when each proc, I seem to get the most of it. Personal preference, but I thought I’d throw that out there.
Anyways, enough of my rambling for now.
Have you guys ever been asked to step out of your comfort zone and DPS for your raid team? How much prep work did you have to go through and what did you do to get ready for it? I’d love to see what you guys use for your references!