HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

By a Round of Applause,
How Do You Feel?


Fame and celebrity await?

A few readers suggested that I apply for the open Priest columnist position. At first I was flattered and then I remembered that is a news site. Heavy on the facts, light on the opinion. Kind of the opposite of me.

Although I really do love my Priest, and the entire Priest class in general, I just can’t imagine players finding the answers to their problem in my writing. When I want the low down on the latest Priest changes I head on over to Dusk Noir or Twisted Faith for some logical analysis. Sure, I might not be able to follow the theorycrafting line for line, but I tend to trust their conclusions all the same.

And that’s for the Priest spec that I actually understand well: Shadow. The thought that I might inform and educate the Discipline and Holy Priests out there… well that just boggles the mind!

If I’m mulling over a Shadow Priest issue (and I’m thinking over quite a few while we work on Heroic Anub’arak, I can tell you that) I’ll head over to and jump into an existing thread to ask for advice or, if necessary, start up my own topic. Fortunately the community at actually provide pretty helpful responses 99% of the time.

Although, I’m still seeking answers about the crit bonus to Inner Focus (which I don’t believe even works) and whether it increases the chance for a DoT spell to crit 25% for the duration of the DoT, or just the very first tick.

When I play, I don’t really think logically. I go with my instinct and what feels like the right choice at the right time.

CriticalQQ served me a dose of humble pie when he explained his reaction to being attacked by a stealth Rogue, and at what point it’s time to escape the stun lock:

Reaction (a) – I’m playing a Mage, the Rogue is very geared
Reaction (b) – I’m playing a Mage, the Rogue is not very geared at all
Reaction (c) – I’m playing a Paladin, the Rogue is very geared
Reaction (d) – I’m playing a Paladin, the Rogue is not very geared at all

And while I was reading it I was thinking to myself “I usually hit my trinket if I think everyone else is gonna die without me”. I think. Just in case I thought I was getting better at PVP here’s a nice reminder of how ignorant I actually am. My decision to trinket is based purely on feeling, not logic.

Of course Euripedes was arguing that of all the classes, Rogues are the most deadly when geared in PVP and barely a nuisance with starter PVP gear. And I absolutely have to agree. But the lesson I took away from reading his article was that most of my decision making in game isn’t based on fact or knowledge of PVP tactics. I’m making decisions based on what feels like the right thing to do at any given time.

For example, if I know that I’m going to die in a Battleground I might just cast Shadow Word: Death on my attacker anyway. It’s not going to kill them, not even close. But there are some moments when I just want to hurt them back so much that this actually seems like a good decision. Of course the only thing it’s likely to do is speed up my own death.

I’d like to be able to blame it on my lack of PVP ability and experience. But I’m not entirely sure that I make decisions in PVE for logical reasons either. Consider this situation:

3 mobs, all with a nice, large health pool, all of equal health, standing close together.

Option 1) Choose 1 and Mind Sear until the other two are dead, then finish off the last target
Option 2) Apply all DoTs to 1 target, apply Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain to the 2nd and 3rd target, Mind Flay until they all die
Option 3) Apply all DoTs to 1 target and Mind Sear until the other two are dead
Option 4) Apply DoTs to all targets and then Mind Sear

How long have we been playing this expansion? 1 year? Yet I still couldn’t tell you which of the 4 options above results in the most damage done. Presented with that scenario (which you only get to see about 20 times in a row each time you run a level 80 dungeon) I would probably choose one approach the first time, and then follow a different approach 5 minutes later in the exact same situation.

Logical? Hardly!

So I don’t think I’m quite ready to shape my writing into something useful for the audience. The comments that I’ve received have mostly been along the lines of “it’d be great to read some good Shadow Priest articles”. And those comments have encouraged me to blog more about Priest topics here at Hots & Dots.

When I responded to the Circle of Killers (DPS Questionnaire) I realised, and wrote, that when I sit down to write for HoTs & DoTs I rarely have Priest issues on my mind. I’m usually musing over something that has happened in our guild or how to better cope with X ability in Y raid encounter.

Perhaps, when I’m writing, I imagine that Lathere is my audience. We chat about our experiences in game a lot and what we talk about ends up becoming the things we blog about. If I were to start rambling about juggling Haste and Crit or whether it’s more beneficial for your raid to AOE whelps or help bring Onyxia back down to the ground, I’d lose her attention pretty damn fast.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think about Priest dilemmas all the time, I do. From the smallest things to the class defining “big questions” like: what the heck kind of DPS are we meant to be capable of? what makes our game play unique from that of other casters? what is it that makes Shadow fun to play? what makes Shadow not fun to play?

So I’ve made a vow to actually put those thoughts down in writing here on our blog. Instead of responding to Blizzard announcements on the forums or debating class mechanics at I’m going to bring those discussions to this site, too.

At the very least I can be sure that any argument posted here will actually be read by someone, somewhere. That’s much more than can be said about the official forums!

And finally, even though I don’t intend to vie for the job of Spiritual Guidance columnist, I’m going to address 2 questions that they ask of applicants just because I can. And because I know some of the writers for occasionally stop by this site.

Q. What are some suggestions to improve

Frankly, I think the Priest column needs a new title. Spiritual Guidance makes us sound … wussy. We have the power to take over people’s minds and make them do things they never would have done otherwise!

My real suggestion is: more opinion pieces, please. The articles provide answers and announcements, but rarely opens the doors to debate. And there is also just way too much coverage of holiday events and achievements for my liking.

Q. What post at do you feel exemplifies our best content?

The best article ever published on was written by Alex Ziebart, who clearly loves his Shadow Priest, in response to the Q&A released by Blizzard in August: Shadow Priest Questions Answered.

Alex absolutely hit the nail on the head in his article and wrote from the heart. He couldn’t have summed up our concerns, as spriests, better. It was an opinion piece, and one that perhaps wasn’t entirely favorable to Blizzard. But he was so so right. And I know that reading his article reminded me that the writers are players just like me, working on the same bosses I am and having the same problems.

10 Responses to “By a Round of Applause,
How Do You Feel?”

  1. Wei WangNo Gravatar says is not really the place I would go for facts and news. They attempt to cover it but really they are full of misinformation and incorrect interpretations of what the writers read on MMO-Champion.

  2. I have some bad news. I lied when I said this:

    “If Shadow Priests didn’t change at all until the next expansion, I wouldn’t stop playing my class.”

    I fell out of love with my Shadow Priest and have since rerolled. :’( Thank you very much for the high praises on that piece, though! It means a lot.

  3. VokNo Gravatar says

    I have to admit, I don’t hold in very high esteem. The news is not ground breaking and I think they are trying to apple to an audience that is…a lot younger than me.

    The Shaman blogger is terrible too.
    .-= Vok’s last blog … King Varian Wrynn : Part Two of Three =-.

  4. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    See I don’t know. I *think* that I’m aware of all the Priest news and announcements (I always read the spell comparison stuff at MMO Champion) yet Matticus’s latest Spiritual Guidance column had heaps of stuff in it that I didn’t know about.

    I don’t envy him writing up about all those items though, that’s for sure!

    @Vok is that because their Shaman writer doesn’t write much on Resto?
    @Alex Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    No wonder people are craving more spriest articles!

  5. NatarumahNo Gravatar says

    Before starting Twisted Faith I actually applied to writing a Shadowpriest column, argueing that the current column was too focused on Holy and Discipline. I was rejected of course, hence starting my own blog.

    Spiritual Guidance, as a series, is indeed still very focused on healing, and I am sure my freedom would feel restricted if I’d have to write it. It’s a good column for starting out, but most Shades find their way to eventually, and get their mojo started.

    In hindsight, the freedom I enjoy at running my own show is very nice, and I don’t have to worry about deadlines. It’s not paid, of course, unlike the writers, but that’s something I can live with – I blog because I like it, after all.

    So I’d rather see your opinionated self here than regurgitating news in a time-managed column ^_^
    .-= Natarumah’s last blog … Preparations for 3.3 =-.

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