HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

The Auditions are Over

Character Selection

Will you forgive me for using a non-standard character?

Starting the Ravenholdt grind made me realise that, without even knowing that they had started, I’ve finished auditioning my characters for the starring role of Cassandra’s Main in Cataclysm.

I’m sticking with the Shadow Priest!

My Mage hasn’t reached max level yet but I’m fairly confident that I’m not wired to play a Mage. I love my casters, but the Mage really is a glass cannon. I’m just not sure I can really get into that part of the game play. I also get pretty impatient when I have to stand around while someone – OK, usually me – is lying on the floor waiting for a resurrection.

It seems too early to make a judgment call on the actual spells and “rotation” itself. Right now I’m a Blizzard, Blizzard, Blizzard, Fire Blast Mage and I’m pretty darn sure that it won’t remain that way by the time I’m level 80. At least, I sure hope it doesn’t remain the same. Because the only thrill mid-combat at the moment is the very real possibility that my next critical strike could mean my death. And that’s not the kind of fun I’m looking for.

I spent a lot of time giving the Shaman another chance. I had the opportunity to raid a little bit with her as both Elemental and Restoration and I just don’t think I’m particularly good at either. Elemental is tons of fun in an instance, but I feel that all the goodies are taken away in a raid boss fight setting. And I can’t really compete, numbers wise, in either spec.

I found myself tagging a Heroic Deathbringer Saurfang video I captured as “watch Dopz and I slaughter a Blood Beast!” on our guild website. Dopz is a Warlock in our guild, and I don’t know much about Warlocks but he’s usually forced into some crappy buff spec to boost everyone else’s DPS. Demonology perhaps? And Warlocks are another DoT class, so I expect his ability to do burst damage is about on par to mine: awful. In the competition to kill our Saurfang Blood Beast before all the other DPS pairs in the raid I consider us to be the underdogs. Yet we can win that race.

I also like to boast that it’s my well-timed Divine Hymn (cast right when Healers are at a breaking point in the last few percent) that saves the day and wins us a kill in Saurfang.

Why would I even think to play any other class when I enjoy the one I’ve got right now so much?

I enjoy running into low flying Vile Spirits as a big glowing shadow ball – usually with a tank protected by Shield Wall hot on my heels. I look for opportunities to get hit by the Council’s Empowered Flame Orb. I like seeing those inflated green Vampiric Embrace numbers fly around my screen in Blood Queen. I even hope that one day I’ll equip Trauma just to see if I can heal a Heroic purely through damage dealing in Shadowform.

I can’t give that all up. And for what? A bit of burst? Some “pure” DPS? Heroism or totems? The chance to play a Gnome?*

The Achievement system is both wonderful and awful. During the auditions I shied away from working on Achievements. If I were to swap mains I’d never get to scroll through my titles or ride around on a rare mount earned by completing a difficult achievement. Now that I’m sure I’ll be playing the Shadow Priest for more than the next few months I’m willing to devote my time and energies towards Insane in the Membrane.

I don’t believe in swapping mains during an expansion. And I don’t believe in raiding the same content on more than one character. So this is actually a pretty important decision for me and one that I would only make once every couple of years in the lead up to a new expansion.

Are you auditioning for a new main for Cataclysm?

* Yes, I know I could race change to a Gnome Priest in Cataclysm but I would never inflict that kind of identity crisis on Cassandri or myself. She was born a human, she’ll die (retire?) a human.

21 Responses to “The Auditions are Over”

  1. VidyalaNo Gravatar says

    I’m definitely “auditioning,” and I did swap mains mid-expansion… Primarily because I could be umpteen billion times more useful to my small raid group as a hybrid with healing abilities than as a pure DPS a la mage.

    Whether or not something is done to make moonkin form less painful to look at will definitely play a huge part in my decision. I’d probably be content to stay a druid forever if I wasn’t such an eyesore. Otherwise, paladin is probably the next strongest contender at the moment.

    I’m glad you made your choice – it IS tough, and not a decision to be undertaken lightly! That’s why I’ll no doubt waffle about it until the expansion is nearly out. :-)
    .-= Vidyala’s last blog: In Which We are Fools to Have Come To This Place =-.

  2. I kinda am, but the audition is as much getting more toons to 80 as anything else. I love my disc priest madly, but as hard as I try, I am pretty fail at shadow. I’m going to keep trying to improve, cause shadow is awesome, but if I want to raid with my guild I need a decent dps toon as a backup. We had only one healer for the longest time and now we have three. Go figure. Since we need to pug to fill a 10man, 3 healers is a bit overkill. Two and a switch hitter would do us.

    So far the hunter and previous main is in the lead, with no clear second. Maybe I should level the druid and try booming? And I’m with you on the glass cannon mage thing. They’re so much fun, until they die, and they die A LOT.

  3. RadesNo Gravatar says

    With only two 80s, my auditioning seems easy right now, haha. I’m warily committing my main as Hunter still for Cataclysm, but it all depends on how using Focus feels. If it’s like a rogue…I don’t know if I’ll be able to stick with it. Which would mean resto druid by default! Plus I dislike tree form so bonus if that’s the case. ;)
    .-= Rades’s last blog: Razuvious, I still hate you =-.

  4. NatarumahNo Gravatar says

    My main, as stated many times, will remain my Shadowpriest. The more I blog, write, tutor and entrench myself in the class, the more I’d feel silly putting her by the wayside.

    That said, with the rather abrupt split between 10 and 25mans announced in Cataclysm, I will need to bring an alt to our guild runs instead of my main. On that, the judges are still out.

    I have my trusty resto Druid, Nazhtarune, and my stalwart protection Paladin, Aranth, clamouring to fill that gap. So far they run up pretty equally, and it might just be that I simply offer them both to the guildies and see how they feel.
    .-= Natarumah’s last blog: Into the Shadows: The curtain goes up =-.

  5. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    I’ve always been 100% convinced that I could never swap my main (Prot Paladin) to another class. However since playing my DK, this resolution is only about 90% now.

    The thought of changing specs on my Paladin is always tempting, but I know that I could never play another spec fulltime, I just couldn’t bear to be at the mercy of someone else tanking (There are just sooooo manyyyy terrible terrible tanks out there….)

    My DK will very likely receive the honour of being my “1st Alt” in Cataclysm though. As I’m loving playing him, since eventhough it’s still tanking, it feels soo different as a DK, but my Pally is just more the complete package, and I’m definitely not grinding out almost 10k achievement points again!!!

  6. NanukiNo Gravatar says

    I think it’s great if you like your class that much that you will stick with it! If you know all about your class and mechanics and stuff and your shadow priest is a lot of fun, it’s the best that can happen to you!
    I play my disc/holy priest since 5 years now and I never changed mains either (though I have TONS of lvl 80 alts and enjoy to play other healing classes as well – but I would never change my main).

    Hooray for priests ;)
    .-= Nanuki’s last blog: Lazy Screeny Updates =-.

  7. VokNo Gravatar says

    I struggle with the idea of playing a different spec, let alone different character. I think I’m be a resto shaman until they turn the servers off
    .-= Vok’s last blog: WoW servers closer to home? =-.

  8. JasylaNo Gravatar says

    My druid will always be my alliance main. Horde-side, I’m not so sure. I have 3 possibilities in Cata (Hunter, Shaman, Paladin), but I won’t be doing any auditions until the new talents come out.
    .-= Jasyla’s last blog: Shared Topic: Favorites =-.

  9. JaediaNo Gravatar says

    I made my decision a month or two ago. It’s back to the Shadow Priest for me, and honestly, I think the achievement system has a LOT to do with whether people reroll or stick to one class these days. For me, as I’d achievement farmed on both my Priest and my Hunter a bit, it would always have to be between the two. The only things that my Priest is missing out on are a few Ulduar/TotC/ICC achievements my Hunter has, however, she has Hand of A’dal and a few more rare mounts. My other vague options could have been Warlock, Mage, or Death Knight I guess.. but the amount of time I’d put into both my Hunter and my Priest? Not sure I could do it. Hooray for Shadow Priest love! \o/
    .-= Jaedia’s last blog: The Face Melter: Scaling Factors =-.

    • ShivaNo Gravatar says

      I hadn’t even thought about mounts! But yes, I’ve got a Spectral Tiger on my priest… I’ll likely never get one again. Some of it too is old and not easily obtainable gear. I am a huge collector of old tier sets — which brings me to something else I like. I think there are very few priest sets I absolutely dislike (D2, Oracle).

  10. OleanderNo Gravatar says

    I find myself struggling with what *spec* I want to declare my main for cataclysm (healing or dps; I love them both!), but there’s no question at all which toon I enjoy playing the most in Wrath. Since that toon is my Kingslayer and 2000 achievement points ahead of my closest alt…

    But with the unified 10/25 man raid lockout, I may have the time to raid two characters. So we’ll see!

  11. StelleryNo Gravatar says

    I’m not sure if I’m actually “auditioning” since I’m pretty sure I’m sticking with my elemental shaman but I do have a shadow priest alt that I adore playing. It appears our class choices are flipped 180! :)

    My shaman has all the achievements on her (Salty is the one I’m most proud of) and I’m not sure if I can bear with starting all over again.

    Then again, Cata is still months away and something in the air might prompt me to change from mail to cloth. Or perhaps I’ll play two mains!

  12. VogieNo Gravatar says

    My main will forever be my warlock. He’s fallen out of favor due to LFD benefiting my DK tank, Shaman Healer, and Druid, but He’s still the one that’ll get to 85 first, get the titles and the best stuff.

    As for Mages, I’m leveling one as well. I’ve found that I survive a whole lot more as Fire, as opposed to Arcane or even frost. The difference: Diversity. I can blast through mobs incredibly fast, but don’t have to rely on frost RNG or glyphs to keep enemies away from me. Blazing speed is an awesome talent for leveling, and I thought it was worthless until grabbing it. You have Pyroblast to open (unless it’s a much higher-level mob, then you Scorch+Polymorph to get the debuff on it, then Pyroblast), Both Frost nova, blink AND blast wave to keep things away from you, and you get impact far earlier than deep freeze or slow. Just don’t do what I did… you do NOT want to glyph fireball until you have tier gear-level haste. Glyph of scorch, however, is great!

    Another thing that helps – avoid boring raiding talents & glyphs. Things that just increase crit chance, increase damage on low-health targets, and similar effects, are not useful leveling talents. More options are a whole lot better than more “Chance to umph”

  13. ShivaNo Gravatar says


    I strongly consider/considered playing a Holy Paladin, because my guild badly needs one and has had open recruitment for one for damn near 8 months or so. But in my heart, I will always be a priest. For a lot of the reasons you listed.

    I take pleasure in being able to go shadow or discipline (or holy) and solo things. Sure, doing some elites or what not would be easier on a tank or a paladin (of which I’ve got level 80s of all 4 tanking classes)… but it’s not as satisfying or challenging.

    The priest is just too special to me… Sort of started out as a bastard child when I was still a mage main back in Molten Core. At first I was just leveling priest because my small homely guild had no super-consistent or active priests and we relied heavily on Resto Druids and Holy Paladins to heal our 5-mans or raids or what not (and if you played back then, you know both how bad Resto Druids and Holy Paladins were and by virtue of class-design, how amazing our main Resto Druid was to pull off raids without a Priest).

    It’s funny, I level’d most of the way as Shadow, but the thing that really got me healing was PVP. I loved the feel of being the “quarterback” with my soldiers protecting me while I heal them up and quarterback the field.

    Fast forward 5 years… and it’s just not happening. I’ve got Val’anyr, Field Marshal title and working on the Insane. I’ve got three viable specs for PVE. Two viable arena-pvp specs. Three viable general pvp specs. And lots of achievements.

    I think Grief Grip is stupid, but there’s almost nothing that will cause me to change from Priest.

  14. SukugaruNo Gravatar says

    My characters weren’t even aware there was an audition.

    While I do have a whole legion of alts, I only have two characters at level 80 – an Alliance druid and a Horde druid. Whenever I try playing one of my alts, I eventually run into some situation which makes me think, “man, I wish I was one of the druids.”

    .-= Sukugaru’s last blog: FF13 complete! =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Man, I know that feeling. Especially when I’m playing my Rogue or Mage, am near death, and start frantically searching my UI for my missing heal button.

  15. ZyNo Gravatar says

    I’m planning on sticking to my resto shaman but we’re tentatively looking for a new guild and if I really need to swap to my druid to fit with a new team then I would be willing to consider it. I’m thinking it’s gonna be rough enough finding a family friendly guild that tackles heroic modes that will take a husband and wife team without absolutely refusing to be flexible about which healer I will play. The shaman has more achievement points but I’m not OCD about those. They both have roughly the same amount of toys like the Titanium Seal of Dalaran. I enjoy both offspecs, both sets of professions, ect.

    Anyone but the druid or the shaman though? No way in heck :) While I love the paladin and the mage they will stay much-enjoyed alts.

  16. CynwiseNo Gravatar says

    While I enjoy playing my alts, I still take a lot of joy in playing my Warlock. Sure, she doesn’t get instant queues in LFD, the depth of the class keeps me coming back. I leveled my DK to 80, and now he’s a bank alt.

    I <3 my warlock, what can I say?

  17. GameldarNo Gravatar says

    I’m undecided at this point. Like Vid I switched mains at the start and in the middle of this expansion with the idea of not trying to gear up another tank… which I failed at ending up switch from warrior to paladin tanking.
    I have the following running through my mind:
    1. I really don’t have the time to gear up a hybrid in both specs as I’ve done now which points me towards my hunter
    2. Gearing up a tank as the only spec can be a long and painful process – I found it a lot easier the second time round having got a decent set of gear while healing. With LFD and emblems (or whatever they’re going to be called) it possibly won’t be as bad.
    3. I am impatient when it comes to waiting for LFD groups to pop…
    4. I really love tanking…
    5. I’ve done warrior and paladin now – time for something new? I’ve been enjoying my DK
    6. It might be better to have a dps offspec rather than a heals since I can be disrupted when I play… and I fail at melee dps – so bear/boomkin for me?
    7. The new prot warrior tree looks really interesting and like a new challenge
    8. I uber excited about leveling… whats this end-game thing again?

    So… I really haven’t decided and I’m not sure I will before cataclysm comes and I start leveling again.
    Gameldar’s last post: WoW in an Hour- Full Circle

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Well remember that it doesn’t really matter about what gear your prospective main character has now – there’s nothing like an expansion to wipe the slate clean. And you’re going to have to complete 5 levels either way you look at it. And if you love tanking I think you’d be crazy to pick anything other than a class that can tank.


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Endara, Lathere & Cassandri. Lathere & Cassandri said: New blog post: The Auditions are Over Enjoy! [...]

  2. [...] at some point – just hopefully not any time soon! I remember Cass writing about how her auditions were over. She knew who her main was going to be! I won’t spoil the ending, it’s worth the read. [...]

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