If this sounds like fun to you but you haven't yet rolled your priest, check out the last episode of Spiritual Guidance, where we talk more realistically about whether Priest is the class for you and cover picking the right race for your newbie-to-be.
When your baby Priest first lands in Azeroth, you'll have a mace or dagger equipped, a bit of food and water in your inventory, and two abilities at your disposal: Lesser Heal (Rank 1) and Smite (Rank 1). (If you have the cash on hand, you can also train Power Word: Fortitude (Rank 1) immediately, but we're going with the presumption that these are new characters and you won't have it to start.) While none of these are your best abilities, you'll have to learn to live with them for a few levels, at least.
- Start at max range,
- cast Smite (repeat as needed),
- cast Lesser Heal if your health gets low (but don't rely on this every fight -- remember to eat and drink between fights as needed!)
- melee to finish the mob off.
- Start at max range,
- cast Smite until the mob enters melee range,
- cast Shadow Word: Pain (because it's instant cast, it won't be interrupted by the melee hits you're likely to be taking in combat)
- cast additional Smites as needed,
- at around 20% health (this will vary as you level -- but in this level range we can start meleeing at a fairly high health percentage without getting owned by our lack of melee prowess) melee to finish the mob off. (Well, with a little help from SW:P!) You may cast three smites, in total, to do this and you may cast five -- it all depends on what you're fighting and whether you get spell resists. Use your best judgment!
When you've discovered the nearest capitol, it's time to hit the auction house. (Talk to any guard for directions.) We're here to buy a wand that will become your best friend in the levels to come: the Lesser Magic Wand. You can first equip it at level five, making it the first wand available to you. If you can't find one on the AH (or can't afford it), you can hit up any Enchanter friends you might have to make one for you or ask around on the trade channel looking for an Enchanter to make one for you. If you still can't find or afford it, don't fret -- sure, a wand will make your life easier (much easier), but you can keep going without it. Keep saving for your first wand and head back to buy one as soon as you can afford it. (If you hit level 7 or 8, though, there are other wand options, and by then you may have gotten lucky with a drop.)
Now, though that may sound like a lot of progress, there's still one more thing to do before we leave town: professions! You have two profession slots to fill with the choice of: alchemy, blacksmithing, enchanting, engineering, herbalism, jewelcrafting, leatherworking, mining, tailoring, and skinning.
There are several directions you could go here. You could pick up two gathering professions to gather materials that you can sell on the auction house (and worry about crafting professions later if you want to), or you could pick up a crafting profession and a gathering profession to craft goods while you level up to help you along the way. I'd say your best options are:
- Mining and skinning: Two gathering professions to make you some cash. Ore and bars from mining are always a profitable option because many professions need ore (blacksmithing, engineering, and jewelcrafting). Skinning pairs nicely with mining because, while mining has a detect minerals option to make nearby mineral nodes on your minimap, skinning doesn't require any tracking -- so you can effectively run through any zone mining and skinning. (Herbalism, on the other hand, has a detect herbs ability, which means you'd have to pick between seeing herbs and seeing mining nodes on your minimap.) Note: for mining, you'll need a mining pick and for skinning you'll need a skinning knife. Vendors for these should be found in the vicinity of the trainers.
- Alchemy and herbalism: Alchemy allows you to make useful potions that can restore health or mana and buff your stats or abilities. The extra boost from your potions and elixirs will help you along the way to level 70 and at end-game, your potions, elixirs, flasks, and transmutes will always be needed.
- Tailoring: Tailoring allows you to make cloth armor that you can use. It will provide acceptable (though not great) gear as you level up and tailored epic gear you can craft at level 70 is easily comparable to (or better than!) tier 4 or 5 gear. But to equip this excellent gear, you must be a tailor. (Alternately, you could go with moneymaking professions to start, pick up tailoring later, and power-level it up.) Though this doesn't naturally pair with any other profession, you could pick it up with a gathering skill (for making some cash) or with enchanting (which also doesn't naturally pair with another profession).
- Jewelcrafting and mining: Jewelcrafting will let you make rings, necklaces, trinkets, and, later in the game, it will let you cut gems to buff your gear with. Jewelcrafted items are great -- at low levels, they'll be better than anything you're going to find elsewhere -- but you can also find most of them on the auction house for reasonable prices. However, Jewelcrafting gives you access to the lowest level trinkets in the game and these will require you to have jewelcrafting to use. You'll be able to use your crafts, sell the excess, and the ability to cut gems is in demand at higher levels (though to cut the best gems, you'll have to spend a lot of time hunting down rare patterns). Note: for mining you'll need a mining pick. A vendor selling picks should be near the mining trainer.
- Enchanting: This allows you to enchant gear with extra stats and make some low level wands. At high levels, absolutely everyone is going to want your enchants, but it's a slow and expensive skill to train up, plus the most demanded enchants are learned from rare patterns you'll have to spend some serious time acquiring. To get materials to enchant items, you need to disenchant magical items in order to get magical dusts, essences, and shards. Since magical items don't grow on trees, this means it will take you a while to gather materials -- and that you'll have to disenchant gear you find instead of selling it. What does this add up to? While leveling enchanting, you're likely to be dirt poor. However, you could pick up enchanting and use it as a gathering skill: instead of enchanting your gear, you could use it to disenchant magical items you find, and sell the dusts, essences, and shards you get. These always sell well -- and for good money.
What you pick is ultimately up to you -- and doesn't really change the way you level. So make your decisions (or go back to town and spend some more time grinding and questing for cash to train them) and we'll see you back here next Sunday for a discussion of your next levels!
Looking for tips and tricks for leveling up your mains or alts? Check out our page of WoW Insider Class Leveling Guides!