Healing is thankless. From 1-80, you're going to be expected to heal something. And those players you work with aren't going to care how you do it as long as you do it. After all, you'll be riding their backs as they're blowing up Snobolds or Gnolls or Murlocs or whatever mob that you've been assigned to kill 50 thousand times. It's a fair trade off since you're keeping them up while they're doing most of the work. That is, until you're stuck with 1 mob left and they disband the group leaving you hanging.
Leveling can be a nightmare. You up for some Smite spamming? Because that's what you're in for as you slowly head up the ranks. It's the only real offensive spell you have at your disposal during the early levels. At least, it's not until you pick up Mind Flay at level 20 that you get some extra diversity among spells. Mind Blast? Yeah, every few seconds. Shadow Word: Pain? Eh. Cool. I guess.
Glorified whack-a-mole. When you start healing, you tend to drown out other things and focus exclusively on your role. That's the point. It's a giant mini-game of triage. Actually, I'd even go one step further and say it's team whack-a-mole in a raid setting.
Buff, buff and buff. Power Word: Fortitude, Prayer of Spirit and Prayer of Shadow Protection. The last two are offered by other classes (Warlock's Fel Intelligence and a Paladin aura respectively), but there's no other buff that will stack with Fortitude. Everyone loves Fortitude and we're going to be depended on to hand out our buffs.
Some mind control required. I suppose Priests only have to do this once in their raiding careers. I think it's one too many. Mind control? Really? Do we have to? I've witnessed many Priests struggle with this spell in particular. Some players like myself have healed our entire WoW lives from 1-80 and have no concept of what to do when we commandeer another NPC.
Survivability is a question mark. For one thing, we wear cloth. Yeah, I suppose we have healing spells to compensate for the all the pain we're taking in, but really! Once glance by a mob or 3 and you're effectively down for the count! We're given enough time and mana to either heal or shoot stuff. It's not like we've got plate, leather or mail to help absorb this stuff! When we get punched, boy do we feel it.
First target. Hitting some battlegrounds or PvPing in general? If the opposition finds out you're a Priest, expect to attract some attention. It feels as if though there's a giant, neon, flashing "kill me now" sign floating above your head with an arrow pointing downwards. If you're Holy, good luck. At least with Discipline you're alive a few seconds longer.
Where's the damage? I can't attest to this myself, but maybe some Shadow Priests can weigh in here. It seems our Shadowy brothers and sisters are having a hard time with damage since the 3.2 patch debuted. Are you guys doing competitive damage with other classes and players? I look at various logs and it just doesn't look right. Alas, I'm not a Shadow Priest and can comment no further other.
Chain Heal. The days of Circle of Healing dominance is over. We step aside for our Brain Chain Healing friends, the Shaman. For the time being, Chain Heal is expected to see even more improvements. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not bitter at all. As an aside, between laser beams or pulses of light, I'd lean towards laser beams. It's like phasers versus photon torpedoes.
Confusing stats. Cataclysm isn't here yet. Regeneration has not been reduced down to one exclusive stat. We're stuck with Spirit or mp5. Do I want X mp5 or Y Spirit? What's greater than the other? All this math work required just to figure out how much is worth what! Then you've got to take the spec into account. Are you Holy? Are you Discipline? Because Holy actually cares about Spirit while Discipline doesn't. Get ready for some gear juggling and some decision making on gear when it does drop.
Power Infusion. No caster seems to notice it. It's as if every time I cast Power Infusion someone and ask them if they noticed a DPS increase, they respond with disbelief and confusion. "You power infused me? Really?"
Hang up the plow and the pitch fork. Don't expect to be doing much in the way of farming. I distinctly created an Elemental Shaman and a Ret Paladin just to help with that aspect of the game. It's difficult with the lack of survivability and such. What happens if we get challenged for a node? We may as well just fall over and die!
There you have it folks! Do not roll a Priest! They're far too vulnerable! Try having some fun as a Paladin instead! I hear their leveling game is much more enjoyable. I mean, they do wear plate. Alternatively, try playing a Warlock! True they wear cloth. But they can manhandle most mobs out there and then some. But Priests? Oh man, they're so hard to manage and maintain.
Note: With the exception of Shadow Priest damage (I do feel that it does look a bit low but maybe that's just me), all the points were made in jest.
Want to find more great tips for carrying out your Priestly duties? Spiritual Guidance has you covered with all there is to know! And don't forget to check out our other Leveling Guides as well as our Wrath Guides and Galleries!