I make no bones about it: my main is a Blood Death Knight and for years this was my only toon except for one lowly bank alt. As time wore on and I got bored in the game I rolled some other toons and leveled them. As a result of my slow leveling and not enjoying questing, I have a lot of alts around the 60-70 level range just sitting out there waiting for me to get off my lazy ass and level them. At some point towards the end of Cataclysm I decided that I really wanted a ranged clothie class that could also heal, so my priest alt, Evilshorty, was born, and I leveled him up to 85. I never did get a chance to try discipline healing on my priest, but I did spend a bit of time doing shadow. While I generally enjoyed it, I must say it was a tough transition.
As a Blood Death Knight, you can just charge right in, pull a ton of mobs, and slay them with very little problem whatsoever. Some might even say we are overpowered in this aspect of the game; I tend to disagree but that, my friends, is a topic for another day. As a Shadow Priest it was very different and for the first couple of days playing the class I had a ton of trouble. I would run in to grab a mob and bang! They would stomp me like a tiny insect in no time. It was difficult not to get frustrated. At times I did and would go back to my main to kill shit with ease, then wander back to the priest to try again.
I spent some time researching and also talking to a few of my friends that were long time clothies. What was my problem? Was it playstyle? Was it rotation? Did I just not know the class? I was given many tips and tricks, and some of them did help quite a bit, but I was still getting my short Goblin ass handed to me all over Azeroth. Then magically late one night as I was leveling, it just clicked. It was like someone reached out from the computer screen and slapped the knowledge right into my cranium. This toon is a clothie! It’s not designed to stand out in front and take a beating. It’s designed to stay in the back and hit things from a ranged position. I started standing at max. range and trying my best to kill mobs before they reached me using crowd control where I could, generally hanging back, and using more finesse. I died a hell of a lot less and ended up having a lot more fun on my clothie.
Now that Mists is in full swing and I have had some time to level my DK and get my rep grinds going pretty well, I will soon be leveling my clothie again. In many ways I am looking forward to this and having a second level 90 toon, but in others I am not. I know that once again I will have to go through changing my mindset from a plate wearing, in-your-face toon to a clothie, hang back and kill ‘em from a distance kind of play style.