I have a friend who leveled his Priest naked. I always thought that was about as cool as it gets and a true testimony to skill. I still think that having been working on my Priest but now I understand how it is capable a lot more then previous.
Not knowing a great deal about the priest skills I was not aware how one could level naked and even have a chance. Now seeing what I can do with gear as I level I can see how it is possible to do it. I can see battles taking a lot longer for sure and you need to really pay attention to where you are because if you get some adds it could mean instant death.
A Priest has an amazing array of skills that seem to be ideal for leveling like this and in reality it has made my leveling with gear on a lot easier. I use the approach that my friend told me, the basic idea to try not to take any damage at all, and being I wear gear and he did not it makes it easier for me.
With all that being said it makes rethink everything I know about the game some. The first character I made, my beloved Hunter, it took me forever to level it. Took me a while to learn how to pick and choose my battles, how to pull small packs or one at a time, things like that. So of course it took a while to level. As I leveled and learned and knew how to do things better from leveling that character it helped me level others. I knew the concept of how to do things, now I just needed to learn how to do them with different skills.
That is part of growing with the game. Some things still seem to be eye opening for me. Such as leveling a Priest now. Sure, when I was doing it in PvP only it was different, that is a whole different world and nothing like leveling with questing. Sure, I tried some of the looking for dungeon as well when they took out the PvP daily quest for lower levels and that was just spamming healing everywhere it was needed. That is what I think of when I think of a healer. Nothing more. They are healers, they heal.
Getting into questing now I learned that everything I knew about healers, or at least a Discipline Priest, goes out the window when leveling. I figured that being I was leveling as a healer I would basically fall back on the idea that I heal myself whenever I need it, I would drop DoTs all over and run for the hills so to speak. In concept, that made sense, in application it doesn't really work that way.
I take less damage as a Disc Priest then I ever have in any other class I have played so far. Those shields are so OP that if I really wanted to you can be a melee Priest and kill everything and still never take any damage.
I had thought, originally, that having healing would be nice, but being I was a healer and not just a class with a healing spell, that I could not really do a bunch of damage. I figured it would go something like, offensive spell, shield, offensive spell, heal, shield, HoT, offensive spell, and so on. I figured it would be a back and forth with me healing myself often. Thing is, I never take any damage at all. I think I can go 5 or 6 levels without ever needing to heal myself once. On the very rare occasion that I do take any damage it is healed either by itself over time or from the next shield I throw on myself.
Basically for questing I do not even need any healing spells at all for the standard stuff. My typical battle now goes something like this.
1) Cast Holy Fire from Max distance.
2) Cast Shadow Word: Pain as they are coming.
3) Cast Devouring Plague as they are getting to me.
4) Cast Power Word: Shield. If they did happen to hit me PW:S healed me.
5) Either Melee or Wand the mob until Holy Fire is off cooldown. Usually about 2-3 seconds max.
6) Cast Holy Fire.
7) Melee or Wand until dead.
8) On the rare occasion it is needed Cast Shadow Word: Death to finish it off if all the DoTs are done and there is a little left.
That is all.
You might ask why I have those 2 Melee or Wand parts in there and I can answer that.
One, I am not taking any damage anyway so there is no rush to kill the creature.
Two, the DoT's I have rolling are going to kill it anyway so all I am doing now is wasting some time waiting for it to die.
Three, I could save 2 seconds and cast another spell to kill it faster but this way is much more mana efficient. I need to drink every 10 battles instead of every 5 or 6 this way. The having to drink twice as often would eat up more time then the extra 2 seconds each mob lives from doing a little melee on it.
Now if you look at that you will notice how my original idea of healing myself is never even required. Yeap, I am a healer killing mobs that never needs to cast a heal. Call me surprised. I would have never expected it to be this easy.
There are some times where healing myself is needed. While I surprisingly enough can do some group pulls with little problem I occasionally need to throw a Renew on myself before I can shield again. Also when soloing elites I seem to need to do some more healing. Even at that I was amazed how easily I was able to solo some mobs I had problems with on other characters. I chalk that up to knowing more about how things work from all perspectives now. Having leveled up a Ranged, a Melee, a Tank and now I Healer through some of the same quests I have a different outlook on how to do things.
One of my intentions when I started leveling other characters was to get a feel for how things where on the other side and that seems to have paid off. Each character I level becomes increasingly easier because I have more of a pool of experience to draw from. None of that prepared me for being a healer that never needs to heal however. I find that so amusing. I love being a Disc Priest right now. Almost as much as being a Hunter.