In my efforts to get a full grasp on on the healing classes in the game, I started (another) priest to try and level up to 80. I'm not trying to master each of the classes, but I just want to get a better feel for how they work. Even though I haven't healed on my shaman in a year, I still feel that I have a base idea of how they work. The druid and preist have been my last two - and my druid is sitting at 72 gathering rested XP.
So many heals
The first thing that amazes me about the priest is the sheer number of heals available even at level 24. Shields, Holy Nova, Renew, Lesser Heal, Heal, Flash Heal - and I know there are more still to come. In contrast with the Holy Paladin, this is a rather large kit to work with. I can see the instant appeal to playing a priest, as I have a decent stash of offensive spells for levling, and lots of different buttons to push for healing.
While I know not all of these heals are exactly useful (Lesser Heal is already off the bar), and some are extremely situational (Holy Nova?), there's still a large variety to work with. I still don't have the mana regen abilities that come from deep in the trees, but as long as I can get a drink every now and again that isn't an issue. Using a shield to cover until a heal can land is still new - I keep reaching for my Holy Shock instead.
Spirit Tap is delicious
While not as useful in dungeon healing situations, Spirit Tap definately reduces the downtime I've encountered while leveling. It's not as reliable as say, JoW or SoW, but it's better than nothing. I've managed to snipe a few runners in dungeons to help me through the insane chain/group pulls that I seem to get. At least there's no JoL to keep up the 'gogogogo' crowd that I decide to let die.
I'm leveling through the LFD tool now that I'm past 15. I do a smattering of quests here and there, but for the most part I'm content to just sit back and heal some PUG through a random. I've gotten to the point where Party Chat is just hidden. I hit my "I need a drink" macro when I get low, and I take the break even if the party keeps running. I haven't had a bear tank toss me an innervate yet, maybe this is just something I did while leveling. I figured the 3 seconds to shift and innervate the healer was better time spent than waiting for them to drink.
Questing is a bit of a challenge, but only because I pass the quests up as I gain levels in the LFD. Generally as long as I don't pull too many, I can slug through a pull using PW:S, DoTs, and my wand. Upgrading to a new wand every few levels is definately helping - and I really wish there was an heirloom wand. I'm also about to move out of the Horde controlled zones and into the contested areas. We'll see how the ganking/PvPing goes once I'm out of the safe zones. I'm not going to keep my Pally/mage around "just in case", I figure I'll take my lumps for a while.
The priest is surprisingly more fun than the druid, though I did like the shapeshifting and instant flight form. I suppose overall gameplay is better on the druid, but lowbie healing edges out to the priest. The paladin is still my favorite though, so no worries there. Now I'm just waiting on levitate and PoM. I want to hear the zings as it whips around the party. Oh, and Pennance - my real reason for leveling a priest.