To keep myself busy and keep my feet in the water when it comes to World of Warcraft, I decided to make a small alt on a different server (Moonglade – EU) called Sutures. She is a Forsaken Priest, and I have decided to go for Discipline to be able to heal comfortably yet have a good chuck on damaging power.
Apologies if I have missed something or the structure is a bit loose, I will be tightening this post up in post-production later.
Decisions for trial characters
The first thing is to realize what restrictions you have to work with:
- Level 20 max
- Maximum level 100 in primary professions (secondary are unrestricted)
- Maximum 10 gold
- No guild, Mail, Auction House, Pet Battles, Monk class
- Cannot /whisper non-friendlisted people, cannot invite to group, cannot trade
- Apparently /say is invisible to people over level 35 (need to confirm)
Why a Forsaken Priest? Well I am not sure whether I want to PvP or PvE, and a Forsaken Discipline Priest is pretty good at both. I will be able to heal dungeons, deal a bit of damage, and be resistant to Shadow (handy in PvP). Hands-down, however, a Holy/Disc priest gets +15% Hit with their holy spells, which means less gearing for PvP. If I go into a BG, I will be in the 20-24 bracket, meaning high-level enemies with likely much better gear.
The first thing to know is that your experience gains are relatively irrelevant. When you have a cap of level 20, you will be reaching it long before you get to use the advancement tips in my posts. Once you’ve gone through the starting zone even without heirlooms and guild bonuses (which you cannot have) you will be easily level 11-12. Pass through one more lowbie zone and you will be capped.
After you hit the level cap, further gains will be in gold instead. This is significant because you can only hold 10 gold at a time, and you cannot unload it in a guild bank or sink it into auctions. You’re going to have to make a piggy bank.
Once you have the Dungeon Finder available, it becomes the best source of experience until the cap. Not only do you get the higher xp from being in a group and killing elites, but you also have a chance for good gear drops and gain reputation via your tabards.
Bank, bags, mounts
You have a bank, and can buy the first 3 slots (for 10s, 1g and 10g respectively). Once you hit revered with a Faction City you can buy a 16 slot bag (That’s Orcs, Trolls, Tauren, Forsaken, Blood Elves and Goblins – not sure about Pandaren) which means you can stuff some of them in your bank slots and keep a profession/gathering bag along.
You will be able to use a normal ground mount at level 20 – which includes any mounts you may have on your main account (if you have one). My main account has a big Tundra Mammoth on it, meaning I have a vendor with me wherever I go!
Without access to trade or AH, you can only use what you craft or pick up. Rare BoEs are unlikely, and most crafted equipment is pretty bad, leaving you with three main sources of gear:
- Quests (usually green items with the occasional special – will look into this)
- LFG (Level <21 dungeons, random dungeon gear bag)
- Heirlooms (prepare for the pain)
There are plenty other people who made guides on the trial accounts, and I am going to give the cruel short-hand when it comes to professions:
Jewelcrafting, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Mining: Avoid
Tailoring gives low-level gear which you will replace and bags for which you have better alternatives. Same for leatherworking and blacksmithing. Jewelcrafting has those statues that might be fun, but they are reasonably underpowered. Mining gives stamina and ore that will fill your bags.
Exception: If you are a Blood Elf, you can level enchanting up to a maximum of 110 which gives you 1 or 2 better enchants. They require a Silver Rod, however. So if you want to achieve this, you need to start with Mining and Blacksmithing to make a Silver Rod before dropping it.
Also, if you plan to level engineering to its max, you will need to have stockpiled a lot of ore.
Start with Herbalism and Mining
Herbalism gives a haste buff with a bit of healing which is always nice. Grab a herbalist’s spade for a free +10 (so you max at 110). You will start with Herbalism because two main professions use it (Inscription and Alchemy), it will give bonus XP as you gather and you will be able to make a stockpile for later use.
Make sure you have enough bars and stone stocked up to level Engineering to 100 as well as to make stacks of bombs and items you want to make at that maxed level.
Replace Mining with Inscription
Inscription gives you scrolls of recall and buff scrolls which ease leveling and dungeon runs. E
ach class has (I believe) two glyphs that they can learn from Inscription up to level 100, and you have to make them yourself. Nope! The glyphs require level 25, so no go.
Make sure to have made a stack or two of Enchanting Vellums. You can also buy them later at the Enchanting vendor, but if you need to level, you might as well do it on something useful. They are 9 silvers each otherwise, which means you will burn through mats quickly.
Then replace Inscription with Enchanting
Once you have your glyphs and a stack or two of buff scrolls (more will drop at random anyway, I never ran out) switch Inscription with Enchanting. Especially casters will want to fill a bit of bank space with Spellpower Oils
and/or Mana Oils. Make sure that you’ve got a stack of vellums for each enchant you want to keep for later gear. You’re going to replace up to 10 pieces of gear at most in your career, so that should cover it.
Then choose your final professions
Once you have your buffs, enchanting vellums and glyphs in order it is time to look at what you will be ending up with. You can keep using Enchanting, but without access to the Auction House crystals have less value than selling the gear instead.
Alchemy is an attractive choice because you have a lot of potions and elixirs – not just effective but also some fun ones. Sadly, the alchemist’s stone and perma-potions and perma-elixirs are far out of your reach, but it’s a good investment. Goblins gain +10 so they can go to 110 maximum.
Engineering can be worth it, especially if you are a Gnome. The Flying Tiger goggles are apparently very good, only beaten by the weather-beaten fishing hat – which requires winning the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. Not the most likely thing. That said, you can have a lot of bombs, and those do a stun/confusion effect which can be very advantageous in PvP.
Skinning isn’t a bad option, since its crit bonus will be useful, and you can vendor your skins. However, it’s bland and there’s no real profit or fun in it.
Some vendors sell herbs. IF they sell enough herbs that I can keep Alchemy stocked after maxing it, I believe a combination of Alchemy with Engineering would be a nice ticket. Otherwise, Alchemy and Herbalism combined likely offer the best bang for the buck, especially since you keep Lifeblood, while Engineering is much less certain to offer enough benefit
Profession tips to keep into account
For enchanting: various enchanting vendors sell low-level enchanting mats. For alchemy, the same is true for herbs. I will see if I can make a list of vendors that sell them and are accessible to level 20’s. You can ride by them to resupply or start up a stockpile.
Low-level areas frequently have chests for you to find and open. To most accounts, those are nice but inconsequential. To you, however, these are a true treasure. They can contain a lot of things that are normally not available to you and your profession(s) such as metal bars, herbs, green items, food and buff scrolls.
It is possible things change at the release of Warlords of Draenor. Don’t be afraid to then drop your least important profession and gather enough items to relevel a profession. Yes, it’s time consuming but a Trial account isn’t about easy or quick, but about dedication and planning.
Fishing will allow you to do the daily fishing quest, which gives you a chance for extra lures, speed potions, speed swim potions and vendor items that are pretty high-value for your level. It also provides you with fish to level cooking with. You can still get a lot of fishing achievements done even on a Trial account.
Cooking will allow you to cook lesser food (I think you cap out just below proper buff-food levels), and do the daily cooking quest. Some of the cooking achievements are doable on a Trial account. You also can make a Basic Campfire. Never a bad thing in those lonely, guildless nights.
First Aid isn’t critical, but you’re not going to use the cloth for anything else. And you never know when a bandag may come in handy. Usually First Aid is awesome because you can use much higher-power bandages than you can make, which you have no option for. But even without it, there’s no reason not to invest a bit into it.
Archaeology is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, you can do some fun things in your off-time and you can complete a lof of the basic races’ projects. But it will consume a lot of time and you’re going to have stuff littering your bags that you won’t know what to do with. I’ll have to check this one in greater detail to see what I think of it.
PvP Heirlooms can be acquired using Honor Points, while PvE Heirlooms can be gotten by converting Honor Points to Justice Points. In both cases you will have to do tons and tons of PvP to get them. Without a guild, you can only get Chest, Shoulders, Weapon and 2 trinkets. There are a few more heirlooms available depending on class, but for a priest this is about it.
Together, they will tally in at about twelve thousand honor points or thirty-five to twenty-two thousand honor points converted to justice points. Let that sink in. That’s a major investment, believe me. Psynister has a good guide on the heirlooms here, with details. Check it out and be prepared to pull your teeth out of the bedboard.
There is also the Dread Pirate Ring, but that one requires winning the Northrend fishing competition. This requires you to get summoned to Northrend and protected, flown around and the like. A lot of work and the stats aren’t awesome. I would advise sticking to the rings you get from random dungeons or monster loot.
Here, the choice between PvP and PvE becomes enormous. If you are primarily going to PvP, you will want the appropriate heirlooms (especially trinkets). You will be done quicker (relatively) but you’re more limited in your abilities. The PvE heirlooms require much more work, are less useful in PvP but much more useful in PvE.
These are the preparations I will be going with for my Forsaken Priest. This means for now I am going to have to fill in a few blanks with the professions, and check what questing gear I can achieve. After all, I would easily be able to do quests of up to level 23-24 if I am careful, and some of that gear I can use.
If you see a tiny undead priest named Sutures running around, give me a /salute and drop a line on the blog.