As a fresh level 60 I knew that the time had come to change from a shadow priest to a holy one. Life outside instances was going to be hard but as a healer I would be able to get into group really easy. The good news was that as soon as I made the change I realised how much easier healing was, bigger heals meant I needed to heal less and that meant my mana lasted most fights instead of having to drink mana potions or drink copiuos amount of Morning Glory Dew constantly. I had done my research and learned that spirit was my best friend and started to collect armour with this stat on. But gearing up as a newly level capped player back in vanilla (level 60) was a very different environment to the one freshly dinged (or should that be dung?) level 80 has now (patch 3.3.3 May 2010).
There were no craftable epics that were not resistance items, the BoE epics were seriously expensive at 1000g+ (when the average player had a gold reserve of maybe 200g if they were lucky) and the only other way of getting epic gear was to run Molten Core, Zul’Gurub and Onyxia (Mk I) with your guild/raid alliance, pugging such raids was something that just did not happen and entering these raid instances was also not the easy path seen with Naxxramas (Mk II) in Wrath or even Karazhan in TBC, you had to hit the end game instances like Scholomance, Straholme, Blackrock Spire (Upper and Lower) or maybe Dire Maul and grind out your class dungeon set 0 (rare quality 8 piece armour set (iLevel61) e.g. Vestments of the Devout) and fill in the gaps with blues that would drop in those instances. Only once inside a raid instance would you hope for epics and emblems/badges were still 2 years away!
Evlyxx hit the dungeon trail to grind out such a set when Kittiah told me he had blagged me onto his guilds, Soul of the Fire, off night raid to Molten Core and their Onyxia run but the only way I would get any loot was if nobody else wanted any, but as they were already making fast progress through Blackwing Lair my chances were above zero. My first raid was to be Onyxia and I was still wearing green “of the Owl” gear in some slots!! Oh well I was nervously excited at being in a raid and became a little more nervous when I was told that they were having trouble getting 40 people online on that Sunday afternoon and they would try to 20 man the raid. I was laden with greater fire resistance potions and major mana potions to help keep me alive and healing. Into battle we went and the trash mobs pulled and killed succesfully, these guys wer good and killing stuff fast despite the small numbers. I was in awe and then we turned the corner and ther stood Onyxia, I was shocked at the size of the dragon I was expecting big but this bugger filled the screen!
The pull was made, Jybcrusader stood there tanking and he was awesome, no aggro issue like I was used to in 5 mans . My task was to heal anyone that needed it, dameage was everywhere but fortunately in Vanilla there were tools that made healing decisions for you, like CTRA Emergency Monitor which enabled you to target the person that needed healing most and then all you needed to do was hit your heal button. I was doing OK but my heals seemed puny and trying to put renews up was pointless as I was constantly getting errors telling me “a stronger spell was already present”. Phase 1 Onyxia was easy, then came phase 2 and all I had to do was stay out of the fire and wand Onyxia. I failed, the fire hit me and I was instantly dead. I was combat ressed by a druid named Fleet (another guy I knew from RL through Kittiah) and into phase 3 we went, then I got feared, my initial position was bad and I ended up standing next to Jyb, right in front of Onyxia. Cleave, I was dead again, again I was combat ressed and just a I accepted Onyxia died.
I remember only 2 pieces of loot that dropped, the first was Ancient Cornerstone Grimoire, it was a nice off-hand nobody else wanted it except me so I won it, my very first epic! The other loot I remember was the Halo of Transcendence, the tier 2 priest helm. There were a couple of other priests in the raid but feeling particularly cheey I whispered the master looter and was really shocked to win it, the other 2 priests already had theirs! I run and 2 epics I was hooked. I was told my gear sucked and that even for their off raid nights I really needed to get better gear, but was promised that if there were spots free I could tag along.
My goals now became clearer and I realised that more 5 mans were needed….