By request – Aldor or Scryer for Healpriests
[Thank you, RaydenUni, for reminding me that I also write of shadowpriests. Addendum at end.]
Let me start with the critical point. Both have advantages. Both have disadvantages. The min-max is EXTREMELY narrow and in the end you should go with the one you think is most fun for your play. With that, let’s dig into details. [Yes, this applies to quest gear too. Sometimes it's the Aldor piece that's Heal and Scryer that's heal/damage, and sometimes it's reversed.]
I think we need to start with “Aldor? Scryer? Do these matter to a beginner?” In other words, background. (Hey, it’s me. Why do 10 words when I can write a novel?)
The Aldor are Draenai who got left in Outland. The Scryers are Blood Elves who are opposing Kael’thas – they were under him, they revolted saying (paraphrase) “Enough is too much.” The Scryer Mutiny happened in the middle of a siege of Shattrath, and because of it the seige was broken. Neither side likes or trusts the other, but both trust a third party – which was in control of the city during the siege. To help maintain the peace, the city has two enclave areas where no members of the other faction may venture. There is a lot more story, but I’m going to leave that for players to find out. Like almost every other WoW player-race, there is both shining glory and deepest rot in both – sometimes both at the same time.
A couple more background points and we’ll head for the discussion the advantages each holds for healpriests.
Everyone but Draenai and Blood elves starts exactly at zero with the faction – and gets a huge jump in rep with the introductory quest where they choose sides. If you’re Draenai, you start with an edge with Aldor and looked upon with disfavor by the Scryer, and the reverse is true of the Blood Elves. Regardless of your level you can switch sides – there is a repeatable quest (two, actually) for each side which allows this. It is… mindnumbing. Or expensive, if you choose to purchase the reward items. But it is doable – you are not locked in forever if you decide the other side of the fence looks better.
There are a few surmountable quirks – like trainers. The Jewelcrafting trainer in Shattrath is in Aldor territory, while the Scryers have the Enchanting trainer. shrug – there are others in the outland. And there are some patterns/recipes/etc that are only available from one or the other — but which can be (and are) sold on the AH. And none of this is critical to the healpriest.
In the end, the only things that are ‘dedicated’ for either side are some reputation items. That is, after you earn reputation of sufficient level, you can purchase things. And even here… Here’s the deal. Unless you’re making a concerted and specific effort, then by the time you reach exalted with either you will have picked up gear (through drops and reward quests) that isn’t that different – a few pluses in this stat, a few minuses in that stat. And I won’t quibble about a difference of +/- 10 healing when we’re talking over +200 on your item. At that point we’re in my likes and dislikes, not your fun of the game.
OK, let’s get into details. Let’s start with the easy thing: Honored. Because you will get honored fairly early – the various quests will pretty much put you there.
If you are a scryer, you can purchase an inscription at honored. That’s it. Now, for both groups the inscription is a good thing – it is pretty much the ONLY enchantment you can put on shoulders. Yes, shoulders. The scyers have four, of which three are conceivably of interest. The least on the surface – though of use nonetheless – adds +13 to defense rating. It’s a little more survivability. Of the other two, one adds +13 spell crit rating, and the other adds 5 mp5.
If you’re an aldor at honored, you also have inscriptions – plus a little. Again, only three inscriptions are (in my opinion) worth looking at as a healpriest. The first is defensive, and adds 13 to your dodge rating. Then there is the dual purpose spell enhance, with +15 to damage and healing. And the one that’s classic for the healpriest — +29 to healing. Great if you’re dedicated to group heals, nothing for you when soloing. I said there was a little more. The robes of the Anchorite are, really, very very nice. And you can get them when you’re only honored. The bad news? You have to be level 70 to wear them. If you haven’t found anything as good it’s a guaranteed good chest piece – when you can have it. Still, at honored the lead belongs to the Aldor.
The next step up is going to take a little (not a lot) of dedication — most players will reach Revered doing everything after they’re level 70. At revered both offer you a very nice staff. The Aldor staff is damage and healing (+121) along with some spell hit and spell crit ratings. The Scryer is pure healing (+228) plus some MP5. These are not bad staves – in fact, they are going to be a match for almost anything you get from any non-heroic instance. For the healpriest, the intuitively obvious choice is the Scryer here. Adding slightly is the Scryer trinket, which only adds some spell hit rating (a shadow, not heal, benefit) for equip. But it’s got a use function (cooldowns and all the rest) that gives a 15 second boost to healing of +280. (And +150 to damage, but we’re talking healpriests here.)
So while at honored the edge is for Aldor, at Revered the edge goes to the Scryers.
Except. OK, as I said, most players get Revered eventually, but Exalted is… purely dedication. See, the Big Toys in Shat don’t belong to either group. Instead they belong to the other two groups – the refugees (sorry, Lower City), and the Kings – the Sha’tar. Remember I mentioned a trusted third party? That’s these guys. What you do for rep with Aldor and Scryer both also give rep for the Sha’tar (though at a lesser rate) till you reach Honored with them. Which, by the way, is around Revered with the two starters. See the circle? Anyway… The Sha’tar don’t care which group you belong to. And as a consequence all your work is, well, immaterial. Yes, both groups have some really nice stuff at Exalted. But since you need high rep with the Sha’tar to get to higher instances (and neither Aldor or Scryer are so necessary)…
Literally, it boils down to flavor. And what you want – if anything – at honored and maybe revered. The gains for each are… not worth parsing.
Choose for fun, and have no worries of consequences.
[Addendum. OK, I was rather narrowly focused when writing this - as I say in comments I tend to answer "by request" rather tightly. But this IS a priest blog, not just a holy priest blog, and I have and probably will again play shadow. Sooo....
At Honored, I'll stand by the position that there's no real gain. RaydenUni's point that the Aldor inscription has spelldamage is legit, but mana regen is as important to shadow as it is to heal. Quite simply, both are usable and useful choices.
And pretty much all the other gear has good matches outside the rep reward chain - the odds are very, very good that what you get will make the rep reward staves (that you cannot use till level 70) immaterial as one example.
But wait. There is a potential Big Deal. For shadowpriests the Secret Magic Number is 76. +76 spell hit rating guarantees max chance of hitting all bosses. As analyzed earlier, each point of spell hit rating is a nominal 0.08% improvement to your DPS - this little trinket is therefor a nominal 2.56% increase. As a level 70 with enough quests and instances under your belt to be Revered with either of these factions, your DPS floor should be no less than 400 -- another 10.24 dps. In contrast, it takes over 26 in plus-damage to match this setting aside the boss effect.
And - the kicker - plus spellhit trinkets are kind of hard to find. Unless you count, among others, quests for the Terokkar Tablet of Vim or Starkiller's Bauble. Oh, wait -- equivalent items available through quests, again.
sigh. There is no significant specific gain for either - both sides have good stuff that's available before you can get it anywhere else, but by the time you reach the Real Good Stuff you've probably found as good or better outside.
Pick for the flavor fun. Pick for your playstyle on the inscriptions. But the total edge either offers any priest is STILL not overwhelming for either faction.]