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Roleplay > WoWNov 19, 2016 2:00 pm CT

Role Play: Priest roleplay in Legion

Priests have been in the game since day one. But it’s always felt like there was a sense of both mystery and confusion to the class. While the idea of a Priest practicing the same powers of the Light as Paladins always made sense, Shadow Priests didn’t necessary follow the same logical path. Most of the confusion – at least for myself – always tied into the fact that we didn’t really know what Shadow was. It didn’t have a lot of story behind it.

The closest we got were the tales of Natalie Seline and the Cult of Forgotten Shadow. Natalie researched the works of orc necrolytes in order to possibly use their own magics against them. In the process, she grew a little obsessed with the dark energies of these necrolytes. Natalie began to notice these same dark energies in the world around her. Forsaken Priests later took her teachings and turned them into a heretical group.

In Legion, we find out more about Shadow than ever before – and the findings could make for some interesting Priest roleplay.


Holy and Discipline

But before we get to Shadow, we should look at the other two Priest specializations, because they haven’t really changed a lot. Over the years we’ve discovered the correlation between the Light and the Naaru, and how the Light works. The only really defining thing that’s changed for both specializations is how they view the other two.

For Holy Priests, they’re both champions and bastions of the Light. They offer solace, comfort and healing to their beleaguered companions. They’re shining examples and beacons of the grace and power of the divine, stalwart examples of the Light at its best. As such, they’re pretty morally opposed to the idea of Shadow Priests and the powers that they possess.

For Discipline, they take a much more pragmatic view of the world and how Priests live and work within it. They understand the Light and respect it, but they also understand that every light casts a shadow. Therefore, balance needs to be practiced between the two. They walk the line between Light and Shadow, using discipline to achieve that careful balance – and they’re powerhouses as a result.



Shadow Priests learn a lot in this expansion – and that knowledge, combined with their Artifact weapon, gives them a lot to play with. All those “dark energies” Natalie was messing around with back in the day? Those are the powers of the Void. And Shadow Priests walk a fine line between mastering their abilities, or simply going completely insane.

Xal’atath itself is an odd weapon – it whispers to whoever wields it. Those whispers might be truth, or could just be dismissed as the lies of the Old Gods. But it’s enough to make any Shadow Priest a little leery of pretty much everything around them – paranoia may be a constant friend in this expansion.

And simply due to the nature of the magic they wield, Shadow Priest characters are under more suspicion than ever before. Much like Warlocks, Shadow Priests may not be viewed as entirely trustworthy. Their motives may be called into question time and time again. For now, it seems as though the powers of the Void – and Xal’atath itself – are on your side. But when all is said and done in this expansion, will that continue to hold true? Or will your characters find themselves pawns in a terrible conflict they didn’t see coming?


Priest roleplay in Legion

No matter the specialization, all Priests are pretty much dead-set against the Burning Legion. But the new information about the differences in Priest specializations makes room for some interesting roleplay. The Priest class hall is a sanctum just like any other class hall – but there’s tension between the different specializations. Holy Priests don’t really care for Shadow, and Shadow Priests may feel slighted or paranoid as a result. Meanwhile, Discipline is the bridge between the two.

And all this new Shadow Priest information leaves Shadow Priests with a lot more to consider for their characters. The revelation that all Shadow Priests are walking a fine line along the edge of insanity didn’t necessarily sit right with roleplayers. After all, some of you have spent years roleplaying your Priests as perfectly sane, normal practitioners of magic. Suddenly having a completely new element introduced could be a little off-putting, to say the least. Especially an element that could potentially have a heavy effect on an established character’s personality

You don’t necessarily have to go with the lore in this case. After all, you can roleplay however you’d like. If your Priest has spent the last ten years practicing Shadow magic without a problem, there’s no need to have them suddenly go through a dramatic personality shift. If they decide they’d like to study the magic they wield further, if they’d like to try making that slow descent into madness, that’s fine too.

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Priest motivations

We’re entirely focused on fighting the Burning Legion this expansion, and Priests have more of a role in this than ever before. There’s an Army of Light out there in the universe, battling away against the forces of darkness. Your character has an opportunity to dive in and consider exactly what this means for them. Are they strong enough to keep fighting?

Do they still have faith in the Light to keep them safe? Your character witnessed Tirion Fordring – bastion of the Light – screaming and writhing in pain, all the while insisting that the Light would protect him. Did it really? Does your character question their own beliefs, or are they stronger still in the face of any opposition?

For Shadow Priests, the revelations surrounding the specialization are definitely worth looking at, even if your character doesn’t embrace them. What do they think about the Void? Is it something they’re curious about? Are they questioning their choice to follow the path of Shadow?

Priests have a lot to think about in Legion, but a lot of what they’re thinking takes the form of self-reflection. A character is much more than just the class they choose to pursue, but that class helps shape who they are. Your character may have other things to think about during the day, of course. But when they settle down for the night, when they’re alone and have no distractions, when they have time to reflect – how do they feel about themselves? Is their path the correct one? Will they continue to uphold their faith, whatever shape that may hold, or will they question it? Will they wilt from the pressures of a potential role in the Army of Light, or will they stand tall in response to the Light’s call?

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