I have a level 25 Disc priest and so far I focus on Int/Spirit gear. I only do Looking for Dungeon, so I get the best items that I can. I am also an enchanter/tailor, but both are around level 100 because I just don't have the time/gold to power level it.
I have an 80 Holy priest that I played back in Wrath and haven't touched since. I have never played Disc before this, it was always Holy so this play style is new to me.
So far, what I do is PW:S the tank, Penance when the tank takes large damage, then Renew to top them up when light damage is occuring. I also use Renew on the rest of the group when they take light damage. I almost never use Heal since it heals for so little, and I sometimes use Flash Heal when Penance is on CD and the tank is taking high damage.
I've maxed out all my first tier talents since they seem so good, and most guides have them maxed out. (Was this wrong to do?)
One question I have is, should I pick Evangelism? I never dps when healing in 5 mans (I've only ever played Holy), and this seems to focus around dps'ing. Should I skip it for now? I'm confused about "Smite Healing"... can I somehow heal with Smite with a talent somewhere?
At lower levels the following doesn't matter too much but here goes,
-Shield tank, and low health party members.
-Penance the tank to build grace on them.
-Prayer of Mending off of the tank.
-Prayer of Healing when 3 or more targets need healing.
-Greater heal when only 1 or 2 people need heals.
-Flash heal only in emergencies, and binding heal when you and a party member are very low health.
-Never use renew (its pretty much useless as disc).
-Heal is fine to use as a filler, or when there isnt much to heal up. Its very low cost.
-First tier is fine to max out.
-"Smite Healing", comes when you take Evangelism, Archangel, and Atonement. You wont be doing this until later, however it is great. The basic concept is you can dps any target with smite, or holy fire, and it will in turn heal the lowest party member for the amount equal to what you hit the target for. The only exception to this is, if you yourself are the lowest you get healed for half of the amount you hit your target for. Also, if you do end up specing into this, it is essential you take the Glyph of Divine Accuracy as it makes it so you are guaranteed not to miss.
By Dps'ing you build archangel, which is a buff you can activate to restore 5% of your mana, and increase your healing done by 15% for 18 seconds, on a 30 second cooldown.
While evangelism (and archangel) doesn't seem to do much for you now, that all changes when (if) you pick up Attonement.
Attonement makes your HF/smite heal the lowest HP target nearby for the ammount of dmg dealt. It's a very efficient type of healing and will basically replace your "Heal" on your quickbar.
Attonement is amazing while leveling and continues to be useful in endgame raiding too if used properly.
Evangelism is a nice boost to your attonement so it's definatively worth picking up while leveling too.
High level dungeons and raids are where Archangel starts to shine.
Most Archangel/attonement specs removes 2-3 points from Mental Agility to pick up more important stuff to work as hybrid healers (meaning multi-role healing).
As for renew; I can't really speak for it's efficiency on lower levels, but as you gain levels and more powerfull spells, renew becomes increasingly situational for disc priests. On level 85 you basically only use it on fights with a lot of movement involved and even then there are mostly more powerfull spells to consider (PW:Shield and Prayer of Mending).
Optional would be to drop 2 points from Mental Agility to get Soul Warding 2/2
Then grab power infusion and Inner Focus
Then Renewed Hope / Borrowed time (you'll get both eventually)
And then go on from there. You can probably figure out youself which makes more sense for you, and if you can't it doesn't matter as you'll have everything eventually anyways. Just stay away from Reflective Shield and Focused Will
Ok that makes sense. Also, should I be focusing on Int/Spirit for Disc leveling? Or maybe Int/Crit?
All of your gear should have, at the very least, Int and Spirit on it. I know that in lower levels, sometimes spirit gear is hard to come by, especially with the speed at which leveling takes place now, but try if you can. At higher levels of gear you can start to reforge out of Spirit because of the Rapture talent, but until then, your main source of mana regen is Spirit, followed by Int.
Honestly, just keep PW:S on the tank, use Penance (especially once you get the Grace talent, to stack it to 3x with one cast) and Heal/GHeal as needed. In ow-level dungeons people shouldn't be taking a ton of damage unless something goes horribly wrong. And carry a couple stacks of proper level water on you. DOn't be afraid to tell a tank to slow down or hang on a minute while you drink up. If they don't, let them pull and die while you drink. Repairs aren't that much, but the small chance of teaching a tank to listen to their healer is invaluable. This is coming from someone with 3 tanks and now a freshly-dinged 85 Disc priest.
i have just recently 'disc'overed the joys of smite healing thanks to a very good guide by Indie on youtube, its worth checking out and should point you in the right direction.
Personaly at around lvl 80 i started experiencing problems with mana so i took as much spirit as i could. i'm no expert it just seemed logical.
i now use my disc preist as my main and i love him, i even use disc for soloing and its always funny when u manage to out dps some people in heroics
pre 80 u wont have much mana issues, if ur on normal dungeon cata gear when ur 80/81 u still wont have much issues.
Mana wil become an Issue once u reach lvl 83, after 80 u might want to start preparing to get more spirit orientated gear.
Disc is gear depended in order to get comfy mana regen, once ur able to do the new 5mans and LFR u will notice that ur going to reforge out of spirit.
So my advise for lvling disc priest, get gear even if its non spirit early lvl's u wont have much mana issues pre 80.
If its an Int upgrade, take it.