Archive for the ‘Druid’ Category

The Non-Tree Resto Druid

Sometimes it's more fun to just be an elf...

In this post over at Righteous Orbs, Chastity rightfully lambasts people who are blithely not trying in the current heroics and raids because their gear is so good, they don’t “need” to try.  Which is how, when last week’s raid weekly was Instructor Razuvious, most groups I went in with had half-assed-to-nearly-fail attempts because everyone was of the “whatever-it’s-Razuvious-I-could-do-this-with-one-hand-behind-my-back” mentality.  As a result, it was some of the sloppiest raiding I’d ever seen.  People ran all over, lost the bosses, and died left and right as I vainly tried to heal them through the insanity.  So, bravo, Chastity, for demanding that we do better.

That said, this post is actually about Taz and heroics.  Taz is geared to the nines and can heal most heroics pretty easily at this point.  She runs them to (a) earn frost badges and (b) help out guildies who need more badges.  And she often runs them in her regular Night Elf state, rather than tree form.  In Chastity’s post, the main example of “whatever” attitude was a Resto Druid who didn’t bother to heal in tree form and was proud of it simply because they “don’t need to.”  It made me think about why I heal in Taz form all too often in heroics (unless it’s Halls of Reflection) instead of gussied up like a tree, as nature and Blizzard intended. (more…)


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Gentle As A Chainsaw

With friends like these, who needs PuGs? (image courtesy of Optimistically Pessimistic)

Since the new LFG tool premiered a little over a week ago, everyone’s had a take on the new etiquette of cross-server grouping.  There have been the heart-breaking stories of groups that tossed about casual cruelty towards others, the pleas for tolerance of players who might not share your super-leet DPS,  and the groups that had no idea what they were doing and, moreover, didn’t care to learn.

I’ve had some “interesting” PuG experiences of my own, including one where a DK was pulling max. 400 dps.  We didn’t kick her, nor was there any discussion of her terrible output.  We did fine through the entire instance (the Oculus).  There were no wipes and the only time she died was on the final boss when she presumably didn’t know where to go during the phase shift.  And the most I wondered to myself about the whole thing was how any level 80 in half blues/half purples could only be doing 400 dps.

But this post isn’t really about any of the PuGs I’ve been a part of, the good or the bad.  It’s about the decidedly non-PuG grouping I joined in order to test out my new favorite thing: Bear Tazha.

Way back when I had dual-specced Tazha to be a feral tank, but found that she was useless in that role.  Our raids had all the tanks they needed and more off-tanks than you could shake a stick at.  Among my friends, we already had too many people vying for the tanking role and too few vying for the healing one.  So, once Blizzard redesigned kitty form, I respecced into feral dps.  I found it terribly boring and annoying, so much so that I never used it if I could help it.  The truth is, the only dps-er class I’ve ever really enjoyed to date is my fire mage (and solo-ing my secret horde alt hunter).  I fully admit that it’s not the kitty’s fault that I didn’t like it – I didn’t really give it enough of an effort.  Besides, dps-ers were a dime a dozen, too, so it was only useful for dailies, which I tend to avoid like the plague.  With the new LFG tool, however, tanks are king and being able to be either tank or heal for a dungeon is a distinct advantage when trying to get into randoms.  Plus…Rocket-Bear!

So it was back to bear-tank-Taz I went.  Triumph badges were spent like wild outfitting her, and I jumped at the chance to tank for a group of my loving (and forgiving, I hoped) guildies.  No random PuG-er to tell me I sucked or vote to kick me.  Just people I played with all the time taking care of me.  HA!

“Remember, guys, this is only my second time tanking in the last six months, so be gentle,” I said at the outset.

“Gentle as a chainsaw,” our mage replied happily.

I should have known then that there was going to be trouble. (more…)

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The Druid Questions

I’m back!  European vacation successfully completed with a minimum of National Lampoon-like instances.  I even got to play healer IRL when my poor pally was struck down by a hotel-room-quarantine-inducing sinus infection (and I got a regular, non-quarantine-worthy head cold), which had me stuck in a tiny room in Ireland for four not-so-pleasant days of pushing water and meds on him, watching as many pay-per-view movies as possible, eating lots of soup and brown bread, and wishing I was a tree in reality so I could “Abolish Poison” and “Rejuv” him back to full health.

The one good thing about the forced hanging-out-in-hotel-room bit of our trip was that the hotel TV offered internet.  It was a fairly wonky version of internet, but I was able to read stuff, so I did manage to catch up a little on what was going on in the blogosphere.  And while I am incredibly, horribly late to the party, and half of the guests have already gone home or on to other parties, and all the good things to eat are gone, I’m coming in anyway at this late hour to talk briefly with the exhausted host, sip a mostly slushy margarita remnant and mop up the last of the salsa with a few crumbles of tortilla chips.  In other words, I am responding to Miss Medicina’s healer questionnaire (even though Tam kindly gave me a pass due to my lengthy holiday): (more…)

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Healing Meter Whispers

Psst!  You don't suck!

Psst! You don't suck!

“Your healing numbers are amazing!”

The whisper came from the holy priest in our 25-man who is normally burning up the charts.  To be honest, with the craziness of my pally and I playing reliably only two days a week and having rushed around like a night elf on speed just an hour earlier when I realized the raid was in fifteen minutes, and I needed fish feasts and flasks and…everything, I hadn’t even paid any attention to the healing meters at all.

I was just stopping to breath deeply and settle into healing Trial of the Crusader when the whisper arrived, pink and shiny, in my chat window.

At first, I was really flattered.

“Thanks,” I replied.  I combine a healthy diet of Rejuvenation and Wild Growth with the occasional helpful Swiftmend, just to keep me regular.  Thanks for noticing.

And, after we were done killing the boss we were working on, I checked Recount.  And there I was, topping the charts!  By a lot!  Hooray!

But after the mental huzzahs and self-congratulations came the self-doubt.

Rejuvenation and Wild Growth and I’m topping the charts?  Have I become a healing spam-bot??  Yes.

Am I actually a good healer if I’m a healing spam-bot?  My internal Taz shrugged.  Err…maybe?

I’ve read over and over how healing meters aren’t the be-all, end-all.  They’re deceptive, they don’t show the whole picture, you should mainly use them as a measuring stick against yourself – 3000 hps last week, 4000 hps this week, good job, you!

So what is Taz’s be-all, end-all, then?  How do I know if I’m doing a good job? (more…)

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Turns out Old Gods keep their cathedrals <i>inside</i>...

Turns out Old Gods keep their cathedrals inside...

Last night, my 10-man raid finally got to see Yogg-Saron.  In preparation, I read up on the encounter, but I found myself a bit overwhelmed by all the info out there.  And while I managed to retain the salient points, I think everyone will agree that the best way to learn Yogg-Saron is by doing the fight.

There are three phases to the fight, and each one has its own difficulties, so our Main Tank decided to explain each one as we got to it.  (In other words, first we’d master Phase One, then die on Phase Two, and then get Phase Two explained, etc, etc.) (more…)

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When overhealing gets too zealous...

When overhealing gets too zealous...

I have an overhealing problem, I freely admit it.  While I am often in the top three for hps and overall healing in Recount, I have also become somewhat of a superstar (in the bad way) on the overhealing charts.  This wasn’t always the case.  When I first started raiding I was dead center of both charts in our 25-man raid, and second (out of two) in both charts for our 10-man raid.  As I began refining my healing technique, reading more and more about resto-druiding overall, and getting gear better suited to the task at hand, I found myself steadily improving my hps output.  Hooray!

On the downside, I was also steadily increasing my overheals.  Boo! (more…)

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Ready for /treepunch

As Ghostcrawler and Blizzard probably imagined it would, the suggestion that Tree of Life form be more dynamic and less rigid-and-necessary in combat was met with a strong healer druid reaction.  I was excited about the concept and curious about the mechanics, but I was in the minority.  Most of what I’ve read has been along the lines of “You can take my Spirit, but you’ll have to pry my Tree Form out of my cold, dead branches!”

A lot of it has made me think about what I really love about Tree Form – the silliness of it; the *frantic tree waddle* (as Tamarind so rightly calls it); the crazy tree punches or tree slaps that I like to toss about when a battle has gone completely down the drain, a wipe is called, and I’m encouraging death by snuggling up to the boss’ legs and hitting them with my branches.

I love being a tree, I really do.  I read the Q&A as a high-level concept for making tree-form less a constant necessity, but I didn’t read it as removing it all together or making it a rarely seen thing.  I still stand by my thoughts on the matter – I think the concept is intriguing and one worth exploring.  But I send many /treehugs out to all the concerned healers out there.  Ghostcrawler acknowledged that shapeshifting was what made druids unique and that the Tree of Life was here to stay.  Perhaps I am terribly mistaken, but it seems unlikely that Blizzard, understanding that, would still take away our branches.


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