Almost a year ago to the day, a friend of mine actually listened to me talking up WRA and made a tank alt. He asked me to make a healer to level with him, so I did, just like a good responsible “you should switch servers”-talking friend should. There was, however, a small problem: he rolled a DK, so I was fifty-sixish freaking levels behind from the get-go! As a result, my poor druid never did catch up to him, and that, I thought, was that.
But then Goa got another case of alt-itis. I’m sympathetic to this problem because I know alt-itis well. I’ve had it on many an occasion, and some might even say that I show the symptoms of a chronic case. Around level 70, Goa mentioned wanting a leveling buddy … and wouldn’t ya know it, I just so happened to have a stalled druid sitting at that exact point! Thus began the odd leveling partnership between one evil soul-stealing goblin warlock and one shoeless treehugging troll hippie. (It was weird. No, not the whole warlock and druid combo – the whole me not being the goblin thing.)
Once we got past Utgarde Keep and I re-familiarized myself with something that wasn’t a shaman, things went pretty well. In fact, they went freaking great except for those couple of times when I got smacked by things and fell daeeeed to the ground. Overall, I was shocked. I had no idea this druid thing was so EASY. I didn’t have to do much more than Rejuvenate until I got into the 60s, and even after that point, most situations felt laid back. Rejuvenate and chill, yo. Whooshy sounds! Maybe put that green circle thingie down. Nice lookin’, isn’t it? I like the little leaf thingies that float up, those are neat. Oh, I guess I should cast a heal or something, earn my keep. Nah, we’re lookin’ good, I’ll just Rejuv + that other HoT thingie that stacks. What was that one called, anyway? Lifebloom, that’s it!
And on it went. Wrath dungeons? Druid healing was totally easy. Cata dungeons? Druid healing was very easy. Stormstout Brewery? Druid healing was STILL easy. Temple of the Jade Serpent? Druid healing was mostly easy, unless the tank decided to pull the whole Courtyard full of Sha when I wasn’t even in LoS yet. Siege of Niuzao? OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE THIS IS CATASTROPHIC I REGRET EVERYTHING HOLY CRACKBASKETS
My druid’s first Siege of Niuzao run turned out to be The Moment in which I realized I’m Doing It Wrong. To be sure, it wasn’t the first time I’ve observed some randomass things in LFD and have subsequently wondered what I’m doing with my whole existence, like that one time a feral druid showed up and tanked the whole Siege of Niuzao in cat form. I told him he was the skinniest bear I’d ever seen! Still, underweight grizzly or no, he overgeared the whole thing and that was that.
But when I was an at-level druid faced with healing an at-level paladin tank clad from head to toe in PvP healing gear, my lack of true druid comprehension bloomed into a freaking nightmare. No longer could I rely on a simple, trustworthy combo of Rejuvenation when needed, Wild Mushroom + Efflorescence (OMFG HOW IS THIS FREE), Wild Growth and a bit of Lifebloom to touch up on things, only tossing in one big heal here and there when necessary. Rejuvenation had been my primary healing spell ever since I got it at level 4! DPS got smacked by shit before the tank got aggro back? Rejuv. Tank taking more damage than Lifebloom can handle? Rejuv. All the adds on me? Rejuv. And prior to that awful Siege of Niuzao, it WORKED. It healed what I needed by the time I needed it (a.k.a. before the target died), and I always had more than enough mana to spare.
But during that Siege of Niuzao and after, I hit a skill wall where not only did Rejuvenation NOT compensate for the damage a target just took, enough people were taking MORE damage for LONGER, causing me to use Rejuvenation even more frequently, which of course ended in me being OOM or nearly so long before the fights were actually over. And just think, that was five people. Now that I’m trying to heal 25-man LFRs on a druid, I’ve had to abandon Rejuvenation as a staple almost completely. If that trucker’s up on more than like, three people, I got a problem.
I also realized that (at least right now) as a druid, I overheal ALL THE TIME because I feel like I can’t efficiently respond to sudden or drastic downturns (which, of course, contributes to my persistent mana issues). I don’t know if fate has it in for me or what, but if I don’t keep people topped off, SUDDENLY SHEEYIT HAPPENS AND IF SHEEYIT HAPPENS WE ARE DOOMED HOLY CRAP. Somewhere around 50% HP, tanks will inexplicably start taking a ton of damage that I just can’t overcome by spamming what I think is my Big Guns single target heal intended for said situation, Healing Touch – that is, if I haven’t already gone OOM.
People make druid healing seem so effortless. It seemed so effortless, once. Now it seems like I just can’t do it Right, or like the Right way made an abrupt turn at level 87 or so and forgot to tell me. We’re gonna have to work on this.