April 12, 2011

Trying, failing and trying again

For the last week, I've been wrestling with a dilemma.

What do I do if I don't enjoy healing as a druid at the moment?

It makes me sad just to type it out. When I started playing and I rolled my first character, I picked a druid because I wanted a hybrid class - one that could fulfil multiple roles, be of assistance to friends and enable me to try different aspects of group play - and because it sounded like a lot of fun to play.

When I hit 80 and started chaining Wrath heroics, my old guild never had any healers online - plenty of hybrid classes but none that wanted to heal. Aralosseien was doing so well in heroics as a moonkin that I decided to pay the gold for dual-spec and take the resto spec for a spin.

It was great, honestly. I panicked a bit sometimes, but I always managed to pull it together overall. In general they stayed topped off, I had mana, we all got emblems of triumph and I eventually had so many I bought the T9 set for each spec.

When the Cataclysm came I put my resto spec on the backburner and levelled to 85 as a moonkin. Who wouldn't? Sure, you could level feral...but I like a little headstart on my enemy if I need to flee. By the time I'd ground out various reputations, dailies and dungeons, I didn't feel like dusting off the resto spec so I went through heroics as a moonkin too. The sheer difference in difficulty between the Wrath heroics as I'd known them and the new Cataclysm heroics was amazing - and I loved that. They taught me how to play my class better, which is one of the reasons the incoming nerfs make me a bit sad. It was the first time I'd needed to know my spec so well and I think I've risen to the challenge.

The trouble is...all my healing experience was in easily-obtainable tier gear that was probably way above what was intended for heroics, with a party of 4 other people who were similarly overgeared the majority of the time. Back then, you could keep people's health topped up, and mana was rarely an issue. I read about the changes to healing, the triage ethic and the mana woes, but I didn't worry too much.

Naivety. In gear appropriate to the current heroic content, trying to contend with mana woes and having to resist the urge to keep everyone at 100% health, I couldn't manage. I panicked too much and people died needlessly. Pixelated people, but still people with a finite amount of time to spend on the encounter. I got sad that I couldn't do it and then grumpy that other people I knew had hybrid classes but weren't bothering to even TRY healing (I always felt guilty afterwards for expecting them to, as well). Every time I tried it I ended up feeling worse, until one evening I called a halt to the whole idea of healing on the druid.

I haven't tried since.

Not healing at all makes me sad though. I've always wanted to have a character that could heal. If I'm not good enough at druid healing, there are plenty of talented players who are, so maybe it's time to make my peace with it and re-roll a new character. I have altitis (I don't think that ought to be a surprise) so I currently have an ele shaman with a resto off-spec and a new holy priest with planned disco offspec.

Here's the dilemma - do I push aside my fear that I'll be bad at healing whatever class I play and just GO FOR IT, knowing that I might find a new character that I can enjoy just as much, which would also mean my guild pugging less healers for raids? Or do I stop feeling guilty that my guild doesn't have enough healers to raid without pugging and stick to my current character? Here's the confusing factor in what was an easy decision for me: some of my friends think I'm worrying too much and have told me I'm useful enough as a balance druid already and that it'd be a shame if I stopped playing Aralosseien as much.

Personally I want to keep trying. I've tried once, failed and need to try again, or I could lose the courage to do it permanently and I don't want that to happen. I might have to give up my chubby moonkin form for a while but if I could find a class I enjoy healing as I'll see the same content with the same great people and that's what matters, ultimately. Do I follow my instinct on this, or stick with what I know?

If you've got to the end of this massive, unedited, unnecessary out-loud worry, thank you. Your opinions, scoldings, butt-kickings (I could probably do with a kick in the behind about this) or general /waves would be massively welcome on the subject. Did you ever have a similar dilemma?


  1. I’m sorry to read that you don’t enjoy druid healing at the moment, though to an extent I certainly understand why. Cataclysm heroics can be a nightmare; especially if you’re running them with less understanding players (guild runs + vent got me through the early ones, and pugging still makes me nervous).

    “[…] do I push aside my fear that I'll be bad at healing whatever class I play and just GO FOR IT[…]”

    Assuming you *want* to heal – Yes! Everyone’s bad in the beginning, and you won’t get better by not practicing.

    “Or do I stop feeling guilty that my guild doesn't have enough healers to raid[…]”

    Yes, again. Don’t guilt yourself into playing a role that you don’t enjoy! It’s unfair to you, and might even prove unfair to your guild if you play a character that gradually wears you down and makes you change characters again/quit the game, even o.O

    If you want to heal, then do it for yourself, because you want to. If you want to keep trying on the druid then do it. It gets easier, and more fun. If you want to continue playing as dps, then do that. If you want to play a different healing class then go-for-it. I think you’re noticing a pattern here. Do what *you* enjoy. Of course being an asset to the guild is important, but a kick-ass boomkin is way superior to an unwilling tree.

    You may already have done this but running the normal versions is a great help – even if you’re technically geared enough for the heroics. It’s less stressful, and teaches you to handle mana.

    Whatever you chose, I hope you find a way to play the game so that you enjoy it!


    P.s. Long, rambling comment is long and rambling .___.’’ Sorry!

  2. I do love being seen as a kick-ass boomkin ^.^

    Thanks for the words of encouragement Val. I've decided to try my hand at levelling a holy paladin and level it mostly through dungeons to get the experience of bad groups, pulls gone wrong and class issues that I wouldn't get if I waited to do guild runs once I hit 80.

    Hopefully, all that practice will cure me of my pugging fears and I'll have the confidence to get back into resto druid healing.

    p.s. Long, rambling comment is welcome and encouraged!

  3. I am beyond frustrated with Paladin healing, and I find myself wanting to just either quit playing all together or not raid anymore. Is it my class or just me? I find Heroics a nightmare with or without a guild run, so I am just not doing them anymore. I leveled my paladin as a retribution up to 85 and dual specked as holy because I really wanted to heal. Raid healing has gone good and bad for me. My Lich King guild broke up and I have been in several since then, but not really feeling that I belong. I am sorry for the negative post, I just need to vent about how I feel about healing in Cata. Right now I am leveling a Resto Shaman hoping that I will find my place with healing again.
    Thanks for listening to me rant.

  4. Felesity, I totally understand. Vent away!
    It must happen to a lot of people (us included) and I think the best tonic is to try something new. That character won't go anywhere while you level the resto shaman and it's worth the effort if you can find that healing mojo again.
    I've found that since I resolved to try something different I feel a lot better - I hope you do as well.
    Good luck!