Healing Druid: Oh, Leveling.
Warning: This is likely to be a bit long-winded. For that, I apologize.
First I have to state my unbelieveable hatred with cows. I don’t hate cows the animal, I hate the race Tauren. I don’t hate them in the way most people hate Blood Elves, but I hate their size. I hate their mounts. And I hate how much screen real estate they possess. That being said, the majority of my toons are Horde. I made myself a druid cow, and truly had no idea what I was doing. At level 18, I hated it. I shelved the toon in favor of leveling something else (see: Bubble Pally). The boyfriend and I are on a very Horde heavy server. Any time the balance between Horde and Alliance is tipped that far, it means that since the majority if the population is on one side, it also means the majority of the, uh, “not nice” (see: douchebag) players are also on that faction. The boyfriend and I rolled Alliance toons. I can’t speak for him, but I gladly went Alliance because I was so tired of the douche-baggery prevalent on Horde side.
On Alliance, since the boyfriend made a warrior I decided to try my hand at healing… as a druid. I hit 80 recently, and have been slowly working at obtaining gear. I have to say, I love it. I love playing a druid! LOVE!
With the dungeon finder being available to characters at level 15, this gives players the opportunity early on to learn how to play their appropriate roles. I leveled as a healer. In all my years playing MMOs, I have never had a healer. I never wanted the responsibility. But I had almost a full set of heirloom items which granted me a lot of spell power and haste fairly early on, and it made healing pretty easy.
One thing I never fully understood is why I got so many compliments. It’s not to toot my own horn and talk about how great I am at WoW, because lemme tell you, I suck at playing a lot of classes. My first 80 was a Death Knight and she’s been shelved for a long time, probably indefinitely. I suck as a melee class. I make no jokes about how much I suck at hit. I always have been, and always will be, a mana junkie.
The surprising thing upon hitting level 80 is being dumped into the harder dungeons. The very first heroic I got put into was Trial of the Champion. Freakin’ ToC, are you kidding me?!? I told my group that I had just hit 80 and didn’t think I could successfully heal it (my addon gearscore was in the 3800-ish range). It was apparent that I was a replacement healer as the jousting had finished. That group was willing to give me a chance and we made it. Barely. During the Black Knight kill I had popped Innervate fairly early on to deal with all of the AoE damage and had already used Tranquility. I was afraid I wouldn’t make it through and right at the very end in a huge defeat, we’d wipe. With slightly inflated ego and a huge sigh of relief I thanked the group for the chance. (I would like to note that were I on the Horde side on my server, at least 2 people would have dropped group without saying anything just because of my low gearscore).
While leveling, however, I went a combination of Balance and Restoration. Mostly because at the lower levels, Balance offered a lot of benefits towards healing and reducing cast times. This worked well for me. In deciding to level my cow druid (who had magically turned level 37 from 18 in two minutes thanks to Recruit-a-Friends level granting). I picked up some cheap pieces of gear on the Auction House because she was still in level 18 gear. I queued up for Random Dungeon Finder as healer or DPS. I was picked for DPS.
The healer was a druid. The healer used Healing Touch only. Had I not leveled a healing druid I wouldn’t have known or paid attention to the difference. I am a “side on the air of caution” player as well. I’d rather HOT the hell out of the tank and spot heal the others if necessary. I’m going to run out of mana no matter what if things get sticky. It happens all the time. There’s no way around it.
As a healing class, druids had a distinctly different way of healing. Paladins, Priests and even Shamans all have quick heals and larger, long casting time heals. That’s just how they work. For those classes it is extremely effective. Druids are different in that the majority of their healing is done through HOTs. I know it can work. I do it. I still, even at level 80, get compliments on my healing. I can’t heal through stupid (don’t stand in the purple/green/black/fire on the ground). And I can’t fix a terrible tank. I will sure as hell give it my best. Healing Touch was rarely used and only when I knew I had the time to cast it. Sometimes, it didn’t work out and people died.
At 80, Nourish offers a better big heal to Healing Touch. I discussed this with the boyfriend (who had an 80 druid for quite some time and played a healer) about what I should do for talents and glyphs.
As another example of why I have to question Healing Touch druids is the fact that having been dumped into a Halls of Reflection group after an obvious wipe, a tank once said, “We just had a druid who only healed with Healing Touch.” I, even now, can’t even fathom this. I responded with, “Um, I’m a HOT healer and use, uh, Nourish.”
Am I missing something here? Is there an aspect of Healing Touch that is really amazing? Do you think I’m being a bit of a Nourish/HOT-elitist?