Thursday, December 31, 2009

From Tanking to DPS to Healing

Having been either a meatshield or a face-melter of the DPS variety, I've always wondered what it was like to be the guy trying to heal the raid. Some people play the game and never even think about the person behind the keyboard who's having to monitor not only their own health and mana but they have to monitor the raid's general health as well. This doesn't stay just in the realm of keeping someone alive by throwing a heal but some healers are dealing with poisons, curses and even diseases. To be sure, healers have one of the toughest jobs in the game that requires the ability to multi-task.

Thus began my grand adventure in creating and leveling a druid. I chose a druid because my wife is bring up a priest and I figured there was no point in both of us having the same character class. Although she enjoys using her shadow spec, she ultimately wants to be a holy/disc spec for raid healing. I like the fact that a druid is able to fill a few rolls during a pinch and quite honestly, I've had a lot of success over the past 2 days of total time played in bringing the druid to lvl 34. I can solo quite a bit and still heal myself without running out of mana in the long run. A few potions help ease me around a bit when I do manage to run out of mana. I'm really looking forward to running end-game content by trying my hand as a healer with this toon. So far I've only done a few things in randoms by providing some backup heals as my gear is focused on feral since that's the easiest way to level up in my humble opinion. I gave balance a shot but I felt it was too much like leveling a mage but with less dps in early stages. I see plenty of balance druids doing insane amounts of damage later on but during the early stages it just didn't make logical sense to me to settle for doing the "kill/heal/drink" dance that I've often done in the past.

I think what I'm hoping to realize in this goal is not only understanding the four general classes in the game (tanking, melee DPS, ranged DPS & healing) but also having a greater appreciation for all the years that someone kept us all alive through the raiding content I've explored. Healing is really the only class I haven't thoroughly explored.

I've done quite a bit of reading the past few days regarding the role of a healer (a shout-out to Matticus and the contributors at and discovered how differently the healing classes manage the madness. This has also given me another task: to explore priests and shaman healing as well. I can play with my wife's priest some to understand that to some degree but since neither of us have ever leveled a shammy, that will be my next project. I've leveled a warrior, mage, lock & DK so far but now I'm expanding my horizons a bit. Hopefully I'll not only learn a few things but gain a great respect than I already have for those who have the thankless jobs.

I can still remember times when after we downed content, not a person in the raid mentioned the great healing but they were quick to scream when people started dying. So thanks to the healing classes that keep us up long enough to take care of business!

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