I touched upon this the other day when I did Firelands, but I don't feel that I've captured my feelings on the matter properly, succinctly. I want to write it all down so I remember exactly what was going on the day I tried to heal a raid post 5.0.4. So that when I come back and look at it when I hit 90 I can laugh at myself for being a noob.
So we'll start at the beginning.
I didn't want to play the Beta. Yes, I had a beta key, but I don't quite see the point of going out there and doing something and being a test dummy when there are plenty of other people to do that. And I have better things to do with my time than do quests that I will be doing again and playing with a buggy World of Warcraft. Yes, forgive me all those beta lovers and testers, but I like my World of Warcraft all polished, pretty and working as intended.
I was not ignorant of the changes to druids, I don't live under that big a rock. I know about the fixed mana pool and the healing mushrooms. I know that I need more spirit, and that I'm losing relics. I was eager to test it out, because I like change, and everyone starts on the same boat again.
The patch was live when I was at work, so everyone else got to play with it before I did, and I was itching to get started because I had addons to fix, "talents" (I think of them more like bonus goodies) to add to my character, glyphs to change and reforging to do. I work a long day, I leave at 630am and get back home 630pm, and raiding is at 8 or 830pm and I've got kids to put to bed, dinner to eat and get cleaned up after work before I can get on the computer. So while I'm eating dinner and hubby is entertaining the kids, I jump on the computer and start sorting out my character. Wow, why am I not haste capped anymore? Oh right, relic is gone. And Beru was trying 2600 spirit so I'll go try that too - luckily I was at 2500 so I ws close anyway. So I reforge all my stuff, and I look sadly at my 102k mana pool and think geez, I hope this is gonna go ok.
Next step - Healbot. OK, Healbot is not working. I whinge on twitter about it, and people suggested trying one of the other ones. I have never tried Vuhdo or Grid so I wasn't that keen to start. Sev asked me to duel him outside so I went outside with no addons and see how it would be like to heal. After all, back in Vanilla I used to heal with no addons and I was mouse clicking people and using my keybinds so maybe I can go back to that.
So we start duelling. And OMG it was SHIT.
I'm so used to running with ASDW and clicking with my mouse that suddenly trying to run with my mouse and use my left hand to hit numbers 4 through to 0 is just wrong. I can hardly move while I'm trying to heal, and though the healing seems to heal through Sev's damage I can't seem to get my mobility right. There is no way I can do this for raid tonight. Off I go and get Vuhdo.
I haven't got time to watch the youtube video, so I start setting up the click to heal part and that seems ok. Geez these windows are small... oh right, here it is, I can change the size here. Wow, this big red dot is ANNOYING. Oh I get it, the hots appear on each corner of everyone's box, I can deal with this. Oh but the red dot is on top of the lifebloom corner so I can't see how long it has left... Oh I haven't got time to sort this out, they're pulling trash already. Crap, Aza died! Sorry!! I was trying to figure out this healing addon!! Oh great, Aza's complaining at me for not healing, I didn't know he was going to seriously try to tank!
Damn how do I put the tanks together on Vuhdo? Oh right, I can heal them from this tank window up the top here, that's handy. Oh shit, Roshii died, because I didn't see his health because I was only looking at these tank windows. OH GOD, where is healbot, I don't like this thing...
Back to twitter to search for whether anyone has said anything useful about healbot. Nope. Bloody hell, that doesn't help.
Souglyy told me she found a Healbot that works! I have to go to forums and click on something... I'm trying to pull up the second screen while the tanks go and pull some more stuff and I'm trying to keep up with them whilst looking at my second screen. Lushnek is telling me where to go and I'm stressing out trying to find that on the page while at the same time look at the game to heal the tanks. Geez, what's wrong with Fue, why is he taking such a pounding?? He's going down like a sack of stones!
Lushnek sends me a link and I run off to click it and get this working healbot. So I said in raid stop pulling I am logging out to get my healing addon and I download it, log back in and YAY! Healbot is up, I see names on it and I just need to quickly fix these mouseclick binds and I'm good to go!
Victory number 1.
But, running around healing like I normally do, I noticed my mana is constantly below 50%. This is crap. I never run that low! I need to be more conservative with my healing - god I don't even have time to get to try these mushroom things, I've already got mana issues, I don't want to be stuffing around planting mushrooms that won't get used, what a waste of mana.
Even the tanks noticed that healing was a bit off. Well, we did start with Heroic Beth'tilac first, and that's not an easy fight to heal anyway. Everyone died so quickly...
Oh crap, debuffs to dispel is not showing up on my healbot. I squint at the Blizzard UI to see if there's anything I need to dispel. God, this is not going well.
Wow, my healing on Rhyolith is really bad! Bish easily outhealed me on that one. Well, I died at the end but still... maybe priests aren't that weak after this patch after all! And he's not even using lightwell!
Off to Baleroc and the flame buffs aren't showing! OMG I have no idea why it's not showing! I can't see my stacks, I can't see Bish's stacks and I have no idea if I have the mote or the primal buff for tank healing or crystal healing. I have no idea how I managed to get through that boss with no idea of where I was up to on buffs... Bish was very patient and was telling me it looks like a mote of fire, but I know what it looks like, I JUST DON'T SEE IT ON MY BUFFS AND I DON'T KNOW WHY THE HELL NOT!! Inside I was going crazy, healing like I've got a blindfold on.
So then we went to Majordomo and we were doing it on heroic and OMG after 7 swipes, not only was the raid looking dangerously low (even at just 4 swipes) but mana was at 20% as I ran out for jumping kitty phase. HOLY CRAP. I innervated, tree formed to try to conserve mana, and tried to heal the DPS so they could do their thing. They beat the thing down before we even got the orbs out thank god, because that would have been crazy. We did have a few wipes, but the kill attempt was clean. And what is wrong with my Swiftmend, why is it working only half the time I'm clicking the button??? IT'S OFF COOLDOWN YOU STUPID ADDON!
Then we did Rag. OMG, that was hard to heal. I was OOM, and adds were getting to the hammer (well just one) and by the time we hit the fire bubbles that blow up phase I was at 10% mana. And Fue was getting the crap beaten out of him, what was going on there? Seven was looking pretty awesome with 256k health, talk about BUFFAGE. But I did stupid things that caused wipes like getting blown up in the air and hitting travel form (or trying to) instead of kitty and dying when I hit the ground. By the time we got to the meteor phase I was living off shreds of mana and this was NORMAL Ragnaros. How on earth am I going to do heroic Dragon Soul if I can't even get my act together on normal Firelands?
I lost a lot of confidence in my ability to heal after that night. So yesterday I thought I'd just test it out in PvP to see how it went.
I was duelling Shaba and normally I don't have much problems with surviving. But OMG Shab was stealing all my hots and his mana didn't go down and I could not get away from him nor keep myself up - gone are the days where I could dot him up and let him get worn out and waste his cooldowns trying to get me because he burst me down and stole my heals and I was kersplat! I mean, that's good for Shab so now he knows how to kill a druid, but now what am I going to do? I can't use direct heals in PvP because counterspell will lock me out of my spell school for 6 seconds which IS BLOODY LONG. It looks mages have become the new anti druid class.
So we go into a BG together and I was absolutely CANED. I could hardly stay up. I was focussed and squashed, spell stolen and silenced until I just wanted to scream in frustration at the computer. But really, that always happens in PvP anyway, so I shouldn't really be surprised, and now that I look at it with the rectrospectoscope I realised I was getting caned because I was the only healer and I had 2-3 DPS on me and I was getting focussed so I was supposed to die. Lousy game anyway, that AB. We lost.
So I'm hoping for a run in Dragon Soul SOMETIME this week so I can really test my skills. I'm flasking spirit instead of Intellect and tempted to go fish for spirit food to keep my regen high, but I'm still nervous. Maybe instead of 2600 spirit I should be running with 3000 spirit. And why didn't I take those trinkets with spirit on them FFS. Because regen trinkets I am sorely lacking - I still have my heroic Jaws of Defeat so that's good, at least. Sigh. Oh well, guess we'll see when we get to Dragon Soul... if not this week, then next week.
I think I dread everyone telling me how easy healing on the druid is now. All day of patch day people were saying you'll be right, and were not happy with their DPS. Unfortunately, none of them are healers for heroic Dragon Soul. I just got my healing sorted and now I have to figure it out again. Rotations are different now, mana is tight and I am trying to figure out how to work this new spell into my rotation or if it's even feasible. You can't tank or dps when your healers can't keep you up. I just hope people remember that, and realise that maybe, just maybe they have to rely on their defensive abilities or avoid more damage as they realise that I can't heal them through those little mistakes as much as I used to.
I think what I dread most is going out there onto the internet and reading other druids writing about how much easier it is, how great it is and how they're really OP now. And yet here I am still struggling to feel comfortable in this new skin. What does that say about me as a player? I was looking forward to this... and now I can't even do what I was trying to do. Am I getting old? Too old to change my spots?
If this stupid laptop would patch I could go and console myself by playing with my stag form or orca form and take some pretty pictures. Or maybe do a Mylune and surround myself with furry little creatures. But no, I can't, I can only sit here and wonder about how I can get my groove back, and hope that I don't let my team down when we raid again. If we raid again.