Ahem. Sorry. That wasn’t the point of the post. >.> Although it is quite true.
Any-whotsit, I get a frequent amount of e-mail or comments asking about how one should go about leveling a hunter, and with my latest TreePost I’m also getting some questions on how one levels a Tree. So I figured I’d give it a quick rundown!
Hunter is something I’ve leveled a bajillion times by now and I can toss up a leveling talent spec in my sleep. It typically goes something like this: dump 5 points in Lethal Shots (because I’m a Crit Monster), and then head down a “modified” version of “Beast Master Raid”. By modified, I mean 5/5 Endurance Training (instead of 5/5 Improved Aspect of the Hawk), and 3/3 Thick Hide. I used to also do 2/2 Spirit Bond but at this point I think Animal Handler is the stronger talent, even when leveling, and with Endurance Training and Thick Hide, most things would be hard-pressed to kill your pet anyway, especially if you choose to go all out and nab a Glyph of Mending.
Now remember, you really can’t go too wrong with a leveling spec. It’s not like Elitist Jerks is sitting around theorycrafting the most efficient ways to kill ten kobolds. Although that would amuse me.
Beast Mastery is obviously not your only option here. Tawyn leveled to 58ish as Marksmanship. Leveling Survival seems to be super in vogue now from inspecting the lowbies I see running around; I worry about potential pet-threat issues once you get Explosive, but hey, it’d make a great challenge I’m sure!
“I’m a level one hunter and have no idea where to start! Help me Pikey-wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope!” is another similar question/plea I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot. My answer here would be to direct you to my 12-part “So You Want to Play a Hunter” series, which will walk you step by step through playing a hunter from levels 1 – 70.
Caveats About Said Guide: This was written pre-WotLK, so a.) it only takes you up to 70, and b.) Some of the stuff regarding things like Auto/Steady shot weaving, certain levels at which you learn things, and a few abilities are not present or are significantly different. Still, most of the lowbie stuff is relatively accurate, and it’s the best I can offer until someone ties me to my desk and kicks me into rewriting the thing for WotLK.
Most people will tell you to either level Feral and tote around a healing set for instances, or level Balance. Pike will tell you that there is nothing that will teach you to heal the way leveling full blown Resto and living in LFG and healing instances will. This is why if I plan on being a healer at end game, I level as a healer. The experience is invaluable.
I do make a few tweaks here, although it depends rather on your style of how-you-will-(slowly)-kill-things-between-healing-dungeons.
If your style is to nuke things to death as a mini-moonkin, then you may want to stick to your standard resto spec, albeit maybe getting your Balance points out of the way first, or tweaking Balance a bit so you have the shortened cast time on Wrath/Starfire. Completely acceptable.
If you tend to do as I do and play as a RestoKitty, I’ll fill out 5/5 Naturalist and sometimes Furor as well. Neither of these talents are ones you will have at as a level 80 tree, however, they make leveling go considerably smoother. Some RestoKitties have even gone one or two tiers into Feral as well, though I’ve yet to try this myself.
As a RestoKitty, it may be to your benefit to keep some of the Rogue-ish gear you will no doubt acquire in your questing and travels and toss it on when you have to do a quest. When you combine that with a RestoKitty-ish spec, your solo’ing and questing– while it won’t be blazing fast– also won’t be as gimpy as people tend to assume it is, at least in my experience.
A word of warning, however: RestoKitty does become more difficult to pull off as you get higher in levels, so it may be worth your while to switch to the spellcasting method of solo’ing once you hit 60 or 70, or look into dual-specs.
Other options: RestoKin/Dreamstate typically involves going deep enough into Balance for Moonkin Form and then dumping the rest of your talent points into Restoration; something akin to this. This makes you a versatile, Red Mage-styled, jack of all trades who can heal pretty dang well and still kill things relatively quickly. I couldn’t do this myself, partially because I’m too in love with Tree Form and partially because I’m also in love with Wild Growth, however, I’ve heard that it’s very effective and might be something you want to look into.
RestoFeral is considerably rarer, and from what I can tell involves things like Nurturing Instinct and going about half deep in each tree. The lack of overlap between gear and talents would, I think, make this more unwieldy than RestoKin, but some people have done it, and it might be worth a shot if you really like RestoKitty.
Hokays! I hope that helped a bit and/or was able to clear some things up. Lemme know if I made some dire mistake (like saying Naxx boots dropped from Karazhan, not like I’ve uh, ever done that before of course >_>;;), in the meantime, I’m off to go read more Jules Verne <3
Let me begin by saying that this is a post that’s been rolling around in my head for some time now, but I am just now summoning up the courage to actually write it up. There were two reasons why this was. The first was that, as I’ve mentioned before, I try not to post too much non-hunter stuff on this blog, just out of the name of organization. Then it occurred to me that even though I personally care about that sort of thing, most of you probably don’t, so I stopped trying to let it bother me.
The second and larger reason was that I felt terribly unqualified to write about resto druids. When you grow up in a blogosphere that includes Phaelia, Bell, Leafshine, Sylly, and dozens of other druids who have been doing the Tree thing FOREVER, you sort of feel like you could never do a resto druid post justice since they’ve already covered everything and they probably know more than you do– not to mention you worry you’d be impinging on their territory.
But then as I was contemplating all of this on Twitter the other day, I made an offhanded comment about how I’d just finished two-healing ToC10 and found the last fight pretty intense, at which point someone replied with a comment like “Wait, you’re healing ToC10 but you don’t feel qualified to make a post on resto druid basics?”
At which point I realized he’s probably right, and I am just being overly humble as I am prone to do x_x
So here ya go, Pike Talks Trees:
What is tree healing? Probably the best I can do to describe it is to say that it’s an extremely versatile healing style that focuses largely on HoTs, or Heal-over-Time spells. Note the “extremely versatile” bit though: there are many different personal takes and styles regarding Tree Healing, and it’s one of the more interesting things about it I think that differentiates it from hunters or probably most DPS classes in general, which is much more “Here’s your spec, here’s your glyphs, here’s your rotation”-based.
Tree Healing is very mobile: a good percentage of the spells you will be using are instant cast so you can use them while jumping up and down or running around. No excuses here for standing in the fire!
Tree Healing is– with my personal style anyway– focused on damage prevention and “pre-healing”. When raid healing, you’ll work nicely with a healer who compliments that by filling in the gaps, so to speak. One of the more neat healing experiences I’ve had was healing Patchwerk; it was just me and a holy paladin and I was keeping the tanks stuffed up with HoTs while the paladin filled in the gaps. It worked quite awesomely.
Sort of like the vast number of healing styles available to you, there is definitely room for flexibility in your basic healing druid spec. A very rough framework would probably look something like this. You’ll also notice you have nine points leftover to play with, which you can use to tailor your spec to your own healing style. For example, if you find yourself using Nourish a lot, Empowered Touch and Nature’s Grace might be to your liking. If in addition to using Nourish a lot, you find yourself having mana issues, you’ll probably want to fill out Tranquil Spirit as well. Living Seed has its fans and detractors, personally I’m a fan myself, probably because I lean toward being a Regrowth fiend at times.
But yeah, the point is: you’ve got options!
Going along with the trend, we’ve got options as well when it comes to glyphs. Rejuvenation and Healing Touch (if you find yourself wanting a pre-Nourish flash heal) are great options for leveling, I’ve found. Once you hit 80, the Nourish glyph is extremely powerful, and the Swiftmend one is pretty nice as well. If you find yourself doing a lot of raid healing, Wild Growth is a great glyph. Innervate has its uses and fans, and if you use Regrowth a lot, the Regrowth glyph is delicious. Again, this all comes down to your personal style!
Ah yes, the meat (or bark?) of being a restoration druid. Let’s take a look at the spells you’ll have, and when to use them:
Healing Touch: This is the first healing spell you’ll learn and it’s… hmm. Let’s just say you’re probably never going to use it again except in conjunction with Nature’s Swiftness as an emergency heal, or more accurately, one of your “OH CRAP” buttons. I have Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch tied to a macro, and it’s basically an instant cast flash heal on 3 minute cooldown. I use it when someone’s health is dropping surprisingly quickly and I need to give them a buffer before I can start stuffing them full of proper HoTs.
Rejuvenation: This is a spell that most resto druids hold near and dear to their leafy heart, and rightly so. It’s very powerful and versatile. A DPS took some damage? Rejuv. You took some damage? Rejuv. Tank needs more HoTs? Rejuv.
You will probably notice yourself using this spell the most when you’re raid healing. Fights like Razorscale or Twin Valks are essentially just using Rejuvenation at every. Global. Cooldown. and Wild Growth every six seconds.
Learn to love it.
Regrowth: Assuming you’re crazy like me and leveling resto, once you’ve got your holy duo of Rejuvenation and Regrowth, that will become your healing style up until you hit the Outlands levels. Stick a Rejuvenation on the tank and use Regrowth to fill in the gaps. It’s very whack-a-mole-ish, but there ya go.
Your use of this spell at higher levels is going to be situational and depend largely on your own personal taste. I tend to use it as a flash heal more often than I use Nourish, simply because it also tacks on a HoT at the end that lasts for a whopping 27 seconds if talented correctly. So if you’re in a fight where there’s lots of AoE damage going around, you may as well use it and give yourself that extra HoT buffer, ya know?
A typical strategy that I would do for someone that needs a lot of flash healing, though, would be An “OHCRAP button” if needed, then Regrowth once, followed by as many Nourishes as you need to prop that person back up to near full.
That’s just me, though– as I said, Regrowth is kind of one of those “You’ve gotta come up with your own style for it” spells.
Nature’s Swiftness: Useful in conjunction with Regrowth at lower levels; once you hit the higher ones it exists primarily to be used in a macro with Healing Touch as an OHCRAP Button (see Healing Touch above).
Tranquility: A Massive AoE heal that is helpful for when AoE damage somehow goes haywire and gets out of your control, or useful as a one final attempt to salvage a potential wipe. I don’t use it very often though it can be handy on stuff like Gluth’s decimate. Also drives your opponents insane when you do it in the middle of a bridge turtle in Alterac Valley. >_>
Swiftmend: One of your OHCRAP Buttons, Swiftmend is essentially a flash heal on a reasonable cooldown. It’s unusual in that it heals for the amount that your HoT would heal for, but all at one time. Last I checked it picks Rejuvenation first if you have multiple HoTs on your target. Do remember that it won’t work unless you do have a HoT on your target first!
Wild Growth: Awesome AoE heal that you will quickly become addicted to. Very useful to use on the melee DPS/tank area since they tend to soak up the most damage; also handy for when a poison cloud or ring of fire pops up underneath an unsuspecting group of ranged.
I like to use it on pets if they need it, because I’m nice and because it gives a boost to the melee anyway.
I also like to jump into the middle of the action while using it on myself, because it makes me feel heroic. But then, I’m odd.
Lifebloom: Oh gosh. If I had to pick one resto druid ability with a long and windy history, I’d pick Lifebloom. Anyways, this sort of falls into the Regrowth category of “You’ve got to play around with it and find your own style” at this point.
It’s an unusual heal in that it stacks up to three times on a single target, and you can either “refresh” your stack by using another Lifebloom before it “falls off”, OR you can let it “bloom” for a decent little flash heal and get some of your mana back. Way back in the day all druids ever did was refresh Lifebloom, but these days that’s rather mana inefficient so you see more people letting it bloom.
I tend to use Lifebloom for the following situations: Heavy tank damage where an extra HoT is needed (Patchwerk, various enrages, etc.), an extra AoE heal if needed (in conjunction with Rejuvenation and Wild Growth), and situations where you can time when someone will need a heal (Loken in Halls of Lightning, Loatheb, etc.) I.E., if you time it just right, you can get the bloom to bloom right when someone will need it.
Once you get a decent set of gear it’s also pretty much the only spell you’ll ever need to use in heroics. Stick three on your tank, let ‘er bloom, rinse, repeat. Wild Growth and Rejuv for your occasional AoE damage and you’re good to go.
Some very good druids I’ve talked to never use this spell, others use it quite frequently. Experiment and figure out what’s best for you!
Nourish: Your token flash heal and the subject of Nourish vs. Regrowth debates everywhere! This is another one of those spells where some druids use it a lot, others not so much.
As for me, I tend to treat it sort of like a minor OHCRAP Button. That is to say, once my Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch macro and Swiftmend are gone, and I know HoTs aren’t gonna cut it, it often turns into a Nourish spam race. This works very nicely in conjunction with Nature’s Grace, which is the specific reason why I roll with that talent.
Druids who use this spell a lot tend to use it to “fill in” their HoTs, similar to what you’d do with Regrowth while leveling. Me, I often find this to be too whack-a-moley, so I tend to stick with HoTs. Your HoTs will do just fine in most heroics or five-mans and in raids you’ve probably got another healer (or two, or three, or…) taking the “place” of your Nourish for you.
Again though, mess around and see what you like!
WHAT’S IT LOOK LIKE?:
Now if you are newer to Tree’ing, you might be feeling like your head is reeling a bit at this point. All these heals? All these “situational uses”? But what about in practice?
Take a look at my tree’s healing output for a recent fight; in this case, Anub’arak at the end of ToC10:
You will notice that Rejuvenation was a good bulk of my heals, followed by Lifebloom. I’m assuming this is because what with the little bugs running around and that sort of thing, this was a fight where a lot of people were taking random bits of damage, so it was turning into a “Let’s toss a HoT on everyone” fest– which, you will discover, is prone to happen in raids a lot.
Here’s my overall data, for that entire ToC10 run:
Remember earlier when I said that I tend towards using Regrowth more than Nourish? Yeah. That thing heals like a truck. …erm. Maybe not the best analogy. But you know. (“heals like an emergency room”… “heals like Dr. House”…?)
Anyways, though, you’ll notice in this example that most of what you see here falls in line with what I was saying in my post. The addictive nature of Wild Growth (I used it 1319 times, apparently), the frequent use of Rejuvenation, with Regrowth and Lifebloom to back them up, and then Swiftmend, Healing Touch, and (to an extent) Nourish as the “OHCRAPS”.
Now, is this necessarily what your healing output would look like? Maybe, maybe not. The main thing about resto druids is that there are so many ways to heal and the best advice I can give to you is to practice. Healing is all about instinct and gut feelings and having to react and make decisions on the fly. There is no “rotation” because you don’t know what’s going to happen next. It’s very, very different from DPSing, and if you haven’t tried it, I’d suggest doing so! It’s like a whole different game.
Well, there you have it. How I do it when Pike iz 4 healz. I hope that this perhaps answered any questions or gave basic advice to any newer or up’n’coming trees, and hey, if this goes over well there might be more tree stuff in the future– at this point my druid has seen almost as much content as my hunter has, and you know what, I like it that way. Variety is awesome.
Back in the day, when my druid was level 55 or so, and my boyfriend would drag me around with his warlock, he’d do this thing where he’d Life Tap dangerously low and then say “FASTER, HEALBOT, FASTER!” as I spammed heals and tried to keep up with him.
Ya know, several months later, and I still hear it in the back of my mind sometimes…
Lemme tell ya, it’s weird to have “Champion of the Frozen Wastes” floating above a certain character’s head when you still feel like a noob to that particular class.
Not to mention:
My alt is in Ulduar. That may not be a big deal to some of you, but it’s fantastically surreal to me.
I’ve actually been playing my healer a lot lately. Mostly because she’s been sitting around in this patchwork mixture of blues, Naxx10 my-first-epics, and super OP new-badge-stuff, and I’d like to even that out a little and that way potentially be a help to my guild in the future if an extra healer is needed. (I know you’re about to warn me “Don’t do it Pike, once they start taking your healer you’ll never get to DPS again!” but my guild is actually unusual and informs me that “TAWYN IS 4 FITE”, so I don’t have too many worries about having to scrap DPS forever.)
Not to mention, ever since Tawyn got that trinket, DPS’ing heroics has turned into “Hey check it out, I can pound on random buttons and get 4k DPS”, so I’d might as well play something that can use the badges a little more, eh?
I’ve also started to enjoy my Tree more ever since I started using Lifebloom again. I stopped using it at the advice of a Very Good Tree who told me you could do just fine with Regrowth/Rejuv/Nourish, and I tried that style for a while, and it was effective and you got less overheal, but I didn’t like the style. Druid Healing, to me, has always been like Disc Priest: it’s about damage prevention and anticipating when people are going to take damage, and pre-healing. But with a Regrowth/Nourish heavy style, I was back to Whack-a-Mole, and it just wasn’t as fun. So I’ve gone back to my tactic of triple-stacking Lifebloom on the tank, and letting it bloom (for your instant heal + mana back), and using my other heals as needed for AoE damage or an extra buffer or preventative stuff. It is just a lot more fun to me and I don’t have any mana problems with it.
Anyways, I’ll stick my Tree in LFG for heroics that I know are Super Easy to Heal. Heroics that are Super Easy to Heal = Nexus, UK, Drak’theron Keep, and VH. Maybe CoS if I’m feeling adventurous. Some of the others are pretty easy too but they’ll have some aspect to them that I don’t like or something– for example, the Chain Lightning crap in Halls of Stone, or the stupid fish in the water in Gundrak. I have actually now successfully healed HToC as well, and it was a very smooth run, but I’ve convinced myself that it was a fluke and am still scared to go in there, for the most part, so it is also off of the list.
For some reason I keep getting invited to Nexus, and for some reason I keep going, despite the fact that Heroic Nexus is shaping up to be where all the bad PuGs happen.
First Special Group:
Consisted of a Fury Warrior who was doing a spectacular and amazing 417 DPS, and a Paladin tank who was running out of mana about 10 seconds into every pull, and blaming it on me not healing him enough. And for those of you who are about to say that he was overgeared: he was in Blues and getting upgrades from this Heroic.
After defeating Anomalus the whole group (sans-me) bravely leapt off the edge into that hole– you know the one I’m talking about– the Hole of Death From Which There Is No Rez’ing.
One guy had to abruptly leave because apparently his wife was yelling at him or something, and our brave, mana-thirsty Paladin Tank decided we could four-man it! Of course, he wasn’t aware of the fact that I was outDPSing the Fury Warrior with Moonfires and Starfires between heals, but hey. We actually somehow finished the Heroic. I was shocked.
Second Special Group:
This group actually wasn’t as bad, and the tank was way overgeared. When you’ve got a way overgeared tank and a healer who has at least a small idea of what is going on, you can brute force your way through most heroics even if none of the DPS is doing over 1.2k (as was in this group). As such, this heroic went overall smoothly, it just took three times as long as it should’ve.
I’ll admit to making a mistake here, namely, all the DPS jumped down, sans-tank, after fighting the Ormorok the Tree Shaper Guy. Now for those who do not know, there are baddies roaming around down there. In a moment of hubris I figured I could keep the DPS up and save the day, since two of them were plate wearers, so I hopped down as well, but it turns out that Arms Warriors and Ret Paladins are about as squishy as a mage. Byebye Tree. Hey, I tried, right?
As I was flying away from that run, I got a whisper asking me to heal H. Nexus. I was very relieved to inform them that I’d just finished it and was saved.
I don’t think I’m going to put myself in LFG for Nexus again for a while…
Recruit-a-Friend is insane. Last week my tauren druid was level 38 or something. As of yesterday, she is level 50.
(I’m actually leveling as fast as a normal person levels now! Crazy I know!)
At this point the goal is to get her to level 60 as quick as possible for two things: a.) Outlands instances and b.) Wild Growth. Let’s discuss these. Outland instances… I don’t think words can describe how much I love these. It’s really funny cause during Burning Crusade I was like “Well the Outlands instances… they’re okaaaay…” but now that I look back on them, oh my gosh. Have I lately mentioned my undying love for Underbog?
But yeah, healing Outland instances on Tamaryn = one of the best things I’ve ever done in WoW and I can’t wait to do it again.
And Wild Growth I need. I feel like a gimpy tree without it. Nourish is handy but I can live without it. Lifebloom… as much as it saddens me to say it, I’ve used it like… three times since the latest nerf. Poor Lifebloom.
But yeah Wild Growth, give please. *grabby hands*
For the uninitiated in Alpha-Theta-Pike Fraternity, this means I now have in my possession: Two level 80 hunters, one level 80 restodruid, one level 53 hunter and one level 50 restodruid.
You are now free to leave copious amounts of comments about how I really need to branch out and experience more of the game. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you do that. /nod
Don’t worry though, I’ve started the World’s Most Adorable Gnome Warlock Ever and I’m going to pair her up with my long-forgotten paladin and they’re going to be the Team Chaotix to my Hunter/Druid Team Sonic. I’m excited for that.
In other news, I signed up for… something… tonight on Tawyn. I say “something” because it is either going to be “Finishing up 10-man Ulduar, or 10-man ToC”, according to the calendar invite. I’m kind of nervous about it being Ulduar because I’ve only done up to Thorim so far and I’m going to feel like a noob. >.>
It’s funny because I am totally not a raidy-type of person. I mean, I love it, but I can really only do it once a week or so and then I burn out for the week. So, I would actually be pretty okay if tonight’s dealy didn’t happen and then I could do alts instead~ ^^
The desert stretched far and wide under the young druid’s hooves and she found herself sighing at this wasteland that she had come to. The goblins had plenty of tasks for young entrepreneurs, but few would help to test and grow her skill with the healing arts, which was her focus– no, most of the goblins asked for bandits to be chased off and roving animal bands to be culled.
She shifted effortlessly into the form of a dust-colored lion and stretched, as she did so briefly inspecting her claws– they were not as sharp as they could be. Neither were her teeth. She hadn’t studied feral combat at all, and she knew that as time went on and she dealt with more and more dangerous foes, this form would no longer cut it. She sighed again, shifted back into her tauren form, and muttered a brief prayer to the Earthmother as she strode into Gadgetzan’s inn.
That was when she saw him; a blood elf with a red lion’s mane of hair and a large, beautiful cream-hued moth fluttering next to his head. There was something about this elf that shook the druid as unusual, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.
She thought for a bit, wondering if she should approach him; these blood elves were somewhat unpredictable in their actions and many of her comrades at home in Mulgore had muttered their quiet disapproval of having to work with them. Still, she figured it was worth a shot, since there was no one else around at this time except for the goblins, and so she sat down next to him on the bench.
He immediately glanced up at her with expressive bluegreen eyes as she attempted to word her request in Orcish, a language which she still did not have a strong command of. “Hello, sir… I am a healer… would you like my help?” Mentally she berated herself for not being able to word that as eloquently as her mind cwas able to, but her thoughts were soon interrupted by the blood elf chuckling and responding– in Taurahe, no less– “I certainly wouldn’t mind some company.”
The druid found herself taken aback at his use of her language. She blinked as he continued, “Did you have anything in particular that you aimed to do while here? I have spent a lot of time here myself; I’m sure the goblins are sick of me by now.” He laughed a bit again– a friendly, good-natured laugh.
The tauren studied the blood elf; here she noticed what it was about him that had flagged him as “unusual”. Namely, instead of wearing the bright, polished armor and colors preferred by most of his race, he was dressed in practical and somewhat bland mail and leather garb, and wore beads and feathers in his hair. His weapon was a gun of typical Tauren worksmanship, and to top it off, his Taurahe, albeit having a foreign (but not entirely unpleasant) lilt to it, sounded fluent.
It was as though he had come from Thunder Bluff instead of Silvermoon.
All at once the druid relaxed. It was a mystery to be sure, but there was a down-to-earth friendliness in the blood elf’s face, and it was reassuring.
“To tell the truth I just arrived not to long ago,” she replied, glad to be conversing in her native tongue. “I am training to be a healer, though, and it’s getting hard to find such work when there are so few about…”
The blood elf nodded. “That’s unfortunate, but sadly, understandable. You’re welcome to adventure with me, though… I could use the company. Not that Chakapas here isn’t good company…” he reached up and gently stroked the moth’s furry face, and it chattered back happily. The elf turned back to look at the druid. “We’ll start you with the basics; this is a rough land. I know a good place where we can practice working together.” He stood up and brushed off his trousers, then extended a gloved hand out to the tauren. “I’m Althalor,” he said. “And you…?”
“Songlark,” the druid smiled.
So for Recruit-a-Friend I transferred my Sapling Tree (as opposed to the Full-grown Tree I already possess) over to my new account, specifically so she and the third hunter in my repertoire could level together. The main catch is that for the lowbie to receive bonus XP, the group must not be killing anything that is “gray” to either character, and for both to receive bonus XP, they must be within a few levels of each other. And currently, Althalor has a head-start on Songlark of some ten-odd levels.
Still, I figured I could find something in the middle of their respective leveling ranges and at least get Songlark started on her way.
The mobs are orange (or red) to Songlark and green to Althalor. Armed with Spirit Bond and a Glyph of Mending, I was able to successfully solo the vast majority of the trash in that place, with Songlark obediently following along and providing Mark of the Wild and the rare backup heal, whilst soaking up all the bonus experience.
I experimented with a couple different computer setups, including this one:
(Mega Man wallpaper is sexy and you can’t stop me from thinking so! *nods sagely*)
However, the windows were too small to do much work in, and since I was spending 95% of my time on Althalor the Hunter anyway, I eventually wound up making both windows larger and simply keeping one minimized. I didn’t full-screen either of them, to make it easier to swap between them, though.
Oh, and before you ask, it works flawlessly on Linux/Wine. /flex
By now I’ve toted Songlark through good portions of ZF, several quests in both Feralas and Tanaris, and also jumped onto Lunapike to run her through Scarlet Monastery a few times for Whitemane’s infamous hat (which failed to drop and then I got bored…) Suffice to say she was level 38 when we began this little adventure and she’s now a fraction of a bar away from level 43.
I like this Recruit-a-Friend thing. *cough* It feels super awesome to have both Hunter PewPew and Druid HoTs at my disposal– two of my favorite things!
It does feel odd, in another way, though. See, leveling is something I really enjoy doing. I even like leveling “the normal way”. So this would aaaaaallllmost feel like cheating, except that I already have a level 80 hunter (two actually) and a level 80 druid and I’ve leveled both Horde and Alliance characters to 80 at this point so it’s not like I’m missing out on anything new, ya know?
I don’t think I would actually ever use Recruit-a-Friend with someone who hadn’t played before, though… I’d level with them the old-fashioned way, I think. Personal preference, really.
By the way– I’ve gotten LOTS of comments about dual-boxing and programs to use and that sort of thing. I do appreciate all the advice, but at this point I have little interest in “serious” dual-boxing beyond sticking the druid on follow and having the hunter go demolish stuff. Not to mention, I have my doubts about how well various dual-boxing programs would work on Linux. Still, I will keep all the input in mind, just in case.
So I have to admit, I haven’t been playing my level 80 druid all that much lately. Not because I dislike playing her, since I do like playing her– but because I have a lot to do on my hunters right now. At the moment I primarily log into my tree if friends or guildies are desperate for heals for a heroic or something (yes, I’ve given myself away), and that’s about it. Overall, I really do enjoy having a healer “in queue” if needed.
I have come to a terrible conclusion though. Namely, there is a severe deficit of good healers on my horde server. I think they’re either all in guilds, or PvPing. I work primarily through PuGs, though, Hordeside at least, and healer problems is the constant issue that I keep running into.
And so, because I am largely of the “If you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself” school, I’m… leveling another druid.
And because I’m a masochist, I’m leveling it just like I leveled my first– pure resto.
And because I’m a purist, I’m making very few concessions to make my leveling life easier– I am taking 5/5 Naturalist, which I don’t take as a max-level druid, because it gives me the buff to physical damage which is nice when my modus operandi as a lowbie is typically HoTs + cat form– but other than that, it’s a genuine healy spec.
Now to all the people asking “Whyyyyy?” to my RestoKitty ways, I have a few answers. Firstly, I never understood the “leveling as heals is hard” argument. It takes a little longer to kill things than it might on one of my hunters, but not much, and it’s pretty much just as easy. With tons of heals at my disposal, it’s rather difficult to die. As a Tauren especially, with Warstomp, it’s super handy to cast that, then a heal, then pop back into cat or bear.
Secondly, although boomkin isn’t bad from about Outlands-onward, I’ve personally found it to be pretty intolerable pre-level-60-ish. Mana issues galore, and a lack of Eclipse making things interesting. (Don’t hurt me boomkins).
Thirdly, I don’t like carrying around more than one set of gear because I lean towards bagspace problems enough as it is. And since I pretty much only play a druid to heal, my lowbie druid is always in LFG as a healer, thus, Feral would be an unwieldy spec for me.
In the long run, though, I just think leveling as resto is FUN! ^_^
Now you’re probably asking what the point of this post is, and the correct answer is that there really is none, I just wanted an excuse to use the terrible joke I used in the title. Bad blogger, bad! /whaps her own wrist with a ruler
Songlark, level 34 moocow RestoKitty: for the win!
And slated to get heirloom items as soon as my main hordie Lunapike can snag some. (Gosh I wish you could trade your heirlooms cross server and faction. Sooo much. Tawyn has so many unused Emblems of Heroism and Stone Keeper’s Shards… and heck, my Alliance druid isn’t using her heirloom shoulders anymore… /target Blizzard /beg)
The fact that we got this far, as a PuG, and on my first trip in there on my druid– and as one of just two healers for a good bulk of it, still hasn’t quite sunk in yet. Furthermore, that last Kel’Thuzad fight was one of the smoothest things I’ve ever seen, me half-asleep and yet somehow still feeling “in the zone” and Rejuv+Swiftmending those iceblocks… it felt amazing. I’m so glad I FRAPS’d it. I can’t wait to make a movie; “The Day Pike Played a Druid And Was Actually Good At It”.
…did I mention I got the [Safety Dance] achievement today too? Irony. Both my level 80s have it now o_o
Lemme tell you though, healing Naxx is nuts. It’s all improvisation. I am completely tuckered out.
Right after that was over, I hopped over to Tawyn, and was soon chucked a guild invite from the guild I was accepted to. Check it out, it lines up with my title + name and everything:
The second I joined I was met with several very friendly “hellos” and “welcomes” and lots of jovial banter. I felt almost bowled over with the niceness.
Also, I got a whisper from the guy who invited me. “Wanna come to our alt-run of 10-man Ulduar?”
I told him I had to go to bed because it was super late.
I still have a rather distinct memory of when I decided to roll Tamaryn, though the “whys” have since largely been lost to the mists of time. I do remember saying in guild chat something akin to “I’m bored, I think I’m gonna roll a druid”, then making one and whispering an officer and being chucked a guild invite within ten seconds of my new character’s existence. I also remember a fellow guildie coming and making a druid alongside me. We did the starter quests together and were soon joined by this random naked hunter who kept challenging us to duels (I always won, because I never let him have range. Class experience for great justice.) When me and my buddy couldn’t shake the guy, we went into the deepest part of this spider cave and got as lost as we could, then hearthed simultaneously, leaving him behind. Good times.
My friend stopped playing his druid once we hit level five or so, and to the best of my knowledge he never played the character again. I kept playing, though, largely because of the sheer nostalgia of playing through the night elf starting area for the first time since Tawyn, my first character.
Upon hitting level ten I put my first tentative points into the Balance tree because I figured I probably would not like melee as much as casting. Leveling was slow going, though, and honestly I probably would have lost interest in the character (as I did all my non-hunters) once I got out of the nostalgia kick that was Darkshore… were it not for that fateful day when a bunch of guildies got on alts all about my level and asked me to heal Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep.
I was very nervous; I had never healed before, ever, well, outside of Mend Pet. Because I was so worried about it, I ran to Darnassus, found the druid trainer, cleared all my talent points, and put them into the Restoration tree. My plan was to respec again and put them back into Balance afterwards.
That didn’t happen.
Because that day, in Deadmines and SFK, I became fascinated with healing. It was like reverse-huntering! It was a completely new experience, so very different than what I’d been doing all this time on my hunters, and I was hooked.
And so, with the exception of a few flirtations with Moonkin-ing (once at level 40, and then again permanently when dual specs came out when I was level 74 or so), I leveled my druid full resto. I RestoKitty’d through the occasional quest, which was slow but effective, but the vast bulk of my leveling was through instances; I kept myself constantly in LFG and shoved myself into as many healing roles as possible. This culminated in a rather unique experience to put on my WoW résumé: I healed almost every five-man instance in the game. At the appropriate level.
It’s been ups and downs, really, but mostly ups.
There was the very slow process of learning about the delicate art of not-healing-too-fast so as not to pull aggro.
The little “squee” I emitted upon running into a group of roleplayers in Southshore when I was leveling there and letting Tamaryn put her fledgling skills to use to aid a “dying” character.
The joy of getting Tree of Life form mid-Maraudon run and using it right there and immediately bursting into /dance.
The rush of winning a single Alterac Valley game (by a hair… literally something like two reinforcements) at level 60 after dozens of losses, and looking at the “healing done” chart afterward and feeling like I had made a tangible difference in the outcome.
There was the perplexity I felt when first learning Lifebloom, because it kept changing all the time– first I was never supposed to let it bloom, then I was, et cetera… not to mention I couldn’t figure out how to use the dang spell, so I quickly resorted to my “healing fetal position” of Rejuvenation + Regrowth.
But then there was the thrill of first hitting 1000 spell power, and soon after, the deep satisfaction of doing Azjol’Nerub and Violet Hold and pulling up the healing meters and realizing that Regrowth had pretty much been completely replaced by what else but that oh-so-stubborn spell Lifebloom– I was, at long last, a bona fide HoT healer.
Yeah, it’s been a pretty crazy ride.
Not a single death in that HoL. Not one. And the DPS had never been there before and kept standing in crap. (Though to be fair, the tank was really good >.>)
…and yes Virginia, after all these years, Pike finally has an endgame character that isn’t a hunter.