Production Company began raiding this week, and seeing as I was passably raid ready, I was invited to re-apply for an intern slot, which grants me 30-days to work with the raid team before a final decision is reached.
Tonight was my third night of raiding, and so far, the group dynamic seems to be working well, even with my inability to speak on vent: My tests work fine, but something is not working.
However, raiding with a completely new character is a challenge. Although my last main was a healer, the healing styles between restoration shaman and druid do not compare easily. I suspect the changed healing dynamic is playing its part as well, but in general, my biggest struggle is lying in working out how to make myself “twitch” properly: emergency heals vs. non-emergency heals and cooldowns, good lord, I have a lot of cooldowns.
Although my healing kit has not expanded to holy priest levels, I am used to having 2-3 normal spells, and a couple of situational abilities. Right now, I’ve got 2 HoTs, 3 cast spells, 2 regularly used AoE and an emergency AoE–all in all, 8 spells–and I use them all. I’ve noticed myself standing stock-still–even in the bad a couple of times–as I’m paralyzed by indecision and a feeling of helplessness as I consider my toolkit and what the hell I should be casting. Not to mention watching in horror as the raid is firebombed and it takes me those long agonizing moments of trying to emergency patch before I remember I’ve got that nifty tree form which would make life, oh so much easier.
Despite heroics, I was flatly unprepared to step a brand-new druid into a raiding environment. Healing heroics is primarily a matter of keeping my tank hotted and band-aiding the group as needed. Healing a raid is like trying to plug a dike with a million pebbles, each one taking a second to place precisely before placing the next one.
Thankfully, the feeling of panic is gradually subsiding, and I’m starting to feel that I can focus beyond my little zone of hysterics into the larger raid. The first night, basic healing assignments were set up which helped immensely. Tonight, I felt calm enough to actually take part in mechanics discussion to some degree. By no means do I feel 100%, maybe a solid 82, but I can actually see how I can contribute beyond being a warm body.
All in all, I think its a promising beginning, and hopefully the start of a new phase in my playtime. I’m considering posting our successful strategies for encounters, more to cement the mechanics and roles in my mind more than anything else, but that’s a question I would like to place before the people who’ve stuck with me through the past year as I’ve endeavored on this entire blog project. While I intended it for general type notes, and my own impressions, there is a lot of that type of information available, and I sincerely have no wish to bore everyone with another rendition of “Don’t stand in the goo!”
Are you settling into your Cata routine yet, or you still taking the opportunity to explore before beginning your end-game?