I’m reaching my one year anniversary as a restoration druid, and yet I still can’t get behind the idea that I’m not new. I’ve tackled all the new Firelands bosses, and have even managed to get a good chunk of ’em down on heroic, but I still feel raw. We’ve had a new healer and DPS arrive since I’ve started with Production Company, and I’ve been there almost a year as well, yet I can’t help but feeling like the new kid. Why can’t I get over being NEW?!
I had no problems leaving behind all my “good” (i.e. leveled) characters and starting a new class for a completely new guild. Who cares that I never played a druid past 30, I’m a gamer, I got this. And despite the experience being terrifying and exhilarating, I really think it’s turned out pretty darn well. It’s particularly easy to feel awesome as a resto druid instead of say, a resto shaman, because you got the healer e-peen to salve any doubts about your awesomeness.
Or does it really? You see, I know I’m supposed to be a numbers power house. Seeing that big ol’ orange bar hovering over the rest of the healing team at the end of the night does not fill me with delight and awe at my own mastery, but rather makes me wonder “Is it me, or the class?” Sometimes being well read can cause its own crisis of ability since you just know you’re supposed to be doing all that good stuff.
And let’s not forget my constant twitter whining over the recent spate of paladin tank applications who didn’t seem to know where things like Hand of Protection and Lay on Hands were located. I played a paladin for a long time, so I inherently “get” how easy it is and critically important it is to use *all* your cool-downs, and even when they might be a good idea just based on some logs. But druids? W.T.F.? Here’s some recent “revelations” that made me realize I’m just not 100% in my druid zen:
- I created a macro to pop a Thorns on my focus-target. Thorns has become my newest rock star.
- When I shift into cat form, my bar has two abilities: Stampeding Roar and Dash
- When I shift in bear form, my bar has two abilities: Stampeding Roar and Frenzied Regeneration.
- I’ve never shifted into bear form during a raid.
- I still haven’t found a good place to key-bind herbing haste on my balance spec, although it’s got a prime spot on my resto bars.
- I have a notecard of my desk that says “Barkskin stupid!” I think I’ve become immune to its distracting text as my variable usage of the spell will show.
- After we killed Ragnaros, I decided maybe I really should keybind both my dps trinkets.
I think I’m just over-reacting in some ways, but I really have to think about using all my situational abilities and cool-downs when we’re dancing our way into new encounters. Sometimes, it feels like it just takes me to darn long to get the magic lightbulb moment that some nifty ability would be downright awesome in a certain place. Some of it, I know, is just being in a new environment. Who am I kidding, how can I still be new after 8 months of killing?
There’s something to be said for being an introvert raiding with a bunch of other introverts. Sometimes it’s really easy to draw conclusions on just not enough freakin’ data because people just don’t talk enough. Hell, we might not even all be introverts, we might just be of that old-school raiding mentality where no one speaks on Vent. Raid and guild chat can get somewhat lively, but nothing like the massive outpouring of general chat that has flooded many of my previous guild’s airways.
And I know that I raid with a ton of opinionated people. Strat discussions can get downright sticky on some encounters as people hash out their particular brand of insanity for dealing with some mechanic. There’s some fantasy football league thingy that gets discussed from time to time, and football season is an interesting time as team and player superiority is bragged about and bashed in various quantities.
But it really struck me the other day, that I know surprisingly little about my raid-mates outside their strengths and weaknesses in a raid environment. This is not a group that casually banters about their lives outside of game: their careers, family, or non-WoW pursuits. In turn, I haven’t really shared that with my guildmates either, and I think that’s why I’m still feeling new. I’m sure that a number of my guildies stop by and read my blog from time to time. I’ve gotten /tells of encouragement and support from guildmates based on what I’ve written here, so if nothing else, my blog really allows me to connect with a number of my guildies in a way that I wouldn’t be if I didn’t have it.
However, it’s also very different from having a casual bantery conversation about the state of life, the universe and everything over the course of the evening, and I think that’s why, despite being older than a couple of new (and not even so new anymore!) members in the group, I still feel like, “gee whiz, I’m the new kid on the block!”
How do you *know* when you’re not new anymore? What kind of “signs” signal the end of the new-ness?