My guild recently lost about an entire 10 man’s worth of people this week and my GM and I were discussing who we could possibly shift around or recruit, to fill the empty spots and make sure the raid balance was still intact. The conversation went a little something like this:
GM: O, I need you to find me a shadow priest or a moonkin, because we just lost our only moonkin and we could be hurting without that caster buff.
O: Well, I was thinking if the shadow priest we have can commit to showing up more often, that would take care of the missing spell hit buff and then we could probably get an elemental shaman to cover the moonkin aura, because Elemental Oath does something similiar to that.
GM: Okay, so keep your eye out for an elemental shaman, too.
O: We could also… I mean, I have some Frost badges laying around and we do disenchant a lot of the caster gear from our heroic 10 mans. I could always…
GM: O – no.
O: And I’ve been doing my homework and my friend referred me to a really great moonkin theorycrafting site, with lots of spreadsheets and rotations and we did just take on 2 new healers that could replace me.
GM: I need you as heals, you’re not a moonkin anymore.
What many people would be surprised to know is that I haven’t always been a raiding resto druid. When I defected over to the Horde side and leveled O, I leveled as balance and stayed balance until mid-Serpentshrine Cavern. At that time, moonkin were not quite the draw that they are today. You pretty much had to convince guilds to take you. We were an extra battle res, a pinch Innervate for an exhausted healer. It was not an easy time for us – our mana efficiency was extremely poor, the resources to better yourself (i.e. blogs and forums) were few and far between and the peer pressure to “spec useful” was intense. Back then, you didn’t play a moonkin to top the charts or impress anyone, you did it because you either really loved it or were a serious glutton for punishment.
At the time, I felt like I had taken being a moonkin as far as I could. I fancied myself as the Norma Rae of moonkin, proudly standing on the assembly line with her cardboard sign and yelling “AGGRO WIPE!” I didn’t feel it was fun anymore and I didn’t feel the game was going to expand anymore for us, where we could really get any better. I felt like I was playing a stagnant spec and it wasn’t going to get much better. It wasn’t really going downhill, it just sort of hit a plateau. So I debated my options and my GM at the time mentioned that we were in need of a full time resto druid in our group, as ours was taking more time off to focus on other hobbies.
I had about a week to prepare and to dip my toes into the healing waters. My gear was a filthy hot mess. I was wearing cloth pieces from Karazhan, I had the Sha’tar rep healing mace and mind you, I was still a male Tauren. So I was all sorts of discombobulated! It was decided that my first chance to seriously heal something was going to be a weekend Karazhan – I remember, we did it on a late Sunday afternoon/early evening. I was told I was going to be 2 healing it with a paladin and that our tank was going to be wearing a wedding dress. Literally. At that time, we had farmed Kara to Hell and back and people still wanted badges, so the main tank horribly outgeared the place. I’m pretty sure he was wearing some actual armor under there, but he wore his wedding dress from Attumen all the way to Malchezaar. There are screenshots to prove it!
From that point on, I threw my lot in with the trees and never looked back on my poultry-flavored past. I did go balance for most of my leveling during this expansion and it just didn’t feel the same. I couldn’t get used to the new mechanics and I didn’t feel I would be doing it enough or would enjoy it enough to warrant putting the time in to try and change my feelings. I felt like I had done my part and paved the way for the new wave of successful chickens to take my place and do the spec proud. I actually couldn’t wait to go back to resto again and start healing full time. But sometimes I get bored or restless and I get those urges. I hear someone say “Really – nobody wants the heroic Spyglass?” and some voice in the back of my head screams “Yes, take it!” I go on WoWHead on patch days and bide my time shuffling around talent points and wondering “What if?” To Typhoon or not to Typhoon?
Hey – a girl can dream.