This is going to be another one of those posts that is 50% excitement and goodness and 50% rant and rave. Excitement first.
I was reading on Wow insider this morning (can't link from work, doh!) about the planned shammy bar and a new ability that will let you drop 4 totems at once. Pure win. For the record, I am using dominos (I love that thing, its awesome), and for most characters it works really well. I do have some issues with my druid because even though the bars are transparent, they're still there (you have to put each "form" on a seperate bar, warrior works that way too for stances). Anyways, in my normal configuration, I use about 3.5 bars for abilities and quest items I have to click on to use, and a bar on the side for hearthstone and craft skills. Normally that is more than enough real estate, but my level 30 shammy has almost filled them up. Shields, weapon buffs, totems, I love all the options, but damn thats a lot of buttons! I also don't want to remove anything because the minute I do, I will need what was removed.
The change I've read about allows you to set 1 totem of each type on a bar (same type of thing druids, pallys and warriors have) and then abilities which will drop 4 set totems at a time. Currently, I've only been using totems when it's more than one mob. I drop Magma, stoneskin, and either mana spring or healing stream (I am back and forth on which is better). I really think this is a great change as it will free up space and allow you to drop your fav totems all at once (as a side note, the totem mechanic was why it took me a while to level a shammy. Now that I am, I realize its not a big deal and I was missing out).
Now for the badness. I got randomly whispered yesterday to heal mana tombs. Now I don't like mana tombs at all (I'll get to why in a minute), but it was either that or quest for 150k XP, so I figured I'd run it and maybe get some gear (prolly not, but who knows). So I group up, get together, there is a druid there in cat form, a Tauren warrior, a hunter and a warlock. Well, I will give the tank credit for one thing. He was pretty tough and didn't take a lot of big burst damage. Unfortunately, thats the only thing I can give him credit for. First, he was body pulling everything. I don't think I saw him use any kind of range or charge or anything. Second, he didn't seem to be able to hold aggro on more than one mob at a time. I know thats difficult to do, but thats why we mark, and he wasn't (It's making me appreciate my pally tank who's never really had aggro issues). Lastly, and most annoyingly, he was pulling the mobs into the group getting me mana burnt, drained and silenced.
Got all that? So the run went something like this: Druid was taking a ton of damage because he would run ahead, dps mobs, pull aggro from the tank and consequently die. I tried to heal him through this once, but the tank started taking burst damage, so I switched back, burned my instant heal and kept him from dying. After that, I basically restricted my non-tank healing to rejuvination when they took damage. As a result, a lot of the group died a few times. I died a few times. After we wiped towards the end, I asked the lock to reapply soul stone. He said he was "saving it for the next run". So next wipe, I quit the group rather than run back for my corpse.
I received a few whispers of what a horrible healer I am, etc etc. I really did want to finish the run, but it wasnt worth the hassle and I'd already completed Mana Tombs so I had no quests or anything to get out of it. I actually reccomended the druid use bear form as it would have A) given an offtank and B) kept him from getting destroyed by the mobs if/when he pulled aggro. What do I know about tanking though?
I do really like druid healing. Rolling lifebloom is pretty painless (well, other than the mana cost) and making sure I have rejuvination on as well as the other HoT so I can swiftmend if necessary. I know that I need to get used to using group heals (I started healing as a holy paladin and I am sure it shows), but I like having plenty of tools at my disposal. I even kinda like tree form. Yeah, I'm slow and kinda funny lookin, but when you pop tree, everyone knows who the heals are.
Leveling is going well. Picked up flight form on the druid, it is cool but man is it slow! I can't wait till 3.2 where they increase it to 150%. Shammy hit 30, is officially done with Ashenvale and ready to pick up his last totem. Crafting professions are going well, I am now into Outlands with all of them (or higher in the case of blacksmithing and jewelcrafting). I am still back and forth about whether or not to level my mage. I was super in a rush to hit 58 to get to outlands, but with moonkin looking like a possibility for the druid at 80 and now leveling the shammy, I'm thinking I might want a more durable caster. I am going to switch him to tailoring either way, I should be able to power level him up into northrend tailoring with a minimum time expenditure.
Mid Afternoon Quickie
7 months ago