Monday, January 31, 2011

Guild Relations Forum is Back!

. . . under a new name.

Raid and Guild Leadership.

Let the discussions commence.

Just Keep Fishing!

Considering a Druid can turn into a Bear, Cat, and Bird of Prey, it is hardly surprising that we would like fish.

As a Resto Druid, it is far simpler for me to supply food via fishing than by killing a bunch of creatures.  Killing anything in Resto spec takes forever . . . The other day, I had to kill a level 85 something so I could reach a school of fish (root, moonfire, wrath, root, wrath, wrath, root, travel form, moonfire, root, heal, wrath . . . in a seemingly endless cycle . . .), only to find by the time I had finished that the pally fishing across the lake appeared and claimed my node.  (I didn't waste my time complaining to him.  Wouldn't have done any good.)

So it has been a priority of mine to help the guild obtain the recipe for the Seafood Magnifique Feast. 10,000 fish from schools is the price.

At the moment, we're sitting on about 4800 and some change items fished out of schools.  (Each cast where you reel something in counts, whether it is fish, chests, herbs, or elemental pieces.)  At least 2500 have been from my efforts.  (Probably more, but I didn't keep track of things at the beginning.)  It doesn't make things easier that the best caster fish do not school, so my efforts at school fishing are either for fish to use in future feasts or fish I really do not need.  I know there are other fishers out there, but they seem to mostly be casters, which means, of course, that they generally do their fishing in open water.

In an effort to encourage other guild members to join in the effort, I posted a "public service announcement" on our guild website:

Why go out of your way to fish in schools: 
1) Goblin Barbecue only gives you 60 stats; Seafood Magnifique Feast gives you 90.
2) You can help the guild start to stock up on the fish for Seafood Magnifique--at least the ones which school. (The eel and the guppies.)

Why it isn't entirely a burden:

1) Everyone needs a little rest and relaxation every so often.
2) It gives you the chance to catch up on your podcasts or your TV shows.
3) What you fish up isn't entirely worthless, even if they aren't the fish you normally use for your food. Oily Blackmouth can sell for roughly a gold each (or more if you catch someone on a day when they're desperate) and Greater Sagefish for about 50s on a reasonably regular basis. Some Northrend fish (Sculpin) still usually sell. (Wouldn't bank on the Outlands fish.) In addition, the cloth and leather found in lowbie land chests still sell.
4) You can raise fishing on a guilded alt or even your main, if you haven't bothered to do it before now.
5) You can raise cooking with the fish you pick up.
6) If you fish in a lowbie land, you can usually pick up 100 fish in a half-hour. (I mean along the Darkshore coastline, in the Moonglade, or running around the lakes, rivers, or coastlines of Northrend as a level 85.) That's a small time investment while you're waiting in that 45-minute Heroic queue for dps.

So do yourself and the guild a favor: make the effort to spend a small amount of time each week fishing in schools. Every little bit helps us to reach our 10,000 fish goal!
I'll keep fishing, of course, but it would be nice to see the numbers go up with the multiplicative power of the guild.

Someday . . . someday . . .

The Healer Dilemma

I fear I have discontent brewing in the healer ranks, centering around the needs of the raid vs the desires of the healers.

Putting together a 25-man raid is a balancing act.  You know that almost always, some people will be out.  Work will call them away, family will call them away, hockey practice or other activities will call them away, or their ISP will have problems, and their lag will be unsufferable.  It makes sense, then, to have more people on your roster than you can slot at the same time, to handle these unexpected happenings, lest a particular night be that night when you just don't have enough people to raid.

On the other hand, you can't have the same people waiting in the wings all the time.  I understand the absolute torture of being in Vent and not being in the instance when a new boss is about to go down.  I tend to go fishing if I am waiting on the bench, because I feel I am at least accomplishing something, even if I am grinding my teeth while doing it.  I know others, however, who have spent their entire bench time hopping from bench to bench in the Auction House.  Require someone to experience that enough, and that person will look elsewhere to raid.

Our raid leaders decided a while back that every member of the raid who showed up needed to have some time working on bosses each raiding week.  In this way, everyone gets a chance to play, and everyone learns the enounters, both recruits and members.  Also, this allows us to gear our newer recruits, as well, who can come in during encounters when the members do not need gear, if they have been sitting.  This means that everyone at one time or another takes their turn sitting out, including the officers.  (Hey, we try to lead by example . . .)

After all, what does the raid need?  The raid needs people to fill the ranks who know what they are doing and who are geared enough to handle it.  The best way we know of at this time to accomplish this is to have more healers (or other raiders) on our roster than the bare minimum required for a raid and rotate them in and out when they are there to allow everyone the chance to play.

Here's where it gets a little puzzling--a mixed blessing:  my healers have very good attendance, unlike some of the other roles.  No problem, right?  Be thankful we aren't short healers, right?  (Believe me, as Healing Lead, I've rejoiced that the healers are so diligent.)  But this means that we need to rotate healers on a regular basis.

Up to now, I've relied heavily on the generosity, good will, and team spirit of the healers to volunteer to sit out in favor of others in the raid.  But not all people have the same generosity and team spirit.  Not all are as dedicated as others to the progression of the raid and the guild as a whole.  Therefore, not all volunteer.

This inequity causes resentment on the part of those who do volunteer.  They see that they are sacrificing for the good of the raid, but others are not.  Why, then, should they make the effort when the same requirement is not made of others?

It is a valid point.  When we have recruited people, we have explained that we do not recruit people to sit on a bench and that everyone will rotate in and out.  We try to allow people to be in for bosses they need as much as possible, while recognizing that not everyone may be able to be in for every boss they want.  It was simpler in late Wrath, when everyone had pretty much all the badges they wanted and needed only a piece here or there to flesh out their Heroic set.  But at this point in Cataclysm, self-interest is high, and I have found that when someone who does not volunteer is sat (for the first time in Cataclysm raiding history) they may not react well, to put it mildly.

It does not matter that I might remind them that I, as an officer, was sitting for the guild first Atramedes kill.  I had been late that day because my daughters had a regularly-scheduled activity.  Could I have logged on and demanded to be put in the raid, especially after having been there for two weeks' worth of wiping?  Absolutely.  Would the raid leader have put me in?  Most likely yes; I'm the Healing Lead and I have the right and responsibility to select the healers for encounters.  But I have a certain sense of fairness and right which did not allow me to demand to be in solely on the basis of my seniority and rank, kicking people out who had been working on the fight for the previous half hour just for my vanity.  Whom would I have kicked?  Whom would I have denied the chance to see the kill, just so I could be in the screenshot?  Could I have lived with myself, knowing I had been so selfish, when I hope that the other healers will be generous with each other?  (Now, did I enjoy sitting out?  Not on your life.  Did I grumble to one friend?  Yes.  Did my husband see me cry?  Not going to tell you that one.  But doing what is right is not always easy.)

Now I have to tackle something else which is not easy.  I have to figure out a better rotation schedule for my healers.  At this point, I am going to stop asking for volunteers, with the vain hope that everyone will respond with generous impulses.  (If someone pipes up, volunteering to sit for someone else, I will probably work with them, because I do want to encourage that kind of generous impulse.  But I won't expect it.)  Everyone will sit at one point or another, whether they want to or not.  The majority of our healers agreed to this condition when they joined the raid.  (A few pre-date the practice, but to be honest, those who pre-date are among the generous.  After all, they have proven their loyalty to the best interest of the guild over tiers' worth of raiding.)

My husband, who has managed multi-million dollar companies for at least the last eight years, cautioned me against making my rotation too rigid.  "You don't want to tie your hands by attempting to 'dummy-proof' the system," he told me.  "If you publish a schedule, it will make it difficult for you to use your best judgment in each situation, because you will be bound to the published rotation.  Give yourself the room to be able to make adjustments as is appropriate for the raid at each encounter."

He's right, of course.  If I had to make adjustments to a posted schedule because someone's ISP wasn't working or because someone simply did not show up, it could cause grumbling.  (In addition, I could see a possibility that someone who wasn't slotted for the first couple bosses may not show up until later in the raid.)  So my rotation will not be published, but will be on my desk, where I can juggle things if necessary, but also keep track of who has been in and who has been out for each encounter.  In this manner, I hope to be able to better manage the healer rotations to accomplish the goal of guild progression and the supplemental goal of raider development.

Wish me luck.  Learning leadership is a constant progression . . .

Totally unrelated picture of my Val'anyr birdie . . .

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chimaeron Down!

We were elated when Atramedes finally fell Wednesday, after beating our heads against him for a couple of weeks.  Given the frustration of that enounter, however, it is understandable that some of the raid members grumbled when our raid leader directed us to Chimaeron.

Some raiders expressed the opinion that we should move on to Bastion of Twilight or Throne of the Four Winds, where we knew we could down some bosses, instead of moving on to another progression boss right away.

I did not share that opinion.  I was excited to try out Chimaeron, because it looked like a fun fight--one in which the healers could work out a strategy which would make a real difference.

We walked into the room with 7 healers, but even so, the first attempt lasted just about long enough for everyone to fall on their faces.  "Break time!" the guild master called, and encouraged all those who hadn't watched the fight to go take a look at it.

As I had already researched the fight, I spent my break time looking for a way to get Vuhdo to show me when a player had health lower than 10k . . . you wouldn't believe how difficult this can be to find in a Google search.  Fortunately, one of the other healers knew, and I thankfully entered the debuff "Low Health" into my Vuhdo settings.  (Seriously, that's all that needed to be done.  So simple, but so useful!)

Our next attempt included 8 healers.  One of the dps had to leave, and, as our raid leader favors stacking healers when we are learning fights, he shrugged his shoulders and figured we might as well bring in another healer.

It didn't take long to see that some organization among the healers needed to happen.  Mana was becoming an issue, and healers were prioritizing the same people, stomping on each other's heals and leading to more overhealing than necessary.  This also led to other players dying early if they didn't manage to be among those the healers happened to prioritize, because they just didn't get any heals.

So we made some healing assignments.  One pally was on each tank, with a third pally supporting the tank healers.  The other five healers--two Disc priests, two Resto shammies, and me--were assigned to take care of a group each, outside of Fued.  I assigned myself the group with the tanks because a) I always end up with a HoT or two on the tanks, anyway, b) I was uncertain how quickly a Resto Druid could manage to pull up 5 people from Low Health, while I was pretty sure I could manage 3 quickly enough, and c) I wanted to have the time to observe everything and see how it was working, without worrying that my group was going to die.

It was immediately obvious this healing strategy was going to work.  Taking the time to organize a little made all the difference between panicked healers with no mana, who sometimes completely missed someone here and there, and healers with mana who effectively maintained a part of the raid, trusting their fellow healers to do the same with their assignments.  It was almost too simple.

Now that we know what we're doing, I'm sure we can drop it to 7 healers with little difficulty.  I'll probably just assign the tank group healer to also support the tanks, as that position really did leave the healer with extra time.  (Exhibit A why my healing was the lowest on the meters:  I had fewer people to heal.)

One thing I do not know how to check is how well healers did at not healing people above 10k health when not necessary.  For a good deal of the fight, anything above 10k is overhealing, but that is not how Recount will view it.  Sometimes I really had to resist the urge to drop an extra heal here and there, reminding myself that it would be a waste of mana, even though it would raise my showing on the healing meters.  (The one exception I made was when I had Low Health, I would toss a Rejuv on myself . . . one time I didn't do this, thinking, "Trust your healer, trust your healer," . . . and somehow I got missed.  Splat.  No, I did not get after the healer for letting me die.  I just figured it was a lesson learned on my part.)

At any rate, the double-headed troublemaker finally fell.  Grats to Tempest raiders for two new content kills in the same night!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The LFD Button

It is staring at me.

It is saying, "Anachan, you have been ignoring me for weeks.  In those weeks, you have picked up 9--count 'em--9 epic pieces of gear, from Rep, Valor Points, or raiding drops.  Don't you think you have enough to give me a try again?"

/Anachan cocks head to the side in thought . . .

You know, I could really use those Valor Points . . .

In the time since I stopped running Heroic Random PUGs, I really have picked up some decent gear.  I realize that some people do not hold as much respect for 25-man raids as for 10-man raids, but the gearing rate is quite respectable in 25-man.  After all, though the number of dropped pieces is pretty proportionate, the chance the particular piece for which you are waiting will be dropped is greatly increased.  (The dice are rolled 5 times, rather than 2 . . . and when there are only three casting leather-wearers in the raid, well . . .)

Having the gear has helped, obviously, not only because it has increased my stats, but also because it has increased my confidence.  (There's just something about knowing you have some purple . . .)

In addition, with Rejuvenation fresh out of its hotfix, I have enjoyed healing more.  No, I'm not consistently topping the meters.  (Totally depends on the encounter and what assignment I have given myself in that encounter.)  But I have, in essence, regained one of my most useful and defining tools.  And as a bonus, while I have to actively manage my mana, I do not have to panic about it as I did before the change.  (I actually noticed there was a difference before I knew the hotfix had happened.)

A third change is that I finally picked up Powerauras.  To be honest, I tried it some time ago with my mage, but after many battles, I disabled the addon and called it a day.  This time around, with cooldown management critical to my Druid's performance, I did more reading.  I read on Curse, I read on forums, and I read on blogs.  Using some exports as models, I was able to finally get it working the way I wanted.  (Hint:  the most useful tip I learned was to /reloadui after making changes.  Saves a whole lot of keyboard head-banging.)  I am now able to more effectively use my cooldowns, which in turn helps to manage my stress and frustration level.

By now, I should have enough gear and tools to make Heroic Randoms more enjoyable.  So I might . . . I just might . . . reaquaint myself this weekend with the world of running Heroic Random PUGs . . .

Or maybe I'll just go level Herbalism on my 75 Priest.

I don't have to decide today.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wildhammer Rep Exalted!

I decided some time ago that I needed to raise my Wildhammer reputation to Exalted.  That belt!  That beautiful belt!  (Well, you know . . .)

Accordingly, I ran through the quest chain in Twilight Highlands (and actually had fun doing it) and started doing my Wildhammer dailies.

I also picked up a tabard . . . but here is where it got a little complicated.  After many days of dailies, I noticed I was close enough to Exalted that an Heroic or two would do it.  But because of the times I am on (and because I can't always very well ask my husband to not stream video on non-raid nights, as he is considerate enough to not stream on raid nights), I rarely make it into guild Heroic groups.  And, well, that LFD button for random Heroics is still just as distasteful as it has been since Cataclysm hit.

Last night, it occurred to me that I was doing it wrong.

I opened up the LFD tool, but instead of queueing for a random Heroic, I queued for either Halls of Origination or Lost City . . . on regular mode.  After about five minutes (I was willing to wait a little longer), I found myself in a group for Lost City.  I quickly confirmed that, yes, I was getting rep for these kills and settled back to keep the group alive.

In short order and with no wipes, our group was finished with the instance and thanking each other for the time.  What was even better was that I was relaxed and happy by the end of the instance, instead of stressed out and frustrated after two hours of non-stop wiping and bickering.  I queued again.

This time, I got Halls of Origination and thought, "Oh, good, lots of rep here."  Then the tank said, "Where the **** are we?"  (Yea, that inspires confidence.)  His next comment was, "I'm so drunk!"  (Even more confidence.)

Nevertheless, the rest of the group appeared as inclined to be tolerant as I was, so we started out.  Fortunately we had a DK in the group who was willing to off-tank on the spot when necessary, which proved to be rather often, and a mage who considered himself something of a "mage tank" and worked to pull things off me when the tank just totally lost it, which also happened with some regularity.  With the tank making wild off-the-wall comments about the amazing sights in Halls of Origination, confirming exactly how drunk he really was, as well as a comment mocking those who thought the instance was hard (not so hard when the other four members of your party know what they are doing and are doing their best to carry you, buster), we made it through the instance.  No wipes.  I even managed to "heal stupid" a couple of times, which, of course, NEVER happens in Heroic.

And I reached my goal.  About two bosses from the end, I reached Exalted status with the Wildhammer Clan, and after the instance was complete, headed out to Twilight Highlands to pick up my belt.

Now I'm wearing the Therazane tabard.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Did They Forget Something?

The first Justic Badge purchase I made when Anachan dinged 85 was a chest piece, the Robes of Forgetfulness.  Subsequent events have made me wonder if they forgot something when they created this piece . . .

They seem to have forgotten a graphic!  The skirt portion of this item takes on the appearance of what is worn beneath.

I didn't realize this until last night, when I excitedly received my new epic pants, the Leggings of Consuming Flames.  As I looked at my character, I realized that her skirt bore all the appearance of wearing pants . . .

As an experiment, I removed her pants to see what it looked like.  (After all, under a robe, nobody should be able to see what she is wearing . . . or not wearing . . . right?)

Ooops!  Her skirt took on the color of her unmentionables and her legs.

I began to wonder if I was the only one seeing the view this way.  As none of my guildies were around when I was in the process of documenting this, I could not confirm this view with them.  However, when I looked at Anachan in the Armory, I saw a similar view.

See?  You can see the Leggings of Consuming Flames right through the Robes of Forgetfulness.

I think I had not noticed this before because my previous pants sort of coordinated with the expected view of Druid armor.  I had the pants from the Earthen Ring rep, which look like this (I know it's hard to see under the tabard):

Beneath the robe, it ends up looking like this:

See?  It looks like something you might expect to see on a Druid robe.

I know it's silly to be concerned if my clothing doesn't coordinate.  We wear mismatched pieces all the time.  But having an article of clothing which doesn't coordinate with itself is a little disturbing.

I feel a little bit like I'm wearing the Emperor's new clothes . . .


I collected a couple of pictures without the tabard, so you can see how much the Earthen Ring pants really do coordinate with the top portion, thus fooling me into believing it was actually part of the robe.

And now for the new pants . . .

Yea . . . no coordination here at all . . .

I took a look at Wowhead, and it appears that this is a bug noticed by many, so it's not just me!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Archaeology, Part II

I'm done.  I mean it.

When I started doing Archaeology, it was, well, because it was another secondary profesison, so why not do it?  It was something I could do when I couldn't dedicate a lot of time to the game, because I could catch a griffin to my destination and walk away to do other things.  (Arch is a good afk profession . . . or one which requires minimal focus when you're sick with a dreadful cold . . . *cough* . . .)  It was something to do just to get it done.  And people said there were some cool toys you could get.

Then I found out about Tyrande's Favorite Doll . . . the caster/healer trinket . . .

I did some research and found out it was a Night Elf rare item--one of seven--so I concluded I would have better luck picking it up if I focused my Archaeological endeavors on Kalimdor.  This worked out well, because I could either port to Uldum from Stormwind or I could teleport to Moonglade, depending on whether I had more nodes at the northern end of the continent or the southern.  (Hooray for being a Druid!)

And so my pickaxe started tearing Kalimdor apart.

Over time, I managed to pick up 6 Night Elf rares and 49 Night Elf common items.  No trinket.

As yet another Night Elf common item showed itself in my Archaeology window, I threw my hands into the air, recognizing that the game could just continue to hand me common items and never, NEVER offer me the trinket.

Archaeology requires, in the end, all the skill it takes to pull the handle on a slot machine.  And, like those hapless older women who sit at the slots and keep pulling, the participant keeps thinking that maybe the next pull will be the jackpot.  But the jackpot might never come.  The participant's time may simply end up being wasted, their resources drained, their opportunities lost, their spirits downtrodden.

And so I put my scrolls, runes, etc., from Archaeology in the bank and, instead, picked up my fishing pole.  A few hours of sick time and several "Murder She Wrote" episodes later, I had advanced my guild some 800 fish closer to our 10,000 fish goal.

At least that was progress toward something tangible.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Insulting My Intelligence

I'll be happy to admit that I really don't PVP.

If someone decides that I look like a tasty target to flatten, I will usually try to escape and, failing that, wait while they finish their job so I can run back to my body in peace.  Annoying, but not terribly disturbing.  (Got over being mad about it a long time ago, back on Warsong.)

The other day, I was peacefully fishing in Hyjal.  I had a cold and was feeling miserable, with slow reactions, so I figured I'd spend the evening helping my guild raise their fishing numbers toward our new fish feast recipe.  Besides, I could use some more cheap haste food, and the mountain trout were just the thing for casual dungeons.  And the Hyjal area in which I was fishing was pretty . . . and I needed pretty.

As I stood there, staring at my bobber and generally willing myself into oblivion, two level 81 Tauren melee (plate-wearing, with stuns) jumped me.  Shadowmeld flight form didn't work (bad timing), so I just sat there and released to wisp when they were finished.

I zipped back to my body and noticed that the two Tauren were still sitting there.  No problem.  I delight in having more patience than gankers.  They apparently realized they were still visible, so they mounted and took to the air--hovering.  I rolled my eyes.  C'mon . . . as if I can't see you in the air, corpse-camping my body?

I sat back and sipped my water until they apparently decided I was on to them.  They disappeared, and I rezzed, went flight form, and decided Hyjal was unfortunately not a safe place for fishing that evening.

As I flew in the direction of my nearest Archaeology node, I received a whisper from someone I had never met.  It was something to the effect of "Hey, a couple of level 81 Tauren just killed me.  Can you help me?"

I did what I always do when I receive a strange tell:  I shift-clicked on the name.  This character was an unguilded level 57 in the Plaguelands.

C'mon . . .

No matter how amazingly fast these two Tauren may have been, they were not fast enough to have gone from Hyjal to the Plaguelands in fifteen seconds and started picking on lowbie characters.  (And isn't the Plaguelands a lower level than 57 these days?)

In addition, why would some unguilded character in the Plaguelands be whispering a random 85 in Hyjal for help, instead of looking for a stray Archaeologist in the area?

It didn't take a lot of deduction to figure out that this person was either one of the level 81 Tauren in another form or a friend.

He apparently decided I needed more goading, thus confirming my conclusion:  "A level 85 should be able to handle that, right?"  (You could almost see a 15-yr-old high school boy snickering behind the scenes with his buddies.)

I decided to toss him a bone, while reminding him that they had jumped me at a disadvantage.  "Not with a fishing pole.  Glad you had fun."

Anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have figured out by that statement that I had recognized him for who he was, but apparently his intelligence matched his patience in relation to mine.  "So can you help me?"

I put him on Ignore.

If you have a burning desire to kill my character for no apparent reason, you are a bully, but I won't usually stop you.  I'm not a PVP goddess.  But, please, don't insult my intelligence.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Fun of It

Given the choice, once I learned how to heal decently in Burning Crusade and then later in Wrath, I would rather run instances than quest.  It was fun!  It was a combination of juggling HoTs, dancing my way across a room and out of fires, and overcoming challenges with group members.  I enjoyed being able to plan ahead or quickly respond to a situation, depending on what was necessary.  It was fun to be able to, with a well-timed heal and skillful handling of my abilities, rescue someone from their own stupidity every so often or hold a situation together in the face of mass chaos.  It was like having a direct connection to "The Force", knowing intuitively what needed to be done and having a hard time later on explaining exactly how you did it.

And then came 4.0.  Or, rather, then came level 83.  No longer could I run circles around a boss while healing, dancing and juggling my way through the instance.  Instead, I was reduced to the status of a Holy Paladin without a Beacon . . . rooted to the ground more often than not, casting direct heal after direct heal, with only a little variation.  (Oh, boy, better let that Lifebloom stack bloom for a larger direct heal . . . then restack . . . way too scripted.)  And my healing aggro pulled more frequently.  And there were more "oh, bleep" moments when I'd have to pop Tranquility or something (and watch the adds come running to me.)

Sure, things are tuned harder and there is less margin for error on anyone's part in Heroics.  Sure, I've had to lecture the melee that my mana belongs to myself and the tank first, and it has to last the entire fight, including the inevitable Innervate and potion of some variety, so they are way down on the totem pole of my healing priority.  (When they've said, "Healer, you have mana!!  Use it!")  I even had one dungeon in progress where the group didn't seem too happy to see me, but gave me a chance instead of kicking me outright (and we were successful).  But what is the real problem is the general healing style overall in 5-mans.

Constantly casting direct heals is boring.  Knowing full well that if all jaheem broke loose (yes, I know that's an improper use of that word), there would be little I could do is not encouraging.  Watching those long-cast, low-mana direct heals hardly move the life bar of the tank is demoralizing.  And remembering the juggling dance of previous times makes me sad that I can no longer light-heartedly play with my heals.

Some evenings, I look at my dungeon finder button and just can't bring myself to hit it.  Some nights, I take a deep breath, click the dungeon finder, and move forward with the reluctant air of someone who has been assigned to do a distasteful chore.

I've noticed a lot of threads on the Blizzard Healing Forums complaining that healing just isn't fun anymore.  I can understand where they are coming from. I've even toyed with the idea of quitting. Yep. It's that much not fun.

I'm hoping it will change as we work on our 25-man raiding.  Last night was our first night in 25-mans.  After the first two bosses on Blackrock Descent, I hid my Recount, because I needed to focus without feeling I was a hopeless member of the raid being dragged through the dungeon.  When we moved to Bastion of  Twilight, I died so many times on the trash that I wondered if the raid would be better off with my character sitting in the corner and filing her nails.

But then we hit Wyrmbreaker.  The difference with this fight was that we had three tanks.  I had healers assigned to the first two, but I realized as we began the encounter that I had not assigned anyone to the third tank.  As I was in sort of a "hot the tanks and support the raid" position, I went ahead and focused on the third tank.

What a surprise . . . I felt useful.  I could see things happening.  I started worrying less about my mana and throwing around more Wild Growths to the raid when I wasn't spamming heals on the tank.  I tosssed out more Rejuvs and I Swiftmended more often.  And when, out of curiosity, at the end of the fight, I decided to take a peek at the meters, I found that all our healers had been performing well, including me.  (I was somewhere in the middle of the pack, but we were all in the same general range.)  And, as a bonus, I had NOT run out of mana!

Someone on the Healing Forum mentioned that he felt like he was battling his character instead of the boss.  I've heard more advanced Druids say that it gets more fun when you have enough mana and regen to be able to toss Rejuvs again.  Fighting our characters' weaknesses, indeed . . . I think what made me feel so triumphant on Wyrmbreaker was not that we got him down, although that was great, but that I battled against the weaknesses of my character to be able to dance a little in spite of the conventional wisdom of the most effective way to use a Resto Druid, and it worked.  (Like somehow I had defied the WoW gods and lived to tell about it.)

My husband still holds out hope that I will decide it's simply not fun and quit playing.  (Unfortunately for him, I'm not interested in Star Wars: The Old Republic.)  At this point, I'm just holding on to the hope that raiding will prove to have the fun that Heroics just haven't had.

And perhaps, with more gear, I will finally be able to dance and juggle again.