Halleluja, It’s Raining Bears
For anyone who has played WoW with me or even just read my blog, you know I’m a resto druid. Tree of life FOR life, man. Leaf pride. Angiosperms unite! Etc.
It wasn’t always that way, though.
I have recently been spending quite a lot of time as a bear, so much so that I am teetering on the edge of just switching it to my main spec. It’s made me a tad nostalgic, too, for the days of yore (or rather, the days of the Burning Crusade) when I was a full time tank and part time kitty. Until a snot nosed little moonkin prodded me to going resto and from there I have never looked back. But now that I am bearing a lot again, it’s felt a lot like relearning the game, or at least my position in it.
Like paying attention. As a healer I just zone out, watch the pretty green bars, and occasionally move out of the fire. I have developed a bad case of healer’s tunnel vision in which I will completely ignore anything that is not a moving green health bar. I also tend to ignore boss strategies as a whole, and only pick out the little bits that are directly relevant to me and my job as a healer. Boss summons adds that must be kited? Don’t care. I don’t kite. Boss blasts everyone with an AoE effect every 45 seconds? I care. It’s different with tanking, and the one thing I have come to understand the most is that every tiny little aspect of the fight suddly pertains to me. I may not directly have to deal with a certain part of it, but if something goes wrong then I have to know if or how I can fix it. It’s not enough just to know “my part”. I have to know everyone’s parts. It’s also not enough to just move myself out of the bad. I have to move the boss too and by extension the entire damned raid. So it’s been a lesson in awareness, which I will humbly acknowledge I sorta needed.
It has also given me a greater appreciation of what I do as a healer. If I was a tree and healing myself as a bear, I would probably go insane shouting at myself. Either for not healing hard enough or for standing somewhere I shouldnt…or pulling too much or…you know. It has been a lesson in defensive cooldowns, which I have learned are best used every time they are available. As a healer I don’t typically think to use my defensive skills much. If I’m being attacked and I can’t heal myself through it, too bad. I’m going to die. But as a tank, if I know I’m in trouble then I’m mashing every button I can to stay alive.
So there is an odd duality present here. I’m playing the same class but I am filling an entirely separate roll, which means I’m using an entirely different mindset to do my job. It’s like I have to use a separate set of my brain. Certainly tanking is a far more aggressive and assertive role than healing. I’ll try not to get off on a psychological tangent here, but I never considered myself aggressive or assertive, which makes me wonder why I like a role that demands those qualities so much. Maybe (Freudian alert!) I am expressing an unconscious desire to be more assertive or aggressive in my life?
But what it all boils down to is a new perspective of an old game. I’m bored to tears with WoW right now, which is due to a whole host of factors both in and outside of the game. I enjoy doing something that I havent done before, while still remaining within my comfort zone: the druid class and my home realm and guild. It’s a chance to think outside the box, to look at something other than health bars (though monster crotch really isnt much better) and to do something entirely different while still being familiar.