Okay, so for as long as I can remember, I’ve healed in raids. In 40-man raids, and the 25-man Burning Crusade raids, we needed a TON of healers. You could heal 25-mans with like 8 or 9 healers. Now, the difficult encounters are pretty much all DPS races (especially hard modes), where you shouldn’t have more than 5 healers in some of them. However, the number of healers you need is also somewhat variable, leaving room for some people to change specs for some nights.
So, with my interest in having both a resto and a moonkin spec, I’ve worked on trying to keep up my moonkin set. In Ulduar with our loot system, I was pretty much stuck taking what people didn’t want for my moonkin set (which has always been fine with me – I won’t take off-set loot over people who need it). My focus was on my resto set, and I had to “greed” anything I wanted for my second off set (which I only pay half points for). For a while, my moonkin set was okay, but not great – a mix of Naxx 10-man DPS gear, and Ulduar healing gear.
However, in the last two weeks, I’ve seen a lot of caster DPS loot (and even set piece tokens) from the 25-man Ulduar hit “greed” status. So, I bought up 2 set pieces and a new staff on Tuesday. Even before my big push for gear upgrades, my DPS had already started going up on raid nights, due to me getting to have more practice as DPS on the boss fights, along with minor upgrades. The only fight I healed this week was Mimiron, which is still a relatively new one for us with slightly higher healing requirements than our scaled-down team could handle.
So, I got my Intensity staff, and my set helm and chest piece. Then, I went to a testing dummy in Darnassus, and tried out my rotation a few times. To my surprise, my DPS was actually lower with my new set pieces than it was with my original gear, because my crit rating was so low that I just wasn’t proc’ing Eclipse fast enough with all the haste on my set pieces.
Then, I downloaded Rawr and tweaked the sets I had to try and maximize the stat options I had. At this point, I have an assortment of pieces I picked up for my moonkin set, pieces for my healing set, and old pieces that I outgrew, along with being able to switch out anything with a piece requiring badges of any type (then again, I was trying to save all those badges for gems in 3.2!). Up until now, I haven’t really needed Rawr, since I had a small enough assortment of gear that I really had obvious choices just to maintain being hit-capped. If you aren’t familiar with Rawr, it’s really a tool that any DPS druid should have (for feral or moonkin). It also works for healing, but it’s really much less necessary for healers, as upgrades should be a lot more straightforward when you don’t also have to worry about things like being hit capped. Between Graylo’s loot list and Rawr, I’ve been able to work out a set of gear that is vastly increasing my damage potential, without having to put much effort into going out and finding more gear.
The final product is a set that looks more like a moonkin put it together, rather than a set that looks like a healer’s off-set (except for my healing shoulders). Of course, I’ve spent so many points this week on upgrading things that I’m pretty much at the bottom of the priority list at this point for any major upgrades, even for my main healing set, which is fine for me. Trying to DPS in raids is actually more work for me than healing, since resto has so much more mobility than balance does, and Eclipse just about always procs at the wrong times, but I’m getting better at it and my DPS overall is starting to climb up to a more reasonable place (though I’m greatly looking forward to 3.2 boosting my damage potential).
Why are healers (on the WoW forums) so afraid of being replaced? The WoW healing forums are pretty much always lit up with healers who are afraid that someone else will steal their healing spot. On the other hand, I’m more than happy to get a chance to try my hand at moonkin. I mean, would a guild rather keep the players they already have, and just let people with dual specs change to a different spec? Or, would they rather re-recruit new players and have their healers get locked out from raiding? With the dual spec system, and “hybrids” being encouraged to pick up gear for more than one role, being a flexible “restokin” ensures that it’s better to have me switch to moonkin than it is to completely replace me. I’m also not the first healer to go DPS in my guild, since my guild really has an overabundance of healers the vast majority of the time. I’m also expecting to go back to primary healing in Coliseum, or when other healers go on vacation, and at this point, I’m asking “do you want me heal or pew pew?” when we hit every boss fight, just to make sure. Either way, I’m raiding and I’m happy.