Resto druids are like unique snowflakes

Okay, so there has been some debate the last couple days about my resto healing guide (is it bad? is it good? Do I not understand the definition of the word popular?). Also, OMG lifebloom! The deal with lifebloom is that… Resto druids are unique snowflakes. Every single resto druid has a different healing style. Resto druids are the only Spec in the whole WoW that actually comes with such a diverse & flexible toolset. Trying to boil down unique snowflakes into one “how-to” guide is impossible, because then all you get is a giant snowball that doesn’t resemble the unique snowflakes that you started out with.

Why shoot the messenger?

First of all, I want to explain that I’m a human being. To that end, I’m posting my picture here for the first time to prove a point. That’s me on the Left, and Neth (forum CM) on the right. See? We’re both people. I’m the one wearing an almost inappropriate “druids do it animal style” T-shirt, in the picture from Blizzcon 2008. Not only am I a human, but I’m a human that loves talking to other people about World of Warcraft & learning how to be the best player that I can be.

The most important thing about people who write about WOW without getting paid for it is that we’re just players like you. There’s nothing particularly special about me, other than the fact that I spend a LOT of my time writing about WOW without getting paid a single penny for it – which a LOT of other people do, too.

So, what does that mean for you, dear readers? It means that I actually care about what you have to say. That means you don’t have to yell like an idiot for me to hear you. I’m not a Blizzard employee, so what I have to say has very little (or no impact) if you just choose not to read it. I’m okay with that. I’ve got between 1,500 and 4,000 people reading my blog every day – and probably more than that reading the forum versions of my guides. You can always just not read my guides or my blog if you don’t like what I have to say. Sometimes, I’m wrong – and when I am wrong, I happily go in and change/edit/revise/delete information in any post/guide/article that I write.

Writing guides takes time

It takes about 1 to 10 hours for any guide or post that I write. Given that I maintain two forum stickies, and post between 4 to 7 times a week on this blog, that means I can spend (realistically) anywhere from 4 to 40 hours a week working on articles, research, reading, guides, responding to e-mail… all activities related to WOW and not my graduate school or teaching things where I am actually working on earning a degree and earning the money that I use to play WoW and do all this stuff for you in the first place.

If you expect me to keep up with near daily revisions to a healing guide, with math & theorycrafting proofs for every sentence that I write, you will be extremely disappointed. That’s just not who I am. I do, however, take this whole thing very seriously. I write for new players in 90% of what I do, and then I spend that other 10% talking to a more advanced reader-base. That is because my leveling sticky contains the most often read content that brings people to this blog. People come here looking for clear & concise information written in plain-English that they can use in their every-day playing as they learn their class and their role. People don’t come here looking for the latest & greatest mathematical models for druid rotations, because that’s not what I provide here.

Also, part of what I have to do is to stay informed about 4 different druid talent specs (between my leveling guide & my healing guide). This is no easy thing to do, and very few people bother to follow all the information, changes, and nuances of all four talent specs for one class. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t spend hours working out mathematical models, because it would turn into more than a full-time job to do all of what I do, while also doing mathematical proofs for everything I post. Instead, I draw on and utilize the other resources in the greater druid community to make things easier on me. Why re-do all the work of someone else when I can just refer to & cite their work instead? I do my best to give credit where credit is due, and working with other people gives me an advantage, in that I can take their math and boil it down to something more understandable for the non-math people.

With great power comes great responsibility

Why am I bothering to explain myself? Why not just shrug off negative criticism and go on my way? The problem with being in the spotlight is that you have to be able to accept and shrug off negative criticism. However, with maintaining a popular healing guide and leveling guide for the druid community, it’s my fault if any spotlight is on myself in the first place. One of the things I strive to do is to communicate in a way that the average-joe-druid-player can understand. If my writing is confusing enough to generate two druid forum posts in less than a week, then I feel that I’ve failed at communicating effectively, and I feel that it is my responsibility to help clear up any misunderstandings.

I work really hard every day to be an active member of a larger druid community. As I said in one of my forum post responses, I’m just one voice in a larger choir. If you want to learn about resto druids, you need to listen to the whole choir and not just one singer. Go out and look at lots of different resources so that you can see lots of different perspectives. If you don’t like my perspective, then maybe you’ll find another unique snowflake druid who heals more like you. I don’t write the only healing guide available to resto druids. I don’t even write the only leveling guide. I’m just one of many resources available to you, and I hope that you do spend time reading more than one resource, because I learn things from other people all the time by reading about lots of other people’s view points.

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50 comments on “Resto druids are like unique snowflakes
  1. Thatgrimguy says:

    You rock Liss. I know how much work goes into what you do, and I thank you for it. From my time as a tree when I first started playing to now writing feral guides I have always enjoyed reading your blog.

  2. virile says:

    Appreciate everything you do Lissanna.

  3. Thatgrimguy says:

    You rock Liss. I refered to both yours and Phaelia’s guides at length when I started out as a healer. I found them to be very helpful. I find it sad that people look to those who write the guides to be more than human and almost attack them for what really boils down to a different opinion. I am still in shock at how angry some people get with me for information in the Feral guides I wrote. I, for one, applaud you for both taking the time to help people, and then keeping such a cool head with people who don’t appreciate it.

  4. Tzivya says:

    Well said! I’m not a resto druid, but I am thinking of making my druid one, and I wouldn’t be able to without awesome people who write guides and put in the effort and work to offer help to newbs like me. Thank you!

  5. Keeva says:

    The whole thread was stupid. It was started by a troll for the purpose of inciting drama, and the arguments that followed were weak.

    The one that really irked me was nitpicking your title, saying that “how to heal in 3.3” meant “how to heal the Lich King on hard mode”. As I said in the thread – it didn’t. It meant “how to heal following changes to our class in patch 3.3”.

    It even says on the front page that it’s not an advanced guide – super serious hardcore raiders have no business reading it and acting incensed that it isn’t an in-depth guide for cutting edge content.

    I think you were just the target for yesterday’s troll boredom.

    Like I said in the “good” thread. I don’t post math and super advanced stuff because I often don’t understand the nitty gritty, and don’t post things that I don’t understand, and try to pass it off like I do. So I know there are people out there who come to my blog looking for this kind of info, and walk away disappointed, perhaps thinking my blog is lame and not at all useful.

    But there are many more people, I think (I hope!) that walk away having learned something.

    And it’s the same for the 3.3 guide. There will always be people who read it and think, “Well that’s pretty crap, I knew all that already” or “This won’t help me in Icecrown at all!” … but for every one of those already-advanced players, there are probably 100 new druids who find it very helpful and a great jump-start to their raiding as a resto druid.

  6. Lachrymos says:


    I’ve been a long-time reader of your blog, and I’ve been induced to come out of the woodwork (teehee) to offer you my support. I’ve read your guides and found them to be well-researched, informative, and extremely useful. I don’t treat them as gospel, because I have my own playstyle (e.g., keeping a rolling stack of Lifeblooms on the tank because I can, dammit!).

    I hope you hang in there and realize that you have many more supporters than detracters.

    Tree hug,

  7. Galardris says:

    Your guides are great and easy to read and understand. I’ve recommended it several times to new tree raiders and it always helps. Every time a new patch drops with resto changes, I come here first to see what the real deal is because I trust this blog.

    Also, love the t-shirt. Do want.

  8. Isilnare says:

    Speaking as a resto druid who plays intermittently and mostly does 5- and 10-mans whenever my friends talk me into playing again, your guide is much appreciated, and to hell with the trolls.

  9. Crushilizer says:

    Well said! Carry on!

  10. Jal says:

    Given any thought to writing for cash? My WoW blog stinks — mostly recaps of what I did the week previous when I do play — but it still takes so long I’m embarrassed that I spend so much time writing it. As a contractor doing database work, often hourly, every hour of my “up time” spent on WoW is very literally $40-65 down the drain. doesn’t pay much, but it does pay. I believe they’re still looking to add another Druid columnist! I write my blog time off to neurosis, but yours is legitimately useful. See if you can’t get a little coin from it — at least sell shirts (like the one in your picture)! I keep meaning to grab one of Phaelia’s:

    Thanks and all the best.

  11. Alannya says:


    At the beginning of the summer I started reading your blog because I was looking for a more information on being a druid. I mostly just looked at your leveling guide, then got immediately sucked into your blog as a whole and have been addicted ever since. You write with such heart and the druid community thanks you.

    When we read your blog we feel like you are talking directly to each one of us, and that is why when I had to change servers for known reasons, I chose yours and since then you have become one of my best friends on WoW. Thank you for staying true to who you are and being a great friend to me and a great person as well.

    Does this comment have any real point, not really…Just want to say you are very much appreciated by your readers and forum trolls are just that, trolls.

    <33 Always!


  12. Lissanna says:

    Thanks everyone for your support. 🙂

    @Jal – There was a resto/moonkin position that they were recently hiring for. I chose not to apply for it because I don’t do this for a job. I do it as a fun hobby, because I actually just enjoy writing this – and I get to avoid having the paperwork & deadlines that comes along with trying to write in a paid position. I don’t even have adds on this site because it’s meant for fun – not for an income source.

  13. Poras says:

    … looks like i missed some drama somewhere. but judging from the post and the replies, somebody was being a jerk somewhere. =

    at any rate, i, for one, really enjoy your postings. and even as a more “hardcore” raider, i find your information useful. i also commonly refer my guildies to your blog and post links to it on my guild’s forums.

    dont worry about the trolls… they’re just bored and are looking for new drama.

    keep up the good work, liss

    — mike

  14. Lissanna says:

    @Poras – just your typical WoW forum trolls. Nothin to worry about. However, I really felt the need to talk about myself (the person behind the blog) and try to personalize things a little bit, since I spend so much time hiding behind my avatar. I felt the need to say “talk to me like I’m a person, too”.

  15. rudedrood says:

    Keep up the good work. You do a great job and add an extra dimension to a lot of people’s enjoyment of wow.

  16. Jen says:

    I haven’t read the threads (and I won’t, because I don’t want to get annoyed), but I just wanted to say that your guides have been very useful for me while leveling my little tree (who in the meantime became my main and made me realize how fun healing is). I *hate* guides with theorycrafting, I don’t understand it and I don’t care about it, I have enough of a brain to understand that there’s no “right” way to do anything, but your guide gave me two things: ideas to try out and the knowledge that someone else was doing what I was (I never know if I’m making some huge mistake I’m not realizing).

    Trolls will always be out there, so will people who don’t agree with you… but I think the people who you helped compensate for that 🙂

  17. Adsski says:


    I just wanted to say that I read your blog every day and find it both enlightening and and enjoyable.

    I’d have completely missed the Haste changes without your blog and really appreciated your guide to healing in 3.3. I think my CF build based on the one you suggested has really helped improve my performance in 5 & 10 mans and i’ve suggested to my fellow druids they come and have a look.

    Thanks again 🙂

  18. Trazer says:

    There is but one cure for having been trolled bad: Plenty of well meaning comments with lots of cheering!

    Your writing is useful, informative, your healing guide is second to none – and on top of that it is generally a good fun read too!

    I have not played my restokin since 3.3 (my friends needed a tank). But I still come here, since I will not be able to get essential Restokin served better anywhere else!
    What my poor english is trying to say is, I do not need the druid info at the moment – but i need to read the blog, just because it is awesome!


  19. sam says:

    Hey, I just wanted to drop in and say that I appreciate your hard work in reformatting and interpreting all the lolmath. Don’t let those knuckleheads bring you down. Plus, I bet plenty are threatened by a chick who knows the game.

  20. Ardol says:

    What I am about to say is completely true. Before patch 3.2 came out, my realm was suffering from a horrible healer shortage. Normally I am a tank, but when patch 3.2 was announced, I decided to take up healing to help the situation. Thing is, I had never healed before. I started by building a gear set in preparation for healing, but since I didn’t know what to do, I came to your blog and read your healing guide. With only that to go on, I did my first heroic as a tree: Violet Hold. Keep in mind, I had never healed before, but at the end of the run, the tank complimented me on my healing. The DPS soon followed suit. And it was all thanks to you, Liss.

  21. Chipster says:

    Some people spend too much time worrying about what other people “should” be writing about.

    As long as you are writing what you want to write about, who cares if Anonymous Person X doesn’t like it? They should write their own guides if they think yours is insufficient.

    I generally only read guides with regards to my DPS classes since I have more trouble with them than I do with healing on my druid. But if I don’t agree with something that they told me I should be doing, I just ignore it and play the way I want to play.

  22. Atoyot says:

    I have been coming here reading your thoughts too long to let this go without lending my support. You are doing it right. Keep up the good work.

    I learned more here than in game or trying to read many other forums. This is my home because this is where I, as a restokin, feel the most comfortable.

  23. Druidized says:

    I just wanted to lend my support to you Liss. I have used your guides since I first started playing and have recently started following your blog (last month or so).

    I stopped going to the wow forums awhile ago. It seems to be nothing but QQ and internet tuff guys anyways. I much prefer reading your blog and others that have an interesting and informative point of view of the current state of the Druid.

    I just want to thank you for updating your blog so regularly, it makes this druid very happy. I enjoy every post and will continue to check in here every day. Thanks again!

  24. Hrbek says:

    Although I no longer raid on my druid (I retired him around the middle of 3.2 when my guild adopted a less progression focused path) I continue to casually follow the class (specifically resto theory crafting).

    I would just like to point out that dismissing criticism as “just a troll” doesn’t serve to strengthen or inform the community of players that look to guides, forums and blogs for advice and/or support. It seems to me that an fundamental aspect of community participation is to question and even “gasp” disagree with what is being posted by anyone.

    I find this to be especially the case for those that, as Lissanna says, are “in the spotlight”. She is right that it takes time and energy and a thick skin to do what she does and that is admirable and obviously greatly appreciated. However, it certainly seems fair and even necessary for people to provide feedback beyond “great job” and “<3 Liss" given the prominence this blog and related forum posts have in the community.

    The game as it stands right now is designed around a stated philosophy of inclusion that (love it or hate it) has rendered the vast majority of content accessible (in many cases trivial) – even for the most casual of players. Anyone who played in Vanilla or BC knows this. Players who previously considered themselves "too casual" to raid are raiding in large numbers and turning to the guides/forums/blogs to help them succeed.

    Criticism plays as fundamental a role as authorship in maintaining the quality of the information that is available and should be addressed on its merits rather than dismissed out of hand as "trolling" whether it comes from a world-first raider, a level one alt or an anonymous visitor to a blog.

  25. CapnSkillet says:

    Lissanna, your blog and guides have helped me get my druid from 1-80 in a very short time. Your healing at lower levels guide helped me heal many outlands dungeons and every northrend dungeon. Your 3.3 healing guide has helped me successfully heal many things while undergeared (including heroic Halls of Reflection).

    I have also read many other druid blogs and sites, and some of them have helped shape my playstyle as well, but none more than your resources. I have a feeling many other fairly new druid players owe a lot to your work. Thank you and keep up the good work!

  26. Lissanna says:

    Hrbek – I take criticism seriously, which is why I didn’t just dismiss or ignore the forum posts in the first place. 🙂

    I would just prefer that the criticism came in actual constructive packaging so that I could use it to build better guides.

  27. Glacey says:

    Lissanna, I’ll be honest. I’ve never read your guides. But I do read your blog every darn day… unless there is nothing new!

    I may not always agree on every little point (as you say, every resto has their own style), but I love your writing style more than any other blog out there. I also appreciate the time and research that you have put into everything. And really, if I had realized there WERE guides while I was leveling or when I started raiding, I’m sure I would have appreciated yours! And you DID really save me with the changes to haste!

    Every resto druid that I come across that has shown interest in learning more, I point your way first. Your guides were used by my friend for their beginner raiding guild as an example of what new raiders should be looking for to learn how to maximize their class. The other classes later complained that they just couldn’t find as excellent resources.

    I will have to check out the forum now, but I already feel confident that you clearly stated the purpose of the guide and the troll was just wrong. After all, were they spending the time to create a guide themselves?

    BTW, if you DID decide to just sell a few t-shirts to make this site just pay for itself, I’d definitely put in the first order!

  28. Brian says:

    Lissanna, your blog has helped me a lot. Before reading your blog, I have not leveled a druid past 16. Now I have 2 druids. One is level 27 and the other one is 31. I’m still following your leveling guide and it works for me. Keep up the good work! Don’t let the trolls get you down!

    Thank you!

  29. Crankyhealer says:

    I don’t know what else I can say that hasn’t been said before.

    Your guide is awesome. I refer my guildmates to it when they have questions about healing as a druid. It’s comprehensive but not overwhelming.

    People who have a serious problem with it and can’t make constructive comments toward fixing the supposed errors are welcome to write a guide of their own – or to shut up. Either one works.

  30. Brigwyn says:

    Liss, ya know I luv ya! So I’m just going to say “BRAVO!” and oh! Here’s a cookie.

    Really though. It does get to a point where it seems what started off as a fun hobby becomes expected (dare I say demanded?) from the readers.

    And when that happens, it’s good to remind people that we’re doing all of this on our own time and dime.

    Great job as always!

    (P.S. Don’t pay any attention to the freeze trap. I promise. I’m not trying to trap any stray feral’s. Really, I’m not!)

  31. Eric says:

    Well, I’ll add my .02 of praise: thanks Liss; your guides have helped almost all of my druid alts, especially in the sequencing of feral talents while leveling. I know what works better at a given level, and why it works better at a given level, so again thanks.

    Hopefully, you won’t go anywhere while I level my resto/balance alt…*grin*


    P.S. I did have a question about professions, though: I’ve noticed that generally speaking alchemy seems to be the most useful of the crafting professions for PvE, with engineering providing an interesting alternative. (I haven’t tried JC as a druid…) For moonkins, is this still true, or should I consider a different crafting profession?

  32. Lath says:

    Whenever guildies or friends tell me that want to start healing as a resto druid what should they do, I go back with the same piece of advice: Go to and look up the Healing Guide. Why do I do this? Because your guide is not overwhelming, it gives useful clear advice on how to become a confident effective tree in group situations.

    There will always be negative people out there, all I can say is that for every negative troll, there would be at least a dozen others who are now out and about in Azeroth tree healing and feeling confident they have the skills to do it because of the information you post.

  33. Rich says:

    The difference between trolling and critical comments are pretty clear. Criticism certainly has it’s place, doing it with a harsh tone doesn’t and makes the poster look like a douche bag. If people get so ticked to pick apart a guide when they haven’t written one themselves, is it too much to ask for some courtesy?

    Carry on with your blog and your guides, it’s made me a better druid.

  34. Droodjerky says:

    I’ve ready your blog for awhile and I’m still amazed at how you keep all this up to date. I’m also amazed at how you find time for Resto and Boomkin.

    I have enough trouble with just keeping up on Restoration >.>

  35. Robert says:

    You look cute. 😛

  36. aramis says:

    Hrm, was there some sort of drama I missed that prompted this article? Man, I hate being on the other side of the world sometimes.

    As it were, I deeply enjoy reading this blog. It’s very informative, relaxed, and things are said in a way that EVERYONE can understand. When Resto4Life closed down, I think people naturally (from your posts on the forums) knew you would step up as the go-to for all things resto, and with good reason.

    You’ve long established yourself as a knowledgeable, competent, and most of all, caring person in this community. That’s something to be proud of.

    It’s been said before and it bares repeating: thank you.

    Be well.

  37. aramis says:

    ^Nevermind…I just read the comments and got all caught up. I was a bit slow, but I’m better now. 😀

    WoW forum trolls are evil…but they, like any TRASH mob in the game, can be DPSed in droves by the masses who support you.

    Trolls ain’t got nothing when the whole community’s got her back Liss!

    *Scrappy Doo voice* Hol’me back! Hol’me back! Lemme at em!

  38. All I can, Lissanna, is:

    Boy, do I ever feel your pain.

  39. Tyrheleh says:

    Keep it up !

  40. Treeboi says:

    Lissanna, I saw the forum post in question, and for the future, I would strongly suggest that you ignore assholes like that (am I going to be censored for that remark?).

    It is *always* possible to provide negative criticism in a polite manner.

    If someone cannot argue their point in a polite manner, then they should not get (or expect) a response.

    That’s the precedent you want to set.

  41. Kiliani says:

    Liss, keep doing what you’re doing, you do it well. 🙂

    And I’ll keep referring people who come to me for advice to your leveling guide and your healing guide, because it gives the basics for those who are new to this whole druid thing or who haven’t done the druid healing thing before.

    I raided through all of BC as resto, using Phaelia’s blog for advice, and went moonkin for WOTLK. When I rolled another druid to have a feral alt, I came straight to your leveling guide for spec advice, and when I decided to dual spec her resto, I pored over your healing guide for the latest info on druid healing basics.

    Those who have been main spec resto for a good while and are healing cutting edge end game content can address the deeper questions as they like, you know your audience and you speak to it well. Sometimes they just need a bit of a reminder who your intended audience *is*.

  42. Bovine says:

    Long time lurker, first time poster.
    This site and your guides are amazing and you are performing an incredibly valuable service to the community. Don’t let the trolls get you down.

  43. Delthune says:

    Hello Lissanna,
    What you do is a thankless job. As a returning player after a 6 month hiatus, I check your site everyday and it has helped me become a more confident, informed player. Those words that you type on your screen do help and for that I thank you.

    Your writing style is enjoyable, often humorous and just an all around great read.

    Keep up the great work. Realize that your efforts are appreciated.

    All the best,

  44. Lyri says:

    I’m a resto druid who has been 80 for about a month. Your guide has been very helpful to me. It’s actually tiresome to read stuff that is only geared for raiders when you aren’t actually raiding yet. Thanks for putting out such great content, it is much appreciated!

  45. Beruthiel says:

    I’m just getting caught up on all my reading after a busy week, so I just saw this today.

    Wow 🙁

    While I, personally, don’t agree with everything that you post in your guides, I am also not foolish enough to ignore that they are a very valuable resource to the community.

    I quite honestly can’t believe someone was that big of a jerkface 🙁 If they didn’t agree, they could have simply had a civil discussion regarding the topic and your thoughts (yes…I know, it’s the wow forums, that’s asking a lot!).

    I’m glad to see you’ve kept your chin up! Keep up all the great work 🙂


  46. Oh Lissanna,

    As someone who tries to write guides for new players (of the priestly and nearly as snowflake special persuasion), I feel you.

    I am also INCREDIBLY JEALOUS of your picture of you and Nethaera.

    I spent somewhere around 20 hours writing up my Holy Priest guide, and it was completely a labor of love.


  47. Elaylea says:

    <3 the site and the guides. The amount of time you put into helping the rest of us learn this class is amazing. I read this when I first started healing as a resto druid, and while I do still try things and see what works best for what I'm doing, your guides have given me incredible knowledge and a starting place. Thank you so much for taking the time to write them 🙂

  48. Sylly says:

    Hey hey, Liss =)
    Came out of the woodwork to throw a little support your way here. I have not been blogging for a coupld of months now, although I toy with the idea of picking it up again from time to time. But one of the reasons that I have not yet is because of the fairly intense pressure of being in the spotlight in the community. The amount of work that goes into a blog like this is TREMENDOUS. You speak in this post about the amount of time that you spend writing posts, but I would bet a million dollars that you spend almost as much time THINKING about posting and issues that affect the druid community. I know that when I was actively blogging, I sure did. In addition, most readers are likely unaware of all the behind the scenes technical housekeeping that goes into maintaining a site like this, keeping wordpress and plugins up to date, seeking out and editing images, maintaining a blogroll, adjusting to unforeseen issues and annoyances like spammers… I could go on and on. Because I have some firsthand knowledge of this, I just wanted to shout out here and let you know that as far as I’m concerned your blog and your guides represent an enormous and generous commitment to the community. Thanks =).

  49. Feorfin says:


    I just wanted to tell you how much your guides have helped me as a first time healer. To be honest, I was fairly intimidated by the prospect of healing, but your writings and information provided tons of guidance. Much needed guidance while I’ve been Pug’ing my wsy along.
    Thank you


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