Last night I was down at the fire station when raid invites went out. When I got home the raid was full on healers but still short a DPS Caster. I have decent +Damage Gear so I volunteered to respec for the raid. I’ve never played with a balance spec before, I raided for a while as Feral primarily in the role of Off-Tank, but this was the first time I’d ever even been in Moonkin Form.
While in Resto Spec I often find myself doing dailies in the aforementioned +Damage Gear so I had some idea of the spell rotation I was going to use in our SSC Raid. I used a basic Balance spec skipping the Nature’s Grasp talents because they have no use in a raid. After taking everything I though would help from the Balance Tree I had 15 points left over which I spent in restoration picking up more mana regen and cheaper shapeshifts.
All in all I like the role of DPS Caster. It’s a little less intense than healing because your targeting is more constant; Find the Skull, Find the X, etc. and your spell rotation more static; Find the Skull; Starfire, Starfire, Starfire, Moonfire, Insect Swarm, Starfire, St… until Skull is dead. You also don’t need as much situational awareness, am I taking damage? Yes. Do I have Aggro? No. Do I care? Not really.
DPSing is kind of Zen. It is a competition against yourself. Am I casting as frequently as I possibly can be? Am I acquiring targets as quickly as possible? You don’t really need to worry about where everyone else is, and you don’t for the most part care what they are doing. So long as you make sure to move as the boss mechanics require you to you can just run your own race.
To rank the four standard roles in WoW (Tank, Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, and Healer) in level of focus required and sense of intensity I would say:
- Healer– Absolute situational awareness. You need to know the location of almost everyone in relationship to you and your relationship to the mobs. You have to watch not only the health of everyone in the raid but their threat gain as well. You have to be constantly make decisions about your spell casting, tailoring the spell you cast to each targets situation, and health. You should be aware of the casting of all the other healers as well so that you are not wasting casting time on a target that is about to receive a heal.
- Tank– High Situational Awareness. You need to be aware of the aggro and threat gain of everyone in the raid not just on the current DPS target but of all targets. You have to watch for CC breaking and other adds in order to maintain control of the situation. You should be aware of your health and the mana of the healers so that you can use your cool-downs wisely.
- Melee DPS– Moderate Situational Awareness. You mostly worry about yourself, making sure that you don’t pull aggro and being sure that your positioning is correct. Because of your short range requirement you are constantly moving making things more perilous for you.
- Ranged DPS– Moderate Situational Awareness. Like Melee DPS you mostly worry about yourself. Unlike Melee DPS you can mostly stand in one place and cast, cast, cast. Your activity might be high but with a few macros and some key spamming you could find enough time to read blogs while you were doing it.
I’m not sure how quickly I will respec as I enjoy doing new things and if the guild needs a caster I’m there.
If you’re an experienced Boomkin do you have any advice for part time boomkin? I logged in what I have for Damage Gear if you see any quick upgrades I should grab I’d appreciate that to.
On a side note any intelligent Mages looking for a guild? Must be able to maintain a sheep for more than 20 secs (rub two braincells together).