Some of the most commonly found types of resto druids are:
- 25-man raid-healers
- 10-man healers
- Leveling druids will not have nourish, might not have lifebloom, and will be lacking many of the deeper-tier talents that a level 80 druid relies upon. Their playstyle and focus as healers can vary greatly. True leveling tree-druid healers usually rely heavily on grouping with friends to do quests and dungeons, or else they are speccing also into feral or balance for soloability.
- In PvP, a druid must account for resilience and put far greater focus on their own survivability, as well as terrain usage, roots, and cyclones. Any casted spell they use leaves them open to interrupts. They tend to use lifebloom quite a bit more than raiding restos do in WotLK, as well.
- 25-man raiding restos will most commonly find themselves in the role of pure raid-healers. Among 25 people in a raid, there will be (usually) 5-6 total healers, and among those healers will be some who designate themselves as tank-heals, thus diminishing the importance of the tanks from the druids' leafy-healy attention. Raid-healing druids in raids this large may spend their entire time casting nothing but rejuv and wild growth (in 3.2): HoTs with little use for crit, and only enough haste to reach a capped 1-second GCD. Swiftmend/NS+HT will see backup use in emergencies, some lifebloom may be spread, and some may decide to keep regrowths on the tanks as an extra buffer, but these spells see far less focus than the rejuv/WG raid-healing. Any talents, glyphs, or set bonuses relating to WG and Rejuv are the whole world to these druids.
- At the same time, there are some 25-man tank-healing druids, who churn out glyphed-HT or spam nourishes (buffed on HoTs) in mimicry of classes that are more traditional tank healers (it has been equated to Flash of Light spam) around their more WotLK-standard use of WG. They may choose this style out of liking that type of healing, or they may be forced to it by what other healers their guild has, in cases where a guild runs heavy on other raid-healers. I am less familiar with this variety, but know they exist, and have seen one in action to great effect.
- 10-man raiding restos, along with other 10-man healers, must help heal the tanks as well as the raid. I am one of these. These can vary quite a bit depending on who they are co-healing with, but overall must be far more flexible than a pure raid-healer. In progressive guilds, there will often be only 2 healers in a 10-man group, with a 3rd available through dual-spec from among the other raiders for encounters that require it. These druids, like the 25-man raid-healers, will make heavy use (in 3.2) of WG and rejuv, but they also turn regularly to other spells in their books: regrowth for an extra HoT and nourish-booster, swiftmend for its quick life-saving capacity on targets that have rejuv/regrowth, NS+HT in a dire emergency, nourish for its quick cast that is boosted by HoTs stacked upon the tank as well as for use when swiftmend is on cooldown, and lifebloom stacks that the druid must decide to let bloom or roll on the tank. These druids place greater value on crit than a pure raid-healer, and will often have talents like living seed as an additional buffer when healing tanks and dealing with heavier damage. This healing style can also be found among a few 25-man raiding guilds.
- Non-raiding restos, or max-level druids who group with friends or pug in 5-mans, tend to be similar to the 10-man raider variety, though they may find Tranquility to still be useful as they are usually in the same party as their targets.
- I'm sure there are some variant saplings out there forging ahead with a different style, as well!
When reading anything about what sorts of stats you, as a resto druid, are "supposed" to have, take a moment to consider for yourself what sort of role you play as a healer. Many raid-healing druids will have little use for crit. Other druids who need to tank-heal around the cooldowns of swiftmend and NS will still rely on a balance of haste and crit. These differences will be further refined around your set bonuses, and will impact your glyph selection, spell selection, and stat preferences... as well as how hurtful or beneficial any future set bonuses, glyphs, or spell changes may be!
You can read more about keeping an open mind as a raider here.
As an aside, I made little pixel tree...