Incoming long ramble. It's been a while since I've posted, so I'm giving fair warning :)
I have greatly enjoyed my resto druid in Cataclysm. She has her strengths and weaknesses, as I have found, and they've led me to feeling rather happy with her as she provides a challenge for me. The weaknesses, of course, provide some entertaining lessons of their own.
Healers have very low if any +hit. Avoid promising any CC to the party if you value your health bar. If you absolutely MUST use CC (because of running with a group of, oh, 3 warriors and a deathknight) then get your hots rolling on the tank before attempting to root/hibernate/cyclone/whatever! Or the tank will keel over dead because you were too busy running around screaming with your CC target chomping on your tail.
So, avoid being assigned CC as a healer. Of course, you can still use CC if you have the mana and time to spare... I find a quick cyclone can tie up a wildly swinging melee mob and give the tank's health bar a breather while DPS focus-fire down another mob.
Ultimately, though, my most-used CC has been Nature's Grasp. I have it bound to a mouse button in a lovely little barkskin+grasp macro that pops me 3 chances to root an offending melee mob that is trying to nom my furry hide. Yes, tanks should be rescueing their healer, or even a friendly helpful DPS with their own CC, but sometimes they're busy or distracted or dead or have things on cooldown because you know what? Heroics are hard. Or, sometimes, they're just blind idiots. Regardless, it's a CC I've found I want very quick access to.
...is no longer our forte. Wild Growth has a monstrous cooldown, and Tranquility's is even longer. Swiftmend has a cooldown for its use and subsequent green puddle of aoe healing, but the puddle itself is insufficient for healing more than a sliver of health at current gear levels.
Treeform has become my "OMG RAID HEALS NAO" cooldown as I then spread lifebloom across the raid like a rampant infestation of kudzu. If I need to pop treeform to begin rolling lifebloom on two tanks, I try to time it to coincide with an early point of a boss fight where I can make use of that extra lifebloom love I can share with the raid. Like with the Ascendant Council when Fluvi-whasisface starts novaing and for some reason beyond my comprehension we don't interrupt it immediately. I should probably go look up why we don't immediately interrupt the first cast, but I've been busy so I'll just type out here a note to myself to go look at it later. ;)
I do enjoy that we can roll lifebloom on multiple targets after ToL ends, by refreshing one or another with HT/Nourish. What I do not like is when my nourish cast, in an attempt to refresh it on said tank, is interrupted or fails due to the tank running out of range, or due to some giant monster leaping through the air and landing on my head, only to send me flying across the room as though I were a gnome to be punted. I think that this particular circumstance is a racial punishment brought down by the evil gnome overlords in vengeance against tauren kind.
Mana mana. Doo doo, de doo doo. Yes, mana is an issue, and as Scythe so adequately described it to me, healer mana has become the raid's built-in enrage timer. If the tank pulls while I'm drinking back at the last trash pack, I usually let them die. If I go completely OOM, I have been known to run around bandaging players.
If anyone is taking unnecessary damage, I think it's okay to let them die or yell at them to pop cooldowns, healthstones, potions, bandages, etc. Or to, I dunno, GET OUT OF THE FIRE. Or maybe move when a debuff says you should move or you'll die horribly: is red light, green light really that difficult of a game?? Or when there's a flayer sitting there clawing wildly at the air and people think he's gonna give them a nice facial rather than attempt to julienne their bodies into dinner. Even tanks can move out of that, you know.
Pug Tank Egos.
....ugh. Okay, here's the scenario: guild group of DPS + healer, all with Bane of the Fallen King titles, gets a pug tank. My guildies know to CC when given a mark or directions, but this particular tank seems to think he can take everything. Mind, we're all in varying levels of blues as is the tank, and this is Heroic Grim Batol with massive packs of easily CCable targets, and have the CC available to use. So he runs in, nearly dies on the first few pulls, bitches about "Don't be Bad" when he looses aggro on things because he's got terrible threat (ahem, when healer gets aggro on things), and I sit down to drink after a pull. I say, "mana." He crosses the bridge and pulls one of the hardest roaming trash packs in the first hallway while I'm drinking down the hall at half mana.
You can imagine where this leads. I scurry across with my half mana and quickly try to save him with my limited healing cooldowns and getting hots rolling on him, while he's not using a single one of his tank cooldowns, and then, predictably, he dies from massive amounts of raw damage. He sighs and the group wipes and we start running back, DPSers beginning to suggest maybe we should CC something? His response: "Heal more. Stop being bad."
Me: "O_o ...you're joking, right?"
Him: "Not really."
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I growl, literally, and initiate a vote-kick on the tank.
Unfortunately, the vote-kick tool may have somehow bugged, as it didn't give my fellow guidlies a chance to vote before it "failed" and went away. We're all in vent together at the time, and I simply said, "I am not putting up with this tank," and I left the party. I suggested they leave, too. We could find another tank. In fact, one of our guild tanks offered then to fill in for us.
Meanwhile, back in the party (I am hearing this over vent), the dpsers told the tank he shouldn't be pissing off his healers. His response, as I hear, was that "You guys can leave too, I don't care. I'm not the one with the 40-minute queue." Obviously, he missed the fact that they were queuing WITH the healer, who had a maybe 3-minute queue. Oblivious ego tank is oblivious. The DPS then vote-kick the offending tank from the party; this time it is able to actually be voted upon, and the tank is swiftly removed from the instance with a massive, ethereal boot.
Initiate re-invite of the seething Kaelynn and a helpful guild tank, we warp back into the instance, and clear the entire place without any problems. Of course, we all blacklisted the first tank to our ignore lists.
Who would've thought I had an inner paladin? RIGHTEOUS FURY!
Holidays with a Puppy
Travel/guests explosion. This was the first long-distance overnight trip with River, who at almost 6 months old, is a 60-lb puppy who can't sit still for long in the car. She tried sleeping in my lap during a 3-hour drive and that didn't work; she had to settle for just resting her head in my lap while I sang along to Glee soundtracks.
Both sides of my family have dogs of their own: dogs that don't quite know how to wrestle and play with other dogs. These dogs are people-only dogs that tolerate the presence of other canines as long as they leave each other alone.
River is not like that.
River is a puppy who thinks that every dog she meets will want to play with her, unless they're just old and grumpy. Ironically, the one dog we found she got along best with is a tiny little dachsund/chihuahua mix who is 14 years old and nearly blind: she just growled at our massive puppy and River backed off.
The others, sadly, mistook River's attempts at play as attacks. The youngest had been attacked by another dog before, so she freaked out every time River made a play-lunge at her, though to her credit she did TRY to play with River. She even play-bowed and brought toys over to my puppy. It was torture to River that every time she tried to play back, the other dog would then freak and snarl and turn it into a real fight. The other dogs just had no interest in playing chase or tug-of-war or wrestling, and would straight-out snarl and try to fight, misinterpreting River's overtures of play.
It was a learning experience for me, and for River. All of the dogs River has met prior to the family's are dogs that know how to play with other dogs. They wrestle and bite at each other in play, and chase and tumble and run into each other. Whether bigger than her or tiny, none have ever gotten hurt. It is play. But some dogs just haven't been socialized to be able to play with other dogs. I am glad I have been able to socialize River with other dogs, that she knows how to play with them: but I am going to have to teach her that not all dogs are willing to play with her.
Aside, she did get photos with Santa.
Shortly after the whole hectic holiday travel (in driving snow and ice, no less) I had to take River to get fixed. This means: cone of shame.
Contrary to most dogs, however, River seems oblivious to the cone of shame. Like, completely oblivious, to the point that she's nearly taken peoples' faces off while romping past them. It is merely a diversion that makes loud noises when she catches it on walls, doors, cabinet handles, corners, bowls, toys, sticks, bushes, the floor, the crate, people, etc. Something that makes chewing on her bone more of an interesting challenge. Something that, in itself, is a challenge to chew on. And, occasionally, an annoyance that she can't lick at her healing stitches.
Yes, I will get pictures up. I promise.
Now, the healing wound also requires that we try to keep her calm and docile, and not go up and down stairs, and be restrained by a leash while doing her business to keep her from tearing around the yard. Leash-walking a half-grown malamute who's been cooped up in "recovery" is an feat in itself, nevermind when it's done on a steep slope covered in snow and ice. It also doesn't prevent her from going absolutely bonkers when she's back inside, much to the amusement of the three guests we had over New Year's weekend (hi, Jae and Lundrac!)
Lego Harry Potter, Rock Band, geeky movies like Dorkness Rising and Avatar, karate training (perks to having a 3rd degree blackbelt visit for a few days), and a giggly Kae after the others found she didn't mind the taste of rum + coke, provided it was properly diluted (I usually despise the taste of alcohol). All while wrangling a boisterous puppy with a massive cone around her collar who wasn't technically allowed to run and jump and romp and zip circles around the TV room, but did anyway.
I am still recovering from the past few weeks. I would like a day to just hibernate. But, alas, the "work" monster returned so I'll have to wait until Friday for that :)