Lunar Guidance, PvP
For a different spin on this issue, I invite you to take a look at Bellwether’s recent post A Rebuttal for Bear which is in response to BigBearButt’s My Thoughts on PvP in General (which this post was not specifically intended to rebut, though it should be obvious from the below that I do not agree).
I only spent one season (Season 2, the one with the attractive set of Arena and BG epics) doing Arena-based PvP, and then only at the ardent
begging request of Mr. Phae. It all started with me spending a couple of nights in Alterac Valley, curious what all the hubbub was about. This was prior to the changes that re-introduced actual PvP into AV, and I was amazed at how fun it was to participate in “PvP” as a healer. (I later discovered that spamming heals on a few over-eager Warriors and Druids while the “raid” of BG participants beat frantically on Drek is not PvP.)
Surprised at my burgeoning interest in PvP, Mr. Phae convinced me that we should do some 2v2 Arenas together. He’d read that Warrior/Resto Druid was a strong combo and thought we’d be crazy not to take advantage of that fact while we could. Up until that point, I must confess that I was one of those players with an attitude of, “Moonfire?! Why would I cast Moonfire?! Don’t you know that I’m Restoration-specced?” In fact, I was quite irritated when Mr. Phae informed me that he would not let me in his group to level unless I put at least a few points into Balance at the start of Burning Crusade. (Shhhh – I did, but I didn’t really use them.)
|Full Season 2
The gear of which I am
most proud, despite none
of it dropping in a 25-man
Stepping into the Arenas, I can remember being initially appalled at all of the horrible, horrible people who wanted to stab me, smash me, stun me, blow me up, set me on fire, or turn me into a farm animal (HAHA /shapeshift) … anything they could do to prevent me from doing “my job.” (Remember, at this point I saw “my job” as being solely to “make the bars go right.”) I quickly learned that I would have to do more than spam Lifebloom, Regrowth, Rejuvenation, and Swiftmend if I wanted to be able to cast those spells at all. Poisons were suddenly no longer something I could yawn at and outheal. Faerie Fire found a place on my action bar once again. I dipped further than I’ve ever dipped into the Feral tree so that I could pick up Rocket Bear I turned into a Cheetah, I humped pillars, I used Cat Form for more than jumping from high places. And oh the Cyclone, the beautiful Cyclone!
My point is that — had I not had the courage to step foot in an Arena — I wouldn’t be half the Druid I am today. I learned timing and counters and a lot of positive protective measures that have served me well in PvE: instantly shapeshifting when polymorphed, pre-emptive casting of HoTs, using Abolish Poison before the poison lands, using Barkskin, utilizing line of sight, bunkering down in Bear Form and using Bash to give my tank some time to help me. At the same time, I’ve learned to leverage my class debuffs, too, the ones that aren’t available in Tree of Life like Insect Swarm, Faerie Fire, and Cyclone (the latter sometimes to the chagrin of my tanks). And when it comes time for Wrath of the Lich King, I look forward to being quick on the draw when it comes to casting Entangling Roots, an instinct that will likely serve me well since a mob rooted once it’s reached the group is still very much a threat.
For this reason, I’d like to encourage all Restoration Druids to try their hand at Arenas. I recommend this specifically for Restos for two reasons:
- Your general spec performs very well in Arenas, even though you’ll likely have to shuffle some points into Balance and Feral.
- Diehard Feral and Balance Druids are more likely to be familiar with the Druid’s healing spells than a healing Druid is likely to be familiar with a Druid’s Balance and Feral skills, so you stand to gain more than the other two who cannot generally augment their playstyle as much as you can (no healing in Bear Form or Moonkin).
For those interested in giving PvP a shot, I’d recommend the following sites:
- PvP Source
A great source of news for all things related to Arenas and PvP, including information on tournaments (which was always not very interesting to me, but I guess it’s cool for people into heavy competition). They also have a nice selection of videos as well as a searchable strategy database that lets you specify your team composition and the composition of the other team to find tips on beating them (hint: press Cyclone).
- Arena Junkies
Arena Junkies is most well known for their forums which are like the Elitist Jerks of PvP (for those unfamiliar with Elitist Jerks, this is a good thing). Posting on their forums is restricted to only those players who have a team rated 2000 (with the notable exception of the “Ask a Gladiator” forum) which ensures that what you can read there is sure to come from serious players with a lot of experience. AJ has a really active community of players and there is a ton of information to be gleaned from them.
- Out of Mana
Having trouble getting into the Cycl-own spirit? Read Out of Mana! While not specifically dedicated to PvPing as a Restoration Druid, Megan has the right attitude and the mindset of someone who really enjoys PvP. She recently wrote a pair of great articles on Confidence and Humility (part 1, part 2) in which she details how not to be the schmuck that costs his team a Battlegrounds victory because he refuses to do what is needed. All in all, it’s a fantastic blog that’s only made better by her slick MS Paint skills. (Hand-drawn “LOL” FTW!)
As I said earlier, I only PvPed a single season. I eventually had to give up Arenas due to stress and anger management issues. I bruised my hand pretty badly and threw a LOT of hairbrushes into the kitchen before learning that my keyboard pad was a good thing to smack into the wall instead. ^_^ I am not a competitive person by nature and am easily frustrated. I also hate feeling like I’m being “picked on” which, as a Restoration Druid, is pretty much your entire role in Arenas. Nonetheless, I’m very glad for the experiences I did have as there were some fantastic victories (no glorious defeats, though, losing … FTL) and doubt I would started Resto4Life if not for the feeling of empowerment I got from participating.