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My main character is a druid who just reached level 80 on Tuesday. While leveling I have played exclusively in cat form. This worked great for solo play and 5-man dungeons. However, my guild is completely overrun with tanks and DPS (mainly DKs, hunters and warlocks) but has virtually no healers. So I've been thinking of either re-spec or dual-spec into healing.

My questions and concerns are:

  • I'm already aware that I will need different armor since caster and DPS armor have completely different stats. What is the best way to gear up for a spec change like this?
  • How easy is it to "learn" healing, and how should I go about it?
  • The reason I'm interested in dual-spec is because I still like my feral kitty. Is it better to do it this way (even with the extra gear requirements) or to focus on one spec?
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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The short answer is, you are going to have to gear for healing, as it requires completely different gear than feral. Though if you don't have a rogue in your group, I am sure you'd be able to pick up Feral gear while your gathering healing gear. Each PuG is different, just ask if you can roll on things for your offspec, but dont take gear from people who may need it for the instance you are doing. Most people are understanding in 5 mans that you will want gear for multiple specs.

Anyways, I've compiled a short list of links that I believe will give you a hand understanding the Druid as a healing class, and available options from lots of different players.

To start, here's a quick summary of what people view druid healers as:

Resto Druids: Druids are perhaps the most necessary healer in any 10/25 composition. Mostly because of Blizzard's encounter/item design during and after Ulduar. After Burning Crusade, Druids were trying to find a niche because Blizzard nerfed their insanely awesome Lifebloom. I think a lot of Druids went into Wrath looking to continue being tank healers, and it's something they're still good at. However, they found their niche with raid healing through something called Rejuvenation Blanketing. Basically, it just means that they put Rejuvenation on as many raid members as their haste/positioning allows. Blizzard reinforced this through incredibly strong set bonuses for T8 and T9 that boost the power of Rejuvenation incredibly. In addition, the pulsing, constant raid damage of a lot of Ulduar/ToC fights basically plays right into Druids' hands. Rejuv blanketing puts out a stunning amount of throughput that is almost unmatchable. Like I mentioned, rolling HoTs on tanks is also a strength of Druids and really evens out tank burst, though I seldom assign them to tank healing unless very necessary. They can tank heal just fine, but it's a waste of their true power.

From: Druid vs The Healing World

There's also been an incredibly useful survey of Druid healers based on a survey called "Circle of Healers", with many blog post responses:

Druids

Other topics that may help:

Resto Druid - Starting raiding mana regen numbers?

What spellpower should a resto druid have before raiding

Building a Balance/Resto spec — DPS while healing in heroics?

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Out of curiosity, your first two links point to the same place... if that was intended? (Curse WebSense's irrational fear of BlogSpot!) –  GalacticCowboy Jul 8 '10 at 15:42
    
Whoops! So many links... I'll fix it. –  Jesta Jul 8 '10 at 15:47

The best (and really only) way to gear up is to farm heroics. Emblem of Triumph goes a long way.

Learning the basics of healing is easy: if they die, it's bad. It's doing it right that's really hard, especially on dispel- and movement-heavy fights. You absolutely need an addon that will show you the entire raid, however.

Dual spec is definitely worth it, especially for the transition period.

One additional thing to consider though: why doesn't your guild have more healers? Does the guild blame them for everything? Are they forced into surprise raids with If you don't come, we can't raid and it's all your fault!?

Healer burnout is a widespread problem among some types of guilds, don't be a victim of it yourself.

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I think the main reason we don't have more healers is that it's a casual guild that has grown in a fairly organic way rather than focusing on "what we need" to fill a raid team. We have less than 20 level 80s, and they're all over the board in terms of experience - 3 or 4 are regular PuG members (for other guilds) in ICC, with 5.5K GS and multiple raid achievements. The rest range all the way down to people like me, who are still fresh 80s with no idea what we're doing. :) –  GalacticCowboy Jul 8 '10 at 13:18
    
Also, what addon(s) would you suggest? –  GalacticCowboy Jul 8 '10 at 13:22
    
Addons are a huge topic, and won't fit into one comment. Please ask a new question for all to see. –  György Andrasek Jul 8 '10 at 13:41
    
Healbot. All you need. No need for question :D –  Trefex Jul 8 '10 at 15:46

Go for dual-spec.

Use your main spec for difficult encounters and roll on healer items for off-spec (just like previously when you didn't have 2 talent trees available for "free"). You could also say you wanna roll only on OS (off-spec) and pass on main-spec so somebody else could get an item for their OS and skip for you etc...

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