On the Reclamation of Cyn’s Wayward Druid

Cynli_in_westfall

She started out small, one of my first real alts. She was my first healer. I struggled with her a lot, made mistakes, but kept at it.

Cynli_level_30_twink

Some of my mistakes were fashion mistakes. I admit it.

I beat a level 19 pally on her at level 16 because I knew how to use Entangling Roots and nuke from a distance, then went Bear and kicked his ass. The pally was a punk who tried to start a fight with my guild leader.

I took him out back and showed him that he needed to L2P.

The_trees_of_wsg

I PvPed as a healer. It went well until I got Tree of Life form, when suddenly I discovered I was popular in battlegrounds. Really popular. Super popular.

So I tried Feral. I wasn’t very good at Feral in PvP, but I could be a Bear. So my little healer became a Bear.

There were good runs in LFD. There were okay runs.

Then there was a really bad ZF run. I decided to put my druid away for a little while.

There were Druids I looked up to during that period of time; Druids who showed me what the class was capable of, of how FREAKING hard they were to kill in PvP. But I had Banish, so I didn’t feel the longing to return to my Druid. Besides, I wasn’t very good at Druiding, ZF had shown me that.

Looking at her made me sad, so eventually, I deleted her.

***

A few months passed, and for one reason or another, I decided I wanted to move some things over to the other side of my server. So I brought her back, loaded her up with things, and turned her into a he.

Thus began my druid’s career as a mule.

3 server transfers, 2 faction changes, 4 name changes along the way. I didn’t know who she was anymore. I leveled her/him – she was a male tauren in Mirren’s Drinking Hat, I’m not vendoring that again – up through the 60s, slowly, flailing at Bear tanking. It was like being a Warrior, which I did know how to play, only without all my warrior tools, so I didn’t play it well.

I tried healing once or twice. It didn’t go well.

I updated my UI several times. My keybinds got all messed up. I couldn’t play this toon anymore. Better to reroll.

I deleted her again.

***

I brought her back, one last time, to serve one last heriloom transfer to a new server. She was high level but unplayed; even her professions weren’t useful to me. So I brought her back.

But I had a new healer, a priest, one that I was actually getting pretty good at playing. Maybe I could …

No, Cyn. You can’t play a Druid. Remember ZF? Remember Durnholde? Remember Mana Tombs? Remember every time you’ve queued up for PvP?

But wait.

Maybe I can do this. Maybe I can ask for help, maybe I’m trying to do too much. Maybe I need to simplify down and say “what 10 keys do I need, screw the rest?”

I asked for help. I got it, in spades. Almost too much at times, too much information, wait, I don’t understand, where is Healing Touch, I used to spam that, it worked well. It’s now level 72? Okay, wait, how do I cast on people? How do I use Vuhdo again? Wait, what?

70 levels doesn’t come back to you in one night. Not when it was a slow, fragmented leveling, with different specs, over two years. There’s too much to learn.

I looked at her, more often than not, and wondered if I should just delete and reroll. Even though I’d already rerolled and deleted a druid in the meanwhile, I still thought… maybe this time.

Maybe it’s me.

Maybe I can’t play a druid. I’m so much better on my priest at this, maybe it’s me.

***

Things slowly fell into place.

I tried out a macro on a spell, saw what worked and what didn’t. A lot of things didn’t work.

Kept asking for help. Felt like I was getting nowhere, but really, I was slowly leveling again, realizing those things that make sense if you’ve played a character straight through. When do I Lifebloom? When do I Swiftmend? (All the time.) When do I use WG? (All the time). Nourish? (Never in PvP.)

Locked XP at 70. Figured I’d get the gear out of the way and just focus on the class for a while – classic PvP pause.

Finally, last night, it happened.

Screen_shot_2011-10-04_at_9

We lost this AB, but I did well in it. Can’t win these things on my own, not at level 70.

Screen_shot_2011-10-04_at_9

Hard-fought Strand. I kicked ass in it, and not just because of the numbers. Entangling Roots and Moonfire spam? I can do that! I didn’t think we were going to win – Alliance went first, only got the relic with about 1 minute left on the clock – but after losing 2 gates to an initial rush, we put up a brilliant goal line stand in the courtyard and never let up. YOU SHALL NOT PASS.

I got jumped by a rogue. He beat on me for about 2 minutes while I just healed away, healing the people around me after my own HoTs were rolling.

He gave up, eventually.

(I rooted him and let a Ret Pally tear his face off. It felt good.)

Screen_shot_2011-10-04_at_10

Alterac Valley, won on reinforcements. We couldn’t get past the Horde Turtle once we had a few towers down, so we just whittled them down. I healed for 5 minutes effectively OOM; I should have rushed into the Horde to get killed and reset my mana pool.

A punk DK yelled at the beginning of the battle that the healers sucked. I took that as an insult and was not going to heal him – but I ended up doing it anyways. As the front slowly pressed on south of Tower Point, he remarked:

Holy fuck, our healers are beasts. I take it back, I must not have been in range.

Damn straight you weren’t in range before, punk. You’re alive because of ME. And the 5 other healers who kept you, and that whole team, up.

I am a beast of a tree.

Word.

***

I didn’t expect to get comfortable with Cynli again. To get to a position where she’s playable, where I’m competent with her, where I could do both PvP and PvE with her.

I still have a long way to go – I haven’t learned anything to make me think I’m a good Druid player, per se – just that I can be competent. I need to learn other specs. I need to learn shifting between specs better.

But still, I can keep a warfront alive.

I can keep a tank alive, too.

For the first time in a long time, I look at this toon and go – you’re fun to play. (You need a better looking outfit, but you’re fun to play.)

Thank you, tree-signal. I’d written this character off a long time ago. Last night, I proved I shouldn’t have done so.

/use Tree of Life

/dance

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2 Comments

Filed under Cynwise's Field Notes

2 responses to “On the Reclamation of Cyn’s Wayward Druid

  1. Beruthiel

    Huzzah!I’m so glad that you stuck with it :)

  2. Redbeard

    Damn straight you weren’t in range before, punk. You’re alive because of ME. And the 5 other healers who kept you, and that whole team, up.Once again, a DK does nothing to dispel the stereotype.I still have a long way to go – I haven’t learned anything to make me think I’m a good Druid player, per se – just that I can be competent. I need to learn other specs. I need to learn shifting between specs better. Believe me, I’ve seen very very bad Resto Druids out there in BGs, almost to the point of wondering aloud if they were bots. I’d say you’re well on your way to being more than just competent.