When Blizzard announced Dual Specialization I was ecstatic. Anyone who played a healer during the Burning Crusade will remember how frustrating it was to quest or farm materials without any assistance from a friend or guildy. Rolling +healing stats into +spellpower helped us deal some damage but not it’s just not the same as a proper DPS build.
The day Dual Specs were released I hopped on and paid my 1000g so that I could turn Lath into a chook with the click of a button. I was well prepared, and had a decent Balance gear set just waiting in my bags so I could start DPSing my little heart out as soon as possible.
Releasing my inner Moonkin had some rather interesting side effects. I absolutely loved it at first. And I initiated my Secondary Spec by completing all the Storm Peaks quests. Yes, I had missed the entire area while leveling to 80 and thus not only did I not have a shoulder enchant, the Sons of Hodir hadn’t even heard of me (if only I had done some research before I hit 80!).
After the initial euphoria wore off, induced by super fast questing, I discovered that my opportunities to DPS were actually pretty sparse. In 5 mans and raids I was always needed to heal. And my guildies learnt pretty quickly that I, err, was much better at healing. Ok, I sucked as DPS. It also gave me a new appreciation for how much I really enjoy healing and the control and contribution to success you have as a healer. A PUG run with a crappy tank can go much more smoothly with a smart healer that can pre-empt the incoming damage accordingly. As a DPS? There’s not much you can do. Keep your finger (or cursor) hovering over Rebirth?
For the last six 6 months I have probably DPSed 10 dungeons and switched to DPS during raids perhaps 3-4 times. Pretty infrequent but it was still nice knowing that I had a DPS spec to fall back on if needed.
When my guild hit Heroic Faction Champions (a mock PVP battle) we struggled. Around that time I was also jumping into the Arena with my Paladin boyfriend. And I had this epiphany: my secondary build could be some experimental Restoration PVP/Arena/Raiding build. The build was so goddamn handy to have around that I just kept postponing my next visit to the Druid Trainer to respec back to Moonkin.
My primary spec? Restoration. My secondary spec? Restoration.
Over time my “PVP” build morphed even further. We reached Aub’arak on Heroic so I decided to include talents to improve Healing Touch. I also dropped down to 0 points in Subtlety just for Algalon. When we fight Algalon I have the special job of collecting constellations with healing agro and dragging them around the room to close up black holes. My primary spec has 2 points in Subtlety and I always lose a stray constellation or two to another healer who generates more healing aggro. This has caused quite a few wipes as that healer runs to avoid a Big Bang only to accidentally close the portal before the rest of the raid makes it through.
The best part about having these two Restoration builds is that I am using both my specs, often swapping mid-raid, and my 1000g has definitely paid itself off. It also makes me a little sad. I never intended to be a tree when I rolled this Druid. I leveled Lath as Moonkin and loved it every minute of it until I realised at level 70 that raiding guilds wanted Resto Druids, not Balance Druids.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love healing. But having the opportunity to revisit my special, long lost Moonkin form was really fun. Yet I’ve now removed that option completely by choosing to spec Resto/Resto.
I find myself questioning my own motives. Were there other opportunities to play as Moonkin that I passed over? Am I scared to fail as a DPS (you know, the easy role)? Am I too lazy to learn and master a different Druid play style? Am I sticking to my comfort zone?
Last week I received my first Trophy of the Crusade on an offspec roll. And I hesitated. What to buy? I’m currently wearing 4 pieces of Restoration Tier 9 and eventually I would like to own the whole set, if only to equip some time far into the future for nostalgia. I also have one piece of Tier 9 Balance gear that I won in a VOA. So I could either get a second piece of Balance gear and earn my 2 piece bonus (that I haven’t even looked up yet!) or I could get my last piece of Restoration gear and plonk it in the bank.
I avoided making the decision all week. And ended up buying the Balance piece. I went out and gemmed and enchanted both pieces as well as some other 245 Balance items that I’ve picked up along the way. The question is will I ever use it?
Somewhere deep down I’m not ready to give up on DPS altogether. I’m still Resto/Resto, though.