Being Boomkin

One of the nicer consequences of finally being able to fly in Legion is the gift of time. My very unscientific personal experience so far is that I can do approximately twice as much now in the same amount of time than I could do without flying. I am talking about activities like world quests, profession leveling and mat gathering, and of course the 7.2 Broken Shore dailies.

I have taken advantage of the extra time to pay some real attention to my druid. Back about a year ago, when it seemed possible that I would actually give up my beloved hunter in the face of what I perceived to be the total Blizz sellout of the hunter class, my first choice for a new main was my druid. I have always been fascinated by this class — the only one to offer every role in the game including both melee and ranged DPS — but I have never really gone beyond dipping a toe into it. When I first rolled my druid — years ago, as my second alt in the game — I did it as Resto. I got kicked from my first dungeon for being terribad and was so put off by the whole thing that it was years before I ventured into another instance with my druid. Mind you, the group was completely justified in kicking me. I had not grasped the whole steady-stream HoT method of healing and was trying to just react to health hits. The disaster was predictable, and one further consequence was that I came to think of druid Resto healing as very difficult.

Thus, when I leveled my druid in Mists I switched to Balance, mainly because I have always been most comfortable with ranged damage dealing. I had Resto as my secondary spec but really did not do much with it. I enjoyed Balance in Mists, and I came to really value the sheer versatility of the druid class, especially its wide array of defensive spells. I did level my druid in WoD, but I hated the Balance play style in that expansion — to say it was slow is a real understatement, especially given what at the time was a fantastically flexible and fast-paced SV hunter style that I had as my main. Still, I remained intrigued by the class, and I even ran a few alt run raids as Resto.

With my background of dithering between Balance and Resto on my druid, I was intrigued when Legion came along and introduced the attunement talent. As I am not really by nature a melee damage dealer, and I have never tanked, I was of course drawn to the Balance-Resto attunements. I got both artifact weapons and intended to  play as Resto, but I found the damage options — even with Balance attunement — to be far too puny for realistic soloing (world quests, etc.), at least for my taste. So I reversed and opted for Balance with Resto attunement.

After I first hit 110, I considered just dropping the whole idea, because my boomie seemed very squishy and almost as slow as in WoD. It was frustrating to play. But as I have geared up and gotten into my 7.2 artifact traits, I am finding it more palatable. It also doesn’t hurt that I have actually done some study of How to Boomkin (finally understand that whole solar-lunar power thing) and spent considerable time with target dummies and live target dummies (aka LFR). I am still not what I would call well geared at 880 ilevel, and of my two equipped legendaries, one is the mostly useless crafted one — good really only as a stat stick with 3 gem slots — but I can see the potential if I can manage to get to maybe somewhere around ilevel 900 or so. (This may depend on the good will of my guildies in carrying me on some Mythics.)

I am a bit slow on getting artifact traits because I am trying to keep my Resto artifact within 2-3 traits of my main spec Balance one. And most of the time I have to play my druid comes on the weekend, so it is not exactly a fast process even now with flying. (This is not good for LFR runs, though, as of course the weekend ones tend to be worse than the Tuesday or Wednesday ones.) My goal is to be a useful ranged DPS for our alt raids when we start them up, and to be a reliable fallback healer if needed. Also, I am hedging my bets for the next expansion — if Blizz once again really screws hunters, I want to be positioned to go with another main if necessary.

Probably the most tedious and annoying aspect of gearing up my druid is the whole class hall and profession chase. (It took me weeks to even find my way around the druid class hall, although now that I am comfortable with it I find it to be vastly superior to the hunter one.) I still am confused by what seems to be an endless number of quest lines and achievements necessary to get your champions, your third relic slot, your artifact research 7.2 addon, your class hall research, and so forth. I think I have gotten most of the important ones now on my druid, but I have not even begun to think about artifact appearance quests. (This is a holdover from my BM hunter, where I pay almost no attention to them because they are pretty bad and don’t even affect Hati.)

I have finally gotten level 2 on all my alchemy flasks, but I am not sure I will get the level 3’s just because of the hundreds of flasks you have to craft in order to get the rare RNG drop of the next level for each. And I am still working on my last herbalism level 2 — just can’t seem to get that dreamleaf quest to drop for me.

But overall, I feel like I am on my way to being able to play a decent Boomkin, and to be able to make myself useful as a healer as well. Balance seems solidly in the middle of the pack in terms of DPS charts, I doubt if there is any chance it will be a sought-after spec for top raiders in Legion, but I am fine with that. I only intend to do alt raiding with it anyway. And really, I am having fun with it, which of course I tend to forget is the point of this whole game.

When you think about it, what could be more fun than turning into a tree and healing your friends, and then turn around and start killing monsters as a giant chicken? And in between, turn yourself into a cat for quick getaways or a bear for maximum protection or a raven for soaring? It just doesn’t get much better than this!

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

5 Responses to Being Boomkin

  1. Sar says:

    As a Boomkin main, I can tell you I wish we were middle of the pack 😛

    We’re firmly bottom for single target, and below average for the rest of Nighthold.

    The only fights where the spec shines are ones with constant and consistent AoE. Skorp and Aluriel come close, but we lose out to Affliction Locks and ret pallies there.

    I’d stick with BM for raiding in 7.2.5, especially with the buffs BM is getting.

    Balance is fun (and I love Resto – I’ve cleared Heroic NH multiple times as both specs), but depending on your raid team it can be a liability for the likes of Mythic Krosus 😦

    • Fiannor says:

      Oh, no! Guess I was looking at some early NH charts. (I confess I did a quick and dirty search, no real research. 😊) And no, I have no intention of abandoning my BM hunter for our Legion progression raiding, my Boomkin is strictly for fun. (We are not a Mythic raiding guild anyway, the most we usually do is a couple Mythic bosses each tier.) Typically towards the end of an expansion we do a lot of alt raid fun runs, though, chance to play something else and also gear it up before the next expansion, so that is really what I am aiming for.

      Sorry your main is one of the lottery losers in Legion — another casualty of Blizz’s inability to balance classes. Position in the damage pack would not be so critical if the spread between top and bottom were not so large, but when there is a wide gap, it really is a detriment to game play.

  2. Yes indeed, our time spent seems to have been halved now that we can fly — so many new opportunities!

  3. ScryersHecubus says:

    Glad to see that you’re having fun with druid-ism!!! It’s good to mix things up a bit and try out other ‘toons. Druids certainly seem to do well in a number of circumstances. I think trying playing a new class also let’s us enjoy the game without some of the baggage we might be bringing from our history with our mains.

    Flight has certainly made playing alt’s less awkward. My main alts at this point are an affliction ‘lock and a havoc demon hunter. Both have a fair amount of mobility. Enjoying the build resources/spend ebb and flow with them. I’m also enjoying playing elemental shaman. Mostly because I’ve got the mail healing legs on him. Found it a bit painful trying to quest without them at lower gear levels.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yeah, I had not thought of the “baggage” aspect of a main, but you are right. Like the difference between a job and a hobby. The next alt I am going to gear up is my destro lock, I think. I had great fun with that one in Mists, got the Green Fire and everything, but the play style seems to have been damped down a bit ever since. But she is still one of my favorite characters — a tiny gnome with a fierce, don’t-mess-with-me demeanor.

%d bloggers like this: