So, this comes to us courtesy of Jerome:
"I am wearing my (bad) healing gear at the moment and am specced resto as of a couple days ago. I was a restoration druid up until level 50 and then I tried out balance (the inability to solo much of anything with a fully specced resto really became evident around that time). I levelled to 70 as a balance druid, and did not have much trouble finding groups (and Setthek Halls is a favorite instance of mine due to the fact that we do actually have some CC on the birds!)
"I've returned to the game after a few months away, and I am wanting to raid end game and get the tier armors (eventually tier 6, which is natural for everyone to want seeing as it is the last tier armor available at the moment...plus I absolutely adore how it looks!) I had got in touch with a guild leader on this server and s/he explicitly stated that "Balance sux. What is your +healing?" I told him how low it was, and I got no response until I said "How about I get some better gear and let you know" and he said "ok".
"ANYWAY, My question is this: Should I go resto and be a healbot until I'm able to get tier 6 balance armor (at which point I will go back to balance, naturally)? Or do you think it takes longer for a balance Druid to get each of the tier armors because no one wants one to come?
The reason this bugs me is because a few things have gained my attention. Firstly, a new patch is coming with ZulAman (I have no clue when) and I remember someone mentioning that there will be a BUNCH of Balance gear available in the instance (as well as being outdoors like ZF, so we would actually have some CC). Should I be relying on that? Or would it just be a quicker path to the tier 6 Thunderheart if I restoed for my tiers 4 & 5?
Thanks a million, not sure what to do in game until I get some advice from you guys! (although I *hate* not being able to solo anything..even in my damage gear.. with the resto spec)."
I think you've got a couple options here, Jerome, but let me say this first:
Do you enjoy healing? If you do, and you don't mind seeing new content in that role, then so be it. I love my resto druid friends, and I honestly don't mind taking a walk on the tree side now and then if need be. So if you're comfortable joining this guild as a resto, by all means do so. But keep in mind that if you join a guild with that attitude, 9 times out of 10 they're going to get pissed when you say you want to try Balance for a while. Frankly, chances are that as soon as you get your first piece of T6, if you DON'T turn it in for the resto version and get the balance one instead, you'll get kicked. And where are you then? Geared up for Black Temple as a healer, and looking for a new guild, probably having to repeat some content to get back in. And possibly facing the same issue.
So, your options:
1) Cave in and go Resto. (Self-explanatory)
2) Stick to your guns and go Balance, and try to find a guild that will take you. Try this approach - find a guild that is normally running with 3 healers in Karazhan. Say "Take me in as a Balance druid instead of your third healer. As long as your two main healers are decently geared and competent, I will off heal as needed and still bring DPS to the raid. Give it a run or two, and if you don't like it, that's fine." Make sure you have the gear to back up your claim. Mention Zul'Aman - let them know that it's going to be outdoor and roots and hibernate are supposed to be two of the main forms of crowd control. Plus, they'll have Moonkin gear in there, among other things, and if there are drops specifically itemized for you, that means they don't have to worry about you always bidding on cloth.
3) Try a Dreamstate healing Balance/Resto spec. It basically takes the mana regen of Dreamstate and the bonus healing of Lunar Guidance and adds it to a resto build. Look here for an example that relies on Healing Touch. You must downrank effectively for this build to be efficient, but if you can learn that, it can be great. And since it has a 34 points in Balance, it can still be quite viable for soloing.
4) Do what I did and create your own guild - but that's a whole different can of worms, and probably ended up being a heck of a lot more effort than if I'd done one of the other routes. :) And honestly, it was dicey at points. I'm still surprised sometimes that we've gotten as far as we have.