When looking at my list of alternate characters that are ready to step into heroics, I see on my list (besides Eluna, because she’s my main ya know), 2 tanks (a Pally and a Warrior), 3 DPS Characters (Mage, Hunter, Enhance Shaman) and my Priest, who has a shadow and discipline spec both. Now some of you may be saying… whoa…wait a minute there, all of those classes can dps! And a couple of them can heal too! You would be correct. The CLASSES are fully capable of carrying out those roles, but for some unknown reason to me, I am not very good at playing those roles. They just don’t fit my play-style. This frustrates me to no end, but, I like to be realistic about what I can and cannot do when it comes to group play.
Play-style is everything. Don’t get me wrong, there are some people who are capable of playing every role and every spec of every class. They have my utmost respect, because I am not one of them. I tend to do my best on healers and my second best on pure caster/ranged dps. I tend to play very poorly when it comes to melee and tanking. Why? Because ranged is my play style. I can do the other roles, but I don’t do them well enough to feel like I’m bringing my best game to a group. I’ve got a good friend who would love to play a healer…if being a healer meant standing in melee range beating the crap out of a mob’s face. My husband? He’s a tank. He heals well, and he is fully capable of doing dps, but he seems to have the need to control what the mob is doing.
What does this mean for a healer?
This means that part of becoming a better player is learning to identify your play-style. Not everyone is made to play every role. Learning to identify your strengths and weaknesses as a player is vital to both improving and not setting yourself up for a struggle. It can also help determine which kind of healer you are the most comfortable playing. I tend to be all over the place healing ALL the things! Playing my druid has really been an awakening thing for me. I was a pretty good priest and a pretty good pally, but in comparison to those I’m an EXCELLENT druid (In my opinion of course). Finding that niche is very important…trying to fit a role that doesn’t suit you can lead to burn out, as well as unnecessary stress.
Does this mean I can’t play my favorite class?
No, of course it doesn’t…it just means you need to identify a way for you to play it that meets your needs. This could be reserving playing that character for solo-play, or it could mean working on some self-improvement. Some awesome ways to self improve:
- Practicing in a pvp situation where people expect to die anyway. It takes the pressure off of you to feel the need to perform perfectly, but also allows you the freedom to work with your class and spec to find a play style that suits you. (bonus: it helps your reaction time and awareness some too!)
- Finding a mentor of the same class/spec to group with you and really pay attention to how you perform.
- Using an add-on to help you learn your rotation or to remind you to move when you stand in something bad
Of course, this isn’t an all inclusive list. I’ve written most of it directly from my own experiences as a player. I’m sure there are tons of guides out there aimed at improving your game. I’m also sure there are many players who don’t have any issues playing any class/spec the put their hands on. For those of us that have though, what are other ways you can identify or improve your play-style?