Monday, November 30, 2009

Play Like a Girl?

Many of you know I have a Hunter. She's a female Dwarf named Sugarcake, and her pets are all named similarly silly things, like Sprinkles, Cinnamon, Gumdrop, etc. It is very, very (speaking in stereotypes) girly. Extremely girly. Like, Princess Lollipopsparklelips girly.

At first, I was kind of...well, kind of leery about the name. I honestly don't like attention focusing on my gender. Unless I know the people (like my guild or friends) and know they are joking around, it just serves to make me uncomfortable and awkward. I don't mind people knowing I'm female, just them making it into some sort of big deal or focus of conversation. Of course, writing an entire blog post about the subject undermines the idea that I dislike attention focusing on it, but I am able to disable that to explore something that intrigues me.

For example, a ToC 25 in which I was healing on Bellwether, my first comment in Vent brought about "cute" comments and "OMG A GIRL." Seriously, guys. Cut it out. Maybe pay attention to healing so I'm not doing 20-30% of overall healing done? Maybe? (I am not kidding about this).

The thing is, when I'm not in Vent, I'm automatically assumed to be a guy. Bellwether is perhaps somewhat neutral, but Bellbell and Sugarcake? Those are pretty cutesy names. I've seen a few guys with humorously cutesy names, but it's pretty rare. So what, then, is it that causes my characters to automatically be filed into the "male" category?

First and most obvious would probably be the prevalence of male players to female. Though there is not a huge, impassable gap, characters tend to be controlled by males more than females. At its end, I was the only raiding female in Vigilant, and one of three or so in the guild. We're by no means an endangered species, but we're certainly the less likely variety.

Next would be some stereotypical expectations of female players. One such expectation is us needing our hands held through everything. We will be bad. We will be low on DPS (LOL GURLS DONT DPS LOL). We won't be able to keep up. We will need special attention because we just don't know what's going on. Since I've been in a top raiding guild, and done very well for myself, the above doesn't apply. In fact, I am often the one leading the raid or group. I am the one giving the explanations and assignments. I am obviously not the princess-in-another-castle waiting for my plumber boyfriend to map warp his way to me.

Another expectation is in the way girls communicate. I know some of you have been in raids with sugar-sweet hyperactive flirty girls who punctuate every sentence with some word like "cute" "cutie" "sweetie" "<3" ";)" etc. They flirt with any player willing to respond (and some unwilling), whether they know them or not, and make any excuse to "pout" or inject sexual innuendo. Yeah. You all know what I'm talking about. In small doses or with friends and guildmembers, sure, that's cool. Everyone likes to be a little silly/flirty at times. But it's those who make it into their entire personality and force it upon strangers, who take a huge flashing sign and say "AMG I R A GURL PAY ATTENSHUN" that make me twitch. Gender does not make you special.

Like one of my previous, previous guildmates who alternates between acting like a concerned, condescending mother and an overly-flirty 13 year old, who dances naked/scantily clad at the South Bank and makes exaggerated squealing noises over anything "cute." While, you know, hitting on everyone and everything with two-handed weapon specialization. She also can't do anything wrong, is easy to upset, and likes to play damsel in distress. At the very least, she is a decent healer.

I don't act like that (I hope I don't act like that!). And thus Sugarcake and Bellbell and Bellwether are assumed male until proven guilty. It's odd to me, to realize my concerns about possibly being discriminated against because of my name (or even harassed, which has happened before with people who knew my gender) were completely irrelevant, because I don't "play like a girl." It's at both times a welcome relief and a concerning realization.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Like A Sucker Punch to the Gut

I logged in this morning to find I have no guild.

There's nothing on the guild website explaining. Nothing telling me what happened. No one's online in the guild.

No warning. No discussion. Nothing. I just have no guild.

I don't know what happened, if I was kicked by accident, if my guild just disbanded, if it was ninja'd and everything's gone...

Just a rude way to wake up on my way to finish my Pilgrim's Progress achievements.

EDIT: Apparently our GM got hacked. But my guild was hanging on by sheer willpower due to some unfortunate recent events, so it's not getting back together. A bunch of our core is transferring to Horde today, so I'm not sure what I'm doing...

EDITEDIT: We may be getting back together. If you're a member of Vigilant (the former one, not the one the trade troll has), please get in contact with me, Grym, Conrad or Blob so we can work on sorting this out.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Shameless Bid for Attention

This is actually just a shameless bid for attention (see title), so if you're not into that you can stop reading. It's okay, I won't be upset.

Still here? Man, you're a glutton for punishment.

All right, down on the right sidebar, at the very bottom, you'll see a cat, much like the one on this post. He is grinning, and I can't decide if he's adorable or creepy. That being said, you'll notice, he is a link!

A link to where, Bell? Obviously, I'm logging your keys. But you all have authenticators, right? Right? But besides logging your keys, the link goes to my DeviantART account. I did warn you that this was a shameless bid for attention.

I just started drawing again. And by that I really mean I just stopped being lazy about going to the school computer lab for the scanner. Since I don't have a lot of experience with scanners, often they come out pretty wonky. But! That's not the point.

The point is, my school doesn't let non-majors/minors take art classes. only possible way of getting better is if you guys look at the stuff I post and rip it to shreds mercilessly. To make it easier on you, a lot of the art is WoW-based, though only some of it is using references so I don't know if that counts...

Anyway, this is a hobby of mine. I'm not doing it seriously. However, I really do want to improve. So, please, if you're artistically inclined and feel up to it, dig through my gallery and tell me what you like and don't like and please, make suggestions. I'm working off of free tutorials and trial and error and the process is oh. so. slow.

Thanks in advance, five people who stuck around til the end of this post that is just a shameless bid for attention.

EDIT: I should probably add that though my gallery has nothing NSFW in it, my favorites section does. Just a heads up.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Buffing For Paladins 101

...should seriously be a class all Paladins are forced to take. It would entail mandatory downloading of Pally Power and a passing A grade to be allowed to raid as any kind of Paladin, as well as credits in Advanced Buffing, Buffing Theory, and Advanced Buffing Theory. Why? Because, honestly, a lot of Paladins don't get it right. (HEY GUYS THIS IS A RANT JUST IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW)

Take last Tuesday night. I set up Pally Power for an Ony 10 man...and then the Ret Paladin goes in and changes it as soon as I buff. He puts me on giving out Kings, him on Might and the Prot on Sanc. Okay, I say, who is spotting me Wisdom? Because you don't have free assignment checked, and you're not doing it.

Do it yourself, you should have the 30 minute Wisdom glyph, he responds.

Then I won't have Kings, I point out. So then we do this convoluted thing where I buff everyone with Kings and then buff myself with Wisdom and then the tank buffs me with Kings and the Ret does nothing. I could have Sanc, Wisdom and Kings if he would have spotted me the Kings, but apparently I really need his improved Might buff.

Pally Power was set up perfectly until the Ret screwed with it. And, if he'd had Free Assignment checked, I could have organized it so that he got his improved Might and I got my Improved Wisdom and everyone got Kings and Sanc. But no, he went through and started putting it so that the Hunters got Sanc instead of Wisdom and I was giving out Kings instead of improved Wisdom and AUGH.

Wisdom is a bigger DPS increase than Sanc for Hunters, by the way, since the Hunter should not be getting hit! He doesn't need the damage taken percent decrease, he needs mana so that he doesn't have to spend as much time, if any, in Viper. The Prot Paladin is doing Kings, you're giving him Might, and I'll give him Wisdom. Stop changing it so the Prot Paladin is doing Sanc! Sanc is the last buff anyone should get (of the buffs beneficial to them) unless they are a tank.

Stop touching Pally Power if you don't know how to use it. And if you have mastered the rudimentary controls of Pally Power, make sure that you don't assign the Holy Paladin to have to give themself their two most important buffs. Because Paladins can't buff themselves with more than one blessing.

I know it can get annoying for Paladins to listen to the raid repeating ad nauseam "I need this buff." "Why don't I have this buff?" But I can say that I play a Paladin, and so long as you have Pally Power and understand the concepts behind your buffs, its really not that hard to make sure you never hear it. Set up any scenario and I will tell you how to buff with (a) Paladin(s) to maximize DPS, health or healing. You don't even really need Pally Power, it's just easier. So, come on, guys. Get on the ball here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Locked into Healing

I've come across this dilemma with Bellbell time and time again. I levelled her to be Ret. But she is, most definitely, Holy.

The problem started as soon as I got to 80. It was just easier to get groups as a Holy Paladin, so that's what I did. It was easier to get raids started if I chose to heal, it was easier to be involved in anything. So, in order to get things done, I continually switched to her Holy spec.

Well, common loot rules being what they are, your main spec is what you're raiding as, and those upgrades for the DPS set take a while to accumulate. It eventually came to pass that while her Holy set was nearly all ToC 10 and 25 gear, she was still wearing a blue hit trinket and Ebon Blade reputation boots, and a tournament badge sword.

I finally bought her two pieces of badge-only T9 ret gear...and she's never had an occasion to use it. In fact, it's almost like clockwork; as soon as I equip her Ret gear and switch to her Ret spec, a friend needs a healer. It's come to the point where I only play her to help other people (thus the lack of Bellbell-flavored posts).

Now, another Paladin in my guild has the exact opposite problem. He's been running only as Ret because that's the only gear set he has (he apparently didn't do what I did and save up every random piece of offset gear while levelling), but all he wants to do is tank or heal. So while he's sitting with the sword off of Onyxia bemoaning his lack of a healing trinket, I'm silently sending envy waves at him.

It seems like dual spec didn't really change anything for me, besides not having to pay for Bellwether's respecs to PvP. It made Bellbell's situation worse, because eventually to do the content I wanted to do, I had to play her "secondary" spec. I don't have the time to continually farm for her to keep her DPS spec up to snuff, and the fact that healers are always in demand and plate DPS is everywhere, there's just nowhere for her to fit in.

For example, the ToC 25 I ran on Saturday? Along the lines of three or four ret paladins, two warriors, and three or four DKs. Completely detrimental to the group for me to say "Screw healing, I'm going to overload our melee even more."

Well, who cares? Tell one of the other Paladins to switch and get your Ret on.

For one, I'm not a jerk. I'm not going to say "one of you respec just for me so I can bring in my eclectically geared ret paladin." The other paladins have tank offspecs, and we have plenty of (sometimes too many) tanks for my alt ToC 25 run.

For another, it gets groups together, and faster. I don't know how many times groups have fallen apart because we couldn't find a healer. Eventually, even if I'm in a PUG, I'll have to admit that I can switch to healing after we sit in LFG for half an hour with no bites. I don't have time to sit around in a LFG channel; with all the other things going on in my life, if I'm going to run something I need it to start quickly.

There's also healer guilt. "We wouldn't be sitting in LFG if I just switched to healing." "Time is wasting because I want to DPS." "They just need a healer...I suppose I can do it." "If I switch to my healer then maybe the tanks won't die."

It's not that I don't like healing. If I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't have kept the spec. It's that it's not what my character was supposed to do. It was just for me to experiment with other types of healing. But I made a mistake at level 80, and even with the gear I have for Ret, if Bellbell ever sees Arthas, it will be wearing the wrong kind of dress.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bell's Guide to Application Failure

There have been some applications to Vigilant in the past month or two where I've just hung my head in shame because, well...what in the world were these people thinking? It's like they took every rule for applying to a place you wish to join, chucked it out the window and decided to be a special snowflake and just, well, put us off entirely.

So, now, I'm going to illustrate to you just how to get your application rejected from a high end raiding guild. Enjoy!

Step One: Ignore the application format.
The application format is obviously just a set of guidelines. It's not really information the guild needs to know, it's just stuff we want to know and, well, you can't always get what you want. Make sure to ignore half our questions, make up your own and don't answer anything fully.

Step Two: Log out in PvP gear.
Even though it says specifically on our site to log out in your PvE gear and spec so we can inspect it and ask questions, just log out in your PvP gear and spec anyway. Or equip your fishing pole. Or wear your RP set. Anything so long as it's not what we asked for. We will be very impressed by your full Judgment set.

Step Three: Tell us your opinion of our questions.
Don't like a question? Think it's pointless? Let us know. We think it's really important for you to pick apart our application process. This doesn't reflect badly on your character at all.

Step Four: Show us your care face.
Nothing's better than reading an application going "I just dropped x profession but I'll get y profession up right away" and then watching the skill level never rise. We also enjoy reading "yeah, it's unenchanted and I'm gonna enchant it soon, I'm just being lazy right now." Be in gear two tiers behind without having even pugged ToC 10 as well. This shows us you really care and really want to be a part of a guild working on ToGC 25.

Step Five: Bother us in-game.
Your application has been up for four hours and no one's said anything yet? Make sure to send us tells, lots of tells, in-game to anyone of your class who will listen. Let us know how many views your application has had, ask us our opinions on your chances of getting in, and definitely bother us during raids. We really like this.

Step Six: Reference people we don't know.
I'm glad someone on your server recommended you to us. We don't know who that person is, really, but that's okay. You could even be making them up! Especially as no one with that name has ever been in our guild, and if they had they probably would have told you their original name. This makes it look suspiciously like your application answers were copy and pasted from another guild's application, but who cares?

Step Seven: rite liek this.
U no WoW is just a gaem so gramar & spaeling dont mater rite.

Step Eight: Lie.
Lie to us. We really like when you've misrepresented yourself on your application. It starts building that foundation of trust right away. We'll know we can count on never counting on you to be truthful, and that's important.

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That's about all that has recently occurred on our application forums. The sad part is, there may be a part 2 to this somewhere down the road...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lifebloom Needs Love

And, no, I don't mean from the developers. I mean from you, fellow Tree Druid. You need to love Lifebloom again. I am also, of course, talking in the strictly PvE sense, as those who've done any sort of PvP on a tree know that Lifebloom is the noms. But, to continue (and continue I shall, in quite an extended form)...

Lifebloom has changed, it's true. It grew up. It evolved. And, unfortunately, many have rejected it for what it has become. You know who were also rejected for becoming different? The X-Men.

Yes, I am comparing Lifebloom to the X-Men. Deal with it.

Like the X-Men, Lifebloom is powerful, yet misunderstood. The majority of the population shun or actively speak out against Lifebloom, and though no one's built Sentinel robots yet I'm pretty sure we're close to it.

Lifebloom is powerful, the problem is you have to think about how you use it. It's not the Burning Crusade spell, AKA the "brain dead heal." Yes, you had to keep an eye on time to keep it going, but, let's be honest; how many of you, like me, made three /target [tank name] /cast Lifebloom macros and just hit those in succession for fights like Mother or Bloodboil? I know I did, because, hey, it was my healing assignment, it was what I was supposed to do, and it worked. And it was completely and utterly brain dead.

Now, though, if I tried to do that I'd drain my mana pool dry in under a minute (and also waste heals because of increased duration blah, blah, you get the point). It "lost" its "purpose" even with the mana return, because if you rolled the stack you'd never see the return, just the drain. Though, really, it didn't, it just couldn't fulfill said purpose in the same way.

And therein lies the problem. People are notoriously resistant to change, and this was a big change. Most Druids will say they cut it out of their spell rotation completely, others will say they use it for a fight or two and that's it. I'll be honest, it makes me a little sad to know that many Druids look to Lifebloom with the same scorn they do Healing Touch (Healing Touch and I have gotten reacquainted in the last couple of weeks and we're starting to see eye to eye, but that's a story for another day).

So, all right, perhaps I've managed to convince you with that huge, rambling introduction to give Lifebloom another shot. Great! But how, you ask? I suppose since I am in the habit of explaining things on this blog, I should say a bit about that, huh?

Your usage of Lifebloom will depend on a few things, the majority of them falling under the wide categories of gear, situation, and assignment. All three of those working together will determine your average Lifebloom usage.

For example, your gear denotes your mana pool size and regen capabilities. The smaller your mana pool and the weaker your regen, the less helpful it is to throw out Lifebloom casts without having an Omen of Clarity proc. That being said, it should be obvious that when you do have an Omen of Clarity proc, that, if at all possible, you use it for Lifebloom!


Well, if your mana pool is small and your regen needs to work out at the gym more, every cast of Lifebloom applied during an OOC proc that is allowed to bloom is a return of 489 mana to you, and you're still healing someone. It's awesome! You should be doing it! Why aren't you? Yes, you. You know who you are.

So, what if you don't need to worry about a small mana pool? Well, in that case, casting Lifebloom shouldn't bother you, right? At the very least, always start a pull with Lifebloom on your tank. You know when they just charges headlong into the boss, outranging your heals in the flash of a Feral Charge or, in some odd cases, rocket boots of doom (you know who you are, because you use both)? Yeah, that's a good time to have a fast-ticking HoT working on their hide. You know when you don't have anything to do, because no one in the raid is taking damage? Get Lifebloom (and your other HoTs) on the tank. A big boss cooldown is coming up and you've got Rejuv and Regrowth already ticking on them? Get Lifebloom on the tank.

Noticing a theme here?

Well, you said it had something to do with assignment and situation, right? Well, yes. You need to be able to judge when Lifebloom is appropriate. Obviously, when the raid is taking heavy damage is not when you should be Lifeblooming them or the tank, but using your harder hitting heals. Someone gets tossed in the crotch pot of Ignis? Give 'em a Lifebloom. Quick ticks will buffer the damage they're taking, a bloom will add to that, and it'll tick twice before Rejuv ticks once.

Is it about time to run in for Vezax? Have your tank give you a ten second countdown. Pop your Innervate, HoT him up, and don't forget the Lifeblooms. Even though OoC procs on Vezax are a thing of the past, those Lifeblooms you precast will still return mana to you on their bloom, taking care of whatever your innervate didn't cover to refill your mana bar and give your tank, essentially, free heals.

Is your assignment tank healing? It's a rarity, but it happens, especially in guilds full of Druids or in 10 man guilds (and hey, in 5 mans, too). If you're tank healing and you're ignoring Lifebloom, you're doing it wrong. Sorry, you just are. The problem here becomes one of Lifebloom management. To illustrate, you must understand this important information about Lifebloom, the spell:

The application of Lifebloom is preventative, while the "bloom" is a reactive decision.

The preventative aspect is easy to understand, as all HoTs function this way. You apply the HoT not necessarily because the target is taking damage now, but because you anticipate future damage. HoTs are buffer and slow-recovery heals. The initial application of Lifebloom works exactly like this; its goal is to provide a buffer for incoming damage or slowly recover from damage taken.

What Lifebloom has that is different from any other HoT that exists in the game is a "bloom." This bloom removes the HoT but heals for an amount that increases with each stack of Lifebloom applied. This is an instant chunk of health, most often associated with straight-heal classes like a Paladin, who use reactive heals that heal a chunk of past damage taken.

The bloom of Lifebloom is a reactive decision because you have a choice to make: do you allow it to bloom or do you apply it again, extending the buffer period. This is a simple choice hinging upon several questions that must be answered quickly: Will the bloom go to waste due to the tank not missing a chunk of health? Will he need that fast-ticking buffer soon? Can your mana sustain continuous rolling or do you need the return from the bloom?

The decision has to be made the split second before the bloom goes off. Which many people find difficult, so they go one way or another: simply ignore Lifebloom use all together, or allow it to bloom every time. Which is lazy, really.

But many of you might say "But I do fine without it, why should I care?"

I dunno. Why do you care if you get a B instead of an A? Most of you, I assume, read blogs because you want to get better at being a Druid. You want to excel, you want to do your absolute best. If you don't understand the possibilities of every spell in your arsenal, from the gimmicky or situational to the established or untapped, you're not really playing your Druid.

Just think of it this way: when you watched X-Men, and thought those guys were uber awesome, and you got so frustrated with the people picketing against them and reacting to them with fear and loathing and Professor Xavier was like "They fear what they do not understand," you were all like "That'll never be me!"

It's so totally you, Lifebloom haters.

The X-Men are completely copyright by Marvel Comics, I'm just borrowing them for the lulz.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not A Meme but a Survey

So there's been a non-meme going around lately by the wonderful Ms. Medicina, a Priest blogger to the scene who's pretty much taken over the blogosphere with her survey/questionnaire (and whom I am sad that I have not discovered before this!). I'm a little late to the party (as usual) and I'm not sure if anyone tagged me, but since her site features and open invitation to anyone who wishes to complete it, I decided to give it a go. Or if you did tag me and I missed it, it's because I'm bad and I am sorry.

Unfortunately I do not know who to tag, as I'm pretty sure everyone else has already been tagged. If you haven't, well, get to writing as I'm obviously tagging you.

* What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer?
Bellwether, Resto Druid, Too Many Different Specs To Count

* What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
I spend most of my time in 25 mans, and the majority of my scheduled raiding time in Heroic ToC 25, but I'm also a 10 man, 5 man, and PvP healer.

* What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why?
Lifebloom. I love it. I think the "nerf" just means you have to be smarter about how you use it, and adds a learning curve to the class.

* What healing spell do you use least for your class and why?
This used to be Healing Touch, but messing around with a Healing Touch spec has been interesting. Now, it has to be Tranquility; I only use that for third phase of the Black Knight in H ToC (for laziness).

* What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why?
In traditional specs? We're raid healers. But our specs can be adapted to do whatever you want without leaving the Resto tree too much. We're able to cover for weakness in gear through strength in our talents by moving them and adjusting accordingly.

* What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why?
We have no "save the tank" cooldowns. We have Nature's Swiftness, yes, but it's a reactive and pretty weak cooldown; we never fit into a cooldown rotation like a Priest or a Paladin. It makes me slow on my Paladin's cooldowns when I'm playing her.

* In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you?
Raid Healing. Though I've done tank healing before, and it's obviously possible on a Druid or 10 mans would suck, with Rejuvenation, Swiftmend, Wild Growth and even (when used properly) Lifebloom and Regrowth, we're great at mitigating damage for the raid.

* What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why?
Paladins. Even with multiple tanks, they've got it covered. I get to concentrate on the raid, they get to concentrate on the tanks, I give the tanks a Rejuv, they splash the melee with Holy Light glyph. It also helps that my boyfriend is a Holy Paladin!

* What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why?
I've never been with a class I don't enjoy healing with. It's always the person behind the class, never the specific class.

* What is your worst habit as a healer?
Not knowing when to use my cooldowns on Bellbell (my Paladin), or communicating them well. I could pop a cooldown a second before the Priest throws up their wings, and then there's no cooldown left for the next big attack. Craaaaap.

On Bellwether, though, it's not being more mindful of my Swiftmend cooldown. I'll go to use it and be informed "Oh, hi. Yeah, I'm not ready yet." And that's wasted seconds where I could be healing.

I'm also just getting my PvP legs back, so there's definitely that to work on.

* What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing?
Blaming healers for your own stupidity, or telling a healer how to heal when they're obviously doing their job. Once had a huntard tell me to heal him through Flame Wall so he could DPS more on the boss. Um. What? No. Though, rapidly, I'm beginning to detest the annoying "Rejuv!" call over vent whenever our DKs want some Runic Power. I know we're on Anub. I know you need Revitalize. I am doing something else at the moment STFU.

* Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing?
Yep! We're in a nice spot, well suited for whatever. Though Druids often need to respec/reglyph for specific things, it's a small price to pay.

* What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer?
Recount, World of Logs, other healers (not to call them tools in any sense of the word, but rather to signify that I judge myself based on them). Did my assignments live? Did they live because of me or was someone covering for me? Were the deaths preventable to my knowledge? Is there something I could be changing to be better? Am I doing more than I should/less than I should? How is my mana? Am I wasting heals?

* What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class?
All we do is faceroll Rejuv and Wild Growth LOLOLOLOLOL. If all I ever used was Rejuv and Wild Growth on any boss but Twin Val'kyr, there would be quite an issue with my healing...

* What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn?
We have a lot of tools and it's difficult to know when to use them and why. Lifebloom is now the heal with the steepest, most mana-expensive learning curve, and unfortunately it is often ignored rather than utilized. Also, many people come to healing from a different background and have to be disabused of the notion that there is some sort of "rotation" to healing. Otherwise, it would be understanding your talent tree and how your job and spell choices may vary (at least in high end raiding) based upon what spec you pick.

* If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)?
Well, there's always going to be high overheal now that HoTs tick even while the target's at full health; Druids can't help it and trying to throw out preventative heals for possible raid damage can shoot it up. My position on Recount fluctuates per fight. Twin Val'kyrs I'll be at the top with 9-10k HPS, other fights I'll be middling, and on Anub I would look like, at a glance, to be the worst Resto Druid in the world. A lot of it will be based on assignment and fight mechanics. If you look at what spells I use, Rejuv will generally be top, but what follows from it will depend, again, on what fights we're on. Sometimes, Lifebloom will be in my top 3, othertimes Nourish, sometimes Regrowth and other times Swiftmend. Wild Growth is generally in the top 3 as well, but can be replaced.

* Haste or Crit and why?
Haste. /drool Haste. I suppose I am a minority of the Druid community in that I never undervalued haste. I hit the cap for one second long ago, and continued to adore the stat. Unlike crit (we get enough passive crit from our talents that naturally occurring stats on gear can cover the rest), I've never seen a moment where I go "aw, damn, more haste." I even ranked Vestments of the Shattered Fellowship ahead of Malfurion's Robe of Triumph because of the extra gem socket and the haste. Even if it's not decreasing our GCD, it's still making those times where I use Nourish or Regrowth speedier (and during times like Incinerate or Penetrating Cold, it's nice to be at 600+ haste!). I know soon a lot of Druids are going to be jumping on my Haste boat as soon as we need more and the hasted Rejuv glyph will make Rejuv tick faster, and that's awesome.

* What healing class do you feel you understand least?
Shamans and Priests. I tend not to understand a class until I've played it, and my Shaman is 44 and my Priest is 35.

* What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing?
I have a Nature's Swiftness macro for Healing Touch and for Nourish, but otherwise everything is mouse-bound for use with Healbot and Decursive.

* Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I used to be much more into balance, but the tier I'm at right now the gear supplies everything you need, so it's more effective to stack Spellpower. Sometimes, for a nice gem bonus I'll go Spellpower + Spirit (since Spirit translates into Spellpower) but otherwise, it's complete Spellpower.