My mind has been expanded and I can now tank, heal or dps as needed. Last night I tanked violet hold, healed halls of lightening, dpsed utgarde keep and then healed utgarde pinnacle. PUGs for the most part seeing as very few guildies were interested in running anything on patch day. I would of expected the opposite with all these new specs to play with.
Well I started off tanking a mostly guild violet hold run, had to fill two from the SGA (small guild alliance, providing better PUGs since 2005). By my rough guesstimates I'd say I lost about 2-3k total health and about 3-4k armor due to the druid nerf. Made me a little sad to see that so I didn't dwell. So I trained that new savage defense ability, didn't really notice it; I will assume it works given I had a brand new healer and I didn't have any issues. I was more focused on getting used to a mere 3 points in furor and a full man cost for power shifting. Had to steal points from somewhere to get primal gore and improved mark of the wild. Violet Hold was a great place to test my 60% furor since I powershift more often for rage there than anywhere else. I think it will work for me.
Up to this point I've have pitbull, outfitter and deadly boss mods. I went ahead and added arkinventory and quartz back into the mix while I was speccing my hunter and doing a couple quest hoping someone would want to run something. Sure enough someone dinged 80 and wanted to do halls of lightening for the axe off Loken. I of course volunteered and then we wound up pugging the rest.
So here we are with a freshly dinged 80, a new to tanking tank a couple pugged DPS and me healing as a tree for the first time. Things went well and I had no problems keeping everyone up. There was the one time we pulled the boss while taking out a group of four and we wiped. I was a little slow in using my cooldowns with a new set of abilities and all, but I am not sure it would of made a difference. I've had the same thing happen on a guild run with veterans.
The best part was healing Loken! It was like the final exam for healing school. Of course everyone stayed in and I healed through it without any deaths. More than that we'd been four manning the instance since the boss before. Sure there was one less person to heal I suppose, but we also got a couple more novas than usual with the lower DPS output. Pretty sure I passed since I've seen veteran healers, even other druids, struggle there and be running out of mana towards the end. I was still well over half mana and had an innervate if I needed it. I am definitely liking my mana regen.
Three new people rotated in and I'm off to utgarde keep this time to DPS. It was about this time that I wished I'd enabled recount, but oh well. We blew through it and I definitely noticed I was putting out more damage. I moved points out of natural/master shapeshifter into predatory instincts, primal gore and king of the jungle. Mainly a trade of 4% crit chance to get 10% larger crits, plus a chance for my bleeds to crit. Had one point left so I went with king of the jungle since 20 energy every 20 seconds sounded pretty nice. I was tempted also by primal tenactiy just to reduce my shifting man cost, but I figured I don't shift all that much and improved leader of the pack keeps my mana topped off anyway. I dismissed putting the point in furor right away since 60% or 80% chance is about the same in the end, it might not be there when you need it and it will probably cost 2-3 shifts to get it either way.
Same group, minus our healer was up for doing utgarde pinnacle while we we're there, so I offered to go back to healing and we pugged another DPS from looking for group. A little server trouble getting into the instance, one of our PDS wasn't able to get in till we got to the first boss (we waited a couple minutes there). For patch day that is pretty darn solid. We cut through like a hot knife through butter. Best of all we got the achievement for not letting the last boss cast bane. We of course cheated and DPSed him so hard he never had a chance to cast it. Even with a battle rez after the first boat, someone got a little too friendly with an orb.
So as I figured I would be able to, I can heal pretty darn well. By the end of the evening (beginning of the morning) I was pretty comfortable with all my new abilities namely wild growth and swiftmend. Nature's swiftness was also new to my druid, but I have a resto shaman too so I bound that to the same key. Rest of the spells I was already familiar with as I've healed as a feral spec many times. Looking forward to healing in a raid one day, will be interesting to learn how to heal as part of a team rather than being responsible for everyone.