Doing DPS is much easier and less stressful than healing, right? Right?
That was my assumption when rolling a shadowpriest to complement my holy priest. I had visions of lazily running around instances tossing out shadowy spells - I mean, how hard can it be?
The other evening a guildie asked if I wanted to join a group for Maraudon. Instantly my instance-phobia came back full force. I'd managed to get to level 47 without ever doing an instance, preferring to blast through to 60 as quickly as possible thanks to Jame's guides. Never having been in an instance in a DPS-role, I felt it might be a tad late to confess to this at such a late level. I had visions of pulling aggro and wiping the group over and over because of not being used to having to pay attention to Omen. When I am in a group healing I have Omen running in a corner of my screen, but I barely ever look at it. When you are the only healer or one out of two (the only things I have experience of), most of the time you cannot stop healing just to let your threat go down.
Now normally I reply to instance requests stating that I am a DPS priest and as most people are actually after a healer they will recant the invite at that point. Yes, I know that shadowpriests can heal perfectly well at this kind of level, but the point is that I don't want to - I want to experience the other side. Of course, that's not to say that I wouldn't pop out of shadowform if a group's healer bites the dust - no point being a hybrid/off-spec/whatever the correct term is if you're not willing to utilise it.
So anyway, this guildie asked me to come along and wasn't put off at all about me not wanting to heal - apparently there was another shadowpriest in the group that was happy to heal. I decided I might as well take the plunge and try my hand at DPS-ing sooner rather than later, so I accepted and jumped on a gryphon to Desolace.
In the end though, I think it is safe to say that I needn't have worried about appearing a complete noob for not having any DPS experience. The whole thing was a complete shambles from start to finish.
I will not dwell on the mage that didn't buff other group members nor the tank that did not have a threat-meter nor the complete lack of communication and common sense. In spite of all this, my main regret is that from this experience I can't really judge what it would be like to be out there DPS-ing in a real group or whether I'd be any good at it.
I would quite like to dwell at length on the short-comings of the other priest who was supposed to heal (healing does not mean standing around until people have only a sliver of health left and then bubble them... *sigh*), but I am not going to. As much as I would love to vent my rage at his ineptness causing wipe after wipe, I should have had a word with him about it at the time rather than bottling it up and releasing it on the innocent public. Lesson learned for next time - do not assume that everyone knows better than you and couldn't benefit from constructive criticism.
However, the main lesson I learnt from this (mis)adventure was that it might turn out that NOT being the healer is more stressful than being the healer. At least when I heal I'm not worrying about the tank's health as well as my own damage output. As I saw people's health go down and down my fingers were twitching, wanting to zoom over to Grid and put a Renew on, maybe just a teeny Flash Heal while I was at it? "Put down that Prayer of Mending and step away, madam. Nobody likes a back seat healer."