WoW.com: Let's start at the top. Why Boomkin?
Beffyjunk: I choose to play as a Boomkin for a couple of reasons. Before WoW, I played Star Wars Galaxies as a Master Combat Medic and Master Bounty Hunter (before SOE ruined that game). The play style and arsenal of abilities was quite similar to those of a Balance Druid, having a heal-over-time, damage-over-time, roots, and great burst damage.
When I began playing World of Warcraft, I read about all of the classes and decided that I wanted a druid. I wanted to be a Boomkin, despite everyone's advice to be anything but that. As I got to level 70 and started playing Arena, I realized quickly that I could easily have more success in Arena as Restoration. But I'm stubborn and continued on playing as Balance, with somewhat mediocre results.
As the seasons went on and I slowly discovered more creative macros and developed stronger strategies, my ratings improved. Now I have come to really enjoy playing a Balance druid so much that I don't really have the desire to play any other class or spec. For anyone reading this that is struggling as a Boomkin but likes it too much to quit or respec: stick with it. You too can get a full set of the current Arena season's gear as a giant dancing chicken.
WoW.com: What are the macros you use? It sounds like being inventive is going to be pretty important to an Arena Boomkin.
Beffyjunk: Every druid worth their salt knows to use a Cyclone focus macro in Arena. For those that don't know, Cyclone is incredible crowd control, so having a macro lets you Cyclone one person (especially a healer) while you keep target on the other for damaging abilities. You do this in order to minimize the amount of time spent between the Cyclone cast and the next damaging ability.
One place many Balance druids seem to fail is knowing when to heal their teammates. I use some relatively simple macros for healing my teammates. An example of one of those macros would be "/cast [target=rieku] Nourish."
I have those set up for all of my heals (with the exception of Healing Touch) for two other players. This allows me to continue targeting the person we are trying to kill while healing my teammate that is in need of a heal. Macros like this work great to raise your number of actions per minute, leaving more time to think, read the situation and react to your opponent.
I am quite sure there are other ways to get a similar result in a macro, but this is what I came up with on my own, and it works for me.
WoW.com: How do you split your time booming and healing? How would you say that divides out? I've seen arguments that "I'm here to DPS, I shouldn't have to heal" as well as "We're balanced to be able to heal, and ignoring it ignores potential." What are your thoughts on the dynamic?
Beffyjunk: For the most part, I focus on keeping up CC and putting out as much burst as I can. But when the situation calls for it, I heal however much is needed. I have had many 2v2 and 3v3 matches in which I have had to do a significant amount of healing. Often as much as the actual healers on my team and the opposing team each do.
I guess the old PvP adage "it's situational" comes into play when you are discussing when and how often a Moonkin should heal in Arena. My 2v2 team is me and a brilliant rogue named Rieku. Since he is a Rogue and can't heal himself, that duty falls into my hands.
I would definitely agree that ignoring the fact that you can heal, and heal well, would be a detriment to any Boomkin that feels they shouldn't have to heal.
WoW.com: What do you think the keys are to "unlocking" a Boomkin's potential? What do you think has really helped separate you from other players?
Beffyjunk: I still think I have a long way to go to fully unlock the potential of a Boomkin in Arena, but my meager achievement of maintaining 2k+ ratings on all 3 of my Arena teams is arguably quite an accomplishment for a Balance druid.
One of the most important factors that has granted me a decent amount of relative success as a Boomkin is my knowledge of all of the abilities of other classes. And, then, developing strategies to best counteract those abilities. If you know exactly what your opponent is capable of doing, you have a better chance to make decisions that will counter those abilities.
I also swear that my mouse has given me a big boost in the right direction. A simple piece of hardware such as a 15 button programmable mouse that glows in the dark is a great tool to have at your disposal.
Also, like anything, practice, practice, practice is the best way to improve.
WoW.com: What mouse are you using?
Beffyjunk: I use the SteelSeries World of Warcraft mouse. It really is an excellent tool for PvP and PvE. I would suggest it to anyone, but you do have to do a bit of button reprogramming to get the full potential out of it.
WoW.com: How did you go about learning the other classes? Have you played most of them, just done a lot of reading, or what?
Beffyjunk: The method I used to learn about other classes is quite simple. I simply asked people about their abilities, read the buffs/debuffs they put on their enemies, and kept an eye on patch notes as those abilities have changed over time. While you may run the risk of being made fun of, asking people what their abilities do is a very effective way to find out what any given class can do to you, from very different perspectives depending on who you ask.