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Not to be confused with elven druid.
For related articles, see Category:Druids.
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Druid crest

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The Druid is a shapeshifting hybrid class, and is also one of the most versatile classes in the game. As with other hybrids, Druids need to specialize to be most effective in any role. Due to their need to shapeshift to fulfill roles, they can only perform one role at a time; they must switch between the different shapes to adapt to changing situations.

Background

Cenarius1

Cenarius instructs Malfurion, Tyrande, and Illidan.

We are the preservers of the balance, now and forever, as Malfurion lies in the Dreaming. Never forget this. - Kal of Dolanaar

Druids are keepers of the world who walk the path of nature, following the wisdom of the Ancients and Cenarius, healing and nurturing the world. To a druid, nature is a delicate balance of actions, in which even the smallest imbalance can create storming turmoil from peaceful skies. Druids draw their power from this wild energy, using it to change their shapes and command the forces of nature.[1] Traditionally druids chose the path of a specific animal totem. Since the invasion of the Burning Legion, however, most druids have undergone a number of reforms, including encouraging the study of magic from all totems. Druids who do this are known as druids of the wild.[2]

History

According to tauren mythology, Cenarius instructed them first in druidism as recounted in their myth Forestlord and the First Druids. With the release of Wrath of the Lich King, it is indeed confirmed that Taurens were most likely to have been the first students of cenarius, as accounted for by a 10,000+ year old immortal Tauren druid by the name of Xarantaur. As it stands the night elves still attempt to lay claim to the first druid with Malfurion Stormrage, an idea easily challenged by the tauren beliefs & history. Malfurion Stormrage, the first of the night elve druids, is not only considered the most powerful known druid in warcraft lore, but is also considered one of the most powerful characters on Azeroth. Malfurion would lead the night elves through the War of the Ancients and the long years that followed. With the creation of the World Tree Nordrassil, the kaldorei druids were bound to Ysera, and her realm, the Emerald Dream, in which they spent centuries of their immortal lives. The Cenarion Circle was formed as the governing society of druids, based in sacred Moonglade.

Locked in slumber in their barrow dens for generations, the druids awoke to meet the threat of the Burning Legion during its recent invasion. After Archimonde's defeat, the druids chose to remain in the waking world and help to rebuild their shattered lands. The Legion's attack left a terrible scar on the natural order, and the druids seek to heal it.

The night elf druids were recently joined in the Cenarion Circle by the tauren druids. It is not clear from the current game content if the tauren learned druidism separately from the night elves or if they were taught by the night elves. Conflicting information in the Warcraft universe further exacerbates the confusion. Either way, the tauren and the night elf druids do not participate in the Alliance/Horde conflict, but coexist peacefully within the Cenarion Circle.

Cenarius is the patron entity of all druids. However, each group of druids has its own special patrons and some even have the ability to transform into a being that looks like their patron. Many druids will take on an animal companion based on their patron.

Druids belong to many different organizations or types including the Cenarion Circle, Cenarion Expedition, Druids of the Claw, Druids of the Talon, Druids of the Wild, Druids of the Fang, Druids of the Antler, Druids of the Grove and Druids of the Scythe.[citation needed]

Warcraft Encyclopedia

Druids come and go as they please, and their goals typically have little to do with the "civilized" world. Unaffiliated with any specific government, the primary druidic organization on Azeroth, the Cenarion Circle, answers to no one save itself. The highest rank that a druid can have is that of archdruid, and there are only a few archdruids on Azeroth. At the moment the Cenarion Circle's leader is Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage, also the first mortal druid on Azeroth.

Strengths, Abilities, and Underlying Motivations

Through their deep connection to life and nature, druids are able to take on an unusually large variety of roles. Probably a druid's best-known role is that of a healer. Druids are justly famed for their ability to restore life, cure poisonous wounds, and remove curses. Indeed, restoring and protecting the planet is one of the top priorities for all druids. Still, to regard a druid as merely a healer is a dangerously simplistic assumption that has led to the defeat of many an unwary foe.

WOW5Y - Druid of the Claw concept

A druid's empathy with the creatures of the wild also allows him to shapeshift into the forms of other animals. For example, a wounded druid whose magical energies are running low might abruptly take on the form of a bear in order to better withstand further injury. Alternatively, the druid might shift into the form of some large cat, sneak up behind an enemy, then pounce and deliver a fierce flurry of melee attacks. Even the deepest oceans can be explored by a druid, who can simply shift into an aquatic creature, allowing him to stay underwater as long as needed.

Until the end of the Third War, druids periodically visited the Emerald Dream to monitor the ebb and flow of life on Azeroth. Today such a visit has become more difficult due to Nordrassil's poor health. Druids possess a deep understanding of the way in which all living things depend upon one another. Whenever this delicate equilibrium is disrupted, the druid works to restore the balance. To that end, a druid can use his connection with the Emerald Dream to exert a calming influence over animals, even forcing some into a temporary state of hibernation. Just as the druid can wield peace and somnolence, however, the druid can tap into the fury of nature itself. Terrible storms have responded to a druid's call. Thorns have sprouted from the druid's skin to wound his attackers. Even previously harmless roots have grown up out of the soil at greatly accelerated speeds in order to entangle a foe.

Limitations

For obvious reasons, druids thrive in the wild outdoors. Inevitably, however, they lose some of their effectiveness when they are forced to endure separation from the natural environment. What good is a cleansing rain when a druid cannot even see the sky? How are roots to capture a foe who is standing atop a high tower? Such cases clearly require a druid with the imagination to consider new strategies and the flexibility to carry them out.

Yet this flexibility, too, comes with an underlying negative corollary. The druid tends to be a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none. An unusual mixture of priest, rogue, and warrior, the druid is therefore not equal to any of these three classes in their particular specialties. Even so, the druids' incredible adaptability serves them well in confronting the challenges that Azeroth has to offer.

Notable druids

NameRoleStatusLocation
Official alliance mini-iconIconSmall Broll Broll Bearmantle Archdruid of the Night Elves Alive Cenarion Enclave, Darnassus
Neutral 15IconSmall Cenarian Male Cenarius Lord of the Forest Resurrected Gates of Sothann, Mount Hyjal
Neutral 15IconSmall Cenarian Male Remulos Keeper of Moonglade Alive Shrine of Remulos, Moonglade
Official horde mini-iconIconSmall Hamuul Hamuul Runetotem Archdruid of the Tauren Alive Elder Rise, Thunder Bluff
Official alliance mini-iconIconSmall Fandral Fandral Staghelm Traitor / Prisoner Alive Stormrage Barrow Dens Prison
Neutral 15IconSmall Malfurion Malfurion Stormrage Leader of All Druids Alive Temple of the Moon, Darnassus
Neutral 15IconSmall Cenarian Male Zaetar Father of the Centaur Deceased Spirit in the Emerald Dream

Overview

The core abilities of a Druid consist of three single-target and one multiple-target damage spells; four single-target and one multiple-target healing spells; a Cat Form with damaging special moves similar to a Rogue; a Bear Form providing armor and health similar to a Warrior; poison- and curse-cleansing spells; and a range of utility spells like various travel forms, crowd control, and a nice group buff.

  • Balance Druids specialize in damage spells and an additional Moonkin Form, turning them into an efficient ranged spellcaster that is somewhere between a Mage and a Shadow Priest in play style, in the equivalent of plate armor. They excel at nuking single targets as well as providing effective off-healing and crowd-control support. With the Wrath of the Lich King expansion providing them effective AoE damage, they are now on par with any of the other casting classes.
  • The Feral tree enhances both of the Druid's melee forms, allowing them to tank and melee DPS more efficiently. The Talents in this tree usually enhance both forms; however some talents separate the two roles, and gear also makes a difference. Feral Druids are effectively a warrior and a rogue with the ability to heal themselves to boot. Lack of downtime between fights and flexibility in their armor and DPS are their strong points. Since they still have all of the core Druid abilities and use very little mana, they make excellent support casters as well, even if they have chosen the path of melee DPS.
  • Restoration Druids take points in improving their healing spells and an additional Tree of Life Form. Their resurrection spell Rebirth is the only resurrection spell that can be cast in combat, offset by its 10-minute cooldown (reduced from 20 minutes in Patch 3.3.0). With Patch 3.0.2, Druids got the regular resurrection spell Revive, now making them viable main healers for 5-man instances. Restoration Druids have by far the best heal-over-time spells of all healing classes, effectively allowing them to continue healing while incapacitated. In addition, the mobility offered by their heal-over-time spells makes them especially effective in PvP. This together with their excellent mana efficiency and in-combat resurrection ability makes them an effective healing class.
  • The look of Tree of Life form has been altered to resemble the Ancient Protectors of Darnassus as of Patch 4.0.1, will now function like Metamorphosis (30 to 40(talented) second duration with a 3 minute cooldown), and will bolster the druid's healing spells, as well as no longer prevent the druid for casting Balance spells (Wrath will even be stronger and have a shortened cast-time while in ToL). While this new look is- in itself- not a problem, a 15-foot purple tree waving glowing arms is sure to draw far more attention in PvP situations than its more subtle 7-foot version, although a new Minor Glyph (Glyph of The Treant - Patch 4.0.3) will restore the pre-Cata look, making the druid much less obvious in larger Battlegrounds than otherwise. In PvE situations, however, it is simply a matter of preference (well, maybe a little stubbornness too).

For an in-depth look at the talents, please see the Druid talent analysis page.

A properly specced and geared Druid is capable of fulfilling any role. Druid players need to be aware that this versatility also bears a danger — it may be difficult to keep focused when gathering gear. Druids may also encounter doubt from less-experienced players that a class can actually be as flexible as Druids can successfully be, though Burning Crusade and Blizzard's official endorsement of the Druid as one of their 'tapped' tanking classes has helped legitimize the Druid class as something other than a healer. Indeed, it is not uncommon for a Feral Druid in a group or raid to vary their role from encounter to encounter, moving from main tank to off-tank to melee DPS to healing, and do them all successfully. It is even possible for this to happen during a single fight; however, the inability to switch specs or armor in combat means the Druid must usually pick their primary role before each encounter.

The ability to spec to completely different roles makes Druids a smart and flexible class choice; if you are tired of performing one task, you need not create another character to fulfill another role; you simply respec to a new one at little cost and considerably less effort.

Druids used to be quite uncommon because many players found them difficult to level, while others proclaim them the best soloing class in the game. Since the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the Druid population has received a big boost. In order to truly fulfill a hybrid role, Druids require several complete sets of gear above and beyond any resist sets. This is expensive in time, bag space, and gold. Unlike most other hybrid classes, a Druid does not begin with some abilities in each domain; instead they acquire utterly new abilities when they advance to specific levels. Thus a Druid is only complete at comparatively high levels. This can make the very early game for the Druid more difficult than for other classes. However, once mastered, the Druid is one of the most formidable classes in the game with much to contribute to any group, and can be extremely rewarding and enjoyable to play.

Another nice feature of Druids is their ability to travel faster. Druids do not need to buy a flying mount; instead they gain Flight Form through Druid trainers. Artisan riding skill is required to purchase or start the quest chain for the epic flight form.

  • At level 16, Druids gain Aquatic Form allowing them to breathe and travel at a 50% increased speed underwater (100% increased speed with Glyph of Aquatic Form).
  • At level 16, Travel Form is gained, which is 40% faster than normal run speed. Travel Form can be cast in combat, making it a great escape tool when things go bad.
  • At level 21, two Talent points can be put into Feral Swiftness making the cat form 30% faster than normal running speed (Dash can boost this for 15 sec, up to 70% at lvl 65).
  • At level 60, [Flight Form] becomes available in Outland. This form is just as fast as a normal flying mount, but has the additional advantage of being an instant-cast spell, allowing the Druid to gain flight in situations other classes cannot. An example of this would be to avoid falling damage (if not in combat) by shifting to flight before hitting the ground. With proper timing, a druid can even take off from the water by jumping and Shifting in the air.
  • At level 70, after purchasing Artisan Riding (5000Gold) and completing a quest chain, Druids gain Swift Flight Form, which is as fast as an epic flying mount (again with zero cast time). Although this form can be purchased from the trainer at level 71, a Feat of Strength is earned by obtaining the form through the quest chain. Druids can further upgrade their flying speed by purchasing [Master Riding], which allows them to upgrade both their flying mounts and Swift Flight Form from 280% speed to 310% speed.

Races

Main article: Druid races
Tauren Druid

A female tauren Druid.

The Druid class can be played by the following races:

Race Strength Agility Stamina Intellect Spirit Armor Health Mana
Official alliance mini-icon IconSmall NightElf MaleIconSmall NightElf Female Night elf 17 24 20 22 22 48 54 100
Official alliance mini-icon IconSmall Worgen MaleIconSmall Worgen Female Worgen Cataclysm-Logo-Small 24 22 20 18 21 61 54 68
Official horde mini-icon IconSmall Tauren MaleIconSmall Tauren Female Tauren 26 16 21 18 24 32 65 68
Official horde mini-icon IconSmall Troll MaleIconSmall Troll Female Troll Cataclysm-Logo-Small 22 22 21 18 23 24 54 68

The Druid class is the most limited class concerning races. Only two race's per faction can become a Druid. The Worgen and Troll races were added in the Cataclysm-Logo-Small expansion.

Armor and weapons

See also: Druid sets

Druids are able to wear cloth and leather armor only. Night elf druids begin knowing how to wield staves and daggers, while tauren druids begin with knowledge of staves and one-handed maces. Druids can fight with:

Druids do not use shields (although in bear form their armor is so high it were as if they were), and don't dual wield. Off-hand items may be used by druids.

Shapeshifting

The Druid's most notable ability is shapeshifting into different forms. Now, with patch 4.0.1, Bear Form is no longer obtained by doing a quest. Instead it is available from your trainer at level 15. All other forms are purchased from a class trainer or specced into via talent trees.

For a full list of Druid Feral form abilities, see Druid abilities.

For all forms, the following applies:

  • The Druid is immune to polymorph in all forms except the default, humanoid form.
  • Switching from polymorphed humanoid to another form breaks polymorph.
  • Shapeshifting also breaks all movement-impairing effects (like Slow or Hamstring) except the 3-second daze that can proc when one is attacked from behind by a melee attack.
  • Depending on the form, the Druid is considered either humanoid (Caster and Moonkin), beast (Travel, Aquatic, Bear, Dire Bear, and Cat), or elemental (Tree of Life); and thus is vulnerable (or immune) to different spells. This also applies to being tracked.
  • Shapes are not buffs or magical effects, thus they may not be dispelled.

While shapeshifted into Bear, Dire Bear, Cat, Aquatic, Travel, or Flight Form:

  • The Druid is considered a beast.
  • Mana regeneration still continues at the same speed as out of the form. Mana-reducing abilities such as Mana Burn have no effect while in Bear, Dire Bear, and Cat forms; though Viper Sting will continue to tick. It can however be removed as it is a poison.
  • Weapons with a "Chance on hit" effect as well as "Chance on hit" enchants such as Enchant Weapon - Crusader and Enchant Weapon - Lifestealing will now proc. "Chance on hit" effects built into armor pieces (as opposed to weapons), such as the Shattered Sun Pendant of Might's proc also work as of 3.02.
  • Weapon DPS and weapon +damage enchants have no effect, however, armor enchants such as the Enchant Ring - Striking enchant, and armor pieces such as the Crystalforged Trinket that boost weapon damage do work. The bonus damage from Weightstones and Sharpening Stones also does work. Weapon enchants that boost stats such as Attack Power and Agility rather than weapon damage also work.
  • Items with an "Equip: When hit ..." do work in forms. Some examples of these items are the Naglering and Darkmoon Card: Wrath's damage, Green Whelp Armor sleep and Shattered Sun Pendant of Resolve proc.
  • Weapon skill with the equipped weapon has no effect. Instead, the natural weapons always have the maximum weapon skill for their level.

In Moonkin form, the Druid is considered Humanoid and, while still immune to Polymorph and similar spells, can be affected by other abilities targeted at Humanoids such as Sap.

Tree of Life is considered an Elemental and thus vulnerable to Elemental-dependent spells such as Banish.

A Druid quests page exists with an outline for the level 10 (Bear), level 16 (Aquatic), and level 70 (Swift Flight Form) quests. Not existent anymore with patch 4.0.1, and now trainable in any druid trainer. The Bear Form now is trainable at level 15, along with several tanking-needed abilities, such as Growl, Maul etc.

Form Level Effect
Ui-charactercreate-classes druid Humanoid Form Level 1 Druid's natural state. Capable of casting all Druid spells using mana, without limitation on school. Also known as "caster form."
Ability druid catform [Cat Form] Level 8 Can do Melee DPS and has a stealth mode similar to Rogue class. The Night Elf version has the appearance of a lynx, and the Tauren version has the appearance of a lion.
Ability racial bearform [Bear Form] Level 15 Can tank or off tank the way a Warrior does. Increase in Armor designed to make leather emulate Mail armor. - As of patch 4.0.3, that is now the only tanking form and its armor bonus will change according to the druid's level (before level 40, it'll emulate a Mail Armor, increasing armor by 65%, and above it, by 120%, emulating Plate Armor).
Ability druid aquaticform [Aquatic Form] Level 16 Increases swim speed by 50% and allows underwater breathing. Has the appearance of a sea lion or seal. May only be used while swimming.
Ability druid travelform [Travel Form] Level 16 Gives a 40% run speed increase. Looks like a cheetah. May only be used outdoors.
Ability racial bearform [Dire Bear Form] Level 40 An improved version of Bear Form that looks the same as the standard Bear Form, but has greatly increased bonuses to armor and hit points, approximating plate armor. - With patch 4.0.1, this form is being completely removed. Now, the only one is the normal Bear Form.
Spell nature forceofnature [Moonkin Form] 11 points in balance talents A spellcasting form that gives nearby party members an additional 5% critical chance to spells cast. While in Moonkin form, a Druid is restricted to only casting balance spells with the exception of Remove Curse and Abolish Poison.
Ability druid treeoflife [Tree of Life Form] 31 points in restoration talents This form transforms the Druid into a Tree of Life. Healing to party and raid members within 100 yards of the Druid receive a bonus of 6%, and only Swiftmend, Innervate, Nature's Swiftness, Rebirth, Revive, Abolish Poison, Remove Curse and healing spells can be cast. The mana cost of these spells is reduced by 20% (with or without being transformed). - Now at patch 4.0.1, as said before, that form do not anymore give an aura of 6% healing bonus, and instead gives some extra effects to healing abilities.
Ability druid flightform [Flight Form] Level 60 This form transforms the Druid into a flight form increasing movement speed by 150% (equal to regular flying mounts). The regular riding enhancements do not affect speed, but the Charm of Swift Flight (obtained part way through the swift flight chain) previously did, although it is now essentially useless. Cannot be used in combat. Can only be used in Outland or Northrend (with Cold Weather Flying at level 77). Gives the appearance of a Storm crow.
Ability druid flightform [Swift Flight Form] Level 70 Swift flight form, increasing movement speed by 280% (equal to epic flying mounts). As of Patch 3.2, if you already possess a 310% speed mount, your Swift Flight Form's speed will increase to 310%. Riding enhancements do not affect speed, but during the quest line, a Charm of Swift Flight is acquired, which was equivalent to a Riding Crop, but is now essentially useless. Cannot be used in combat. Can only be used in Outland or Northrend (with Cold Weather Flying at level 77). Obtained through a quest chain at level 70, or trainable at level 71. Requires a riding skill of 300.

Shapeshifting and Disguises

If you shapeshift while wearing any disguise, you will notice that your form buff will remove the disguise buff. This is because of problems caused by the two buffs when they were allowed to stack. Blizzard didn't like the bugs that were made through these effects stacking even though they were used to have fun most of the time. Items like the Noggenfogger Elixir were then changed to not stack with Druid forms so that it would not cause any future problems.

Blizz
Re: Hallow's End Candy and Druids | 2007-10-18 20:02 | Drysc
Shapeshifting is a blanket effect and it breaks other effects as some really weird stuff can happen if we allow unlimited combinations. It's fun for everyone to make weird stuff happen by combining different effects, but we generally don't like to see those types of bugs. With it we can design new effects and not be restricted to what we can do by ensuring everything works together properly and doesn't break something.

View original post

Some players state that the change was because of PvP reasons but there is some conflicting evidence. Here's a post made by Drysc responding to a poster on what it appears to be a deleted thread found on a BlueTracker:[3]

"Quote: If I remember correctly, the nerf for Druids not being able to use noggenfogger in forms was because it was deemed overpowered in PvP."

Blizz
Re: The Noggen Fogger and Deviate Nerf | 2007-04-25 18:51 | Drysc
Nah, although it was kind of weird to not know what you're up against at a simple glance it was along the lines of the no-consumables while in-form. It was simply cleaning up some inconsistencies.

View original post

Patch changes

As of Patch 3.2, Druids are able to customize the appearance of their Feral forms. There are five different designs for each of these forms for both Horde and Alliance. Druids can change their Cat Form and Bear Form design at any time by visiting a barbershop, Night Elves changing their character's hair color, and Taurens switching skin tones. Since there are more hair colors and skin tones than unique form designs, some colors and tones will produce the same designs. The hair and skin colors chosen will, in most cases, correspond to the colors seen in the design of each form. Some similar colors that may share a particular cat texture will not necessarily share the same bear texture.[4]

Druid forms depending on race
  • Tauren Bear Form
  • Tauren Cat Form
  • Tauren attributes with corresponding feral colors.
  • Night Elf Bear Form
  • Night Elf Cat Form
  • Night Elf attributes with corresponding feral colors.
  • Troll Bear Form
  • Troll Cat Form
  • Troll attributes with corresponding feral colors.
  • Worgen Bear Form
  • Worgen Cat Form

Spells

Main article: Druid abilities

In addition to healing spells, Druids also have an excellent buff, Mark of the Wild. They also have a number of damage spells, making them (if properly geared and with proper talent point allocation) just as powerful, though less versatile in the damage dealing department than mages or warlocks.

Talents

See also: Druid talent analysis

Druid talents are split into three categories:

  • Balance - for spellcasting damage.
  • Feral combat - for tanking (Bear Form) and melee damage dealing (Cat Form).
  • Restoration - for healing.

It is important to note that each Druid talent tree contains some talents which are useful if specializing in one of the other trees. For example, some Feral Combat talents modify maximum mana; some Balance talents reduce the cost of healing spells, while others are helpful for the Feral forms. Finally, some Restoration talents give the Druid rage/energy when he switches into either Cat or Bear Form.

Good talent calculators can be found here: Official Blizzard site, Wowhead, and ThottBot.

In Mists of Pandaria

Mists-Logo-Small This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

In the Mists of Pandaria expansion, druids will be the first class to have four specializations rather than three. Feral is expected to be split into two specs: Feral (cat DPS) and Guardian (bear tank).[5]

End-game expectations

While before the Burning Crusade expansion most Druids were healers in the end game, new itemization and talents have made Druids of any talent specialization viable in the end game and raids.

Entangling Roots gives Druids the ability to provide reliable crowd control on melee targets.

There is no class better at healing over time than restoration Druids. In raid encounters, where there is a lot of movement and cast times are often interrupted, a Druid is quite effective in healing due to the instant-cast nature of their HoTs, enabling spells to be cast on the run. In arenas, Resto Druid teams are particularly feared by many due to the Druid's ability to quickly cast HoT's on both partner and self, and the ability to keep out of harm's way with Travel Form, effectively kiting most opponents.

Feral Druids can fill the core role of tanking well. While Warriors have significant advantages on some raid bosses, Feral Druids have the unique flexibility to switch from tanking to melee DPS on demand. Ferals often tank bosses or mob groups where more tanks are required, and then change form and gear to DPS on bosses where only 1 or 2 tanks are required. It is also possible during a single fight, if the add they are offtanking dies. While Protection Warriors and Paladins are rather limited to tanking with their talent trees, many talents of the Feral tree are useful for both tanking and melee damage. It should also be noted that the Feral talent Nurturing Instinct now grant 50/100% healing bonus from Agility (up from 35/70% pre-Cataclysm), letting even feral druids provide noticable off-healing by throwing out a few powerful rejuvs or a Tranquility to help the healer conserve mana in times of need (provided they aren't the focus of attacks at the moment themselves). Also, the re-worked Thorns is (while short-lived) very strong and can be cast on the Main Tank for a lot of extra threat and a good boost to group DPS as well (thorns should be used on the tank by Balance and Restoration druids as well, for the same reasons).

Balance Druids have become more popular with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Their various abilities, such as the famous Moonkin Aura, as well as the debuff Earth and Moon, increase the amount of damage spell casters in their party or raid can deal.

Aside from their abilities, each spec contains a powerful support aura for the Druid's group; increasing melee damage, caster damage, or healing. Innervate during long fights and in-combat resurrection for emergencies are also very useful.

Parl2001's Guide - Part 1 Parl2001's Guide - Part 2
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Author's note: The above Feral PvE DPS guide was made after Patch 3.2.2 and contains a number of errors. For details, check http://coldbear.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/things-i-got-wrong/

Cataclysm changes Cataclysm-Logo-Small

General preview

Blizz
Cataclysm Class Preview: Druid | 2010-04-10 00:59 | Bashiok
In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm we’ll be making several changes to class talents and abilities. Here you will get a glimpse into some of the changes we have in store for the druid. The information you’re about to read is certainly not complete, and is only meant to act as a preview of some of the exciting new things to come. Let’s kick things off by checking out some of the new druid spells and abilities!

New Druid Abilities

[Thrash] (Level 81): Thrash deals damage and causes all targets within 10 yards to bleed every 2 seconds for 6 seconds. The intent here is to give bears another button to hit while tanking. Talents will affect the bleed, such as causing [Swipe] to deal more damage to bleeding targets. 5-second cooldown. 25 Rage.

[Stampeding Roar] (Level 83): The druid roars, increasing the movement of all allies within 10 yards by 40% for 8 seconds. Stampeding Roar can be used in cat or bear form, but bears might have a talent to drop the cooldown. The goal of this ability is to give both bears and cats a little more situational group utility. 3-minute cooldown. No cost.

[Wild Mushroom] (Level 85): Grows a magical mushroom at the target location. After 4 seconds the mushroom becomes invisible. Enemies who cross the mushroom detonate it, causing it to deal area-of-effect damage, though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. The druid can also choose to detonate the mushroom ahead of time. This is primarily a tool for the Balance druid, and there will be talents that play off of it. No cooldown. 40-yard range. Instant cast.

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

In addition to the new abilities listed above, we intend to make changes to some of the other abilities and mechanics with which you’re already familiar. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of our goals for each spec.

  • All heal-over-time spells (HoTs) will benefit from crit and haste innately in Cataclysm. Hasted HoTs do not reduce their duration, but instead add additional HoT ticks. Haste will also benefit Energy generation while in cat form.
  • Unlike the other healers, Restoration druids will not be receiving any new spells. They have plenty to work with already, and our challenge instead is to make sure all of them have a well-defined niche. A druid should be able to tank-heal with stacks of Lifebloom, spot-heal a group with [Nourish] and [Regrowth], and top off lightly wounded targets with [Rejuvenation].
  • We want to add tools to cat form and depth to bear form. If a Feral cat is going to fill a very similar niche to that of a rogue, warrior or Enhancement shaman, it needs a few more tools -- primarily a reliable interrupt. Bears need to be pushing a few more buttons just so the contrast between tanking and damage-dealing is not so steep.
  • Barkskin will be innately undispellable.
  • We will be buffing the damage of [Mangle] (cat) significantly so that when cat druids cannot [Shred], they are not at such a damage-dealing loss.
  • Druids will lose [Abolish Poison] with the dispel mechanics change, but Restoration druids will gain Dispel Magic (on friendly targets) as a talent. All druids can still remove poisons with [Cure Poison] and remove curses with [Remove Curse].

New Talents and Talent Changes

  • [Tree of Life] is changing from a passive talent to a cooldown-based talent, similar to [Metamorphosis]. Mechanically, it feels unfair for a druid to have to give up so much offense and utility in order to be just as good at healing as the other classes who are not asked to make that trade. We are exploring the exact benefit the druid gets from Tree of Life. It could strictly be better healing, or it could be that each heal behaves slightly different. You also will not be able to be banished in Tree of Life form (this will probably be true of Metamorphosis as well). Additionally, we would like to update the Tree of Life model so that it feels more exciting when you do decide to go into that form. Our feeling is that druids rarely actually get to show off their armor, so it would be nice to have at least one spec that looked like a night elf or tauren (and soon troll or worgen) for most of the time.
  • We want to make the Feral cat damage rotation slightly more forgiving. We do not want to remove what druids like about their gameplay, but we do want to make it less punishing to miss, say, a Savage Roar or Rake. The changes here will be on par with increasing the duration of Mangle like we did for patch 3.3.3.
  • Balance druids will have a new talent ability called Nature’s Torrent, which strikes for either Nature or Arcane damage depending on which will do the most damage (or possibly both), and moves the Eclipse meter more (details below). The improved version of [Nature’s Torrent] also reduces the target's movement speed. 10-second cooldown.
  • Restoration druids will have a new talent called [Efflorescence], which causes a bed of healing flora to sprout beneath targets that are critically healed by Regrowth.
  • We plan on giving Feral cats and bears a [Kick]/[Pummel] equivalent -- an interrupt that is off the global cooldown and does no damage. We feel like they need this utility to be able to fill the melee role in a dungeon or raid group, and to give them more PvP utility.
  • We want to make sure Feral and Balance druids feel like good options for an Arena team. They need the tools to where you might consider a Feral druid over an Arms warrior, or a Balance druid over a mage or warlock. Remember that the PvP landscape will probably look pretty different for Cataclysm with a focus on rated, competitive Battlegrounds.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

Balance
  1. Spell Damage
  2. Spell Haste
  3. Eclipse: We are moving [Eclipse] from a talent into a core mechanic of the class and making it less random. Balance druids will have a new UI element that shows a sun and a moon. Whenever they cast an Arcane spell, it will move the UI closer to the sun, and buff their Nature damage. Whenever they cast a Nature spell, it will move the UI closer to the moon, and buff their Arcane damage. The gameplay intention is to alternate Arcane and Nature spells (largely [Starfire] and [Wrath]) to maintain the balance.
Feral (Cat)
  1. Melee Damage
  2. Melee Critical Damage
  3. Bleed Damage: Feral druids will receive two sets of passive bonuses depending on whether the druid is in cat or bear form. Bleed Damage will be improved for cats. Savage Defense is the current bear mechanic for converting crits into damage absorption and will be improved for bears.
Feral (Bear)
  1. Damage Reduction
  2. Vengeance
  3. Savage Defense: Feral druids will receive two sets of passive bonuses depending on whether the druid is in cat or bear form. Bleed Damage will be improved for cats. Savage Defense is the current bear mechanic for converting crits into damage absorption and will be improved for bears.
Restoration
  1. Healing
  2. Meditation
  3. HoT Scale Healing: HoTs will do increased healing on more wounded targets. The mechanic is similar to that of the Restoration shaman, but with HoTs instead of direct heals. In Cataclysm, we anticipate druids using a greater variety of their spells so there is a distinction between healing and HoT healing.
Vengeance
This is a mechanic to ensure that tank damage (and therefore threat) doesn’t fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will give them a stacking attack power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character’s unbuffed health. For boss encounters we expect that tanks will always have the attack power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Feral tree and the druid is in bear form -- these values will be smaller at lower levels. Remember, you only get this bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Feral tree and are in bear form, so you won’t see Balance, Restoration, or Feral druids in cat form running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to make tank gear more or less the way we do today -- there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so the Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but overall the goal is that all four tanks do about the same damage when tanking.
We hope you enjoyed this preview, and ask that you provide your initial thoughts and feedback on what was presented here. Please keep in mind, what you’ve just reviewed is a work in progress and as we move closer to the Cataclysm beta, you’ll see these changes as well as others continue to develop in response to testing and feedback.

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Videos

New abilities and talents preview by TGN on YouTube
Balance Feral & Restoration
Druid DPS Rundown by TGN on YouTube
Balance Feral

See also

References

  1. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 67
  2. ^ Alliance Player's Guide, 14
  3. ^ Re: The Noggen Fogger and Deviate Nerf (2007-04-25). Archived from the original on 2009-10-10. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  4. ^ Blizz Blizzard. Updated Druid Forms Coming Soon. Retrieved on 2009-06-12. “In our next major content patch, druids will find a host of new textures for two major forms, cat and bear.”
  5. ^ "Mists of Pandaria: Preview Panel" at BlizzCon 2011.

External links

Guides
Mists-Logo-Small Beta News


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