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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 provided they are skilled.
  • The Feral tree enhances the druids abilities in Cat Form. Cat Form specializes in bleeding the target with abilities such as Rip, Rake and Thrash. They have stealth abilites similar to a rogue, and bring versatility to the raid group. With abilities like Symbosis, Heart of the Wild, Mark of the Wild, and Rebirth the druid can help save a raid group in multiple ways. With the changes of druids since Wrath of the Lich King, most feral druids are very capable of doing high damage provided they are skilled. Upon choosing the feral specialization some abilities are only available in this tree. Abilities such as Rip and Savage Roar can only be used in this specialization. Other guardian abilities such as Savage Defense and Bear Hug cannot be used in this specialization.
  • The Guardian tree enhances the druids abilities in Bear Form. Use of Savage Defense to dodge attacks and other cooldowns make Bears a very viable tank for Raiding. They are great for encounters that require swapping of tanks to a damage role as all they need is a change of specialization.
  • 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.

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. In order to truly fulfill a hybrid role, Druids require several complete sets of gear. This is expensive in time, bag space, and gold. However, 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, due to poor itemization and design. Since the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the Druid population has received a big boost after receiving a large overhaul in gear optimization and mechanics. 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 Flight Trainers.

  • At level 15, you can choose one of three talents: Feline Swiftness, (30% Movement speed in all forms, stacks with other similar bonuses) Displacer Beast, (Teleports the druid up to 20 yards forward and activates Prowl) or Wild Charge. (Previously known as Feral Charge, it has been given special abilities for all forms). All three of these talents help the druid greatly in mobility and utility for both PVP and PVE.
  • At level 58, [Flight Form] becomes available for purchase at the Riding Trainer. 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) from the Riding Trainer Druids gain Swift Flight Form. is as fast as an epic flying mount (again with zero cast time). 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. Druids used to have to do a questline in order to be able to train this form, but this has since been removed and has become a Feat of Strength.

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. Druids receive a 5% bonus to their primary stat when wearing all leather armor. It is uncommon to find two handed maces with agility on them, so most feral or guardian druids use either staves or polearms.

Shapeshifting

DruidFormsTCG

Druid forms, TCG art

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 8. 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.
  • Druids can be sheeped in humanoid form if caught off guard for the full duration. (Cannot shapeshift out of it)
  • 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, Cat, Aquatic, Travel, or Flight Form:


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 is given to the player as they advance in level.

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 6 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 8 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 18 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.
Spell nature forceofnature [Moonkin Form] Level 10 upon choosing your specialization 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] Level 10 upon choosing your specialization This form transforms the Druid into a Tree of Life. The druid can only cast Swiftmend, Innervate, Nature's Swiftness, Rebirth, Revive, Abolish Poison, Remove Curse and healing spells can be cast. It empowers your lifebloom to be used on multiple targets and allows Regrowth to be instant cast.
Ability druid flightform [Flight Form] Level 58 This form transforms the Druid into a flight form increasing movement speed by 150% (equal to regular flying mounts). Cannot be used in combat. Can be used in Azeroth (world) (with purchase of Flight Master's License at level 60),Outland,Northrend (with Cold Weather Flying at level 68). 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 due to the fact that it does not work past level 70. Cannot be used in combat. Obtained by purchasing Artisan Riding skill from the Riding Trainer. Works in the same areas as Flight Form.

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

As of patch 5.0.4, some vanity shapeshift items will work while mounting (such as moonkin form) but others will be removed upon shapeshift.

Druid Form Customization

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

Also note that you can pickup a minor glyph that will change the color of your fur each time your shapeshift. (Glyph of the Cameleon.)

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 four categories:

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

Currently, druids are the only class with four available specializations.

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

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.

Guardian 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.

Feral Druids are expected to bring utility while still providing reliable damage over time bleeds. Many cats are able to hit high damage meters while still being able to battle ressurect or tank small adds if needed.

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.

Videos

Druid Guides for all Specializations
Balance Guide Feral Guide
Restoration Guide Guardian Guide

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.”

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