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== Overview ==
 
== Overview ==

Revision as of 04:35, December 20, 2008

Not to be confused with druid magi.
For related articles, see Category:Druids.
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The Druid is a shapeshifting hybrid class, and is also one of the most versatile classes in the game. It is the only class that can fulfill all four roles in the game: Tank, Healer, and melee or ranged Damage Dealer. As with every other hybrid, Druids need to specialize to be effective in any role. Due to their need to shapeshift to fulfill roles, they can only perform one role at a time. Druids must switch between the different shapes in order to adapt to situations as they come.

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.WoWRPG 67 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.APG 14

History

According to the Tauren lore, Cenarius instructed them first in Druidism, as recounted in their myth Forestlord and the First Druids. It was in fact Malfurion Stormrage who was the first mortal druid, and Cenarius's greatest student. [1] [2] It is likely, however, that Cenarius may have met and befriended the Tauren.

He 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 the 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. During the war, Malfurion had befriended Hamuul Runetotem and taught him of druidism. Hamuul later became the first tauren to join the Cenarion Circle and later the archdruid of the Tauren race.

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 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, and Druids of the Grove

Notable druids

Overview

The core abilities of a Druid consists of three single-target and one multiple-target mage-like damage spells; four single-target and one multiple-target priest-like healing spells; a Cat Form containing basic damaging special moves similar to a rogue; a Bear Form yielding 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. Spending Talent points in the Talent trees allows Druids to specialize their play style as they see fit.

  • Balance Druids specialize in their assortment of damage spells and special abilities including 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 lack true AoE capabilities but excel at nuking single targets as well as providing effective off-healing and crowd control support for their group or raid. The Burning Crusade brought the Balance tree enough power to make a properly geared balance Druid decent competition with the pure caster classes for top DPS position.
  • 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 equally and specialization into one of the two roles depends mostly upon gear. 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.
  • Restoration Druids take points in improving their assortment of healing spells and also in special abilities including an additional Tree of Life Form. Their resurrection spell Rebirth is the only resurrection spell that can be cast in combat, offset by its 20-minute cooldown. With Patch 3.0.2, Druids get 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, albeit unique healing class.
NightElfMale

A night elf Druid in art.

A properly specced and geared Druid is capable of fulfilling any of several roles in a group. Druid players need to be aware that this versatility also bears a danger — it may be difficult to keep focused when gathering gear. Also there can tend to be a great deal of doubt on the part of other players that a class can actually be as flexible as it is possible for Druids to successfully be, hence they are not always welcomed in groups as they should 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 to the populace in many ways. Indeed, it is not uncommon at all for a Feral Druid in a group or raid to vary their role from encounter to encounter, moving from Main Tank, to Off-Tank, Melee DPS to Healing, and do them all successfully. It is even possible for these role changes to happen over the course of a single fight; however, a character's inability to change armor pieces in combat means the Druid must usually pick which role they will primarily act in 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 are quite an uncommon class. Many find them difficult to level, while others proclaim them the best soloing class in the game. Moreover, since the Druid population is extremely low, there have been fewer examples of a well-played Druid for other players to have experience of and emulate. In order to truly fulfill a hybrid role, Druids require several complete sets of gear above and beyond any resist sets that most classes will possess. This is always expensive in time, bag space, and gold. Unlike most other hybrid classes, a Druid does not begin as a true hybrid with some abilities in each of their domains, instead they acquire utterly new branches of ability when they advance to certain 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 about playing Druids is their ability to travel faster. Druids do not need to buy a flying mount (though they are still required to purchase Journeyman riding skill); instead they gain flight form through Druid trainers. Artisan riding skill is required to start the quest chain for the epic flight form.

  • Through a quest at level 16, Druids gain their aquatic form allowing them to breathe and travel at a 50% increased speed underwater.
  • 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 30, travel form is gained, which is 40% faster than normal run speed. Though it would appear to be obsolete now that patch 2.4 made mounts obtainable at level 30, travel form can be cast in combat, making it a great escape tool when things go bad.
  • At level 68, 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. A example of this would be to avoid falling damage (if not in combat) by shifting to flight before hitting the ground. It is also available earlier than other classes.
  • After purchasing Artisan Riding (5000g) and completing a quest chain, Druids gain Swift Flight Form which is as fast as an epic flying mount (again with zero cast time). This form can also be gained from the trainer at level 71.

Races

Tauren Druid

A female tauren Druid.

Main article: Druid races

The Druid class is the most limited class concerning races. Only one race per faction can become a druid:
Alliance 32Alliance

Horde 32Horde

Armor and weapons

See also: Druid sets
See also: Druid weapon

Druids are able to wear cloth and leather armor only. Druids start out with different weapons depending on race; night elves begin knowing staves and daggers, while tauren begin with staves and one handed maces. Depending on race, druids have different starting weapons. Beyond that, druids can learn to fight with:

Druids cannot use shields (but in bear form their armor is as high as though they had one), and they cannot dual wield. "Held in off-hand" items can still be used. This leads to druids using either a two-handed weapon, or a 1H + off-hand item.

Shapeshifting forms

The Druid's most notable ability is shapeshifting into different forms. Bear Form, Aquatic Form, and Swift Flight Form are obtained by doing Druid Quests. The other forms are purchased from a class trainer.


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 basic humanoid form.
  • Switching from polymorphed humanoid to another form breaks polymorph.
  • Shapeshifting also breaks most movement impairing effects (like Slow or Hamstring) and roots (Frost Nova or Entangling Roots).
  • 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 but at a slightly reduced rate. Mana reducing abilities such as Mana Burn have no effect while in 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 not proc. "Chance on hit" effects built into armor pieces (as opposed to weapons), such as the Shattered Sun Pendant of Might's proc will still work. As of 3.02, all weapon chance on hit abilities such as Enchant Weapon - Mongoose now work in all forms.
  • 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.

Weapon procs and enchants will proc in both Moonkin and Tree of Life form.

A Druid Quests page exists with an outline for the level 10 (Bear), level 16 (Aquatic), and level 70 (Swift Flight Form) quests.

Form Level Effect
Ui-charactercreate-classes druid Humanoid Form Level 1 Hybrid. Can heal, nuke, and do CC. Has one of the best buffs in the game. Also known as "caster form."
Ability racial bearform Bear Form Level 10 Can tank or off tank the way a Warrior does. Increase in Armour designed to make leather emulate Mail armor.
Ability druid aquaticform Aquatic Form Level 16 Increases swim speed by 50% speed and allows underwater breathing. Has the appearance of a sea lion or seal. May only be used while swimming.
Ability druid catform Cat Form Level 20 Can do Melee DPS and has a stealth mode similar to Rogue class. The Night Elf version has the appearance of a dark lynx, and the Tauren version has the appearance of a lion.
Ability druid travelform Travel Form Level 30 Looks like a cheetah, Druids receive a 40% run speed increase in this form. May only be used outdoors on land.
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, emulating Plate armor.
Spell nature forceofnature Moonkin Form 31 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.
Ability druid treeoflife Tree of Life Form 41 points in Restoration Talents This form transforms the Druid into a Tree of Life. The druids movement speed is reduced by 20%, Party members within 45 yards receive a healing bonus equal to 25% of the druids total Spirit, and only Swiftmend, Innervate, Nature's Swiftness, Rebirth and healing over time spells can be cast. The mana cost of these spells is reduced by 20%.
Ability druid flightform Flight Form Level 68 This form transforms the Druid into a flight form increasing movement speed by 60% (equal to standard flying mount). 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 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 an epic flying mount). 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.

Spells

Main article: Druid abilities

In addition to healing spells, Druids also have excellent buffs. They also have a limited number of damage spells, making them (if properly geared and with proper talent point allocation) just as powerful, though less versatile, than Mages or Warlocks.

Talents

See also: Druid talent analysis

Druid talents are split into three categories:

  • Balance - Focus on Damage Spells to make the druid an efficient caster damage dealer.
  • Feral Combat - Focus on using the druid forms (Cat Form, Bear Form, Dire Bear Form) in the aspects of tanking (Bear/Dire Bear Form) and melee damage dealing (Cat Form).
  • Restoration - Focus on Healing Spells to make the druid an efficient healer.

It is important to note that each Druid talent tree contains some talents which are actually useful if specializing in one of the other trees. For example, some Feral Combat talents modify maximum mana, some Balance talents modify 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.

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.

There is no class better at healing over time than Restoration Druids. In raid encounters, where there is high mobility 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 with Travel Form, effectively kiting most opponents.

Feral druids can fill the core role of tanking well as their threat generation is often better than that of warrior or paladin on a single target. While warriors have significant advantages on some raid bosses, feral druids have the unique flexibility to switch between tanking to dedicated melee DPS on demand. Ferals often tank bosses or mob groups where more tanks are required 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, most talents of the feral druid tree are useful for both tanking and melee damage.

Balance Druids have also risen in demand (although not as much as feral), due to the DPS and buffs they can bring into a raid, and the fact that they make excellent emergency healers.

Aside from their abilities, they each bring along a powerful supportive aura to their group, increasing melee damage, caster damage or healing even further. Innervate during long fights and in-combat resurrection for emergencies are also very useful.

See also

External links

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