The WoW Druid is a shapeshifting hybrid class, and is also one of the most versatile classes in World of Warcraft. It is the only class that can fulfill all four roles in the game: Tank, Healer, and melee or ranged Damage Dealer. But, just because the WoW druid is so versatile doesn’t mean that playing one in World of Warcraft is easy and it is not a class that you should take on lightly. This massively fun to play class can be a great addition to any account, but before you take on a druid in World of Warcraft, you want to make sure that you have a good idea of what you are getting into. As with every other hybrid, Druids need to specialize to be effective in any role in World of Warcraft. However, unlike other hybrids, specialization on a specific talent tree will not cripple the player on other roles as much as other classes. 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.
“We are the preservers of the balance, now and forever, as Malfurion lies in the Dreaming. Never forget this.” – Kal of Dolanaar
WoW 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. 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.
According to the Tauren lore in World of Warcraft, 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. It is likely though 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 in World of Warcraft.
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.
WoW 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.
Overview of the WoW Druid Class:
The core abilities of a Druid in World of Warcraft 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 in World of Warcraft 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, 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 caster classes for top DPS position.
The Feral tree enhances both of the druid’s melee forms in World of Warcraft, 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.
In World of Warcraft, the Restoration Druids take points in improving their assortment of healing spells and also in special abilities including an additional Tree of Life Form. They are powerful healers, however they lack out-of-combat rezzing capacity, because the druid resurrection spell Rebirth has a 30 minute cool-down (at the same time being the only in-combat rez castable on others). Restoration Druids have the best heal over time spells. Together with their very high mana endurance (and their limited rez capability) this makes them arguably the best backup healers in raids.
A properly specced and geared WoW 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, but mostly 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 in World of Warcraft 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 Karazhan to vary their role in the group almost from room to room, moving from Main Tank, to Off-Tank, Melee DPS to Healing, and do them all successfully. All of these role changes can even happen over the course of a single fight in the game of World of Warcraft and can help any group out massively.
The ability to spec to completely different roles makes WoW druids a smart and flexible class choice, if you 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 in World of Warcraft, believe it or not. 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 in World of Warcraft. This can make the very early game for the Druid more difficult than for other classes. However, once mastered, the WoW 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 in World of Warcraft is their ability to travel faster. Druids do not need to buy a flying mount though they are still required to purchase Expert 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.
1. Through a quest at level 16, druids gain their aquatic form allowing them to breathe and travel at normal speed under water.
2. 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).
3. At level 30 the travel form is gained, which is 40% faster that normal run speed.
4. 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 that it’s an Instant Cast spell, allowing the Druid to avoid falling damage (if not in combat) by shifting to flight before hitting the ground.
5. After completing a quest chain, druids gain Swift Flight Form which is as fast as an epic flying mount (again with zero cast time).
The Druid class is the most limited class concerning races. Only one race per faction can become a druid:
All information used with permission from WoWWiki, to view more awesome WoW information, click here: WoWWiki – Druid Guide
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