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== Shapeshifting ==
 
== Shapeshifting ==
The druid's most notable ability is shapeshifting into different forms. [[Bear Form]] is obtained by doing a quest. The other forms are purchased from a class trainer.
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The druid's most notable ability is shapeshifting into different forms. [[Bear Form]], [[Aquatic Form]] and [[Swift Flight Form]] are obtained by doing class quests. The other forms are purchased from a class trainer.
   
 
* [[Bear Form]] / [[Dire Bear Form]]
 
* [[Bear Form]] / [[Dire Bear Form]]

Revision as of 18:26, February 23, 2010

Not to be confused with elven druid.
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. 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.[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. As it stands the night elves claim the first druid with Malfurion Stormrage, an idea challenged by the tauren beliefs. 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 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, and Druids of the Grove.[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 Fandral Staghelm. However, the first mortal druid on Azeroth was Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage.

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

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 like a mage, but they are capable of AoE damage in certain situitions. They 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 Wrath of the Lich King expansion has given them new AoE spells and a significantly reworked talent tree, 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 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 10-minute cooldown [Reduced from 20-minutes in patch 3.3.0]. 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 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 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 Offtank, 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 used to be quite an uncommon class 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, druid population has taken a big boost. 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; 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 their 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. A example of this would be to avoid falling damage (if not in combat) by shifting to flight before hitting the ground.
  • 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 (a Feat of Strength is earned by obtaining Swift Flight Form through the quest chain, though).

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
Alliance 15 IconSmall NightElf MaleIconSmall NightElf Female Night elf 17 24 20 22 22 48 54 100
Alliance 15 IconSmall Worgen MaleIconSmall Worgen Female Worgen Cataclysm-Logo-Small 24 22 20 18 21  ?  ?  ?
Horde 15 IconSmall Tauren MaleIconSmall Tauren Female Tauren 26 16 21 18 24 32 65 68
Horde 15 IconSmall Troll MaleIconSmall Troll Female Troll Cataclysm-Logo-Small 22 22 21 18 23  ?  ?  ?

The druid class is the most limited class concerning races. Only one race per faction can become a druid, with one more for each being added in Cataclysm.

Armor and weapons

See also: Druid sets

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. 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

The druid's most notable ability is shapeshifting into different forms. Bear Form, Aquatic Form and Swift Flight Form are obtained by doing class 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 all movement impairing effects (like Slow or Hamstring) and roots (Frost Nova or Entangling Roots) 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.

Previously, weapon procs and enchants would only proc in Moonkin and Tree of Life forms, but now also proc in feral forms.

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 Armor designed to make leather emulate Mail 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 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 lynx, and the Tauren version has the appearance of a lion.
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 and Abolish Poison.
Ability druid treeoflife Tree of Life Form 41 points in restoration talents This form transforms the druid into a Tree of Life. Healing to party and raid members within 45 yards of the druid receives 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).
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). 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's some evidence that might prove that as false information. 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. Night Elves can choose to change their Cat Form and Bear Form design at any time by visiting the barbershop and changing their character's hair color, while Tauren are able to change which design they use by switching skin tones in the barbershop -- A new feature for tauren added with the same patch. Given that there are more hair colors and skin tones than unique form design, some colors and tones will overlap with these new textures. The hair and skin colors chosen will, in most cases, correspond with the color 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]

Spells

Main article: Druid abilities

In addition to healing spells, druids also have excellent buffs. 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 - 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. 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, many talents of the feral tree are useful for both tanking and melee damage.

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. The use of Entangling Roots indoors gives druids the ability to provide reliable crowd control on melee targets.

Aside from their abilities, each spec 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.

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/

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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