Things Druids want Non-Druids to know
- If there is a druid in the party you already have at least one tank, one healer, one caster, or one DPSer, but not more than one of the four. Don't expect a druid to be able to hold aggro in bear form, then be able to heal without being harassed by the enemies he was holding the aggro of a minute ago.
- Druids are the only class in the game able to fill 4 completely different roles; melee dps, magic dps, tanking and healing. Always make sure you know what you're getting and what the druid expects to be doing.
- While forming a group, do not assume the Druid is the healer or the tank. Ask about talent build while forming the group. Feral and Balance Druids should not be assumed to be healers, just like Restoration Druids should not be assumed to be tanks.
- If a feral druid says that they are DPS spec'd, don't assume that they can tank anything past level 68. Most feral dps specs now ignore most tanking talents.
- A Balance or Feral specified Druid may be able to main-heal instances, but this is highly dependent on gear, talent selection, and experience. While the restoration tree provides for the most comprehensive healing abilities, each of the other trees is given something mana-wise "in compensation" for not going down the standard healing tree; Heart of the Wild gives feral druids in healing gear an abnormally large mana pool, and Dreamstate gives balance druids an abnormally large mana regen rate.
- Generally speaking, a druid can fill any role regardless of gear up to level 30, and can fill any role they have gear for up to level 60. Your mileage beyond that will depend on player ability, but off-spec roles can be accomplished right up to non-heroic level 80 dungeons, provided the druid has a gear set for it and knows the role. While performance may be suboptimal, the goal for the party can still be accomplished.
- Druid tanking in general: Bears need time to build aggro. Give the druid a moment to build some hate, especially on multiple mobs, before you unload the trinketed super crit Fat-Boy fireball nuke. Learn to recognize the graphics for mangle, maul, swipe, and lacerate. Melee should always attack a target from behind; bears cannot block or parry like Warrior and Paladin tanks, so you get parried a lot and the bear doesn't dodge, then you could easily destroy your tank in a matter of seconds.
- Also, Druids have virtually no interrupts to use against Caster mobs; we have Bash, but it has a one-minute cooldown. A one-minute cooldown isn't going to be very helpful against mobs that cast spells. Any abilities you have that can interrupt casting (a Rogue's Kick, a Mage's Counterspell, etc.) would be deeply appreciated.
- For Paladins and Priests when working with a druid tank. Druids get rage from being hit. Don't shield a bear before he goes in to attack, or he won't have any rage to maul or swipe to get aggro. Save the shield for an emergency. A HoT before he's in combat helps, though.
- For Rogues and Warriors when working with a druid tank. Use all your bleed effects, remember that mangle increases their effect by 30% so it becomes a significant addition to overall DPS.
- For any crowd controllers when working with a Druid tank. If the Druid is planning on tanking more than one mob at a time it is often helpful if you pull your targets away before crowd controlling them as Druids will often rely on swipe in order to keep aggro on the targets.
- For the following situation: you're a class that can resurrect and in an instance, you've just died and the group is about to wipe. The druid then casts rebirth on you with the last of his mana: DO NOT RES! This should be treated as Wipe Recovery: wait until everyone is dead and the mobs have left, then res yourself and everyone else. :)
- Though a druid in bear or cat form can come out to heal in an emergency, don't expect us to heal for an extended period of time. More likely than not, a feral druid's gear will not have many intellect or spirit bonuses on it. If we heal for too long, we will run out of mana and be unable to shift back into our previous form, which you do not want.
- Do not overlook Balance Druids. While balance druids are lacking in Crowd Control compared to many DPS classes, balance Druids bring their group decent DPS along with the Druid's usual best buff in the game (Mark of the Wild / Gift of the Wild). Moonkin Form adds 5% crit chance to spell casting, so the entire party's casting DPS and healing critical chance increases by 5%, this is a major bonus for not only mages, warlocks and other offensive casters, but also for paladin healers and to a lesser extent priest and shaman healers. Deep balance druids also have the Earth and Moon talent, which increases all spell damage by 13% (but doesn't stack with similar abilities from warlocks and unholy death knights).
- If you are raiding with a balance druid specced into Improved Faerie Fire the mobs you will be facing will likely be continuously debuffed with an extra 3% chance to be hit with spells. If you are a caster compromising other stats for +hit gear, consider stacking less in this situation.
- Druids in caster form have no real ability to shed aggro gained by healing or casting (unlike a priest's Fade, although druids do have cower in cat form). This means that the starting phases of combat tend to be touchier with a druid healer than with a priest healer until the tank has had time to build up a clear aggro advantage.
- If we're sharing healing duties with you, negotiate - tell us who you want to heal, we'll tell you who we want to heal, so overhealing doesn't happen.
- A druid who is currently tanking/melee/casting/healing may want a chance at the leather armor that drops, even if it's not tanking/melee/casting/healing armor. They're not being greedy when they roll on cloth or leather armor. Druids have up to four jobs they are capable of doing and need the gear for them, if they are to have any chance at doing them well at all. Bear druids have a very limited range of things that do them a lot of good, so there won't be much competition. Cat druids need the same armor that rogues do, for exactly the same reasons. Moonkin druids have very little itemization in leather, so will often need the same cloth pieces that cloth casters do, again for the same reasons; and the same goes for healing pieces. If it's a little upgrade for you, but a huge one for the druid, even if he's not using that set of abilities right at the moment, consider letting him have it.
- If you are a rogue or a warrior (or even a feral druid in bear form or cat form), we could really use the mana potions/drinks. Mid-level druids have Innervate but the cooldown is 3 minutes, so using it isn't always an option (and a lot of us prefer to save it for emergencies anyway).
- If your druid is healing and they suddenly shift to bear form and start running around, they're probably not trying to tank and instead are in trouble and need help. Bear form is considerably more survivable than caster form so many restoration druids' reaction to getting aggro is to quickly HoT themselves and shift to bear to mitigate the damage.
Things Non-Druids want Druids to know
- While buffs are generally appreciated, a smart cloth-wearer will right-click Thorns to remove it from himself. Why? Because if the cloth-wearer is attacked, Thorns will do extra damage to attackers, increasing the difficulty for the tank to re-acquire aggro. Casters have a difficult enough time as it is keeping their threat at a minimum, so the last thing they want to do is increase that threat in the unfortunate event that they're the target of an attack. This is also true to a lesser extent for Rogues and other damage-dealers who aren't tanking and don't want to maintain aggro if they happen to get it. Save your Thorns buff for those who can handle the extra threat (i.e. Warriors and pets). Only cast it on yourself if you're tanking or off-tanking.
- If you are in a party, understand your role in the party. You are a hybrid class, and versatility is your primary asset. Nothing endangers a party more than a druid not being ready to switch roles. Don't stay in caster form when the party needs more DPS or Tanking.
- If you have a choice between a paladin and a priest to rebirth, it is better to go with the paladin since he or she has a better chance to survive a patrolling mob while trying to rez.
- Remember that Shamans have Reincarnation starting at level 30, but like Rebirth it is on a long timer. Make sure to communicate and know whether your party Shaman's Reincarnation is available in case of an impending wipe.
- Make sure you restock reagents after every instance: no one wants to hear that you are out of maple seeds halfway through an instance. A Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth may be a worthwhile investment if you have this problem often.
- Only feral druids with decent gear and skills are able to effectively tank Heroic Dungeons (and this is also true for the other tanking classes).
- Balance Druids: Some of us actually do believe you can tank in Moonkin Form. However, please save it for emergencies (e.g., the Main Tank dies and someone needs to gather aggro; throw up Barkskin, lay on the Hurricane, and let your armor protect you), unless you know how to tank as a caster class.
Things Druids want New Druids to know
- When in looking for group, advertise your talent spec. It makes it much easier for group leaders to figure out if they need you. Druids fill a variety of roles, so a party inviting a druid can get confused easily. And while at lower levels you can get away with filling any role so long as you have appropriate gear, spec starts to become important in Outland.
- When in looking for group, and you are feral, it is best to advertise as simply Feral. Not Feral dps. If there is no other tank in the group, guess who gets to be the tank. You are a hybrid class, you have the ability to tank most non-heroic instances.
- If a party asks you to heal, do not go into bear or cat form. It is near impossible to heal when you already have aggro on you. Even if you think your heals are not needed, stay in caster form. A seemingly good situation can turn ugly in a matter of seconds, and you may need to start healing at a moment's notice.
- Following the above, if the healer goes down and you are the only other class that can heal, and you're not tanking, change to caster and heal. You may not be able to do it very long, but you may be able to do it long enough. You are a druid, which means you can do it all. Whether you like to heal or not, sometimes you have to because it's what's best for the group.
- If a leather item drops with +stamina and +agility, and you're a feral druid that prefers to play in cat form, you have the same priority on it as a rogue. From time to time you're going to hear rogues crying about it, and telling you that you shouldn't roll because you're a druid - don't listen to them, if you find that playing in cat is what you prefer, then you should by all means roll on these items. Just remember that, unlike rogues, druids in cat form get two points of attack power from strength and only one point of attack power from agility.
- Note: Also, please attempt to figure out who needs it the most. Generally, yes Rogues will complain about Druids rolling. But most (smart, and intelligent) Rogues will let the druid have the gear if the Druid needs it more/could use it more efficiently. So before rolling on that Assassin's gear, make sure that neither class has the distinct disadvantage of having greens/lower level gear.
- If you are wearing +intellect and +spirit gear, don't try to fight in cat or bear form. If you are wearing +strength, +agility, and +stamina gear, don't try to fight in caster form. If you want to really be prepared, keep two or more sets of armor: one for feral fighting and one for healing, or more specifically, one for bear-tanking, one for cat-fighting, one for healing, and one for caster fighting.
- If you're fighting in feral forms, heal yourself between battles. Your mana will regen while you're in bear or cat form, and this saves the healer's mana, and/or means he doesn't have to drink as long.
- Don't underestimate Teleport: Moonglade. There is a trainer in Moonglade, as well as a free flight path to your capital city. This is especially important in Outland because once most other classes level they hearth to Shattrath and use the portal to go to a trainer. Then they are stuck. You can teleport to Moonglade, train, and then hearth back to Shattrath.
- Don't underestimate your racial ability. Night elves should know how to use Shadowmeld to get out of combat to resurrect the party. Just make sure all HoTs and DoTs have expired before using Shadowmeld. Tauren can use War Stomp to stun their opponents and make a hasty getaway out of combat.
- Druids in bear form have impressively large hp pools, but dont let this make you think you're a better tank then someone else. If your raid/group already has a main tank with less hp then you this doesn't mean you should take over tanking. A druid brought in to dps who stays in bear form trying to pull aggro is hated by all.
Things Bears want Cats to know
- Remember that you can usually drop combat pretty easily, and innervate the healer or cast Rebirth on someone. If yours is on cooldown in a normal instance, you can switch to bear and take the aggro for a moment to let the bear do it.
- If you are in DPS gear then you are not the tank, so do not act like one and try to pull off the main tank. In most heroic 5-man to 25-mans instances, you won't be able to hold mobs or bosses long before dying when in DPS gear. You can, however, with high enough agility, achieve enough dodge chance to be a decent emergency tank.
Check the "Working With" pages for the different classes and look at the "What Xs want non-Xs to know". Always cast Mark of the Wild/Gift of the Wild on your party members, it saves lives! Only cast Thorns on people who can handle the additional aggro it gives them. Remind people that if they don't want thorns, they can remove the buff by right-clicking it. It's common practice if you meet another buffing class in the wild to 'trade' buffs, so give a passing priest, mage or paladin a Mark of the Wild and you'll usually get stamina, intellect or a blessing in return.
Casting Mark of the Wild on them will help in certain situations, and you'll get an Arcane Intellect out of it. Ask for water if you need it, but don't yell out or demand it. They probably have to make water for plenty of other people as well. Casting Thorns on them could be a good thing if they're AoE farming, but don't bother doing it if they're not, it's no use. Good communication when it comes to rooting can also help a lot. Casting Entangling Roots on a mob that's about to be Frost Novaed is useless.
In most cases do not give them thorns unless they ask for it--although they are good enough at losing aggro, over-aggroing is still a problem for some. Heal them if needed; however, remember that they're not tanks so don't focus your heals on them. Normally a rejuvenation with an occasional Regrowth should keep them topped just fine. Remember that they don't have huge health pools.
Entangling Roots is your friend. Normally, Hunters prefer ranged combat, and in this regard roots is great to keep enemies at bay. Don't forget about the hunter's pet! Hunters will thank you for buffing their pet with Mark of the Wild and Thorns, and occasionally healing it. Depending on the species, a pet can be a decent enough tank for regular mobs. Also, you can switch to bear form and tank yourself.
In instance/raid, good hunters are the tanking druid best friends besides the healers. Their Misdirection can make some difficult pulls becomes easier, and help improve your threat level in the mid of the fight.
Of course, buff one another. Discuss specs beforehand to decide who will fill what role. The feral Druid will likely hold aggro better than a holy or retribution Paladin. As for healing, the Paladin, while an effective enough healer, has no more than one instant cast heal (Holy Shock, and it has a cooldown), no HoTs and no AoE heals. Paladins are, however, very mana-efficient healers, which is good for long fights.
If you are tanking in raid with another paladin tank, no matter who are the maintank or off-tank, let the paladin pull with Avenger's Shield first, then taunt your target off him! Reason: Avenger's Shield is a very good preload of threat. If you taunt your target after it is hit by the Avenger's Shield, you also share that good initial threat load. As you can see, if you do it correctly, it is a win-win situation for both!
If you are Feral then you may offer to let them enjoy doing DPS, as from 40-60 there is a good chance you will have much better tanking equipment than they do. If you are Cat Feral, be very careful not to Ravage or shred too early and remember to use cower. Warriors don't have as much threat building ability as your bear does so you have to be careful not to pull aggro. If there is no other healer in the party then healing may be a better option than your forms, as warrior bandage healing is weak compared to even feral healing. Also, your Improved Leader of the Pack may very well provide all the healing a warrior will need for cutting through even-level non-elite mobs.
If you are Resto then, just keep him healed, and you should be fine. Don't forget to Faerie fire his target. Possibly add to the fight with DPS, either in cat-form or with Balance spells. Don't forget if all else goes wrong you've got a combat-rez.
A Warlocks Soulstone is more useful on you so ask him whether he can use it on you. Normally they use either DoTs or critting shadow bolts, if they use the latter they might suddenly grab away the aggro of their pet/you so prepare for that with healing or a readily available Taunt. If for some reason (out of instance, or sub-par off tank) the warlocks pet is tanking, be sure to heal it, as the warlocks methods of healing are both high threat and don't allow them to do anything else during that time (channeled). Additionally it drains their health and gives it to the pet, so regardless, if you're healing, you will have to heal them anyway. Warlocks use Life Tap to get mana back, so if they run low on mana they will greatly appreciate a Heal Over Time spell if your own mana can be spared for that.
The simplest strategy is to just let the Priest heal you while you're tanking in Bear, or DPSing in Cat as the situation demands. Another way is of course to root your foe and then try and blast them away. Buff each other, use Renew and Rejuvenation when pulling. A druid / priest duo is one of the most effective in the game. Find a Priest. Make him or her your best friend. Always keep your priest alive be it by healing them or bear tank taunting away baddies that like them too much.
A priest may cast a shield to reduce damage taken when they pull aggro. It is preferable to have the mob pulled off them rather than waste mana healing them.
Divide your tasks - DPS, tanking, and healing. Keep your buffs up at all times. If your specs differ, it should be fairly easy to decide who will be doing what.
Shaman talent trees and specializations are similar to your own; the main difference is in the melee trees. Enhancement shaman are closer to your cat form's DPS; they lack the mitigation that comes from plate/dire bear form. Realize your roles and fill them accordingly.
Shaman have buffs that can either be spectacular or lackluster, depending on what each of you are trying to do. Their Strength of Earth and Healing Stream Totems can bring incredible Agility, Strength, and HP regen (respectively) to Cat/Bear form druids. Alternatively, their Totem of Wrath (41 point elemental talent), Wrath of Air, and Mana Spring Totems can provide your Moonkin with extra crit, spell damage, and mana regen (respectively). Keep in mind that you're not the only person in the group, however, and your Shaman (usually) knows what totems he needs to drop.