Shared topic: WoW’s best changes for druids

Okay, so the shared topic on Blog Azeroth is asking about what we think are the best changes that have happened to WoW in the last 5 years. Since I’ve been playing my druid for almost all 5 of those years (except for the couple months when I got frustrated by tree healing in BC), I thought I would make my post totally druid-centric. You can see the posts from other people on the Twisted Nether site, since I’m posting this a little too late…

Sometimes, we get so caught up in what is still wrong with a class, that we forget how far we’ve come. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and the 5 year anniversary, here is my list of: Thank Elune they fixed that, Druid edition!

  • The most obvious thing they did that helped druids was the dual spec feature. It’s not a coincidence that one of GC’s first teaser posts about dual specs was in the Druid Beta forums.  All druids can benefit from dual specs. We can now specialize in 2 of our 4 roles – or have different pvp/pve specs, or have super specialized specs within one role. Healing druids can now spec moonkin or cat for soloing; feral can now go bear/cat for switching between roles in raids.

This was a huge bonus, but it’s actually not the best thing that happened to druids, so here’s the little things that made a huge difference:

  • Innervate became trainable. Back in Vanilla WoW, innervate was a restoration talent. All druids were required to spec for it. Making innervate trainable allowed druids to have more spec flexibility. Even after the 1.8 talent revamp, it took a while to convince them that innervate was necessary for all druid specs to have.
  • Making all 4 specs raid viable. Back in the Molten Core raiding days, there was only one spec, and that was restoration. That meant there was also only one role: Healing. When we got our 1.8 talent revamp, they made feral & balance better, but it took two expansions to get us to where we are today: accepted as melee DPS, Caster DPS, tanking or healing.
  • Some newer abilities that I’m thankful for: Giving bear & cat Mangle. Giving resto druids lifebloom & nourish. Giving balance druids moonkin form. Making tree not have a 50% speed debuff.
  • Feral cat & bear graphic revamps. For as much as people complain about the new forms, they are really so much better than the old ones.
  • Feral range bug: People don’t complain about the feral range bug as much as they used to. WotLK came with some fixes that made the range bug more bearable, though they never really completely fixed it.
  • Giving up on the melee moonkin design, and letting us regen mana from spell crits.
  • Putting a mailbox in moonglade.
  • Giving us instant-cast flight form & epic flight form speed.

What Blizzard design changes are you thankful for?

13 Comments

  1. Bith
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    I think you missed one huge one that, in my opinion, almost completely tops all of them:

    Revive. We went SO long without an OOC rez; “Sorry guys, I wanna save this so let’s run back.” Oh weren’t those the days…

  2. Posted November 24, 2009 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    I know it’s not as game-changing and awesome as the changes mentioned above, but I think Improved Leader of the Pack really made feral solo-ing a lot easier and more fun, since it meant less time spent out of form, healing.

  3. Keldara
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    No, no, no Bith! Those *were* the days. Letting a stupid CC breaking/aggro pulling DPS accidentally die … and then say, “Oh sorry, didn’t see that coming” or alike. “You’re gonna have to run, I don’t want to waste it in case we’ll need it later.” Works best if your tank is on the same page as you are. Ah, I miss those days. Also, bring back CC! :(

    I see your point though, of course. Back in SSC. We were dying to trash before Tidewalker. So, our resto shammy anhks, resurrects a druid and goes AFK with 23 people dead. Everyone was shocked into silence :P

  4. Posted November 24, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I remember the speed debuff on trees! Was if 50%? I thought it was only 20%… That makes me healing two groups across SM:Cath that much more amazing >) muahaha

  5. Ammayet
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Biggest and best change to druids: being able to talk to NPCs while in form. Also interacting with most quest objects and able to use potions/lockcandy/items while in form. The whole having to switch in and out and in and out of form is the reason I didn’t level a druid as my main way way back at the start of WoW. Levelling a bearcat now and loving every minute of play, but at the start of WoW, I hated druids. =(

  6. Lissanna
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    @Mely – The original version of the tree speed debuff was either 40 or 50%. It got changed to 20% before BC went live. :)

  7. Posted November 24, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    @Lissanna: It was indeed 50%; I can’t cite that, but I’m sure of it.

    @Ammayet: Shows you just how much we take these new changes for granted. Those probably are the best changes the druid class ever underwent.

  8. scaresome
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    All the above, plus gathering while in flight form!!

  9. Noctilux
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Just to expand a bit on dual specs: Not only can we specialize in 2 roles, but we can actually perform admirably in all 3. While I wouldn’t try to tank T9 content in my kitty specc-ed bear (resto is main spec), heroics, T7, and some T8 content are all easily tankable.

    My favorite thing in wow right now, is that whenever my guildies want to run something, I can bring my main and play whatever role they want. I love when asked if I’m “tank, heals, or dps” and I can answer “I can do all three.. whichever one you need”

  10. Megami
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    These might have been said before but…

    *Eating and drinking in form, opening things and using quest items in forms.
    *Stacking hots! Back when raids had 40 people mine had at 4 druids and you felt pretty useless if you didn’t have the highest +healing.
    *Making Omen of Clarity proc off of healing and damage spells.
    *Out of combat resurrection.

  11. Posted November 26, 2009 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Eclipse.

    [/sarcasm]

  12. monsieur
    Posted November 26, 2009 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Im getting nostalgic reading all of these!

    My favorite change to druids is the reduced CD on Rebirth. Sure, OoC rez is nice, but I love being the only class to in-combat rez, and they’ve allowed us to do so more often.

    Like that they’re allowing 310% flying speed now, too. I never used mine, I still preferred my flight form, despite having been slower. Now its even better!

  13. Elmergoo
    Posted November 28, 2009 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    As a Feral Alchemist druid I remember being so happy when they changed it to allow us the ability to use potions in form.

    Though Alchemy was pretty fail at the start of wotlk so I dropped it for JC.