The MoP press release: New druid forms & Perma-tree is back!

I was able to glean a tiny bit of information from the news sources to focus on what we all care about the most….

  • Glyph of Stars:Transforms your Moonkin Form into Astral Form. This glyph essentially makes your character appear as a spirit instead of a moonkin. You look very nearly like you do while dead — but people can see you this time. And your armor, for that matter.
  • Glyph of the Orca: Transforms your Aquatic Form into an orca. This one is pretty straightforward. Remember those orcas in Northrend? Yeah. Much better than your weird snarling rubbery seal.
  • Glyph of the Chameleon:Gives you a random appearance when you shift into Bear or Cat Form. Essentially, this one gives you a random coloring every time you shift. Great for breaking up the monotony of locked-in bear/cat coloring.
  • Glyph of the Stag:Transforms your Travel Form into a stag that other players can mount. Yes, that’s right. Your pals can ride you while you’re in Travel Form, and you’re also a stag instead of the clearly-inferior cheetah.
  • Glyph of the Treant: Allows you to shapeshift into Treant Form. The act of shapeshifting frees the caster of movement slowing effects. (Confirmed: This is indeed your perma-tree back! From Blizzplanet: This is an actual form on your skill bar you can choose and walk around in your leisure at. It has nothing to do with the Tree of Life spell.”)
  • Glyph of the Moonbeast: You can now cast Healing Touch, Rejuvenation, and Tranquility without canceling Moonkin Form. This essentially turns me into the restokin I’ve always wanted to be. lol.

And honestly, if they did nothing else, we’d all buy an expansion just for these, right? I mean, people have been trying to mount my travel form for so many years, I don’t even remember. Want a ride? Sure, hop on my back! Hate the outdated sealform? Then be an orca! You miss perma-tree? Okay here you go!

I had to be awake at 3:00 AM (running on 4:30 AM) to bring you these things, since I didn’t get to do the press event myself. So, I’m a little bit totally exhausted. When my reading comprehension abilities kick in sometime later today, I’ll start doing more analysis of the other piles of data released across all the various fansites (wowinsider, wowhead, etc). I’m pretty sure, however, that the news you really wanted was about perma-tree form. lol.

The glyph I’m the least happy about is definitely glyph of stars. It basically just gives you some version of shadow form. It’s not really a shapeshift at all. I would have preferred an updated moonkin form or some way to customize your actual moonkin form. This glyph isn’t shadow-moonkin. It’s NO moonkin, just yourself (seeing your gear) in a shadowy form. Taking the moonkin out of balance druids just feels like the wrong approach. Something that enhanced how moonkin looked (while not just using a modified priest shadow form) would have been way better.

NOTE: The mmo-champion description of Glyph of Stars is wrong. Astral Form is your humanoid form with a ghosting effect so you can see your transmog gear.

However, for resto druids, perma-tree form is like the best news ever.

 Info on the actual glyphs from this post comes from copy/pastes of all the various wowinsider, wowhead, & Blizzplanet news info I could find about the new forms.

Posted in Mists of Pandaria, Written By Lissanna

51 comments on “The MoP press release: New druid forms & Perma-tree is back!
  1. Stupidhero says:

    In one of the interviews (wowhead I think it was) GC mentioned that the glyph will indeed give access to perma tree form.

  2. Stupidhero says:

    Now after having a look at the final shaman tier tier 90 and monk tree, I can confidentily say:

    Our tree in general, and mostly tier 90, is by far the worst. Either we have conceptually flawed talents, that is HotW and Improved Tranquility(non-resto), or uninspired, e.g. Distentaglement, Faerie Swarm or Mighty Bash.

    While Mass Entaglement and Ursols Vortex sound nice in paper, the former isn’t more than a instant root on a 2 minute CD for balancing reasons (it cannot spread fast – it was changed from mass root instantly to the spreading effect for a reason), and the later won’t be an AoE Deathgrip, but more likely draw you slowly to the eye of the storm, i.e. can be easily avoided. And I can’t imagine it to prevent spells from being cast, that’s what the last monk tier is all about…

    Further we got the announcement that our new level 87 ability will become useless comes 5.0.11.
    (GC interview on mmo-champ). Now – why couldn’t they opt for a creative cooldown – like they did for all other classes out there? Well, probably because they would have to come up with something to replace Incarnation, and given the lack of creativity in our entire tree, that wasn’t possible :>

    While Tree Form may be nice, it won’t keep me playing my druid any longer – Monk here we come. (at least in times like this it proves useful to be a cynic)

    • Lissanna says:

      Oh yeah, our talent tree sucks completely. We do, however, get many months in beta to fix the talents.

      • Stupidhero says:

        Well, that’s your hope – we all know how well this turned out for BC, WotLK and Cata.

        Feedback was ignored and we’re always an expansion late with the neccessary adjustment. Would be fine, if other classes wouldn’t heap miles ahead each expansion (shamans at least get a good close up after their lacks in Cata)

        Also – our final tier vs. mistweaver spec: Healer monks get baseline what our final tier tries to achieve, without the need to sacrifice their healing abilities (for a time), without the clunkiness of our final tier, i.e. everything properly molded into their gameplay.

        Seeing this you cannot be confident any longer – sorry. Just face it:

        We’re four different classes rolled under one “name” (used to refer to the usual classes for now), making sacrifices all around because we for some obscure reason are not allowed to have more than other “names”.
        Feral? Worse rogues, at least monks will hardcounter feral PvP (ha ha …)
        Bear? Guess they are fine – you’re a tank with flavor. It works cause tanks specs are limited under all “names”
        Moonkin? All that keeps this spec alive is eclipse, for the better or worse(= hybrid play impossible)
        Resto? Face it, we are Reju/WG bots. The fact that the inflated LB/Swiftflorescence numbers look different on meters doesn’t change this. Mushrooms won’t change that, they are monk’s health globes/statues done thousand times worse.

        Resto was in need of mechanics changes in the scale of demonology warlock to create a working rotation, all we got was mushroom and a cooldown removed…

    • Asrah says:

      Where did you see the shaman tier 90 talents? I cannot find any upgrades on the official talent calculator.

      We have problems with our talents but I don’t think its actually that bad. Except a few ones, I find most of them very promising from a balance pvp perspective. Even Vortex sounds like how I imagined it. A whirlwind thing that slowly pulls enemies toward its center. It lasts 15 sec, why would it instantly work like a death grip? The only question is how strong it is. I doubt it can hold pvp opponents for 15 sec, but then how long can it keep them?

      These new glyphs sounds good too. It feels like they try to answer the problems somehow, however it can really mean no Moonkin Form update… I like its sound and the way it casts spells like camehameha 😀
      We have lost Lifebloom and Regrowth but being able to keep a Reju up all the time without wasting GCDs all the time will be helpful (+Disentanglement and tier 30 talent heals can help too!)

  3. Analogue says:

    Your blog was the first press release item I saw. And it made me so happy they could have announced that all the dungeons would be clown themed and our weapons replaced with balloon animals and I wouldn’t have cared. Tree form is coming back! Yay! I have a reason to keep my druid as my main!

    • Lissanna says:

      Yeah, I made a picture for everyone who was sleeping thru the release and needed to know about tree form when they woke up. Glad you are happy!

  4. Opalbreeze says:

    What saddens me the most is, Druids were divided in 2 major sides: the ones who wanted to hide Moonkin Form, and the ones who wished it to be updated.

    By listening to the first group, they also gave themselves the immortal excuse:

    “Well, updating a shapeshift form model takes too much from the arts team, and impacts just a minority of the players base. While updating Druid shapeshift forms like Moonkin is something we definitely have on our to do list, players who find it unappealing can use a minor glyph to hide it.”

    And with this excuse, they will – NEVER – update the Moonkin model. 🙁

    I wish I was wrong, but so far they only got Dwarf models updated (half) done. It means all other old races in the line in front of a possible, yet improbable, moonkin form update.


    • Reversion says:

      They screwed us over the say way with tree. They listened only to the people that did noe like tree form, took it away, replaced it with an creepy abomination, and then told us we should be thankful that we could see our armor now. We just wanted some greener leaves or something, maybe some cherry blossoms. Be careful what you ask for.

      • Lissanna says:

        Yeah, the state of moonkin form is something I’ll bring up with the CMs in my next MVP druid report. lol

        • kaleestraza says:

          It’s weird… The wording on MMO-Champion makes it seem as if it’s a ghost moonkin.

          “A new minor glyph that changes a druid’s moonkin form into a moonkin spirit has been added.”

          • Lissanna says:

            The mmo-champion glyph text is WRONG. It contradicts everything every other fansite said about the glyph.

  5. Reversion says:

    Hey… this means I can be a perma-tree bear….yeah not while I am tanking, but I can have access to tree form in bear spec. 😀

    • Reversion says:

      Wait wait wait! Hold everything! Is this REPLACING the old trent glyph? Because that means we are stuck with *shudder* pedotree when we trigger Tree of Life.

      • Lissanna says:

        Well, since ToL is an optional talent now, you can just skip that cooldown and take healing treants instead of the ToL cooldown altogether.

        • Treeboi says:

          Will Force of Nature scale with gear?

          Because as how I read it, the sister talent Incarnation is going to be better than Force of Nature in all cases.

          30 seconds of Incarnation looks to be a lot of burst damage/healing, more than treants, moreso the better your gear. Especially when combined with raid cooldowns like bloodlust.

  6. michel says:

    So its only a cosmetic glyph, I wish the old spell came back instead of what we got now. There is no need to sit in tree form the whole time, before cata you needed to be in tree because you heals where stronger. If you do it in mop it looks silly because its has no value.

    • Lissanna says:

      All minor glyphs are cosmetic changes. At some point, the majority of people who missed tree form missed the cosmetic piece of it. The other things (buff auras mostly) are really out-dated at this point.

  7. karbear says:

    I’m actually really psyched about the glyph of stars. But I really dislike moonkin form and I love caster form. Especially since they switched resto over.

    I’d be happy if they updated the form but still left us the option to be astraly instead. They really seem to be leaning cosmetic changes for druids towards trying to please everyone, and for that I’m thankful.

    • Opalbreeze says:

      Of course, people who wished the Moonkin Form removed actually WON of sorts. Because introducing the option to remove it nullifies completely the need of an update to the placeholder model.

      After all, if you dislike it, just hide it. 😛

      • Lissanna says:

        Moonkin FORM is part of the balance druid identity. Making it such that you don’t need ANY type of moonkin form is really just bad for the spec as a whole. Given that removing tree form made SOOO many people WANT tree form BACK, I’m not sure why removing moonkin form was a way to make people happy. You only dislike moonkin form because it is a bad outdated graphic. If they had a good updated graphic, you might like it. The tree glyph just gives you the option of having the old outdated tree, when all people originally wanted was for them to paint the leaves green in the first place.

        They aren’t pleasing everyone with this change. They are pleasing a vocal minority of forum posters and ignoring the people who liked moonkin form but wanted it to have options and features and updates.

        Moonkin is no longer Moonkin. It’s a shadow priest that casts balance spells. Giving us more fun moonkin options would have potentially made more moonkin haters stop hating and ACTUALLY made everyone happy. What if they just took the current moonkin and made it starry/shadowy/shimmery with the glyph instead? Would you then like the ‘kin? Probably. Its the outdated graphic people don’t like. An updated graphic (keeping the same basic shape/style unlike the massive tree change) would have been better.

        Modeling moonkin changes off what they did for cat/bear would have been a smarter idea than modeling the changes off what they did for tree that made everyone unhappy.

        • PFDruid says:

          While I dont mind Moonkin Form, I play a Balance Druid which is all about balancing nature and the stars.

          Ask yourself, if you loose Moonkin Form what would change the way you play your druid? The answer is no change, its just a buff with a graphic.

          If they changed Moonkin Form to alter the way cast (like Tree of Life or the new Demonology Spec), then in that case Moonkin Form would indeed be more meaningfull and part of the Balance Druid identity, but Blizzard doesnt appear to want to go that route.

          I totally support an improved version of Moonkin Form like Cat and Bear, but you should see also the gameplay aspect not just aesthetics, I also you cannot talk about minority or majority in WoW as you only have access to a small portion of the population which is the wow forums.

          • Lissanna says:

            That’s all fine and dandy except that Resto Druids spent an entire expansion fighting to get back a graphical perma-tree form. There were MANY people who quit being druids when resto druids lost perma-tree form. There’s something specific about the models themselves that matter very much.

            The graphics of our shapeshift forms are inherently tied to being a druid, and something that many people care about way more than the actual rotation mechanics of the class. If what you said was actually true, there would be zero reason for ANY of the shapeshift glyphs in this post to need to exist at all.

          • Tasunke says:

            Many people quit also when treeform was imposed. You can’t watch that from one side only.

            In MoP you can have permanent tree or not, and boomkin or not. You can’t see what’s wrong here.

        • karbear says:

          Ah well, I guess I’m just in the minority. I really like caster form. I’m one of the few who liked that they got rid of perma-tree form. I didn’t become a druid for the shapeshifting. I feel it was a novelty to me that wore off. What keeps me playing a druid is the sun and stars in balance and the natureyness of resto.

          I hope they update the model for you, so you can be happy too. 🙂

        • Mightywing says:

          I have been playing my druid since moonkin form wasn’t even in game. I has become my WoW identity more so than my normal caster form.
          I agree completely with Lissanna on this glyph, its just Blizzards attempt to quite the non-moonkin formers and will shift focus away from updating moonkin form which needed badly.

        • Krounch says:

          I agree that there should still be the option of keeping moonkin form, just as they gave back the option to stay in treant form.
          Obviously, moonkin form should be updated to today’s graphical standard so that it won’t be that mess of pixels anymore.

          At the same time, I can’t say I’m a big fan of the form in itself. I like to think of my balance druid as someone who mastered the power of nature and is able to harness it to rain destruction on anything that endangers it. The giant chicken with Down syndrome does not make me feel like I am that force of nature.

          On that note, if they do update moonkin model, seeing as I’m a troll druid, I’d really appreciate a form that actually looks like something a troll would shapeshift to (like they did for cat/bear).
          As far as I know, moonkins are Elune’s creatures, and troll druids are quite particuliar since their druidic powers don’t come from the same “source” as elves, taurens and worgens. It’d be nice to have the form reflect that.

        • Enim says:

          No, Moonkin is not originally a part of the druid identity. It was never in the lore. Have you ever seen or heard about malfurion transfering into an ugly chicken to cast his spells? No. Because he doesn’t. And he shouldn’t need to.

          I absolutely love the druid class and mainly Balance/Resto. However I _HATE_ moonkin form. The idea of the glyph of stars is actually pretty good. If it looks “arcanish” it actually fits with both the druid class and the lore. You shouldn’t need to be in moonkin form to play balance. Some players really hate the model, I’d probably hate any moonkin model as I do not think it fits. Not to mention that I love casterform.

          And honestly your generalizing too much. I was one of those that actually quit when we got a permanent Tree of life. I don’t want to sit in a tree and heal forever. The cooldown is a great thing, it actually gives a meaning to sitting in that tree form. And a cosmetic glyph for those that like permanent tree form is exactly the right way to go.

          Because trust me, we are many that outright hate both permanent tree form and moonkin form, this is the best solution to our differences.

          I think the glyph of stars can be great, depending on how actually it looks in game. I’d prefer just using casterform because however you put it, druid is not simply about transforming. The feral part definately is, however both healing and balance-wise there has been no transforms in the lore that I can think of.

          Cosmetic glyphs are the best way to please everyone. It does not automatically mean there will be no update on moonkin form, however it cannot be a priority. It’s a minority that plays balance, and it’s a majority of these players that MUST HAVE an update rather than a glyph like this. Every other race character model update must come first.

          Honestly just having permanent starfall animation while in “moonkin” form, would be enough to make balance druids feel good animationwise.

          • Lissanna says:


            There’s plenty of lore with what Wildkin are, and what they mean for NEs. The wildkin were in WC3. It’s not like moonkin came out of nowhere.

            That said, the glyph is really just about cosmetics. If you want to look more like a priest than a druid, then fine, do whatever you want. Glyph of stars looks like a humanoid ghost. It’s not a special model. It applies a ghost effect (like when people are dead, except that the NE one wouldn’t be a wisp form). You’ll just look like a dead humanoid. I’m not sure how that’s more druidy than moonkin, but have fun with it.

          • Enim says:

            All that is correct and all, and I already knew that it wasn’t taken out of nowhere. What i’m saying is that i’ve never seen a main druid character having to use moonkin form in order to cast things.

            As for the glyph, if it truely just looks like you when dead, it’s boring obviously. But at least it’s a choice to use that rather than moonkin, i’d probably stick with that glyph even if it’s ugly as I do not like the casting animations or anything else with moonkin form.

            However I would have liked to see a more “arcane” version of shadowform/death etc, because that would actually make sense. But until I see a screenshot of the glyph I won’t be complaining.

          • Lissanna says:

            And malfurion doesn’t shift into “ghost form” either. It’s got more to do with the vocal minority of players posting about how they hate moonkin form than anything else. Lets just not make it about more than it actually is. You guys won. Enjoy not being a moonkin.

          • Krounch says:

            Now you’re being a bit unfair.

            Sure, the “ghost form” is a bit lazy and boring, and frankly I hope they’ll rework that (why not an “Algalon form” for example, there’s stars inside of him, it fits :p).
            But bitching about the mere existence of a glyph that doesn’t remove anything you currently have seems a bit silly. It’s not like resto druids in cata, you don’t lose moonkin form.

            And I also understand those who don’t like the form because, to be honest, it’s more comical than anything. But to each their own.

            PS: I still want a balance druid form that makes sense lorewise for a troll.

        • xael says:

          Lissanna I disagree completely.

          Moonkin form is part of YOUR (and others) balance identity. I have been playing a druid since the original closed beta for vanilla. I was never onboard for moonkin and when it was introduced I was pissed off. Moonkin never had anything to do with balance prior, especially in warcraft 3. Since then they have changed and updated the lore, but before they patched it in, it was unheard of.

          I do not dislike it because of it’s graphic, I never liked it to begin and thought the idea was poor. There are plenty of other things we should have been shifted into like a faerie dragon or something lunar related, hell even a wisp.

          You mention that those who hated moonkin are a minority. I have news for you, you are wrong. There were tons of people who hated moonkin and stopped playing since it’s inception. Just because a few post now, does not mean they represent the majority of those that are against it. You would need to go back 6 years in order to make a statement like that. I am happy with this edition of the opting out of using the stupid form, and I think they should cater to those that actually moonkin as well. Just give us the option. I hated it from the start, still do.

          Nobody should be pigeonholed into being moonkin just because you and some others like the form. It had nothing to do with balance druids in the first place. They would do well to give players the option to choose whether or not they want to be one in the first place.

  8. Melyanna says:

    Omg. Tree form. I’m almost scared to believe it. But treeform is awesome news! Lissanna no joke, I could hug you right now!!! XD

    • Lissanna says:

      I spent an hour and a half just fact-checking the perma-tree change for MoP. It’s real. 🙂

      I was up from 3 AM to 4:30 AM mostly searching for & reading the info on the minor glyph changes. lol

  9. Treeboi says:

    Glyph of the Moonbeast has PvP written all over it. I wonder how long that will actually last.

    Restokin PvP was one of the major driving forces behind nerfing druid healers in arena (season 2 of arena was dominated by the 27/0/34 resto spec).

    • Lissanna says:

      Well, you won’t have lifebloom at all as a balance druid. You’ll have to actually hard-cast a 2.5 second healing touch (no regrowth). So, I don’t see being able to rejuv in moonkin form being particularly OP in PvP. I mean, we’re giving warlocks rejuv just from Symbiosis. lol. It’s a nice quality of life change on our end, but hardly OP.

  10. Lara'Faye says:

    Hmm… As a balance druid minus the rp I love Moonkin form. It’s a bit comical but it’s part of the class and an enjoyable one. As a rper I don’t much like it. Though I would like to see a moonkin form update, I’m glad that they gave us some option.

  11. Frank says:

    This is too good! I love it.

  12. taswind says:

    This is awesome. I was about to go to bed at 2am or so, when something in the forums caught my eye. Needless to say, it’s 3:30, and I’m still awake reading up about this. lol

    Silly question, Liss – can a Feral use the glyph? Can Tas really be kitty / tree all in one spec? ./hope

    WTB date of beta release…. >.<;

    • Lissanna says:

      The text of the glyphs the fansites posted didn’t have spec restriction text on them. The new tree has no stats, it’s just cosmetic. So, it’s entirely possible that you could use it.

  13. Orrak says:

    Your great Lissanna, and i love everything you write, but i couldn’t disagree with you more about moonkin form. I don’t see moonkin form as being integral to the balance druid identity. I feel like its something we adopted become our spec had very nearly no theme. We spammed starfire and moonfire, two very abstract spells, that never really made too much sense to me as a tauren druid, later on we added a swarm of insects which made sense for druids, and the terribly undefined wrath spell which i never really understood what the peas i was throwing around were supposed to be. Eclipse helped, but it wasn’t until cata that i feel our spec really developed an identity of its own. We have a very clear theme now, we are druids that channel light/stars balancing night and day. nearly everything we do is built around that idea, almost all our abilities, the names of our talents, even our very resource system itself is centered around that celestial theme. Its why i sport my Starcaller title all the time. So in my view, giving us a form that tyes into that theme fits our spec better than even a revamped moonkin ever could.

    I recognize that there are those who are attached to our old form, and its still there. I do agree that getting them to update it now that theres an alternative is going to be even more difficult, but we’ll keep fighting for it so everyone can fully enjoy the awesome that is balance druids.

  14. Asrah says:

    Treant form is not just cosmetic. Its a shapeshift without extra stats, but it allows you to break movement impairing effects without shifting into an animal form and back. Shifting into an animal is somehow different. For example we lose Starfall if we do. If they would delete Moonkin Form completely, we couldn’t break roots without losing Starfall. Moonkin Form enables this shifting moonkin to moonkin. Its not that much for a resto, but I still cannot call it only cosmetic change.

    By the way, how do you imagine a glyph that grants you a spell? It feels like an actual spell you learn when using the glyph instad of the usual spell effect change, since we don’t have that shapeshift spell without this. In a passive form it would look like this: replaces your caster form with treant form. But this one says allows you to shapeshift!

  15. Xion says:

    Well I personally love the Glyph of Stars. Since Vanilla I play my druid and I refused to ever play Moonkin. I hated that form to much. I switched to Warlock when we had to be in perma Treeform. I hated that form to much.
    Now I play resto again since the change, and seeing this Glyph I am happely thinking about going Balance for the first time ever.

    I like the customization they provide for us. You play the style and looks you wanna play.

    (on that matter I was even as happy when I heared that Destro locks are getting on fire)

  16. Raiel says:

    Moonkin form never has bothered me. Plus, lets face it, the moonkin dance is the best dance around. On the other hand, I would love to see the balance spec or caster spec get a revamp like everyone has suggested. It would be neat if your character slowly changed as you level. Think pre-Wrath, when you actually had to go to Moonglade to get Bear form and learn from the Bear Spirit yourself at level 10. From then on your features would slowly change depending on what spec you chose. Slowly over, lets say every 10 levels, you would start to gain small nubs for antlers. Every 10 levels they would get larger and larger or you would slowly get more and more i.e. feathers for moonkin-ish features/ fur for bear form, etc.. I know it would probably be a royal pain to develop behind the scenes, but it would be the best thing they could do for druids, in my opinion. End game, if people weren’t satisfied they could always, minor glyph.

    • Lissanna says:

      I’d just settle for very basic updates to moonkin’s model to make it less old and frumpy. lol

      • Raiel says:

        I wonder what the interest would be for people to do artwork for a new moonkin model? I have no talent in that area whatsoever, that’s my wife’s expertise, but it would be cool to see what ideas people have. Too bad my wife doesn’t play wow. That should be another blog post. How to get your significant other to play wow. Lol.

  17. Kira says:

    Yay! I’m so happy about the orca glyph. I got really tired of the ugly seal everytime I wanted to swim lol. I was really excited about MoP to come out, until I heard that us ferals only get a 15% movement speed in cat form instead of our 30% that we have now. But the stag looks pretty awesome, so we’ll see how this turns out :L

  18. John says:

    I’ve always loved the Balance playstyle (though Restokin was my favorite spec during TBC). Honestly, though, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Moonkin form itself. I’ll be happy when I can glyph it to appear humanoid.

    Despite all of the awesome new glyph options, what I’m not seeing is any groundbreaking options for druid playstyle. Aside from the bear tanks, we’re still going to be either marginalized casters or squishy melee. Druid flexibility continues to remain an excuse druid weakness.


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