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Druid leveling – Vanilla Style!

Today’s “voices from the community” post is a trip down memory lane, written by Nyda <Legacy of the Void> from Perenolde (US). We think this story will resonate with a lot of the people who leveled up in Vanilla, oh so many years ago!

World of Warcraft was my first MMORPG. Pulled into the rich graphical environment by work colleagues, I found myself quickly caught up in this intense world. Admittedly, I began in the starting area with very little knowledge on how to proceed through this game. All I knew was that I fully intended to see the things that I had heard being talked about in office chatter. Thus began my journey from 1-60 as a Night Elf Druid.

Quest lines were boring and interesting at the same time. The furbolg on the hill, whose necklace I needed to steal, turned out to be a mighty foe indeed, granting me a whispy run more times than I considered fair for the tender level of my baby Druid. Far from being an expert on my class, I conserved mana as much as possible and was prone to killing things by whacking at them with my staff. It was laughable that my staves skill was maxed out all the way through the leveling process.

Outside of quests, it somehow seemed natural to me to heal in dungeons, though from 1-50 all of my points were in the Balance tree. I had decided early on that I should just fill in every point in the first tree until I got to the next, not understanding that there was a specific tree for each role a Druid could fill. It wasn’t until I reached level 50 that I was gently told that I was healing with the wrong spec and directed to the forums for answers. That’s when I discovered talent trees! Amazingly enough, healing became much easier after that.

So my leveling career went. And I say career because it took me 40 days played to make it to 60. By the time I reached level 50, I had to survive the break-up of my very first guild. It was emotionally draining in a way I never expected. I was quickly recruited by an admired Druid in a very large guild on our server. He was one of the icons, one of the Druids standing on the bridge in Ironforge wearing a full set of Wildheart (swoon!). The dramatic evening of the guild break-up and recruitment into a new guild resulted in an empty bottle of wine in real life, my beloved character sitting in the bar in Ironforge for the night and an entire log of inebriated comments being posted on the realm forums the next day. The drama over, I became firmly entrenched in leveling and eventual raiding.

With the change of spec to restoration, I found leveling to be even more grueling than it was before. I had learned enough to understand at 50 that casting would result in more damage than melee, but I also had a tendency to drop into bear form when the going got tough with mobs. When I finally reached 60, it became an endless commitment to attunements, coffer runs, jailbreaks and the occasional stealth run into BRD for a Barman Shanker. It was fun to be a Druid! I learned that UBRS and LBRS should never be pronounced as ubbers or lubbers and that being the “bomb” in MC was a VERY bad thing for everyone around you. Every fight in BWL had to be fought facing a corner with my camera pointed down to avoid lag. (to this day, I still don’t really know what the inside of BWL looks like, the walls were nice though!) Decurse and innervate became my best friends and I still managed to out heal every healing class but the almighty paladin.

The job of getting from level 1 to level 60 was long, tough and filled with unexpected real life emotions but it was well worth it. There was a camaraderie in this game that I haven’t experienced since 2005. We knew who we played with on both sides and we loved every minute of it. Well, except for being used as PvP bait….I mean, really…who would love that? :)

Posted in Druid - General, Leveling, Uncategorized, Voices From The Community

The ever-growing world of Heirloom Leveling

I wrote a post back in early WotLK about heirlooms for leveling. However, I keep getting more questions about them, and my list was seriously out of date. So, today’s post will talk about the benefit (and drawbacks!) of leveling with heirloom items, and include a more up to date list of feral (cat/bear) and caster (resto/moonkin) heirlooms available to druids.

Benefits of Heirlooms:

Now, the benefit of most heirlooms is that they increase your experience (XP) rate while leveling. If your goal is to level as quickly as possible, then these items definitely do the trick. When you combine heirloom items with the guild perk XP bonuses (and rested XP!), you get increased rates of leveling. Faster leveling means getting your alt to the end-game faster.

You also get increased stat values compared to what most of the greens & blues drop from quests and instances. For melee classes, getting heirloom weapons can really make you feel much more powerful because they have a large impact on your damage at the earliest levels!

Drawbacks of Heirlooms:

The only drawback of using heirloom items is that you may level too fast. By that, I mean that you basically blow through the new Cataclysm content so fast that you miss all the interesting storyline arcs. You may do the first handful of quests in a zone, and then suddenly the quests are all green/gray and it’s time to move to the next zone. Also, you aren’t being challenged if you always out-level and out-gear the mobs you are killing. So, for people who enjoy the process of doing the lower level quests (or for people who like completing all the quests in a zone before moving to the next one), skipping on the heirlooms could be worthwhile to them.

Heirloom Shopping List

Feral (Cat/Bear) PvE heirlooms:

Caster (moonkin/resto) PvE heirlooms:

Other Heirloom Options:

There are also PvP heirlooms you can get from PvP vendors that have resilience on them. So, if you want to PvP level, or don’t mind trading some stats for resilence, these are great options for people who focus primarily on PvP. Cynwise has some PvP heirloom advice here.

Caster druid leveling can also use the cloth ones: Dreadmist Mantle, and Dreadmist Robe. However, I still prefer using leather over cloth if you have the ability to get the leather ones.

Wowpedia has some more advanced info on heirlooms available here.

Also, if you want help with how to enchant your newly acquired heirloom items, you should check out Psynister’s guide.

Happy leveling!

Posted in Druid - General, Feral Bear tanking, Feral DPS Cat, Leveling, Moonkin Balance DPS, Restoration Healing Trees

Lissawen’s leveling by lolmanglespam

So, for research needed to keep my leveling guide updated, I’ve been leveling a new druid, who I named Lissawen. She’s a worgen on the same server as my main druid. However, this worgen druid is feral – mostly because I love the Worgen feral forms and I had feral heirlooms that I bought before Cataclysm hit.

This druid is also an herbalist/miner, and I’ve found that I get a ton of experience just from leveling those professions.

One observation I had from leveling from 1 to 29 was that: Multiple heirlooms + guild perks + rested XP = super fast leveling speeds

So, most of the way from 12 to 28 I just spammed a lot of mangle. I tried out other “rotations”, but since I was usually 3 or so levels above everything I was fighting (because I leveled faster than I progressed through quests), most things were dieing in 2 or 3 hits anyway. When I actually fight equal level mobs, I find that opening from stealth & using Ravage ends up being more effective. So, the rotation section of my leveling guide doesn’t seem very useful at the earliest levels.

However, at higher levels  (maybe around the time you hit Outlands), I’m pretty sure doing more than mangle spam is useful. A more complete rotation is probably also more helpful if you don’t have heirlooms.

As I level up my new druid, I’ll be posting more about my adventures in feral cat leveling!

I really do enjoy the new questing zones! I’m having so much fun!

Posted in Druid - General, Feral DPS Cat, Leveling

Leveling & healing guide updates for 4.0.3a

I have my 4.0.3a guides released and ready for when the servers come up this afternoon/evening.

The leveling guide was completely revamped (again!). The new Leveling Guide table of contents now lists 9 pages:

  • Three pages for Feral Cat leveling: Talent page, Ability/rotation page, and Gearing/glyph page.
  • Three pages for Balance/moonkin leveling: Talent page, Ability/rotation page, and Gearing/glyph page
  • One page for healing leveling (talents only)
  • One page for tank leveling (talents only)
  • FAQ page at the end of the guide related to all specs

This new organization makes things easier to find. A complaint about the 4.0.1 version was that it was hard to find the cat & moonkin things (especially on the forum version of the guide). So, this new organization will hopefully be a lot better in the long run. I hope you have fun leveling up your new troll druids!

The Restoration healing guide 4.0.3a update only updates the new talent spec page.

  • The other healing guide pages aren’t out of date with the 4.0.3a patch, and so I’m leaving them for now.
  • The new talent spec page has one talent spec for level 80, and then also includes my level 85 update, so that you are prepared for making talent decisions when you start leveling on December 7th.
  • It didn’t make sense for me to do a full level 80 update for that page just to have to remake it in 2 weeks. I will have a full level 85 guide ready to go around December 7th.

Happy patch day!

Posted in 4.0.3a, Cataclysm, Druid - General, Leveling, Patches, Restoration Healing Trees

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