Even though I nowadays play my shaman the most, the druid, for a long time, was my “main”, and I still enjoy playing him.
I remember rolling him in Vanilla… I was very intrigued by the general idea… a versatile class with shape-shifting. Sure, back then, balance and bear-tanks were in a bad place (Moonkins being designated “innervaters” and buffers for raids, bears simply not being very useable tanks), but I didn’t think very much in terms of raiding, I was just in love with the overall concept, and seeing druids in action while I was questing got me interested even more.
I still remember the awe I felt when I came back from a questing-round through Lakeshire, headed to SW to check the auction-house, and saw a level 60 druid in full tier 1 (that’s why I transmog all my shoulders to look like the ones on the picture above… for old times sake and because it’s a very “druid-y” look).
However, it took me until Wrath to totally get into the class. The leveling up to 80 (as feral) was insanely enjoyable, and when it was time to run heroics, I got into balance… and soon was impressed how much fun the spec is. The spec has some issues, and went through a bunch of changes, but I still like the playing-style (and the moonkin-form).
I also tried healing then, but jumped in at the deep end too quickly, running heroics without decent enough gear, later in the expansion. The very spammy-healing style and the fact that I simply hadn’t done enough “research” into how druid healing and talents work spelled disaster, so I went back to being a moonkin.
Cata came around, and I got more and more bored with DPS. I did consider playing a bear, but eventually started healing, and that is what his main-spec is nowadays.
Of my three healers, the druid to me is the most problematic. I have no problem with it feeling “faster” or “spammier” (esp. in LFR), but I do notice what a lot of great druid-healers are feeling (check out Lysanna’s awesome blog HERE): the druid, right now, misses some things, and seems to be a bit weak compared to the other specs, especially when it comes to Dragon Soul.
I do notice that as well, as I do struggle with some fights, whether it’s raids or heroics. Examples? The adds in End Time (the Sylvanas-part). When the PUG (as usual) kills the big add first and the little ones start throwing body-parts, the group takes a lot of damage, and it seems hard to outheal that, or at least much harder than it is with my shammy and priest.
Same goes for the Azshara-fight. This might have to do with people not focussing on the “Hand Of The Queen” quickly enough (random DPS gets mind-controlled and attacks the healer), but that fight, on the druid, is always a semi-nightmare, while it’s ok with the other healers.
Still, I do like the actual style… lots of HoTs, combining abilities, being very mobile. Still, I do hope there will be some changes coming in the next expansion.
What other specs do I enjoy?
All of them! I still remember how much fun it was to level as a cat, and for some reason, I did enjoy it more than playing my rogue. Also, being able to heal myself, switching forms when I was overwhelmed… great stuff.
I think I heard that druids, in MoP, will have three specs they can switch between, and I sure hope so, because for leveling older content, I play a bear, which requires me to unlearn my talents, spec into feral, then, after soloing, speccing back into my normal specs (Balance/Resto).
I love bear-tanks. I am not happy to hear that in beta, right now, they seem a bit underwhelming, so I hope that will change, because as a healer, bear tanks are my favorite tanks.
I love the philosophy and style of druids. Whether it’s the WotA and Malfurion’s beginning as a druid, or the later druid-efforts at the Molten Front, I really enjoy the class-lore, druid organisations, and seeing druids in action.
Jack of all trades, master of none? Maybe, but the druid is a very versatile class. Even with the current weaknesses of the resto druid (on live-servers) or bears (beta), the druid is the most versatile class, and very well done. We have come a long way since Vanilla, and even though monks seem to be aimed at being as versatile as druids (well, almost as they only have one DPS-spec, not two like druids), I hope druids will stay a viable, fun class… I sure will keep playing it.
I do hope that that will change in Mo