Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Druid Steps (a.k.a This Is Inadequate)

I have a lot of hopes in Cataclysm for the druid class.  I hope Wild Mushroom is as awesome as it sounds it will be.  I hope that the Lunar/Solar Balance UI is easy and takes away what seems like a lot of random number generation and luck.  But my biggest wish for druids in Cataclysm is please Blizzard, for the love of all that is good and holy,  make the first 20 levels not suck so hard.

In a class that is suppose to be about shape shifting to different forms, we get nothing, zilch, nada until level 10.  And at level 10, we get bear form.  Is it better than nothing? Yeah, I guess so.  It also helps since you can start tanking in LFG at about level 15.  However, we do not get the cat form that lets us kill mobs quickly until level 20.  Before then, we are stuck with balance spells with no moonkin form, no eclipse mechanic, etc.  Yes, we are able to heal ourselves and we do have a little better survivability up front than other classes but that is not enough and it doesn't let us get the full feel of the class.

Here are some of my thoughts on what Blizzard could do to make the level 1-20 experience better for druids.

1) Start with a cat form.  People have been wanting dire cat form and what they can say is at level 20, you get dire cat form.  You can even make dire cat form the exact same as cat form now.  This way, you at least get something to start off with when leveling a druid that makes you feel like a druid.

2) I really think that feral cat will be one of two very viable leveling specs in Cataclysm.   You have to remember that Eclipse is moving from a talent to the third leg of the balance mastery system.  That means that if you put your first point into balance, you will start having eclipse at that point.  Eclipse from level 10 could be very interesting.  You still wouldn't get moonkin form until the appropriate level (see below on what I think an "appropriate level" should be), but you could easily level as balance.

3) Bears do not get mangle until very late in the feral tree.  This really should be a tier 1 or tier 2 feral talent since it is an important part of threat generation.  That would make people want to start tanking at an earlier level.  

4) For those who choose to level as balance, give them moonkin form earlier.  For those who wish to level as resto, allow them to have the Tree of Life cooldown sooner (Sorry, resto druids.  I always liked Tree of Life form).  This will open up the whole class to leveling in an easier manner regardless of spec.

5) Keep travel form at the current level of 16.  Also, I would say take away aquatic form, but I have a feeling we are going to be using that more than ever in Cataclysm.

I'm sure there are more ideas and I hope Blizzard does something to improve early druid leveling.  Once you get up to higher levels, druids are incredible. (As I heard someone say once, druids are one respec away from doing your job better than you.)  However, you do have to put up with some very tough first levels to get to the awesomeness of the druid class.

P.S.  I meant to do this in an earlier post, but I want to give a big thanks to a fellow moonkin blogger, Qieth over at  Qieth's Quips for the new banner for this blog.  It is awesome looking.

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