For Love of Nature

Have I mentioned yet that I love being a Druid?

That I really love… LoveLOVE being a Druid?

There is nothing in this game that gives me more pleasure than having the versatility to do whatever needs doing in a group situation. Monday night, for example, our second-to-last attempt on the dragonhawk boss in Zul’aman we had a healer go down about halfway through. I waited for his spirit healer form to fade, then when the boss started throwing out the evil orbs of death I found a hole, popped my shielding brambles spell and tossed an in-combat rez at him.

I am proud to say there is NO OTHER TANK in the game that can do something like that. Of course, if you’ve got a paladin or a shaman tanking (can shamans tank?) they can heal themselves to a certain extent. I know pallies have a bubble to prevent spell interruption and shamans have an ankh, so they’re useful in multiple roles as well.

But back to the art of druidism. I am enamored with the fact that, should I choose, I can be a tank, ranged or melee dps, or even a healer without being forced to roll an alt. I would seriously love seeing all-druid instance runs, even an all-druid kara run. Is it possible? I have no idea, but I’m damn willing to try!

I’m no theorycrafter, by any means. Numbers make my brainmeats mushy. But I do have a weird obsession with pushing my class’s versatility to the extreme. Case in point, the Panzerkin. When I hit 70 I found a little thread on the art of Moonkin tanking.

Moonkin tanking? Perposterous! Not So! Just go read the thread, they did all the shiney number-crunching for me there. Also, when I joined <Unemployed> I asked the guild leader what she thought of panzerkins and she replied by telling me that she even has a panzer armor set… so there! *sticks out tongue*

*snicker* From what I’ve seen about panzerkins, they get either an open-minded ‘sure-why-not’ reception, or one of scathing antipathy. This kind of rolecisim (I made that up) confuses the heck out of me.

It saddens me greatly when someone rolls a character, levels that character and does at least some research into their class and, choosing a specific spec, gets blasted by groups because it’s not ‘optimal’. Now, the former sentence comes with a kodo-load of caveats.

I’m not talking about the character who put a few points here and there while they were leveling, has no skills maxed out and really has no general focus. WoW isn’t a kind of game where you can spec to be well-rounded. Well, for leveling you can, and to a certain extent for pvp, but when it comes to end-game, raids are large enough it’s much more beneficial to specialize yourself.

What I’m talking about is most players’ unwillingness to try something new. You can only number-crunch so far, eventually you’ll have to take your theory into practice and that requires a group and/or guild with an open mind. My biggest source of QQ is the inherent push I see in the WoW community against this sort of action. You chose a certain class, that class has certain set specs that work best in certain roles and you must do this if you want to run that instance. Lighten up, will ya?

I’ve seen the opposite too. People have come up with their own spec and are so enamored of it they refuse to try anything new. I think that’s a mistake too. I’m not trying to say everybody should run off the beaten path. I know if that happened raid progression would grind to a shrieking halt while people tried to get themselves sorted out. I’m just saying it’s fine to use cookie-cutter builds to start with, but once you get familiar with your class if you see something that you think might be viable try it out. What’s the worst that can happen, you and four others are saddled with a perfectly manageable repair bill and you’ve found another way not to do what you had set out to.

I’m not sure how this little talk about how wonderful and adaptable a class druids are turned into a plea for more open minds, but apparently my mind decided it was something that needed said.

Oh, one last note, if you’re trying something new make sure you’ve got the gear for it. I ran kara as a panzerkin with half my gear feral and the other half trash moonkin leather, it wasn’t a pretty sight. (Perhaps the gear-dependent mechanics of WoW are the main stumbling block against trying new specs? It’s something to think about, and with the gear specializations being reduced in WotLK, it’s something that might become less of an issue)

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  • Comments (6)
  1. I personally love unconventional groups. Totally. In fact, I’ve gone as far as to have my perky priestess — a 23/38/0 Holy priestess of happiness — tank a number of bosses in The Burning Crusade. It’s always a blast and I love the added challenge.

    And shaman tanking is, believe it or not, a very common thing, especially before end-game. A lot of people have sat down and figured out the way to make it possible. In particular, I remember this</a. article from WoWWiki about shaman tanking.

    • Tigerfeet
    • August 6th, 2008

    Excellent! I figured they should be able to seeing as they wear mail and have a shield. I’ve just NEVER seen it! Thanks so much for the link!

  2. Well, if any guild could pull of an all-druid Kara run, it’d probably be Unemployed! 🙂

    I really do appreciate the versatility of druids, I’ve always admired them for it, even if I’ve never managed to get one past 30.

    I leveled my priest with a made-up spec, to be honest. I wanted to take down mobs and not be restricted to just Smite, but I also wanted to be a capable healer, so I leveled Shadow/Holy. Believe me, I got a fair share of flak when people saw me asking to be a healer, but being technically “Shadow”… I even had someone leave a group before the run started because they had no faith in my out-of-the-ordinary spec!

  3. Agree 100% about druid versatility. It’s unlike any other class in WoW, and it’s I think the reason I like playing them so much. Every other class feels so inflexible by comparison.

    • Tigerfeet
    • August 6th, 2008

    Exactly… Kai, I’ve got an alt that’s a mage and find myself periodically flipping out when I realise I don’t have a heal or a cheetah from I can pop into and run away xD Though now that I’ve got blink the freaking out has slowed, hee hee

    • BeerCow
    • August 6th, 2008

    My absolute Druid fantasy is to Boomtank with 4 Shadow Priests. But, if you’re ever looking for a Shaman Tank, look no further than the guild list. Toof would love to do it, although it’s much more entertaining when he does it completely unintentionally.

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