November 14, 2008

Wrath of the Lich King Druid Roundup

Welcome to Wrath of the Lich King, my fellow Druids -- and welcome, I hope, to another expansion full of great things for the class. In general I believe the future is very bright for each spec, and with dual specs coming to the game, it's going to be a lot easier to enjoy the Druid's versatility without having to finance your class trainer's boat payments.


  • Balance : We took a thorough look at the balance spec's current state and likely future here . Our laserchicken contingent probably received the most substantive overhaul of all three specs heading into the expansion, and most of the news is very good indeed.
  • Feral : Our assessment of the feral is here and includes a look at Blizzard's effort to split the tree into bear-centric and cat-centric talents. Bears on the outside seemed hardest hit with an average loss of 10K+ armor post-patch 3.0.2, but don't let it depress you; bear tanking is better than it's ever been. Cat DPS is poised to gain a massive boost at level 75 with Savage Roar , but until then it's same ol', same ol'.

  • Restoration : Resto, covered here , has probably taken the biggest blow in terms of both PvE and PvP viability in the form of a Lifebloom nerf and the disappearance of now-classic PvP specs, but we still got a lot of big buffs. Tree of Life has been vastly improved and we've gained both a flash heal (at 80) and an AoE HoT. Unfortunately, Wild Growth may be facing a nerf in the form of a cooldown soon, but nothing's certain yet. I don't want to sound too down here. You will notice the Lifebloom nerf in the post-3.0.2 world, but resto's gained a tremendous amount of raw healing output coupled with its customary mana efficiency. Stay tuned; healing is likely to undergo some major changes soon.

  • Balance : You can find an examination of Balance's new and altered talents/skills here . All I need to say is -- Earth and Moon is 100% pure, weapons-grade ownage.

  • Feral : Eliah Hecht looks at the new Feral talents and skills that hit with patch 3.0.2 here. Bears and cats have gotten a lot of great tweaks, but you're going to have to make some hard decisions over which aspect you want to emphasize.
  • Restoration : A comprehensive look at Restoration's new tree here as of patch 3.0.2. Lifebloom is down; raw healing output is up; mana efficiency is roughly the same; PvP specs are down; Tree of Life form is up. You decide!

  • Some of the information originally published in our class study and talent articles didn't survive the recent patches, so Eliah will get you up to speed on Druid changes as of patch 3.0.3 .

  • We took a look at three of Feral's new toys: Survival Mastery , Savage Roar , and Berserk , with the latter being particularly important to bears given the new emphasis on AoE tanking .

  • Alas, moonkin; the Typhoon bug was discovered and fixed. Overpoweredness, we hardly knew ye.
  • So what can Restoration Druids realistically expect in the new 5-mans and raids? Allie healed her way from 70 through 74 in the beta, while Matticus did the heavy lifting in Naxxramas and the Obsidian Sanctum .
  • Bears will see some significant tweaks in the months ahead with respect to armor contribution from rings, cloaks, and trinkets. Protector of the Pack's group requirement is also being removed. John Patricelli examines the changes to tanking in the post-patch universe.

  • Spoilers incoming! Great Druid lore moment to occur in Wrath!

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