Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Know Thy Friends (Druid Edition)

Okay, so in continuing my series of classes I choose to (or not) I want to take a closer look at Druids. I was really torn on the Druid class, because they bring so much to the table. They are litterally the most versatile class in the game. If you need heals, the Druid can give some great heal over time (HoT) spells. If you have a void for your tank, they go bear form and there is your tank. Perhaps you are in need of some DPS, well which do you prefer, caster or melee? So with so much versatility why in the world did they not make the group of classes I choose to run with, if available?

It is the versatility that makes me not like running with a Druid. I know it sounds crazy. I choose not to have the single most useful class in the game because they are too useful? No, this is not the case. It is actually the exact opposite. I have witnessed too many good groups fail completely because there was a Druid who was confused over what they were suppose to be doing. Let me say it a different way. Druids have a ton of abilities, but it is like the the old saying a jack of all trades, master of none. Often times when I am looking for a group to run something and I do not have a tank on from the guild and request in the looking for group channel, trade channel, or general channel; I will very clearly express that the group needs a tank. Without fail, there will be a Druid who responds, which is great, but not so great when I check them in Armory and they do not have single piece of gear that remotely resembles what a tanking Druid would be wearing. Then I will explain and then they get upset.

Another thing abour Druids which makes me hesitant to group with them is the fact that Druids tend to respec and fill multiple roles. This is good right? Again, I think it is a detractor, they end up doing so much that they never specialize and develop their skills in any one talent or role. This is detrimental I feel in a five man group, where each member needs to have a specific role and know what to do, not wait to be told what they are needed to do. It is sad but true. Within my own guild, we have a Druid who is excellent some of the time, but it depends on what spec he is at that moment. He knows his character well, but having run with him, I have seen some things that other classes may do better, simply because that is the only role they may be able to fill.

I am not trying to be harsh here. I have ran with some great Druids who understood their roles and were able to run flawlessly, but I have seen this to be an exception and not the rule. I compare a Druid to myself often times. I am a Holy Paladin (most of the time). If I decided today, to go home and respec to Protection, I would be able to grab some gear from my bank and some from the auction house. I could fumble through a run more than likely. If I had a good healer, they could keep me alive and we could probably clear it with a few wipes. I probably would not mark very well and would more than likely struggle to hold agro while I learn my threat rotation. Would I be successful? Maybe. Could someone else had done this job better? Absolutely.

I realize that anyone could say the same for me being a Holy Paladin. I would not argue with them. The logic would be correct. I would be annoyed, but could not refute it. Have I ever not allowed someone in a group because they are a Druid? No. I am always willing to run with anyone, because that is the only way to really learn and develop my own skills. If I had a choice, I would still pick one of my core group to run with.

As far as blessings go for Druids, it is realy dependant on what role they are in. I always ask my Druids to let me know what blessing they want. Healing a Druid is somewhat tricky as well. I do not want to waste a heal and have seen it happen where I go to cast and they shape change, cast their own heal and then my own heal is pointless. I try to have a lot of communication with Druids as far as how they want me to handle healing them. Each Druid is a little different in what they want and I try to accomodate them accordingly. On the flip side, I dispise when Druids attempt to tell me how to heal an entire party. I have noticed that with other classes who can perform multiple roles that you get some who think they know the dynamics of every other class who may share this function with them. Typically this result in me being quiet, doing it their way and allowing them to die. Then wait for the expletives to clear the air and then explain to them how a Paladin has to function. This usually will bring them back in line.

So in closing, why would I not want a Druid in my group? Too versatile with no focus. I would say when you find a good Druid, add them to your friends list and keep them close because they are too rare it seems.

1 comment:

Fish said...

One thing that makes the game so challenging is that no two classes do anything the same way. Druids, Shammies, Pallies, and Priests all heal differently. Likewise, most tanking classes tank differently (I will give you the inherent similarities between DK's and druids).

I was all ready to disagree with you, but I can't. Druids, as versitile as they are, make it very difficult to tell what a player "mainly" does, and what is a re-spec based on circumstances.