“LF1M pally tank”
Some classes seem to get all sorts of LF1M love, and some seem to get none at all. Druids, I suspect, are somewhere near the bottom: I have been head-hunted for groups (and raids) before, to deal with something situational like needing HoTs to tick during CC, but we’re not quite as “must-have” for most instances as, say, a mage. Because we seem to be seen as one of those “situational” classes, I thought I might go through some of the situations you need us for (I’m focusing on resto-spec here, but most of this applies to every spec to some degree.)
Why you need a Resto Druid
Why would you want a resto druid in a 5- or 10-man? Well, it really depends on the druid, but I’m going to talk about me. I have a bunch of different gear-sets with me at all times, and I’ve done time on all 3 specs. I am:
- A main healer who is just as burst-heal capable as a holy priest or pally when necessary
- Heals which continue to heal while I’m feared, stunned, or otherwise CC’d
- On-the-run heals: I can kite a slower mob and still heal at full capacity
- Combat rez, de-curse, cure poison
- DPS (or backup-DPS/off-healing) with my balance gear-set, if we have another healer or a healing-light pull
- Channeled AoE
- Crowd Control against dragonkin and beasts, and all non-ranged if we’re outside
- Off Tank (or Main Tank on easy stuff) in my feral gear (I can MT trash pulls in Arc with a good healer)
- Stuns and interrupts, if the group can do without healing for a bit
- Stealth, but no sap 😦
- Most importantly: A player who understands EVERY role in the group, because she does them all
That last one’s important. I know what to be ready for when a mage runs in to AoE (rescue healing), because it’s what I need when I run in to AoE. When I’m DPSing, I know not to pull aggro, because I hate it when DPSers do it to me when I’m tanking. I know not to DoT the CC, because I hate it when people do it to my hibernate mark. Beware: I also know about taunts, so I know you’re just being lazy if you’re our tank and you can’t grab aggro back at least some of the time.
Keep in mind that multiple gear-sets are the key to this versatility. A pure-resto druid with no other gear-sets is not going to be able to tank nor dps effectively. Don’t expect your druid to jump between roles mid-fight either: when I’m in my healing gear, I have bugger-all armor and virtually no crit. Caster gear: heals are way down, so is armor. Feral gear? I’ll go OOM in no time flat. We need to gear right for the pull, BEFORE we get stuck in combat. If I do get stuck, I can still DO the other roles, just not so well. Balance DPS and healing have complementary gear (it’s all about mana, and +dam gives some +heal and vice versa) but feral and casting don’t share well. If I’m tanking, my heals will suck, and if I’m casting, my tanking won’t be up to elite mobs.
Druids rock particularly hard in BM. We can help dps the Rift Lord or Keeper. When some adds get through, we can CC them, DPS them down, and jump into bear for some light tanking if necessary. Heals and DPS on boss fights. Travel form for getting between rifts, or chasing down adds. In short, if you get a good versatile resto druid for BM, try and find a second healer: we’re too good to waste spamming lifebloom.
Watch out for the leveling-service druids. They paid for their 70s, and you can guarantee the people who do the leveling pawn off every off-spec bit of gear that turns up. Also (assuming this is a leveling-service resto druid) they’ve probably read on a blog that it’s all about LB, Rejuv, and Swiftmend, and they know how to sit there and cast those. They don’t know how to respond to unusual situations, because they don’t have the experience. They DEFINITELY don’t know how to switch to DPS, throw in some CC, swap to healing when the holy priest gets ganked, and throw out a brez when there’s a free few seconds. Please don’t think we all need to l2play just because you get stuck in a group with a leveling-service druid once. That said, who actually pays a leveling service to level up a druid?
So, there you have it. Druids: We Rock.
ps. Yeah, I know, other classes rock as well. You could write just as great a list about why groups need shamans. Or ‘locks. Or why no MC raid is complete without a fire mage (huh? sure…)