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Thursday, July 16, 2009
 

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WoW: Druid Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has posted the latest in its series of lengthy World of Warcraft class Q&As. This time Ghostcrawler and the World of Warcraft Development Team focused on the Druid. The discussion covered a range of topics including the Druid's role in the game, elements unique to the class, and future plans.

Where do druids fit into the larger scope of things currently and where do you see them going from this point forward?
Ghostcrawler: Much like the paladin and shaman, the original World of Warcraft druid was intended to be a healer for end-game content. Bears could tank Upper Blackrock okay. But honestly, nobody took cats, bears or moonkin very seriously at level 60. In Burning Crusade, this changed a little. Bears could tank a lot more content, and might have even been overpowered in the endgame if it weren’t for Sunwell Radiance. Cats were probably underpowered. You still saw them, but they were there mostly for buffs or because they could slip easily from tanking to dps in a world before dual-spec. They were great for Zul’Aman for example. There were some great Balance druids, but still a lot of Oomkin. Our philosophy at this point in the game was that hybrid classes needed to give up a lot of their power, especially on the dps-side of things, in order to justify their versatility and massive buffs. In Lich King, we set out to change this and make sure all four types of druid had a PvE role in heroic dungeons and raiding. And yes, this meant four roles, because if we were going to let cats do credible dps or bears be able to tank anything in the game then we wanted players to have to commit to one extreme or the other. You can remain a half-bear, half-cat if you want to as well, but you won’t be as good at either extreme and my experience is players rarely choose that route.

In PvP the story is quite different of course. Once Resto druids got enough tools in Burning Crusade, they were very difficult to counter in Arena matches. Cyclone, Feral Charge and running and hotting made druids frustratingly slippery. We wanted to chill this out a little in Lich King, largely by pushing Feral Charge farther away and making Tree of Life a real option in PvP. Unfortunately, high tree armor and dispel-at-your peril hots have still kept druids difficult to counter in PvP. Feral druids have always had a place in PvP, but were never as dominant as the Resto druids. There is a little bit of a chicken and egg problem here because while some druids only want to PvP as Feral, others were happy to respec to Resto for PvP. Balance druids seemed even less viable than Feral, which is not ideal and something we want to improve. We tend to take a longer view on some of these things than do the players. We’ve had other balance issues that we’ve wanted to address in PvP first, and getting every spec of every class viable has had to take a back seat on occasion.
Head over to the page below to read the full Q&A.

WoW: Druid Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
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