The Loner Druid
I have played pen and paper many, many years. We have had a lot of fun, including playing with the people who play druids. Our role playing lead to lots of laughs and good times. One of my buddies loved shape changing into a hippopotimus in order to squish the enemies. The D&D forums ranked the druid at the top of the list for being the most power class. In pen and paper, a druid could litterally call the wild animals, animals in the numbers of the thousands, animals completely loyal to the druid. Wild empathy, handle animal and speak with animals are the three powers of pen and paper which made them the most powerful class. None of these three powers are in DDO. (Wild empathy is pathetic in DDO as compaired to pen and paper.)
In DDO and in the parties which I have experience with, druids are usually continually shape shifted, contributing to the the party members minimumly and being loners to the group. I have recieved very, very minimal buffs from them, not to mention only the cures of dire need such as when I go unconcious. This is because of the lack of animations while in shapeshifted form. I wanted the opinion of those who have an objective view. Do druids contribute less than all the other classes other than their kill count? I don't believe that; but, they do need to step up better at contributing. I believe if the entire party or raid was consisting of druids, it wouldn't be a problem. However, that is realisticly never, never the case.
Well, to my fellow druid players, try to double your efforts and become what the pen and paper game loved: someone with an active sense of humor about shape shifting and someone who brings multiple animals and hirelings to the party. I suppose the developers need to triple their efforts in this regard and give our druids access to such powers, enabling them to give what pen and paper came to feel: comfort in a druid's presence.
DDO is not DnD.
Druids are different, for obvious reasons they cannot shape into any animal they want. You get 2 variations of 2 animals, and 2 elemental forms. Druids cannot summon thousands of wild creatures to do their bidding for obvious reasons.
And I would add that if you played in a PnP game that I DM'ed, you'd better have a darn good reason for summoning thousands of animals to be potentially harmed or killed. If it wasn't about saving the world or restoring some massive imbalance in nature, you'd likely have some of your powers removed from violating the druidic oath. I would not put up with druids sacrificing animals to get that +5 scimitar of salad spinning any more than a paladin who enjoyed burning, raping, and pillaging.
And lastly, a caster druid should be able to contribute more easily. In DDO, a druid in animal form is generally min/maxxed into a melee role and casting abilities may be a bit behind. Also, there is that massive long cool down which simply makes it difficult to cast much of anything fast enough to keep up with most zerging pugs.
And really lastly, in case you haven't noticed, DDO is largely a solo MMO. Even most pugs are 6 people soloing together and the general trend is to be self suffcient.
The words 'solo' and 'MMO' are opposed. If everyone solos, DDO has failed to be an MMO.
Originally Posted by AzB
The reason I am hesitant on healing and buffing much on my druid is due to how DDO implemented many of their abilities. I play as a wolf melee focused build, so my spell points are not as high as a regular healer or caster. I cannot use heal scrolls while in form to help nor do I have an aura like radiant servants. Additionally the action point cost for increasing spellpower of the spells is very expensive to get to high ranks, which also sets a druid behind a cleric or favored soul when healing. To make matters worse, druids while wild-shaped have their spell timers three times longer than normal. If I toss another party member a heal in a sticky situation, there is a good chance it won't go off of timer for me to use it on myself.
I do try to play in a group and will toss out buffs when asked, but again, I have to drop my form to buff the same spell multiple times due to the prohibitively long timers and lose any weapon enchantments I had cast on myself and additionally costing myself sp to turn back into a wolf. Some buffs however, like deathward, are just more easily handed out by divines anyway since they have mass versions.
Although, I can say playing at lower levels with a summoned animal, my wolf pet and a hireling can be very fun. Unfortunately at the higher levels summons and hires fall far behind players due to faulty AI and lack of power. Additionally having a summon running around in a raid breaking things is usually not appreciated.
In DDO, many groups have an expectation of self-sufficiency and many players fall into that mindset. Especially at higher levels where it is not difficult to twist in some self-healing options even melee are less likely to need to be topped off after a fight. True, healers are still often needed to complete difficult content, but they are not always necessary.
I will toss a vigor occasionally to help a party member, but usually I need to be asked to help before I do it. I do admit, I could improve my play style a bit in that regard.
Of course, I do not speak for all druids, and I have seen healing focused builds on the forums.
Well I play a TWF fire elemental splashed with 2 monk and 1 fighter level, wielding 2 LitII pheshes usually, changing to wraps sometimes.
I usually do very well in groups I heal cast aoe spells buff people and dps with the body of the sun running. For example me and a friend duo-ed Servants of the Overlord last night on elite and casting regenerate and and mass ardor enabled us to complete in good time :)
I too play my Druid as an elemental TWF. He's a first lifer. With normal mobs and trash mobs, I'm as close to the centre of action as possible. He fights within his AOEs and DOTs.
I think that contributes as much as most classes in combat.
But then, he does some limited buffing, when the party takes damage he steps back and does some healing. I also lie and tell pugs that I don't heal, and then heal them anyway.
Thing is, he's SP poor and mass heals are costly. As I consider my Druid a melee caster (and my Artie a ranged caster, who us not a trapper the same way the other's not a healer), I don't feel it's a good investment to spend SP on the mass spels they give us. And they aren't many.
When I do give weapons buffs, or let someone wear my crown, people comment ao rarely that I think they must not notice, or they just expect things. It doesn't stop me from helping parties, but I get now where some veteran players were coming from by advising me to not be a buff bot.
Being fairly self sufficient, I don't need or get much from other players, and no one gets anything (usually) from the melee classes.
OP, how would your toons contribute to my game play? Honestly curious.
I also started a shifter Druid, and I'm unimpressed by the lack of fighting animations too. It makes melee a little boring. And with the cool down... it's best to think of yourself as a
limited caster, if at all.
I would be a help to druids.
I would first thank you for buffing me and healing me. I recognize both and share a nice thanks to all players who give those curtisies. Second, my play style is slow. I spend a lot of time as a guide. Third, my highest quality of play is on a cleric. I currently have four clerics on the Orien server. I plan on completing three TR's into an end life of cleric. Therefore, I would play a support role with you.
Thank you for asking.
LOL Nice answer.
Originally Posted by jellyfish21
Playing a lot of PUGs since I left my guild has made me a bit cynical. I hope I didn't come off too badly.