Help TRing a 1st-life Wiz into a CC/Summoner Druid
Almost a year ago, I posted a thread requesting help to build a "summoner"-flavored toon for a static (newbie) trio group. Since the druid class wasn't available for me at the time, I tried to achieve the desired toon by creating a PM Wiz. The feedback I was given in that thread was incredibly detailed, and exactly what I needed to be able to make a semi-viable toon out of a almost-completely-gimp concept :D
After all this time, I can say that it was the most fun build I've ever played with. The other 2 players of the group ended up leaving the game, but I met some nice people along the way and kept playing, slowly becoming "better" at playing (well, making less basic mistakes at least :P) and eventually reaching the epic levels for the first time, a couple months ago.
During my journey, there were some minor changes (and some not-that-minor ones with u19). I lost all the skellies pets except the knight, but it got stronger and gained a (much-needed) control bar. SpellPen enhancements became easier to get and the initial CON modifier lost some of its importance. Right now, the toon is a lvl24 with the Magister ED maxed out. I was able to afford the MotU expansion, so I can finally roll a druid.
Although I'm enjoying the PM, I'm finding the epic quests to be a little boring compared the older, heroic ones (although the wilderness areas' scenery and random encounters are amazing). I'm also a premium player with limited resources (both money and time-wise), and with the upcoming changes in u20, I fear I'll never be able to TR anytime soon unless I do it before then. Therefore, I'm thinking about TRing the Wizzie into a Druid that can (hopefully) replicate or improve the things I liked about the PM, and avoid the aspects I didn't like about it (note that I'm obviously not trying to achieve a EE-viable build, just one for levelling and EN/EH questing). But before I try to make it, I'd like to ask a few questions regarding the Wiz-Drd transition process:
1- I really like the CC spells in the Wizard's spell list (so much that I ended up using enchantment mastery instead of necromancy in the magister tree). The mass holds, the dominate spells and some of the fogs were in my book 100% of the time. Is it possible to build a simillar concept with druid (i.e. a CC-focused one)? I read about the sleetQuake combo, but I'm not sure how effective it is or if there are other CC tricks up the druid's sleeve.
2- Having focused on summoning, I now have a better idea of how useful each one of them is (and in heroics, they're more useful than one would expect, especially in short-man groups!). I realized I prefer having a small group of effective pets/summons/hires than an army of weak ones. With the u19 changes to enh. trees, is the wolf still a better (more durable/stronger) option than the PM's skeleton? If the former is better, that will be my project: an Elf or Halfling CC&Summoner Druid who can immobilize enemies in order to beat them with the pets' help and minimal risk for him/herself.
3- Should I go pure or splash it? I can't see any obvious synergetic splash (I don't have Monk), but the druid's enhancement trees seem a little lacking at first sight... If going pure, I'd probably max WIS, get CON to 12, and spread the rest in a third stat (not sure how useful CHA/UMD is on a druid, but it doesn't seem like a critical skill, so maybe CHA would be dumped)
4- This can probably change a lot before I get to epic range again, but right now both Magister and Primal Avatar give bonuses to summoned creatures. It seems to me that primal avatar gives more useful bonuses than Magister in the end, is that correct?
5- While playing wizard in the earlier levels, I disliked the short spellpoint pool and buff duration. Extend was pretty much always on (and even then, some spells still felt short). Do druids have similar issues? How manageable SP-wise are the druids, compared to wizards?
6- I still have the LR+20 stone available from u19. Should I LR into druid before TRing to get the past life to boost my pets, or is the +1DC I can get from Wiz past life important for a CC druid?
7- Since I'm not in a static group anymore (and actually end up PuG'ing a lot): what do groups usually expect from a Druid? Is it like the bard (where noone really expects anything) or are them expected to do a very specific role (even though they can be built to perform different ones)?
I know it's a lot to ask, but answers to any one of the questions, as well as some useful links for reference builds (there's a little shortage of those post-u19 compared to the other classes) would certainly help someone like me (without any experience in the class) to make a viable but fun toon that meets my playstyle objectives/constraints and that I can play for a long time. Thanks in advance :)