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Thread: Newbie Druid

  1. #1
    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    Default Newbie Druid

    So, I'm getting the itch to TR my main character (Archarias) once again (after just completing my final sorcerer life not 3 days ago). I saw that the druid class is now on sale (I didn't buy the full motu expansion, just the standard, like, the very day it came out so I didn't get the class), and have a serious inclination to buy it and play one. Just one thing: I'm pretty much a total newbie when it comes to druids. The closest I ever came to playing one was in Neverwinter Nights, and I never stuck with it.

    The specifics:
    - Past lives: I have 3 cleric, 3 sorcerer, 3 wizard, 2 favored soul, and 1 bard past lives. I'm sure that will be more than enough to make a good druid.
    - I want it to be a pure 20 druid; those that know me know I'm sort of a purist and don't multiclass any of my characters, especially spellcasters.
    - Race is up for debate, but I'm heavily leaning towards human for the extra feat and skill points (and a decent racial tree). I don't own half elves, so that's out of the question (nor do I wish to look like I'm made of plastic).

    On to the questions:
    1. What is a druid build? I'm assuming a spellcaster druid is pretty much a standard build of maxing WIS and then CON with enough STR to avoid helplessness and maybe some INT for skill points. I really have no interest in melee druids (especially on a spellcaster character with no monk, paladin, barbarian, or fighter lives).

    2. Feats: I'm once again assuming it's a typical caster build, but, like cleric, bard, and wizard, some metamagic feats aren't always needed or wanted. Is it the standard maximize/empower/heighten/quicken with the options of extend and empower healing? Are there other feats druids take? Which would take more importance; conjuration, transmutation, or evocation focus? I have +3 conjuration and evocation trough past lives.

    3. Spells: I would think this is my weakest point on druids; I've seen the storms and earthquakes in parties, but I pretty much know nothing about the druid spell list other than they have HoT healing and a mixture of water, lightning, and fire spells. From seeing things, I think I'd be leaning more towards the water/lightning type of stuff, but I'm not entirely sure how the season things work, and I'm not sure which spells are must-have and avoid-like-the-plague. I heard they change automatically or something, but never really paid much attention.

    4. Gear: The whole druidic oath thing sounds easy enough to understand. Once again, I'm assuming this is the standard spellcaster gear with the exception of metal weapons and armor.

    5. Enhancements: Season's Herald seems obvious as a main tree. Are there must-have enhancements or things from the other druid tree? On a side note, what would be considered a good spellcasting druid's epic destiny? I heard primal avatar is fairly weak and I know some druids go for draconic for the spellpower and evocation/conjuration DC's, even though it doesn't increase caster levels.

    Anything else I may have missed? Comments to add?

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    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HastyPudding View Post
    So, I'm getting the itch to TR my main character (Archarias) once again (after just completing my final sorcerer life not 3 days ago). I saw that the druid class is now on sale (I didn't buy the full motu expansion, just the standard, like, the very day it came out so I didn't get the class), and have a serious inclination to buy it and play one. Just one thing: I'm pretty much a total newbie when it comes to druids. The closest I ever came to playing one was in Neverwinter Nights, and I never stuck with it.

    The specifics:
    - Past lives: I have 3 cleric, 3 sorcerer, 3 wizard, 2 favored soul, and 1 bard past lives. I'm sure that will be more than enough to make a good druid.
    - I want it to be a pure 20 druid; those that know me know I'm sort of a purist and don't multiclass any of my characters, especially spellcasters.
    - Race is up for debate, but I'm heavily leaning towards human for the extra feat and skill points (and a decent racial tree). I don't own half elves, so that's out of the question (nor do I wish to look like I'm made of plastic).
    human is the best choice anyways imo because of the extra skill point tax that was added u19 you need spellcraft and heal now
    On to the questions:
    1. What is a druid build? I'm assuming a spellcaster druid is pretty much a standard build of maxing WIS and then CON with enough STR to avoid helplessness and maybe some INT for skill points. I really have no interest in melee druids (especially on a spellcaster character with no monk, paladin, barbarian, or fighter lives).
    max wis, get con up, put points in int for skills, any left over dex to maybe be able to get saves out of abysmal.
    2. Feats: I'm once again assuming it's a typical caster build, but, like cleric, bard, and wizard, some metamagic feats aren't always needed or wanted. Is it the standard maximize/empower/heighten/quicken with the options of extend and empower healing? Are there other feats druids take? Which would take more importance; conjuration, transmutation, or evocation focus? I have +3 conjuration and evocation trough past lives.
    empower/max/quicken/empower healing/heighten many druid spells can't be heightened though so that last one is just to squeak out an extra dc for earthquake at endgame imo. Evocation is your bread and butter at high levels once you get earthquake, it makes everything stay on the ground. Also if you can work in the mental toughness line now that's very helpful as you can always use extra sp and it gives spell crit now.
    3. Spells: I would think this is my weakest point on druids; I've seen the storms and earthquakes in parties, but I pretty much know nothing about the druid spell list other than they have HoT healing and a mixture of water, lightning, and fire spells. From seeing things, I think I'd be leaning more towards the water/lightning type of stuff, but I'm not entirely sure how the season things work, and I'm not sure which spells are must-have and avoid-like-the-plague. I heard they change automatically or something, but never really paid much attention.
    The prc gives a rotating buff to fire or ice, however ele forms neuter all elemental spells except for their element so lightning will always be weak. Your cold dots will overwrite arcane dots too. That said it's kind of like a sorc, fire is awesome till vale then go ice.
    4. Gear: The whole druidic oath thing sounds easy enough to understand. Once again, I'm assuming this is the standard spellcaster gear with the exception of metal weapons and armor.
    you can absolutely use metal weapons, you can equip any weapon you want, you just can't equip a metal shield or armor.
    5. Enhancements: Season's Herald seems obvious as a main tree. Are there must-have enhancements or things from the other druid tree? On a side note, what would be considered a good spellcasting druid's epic destiny? I heard primal avatar is fairly weak and I know some druids go for draconic for the spellpower and evocation/conjuration DC's, even though it doesn't increase caster levels.

    Anything else I may have missed? Comments to add?
    I picked up reaving roar from the other tree for some free sonic damage even though it's been nerfed hard. Shiradi is what I run in with my druid, pick up tea, nerve venom, double rainbow, and some wisdom to get your dc's even higher, it makes a great ed. For twists use the evocation twists from magister and draconic as well as endless faith from ea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    human is the best choice anyways imo because of the extra skill point tax that was added u19 you need spellcraft and heal now
    max wis, get con up, put points in int for skills, any left over dex to maybe be able to get saves out of abysmal.
    empower/max/quicken/empower healing/heighten many druid spells can't be heightened though so that last one is just to squeak out an extra dc for earthquake at endgame imo. Evocation is your bread and butter at high levels once you get earthquake, it makes everything stay on the ground. Also if you can work in the mental toughness line now that's very helpful as you can always use extra sp and it gives spell crit now.

    The prc gives a rotating buff to fire or ice, however ele forms neuter all elemental spells except for their element so lightning will always be weak. Your cold dots will overwrite arcane dots too. That said it's kind of like a sorc, fire is awesome till vale then go ice.

    you can absolutely use metal weapons, you can equip any weapon you want, you just can't equip a metal shield or armor.

    I picked up reaving roar from the other tree for some free sonic damage even though it's been nerfed hard. Shiradi is what I run in with my druid, pick up tea, nerve venom, double rainbow, and some wisdom to get your dc's even higher, it makes a great ed. For twists use the evocation twists from magister and draconic as well as endless faith from ea.
    Druids get a naturally large skillpoint pool (with an INT of 10 a non-human gets 4 skill points per level), so going human is not required at all to be able to max Heal, Spellpower, and Concentration. It is helpful for the extra feat, but again, there are many that you can drop with the new system. All you *really* need is Maximize, Empower, Quicken, and possibly empower heal. Throw in Heighten and you still have 2 extra feats before you hit epic levels.

    With that in mind, take whatever race with the racial tree you find most attractive. Since Seasons herald has quite a bit of trash enhancements included in it, you'll still have plenty of points left over even after taking everything you want (as human I was able to take the racial tree all the way up to greater heroism and still had to stuff points into worthless skills from seasons Herald... like Winter's Heart and Natures Warden). Naturally you'll want to ignore primal avatar completely, as even reaving roar seems pointless given how many points you have to waste just to get it.
    Last edited by richieelias27; 09-13-2013 at 12:13 AM.

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    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richieelias27 View Post
    Druids get a naturally large skillpoint pool (with an INT of 10 a non-human gets 4 skill points per level), so going human is not required at all to be able to max Heal, Spellpower, and Concentration. It is helpful for the extra feat, but again, there are many that you can drop with the new system. All you *really* need is Maximize, Empower, Quicken, and possibly empower heal. Throw in Heighten and you still have 2 extra feats before you hit epic levels.

    With that in mind, take whatever race with the racial tree you find most attractive. Since Seasons herald has quite a bit of trash enhancements included in it, you'll still have plenty of points left over even after taking everything you want (as human I was able to take the racial tree all the way up to greater heroism and still had to stuff points into worthless skills from seasons Herald... like Winter's Heart and Natures Warden). Naturally you'll want to ignore primal avatar completely, as even reaving roar seems pointless given how many points you have to waste just to get it.

    You'll also want 10 pts of jump total, umd since our raise is worthless because of it's debuff chance and long cast time, also evocation focus is required if you want to do a decent job in ee and want earthquake to hit. The mental toughness line is needed if you want to max spell crit. Also rr being pointless compared to gh? Gh can be scrolled or clickied, I'll take free dps instead.

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    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richieelias27 View Post
    Druids get a naturally large skillpoint pool (with an INT of 10 a non-human gets 4 skill points per level), so going human is not required at all to be able to max Heal, Spellpower, and Concentration. It is helpful for the extra feat, but again, there are many that you can drop with the new system. All you *really* need is Maximize, Empower, Quicken, and possibly empower heal. Throw in Heighten and you still have 2 extra feats before you hit epic levels.

    With that in mind, take whatever race with the racial tree you find most attractive. Since Seasons herald has quite a bit of trash enhancements included in it, you'll still have plenty of points left over even after taking everything you want (as human I was able to take the racial tree all the way up to greater heroism and still had to stuff points into worthless skills from seasons Herald... like Winter's Heart and Natures Warden). Naturally you'll want to ignore primal avatar completely, as even reaving roar seems pointless given how many points you have to waste just to get it.
    Do you mean ignore primal avatar the epic destiny completely or did you mean the nature's warrior tree?

    Yeah, I like the human racial tree because there is so much customization in it. It's not pigeon-holed like most other racial trees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HastyPudding View Post
    Do you mean ignore primal avatar the epic destiny completely or did you mean the nature's warrior tree?

    Yeah, I like the human racial tree because there is so much customization in it. It's not pigeon-holed like most other racial trees.
    Ignore natures warrior. Since the op has no intent of getting into melee, if offers almost zero benefit. It would be nice if the two had some synergy, but alas, almost all of it requires animal forms and melee.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    You'll also want 10 pts of jump total, umd since our raise is worthless because of it's debuff chance and long cast time, also evocation focus is required if you want to do a decent job in ee and want earthquake to hit. The mental toughness line is needed if you want to max spell crit. Also rr being pointless compared to gh? Gh can be scrolled or clickied, I'll take free dps instead.
    If you really want umd AND jump (honestly don't know why you'd need it since you can cast jump yourself) , raise INT to 12?

    with 2 feats leftover before epic levels, that's enough for both evocation feats. I've never found spending 2 feats for +2% to crit to be even remotely worth it. And as far as the extra SP, I don't run out as it is without them... so...

    Yes, I found reaving roar to be pointless myself. The only reason my druid is human is because it was human before the enhancement pass, and the LR20 doesnt let you change race. I picked greater heroism over RR because I had nothing better to spend it on (and yes, I still find that paltry amount of damage to be of less worth than GH, which also comes with 20% healing amp, skill boost (for your UMD), skill mastery (UMD again), and +Wis and CON along the way mind you.). If I'd had my choice of race Id've gone Elf and AA because beguile is still the shizz even after the boss fix, and a good bow is (so far as I've seen) the only reliable method of quickly getting a 25 stack on something without spending a hefty bunch of spellpoints or getting smacked around in melee.
    Last edited by richieelias27; 09-13-2013 at 07:14 AM.

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    Community Member Atremus's Avatar
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    I prefer Human as well. Racial GH is nice and means I don't have to carry another stack of scrolls

    And you will want to have empower healing if you are going to fill in as a healer. Your Regenerate can only be boosted by Emp Heal, same as Cocoon.

    I am torn on Heighten. I don't currently have it on my druid and so far I haven't missed it. It is nice for sure, but not much can be heightened so I spent my feats on mental toughness line.

    Figure out how to boost your INT since it effects your SpellCraft (spell power)

    If you are going to be pirmarily in Sharadi, you might want to consider putting some points into Perform. A lot of Sharadi is sonic damage and perform is a decent boost for those sonic procs

    I have also been tossing around the idea of picking up insightful reflexes and dumping Dex. I haven't tried yet, but since we need INT now on any spell casting class, it makes sense. It would also help boost your weakest save.

    Edit: You mentioned spells, here is my take:

    The SLA's are amazing. You will want all of them, including Word of Balance. For Single target mobs, a single creeping cold [in Heroic] will usually kill something. In Epic Hard add in WoB. You might not even need Creeping Cold after a WoB cast. If both of those are on cool down, you can use the lightning strike sla and sunburst to finish stuff off. Both of those are much lower damage, but still cheap damage. In EE's I mostly group up with others and stick to CC and Healing, but Druid is powerful enough to solo if that is your play style

    In mass groups, it's earthquake and a storm (Ice or Vengeance) and the active wiz PL MM on stuff that is still standing (sharadi proc fishing)

    Druid spells are just like cleric so you can freely change out in the Bar if you find something that you don't like.

    My usual go to spells:

    Energy Burst (Twisted)
    WoB (SLA)
    Creeping Cold (SLA)
    Call Lightning (SLA)
    SunBurst (SLA)
    FoD
    EarthQuake
    Ice Storm
    Storm of Vengeance (SLA)


    My twists are usually:
    Energy Burst (Ice)
    Cocoon
    Endless Faith
    Last edited by Atremus; 09-13-2013 at 09:01 AM.
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    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richieelias27 View Post
    Ignore natures warrior. Since the op has no intent of getting into melee, if offers almost zero benefit.
    I would consider picking up Bestial Nature. Reflex saves are one of the weaknesses of druids and getting +3 Reflex & Fort -3 Will for 4 APs isn't too bad; or rather, pure druids don't have a lot of alternatives.
    Quote Originally Posted by Atremus View Post
    If you are going to be pirmarily in Sharadi, you might want to consider putting some points into Perform. A lot of Sharadi is sonic damage and perform is a decent boost for those sonic procs
    Had not thought of that, so thanks for the info. Suppose it's too much to hope Perform boosts Reaving Roar too, though...
    I have also been tossing around the idea of picking up insightful reflexes and dumping Dex. I haven't tried yet, but since we need INT now on any spell casting class, it makes sense. It would also help boost your weakest save.
    My view is pure druids are too feat-starved to take IR; besides, how much INT do you really need on a druid? Instead, I would consider a race which gets bonus to saves, like dwarf or halfling.

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    Community Member Atremus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    My view is pure druids are too feat-starved to take IR; besides, how much INT do you really need on a druid? Instead, I would consider a race which gets bonus to saves, like dwarf or halfling.
    Feat starved is a very valid point. I don't know where I would slot it in (if ever.) I just see the synergy with needing INT now and that feat. I think I started with 12 INT, +8 item, +3 tome, +3 insightful (blue helm) gives me 26 (28 with the ship)

    My spellcraft is 60 right now, but I'm considering a GS item for +6 more if I can find a good spot to slot it or the skull daggery belt if I can find a spot to put +10 health.

    My personal opinion is that you can never have enough spell power.
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    Community Member Mark2422's Avatar
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    In all honesty, with your past lives you are clearly someone who has a lot of experience with casters. So I would say build your druid like you would your FVS except work in empower healing as well if you haven't already and dont get Cha unless you want UMD for res scrolls (druid weakness is that we get reincarnate but it has a looooong cast time and is not affected by quicken). The bugges differences you will find are:

    1) healing with HoTs is different to burst healing. It can be just as, if not, more efficient but you will have to get used to it (unless you are experienced on other MMOs which use HoTs).

    2) You have better crowed control with earthquake.

    3) Your DoTs (creeping cold) are more spamable and overall powerful. You dont need to 3 stack like a FVS.

    4) You have the greatest arsenal of DPS AOEs than any other caster in game.

    But all these things you will figure out as you go a long. The only thing you need to do is build it to suit your play style as a caster. For example, I am a caster that loves enlarge so for me its a must. But thats just my preference.

    Wisdom is your main stat. And you will use most, if not all of them spe elements for dps, except sonic and maybe neg. i think thats basically all you need to know. If you want a little more in depth druid breakdown then look for my build. You should be able to click on Markeyx in my sig to link there.
    Toons: Markeyx Markeyi, MarkeyKoS, MarkeyKoS-1
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    First, ignore everyone telling you to ignore Nature's Warrior. While leveling and even in EN and some EH epics, take reaving roar as a caster. Anyone not doing this is turning one the easiest leveling experiences in the game into a somewhat boring challenge.

    Max Wis. Max Con.

    Water Elemental all the way.

    Human. 8 feats. I'd take 2 evocation, maxamize, Empower, Quicken. Rest sprinkle to taste.

    Playstyle, until you get earthquake, lay down an AOE, jump around in it until Reaving Roar procs. Everything dead.

    Once you get earthquake, lay down an earthquake, kite mobs through. Once they're down, lay an AOE on top, jump around, reaving roar procs, everything dies.

    Creaping cold and greater creaping cold are great single target spells. Don't look at them as dots. Look at them as single target spells.

    Epics. Your choice. I'd choose Shiradi, but I know some people like Primal Avatar.

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    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atremus View Post
    My spellcraft is 60 right now, but I'm considering a GS item for +6 more if I can find a good spot to slot it or the skull daggery belt if I can find a spot to put +10 health.
    Ugh, I keep forgetting Spellcraft is an INT-based skill; for some reason I always think it's WIS-based. Must just be WIShful thinking on my part.

    Okay, so maybe high-INT+IR druid is less crazy than it initially sounds. Still seems pretty crazy, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by jalont View Post
    First, ignore everyone telling you to ignore Nature's Warrior. While leveling and even in EN and some EH epics, take reaving roar as a caster. Anyone not doing this is turning one the easiest leveling experiences in the game into a somewhat boring challenge.
    The problem is the AP cost: you have to spend 13 APs in NW to get max RR and everything else in NW is mostly-useless to a caster druid.
    Last edited by unbongwah; 09-13-2013 at 10:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    Ugh, I keep forgetting Spellcraft is an INT-based skill; for some reason I always think it's WIS-based. Must just be WIShful thinking on my part.

    Okay, so maybe high-INT+IR druid is less crazy than it initially sounds. Still seems pretty crazy, though.

    The problem is the AP cost: you have to spend 13 APs in NW to get max RR and everything else in NW is mostly-useless to a caster druid.
    Where else are you spending your AP? You're telling me there's 67 points worth of good stuff between the human tree and caster tree? No, absolutely not. Anyone spending more than 44 points in any tree is intentionally gimping themselves.

    Further, even if you could find enough places to spend 67 points, it wouldn't matter. Reaving Roar is too powerful. It's the difference between Druid being the second quickest leveling class in the game vs. a slow, monotonous struggle.

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    Community Member Atremus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jalont View Post
    Anyone spending more than 44 points in any tree is intentionally gimping themselves.
    AP Spent:
    19 AP in Human for GH and Healing Amp
    8 AP Spent in Natures Warrior for Flight
    53 Spent in Seasons Harold


    Druid is so versatile, I don't see how anyone can gimp themselves based on AP spent based on one ability
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    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies, guys!

    I think I'm going to enjoy a spellcasting druid. Heck, I took a gander at the nature's warrior tree and might even make another character and be a melee build to play around with the wolf forms. I thought druid would be fun because it has many aspects that I like; the ability to heal, aoe, melee dps, and CC all in one class. In all honesty, if druids had their healing PrE out, I would be playing that instead of the herald. I love support roles and classes.

    As for destinies, I already have magister, fatesinger, draconic, and exalted angel maxed out from previous lives (and sentinel and grandmaster maxed out through farming), although I've yet to even touch upon the primal destinies and dreadnaught. I think I would have my options covered; primal avatar really doesn't look all that impressive for spellcasting druids beyond the spell levels. I think I would get more healing potential out of the angel and more spellpower/DC's through draconic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jalont View Post
    Where else are you spending your AP? You're telling me there's 67 points worth of good stuff between the human tree and caster tree? No, absolutely not. Anyone spending more than 44 points in any tree is intentionally gimping themselves.

    Further, even if you could find enough places to spend 67 points, it wouldn't matter. Reaving Roar is too powerful. It's the difference between Druid being the second quickest leveling class in the game vs. a slow, monotonous struggle.
    You have 80 points while leveling? Very interesting.

    Personally I prefer to pick up maximize and quicken asap, followed by empower and enlarge. Use all my AP's in seasons herald from the get-go so that I can be casting max/emp/quick/enlarged SLA's from a distance. Pretty much everything is dead before it even gets into melee range while leveling, so what is the point of reaving roar? And once you're into epic levels rr does little more than tickle the enemy.

    To be fair though, if I were a melee oriented druid instead of a ranged casting one... then yes, reaving roar would be great. The OP specified caster though, so the enemy will not be inside its effective range nearly as often.
    Last edited by richieelias27; 09-13-2013 at 12:12 PM.

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    I know you probably already built that toon, but just in case:

    I have played druids since day 1 of their availability. I have done 8 druid caster lives thus far. This is what I do and why:

    Human-can't beat the extra feat and skill points.

    Alignment-Neutral Good is my preferred. Having a weapon with pure good on it at low levels increases damage output when you will be meleeing anyway.

    Stats-Wis: 18, Con: 18, rest to Str. All level ups to Wis. Don't worry about skill points, you get plenty. Don't try to get UMD, it isn't worth it. After you play one caster druid, you can decide on your own. I think it is best to play a druid like a druid, and not sweat scrolls. Most people get rezzed by other's clickies well before you have a chance to swap to a scroll, much less by the time you actually use it.

    Skill Points-I max out Balance at EVERY level-up. Concentration I max out until I take Quicken. Jump to 10. Get your Tumble to a total of 1 Total Mod to mitigate falling damage. I max out Spellcraft at all levels, and put points in Heal as needed to keep them even. After that, it is pretty much up to you. I happen to like Spot, Listen, and Diplo.

    Feats- Toughness, Mental Toughness, Empower, Improved Mental Toughness, Maximize, Quicken, Spell Focus Evo, Improved Spell Focus Evo. Then if you play into Epic levels, I would take Epic Wis if you are at an odd number, then Epic Mental Toughness. What I do NOT take, and why: Heighten-only 2 spells can be Heightened. I have tried Heighten. I learned that my Word of Balance is not much better Heightened. My Finger of Death was a little better, but it is not my strongest spell. Druids are DoT casters majoring in CC. Persistent AoE's are their strength.

    Enhancements- All of Season's Herald with the exception of the Improved Heighten. Then in Human, I go to the 4th core(Wis), and load Don't Count Me Out. Put all SLA's on your hotbar. I adore those SLA's. The devs did us good with this enhancement pass. You can put metas on your SLA's.

    How to Play- As I said previously, at end game you will be the major CC in most quests. Play accordingly. While levelling, however, you need to try all spells that you do not recognize. You can change spells at every shrine and tavern for free. No reason not to. This helps you learn. I have my wolf with me at all times unless I am in an end-game raid. He can be on passive, and parked at the start, but he can't pick up your soul stone unless he is already summoned.
    Last edited by susiedupfer; 09-20-2013 at 06:55 AM.
    Orien: Zizie, Zeelee, Zeeny, Zeety, Zeleste, Zeeby
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