Making the World of Warcraft more trivial, one post at a time…

Well, for one thing, there was the shortage of healers in the guild I
mentioned yesterday – something that persists to this day. We only have
two main character healers – all the rest are alts. For another, there
seems still to be a philosophical resistance to hybrid classes acting
as, well, hybrids. In five mans in particular, you are healer, or you
are tank, or you DPS. People seems to have the holy trinity clearly
fixed in their minds and are resistant to people doing anything else.
Pallies get to off-tank as well as DPS or heal occasionally, but I’ve
rarely seen druids get the same flexibility. Once in a while I get to
off-tank, if we’ve got a Shadow Priest in the group who can switch from
DPS to healing as needed, but it’s a pretty rare event. And it’s a
shame. Surely the point of being a druid is to get to do a little bit
of everything?

At 60, I got a few chances to run instances. I DPSed and off-tanked
Stratholme with a Pick Up Group one afternoon, and I managed to tank
Scholomance in a guild group after I’d picked up my entire PvP Blue set
and a Warden Staff, and it was surprisingly successful.

Now we’re getting the Outland 5-mans down pat (the only one I haven’t
finished on normal mode just yet is the Shattered Halls), I’m beginning
to hanker for a little bit of that hybrid action again. And, having picked up the first bit of my Moonglade Rainment in the Black Morass a few weeks back, I’m thinking that it looks like a really nice hybrid set, one that will allow me to move away from the 3 sets of gear I carry around with me (healing, DPS/solo, PvP).

But am I dreaming? Am I doomed to spend all my time in instances throwing our woody healings, and cycling Lifeblooms? Are druids really hybrids at all, but three classes under one name?

  • Sadly, the dream will remain a dream, except if you are overgeared for the encounter.

    The problem with the moonglade set for “tanking” is the lack of defense. Perhaps with Kara (or heroic) tank necklaces/trinkets/rings/belts filling all your spare slots, you could make up enough defense and avoidance for off-tanking. But really, you need specialized gear for each “job”.

    Unfortunately, even then, because of talents and how greatly the affect effectiveness, you have to specialize either Tank/DPS (aka Feral), or Healer/DPS (A resto Balance Hybrid spec). You can’t really do all three from Heroic level and beyond, even with 3 dedicated sets.

    I think this is also partly because of the way Blizzard designed the encounters. Unless you are hugely overgeared for the encounter, Heroics and raids require dedicated tanks and healers to succeed.

    With Full Epic Healer gear, Elunae can adequately heal about half the heroic dungeons with a good tank, even though she is feral spec. But she couldn’t main heal in Kara or beyond.

    The beauty of the druid class is that for a relatively cheap cost, you get to change your mind as often as you can afford, and play all 3 roles, without having to level another character to 70 =)


  • Lypi

    Agreed. The Moonglade set is really only useful for beginning level PVP, it falls sadly short in any dedicated role. As a feral druid, I did keep it for a while as part of my healer set, but it fell by the wayside with singular upgrades.

    Your hybrid moments will still come occasionally, but not as a rule. As a feral, I’ve stepped out of combat, raised a healer, innervated, and popped a few heals on a tank to help the healers catch up before going back to DPSing. I’ve known a resto jump into bear form to tank an add on Moroes, or tank the red beam for a phase on Netherspite when a tank went down.

    But mostly, you can respec occasionally for a change. I generally tank, but I keep 4 sets of eq as up to date as I can, and it’s fun between raids to respec to Balance and go do some pew pew.

  • I sense a disturbance in the Emerald Dream…

    My point… my point is being missed…

    I’m not talking about being a support class in Heroics or raiding – those are extremely demanding play environments that demand specialists.

    I’m talking about the situation where there’s a guild five man going to a normal instance, which has a healer, but is short one member. Is there any reason why Moonglade, with some customisation around weapons, other item slots, trinkets and rings, etc, wouldn’t allow me to take up one of the mid slots, and do tankage, melee DPS, ranged DPS or healage help as needed?

  • Urthona

    Short answer: no.

    There’s no reason why an excellently trinketted, gemmed, enchanted and Earthwarden/Gavel of Pure Light, 5 piece Moonglade geared druid would be passed over for a class with more consistent ranged DPS and sustainable “indoors” crowd control.

    Moonglade is solo questing gear.

    Druids are a great class for solo gameplay experiencing the Worlds of Warcraft. Its strengths, the ability to switch “classes” mid-fight comes at a cost -viabilty in dungeons/raids/groups. Make that PERCIEVED viability.

    It’s in the tradition and goals of the game that separates players into 3 categories – DPS, Healer and Tank. For efficient success and faster loots, warriors spec Protection, priests spec Holy and so on. It’s not OUR flexibility that’s the problem, it’s the INFLEXIBILITY of others.

    I long for the day a Survival Hunter, a Discipline Priest, a Balance Druid, an Arcane Mage and an Arms Warrior muster the courage to take down Skyriss. But it takes a lot of gold, a lot of skill, and a lot of open minds to make that happen.

  • There really isn’t any reason you can’t quickly assemble an all around gear set that allows you to play multiple roles in a 5 man. Between “of the Tiger” AH gear, crafted (check out the new 2.2 Shadowprowler’s Chestguard and Cloak of Darkness), and rewards from easy outdoor solo quests, you can gear up nicely. Focus on str/sta/ap. You already have a healing set. Now you need a hybrid bear/cat set.

    I do a lot of PuG’s because of the odd hours I play and though many are hesitant to bring me in, I usually win them over by the first boss. By then I’ve already saved the warlock by off tanking the add, emergency healed the rogue, Innervated the main healer, stepped in when the Main tank has gone done, interrupted the spell casting mob in cat form and been the first back to the mob after a group fear. Who else can do that?