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Guide on playing a Druid as a multi role in raids

FP's Overwatch Strategy Guide

 

Introduction

  • Blizzard is slowly restoring the focus of our class on being a multi-role member, quickly adapting to the immediate contingency of the battles.
  • This is what you often experienced below level 60, and often such game play style was what made you choose your druid in the first place.
  • We are but at the beginning of this long and laboring return to "our origins" and the purpose of this guide is to help the druid that wants to play like a multi-role class to optimize his / her performance in 20-40 men raid instances.
  • This guide, on the contrary, is not about being a viable tank, DPS or healer, these are "single role" ways of playing that are covered already by other guides.
  • This guide is focused on gear, philosophy and optimization of playing multiple non "min-max optimized" roles in a single raid fight.
  • This guide does not promote this gameplay style over others, but it's intended to compound them and add just another point of view on our complex class.
  • This guide is long to read and specific. Quit reading it at once if you are not ready for, or dislike that.

 

Class roles in this game

I'll try and expose what in my humble opinion are the current roles played in this game, from the most specialistic to the least / most flexible one.

1) Super-specialized pure class. They do one thing and stick on it forever. They do it best of anyone else but cannot do anything else.

Not all the WoW pure classes are super-specialized, just some.

Even speccing differently, those classes stick to their one role. Example: mages, rogues.

2) Pure class. They can choose to do one thing and stick on it forever. When they choose to play that way, they are like super-specialized classes. As such they will perform better than anything else but have the least flexibility.

If they choose not to do just one thing, they are still "themselves" but playing a different role. Example: priest, warrior. They can go full specialization or be more "hybrid" and then they can perform a different role. I.e. a warrior can decide to spec. damage or tank. It's still a pure class at it (so does it the best way possible), but can switch role by switching talents and gear.

3) Hybrid and shapeshifter classes fully specced for a single task, geared for it and only playing it. These are "hybrids" that are trying to be as close to a pure class as possible for them. Example: resto specced and dressed shaman, druid, DPS specced and dressed druid and so on.

They choose to renounce to their class defining versatility and perform one single task as much closely in efficiency to a pure class as possible.

The game designers assigned hybrids a default role (healer, with "flavours" about being more or less melee based and the likes) and within that role it's very easy for them to get relevant gear.

Doing differently than the preset way will require big efforts in gearing up for it.

Trying to mimic pure classes like this could be considered insufficient to grant a place into a raid, so the game designers put in game some "top tier" talents to offset the lesser worth with strong utility concentrated in one point. Example: innervate.

4) Shapeshifting / single task class. They have a "default" state in which they usually play and this state is often improved by their specialization. I.e. a feral druid will DPS or tank "by default", a resto druid will heal.

When the need arises, they can switch gear and perform another kind of operation.

With the limit (sometimes unacceptable) of doing that switch once a fight, they will specifically dress for the current task in the best way possible, effectively "becoming" an imitation of specialized pure class.

This limitation trades little flexibility with doing the current task very well, just slightly worse than a pure class and often as "second best in game".

The gear to perform this is usually the "preset" one plus additional specialized sets, one per task, often pretty hard to put together.

This is possibly the least "raid worth" setup, since such limited flexibility added to the worse performance at doing what they are not specifically specced for, will produce less tangible results. Example: resto druid doing DPS or feral druid healing only (even if the bias toward being healers will make the feral druid globally do better at healing than the resto will do at DPSing).

5) Shapeshifting / multirole class. They have a "default" state in which they usually play and this state is often improved by their specialization. I.e. a feral druid will DPS or tank "by default", a resto druid will heal. They will tend getting "generalistic" specs like 30/21.

When the need arises, they can perform another kind of operation without switching their "all rounder" gear.

Unlike hybrids, they cannot perform multiple roles with no discontinuity. Even with just one set of gear, they must perform a series of actions and nothing else for a discrete quantum of time, then they can exit their current state and shift into another, with a visible cost involved in term of mana and a complete change of game play (passing i.e. from energy bar to rage bar to mana bar "unrelated" activities) typical of pure classes.

Since they use just one set, that set must be very good, enchanted and balanced very well.

If this proves to be too hard, it's still possible focusing on two aspects leaving the third (the less usually required by the raid) behind. I.e. if the guild is rich with warriors, it's possible to give less priority to the tanking stats.

This setup is worth a raid only in case such raid is ready to benefit it. This includes being in an open minded guild (or a guild recently starting doing MC+) where the other players are aware of what such druid can do and work together him (by i.e. knowing he'll need healing while tanking or DPSing and so on).

6) Hybrid class. They can perform multiple roles a fight, with no discontinuity (i.e. heal then melee without stopping a second), definitely worse than a specialized class.

They are very useful as "glue" and "jolly card" into 5 men groups but their generalism make them unworthy of being taken into a 40 man raid.

To deal with it, they are given unique abilities no one else has (i.e. totems, blessings) that tend to need one of such class per group to be benefitted with.

 

This guide is about the fifth game style.

The fifth game style is basically a prosecution of what a druid could do before level 60 and in the author's opinion, it's the role Blizzard is implementing with the class updates as of patch 1.8 and subsequent content and gear implementations that seem to favor a more "free man" game style.

 

Philosophy

Multirole druid is not a sort of new trend, a new something to fit in game.

Chances are that you actually rolled a druid to play a multirole capable character. If you did not, you are probably reading the wrong guide. Or even playing the wrong class.

Chances are that you played like a druid till your level 55 or so. Then comes the "I have to respec for end game" cold, everlasting night that all embraces and brings away much of the fun of playing one of the potentially best classes in any game.

Multirole playing, in this guide, is about a druid boldly playing multiple roles inside the same fight, be it for clearing trash mobs or at assisting on bosses.

Until recently, druids were basically denied to continue playing like one in raids, because of being truly worthless at it and because of not having any gear to support such a demanding game style.

Patch 1.8 brought a big change to our class, expecially for the feral tree, that now became something like the discipline priest tree: about general utility and strength, leveraging on our distinctive feature of having animal forms as our class feature.

Next patches are to improve our gear to be good enough (they try to, at least) to perform a multirole gameplay.

A multirole druid is a druid that does not want to compete with pure classes on their same terrain, he will lose at it purely by game mechanics and balance.

This does not preclude the possibility for a druid to perform a single task; sometimes it's exactly the best choice. I.e. a druid is a natural Broodlord dedicated tank (single role fight) and likewise for polymorphing bosses.

A multirole druid is a person that sacrifices his being first or among the first on the meters and become the grease on the raid wheels, a living insurance and augmenter of every aspect of it in the same battle.

A multirole druid is not a damage / heal / tank solution, even if he can do that when it's needed, one role per fight, with excellent gear.

A multirole druid is not a damage dealer. He's a versatility dealer.

A druid playing multi-role is something in between of a single role playing druid and a shaman / paladin.

Unlike the "pure" classes or his druid in specialized role, he'll be worse at performing any given action but still capable of doing multiple antithetic operations a fight.

Unlike a paladin / shaman playing hybrid (ie not just healing), the druid won't be able to perform multiple roles in the same quantum of time, but will be able to do better than them none the less.

Being multirole druid is not for all. You have to work hard to be one. And in many departments.

Notice, how I am fully aware on how hard would be to even consider having such druids in the raid.

Yet, seems like it's the new (old!, actually the pre-60) role Blizzard envisioned druids to be into.

Someone has to begin, and apparently it's me.

Don't expect a single thing to be served on a silver platter.

Expect fierce opposition, flames, priests taking this as just another opportunity to demand going shadow spec (not for a single second they'll think you are actually returning to your true druid "roots") and much else.

In case you did not give up already, the following chapters, will talk more about what's expected off you and what you'll have to do in order to succeed at playing like your class has probably been intended to be played as.

 

Intended audience

- Guilds approaching URBS and superior instances.

- Guilds on new servers approaching raiding content.

- Guilds where druids are fairly abundant.

- "Friendly" guilds, both on old and new servers.

This guide is not for min-maxing raiding guilds.

This guide is not about suggestions on improving raid farm efficiency.

This guide does not promote the provided ideas as "new standard to be" but is meant as pure hint on how to utilize one class potential in a different way, with possible returns on investment about less wiping during first encounters and more involvement of that class members in the guild, resulting in slower turn-over rates (read: less people quitting and having to gear up replacements).

 

Efficiency, specs, optimizations

First of all, for the purpose of an hybrid style playing druid, efficiency and optimization are not what's generally intended as such and applied to the other classes or to druids playing a single role imitating the other classes.

Optimizing a multirole druid is different and even harder than building up a character able to viably tank, DPS or heal one at a time per battle.

A multirole druid has to:

1) be skilled and prepared, above average.

2) know his build points of strength and weak points.

3) have appropriate gear. "Default" gear won't cut.

4) have a guild open enough to accept a different, unknown game play style

5) take advantage of the existing facilities, like Ventrilo

6) last but not least, has to be humble, remember that his role is not to shine in anything but to grease the raid mechanisms, often unnoticed.

 

1) Be skilled and prepared.

A druid that wants to play multirole has to be ready, have the "feeling" on how the battle is going on, especially in a raid.

Some times you'll have to judge and anticipate what's going to happen, and keep a vigilant eye on the other people bars and on the action at hand at the same time.

This way of figthing is rewarding, can be frantic and tiring. A thing not for everyone indeed.

A quick way to know whether you are going to like and be successful about this game style is to answer some questions like:

- Do I have the skill required to perform this task? It might seem to be easy to DPS on a boss. Can cause a wipe if badly done. You'll probably need to "retrain" before being ready for this role.

- Do I have the gear required? No, the greens with +12 str +12 agi is not what's required. You need good stuff gathered everywhere, at least blue quality.

- Am I ready to farm for such hybrid gear in case I don't have it?

- Do I like to run around all the time, often be in melee with 1600 a hit mobs and one second later be able to disengage and heal or combat ress someone else?

- Do I prefer staying comfortably in the back, watching the CT_Raidassist indicated lowest health guy and healing him? Do I enjoy DPSing and be high in the meters? Am I a bear fanatic? Do I like to follow orders or am I ready to dive into action, well knowing that 40 people are in danger, in case I do something very bad?

- Are you ready to accept flames? Do you know that for the others, a warrior dies due to an unfortunate crit, a rogue for an unfortunate crit but a druid dies because he's worthless and should stick to healing all the time?

 

About being prepared:

After playing for so long time in raids I noticed a decrease of my skill at playing... (PvE) druid!

In fact in raids you get so much accustomed at doing one single thing for hours that you slowly lose your training and become a "bot".

How many wipes did you see, when the warrior got disconnected or died and no one moved a finger? The other warriors stood there like stones awaiting for orders.

The druids? All "frozen", stuck in caster form, waiting for the wipe. The others? All running around like headless chickens, trying to do what? To escape a 40 man raid boss?

As multirole druid, that is one of "your moments". Unlike the others, you'll scream on ventrilo to heal you (the raid must be aware of your role, else it's useless to even try) and charge and heatbutt the untanked mob.

To train playing like a druid again, you have to join some half-guid, half pick up group groups / raids to tier 0 instances and practice there.

The best place to train is Stratholme, with hard hitting mobs that tend to attack in droves.

Dire Maul too is good, but to practice there, you should get a warrior and a priest doing the main roles and you have to tag along as "multirole".

 

2) Know his build points of strength and weak points.

Playing multi-role is not reserved for a specific druid build. The only very important talent you should have is feral instinct (3 - 5 points), the more the better.

Each build has strong and weak points and your gear will have to take this into account.

You have to basically focus on your weak points and offset them with gear.

In my case, 14/32/5 (14/31/6 sometimes) I have a natural high DPS but bad mana regen so I'll focus on getting a decent mana and spirit / mp5.

In case of a full restoration build, you'll want to focus on having some DPS, stamina and armor since you still have innervate available to offset the lower mana you'll have. It's pretty hard to achieve a good balance between your healing prowess, damage done and aggro capability, you'll have to get full enchants (I suggest +25 agi both on your tank and DPS weapons as you'll crit rate will be low and your AP benefits less off str than a feral build.

The balance build is harder to fit into a multirole, you'll have to consider wether to get additional resto or feral talents and study your gear to augment them. I suggest to put points so you still are able to get at least 5 points in ferocity and 3 points in improved treat (feral instinct).

Last, an "hybrid" build like 0/30/21 or 1/29/21 (slightly better for ZG like instances) will be naturally balanced for this kind of gameplay.

If you consider Genesis as the new Blizzard answer (forget for a moment wether it's adequate or not) to the multirole play, you'll consider 30/21 as a very multirole friendly spec.

3) Have appropriate gear.

I'll expand more on this in a separate chapter. Suffice to say that a multirole playstyle is achieved only using multirole gear.

Finding good gear for this is not easy and involves extensive farming.

If you don't have it and are not ready to spend time getting it, you will do a much bigger service to your guild by playing single role.

Don't goof around in insufficient gear. You'll just end up useless, dead, laughed after and told to return healing.

4) Have a guild open enough to accept a different, unknown game play style

This is possibly the hardest obstacle to confront with.

Over time, since druids have been poor gimps for a long time, not geared for anything but healing, the general community classified them as "gimps that can heal" => spend 6 hours mashing one button, well away from action.

It's objectively hard to find a guild willing to accept a change, you'll have to insist a lot and you'll be constantly under pressure by a lot of people hoping / waiting for your first mistake to shove you again in the healbot slot.

In case your druid is still not 60, I hotly suggest to check your realm out and reroll elsewhere in case.

Signs that tell you wether your server is "druid compatible" or not:

- Old, mature shards and migration shards are the worst, a reroll is almost inevitable unless you know of open minded guilds.

I.e. on my shard only one raiding guild accepts anything non resto 31+ (possibly 44+).

Don't illude yourself to impress anyone with amazing skill or heroic deeds: on these shards you have ZERO chances to ever prove yourself. Reroll already.

It's not a matter of build, as I told above you can play multirole even as restoration druid.

But the same guilds not accepting a non full resto druid, won't accept at all a full resto druid willing to play multirole. They just demand you take a fixed slot and stick to it, forever, till your brain rots.

- RP-PvP servers seem to be much friendlier to "non min-maxing optimized" specs and game styles. If you manage to end up in a young server of that kind, your chances are much better.

I remind you that those servers follow a stricter policy about how characters have to play.

So keep it well in mind before you create a druid over there "only" to be free spec.

- Being guild leader, class leader or officer will tend to grant you more chances to at least prove your worth.

- If your guild achieved end game farm status using druids as healbots, there's an huge chance that you won't be able to prove yourself.

For new content they will still demand you to play single role, which basically is a sort of big "no" to a multirole druid, which has been specifically created by Blizzard as the class to bring for new encounters, a sort of "safety net for learning new content".

As a rule of thumb, if your guild is pre-MC and friendly, you'll stand a chance to play multirole, else you'll have to be lucky to find an open minded, friendly guild.

Or you'll have to lose all your progress made and reroll on a young server, without the pre-judices and pre-concepts that poison the mature servers, which stopped at pre-1.8 patch.

Always remember, the worst druid enemy is not content or end game challenge, it's the other players, their ignorance and their cold steel grip on your desire to have fun and satisfaction.

 

5) Take advantage of the existing facilities, like Ventrilo

Since a multirole druid is like a ball bouncing everywhere and performing diverse actions all the time, it's in the best raid interest to have effective ways to keep everyone updated on what you are doing.

The last thing you want is to i.e. run and offtank an hard hitting add without anyone knowing about this and so you won't get a single heal.

Macros for communicating your actions are your friends, make one for every situation.

One for sure to communicate you are about to tank and will need to be healed.

One to warn that you are going out of mana.

One to warn that you are combat ressing someone and so on.

Use mods when appropriate.

CT_Raidassist s a must, but you have to keep your mana under control too, so something like druidbar will help you immensely.

Another mod I suggest taking is TauntResist, which will announce on the configured channels when your taunts are resisted. Useful when in emergency you have to tank and you are so unlucky that your taunt is resisted.

Talk on Ventrilo early and often, if your guild uses it or a similar software.

Your multirole demands quick, immediate action, not to wait 20 seconds while you type on raid chat that you are going to offtank a lose add that is killing casters.

Ventrilo can make the difference between a wipe and a brilliant "save the day" action.

 

6) Has to be humble

Remember, you are playing a support class, not a "super-star".

Playing a druid is not easy, playing a multirole druid in a raid is very hard and will not show up in any meter.

You won't be anywhere high in the DPS meters, you will probably be last in the heal meters.

Playing a multirole druid (in my humble opinion multirole druid is just playing Druid as it has been planned by Blizzard) won't grant any record, any shiny reward.

You'll have to recall that when you were below level 60, you played your class for the fun of it, not for the DPS meters and that was enough. The same applies for multirole druids.

You'll probably end up un-noticed. When you'll fail at saving the day, some will say you were taking a valuable raid slot for nothing after all.

It's not a 5 man group, where people can clearly see you offtanking adds hitting on the priest or assisting the tank with your DPS.

It will probably be self-reward, and a big one at that, because for once you did not play easy mode but at your class fullest.

Remember, multirole druid shines in learning new encounters. If your guild won't allow for that, it means they don't really want your versatility after all and are letting you do that in farmed content just to make you happy.

Gear

As previously stated, your gear should not be your usual "super specialized" gear but an all-encompassing one.

And good at that, else you'll be completely worthless, a weight instead of an help to the raid.

Basing on your spec, you'll have to carefully select pieces that offset your proficiencies and make you a full around good character.

Remember once again, you are not going to be the best in any given account, you'll be "good" in all and that's it. Such is game balance.

Gearing up for multirole playing can be a pain but it's possible.

You'll need to farm blue quality or better gear (NO GREENS!) with multiple stats. No "feral gear" but druid gear in this case.

For the druid willing to experiment with this activity and still at the beginning of the tier 1 content I suggest farming for stuff like:

Death's Clutch

Bone Ring Helm

Songbird Blouse

Wildheart Kilt

and similar other gear.

To the point of seeming to be heretic (this guide is almost as about playing an "heretic role" as possible ;P ) I will consider as viable multirole gear the PvP set.

The blues PvP set is very good and comparable to the above pieces, the purple PvP set is possibly the best generalist druid set in game.

For the lucky druids out there, of course, the Genesis set will work as good for this task.

For the less lucky / casual druids, the Feralheart Railment gear will still provide a somewhat viable solution.

Improve multirole gear with +all stats enchants whenever possible.

Since you'll have to switch multiple times and heal, you'll want to maximize spirit and mana per 5 seconds (since now it works in animal forms).

In fact I chose to enchant my staff with +20 spirit instead of +55 healing - since being full feral I lacked on that department.

Try your best to acquire 3 Stormrage as soon as possible too, the set bonus is more regen and you will always need it, we LIVE on mana regen and use mana like crazy.

Stormrage will provide the int and regen, you'll have to compound it with more "tank / DPS" oriented gear then.

Remember, as multirole druid you'll have to brutally exploit every possible buff and improvement possible.

Be always with battleshout aura / +dps totem / trueshot aura, be always buffed both in int and stamina and remember to ask priests to keep you constantly buffed with Divine Spirit.

If possible, use +spirit scrolls too.

 

Whatever you do, you have to try your best to keep your buffed attack power at least above 800 (easy for a feral druid), spirit to 170+ buffed, armor to 7500-9000.

In case you feel like, install an auto weapon switch mod so you'll use your warden staff in bear form, a good +int +spirit weapon for healing and a decent DPS weapon in cat form.

I made an Allakhazam profile showing what I call "poor man's Genesis" gear.

As you can see, this gear is entirely achieved without even having to enter BWL once.

(Please disregard the silly enchant of Warden Staff, as soon as I get the necessary rep it will become +25 agility).

If you find this gear hard to get... well I told already it won't be a walk in the park.

Once again, you WILL have to get good enough gear or be worthless.

And there are valuable blue replacements for it.

I.e. just to give some examples you can replace

- the staff with Hammer of the Grand Crusader.

- quick strike ring with Band of the Ogre King or Myrmidon Signet.

- Heavy Dark Iron Ring with Ring of Protection or Thrall's Resolve.

I myself will replace in few days the necklace with the Darkmoon Faire one.

Samples of the stats you achieve with this kind of gear (again, if you are resto / balance / hybrid spec you'll have to alter the gear to suit to your build):

- Cat form, using the mana regen / int Staff Of Dominance:

http://img378.imageshack.us/img378/9914/14si1.jpg

Notice, even if not exceptional per se, the mesh of stats is fairly decent.

4067 hp without priest buff, 916 attack power self buffed, 5734 mana with mage buff (enough to heal in emergency for a good while), 200 spirit self buffed to regen fast.

 

- Cat form using a simple Bonecrusher (quest in Dire Maul).

http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/2329/20fb.jpg

 

Attack power increased to 1024, I'll use this when I am well sure that the situation is well under control (since I lose mana vs having the int staff).

 

- Bear form, using Warden Staff , but Unyielding Maul will do):

http://img378.imageshack.us/img378/8149/38vx.jpg

Loses mana (I suggest keeping the int staff up as bonus mana until you cast something, then switch to other weapons like this) but has 9547 armor, 5841 hp motw buffed, good enough to emergency off tank every add and often to emergency tank a boss for some time.

768 attack power to help keeping agro too.

 

All in all, for the gear used I believe it's a fairly good all-around set.

By pure coincidence (or not?), using this set I am having ample satisfactions in PvP too...

Remember, don't fall in the error of going crazy in say attack power or armor meanwhile neglecting mana or the other way: you'll end up greatly disadvantaged.

Suggested ways to play multirole

Ingenuity, situation awareness, predisposition on multi-tasking, practice, skill, are all fundamental assets to the multirole playing druid.

Especially when learning new content, the situation changes all the time, you have to jump in a snap from DPSing an add to heal a tank that lost an healer or downright replace him if he died.

Because of this, I think two multirole druids should join the raid. In case of two feral / balance druids they will go into the DPS groups to buff them with LoTP / moonkin.

There's not a particular rule on how to play multirole and some bosses allow for maximum flexibility.

For trash, the choice is pretty obvious, they'll DPS simple stuff like say Annihilator, sleep the dragonkin before suppression rooms (freeing the restoration / healer druids from the task), DPS / tank / sleep on ZG beasts etc.

For bosses they'll usually begin as DPS or offtank. The main tank position is left to a warrior or an optimized tank gear druid.

The raid will take care of having their adds dying first, so they are free to go and assist the rest of the battle in the most appropriate form.

If you start as DPS on a boss, remember you are not here to come high in the DPS list.

There's no need to try and squeeze the most damage done. A dead multirole druid is the most useless thing ever, because his role is exactly to be wipe prevention and raid speed optimization.

So, use some grain of salt, wait for the MT to gather 5 sunder armors, faerie fire, then do your stuff (since your gear is not extreme, you should have lower risks of getting agro), use rip and then cower as it recycles.

Meanwhile check the other offtanks, chance is that one of them could lose an healer. In that case, cower (if available) and then run to the problem place.

Combat ress the healer if you have time, else regrowth + HT the tank (if you have NS, use it). You will have few seconds for that. This is what I did some times in MC.

If it's the tank going down, don't try and combat ress him. Will take so long that the boss will probably kill several clothies in the process. You'll end up in an unbuffed offtank with half life and his healers well dead.

Spam your heal me macro and shout on ventrilo to stop attacking that mob and heal you, meanwhile charge it (to save time, even if they are usually immune on the root effect).

Taunt it too, enrage, maul, faerie fire. Try and keep it on you the best you can. If you see it's "wobbling" you could try and toss a quick regrowth on yourself / frenzied regen. This is the typical situation where you want having 4+/5 Feral Instinct.

You'll need about 7 undisturbed seconds to get a steady agro.

Remember, these things won't work at your first attempts, they need practice. The raid mobs hit very hard and you fight against the seconds. You'll need a comprehensive guild giving you some time to learn how to play multirole at full.

In case you start as offtank, make sure to ask for your add being killed first (your gear is not optimized for best tank performance and you have to get free asap to continue your activity).

Once the mob is dead, heal up by yourself and assess the situation.

Ask if healers seem like ok (not going out of mana, alive etc.). If there's a problem, check if you went out of combat (sometimes it happens) and if so, dress your full healing gear.

Else go to the next add to be killed and DPS on it. As soon as you spot an issue, cower and jump to the problem at once.

Basically as multirole druid you "idle" doing DPS and thus bringing a speedup to the raid, then as you are needed you perform another role at once.

Examples on how to deal with bosses as hybrid playing druid

This section is no way intended to be authoritative on how to deal with them. I am just giving out some ideas and will add more in a second time.

Training: URBS

You can harmlessy make practice by joining an URBS run.

Often times they only have 2 warriors. Tank the first Drakki add to die, then check if the healers keep up.

If they do, proceed DPSing the second add and then Drakki. Chances are that the healers will be almost out of mana.

In that case, pop out and heal the MT yourself.

"Yes, but this is the normal way I played my druid before 60 and that I rolled a druid for!"

Exactly. It's about time you do the same in raid instances.

 

Zul'Gurub

I won't expand on a lot of stuff here (if some reader wants to, I'll integrate the guide).

Snake boss:

Sleep an add, the second to be killed, then go cat and DPS the first to be killed.

Double check that your add does not awake.

Once all adds are dead, pop in caster form and heal the MT. At this point the boss will morph into snake and deal a lot of damage so you are better healing.

Raptor boss:

Similar to the above. DPS the raptor, then check wether the healers keep up with the healing or not. Heal if needed, else concentrate on the boss.

In case it's a new encounter, put up your best tanking gear at the beginning (but an int weapon) and go bear when the raptor dies. Try getting second in the agro list, so you can replace the MT if he dies for the time needed for him to ress.

 

Onyxia

You'll be in a DPS group. Favor FR gear, you won't have a chance on emergency tanking her. Keep your int weapon, since Onyxia tends to agro on too much DPS anyway.

At any moment be ready to pop out and combat ress a whelps group clothie, a priest or to heal the MT in case he loses one-two healers.

You might be tasked to heal the rogues in your group too. In case of a decent run, they should not require much healing, so you'll be able to stay on four for most of the time.

Molten Core

Lucifron:

DPS an add. In case the tank dies, don't cower, you'll use the agro you built up at your advantage.

Engage Warden Staff, go bear and taunt the add. If possible scream for the healers to heal and the others to stop DPS on it and then taunt it.

If the hunters are smart, they'll feign death and rogues will feint or vanish, leaving you to compete for agro on mages, warlocks and healers.

Once the add is dead, ress the warrior if he's still dead, go cat and pass to the other add.

Expecially the first times, check the healers mana, since the big dispelling / healing who missed a dispell will drain them. In that case pop out and heal.

Magmadar:

You'll basically DPS on it. In case some healers end up feared in his fire spits and die, you'll combat ress one and then go and heal yourself.

Gehennas:

Same as Lucifron, with the added possibility for the MT decurser to die (first encounters) and you'll have to be ready and replace him.

Garr:

One of the most fun bosses, gives a lot of freedom.

You can start as offtank of one add. Once it's dead you will check that all is well in the healing department, then you can go and DPS on the other adds at will.

Offtank them if the warrior / warlock on them dies for some reason. Don't let them roam around as they specifically target squishies. If you don't have time to combat ress the warrior, ask for some other druid to ress him with rank 1 ress, then heal (rank 1 uses cheap reagent and little mana, so they don't waste a lot of mana they need for healing). Only if you have enough time you'll ress him.

If for some reason it's the healer that dies, you'll replace him.

Baron Geddon and Shazzrah:

For these, I'd just stay on healing / decurse / blast (if balance).

At Shazzrah remember you are multi-useful even when silenced, by bandaging your group.

At Geddon if you become "the bomb", remember to cast rejuvenation while running to the wall and to shift in cat form while in the air so you won't die. If you see you are too low on hp to survive the landing anyway, you have to NS + HT or drink a potion in mid air, before you land in cat form.

Ragnaros:

This can be very boring or very interesting and intensive encounter depending on how you approach it. If you go as fire resist healer you'll bore yourself off your socks.

Assuming you are 31 feral (you can find other configurations as well), go in the lower left part of the place (left of where Domo talks) in your FR gear but using your best +int/spr weapon.

Spr is important here due to the limited int the FR gear will give you, so get divine spirit cast on you and eventually use a scroll. Use Cenarion pieces with FR in place of a no int FR piece with +5 FR than the corresponding slot Cenarion piece. Use a +int FR necklace, like the one off DM).

Have yourself in the hunters group, they have less "maintenance" and get some more benefit from crits than rogues (due to their stats coefficients and they can FD often (used mostly in long fights, not very much on Ragnaros).

You'll basically melee Ragnaros and when he AoE knockbacks you'll check if any hunters need healing and will heal them in case. Of course at any time be ready to cower, back off and heal. Hunters at Ragnaros can play a big role, have them live.

When sons come, you'll offtank one of them or DPS it, your gear will allow for that meanwhile protecting your mana from burning.

For the rest of the bosses the idea is the same as the above.

Offtank the add to die first / DPS the next ones always keeping an eye on the healers and other offtanks.

One limit of playing multirole is that you won't be really able (due to reduced armor / stamina on a multirole gear) to tank the main boss. Or you'll be able to tank it, but not very well.

Still, it could as well save the raid in one of those "wipe at 5%" situations.

BWL

Razorgore:

You'll be assigned to the "weakest" corner in order to provide additional DPS. Stick on a dragonkin to keep sleeped while you kill mages along with the other guys in cat form.

In case you draw too much attention, you'll simply switch to bear and tank the mob.

In case you see a lose add going for the healers in the center, you'll charge and taunt it away and bring to a kiter or to your corner (assuming you are using some sort of strat involving kiting).

Try and be full of mana at the time the last egg is popped, and heal in the second phase.

Vael:

You'll DPS in the beginning, then will go and heal. Since Vael is "special" you might even be put in the tank rotation (I usually do). If you are very skilled you can still heal a lot in the beginning and be ready to take control when your tank turn comes. Just triple check to be in the correct aggro position (addons like KLHTreatmeter will greatly help you at this).

Dragonkin after Vael:

You will probably end up leaving resto / dedicated druids to heal or whatever while you waste some minutes perma-sleeping the sleepable ranged attack dragons.

Suppression rooms:

For the whelps, you'll throw an hurricane, heal mages that AoE, then you go cat form and help killing the other mobs.

Try to always target a mob already engaged, you want to be "hands free" in any emergency shows up (expecially the first times).

Broodlord:

If your guild has any clue, don't want to get flasks and you have appropriate gear, you'll probably end up tanking here.

Else it's healbot time!

Trash mobs like technicians / warlocks / spellbinders / dragonkins:

While I'd avoid technicians (in my guild we kite them while killing the other mobs then kill them all together), I pretty often offtank excess other mobs, say dragonkins or warlocks.

They are a good lesson to learn, because you quickly learn how to use LOS on warlocks and how to position / take somewhere alone the nasty dragonkins that stun.

Once your add is dead you can DPS the others. I always suggest to cast a wrath on dragonkins, chances are that they are deeply vulnerable to nature damage. In that case wrath spam, cat when OOM, wrath again.

Heal others in case, but at least in my experience once some of the dangerous adds are dead healing becomes really superfluous for those not in the still busy offtank groups.

 

Firemaw:

Ebonroc:

Flamegor:

For those I'd play more "single role" than anything. Chances are that you could end up tanking the fire ones or being in a taunt rotation.

Or since druids are often so few you could end up in the MT rotation and so full healing gear would be more useful. Those mobs are made so that if tanks lose agro it's really big trouble so it's often pointless to keep armor gear if you are not a designated tank.

 

Chromaggus:

So far I only healed and decursed in this encounter, it's probably better to have a nice number of healers / dispellers available before you can play something versatile here.

 

Nefarian:

Really dynamic encounter, in the first phase you can DPS the spawns and get back to the killing groups the lose adds in bear form, they don't hit very hard so you can kite them even without being healed for a while.

Of course throwing an heal here and there won't ruin your fur, so be ready to do it in case.

Phase 2 and 3, I'd say go like in an Onyxia encounter - heal or DPS by default and be ready to switch quickly between the two, expecially be ready (i.e. keep a regen weapon on even in cat form if your healing force is not abundant) for the priests class call.

Use in raid arguments

One of the most recurrent arguments against the adoption of multirole druids is that in raids everyone has his little "niche" to work into, everything is pre-determined and there's no space for versatility.

What I have observed is that more often than not, pot meets kettle (!). Usually it's a vice circle, a thing makes so that other things happen that enforce the thing to continue.

Taken into practical words, an elder guild on an elder server that spent one year doing content in a certain way will have an huge resistance at accepting anything new or ground breaking.

It's always hard to confront with established "rules". Since nothing in this game is necessary, and they managed doing everything with druids doing only one thing, they won't see why change the old ways and bother experimenting with new, possibly risky or "worse" ones.

This is why I posted so many "caveats" and notes about this guide having very specific target guilds and situations.

If someone does not want taking advantage of a new but optional feature, they won't and find every kind of excuses to justify the denial.

Newer guilds and possibly new realms don't begin with this legacy burden, they will be much more open minded and dynamic and often successful than the old order.

Anyway, having one or two versatile druids per raid allows for a broader coverage of learning content situations, multi-role druid being the contingency, the "oh crap" class.

Having a pair of versatile druids (I don't "dare" calling for more and a raid with two / three resto druids on main tank rotations (if they use rotations) is really powerful) will let the raid effectively bring five per class without risk of going i.e. short on warriors for one / two encounters and then have many of them sitting useless for the next, possibly ranged only, super healing / decursing intensive boss.

Finally, druids and no other classes, can contribute on shortening the farming status portion of the instance while strenghtening the raid where's most needed (often in healing / dispelling) when you reach the still unbeaten part of the place.

A versatile druid in these cases, will still help in case the farm status part is still "not too much farm status" so problems can still arise and will help in case the new part of the instance results - mid fight - to require a slightly different raid composition.

Anyway I won't continue listing more reasons to have versatile druids, because basically either guild leaders will think they are useless and won't chance their mind anyway or they are searching for new ways of doing content and will see the usefulness of a versatile druid without needing me patronizing them.

 

 

Spec arguments

I have been contacted by a lot of people telling me that what I say about specs for versatile druid is incorrect and that only a pair of specs "can" be versatile for real.

I have found that it's true that the most hybrid druid specs will of course have a bit of advantage but it's nothing that good gear and enchants can't offset.

A full feral / resto / balance druid chose to be extreme, so they are naturally imbalanced when attempting multi-roling.

The feral druid will be less imbalanced though, because a feral druid gains more in damage than in what he loses in healing.

The "worst case" is restoration druid, they went extreme healer in a class already skewed towards healing and so their "damage" part suffers a lot.

To be versatile, a druid specced for "X" would get gear improving his "-X" capabilities.

A feral druid basically could use 3 Stormrage and maybe a regen staff (ZG one, but SoD and the BWL counterpart with spirit enchant are not bad) to achieve the mana regeneration needed to shift when needed and still keep respectable mana for healing in case it's needed. Aim for 5500+ mana buffed and possibly some +healing if there's space for it.

A resto druid will have to go more on the melee side, I'd go all out with strength items (no 2 combo points per crit without blood frenzy, which a resto might not have, 2 AP per strength) and stamina in case offtanking is needed. There will be less space for mana, but innervate and the regen talents will help here. Maybe try getting one of those big DPS druid weapons so the gear can be kept not too much "extreme".

An hybrid druid will lack of natural shapeshifter helping him but hopefully the number of shifts needed per given encounter won't be too many. I'd suggest to always keep equipped a regen weapon.

A balance druid will probably "adapt" to mana based DPS instead of cat based. I think that with the advent of innervate as trained skill a balance druid that would want to experiment with multi-role will be able to get more leather gear to raise his armor and stamina.

Balance druids are very problematic for me to "fit" into a versatile role because I honestly know too little of them. If some of the experienced ones could please post something on the matter I'll paste it here.

 

 

Gear arguments

Another great argument is that say a Genesis druid is useless as healer, which many guilds and druids still see as the only possible role a druid can and should have in end game.

As such I post the difference between the overlapping Genesis and Stormrage set pieces:

Genesis loses:

25 intellect

52 +healing

5 mana/5

22 spirit

40 FR

10 NR

1% spell crit

Genesis gains:

+122 spells

11 stamina

67 strength

63 agility

3% melee crit

-10 target spell resist

And then, of course, there's the bonuses to take into consideration.

Stormrage:

3: Allows 15% of your Mana regeneration to continue while casting.

5: Reduces the casting time of your Regrowth spell by 0.2 sec.

8: Increases the duration of your Rejuvenation spell by 3 sec.

Genesis:

3: +150 Armor.

3: Increased Defense +15.

5: Reduces the cooldown of Rebirth by 10 minutes.

Basically the biggest "hits" are in 52 healing and 25 intellect.

But is 52 healing on a healer of 14-16 determinant in losing and encounter?

More than having such healer become an emergency tank grabbing up a lose add or two before they decimate healers?

I for one would keep 3 Stormrage for the set bonus plus 5 Genesis and would feel like good at healing.

For more indepth coverage of instances, check this guide out!

 


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