There I said it… It had to be said and now I’ve gone and done it. No matter how many times Blizzard tries to adjust, tweak, alter, or change the druid class it will always be broken. Why? Because the fundamental principles on which the class is based are broken as well. In an MMORPG you simply can’t have a un-hybrid class such as the druid.
Before all you druid fanatics jump down my throat, allow me to say this: I played as a druid for nearly the entirety of my WoW career. I leveled him all the way to 70 (my one and only character above level 20) before I was done with the game for good (Naturehooves whoo!). I am not a hater of the class, but rather a critic of the way the class was mis-managed during the early stages of the development of the game.
There are many successful druids out there. By saying the class is broken I am not implying that it is also unplayable. However, that said the class also can’t ever be fully realized in the structure that Blizzard created for it. Created upon the theory that you can play as either a rogue, warrior, healer, or mage depending on what talent tree you decide to sink your points into, the druid arguably became one of the weakest classes in the game very early on in the development. While Blizzard decided to give the druid a bunch of “off-abilities” to make it mime a certain class they could never fully allow the class to become as powerful as any of those same classes. As such, druids are usually relegated to being an off-tank, off-healer, or off-dps.
Of course, this all sounds fine to an average MMO gamer. Sure it sucks that the druid won’t ever be as powerful as one of the mimed classes but it makes up for it in the fact that it can technically play as any of the mimed classes through its various shape shifting forms. This is what most players would logically think… they are wrong.
The druid is not a hybrid class, but rather, a class that can assume the role of whatever the person/party needs for the time. This all largely depends on two things: gear, and talents. Without the right combination of each you aren’t going to do a very good job at whatever class you decide to mime. Hell, even with the best equipment and perfect talent spec you’ll only be as good as an average person of the mimed classes. Of course, if you gear/talent up for one specific off-class you are also completely and totally gimping yourself for all of the others. Afterall, bear druids do not make good moonkins…
I haven’t played the game in a while. In fact it’s been many a month since I have wandered the green pastures outside of ThunderBluff. Having said this I do not know exactly how the druid class plays anymore. I keep up with the updates and haven’t noticed any spectacular alterations that would change this fundamental flaw, but maybe there is something you only notice when you are actually playing the game. In anycase, I stand by what I said: World of Warcraft’s druid class is broken.
Oh… please, for the love of god, no “learn2play” type of comments. I was probably one of the most successful druids on my server and when I played the game I knew the class better than the back of my own hand.