Returning Druid seeks mentor

Discussion in 'Priests' started by Nyemahame, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. Nyemahame New Member

    I've seen a lot of threads questioning which class is best for priest category, which one is a better healer, and their utility benefit.

    I'm going to skip all that and get straight to the purpose of my inquiry. I've been gone 6-7 years and I want to get back into EQ shape to raid again as a Druid.

    I've been back in game for about 4 weeks total, 3 weeks all access because FTP w/ primarily prestige gear is like fighting naked?

    Although my main is a druid I do have 3 other boxed accounts (because I got tired of being LFG back in the day) 106 Mage/Bard/chanter

    Some of the high end players I've spoken with recommend I do progression starting from COTF. I grinded XP up to 107 but I noticed the xp bar don't really move anymore.

    I basically need to relearn "best practices", of course I'll eventually settle on my own but I would like feedback / suggestions on the following if any expert druids are still out there :)

    1. Basic healing strategy
    a. Spell selection
    b. AA selection
    c. Spell / AA Rotation

    2. Basic Utility strategy
    a. Spell selection
    b. AA selection
    c. Spell / AA Rotation

    3. Basic DPS strategy
    a. Spell selection
    b. AA selection
    c. Spell / AA Rotation

    4. Links to druid specific resources
    a. Currently reading thedruidsgrove seems pretty dated

    5. Addons / plugins / tools I should invest in or obtain
    a. Currently relearning GINA

    I'm starting fresh so a good time to get the fundamentals retrained and eventually getting back to being one of the most awesome class ever dreamed up. Thanks in advance and I will definitely pay it forward.

    I last retired after tier 3 of ROF was released and I know all the classes likely have been overhauled.
  2. Ninelder Augur

    You are boxing so your strategy is going to be based more on how you do that, then what your druid needs to support it. Which class you are pulling with and what your pet can handle(EM Focus) is going to determine your druid's spell line up and macros. I don't like multi-binding even when solo, but you definitely can't do it boxing. You need a lot of individual questions answered while you get back in the swing of things about all your classes.

    For druids, and chanters(if i see it,) just join serverwide.druidsgrove:password. There are usually at least half a dozen of us in there that can help.
  3. Ninelder Augur

    Stupid emojis

    S E R V E R W I D E . D R U I D S G R O V E : P A S S W O R D

    No caps, no spaces,... emojis...
  4. Tatanka Augur

    Is that an offshoot of the old website? Man, I miss that site.
  5. Ninelder Augur

    That is the server wide druid channel while you are in game playing
  6. Kianara Lorekeeper

    Feel free to send me a tell on CT if you'd like, I'd be more than happy to talk shop with ya and answer any questions you might have.
    If you aren't on CT, to send a tell it's ;tell cazic.Kianara
  7. Chopin.Xegony Elder

    Kianara is a pretty good druid. The druid is as much a DPS class as it is a healer now these days.
  8. Drewm New Member

    Playing a druid can be extremely rewarding as it is a very challenging class to play. An endgame druid should be fully capable to heal their group, max foraging skill, keep a main tank up when required, support their group with short duration buffs, debuff mobs, and add a layer of dps in some situations. The beauty of this class is that it can play many roles well, knowing which roles you should be performing moment to moment is situational and based around your group make up whether it be in raid or group game.
    If you are looking to start a pure priest I would not advise the creation of a druid for a box crew, or with the main healer intent. Cleric and Shaman are both exceptional healers far beyond the speed and capability of a druid for keeping a group or a tank alive. Conversely if you want to start a druid because you've seen some nice parses, you'll need to develop your character quite far to be able to achieve that in any sort of sustained way without running out of mana quickly and frequently.
    This guide is written in relation to current level 115 druid spells and abilities. I never read a druid guide, and came up from a level one character during late TBM after a fourteen year hiatus from EQ. I read every spell and AA description along the way and devised my own analysis, opinions, and little tricks. I am by no means the authority on how to play a druid, but here I will lend whatever and all insight I have in regards to playing the class. I will be clear that I do not multibind so if you'd like a guide for that general ones do exist elsewhere which you can take the information here and mold into your multibinding ways.

    Healing: There are five main lines of healing spells for a druid. The vida line (Viridavida 112) is a relatively slow casting single target heal spell with a low recast timer. A quick cast single target heal with a long recast Rejuvenescence (115). The luna (Lunalesce 115) line is a long cast group heal with a relatively low recast time. A quick cast “oh shoot” group heal with a very long (90s) recast in the survival (Survival of the Favored 113) line. A slow casting big single target heal with a long recast (Adrenaline Deluge 114), with a second spell which is the same heal (Vinespike Rush 115) with a temporary DS component. Sunrake Blessing (114) burns your target's target for little damage and reflects a healing twincast allowing you to twincast next healing spell which is great for impending damage spikes on a main tank or your group. These spells have lower level components reaching pretty far back and you can find their analogs for your specific level as you continue to level your druid. In group situations you can cycle vida and luna lines on the tank and save the quick heals for when your tank gets low. Survival line is only useful if someone is below 50% health and should be saved for when this occurs. There is also an AA (Wildtender's Survival) version of the Survival line on a separate timer with the same recast which can be extremely useful when your spell is waiting for the recast timer to be up. Since the relatively long cast times of druid heals you will need to utilize anticipation for when your tank is going to take damage to line up when your heals land, otherwise you'll be continually behind the curve or healing a tank who is at 100% health.

    You can also utilize remote nukes/debuffs which reflect a heal on your target's target, which includes druid Dicho/Dissident spells, Remote Moonrake or Remote Sunshock, Ethereal Ways, Blessing of Ro, Restless Frost, Icerend Breath....A lot of switching targets here, which you will naturally do anyway as a druid, can cast a remote nuke for a heal while the recast of other heal spells are still in queue and then switch back to targeting your tank to cast a heal.

    There are a handful of AAs that are great healing tools as well. Convergence of Spirits comes to mind as a great single target heal that is instant, and then turns into a heal over time while increasing a tanks AC. Swarm of Fireflies can be kept on a tank (or yourself, squishy group members, etc..) which will trigger when a player drops below 40% HP bestowing a 36k heal and increase their HP regen by 10.5k a tick for three ticks. We do not have many AE healing tools, but Blessing of Tunare is one which heals everyone in a 75ft radius for 25k HP. You can also link a Mass Group Buff to your Spirit of Wood and Nature's Boon abilities as an AE healing tool every 20min, and even Tranquil Blessing those two in combination at the start of a long raid event.

    You will want to acquire a Small Manisi Branch as a quick group heal clicky for when your group heals are on cooldown. There is also the Apothic Dragon Spire Hammer which has a similar single target heal clicky for when your heals are on cooldown or you need a quick hit heal for your tank.

    Items: Staff of Forbidden Rites is a must for a raiding druid as we have no in combat rez. Bifold Focus is an exceptional caster tool which allows you to twincast a single heal or damage spell once every 5min. Rod of Dark Rites allows you to cast up to five spells once every 30min using your HP instead of mana for when you are low or out of mana (died and need to rebuff, end of a fight, etc). Skull of Null is a very handy quick casting debuff clicky. Acquire the best familiar you can and be sure to keep it up at all times. I still utilize the caster version of Sacred Prayer Shawl of the Duke for mana return and a little boost to spell damage. Caster and Healer Powersources for each situation. The best arms, helm, neck foci (subject to change..) you can acquire are a huge boost for you likewise. Pay close attention to the foci of your items, you'll want beneficial mana pres and beneficial range each one off of the rings you choose to wear for example. When gearing in general I prioritize spell damage and hWis (contrary to popular belief, every bit of mana counts when you are a class whose biggest issue is running out of mana).

    Potions: Restless Focus (Dragonmagic Focus, Ancient Hedgewizard Brew from earlier content), Crystal Mana Tonic, Tonic of Efficiency Affinity, Mana Infusion, Crusader's Tonic (Xygoz's Tonic from earlier content). Distillate of Clarity and Distillate of Spirituality potions can be purchased from PoK vendor for when you do not have chanter clarity and/or beastlord spirituality buff (mana regen buffs). Potions are a great way to boost your abilities and output, so get your brewing tradeskill up and definitely make a Shaman friend as most potions require Alchemy.

    There should be mention of preincarnation AA which grants you a chance at a second life. If a second life is fulfilled, you will be invulnerable with a little health for a short time. If you fall in battle, nearby group members will gain a chance at a second life. The Preincarnation AA will cast the highest rank of the spell you have scribed. Rk II or III preincarnation can be gained from SoF group progression, and this AA is a big part of druid survivability. Here is a helpful link for this:

    Augmentations: Type 3 augmentations can be merchant purchased for platinum and are very useful to increase the output of specific spells. On the opposite end of the difficulty spectrum lies the Artisan Prize(it is a pretty arduous goal to achieve which will help you develop your tradeskills along the way). Splinter of Potency (Specialize Evocation 15%) and Tome of Manipulation (Specialize Alteration 15%) the other casting skill specialization type 7/8 augs are easily attainable. I find the use of a casting skill specialization aug to confer far more benefit than a little more stat padding. Sodkee's Sympathetic Stone is a fire proc aug that fits in your range item and can be found off Gilbot the Magnificent merchant in Brell's Rest for 100 silver tokens (iirc you can get these tokens off of Loyalty Vendor in PoK) is great to use until you acquire Complimentary Velium Infused Gem of Striking for your range type 8 slot. Evolving items from TBL and ToV have type 18/19 augmentation slots which are an amazing way to boost your characters stats, modifiers, and procs per cast or melee strike. The take home message from here is that you should favor an extra proc from an aug over stat padding most times and when capable. Otherwise for type 7/8 augs I prioritize Spell Damage over all else, then total mana and hWis.

    Alternate Advancement: As far as filling out AAs go I tend to think in the priority being Class->Archetype->Focus->General-> Special tabs to get filled out in that order. I cannot harp enough on how essential maxing your AA points will be in the development of your class. This is also true for Heroic Alternate Advancement points that come from doing quest progression under your Special AA tab. Find friends, make a wicked box crew, kite to your hearts desire, but ultimately find every and any way to gain as much experience as possible.

    Weapons: Have a 1hb with alleviating burst for mana return and good shield for when healing. Have 2hb with arms of holy wrath for dps situations. Don't forget to melee while dpsing when possible for more procs off staff increasing dps and mana return. I have my 1hb auged with Ancient Opal Spellcharm, and my 2hb auged with Elemental Curio of Ondine Force and Complimentary Velium Infused Gem of Devastation in the two t8 slots. Generally seek out damage procs for your 2hb and healing procs for your 1hb as far as augs go.

    Buffs: The all famous “Skin” which in its current form is Opaline Blessing. This will be your most frequently requested buff, be a good druid and tranquil blessing it in your servers buff pile and guild hall when everyone is standing around AFK. Druids have an HP regen spell called Talisman of the Enduring which is also good to TB, as better HP regen buffs will overwrite it, but better than nothing in the meantime. Druid's have a damage shield which is only second to Magicians. Flight of the Falcons is not at all favorable compared to other classes' Spirit of Tala'tak which increases attack rating and run speed. I personally have Flight of the Falcons blocked and never cast it, instead opting for perfected levitation AA and Communion of the Cheetah for run speed and lev. Druids also have the level 86 Mammoth's Force which will increase attack rating in the event someone is devoid of Shaman buffs (particularly melee and tanks).

    Short term buffs and aura: Your best friend, and your best friend's best friend of short terms buffs will be Spirit of the Great Wolf AA. There is a self and group version of the Spirit of the Great Wolf which are both on 7min 30s timers and last 4min (4.5min if swapping in an older era BP), if properly timed you can cover yourself with one of these AA buffs one hundred percent of the time. This will most certainly help with mana and total output of your class. Be sure to time group wolf AA properly in raid or group context with the burns of others. Icerend Aura should always be kept up for your group and is a situation where you should have a single spellgem swap for that spell, as well as Sustaining Growth which is your little mana restoration bear. Both the aura and mana bear are on very similar timers (also with great wolf AA) which is a good way to remind yourself to refresh both when one fades. Frenzied Growth is a short-term (~7min duration) HP buff similar to the SK/Pally Stormwall Stance, though it is slightly lower in total HP which makes it useless for casting on knights but a great option to keep on a Warrior if and when grouped with one as your main tank. You can also keep this buff on yourself if you are still a squishy druid and find it difficult to remain alive. Defense of the Reptile is buff that can be casted on tanks which lowers the attack power and AC of the attacking mob, while reflecting a heal on the tank every time they are struck for up to 72 strikes.

    Debuffing: I always lead with Blessing of Ro that is an AA cast of your highest rank of Clasp of Ro which is a spell that lowers your target's attack value, fire resistance, and AC-it will reflect a decent heal on target's target as well. Blessing of Ro can be used as a low agro pulling tool, can be used as the first thing you cast when a tank engages a mob as it will debuff the mob and reflect a quick heal to the tank who just started taking damage, and can also be used as a remote heal throughout the course of a fight when you are targeting a mob or your other heals are on cool down. Utilize Season's Wrath as often as possible (time it with group burn situations), this is an AA that will increase damage taken by cold and fire spells by 16-25% for one minute with a one minute recast. Restless Frost lowers mobs attack value and AC while reflecting a heal on your target's target. Icerend Breath which lowers cold resistance, AC, increases damage taken from cold spells and heal your target's target. Skin to Sumac increases the fire damage taken by 2-12% on living mobs which are not undead, constructs, elementals or vampires. Druid's also have two relatively weak DoTs that are primarily fire/cold debuffs in the form of Erupting Sunray and Opaline Moonbeam which lower AC, resistance, and increase damage taken from fire or cold spells respectively.

    DPS: Druid's have the ability to nuke and dot (think treenecrowizard). Your biggest challenge will being able to maintain mana while dpsing as druid damage spells tend to cost quite a bit per cast. A big recommendation of mine to maximize your dps is to take advantage of what you are hitting during Global Cooldown of spells be it AA or an item click. Always have survival, luna, dissident, and level 85 twincast spell locked into each of your spellsets. This is especially important for the level 85 twincast spell as if you are to mem it, it will take 5min to be usable. If I am dpsing I will lead with Blessing of Ro, Nature's Fiery Wrath, Nature's Fire, Horde of Hyperboreads, Nature's Bolt, Sunshock, Nature's Frost, Chill of the Arbor Tender, then nuke (Dissident Winds, Typhonic Roar, Cyclonic Roar, Winter's Wildshock, Remote Sunshock..) until a DoT is done ticking and needs to be recast. Weave in your AA nukes (Nature's Fire, Bolt and Frost), clickies (IE Necromantic Dragon Bone, Dark Shield of the Scholar, Darkened Elder Spiritist Helm..), swam pet AAs (Spirits of Nature, Nature's Guardian) during GCD between spell casts. Make sure to always have greater wolf and your highest level damage aura on you while in dps mode. Distant Conflagration is a nifty AA that allows you to twincast up to 14 spells from your Remote Manaflux line and lasts for 10min, this has a 20min reuse timer but will get blocked by ITC if it is running so I just generally use it on cooldown outside of burn situations. Druid's have four main DoTs, two auxiliary debuffy DoTs, and a handful of nukes/AEs. I suggest utilizing the quick cast DoTs (Horde & Sunshock) on all mobs when charged with dpsing in a group setting, nuking likewise waiting on a Gift of Mana proc for casting Nature's Fiery Wrath. I will rarely use Chill of the Arbor Tender in a group setting. Every raid has a different makeup, so take the initiative to realize when you should and should not be dpsing and balance that with keeping yourself and group alive (death = 0 dps, death = 0 heals). The best ability is survivability. At bare minimum always keep a luna and survival line of group heals up permanently on your spellgems, with high situational awareness and utilizing your healing AA and clickies you should be able to keep a group alive in most circumstances on raids when in a caster group. Forceful Rejuvination is also well utilized for casting Survival heal, then being able to cast it again if there's a massive set of damage spikes incoming to your group.

    Burn: Focus Arcanum, Nature's Fury, Destructive Vortex, Spire of Nature, Glyph of Destruction, BP Click, Improved Twincast. Lead with Nature's Fiery Wrath assuming the mob is hit with Blessing of Ro, Season's Wrath and other assorted debuffs already preburn. Follow the general dps rotation of spells listed above and make sure to hit Forceful Rejuvenation AA (will clear all your current recast timers) when at least Dissident, Remote Sunshock and Nature's Wrath are down especially in situations where there are multiple mobs so you can get your best DoT ticking on more than one mob simultaneously during your burn. Don't forget to hit your swarm pets during GCD of spells. Pay attention to the timer and charges left on your ITC and if you eat through it fast enough to have other burns rolling look to your regular Twincast spell (if it is up) on your spell bar to continue the destructive delight. To maximize your burn output pay attention to if you have adps in your group and coordinate for when they hit things like illusions of Grandeur (we love you Enchanters, we really do).

    Quick Spell Swaps and Spellsets: Clearing all your spell gems and designating a single spell gem to exist as a variable one for single spell swaps is essential to playing a druid. Once the spellgem is chosen, scribe a single spell and save that spellset with a name which will easily be recognizable to you (I.E. A for alliance, MB for manabear, R for defense of reptile, aura for aura, RF for restless frost..). Proceed to create a social that read "/memspellset X" (where X is the name of the spellset saved), turn it into a hotkey, name that hotkey the spellset and stick it on a hotbar full of single spellswaps for refreshing short duration buffs or changing things up a smidgen. Clearly have a full spellset saved for being a main healer, a DPSer, balanced, AE situations and so on. Great to have spellsets saved to load between different situations and environments either in groups or raids. Tweak the saved spellsets overtime to better fit your needs and find your happy mediums.

    Foraging: We are the best at this, need I say more? Be well fed, and don't accidentally eat your stat food.

    This is preliminary and I will continue to add to this in the near future and post a more comprehensive and complete guide. I am generally not on very often outside of raids anymore as life calls. But if you have any further questions or would like to discuss the class more specifically feel free to contact me at [tell Xegony.Drmeowz
    Chopin.Xegony likes this.
  9. Szilent Augur

    the opposite is not true, Distant Conflag won't block ITC. So if you put on Distant first, casts of Remote won't use up the ITC counters until you go through Distant's 14 first
  10. Wulfhere Augur

    At 105+ , one should get a Darkened Fungus Covered Scale Tunic (from HH Sebilis) if you are a druid (or a bard) for mana regen.
  11. Rolaque Augur

    Nyemahame … lots of advice here. So I'll emphasize this key item.
    Set the locations for your 5 heals (resurge, adrenal, vida, luna, survival), so they become like second nature to you. You should never ever un-mem them regardless of group or raid or situation. The reason for this is simple. No matter what your role is, you always have to be ready to cast heals, even if there is another healer in group (be it cleric, or shaman, or another druid). Everyone expects you to heal, even when they tell you to focus on dps.

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