State of the Druidic Address, by Mugsie

Discussion in 'Priests' started by Mugsie, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. Mugsie Elder

    A modest review of the state of druids!
    This is a fairly yammering review, and my appreciation extends to anyone who takes the time to look at in the spirit of making druids an enjoyable class to play.

    NOTES:
    Disclaimer:
    I tried to be fair when writing this, and was hoping to get to edit it more to have a better tone / balance but time before beta is short and RL is eating up my time. Please keep the feedback on point of what we can positively add to all the stuff we can do now, make it more wanted and FAIR.
    A short bit about who wrote the original posts:
    Mugsie has a BS in Computing Sciences from Georgia Institute of Technology, has been playing EQ with 2 afk since release, has actively played druid for over a decade of play time, has raided in every content release (save LoY of course) and lead raids in every expansion except LoY and SoD (if you don't count stuff from Ginats x3).


    To be clear druids are a sort of jack of all trades but masters of none, they can heal, have some buffing and ampage, and can do moderate dps.

    Utility: One major issue is we are losing our edge in pretty much every factor. We are gaining utility yes, but our utility has already been encroached on and continues to be at a rate that doesn't would need much more to compensate for our fallings in other areas.

    Healing: clerics are and should be well ahead of us, but they are continuing to grow faster than us. Unlinked fast heals and synergy have allowed clerics to surpass me that I previously outparsed in effective heals. Even more troubling is that shamen continue to grow in healing at a faster pace. They already plural target heal superiority, and now their unlinked fast heals let them multibind and straight ahead parse as well as us.

    DPS: IF you have multiple druids, odds are that the average druid will have one dot loaded. If you have the one/two druids to a raid that some guild run due to our failings in parsing, basically, the druids maybe run the debuff dots. Our dots across the board are mediocre and as we stand, are not worth the spell slots at all. Our nuking DPS has continued to putter away, long gone are the days of nuking as well as a mage.

    Our total desirability / role in raids is diminishing due to failings in parsing which basically as events get longer and more gated by guild wide DPS, pretty much leaves us on the outs, particularly as shaman get better and have more amping ability.

    Now, lets say our role in raids is to be caster dps healer / amp. Enchanters amp better than us. Shaman can actually amp pets while we can't, so at least the mage pet groups do better from a shaman, which leaves 2 slots at most that are ideally druids.

    Please, consider things that will let us be reasonably adequete in parsing and not just a token buffer.

    Things that would help tremendously: Unlinking our quick and burst heals. Most cleric fast heals are unlinked, and now shaman also, so, this is a huge area we are falling behind that could be adjusted. Doing so doesn't put us anywhere near clerics at all, but it does keep us in the game and puts us well back in front of shaman.

    Giving our dots relevance is popular with many. I would actually prefer we got less dots, but more effective. IN no situation should a druid have 6 dots loaded to try and actually be a worthwhile dot'er.

    Catching us up nuke wise! Our rain and five target ae's are reasonably competitive. The rest are not. Slowish and low punch have dropped us well back from mages... who have pets that are VERY dagburn useful. Right now rain and nuke stun are the only 2 real decent dps spells with wrath being adequate. Even weaving those 3 and storm we are less than half a wizard, 2/3 a mage at best.

    As far as utiltiy goes, we still have an aura that is less than enchies and replacable with bards. We have one desirable buff and lots of click off. We can snare / ae root / punt root nearly as well as rangers / shammie, but not enough you would care about adding more druids just to ae root. Any utility / amp we have is farily limited / marginal / generally number crunched away vs. having another dps / cleric / warrior.

    Ideas from multiple sources (some of which I disagree with):
    1. Unlink fast heals
    2. Give us another fast heal
    3. Lower Vida cast time to near base 3.0 secs
    4. Give us more remotes.
    5. UNLINK REMOTES
    6. Lower recast on remotes.
    7. Extend our dots
    8. Increase base dot power SIGNIFICANTLY
    9. Increase our ability to critical / do a dot burn
    10. Increase our base nukes 15~25%
    11. Decrease reuse on roar stun nukes (most willing to forgo stun portion for bigger nuke)
    12. Faster nukes.
    13. Reduce cooldown on base fire and ice nukes or remove link to older ones.
    14. Better BP focus effect
    15. Increase our indirect utiltiy (we give bonus other than direct DPS)
    16. Fix group wolf so it is something people actually want to have a druid around for.
    17. Fix our various utility so they are... utilized.

    Personally nutshelling it:
    1. Druids can be upto 50% wizard OR 65% cleric and are fading and are being caught by shaman.
    2. Druids would love some increase in their ability heal and DPS simultaneously effectively instead of being a half as good filler in one.
    3. Make groups / raids want what we can do for them other than druid skin.

    Grand ideas!

    Two auras:
    Make druids have a unique desirable one. (Like reduced spell hate, or Spirit of wood type ac/hp/regen)

    Overhaul wolf form:
    Self wolf doesnt stack with mount.
    BP effect is terribly underpowered, like literally less than 2 free casts every 7 1/2 minutes.
    No one says they want a druid around for half the time wolf form.
    Ideas: Remove TGB off wolf form, increase duration / lower resues to 5 minutes via AA. Keeping it up full time makes it some what more interesting to groups. Add cool down reduction, limit bene/hp for white wolf, limit det/hp for black wolf?

    Spirit of woods / Convergence:
    Balance out timer / reuse so that 3 druids could keep it on single tank at all time?

    Overhaul regen:
    700hp vs 150,000 hp = less than half a percent per tick. I would say balance rank 3 vs top end warrior hp for 2% minimum. Yes this makes it really strong minue 30 levels, but buffing a level 70 should be impressive.

    Overhauls DS:
    DS also has not kept pace with hp counts. You could find a much larger number so that the curve has similar growth... or... change how DS works! Make damage shield... shielding that damages. 340 point ds would reflect 340 points of damage, it would lessen damage by 340 and return 340 enviromental damage to the melee hitter. Obviosuly burst DS would have to be exmempt or severely reworked, although wrath of the wild would suddenly be cool to have a one shot 23k rune /ds (limit hit count 1 still).

    Redesign dots:
    They mostly are uncast, except wrath and for debuff, yet are counted agasint our potential DPS / tools available. Redcued to 3 dot lines, burst, fire with improved effect debuff, and ice with improved effect debuff.

    Make our fast heals competitive:
    Ideal: We get ways to reduce cooldowns when in 'heal mode' so that vida is 25%-30% of our spam healing casts (via spell line aa and white wolf?)
    Pragmatic: Unlink our fast heals so we can load them up like clerics and shammy and make a druid eat all their spell slots on heals if they wish
    Nuclear: Nerf Clr and sha by linking theirs up
    Disdainful: ignore the fact druids simply can't output heals with the frequency of other priests and pretend they are not going to suffer for it

    Musgie
  2. Mugsie Elder

    Okay, druid spell lines pulled from and categorized by current levels.

    Minor spell lines (96):
    Regen: Okay (No new issues, same old, wish it was more and had endurance)
    Charm: Good (Wish it was one level higher so dark blue animals were not a guesisng game at level cap)
    Ice Rain: GOOD
    Fire Targeted AE: Good
    Group cure: Fair (making it where it actually cured anything instead of all twinsplashed away would help)
    Calm: Good
    Stemfang: Fair
    Fire debuff dot: Meh (Make the debuff effect an added improved effect and increase damage?)
    Small nuke stun: Meh (not worth the slot)
    Ro debuff: (meh aa line made this kind of droppable)
    Nurturing Growth: Great (was impressed how you pulled it together to make it work well)

    Lessor spell lines (97):
    Vinelash: Good
    TempHP: Good
    Ice Breath debuff: Good (make it an aa pleasssse)
    Ds: Okay (barely used as is though)
    DruidSkin: Great (Most of our buffing / utility value!)
    Vida: Good (lower recast may help deal with our slipping healing)
    Guard Spell: Awful (still not worth slot)
    PromisedHeal: meh (let clerics have this one to themselves honestly)
    Fire Aura: Great (makes us sometimes desirable as group amp)
    Ae fire debuff: Okay

    Medium spell lines (98):
    Buff Corruption: Okay (hardly ever used)
    Anti-Summoned: Bad (still bad resists/ bad comparison, let mages have it solo)
    Magic Dot: Poor (subpar dps, have to spell set switch it just to be used at all)
    Coat DS: Meh (still fairly uninteresting, just drop merge ds into main line and ac to mask?)
    Ice Aura: Great
    Remote Fire: Great (would love to be able to cast more remotes)
    Plant Skin: Good (can we just get rid of mark it plant? as is its utility / amp that is oftened not usable)
    Survival: Okay
    Combo Nuke: Poor (still buggy, still crappy agro, with agro becoming more important, may as well drop this line if not getting incredible upping)
    Roar: Good (would love to cast more often even if it meant losing stun)
    Mysterious Ways: VERY BAD (appreciate the attempt, but it just didnt work)

    Great spell lines (99):
    Cure: Okay (still would like it to be able to cure something in one cast instead of needing twinsplash cures)
    Quake PbAE: Okay
    Group Cure Corruption: Okay (didnt cast it once in 2 years though, redundant with generic group cure, drop the line?)
    Group Regen: Okay (make more popele click it off!)
    Frost Debuff: Good (please merge... or aa... or both!)
    Ice Debuff Dot: Okay (move debuff to add effect, increase dps?)
    Swarm Shrooms: Poor (a swarm pet that won't keep anything busy... give me angry shrooms or not at all!)
    Reptile: Okay (fix poor mechanics? make it proc a rune instead of debuff that casts a heal if it lands? At least make the heal reflect the non-fire debuff on target?)
    Sun Blessing: Okay (would be nice to be able to have more situations it was good to use)
    Sunblaze: Okay (mediocre dps, should be upped or removed to allow other dots to be increased)
    Fire Nuke: Okay (bit shy of punch needed as a primary)
    Frigid Thornmaw: Bad (discontinue / no use)
    Remote Ice: Okay (would like to cast more remotes, all on same timer = bad)

    Glowing spell lines (100):
    Group DS: Okay
    Group DruidSkin: Great
    Ice Nuke: Okay (low power for primary nuke)
    Mask: Great
    Rush: Good (unlink please!)
    Group Heal: Great
    Ice Doom Dot: Bad (it just doesnt work, drop it and increase basic ice dot?)
    Fast Heal: Great (unlink please)
    Wrath dot: Good (bit more punch?)
    DS rush heal: Meh (unlink it and we can talk, this isn't the road to let druids heal and dps for many reasons)
    Untiy self buff: Bad (assuming, I don't think i ever cast it, just merge ac into mask and can add effect ds if you want?)

    Mugsie
  3. Mugsie Elder

    Druidic gearing!

    The overall issue of questionably expanded gear templates has somewhat hurt druids. The wiz/mag and dru/clr split has lead to ... druids getting less spell damage mod with no upside return. We don't really get more of anything, but we lose out. Request that both of those lines be merged back together so as to increase gear selection / availability and undo the incidental nerf to druids (mages really aren't hurting over loss of heal mod).

    Our BP focus is pretty unimprssive. It was better than a mana pres focus on a singular spell, but its still fairly weak. Does 2-3 extra ticks of self wolf every 7:30 or 15 minutes really matter? Its like 180/270 raw mana and preservation that averages out to one free cast per 8 casts. (so one extra free cast every 15 minutes?) No one says, hey that druid needs to get a BP for their focus... compare that to a tanks focus and its apples and 6-12 secs of forcefield.

    Our special / unique items / access to interesting chase items has been lacking, but I have faith interesting belts and maybe more are coming.

    Druid AA!

    Our dots are essentially book filler, not pracitcal DPS. If that is addressed via base spells or AA, either is fine.

    Overall DPS/ HPS is continually falling in comparison to peers, base spell or AA help would be nice.

    Specific existing lines:

    Spirit of *color* Wolf
    Realistic: Can't use it while on mount sinceits illusion and buff are one effect.
    Suggestion: Do as almost all effects that come with a buff and illusion do, split illusion into separate buff that is blockable (which is done for group version). If a large amount of content including a 'mount' ring is done around mounts, make mounts viable? Think of it this way, make it so druids maybe would buy one of those mounts, win / win. Alternatively just increase the group buff duration / lower reuse until its reuse matches its duration.

    Wrath of Wild 2:18 coold down vs 23,500 damage = 170 dps (with a doom buff that essentially does not much if anything)
    Realistice view: 23k every 2 and a half minutes is forgettable, with bloat already hitting hotbars this is at best multbind social key.
    Suggestion: Either overhaul DS's or overhaul the line. Making it a one shot 23k rune / ds or fade to a rune of sorts would make it desirable (could even make it merged of rune /firefly DI thing). Personally I would LOVE if you vastly reduced timer and corresponding damage to make it a GCD click between heals. This is what druids are looking for. Something that gives us things to do that keeps us from being mediocre cleric or awful wizzie.
    I would suggest after upgrade lines factored in, it be about 4000 DS / one shot 4k damage absorb every 18 secs.

    Season's Wrath 5 minute reuse for 24 sec
    Realistic view: another thing to coordinate if you have more than one druid, assuming it ever lands
    Suggestion: Make it a group buff and slash timer, allowing you to build it into a hey we want druids in our caster group for burns. Doing it this way allows you to keep amping it up via hastened, extended and main aa lines. Alternatively, make it either no resist check or a chromatic with large mod.

    Spirit of the Bear
    Realistic: Cute burst tanking buff for warriors, useless on knights
    Suggestion: Knights already use steady stance instead of our growth HP buff. They use a slot 7 AC buff that is much more signifigant than the bear effect. Out of DruidSkin, Growth, Reptile and Bear, pallies use zero of them. I know that not everything is going to stack with everything, but this laregly limits this abiltiy to one class that already kind of gets all the tanking advantages while leaving out our abiltiy to help knights.


    Impoved hidden communion of the cheetah!
    /pause 1; /alt act 939
    /alt act 518
    Suggestion: That is to make a better effect than the hidden communion.


    Protection of Direwood
    Realistic: Hey, I'm dead, if I had been able to foretell the future of me getting killed in 2 hits, I could have activated that guard aa and died in 3/4.
    Suggestion: Discontinue or make it a buff that fades to this effect?

    Highly desired:

    Hastened Remote enervation: Reduces cool down timer for remote nuke to heal spells.

    Agro Changes Specific:
    Storm Strike: GREAT AA now, great damage / fun to use
    Issue: MEGA HUGE AGRO, biiiiiig. HUGE. You make agro management a big thing again and this goes out the window and druids DPS starts looking like an enchanters.
    Suggestion: Modify it so that it doesn't generate more agro than a standard resist base nuke

    DoTs: Currently mediocre at best
    Issue: DoTs and agro management are contrary. OUr debuff dots actually generate a fair bit of agro. To make us actually use dots, they need a major upscaling. If you do that it could lead to uncontrollable agro issues, thus rock and hard place of DoTs being undesirable.
    Suggestion: Make 3 dots: burst (wrath), fire that can proc debuff when cast, ice that can proc debuff when cast, base dps and agro management around those 3.

    AA Idea for agro management:
    Harmonic Casting: Basically a group silent casting
    Idea: Give us a GROUP DESIRED ability that makes other classes want us. It fits in nicely with a way to manage agro, and would be scalable across board in effectiveness, resue, and duration. You could litereally build 100aa of upgrades in the introduction of this and have 3 improvment cycles.

    Secondary Aura AND
    Harmonic casting aura: player cast spells are cast with -#hate
    Idea: Again, give us group wanted abilty to help players control agro.
    Issue: adding the hate reducer per spell may be hard, but a % modifer should be reasonable to do (and probably simpler / less hard to balance)

    Mugsie
  4. Mugsie Elder

    Feel free to beat down my assessments / ideas / opinions, but please try and make this thread something a DEV could look at and not get turned off on by making it, "Devs suck and hate us" that is unproductive.

    Explain what we can do to maintain relevance and be desirable, and hopefully give some positive ideas that could make us more interesting and engaging.

    Thanks for reading,
    Mugs
    guado likes this.
  5. Iila Augur

    If you don't have casters bugging you for wolf form or trying to coordinate full BW uptime on caster groups, your casters don't realize how good BW is. BW is like shm epic for nuke casters. Sure IoG spikes higher, but BW has a much longer uptime. Working with your enc can keep your group going with bonuses for the duration of most raids. If you have multiple druids, the wiz/mag groups should be getting full time BW, then bst/rng groups. (Never cast group white wolf).
    Mages who think a shm gives them better adps are just wrong. Druids add about 30% more than a shm does.

    I've thought about this a lot, and I really don't like it because it mean giving up another 2 gems to heals that can't be cycled out easily. I would much rather have spells get reduced recast than have older ones unlinked.

    The impression I got at soelive was that Chandrok loved having all these templates, and he seemed to think that giving wizard heal amount and clerics spell damage was too good. Unfortunately, I'm being serious.

    The doom portion isn't working right. The mob casts it on itself, so you don't get credited for damage, AND it doesn't use your dot AAs. But the dot itself IS worth casting on longer fights. High base damage and our ability to twincast dots make it very worthwhile to cast first in our burn order on 70s+ fights.
    The adps on this is really good with a few necros in raid. The base damage on the actual dot sucks, though.

    Overall I feel like the main druid issue is the lack of additional remotes. After that, we do have a bunch of smaller issues. In groups our dps is solid enough because of the amount of adps we carry along, but our full burns don't peak nearly as high as real dps classes. Our lack of combo spells really hurts while in a pure healing role, because our healing is so much slower AND we can't really offer our personal dps.

    On healing, I'd really like to see a lower recast on our two faster heals. And if we don't get an ae heal in the next expansion, we're going to be very far behind the other two priests.

    Our raid utility is high enough that 3-4 druids are worth running in optimized setups. Splitting up debuffs/buffs, group black wolf, and coordinating Season's Wrath on burns are all worthwhile benefits from adding druids.
  6. FawnTemplar Augur

    I am also more in favor of lowering the recast of our two fastest heals as opposed to unlinking older spells. Honestly, I just don't have the room on my spell bar for more heals as I already keep 6 up. Often times I am the only druid in raids doing debuffs so I have 3 spell gems being taken up with debuff. If we could get AA lines (or even a combined AA) for our cold debuffs it would help out quite a bit and I feel like I could spend more time keeping people alive and being amps and less time switching out spells.

    I really don't think that the amps a Shaman could provide a mage pet out weighs the nuke amps that we provide them. I mean black wolf is almost 4 minutes long. That is a lot of amps, plus the fire aura.

    I have to wonder about where people are getting these parses where Shamen are matching heals with Druids. Seems to me that a shaman has less opportunity to actually heal a MT in a raid because they have melee DPS to take care of and they typically take more damage than our casters. I suppose if the shaman was in the MT group that would be one thing but that happens so rarely that I don't see it being a real issue. Could someone please clarify on this for me?
  7. Barc Lorekeeper


    Twin AE Heals is nothing to forego mind you
  8. Waring_McMarrin Augur

    Twin AE heals?
  9. Mugsie Elder

    Ideally we have lowered reuse fast heals and an additional fast heal so we could weave 3 fast heals and vida. I even posted methods to pragmatically reduce cool downs via spell line aa and as part of white wolf effect.

    That in part will make our heals 'better' than our peers who use multiple in same line to maximize frequency. Yes it is ideal for us, and I think realistically if you say druids are utility, 2nd healer and DPS you have to concede we need those spell slots more than anyone, but to be fair I think there would have to be a drawback to having those extra fast heals that we could use to match clr/sha frequency. That draw back would be sacrificing spell slots same as they do, even though those slots are extremely precious for druids.

    As for black wolf, I realize its value. Lets all face it storm strike in the face for 180k is funny, and mana benefits too. People do like having it, it just isn't up enough to bridge the gap between amp of bard / ench / shaman or the raw stand alone value of a wizard. I want us to amp enough that people want to have a druid in a caster group, not just happen to slot in.

    Lets say 45% of the time you are amping wizards, mages, ench (heh) about 15%. Thats about 7% amp. Most caster builds have necro and / or ench in group who its basically wasted on so you have about 3 maybe 4 mages / wiz getting part time amp at an average of 7%. I think it would be best if they wanted us more, and full time group wolf helps close net dps gap BY SYNERGY, making OTHERS better.

    Thank you for productive discussion,
    Mugs
  10. guado Augur


    To be frank, all a shaman has to do to keep a group up is Wisp of Renewal (group HoT) and Bleazon (heal rain) . And IF they actually pay attention, there's no issue at all.

    Regardless of what a parse says, Shamans are on Easy-Street at the moment.
  11. Ravengloome Augur

    Twin surge... Or didnt you know you can frozen gift Surge?
  12. Tarrin Augur

    Some love to remotes in 2 areas:
    Storm Strike remote HoT
    Unlink the two spell remotes we have

    And I would be extremely happy right now. Druids are solid enough in other areas. Any other "want"..for me..is minor. Honestly the last round of spells and AAs were great for druids. I just want to keep the momentum going and bring this class into its own. The class has a long history of just being borderline schizophrenic.
  13. telechir Elder

    Only the initial heal of surge can be twincasted, the following rain is not.
  14. Marshall Maathers Augur

    Curiosity speaking, how never is never? :p

    Is there any situation, however implausible, in which you would consider white wolf over black wolf?
  15. Tarrin Augur

    If your raid does not have any mages/wizards?
    Perplexed likes this.
  16. Iila Augur

    No real situation.

    If your raid has no wizards, mages, rangers, beastlords, or shadowknights.

    White wolf is some mana regen and a small crit chance boost. Black wolf is that, plus glyph of the cataclysm. They're not even close in power level.

    Self white wolf is fine, but the group cast should always be black wolf on a group with nuke casters of some type.
  17. Brohg Augur

    Maybe easy street, but it does take a kinda hardcore bard-like faith in how good the support you're providing to others is. No version of any kinda parse is really going to show it.
    guado likes this.
  18. Tarrin Augur

    Sorta like the spread sheet druids carried around in their back pocket for years to show people that attack debuffs did something.

    And I am pretty sure parses show the difference for melee dps who are and aren't grouped with shaman.
  19. Crystilla Augur

    Well, I can tell that using the twincasting heals for shaman, they have the ability to outparse any cleric/druid if they put their mind to it. (Have a number of recent parses showing this .. since one of my shaman decided to 'shine' in the healing arena for some reason.)
  20. Brohg Augur

    Isn't the reason clerics don't use their twinhealing nuke because y'all have better things to be doing? Is it better than a set of Remedies, Renewals & Interventions? Would you be doing what a shaman does, instead of what you do, if you could? I'm trying to understand the claim.

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