Hi everybody and welcome to the next post for the Legion Class Preview Series that Blizzard will be bringing us over the next few days.
Today we’re getting a preview into the Druid class and how it will play in the upcoming Expansion, World of Warcraft: Legion
We’ll bring you the full post as it appears on the official Warcraft website, and we also hope to analyse each and every Healing Class Preview, so be sure to check back at a later stage as we dissect the latest information.
We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Druid. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Druid in World of Warcraft.
Guardians of nature who seek to preserve balance and protect life, Druids have unmatched versatility on the field of battle. This is in part because druidism is much more than a fighting discipline—it’s a way of life steeped in traditions so ancient that even the origin of their kind is preserved largely in mythology passed on through millennia.
Druids harness nature’s raw energy for an incredible breadth of offensive and defensive abilities, as well as to restore life to the wounded. Through communion with nature and the demigod Cenarius, Lord of the Forest, Druids are supernaturally endowed with the gift of shapeshifting, allowing them to take the form of all manner of nature’s creature and access powers as distinct as they are diverse.
Known for hybrid utility and shapeshifting, Druids have four diverse and well-established specializations. In Legion, we’re focusing on empowering Balance gameplay, strengthening the cohesion of Guardian abilities and their fantasy themes, and renewing Druids’ overall trait of shapeshifting between forms to fulfill distinct functions.
Making use of multiple forms for different situations has been difficult for many years, either due to a lack of access to the “off-spec” talents that make your alternate forms feel strong or because the process itself has felt overwhelming and convoluted. To help solve this issue, we’re taking a new route by replacing Heart of the Wild with a full row of Affinity talents, which essentially allow every Druid to choose an off-spec from the remaining three specializations.
Affinities provide two benefits: first, a passive ability that is useful at all times, even to your main role; second, access to multiple key abilities to use in associated shapeshifting forms. To give you a sense for how choosing your Affinity will impact gameplay, regardless of what form you’re in, here’s a look at the passive abilities they grant:
- Balance Affinity
- Astral Influence: Increases the range of all spells, abilities, and autoattacks by 5 yds.
- Feral Affinity
- Feline Swiftness: Increases movement speed by 15%.
- Guardian Affinity
- Thick Hide: Reduces all damage taken by 10%.
- Restoration Affinity
- Ysera’s Gift: Constantly heals the Druid, or allies when the Druid is at full health.
Unlike Heart of the Wild, Affinities are not temporary buffs. This enhanced access to an off-spec, delivered through a cleaner game mechanic, empowers Druids of any specialization to make interesting situational combat decisions.
The many gifts provided by nature must sometimes be reciprocated. Restoration druids seek order in the world by tending directly to its many life forms. Friend to flora and fauna alike, restoration druids celebrate birth and growth. Where there is decay, they bring rejuvenation. Where there is abatement, they summon regrowth. Life not only needs protection—it needs nourishment.
To foster this harmony, the restoration druid builds a bond with the things that grow, gaining inspiration from the flower’s bloom, the seed’s sprout, the mushroom’s spores, and the tree’s growth. Like nature, the restoration druid perseveres through patience and persistence, the foundation upon which all life is built and sustained. They use this power to mend wounds and provide persistent remedies that keep their allies from falling.
“Friend to flora and fauna alike, restoration druids celebrate birth and growth”
Restoration Druid themes are clearly defined, and there’s a lot of cohesive flavor to love in how the spec plays. As a result, we’re making minimal changes. Their Mastery had the most room for improvement, having basically become a passive effect. We’ve redesigned it to emphasize layering healing-over-time effects, favoring more engaging gameplay, while also catering to the Restoration themes.
Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Restoration Druids:
- Mastery: Harmony
- Your healing is increased by 12% (with Mastery from typical gear) for each of your Restoration heal over time effects on the target.
- Healing Touch
- 2% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
- Heals a friendly target for a moderate amount.
- 3.7% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
- Heals a friendly target for a moderate amount and another minor amount over 12 sec.
- Regrowth has a 60% increased chance for a critical effect.
- 1.9% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
- Heals the target for a moderate amount over 15 sec.
- 2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
- Heals the target for a moderate amount over 10 sec. When Lifebloom expires or is dispelled, the target is instantly healed for a moderate amount.
- Lifebloom can be active only on one target at a time.
- 4.3% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
- Grow a healing blossom at the target location, restoring a moderate amount of health to three injured allies within 10 yards every 2 sec for 30 sec.
- Only 1 Efflorescence can be placed at a time.
- 1.6% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
- Instantly heals a friendly target for a large amount.
- Wild Growth
- 7.5% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 10 sec cooldown
- Heals up to 6 injured allies within 30 yards of the target for a moderate amount over 7 sec.
- Healing amount starts high and declines over the duration.
- Living Seed
- When you critically heal a target with the direct healing portion of Switmend, Regrowth, or Healing Touch, you plant a Living Seed on the target.
- When the target is next attacked, the Living Seed will bloom and heal for 50% of the initial amount healed.
- Omen of Clarity
- Your periodic healing from Lifebloom has a 4% chance to cause you to enter a Clearcasting state, causing your next Regrowth to be free.
Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Restoration-specific talents:
- Instant, 1 min cooldown
- Extend the duration of all of your heal over time effects on friendly targets within 60 yards by 10 sec.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to Druid class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll wrap up our series tomorrow with a look at Rogues.