Friday, January 30, 2009

50 ways to roll a druid

Well, actually just 3, but I like Simon & Garfunkel. :) So I've been listening to some commenters telling me that if I thought druids were overpowered, why didn't I play one, and decided that playing one might be just the thing. I do value flexibility, being able to change from tanking to healing to damage dealing roles, especially if I'll be able to outperform specialist classes in each of those aspects under some circumstances. So the only question was how. What would be the best way to make a druid?

One option would have been character recustomization. I have an old level 34 female druid on my account, a surplus character of my wife, which we moved because she didn't play him any more, but didn't want to delete him either. Using the new Blizzard service I could have changed that one into a male druid, changed the name too, and have an instant level 34 druid. I ended up deciding against that, because I wanted to level up a druid from the start, to better learn the class, and to revisit some places I haven't been for a long time.

Then I was considering the recruit-a-friend option. I could make a second account (third actually, if you count my wife's account), get a zhevra mount for my main, and dual-box with triple xp, powerleveling the freshly created druid by putting him on autofollow behind one of my high-level characters. After looking at that option closer, I noticed it doesn't work that way. If you group a high-level and a low-level character, the low-level character only gets minimal xp. I tested that out with mine and my wife's account, made a level 1, who got 50 xp from killing a level 1 mob, but only 1 xp from killing the same mob when grouped with a level 80 character. The triple xp only work well if I wanted to level up two characters from 1 to 60 at the same time (triple xp stop at 60). But even then the "triple" xp ends up being only 50% more xp than soloing, because grouping 2 characters stupidly halves your xp in WoW (which is one reason people prefer to solo). The only advantage of the recruit-a-friend option would have been the possibility to gear up quickly by running myself through dungeons. But there are other ways of twinking, and those don't require me to pay for another account. And again the disadvantage of powerleveling would have been that I would neither really learn the class, nor really adventure.

So in the end I stuck with the third option: Just plain simple roll a level 1 druid on the same server and faction as my other characters. I just played him a little while last night, and already got to level 3. It's been an eternity since I last quested in Mulgore. Of course this is the slowest option. But I'm just 1 emblem of heroism away with my main to get the heirloom bind to account leather shoulders, which would give the druid not only a nice stat bonus, but also 10% faster xp gain. And I have various crafters to make gear, and tons of cash to buy gear or anything else the druid might need if ever I feel he levels too slowly.

It's a fun little project, but I'm not ready to ditch my other characters for the druid yet. I'm still raiding with my priest, and getting my warrior up to level 80. But I like having some other projects in WoW, because I think patch 3.1 is still months away, and the Wrath of the Lich King endgame risks getting boring after a while.

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