World of Warcraft: The Druid Talent Trees, Tier 1
MMORPG.com World of Warcraft Correspondent James Wood provides us with tis Druid Talent Tree, Teir 1 for Blizzard's hit game.
Ranks: 3 Reduces the mana cost of your Moonfire, Starfire, Starfall, Wrath, Healing Touch, Rejuvenation and Regrowth by [3% x Talent Rank].
Moonglow is not a talent to skip for damage or healing, especially in the early game where most battles will leave you in need of a mana drink afterwards. There is the obvious effect of having more damage or healing spells cast for your full mana bar, but being able to conserve mana as a Druid in general means that you won have to rely on Innervate for longer periods of time, saving it for healers that are running low on mana.
Ranks: 2 Prerequisite for: Nature Grace, Nature Splendor Increases the critical strike chance of your Wrath, Starfire, Starfall, Nourish and Healing Touch spells by [2% x Talent Rank]. Alone and at lower levels that can reach other critical strike chance talents, Nature Majesty is not as useful as other talents that can be found in the same tier. At level 80, it a given that either Restoration or Balance Druids will take this for raiding or PvP. Early on, before the chance to use Cat Form is given to you, a 2% or 4% critical chance upgrade with low-quality gear doesn speak volumes unless the succeeding talents appeal to you. But by then, Cat Form will be available.
Ranks: 2 Increases the damage and critical strike chance of your Moonfire spell by [5% x Talent Rank]. Improved Moonfire affects the damage of Moonfire first hit and its periodic damage. The critical strike chance only applies to the initial damage of Moonfire. This is a better alternative to Genesis with its high point-to-effect ratio even if it does not affect every other over-time effect. Supported with Moonkin, other talents and possibly the Moonfire glyph (dependent on your desire to deal critical initial damage or high over-time damage), Moonfire potency as a fire-and-forget spell should not be forgotten.
When possible, substitute rats with sunflower seeds for your Moonkin.
Ranks: 3 Increases the damage done by your Swipe ability by [10% x Talent Rank] and reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while Prowling.
At certain points, you might feel like skipping past several mobs just for a quest, especially if some of those mobs make you wish that they would realize your superiority and just go away. Maybe you want to reach a Warlock to help summon a few friends behind enemy lines. Maybe you want to idle somewhere to do something but don want to sit through another queue if you logged out. Maybe you should realize that some of these things don happen too often. Maybe you shouldn needlessly put yourself at risk to go to the bathroom and just log out.
Now, it a different ball game. A mix of classes and races can detect stealthed opponents (Track Hidden, Paranoia, etc.). If their reactions are faster than yours, you could lose your opportunity to open with a stealth attack, reducing your damage and increasing the time it will take to stack your desired number of combo points.
In either Bear Form or Cat Form and with Swipe only AoE limitation being that its range is a frontal cone, it great as a means for AoE leveling or tanking groups of mobs. Just make sure you have a good weapon equipped in your main hand.
Remember: Entangle, Moonfire, Wrath, Wrath, Wrath and Wrath.
Ranks: 2 Increases the damage caused by your Claw, Rake, Mangle (Cat), Mangle (Bear) and Maul abilities by [10% x Talent Rank]. Once Druids have access to Cat Form for leveling, the increased damage to the skills of that form alone make it worth it. Though full utilization of the talent won be available until you e deeper into the Feral Combat tree, a 20% damage increase to your primary early-game damage-dealing skills alone gives this talent a lot of worth.
Ranks: 3 Increases the armor contribution from items by [4% / 7% / 10%].
Even if a Bear Tank reaches the armor cap of 35,880, some effects can still reduce that armor. The excess armor caused by Thick Hide at that point can blunt the effects of armor reduction. A pure tank should put points into this, but Survival of the Fittest will be a better choice for those less dedicated to tanking.
Thick Hide is not as useful to Druids that are DPS or are leveling. It better to be on the offensive when leveling or raiding instead of soaking up damage before actually making a kill.
Ranks: 5 Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch spell by [0.1 x Talent Rank] seconds and increases the damage of your physical attacks in all forms by [2% x Talent Rank].
Though it requires 5 talent points to maximize its usefulness, Naturalist is one of the few Restoration talents that are a must-have for boosting Feral Druid damage.
Once at level 80, most Druids prefer Nourish over Healing Touch for a number of reasons: 1) Nature Swiftness is best used with Healing Touch in emergencies because of Healing Touch cast time but Healing Touch cannot be put into a healing combo with anything else; 2) Nourish can be combined with Regrowth and Rejuvenation, two spells that see very frequent use in raiding parties; 3) When glyphed, Healing Touch does 50% less healing in exchange for 1.5 seconds reduced casting time and 25% mana cost. With Naturalist, the difference in casting time is only .5 seconds and Healing Touch would only heal a little higher than an unsupported Nourish with the latter requiring a lower mana cost at their maximum heal.
Ranks: 3 Reduces the threat generated by your Restoration spells by [10% x Talent Rank] and reduces the chance your helpful spells, Moonfire and Insect Swarm will be dispelled by [10% x Talent Rank].
Never trust the tank to always hold their threat, especially in the early game. Err on the side of caution when it comes to your healing spells and reduce your threat level.
It a shame people aren affected by your reduced threat, but having a Dispel-capable class remove your heal-over-time spells before the spell has taken a good effect becomes worse than a pain in your backside, even more so for the poor sap who screamed ealplzhealplzhealplz Moonfire and Insect Swarm are much more critical against players that can cast Dispel on themselves or other friendly players. A successful resistance by your damage-over-time spells could lead to a second dispel attempt, burning precious mana needed for healing.
Ranks: 3 Prerequisite for: Master Shapeshifter Reduces the mana cost of shapeshifting by [10% x Talent Rank]. Druid form shifts costs considerable amounts of mana, reaching well over 1000 mana at level 80 for certain forms. If you e after maximizing your damage or healing for the different forms, you l need this to reach its succeeding talent.
Several bosses and enemies have root or snare attacks in their arsenal, but they are so few and far between that constant shapeshifting will not become a necessity.
Everyone has some form of root or snare and though a Balance Druid would care little about being slowed down for a few seconds, a Feral Combat Druid can afford that luxury. Battlegrounds or World PvP, snares and roots are commonplace and with no other method of removing those roots or snares, your best counter is to shift out of your current form (or into another depending on your situational analysis) to escape those snares, possibly heal yourself, then use whatever skills get you into or out of combat.