Posted Wed, Jul 06, 2011 by Xerin
Soloing as a Druid in World of Warcraft is easy peasy with the right spec. Druids can level multiple ways and we’ve got the secrets on making every spec a successful “leveling spec.” So don’t fret, anyway that you want to play is a great way to hit the maximum level no matter what your aim is. So let’s look at the different ways to play and some resources to help get you started.
As you’re leveling up, remember that you can heal yourself even if you’re not specialized into Restoration. Since a popular choice is to level as a Feral Druid your mana won’t be used for anything else. So don’t worry about using it. It’s a lot faster to cast a heal then it is to sit around and eat.
Remember you can use Prowl to avoid a lot of enemies in your way as you’re leveling. This is important to note whenever you’re in an area infested with enemies and you don’t feel like grinding. Feral Druids gain a bonus to their stealth (including a really nice talent), but anyone can use the ability.
There are a lot of neat abilities like Entangling Roots that can root enemies. You won’t use these too much while leveling, but it’s important to note for PvP and in instances.
The best spec to level a Druid as is Feral (Cat). You won’t have to rest for mana, you can use your mana for healing, and you’ll have some really good damage. That doesn’t make other specs less viable, but it does make for easier leveling.
The most popular choice, cat leveling can take you all the way to the maximum level. There are only two techniques that you need to learn for successful leveling. The first is your rotation. Starting at level 10 you’ll Mangle five times and then use Ferocious Bite. Repeat all the way until you reach the max level. You don’t really need to mix any other skills into the mix, because most things will die too quickly.
The second is Prowl. Prowl is useful for reaching quest objectives without having to grind through enemies. If you need to talk to an NPC then prowl up close to them, talk to them (it’ll un-stealth you) and kill whatever is nearby.
You won’t be able to grind quests away as a Bear, but you can queue for instances. The fun thing is that you’ll be able to keep mostly Cat gear equipped and be viable as a full fledge tank all the way to max level almost. It isn’t until gems that you’ll have to start making sacrifices, because Bears / Cats wear the same thing and almost spec the same way at the lower levels.
Focus on running dungeons and use Cat Form to take out any quests. Look at getting duel talent specialization as early as possible to pick up talents like Thick Hide to help while tanking dungeons.
You won’t have Moonkin form early on, but you’ll be able to handle most enemies all the way to max level with a simple Insect Swarm and Wrath/Starfire spam. You’ll gain some neat abilities as you level, but the majority of the time to using your direct damage spells and Insect Swarm will get you through.
Restoration Druids will want to focus on being a secondary spec only for instances. You can level up pretty well in instances/battlegrounds healing others but you won’t have the damage output to make grinding efficient. See our combat guide / healing guide for more details on healing as a Druid.
We have a handy dandy guide that goes over where you need to be as you level up. Druids don’t have any special locations to talk about where they’re better or worse than other classes, so fret not, run out into the wild and adventure noble Druid!
Need a leveling guide? See our Zones by Level guide that should point you in the right direction.
What follows is our pre-Cataclysm guide to leveling, with some hot tips and a detailed WotLK/TBC leveling guide for Druids. It makes for some great reading on the subject.