Archive

Soloing the Druid 41-60

Updated Fri, Nov 13, 2009 by Medawky

Soloing 1-40 - 40-60 - 60-80



Level

Zone Name

Continent

Status

40-50

Feralas

Kalimdor

Contested

40-50

The Hinterlands

Eastern Kingdoms

Contested

40-50

Tanaris

Kalimdor

Contested

43-50

Searing Gorge

Eastern Kingdoms

Contested

45-55

Azshara

Kalimdor

Contested

45-55

The Blasted Lands

Eastern Kingdoms

Contested

48-55

Felwood

Kalimdor

Contested

48-55

Un'Goro Crater

Kalimdor

Contested

50-58

Burning Steppes

Eastern Kingdoms

Contested

51-58

Western Plaguelands

Eastern Kingdoms

Contested

53-60

Eastern Plaguelands

Eastern Kingdoms

Contested

53-60

Winterspring

Kalimdor

Contested

55-60

Deadwind Pass

Eastern Kingdoms

Contested

55-60

Silithus

Kalimdor

Contested


Continuing in our guide for soloing strategies for the druid in World of Warcraft, this week we look at levels 41-60. A couple of reminders if you didn’t read the first guide, or if you're  like me, and have trouble remembering much of what has happened beyond what was for dinner last night. If you are going to solo your way through the game grab yourself a mod like
QuestHelper. It will help you out significantly, and of course, do every quest you can find.

The Druid is a marvelous solo class thanks in no small part to our extreme versatility, lets face it folks, we're a corkscrew away from being a Swiss Army knife. In the last guide I spoke equally about all three spec choices, this time I’m going to focus mostly on feral, but I will go over some rotations and strategies for those of you with the death wish desire to play alone as resto and balance. So without further rambling witticisms lets dive in. 

Feral

Easily the best choice for any level range soloist, a feral build offers lightning fast DPS and enhanced survivability. In most cases you will perform most of your combat in cat form, ideally sneaking up behind your prey and initiating combat the smart way, getting in the first shot. If you can manage to sneak up on your opponent, open with a pounce  and then hit them with a quick shred, now you can open up your attacks to continue adding combo points. I personally recommend hitting every mob with Faerie Fire (Feral) to reduce their armor, it’s a great way to increase DPS and with a 30 yard range it is a great tool for pulling a mob that can’t effectively be singled in stealth mode. There is no one true rotation that every druid follows as I mentioned in our first look at soloing, however I have some general rules that I use to maximize my DPS and minimize my downtime. If you are facing a caster mob that is going down quickly go with your least expensive opener, for 41-54ish (can be sooner depending on your spec choices) use Claw, stack four or five combo points and then finish with Ferocious Bite. If you are facing a beefier melee mob that has the stamina of Foreman and the upper cut of Tyson, stack up your 4-5 combos, one of which needs to be Rake, and then slap a Rip on them, repeat your 4-5 points and then finish with Fero Bite, remember that all of your finishing moves are increased by attack power and combo points.

I can’t stress this enough - the key to pumping the DPS on this class isn’t just mashing your abilities as soon as they come up, but watching your energy and maximizing it. Timing is everything! When you get face to face with the mob and you have attacked in stealth mode, you should already have 1-2 combo points stacked, wait for your energy to rebound and start with your claw (mangle once you spec it). Having the discipline to allow your energy bar to come up 50% or so before triggering your next combo move will ensure that you have sufficient energy to pop that finishing move for maximum effect.

Get the feel for timing this now and really reap the benefits from 70-80 and in the end game.

Level 50 Quest 

Seek out Torwa Pathfinder in Un’goro Crater for a class specific quest line that will eventually lead you to the quest “A Better Ingridient” this quest leads you into the

Sunken Temple dungeon so it’s technically not for the soloist, however it can be soloed by a level 60 Druid but at that point you will be completing it for the sake of completing it and not for the gear rewards, your choice of:

If you are unfortunate enough to get multiple mobs or feel that you’re just getting eaten up too quickly then it is probably time to switch into bear form. Bear form offers increased armor and health at the expense of some DPS, and is often the best choice for multiple mob encounters. Bear form gives you a couple extras tricks for survival with the addition of Frenzied Regeneration, I like to stack this with Enrage for a handy one-two punch that can give you the extra health needed to survive a tough encounter without having to shift into humanoid form and losing the innate protection your shape shift forms allow you. The main tenants of bear form really mostly apply to tanking mobs for a group so I won’t dwell on those, but some hints and tips for those OH CRAP! moments are in order.  Even more so than with cat form Faerie Fire (Feral) is a must in bear form, it has the same armor reduction benefit as its cat counterpart but also introduces a damage over time element that will prove useful ( also adds a threat component, but that isn’t an issue when soloing as threat doesn’t seem to be your trouble..)  Assuming that we are facing multiple enemies, as you would be in cat form if you weren’t, Swipe and Demoralizing Roar will enter the fray, and swipe should be use liberally after a demo roar has taken some of the fight out of our assailants. Bash can also be a handy tool against casters, stunning them mid cast, but it has a longer refresh compared to other abilities so try and save it for a pinch. 

Feral will continue to be the strongest solo spec all the way until 80, so hone those skills and rack up the quick kills. 

Balance 

I know, I know, you were the one who liked the Celtics when all your friends liked the Lakers. You liked Coke when all your friends drank Pepsi. I get it. If you insist on being the one who stands out from the crowd and does things their own way then soloing as a Balance spec druid could be right up your alley. Balance, while measurably slower than feral spec is still a viable solo path from 41-60, and you can continue it all the way to 80 if you so desire. The addition of Moonkin form which you can select as early as level 40 gives this spec some very sharp teeth. Unlike feral however balance tends to have a more traditional rotation. The first rotation I recommend applies to melee mobs, the balance druid’s best friend is a melee mob as you bypass their armor and can keep them at a safe distance for most, if not all of the fight. 

Start by casting Entangling Roots. This will do two beneficial things, keep the mob from wailing on you by adhering it in place and it will start the damage over time ball rolling.

Next apply Faerie Fire if you have taken the talent Improved Faerie Fire. If not, skip this step. The talent increases your chance to hit with spells and ups your critical strike chance. I recommend against taking this talent in a level 80 build but it does have some measure of usefulness in lower level ranges. Insect Swarm will be the next spell applied, followed by Moonfire to increase our number of DOTs to three. Now it's time to apply the nukes, open with Starfire and follow immediately with Wrath. At this point your root spell has expired or been blasted away by your nuke damage. If the mob is over 20% health remaining then reapply the root and back up out of melee range to repeat your rotation until the big ugly goes splat. The nuke portion of your rotation will really come into major play once you have the 41 point talent Eclipse, so getting used to the order now will make it second nature by the time you get there which should be around the mid to early fifties. The only major difference in your rotation when fighting mobs who are primarily casters (all mobs will begin to melee once they go out of mana) is the removal of the root component. Otherwise the premise of the rotation stays the same. Apply DOTs early to maximize benefit and then nuke the sucker to death before it does the same to you. Downtime will be increased when killing casters as you will need to regen HP and mana after each fight, but as your spellpower and critical percent climb the downtime will decrease. In those OH CRAP! moments as a Balance spec Druid remember to apply your DOTs quickly to the add and then go back to burning down the target with the lowest health, if you only have one add try and get it rooted, Nature's Grasp is very handy for this. More than any other spec Hurricane is excellent against multiple mobs. I don’t always recommend it as a primary mode of attack as we aren’t mages, but it can turn the tide in a close battle. If nothing else seems to be working, moonfire spam is an option (try this during PvP, your enemies will LOVE it). 

I hope I didn’t come off too harsh about choosing this spec, I personally leveled two druids through this level range recently and did one feral and one balance, the feral toon leveled much much quicker. If you are not looking to race to the level cap as quickly as possible then I highly recommend trying a mostly balance spec if it fits your playstyle. It can be extremely fun and your boomkin is a kick ass dancer. 

Restoration

Don’t do it. 

Seriously, don't spec restoration for solo leveling purposes. It’s not that you can’t win a war of attrition, it’s that they simply aren’t worth winning, they aren’t fun to watch and they are even less fun to actively participate in. No disrespect to the tuba playing population of the game, but to solo as restoration is about as interesting as a tuba solo. You’re a great support to an ensemble, but lets face it, we all really want to hear the trumpet. This spec is amazing if you group and will keep you in high demand in the end game, but for soloing it simply is not viable. A sample rotation for this spec is to rotate on your heels and speak to the trainer about relearning your talents. While both of the previous specs I discussed will need to take some talents from the restoration tree, anything more than 10-13 points spent in this tree are wasted for soloing purposes at this level range (16-17 points in a level 80 build is a viable build for feral and balance). 

Once again the druid proves to be a capable soloist in this level range as in the first forty levels. Whatever your preferred playstyle, the druid can handle it, the only truly complete hybrid in the game the Druid is the perfect class for those that love to switch it up on the fly and shift into a new perspective with ease. As long as you don’t mind spending the coin, I highly recommend tinkering with your spec and sowing your wild oats while you’re young.

Until next week, stay safe and have fun.  


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