Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dragonform Druid!

Special thanks to Syrana over at Sideshow and Syrana for this post!

You see, the Christmas gift over there was free ideas for blog posts!  Unfortunately I didn't find my way over there until after the 25th... but Syrana was nice enough to give me one anyway!

@Kaethir – Sure, you can have a topic too! :) It looks like you enjoy your shapeshifting abilities (druids do cheat! *shakes fist*)… so if you could create a new form, what would it be and what would it be its optimal use? :)

That's a tough question, because we already have forms for each of the major roles in the game, AND forms for travel, in three different ways.  So I'll take a different approach and back into a use for it...

Lore-wise, druids are all about being in tune with nature... so in-tune that they can take the form of beasts to carry out their tasks, or even the "elemental" plants.  So, where in nature could we find something that would be both cool to shapeshift into AND have a role that is not one we can already fill?

I thought first about things like elephants (sorry, Elekks) or mammoths, and while there might be an interesting idea there (transforming into a mount other players can use) I didn't think that was quite worthy, at least not on its own.  I thought about rhinocerous, but what role would it fill?  The most obvious would be a tank, but we are already bears.

Moving on, I considered small animals - but what fun would it be to shapeshift into a squirrel or raccoon?  I had a chuckle at the thought of a skunk, but... well, just no.  We already have a "small bird" flight form, and for the life of me I can't think of another interesting use for a small bird.  A BIG bird, maybe... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Tree of Life got me thinking plants...  but that seemed even less interesting than the other options.  A carnviorous plant?  Meh.

I started thinking about game mechanics, and how it could be awesome for druids to cheat even more... and I finally stumbled on an idea that I liked, and thought it would be fun even if it just gave druids another DPS option.

How awesome would it be to be able to fly in combat?  Yet another way us druids could break the rules.  So, what form could we use to fly in combat?  How about a dragon?  Then we'd get to breathe fire and still dish out the physical damage!

Some of you are probably saying that dragons aren't really beasts or animals, especially because they are intelligent creatures in WoW lore, so druids shouldn't be able to shapeshift into one.  A proto-dragon or a drake then, perhaps?

Of course, there would have to be some kind of limitation to keep us from being able to run away from any fight whenever we wanted.  We're already good enough at that.  Also, we'd have to be limited on how to use it indoors so we can't skip areas you have to run to reach, or get to areas we were never intended to get to.  Since I'm having fun with this, however, I'll leave that thorny obstacle up to Blizzard.

I envision the dragon form druid to be a hybrid ranged/melee DPS form - we're shapeshifters, we can gain a little size but we're not going to suddenly become Onyxia or Malygos.  This fits with my earlier assessment about not shapeshifting into the form of an "intelligent" creature, as we can shapeshift into something the size of the smaller drakes or Icecrown proto-dragons.  It would make sense, then, that while we have armor approximate to heavier DPS - armor bonuses of, say, 250%? - we're not going to be able to tank in this form.

Our dragon-ness is what gives us our combination of melee and ranged abilities.  We can swoop in and attack with teeth and claws... or stay flying at range and rain fire down on our enemies.  In the optimum situation, we could do a little of both, and if we are restricted from one or the other, it will hurt our output.  We could engage enemies in flight and really show our talents - continue melee on Onyxia in phase 2 - but we'd be weak if opponents managed to catch us on the ground and root us in place.  Of course, we can shapeshift out of those, but that's precious seconds we AREN'T doing what we want!

Out of combat... perhaps we COULD have another player jump on while we fly around.  Not the most incredibly useful of abilities... unless we're helping a friend take a low-level alt to all the flight masters.  Or even better, ferrying one other player with you to the meeting stone for a raid.  Then you don't have to wait for anyone else to summon!  We'd have to keep our flight speed from swift flight form for this to be remotely useful, but perhaps in combat our flight speed could be slowed.

There would, of course, be a couple other thorny issues for Blizzard to figure out, like how in the world you fit this into the already-crowded druid talent trees, but it would be a great way to make the class that much more fun and continue the time-honored druid tradition of cheating our way to the top!


  1. Ooh a dragonesque form would be fun (even if it creates more cheating :P)! I'm glad you had fun with the topic and came up with a unique answer :D

  2. We need the ability to carry other players while in flight form. When I first read this I thought you were with me. But then you got sidetracked with a whole dps flying fight form???

    Anyway, Dragon, yes, but let us shapeshift into a Dragon and then allow others to "mount up" on us! haha Give yer friend a ride!

  3. @Trae:

    I kinda felt that carrying another player or two wasn't really... enough... for an idea like this.

    But you know what, I'd take it. It would still be awesome.