Druid Leveling 4.1 – 50-60
You’re in the home stretch towards Outland, where gear is better and quests reward more xp. If you’re running dungeons, you’re going to see a lot of Blackrock Depths, which can quickly become a nightmare with the wrong group. You’ll want to spend some time catching up on any trade skills you may have neglected, and don’t fret too much over getting the best gear, as it will soon be replaced. Enjoy your time in the revamped Azeroth, because it is quickly coming to an end.
A talent point goes here. Use it to grab whatever big-ticket spell or talent you didnt grab with your last talent point.
You’ve come in to your own as a healer now, as you’ve finally gotten your two biggest AoE group heals. Wild Growth is great for when the party is taking moderate to light damage, and you can even throw it up as an extra HoT on the tank if he’s taking a lot of damage. Efflorescence is one of your best talents, so if you didn’t take it for some dumb reason, rethink that. The bloom of healing on the ground is one of the more potent group heals in the game at any level. However, it does require some forethought to use it effectively. For example, you don’t want to use Swiftmend (which triggers Efflorescence, by the way) on a lone ranged DPS standing off on his own. The group healing effect is best used on…groups of people. So, cast it where several people are standing (such as on the tank so that melee DPS will also benefit) to use it to its full advantage.
Frenzied Regeneration is another tanking cooldown for bears. If you find yourself getting your face bashed in and your healer is struggling, pop it. You will be rage starved, but it’s better than dying.
Nature’s Grasp is fun in PvP, but has its uses in PvE as well. As a healer, if I find myself being beaten on and the tank isnt quick on the uptake, I’ll pop NG to root my attacker (without using a cast time for the roots spell, when my casting time is best spent healing) and run away. The same tactic works for balance druids, or kitties who don’t want to be beaten to death.
Rip. Rip is one of those things that comes late in the game but feels like it should have come much sooner. Then again, given the massive amount of abilities feral druids get, maybe it’s best to space them out a bit. Anyway, Rip is going to become one of the most important parts of a feral cat’s DPS rotation, and learning to manage its timing properly can mean the difference between good and bad DPS. While DPS should never be anyone’s top priority at level 54, you can bet it will be the closer you get to 85, so pay attention to Rip’s utility now. Rip is a bleed effect, which means it benefits from Mangle’s bleed-enhancing debuff. You will still want to use Mangle first to apply the debuff, then use Rake for its bleed, then start building up your combo points. You will want to Rip with at least 4, optimally 5 combo points for maximum damage. Because Rip is a DoT, you will want to be sure your target will live long enough to see it through. Don’t bother to Rip non-elite trash in a dungeon, for example, because they live about 10 seconds total and by the time you get Rip up they will be dead. Do Rip on bosses and harder trash mobs. Watch Rip’s timer and be sure you have combo points ready to refresh it when it expires (if your target is even still alive).
A talent point!
…nothing. Uh…continue on.
Barkskin is a defensive cooldown useful to all specs, though you’ll likely use it the most if you tank. The 1 minute cooldown means you’ll never have to worry about blowing it at the wrong time, and because it is useable in all forms you will never be popped out of bear or cat form when you use it.
At this point you are eligible to pass through the Dark Portal into Outland. It’s your call whether you go or stay, but considering that the newly revamped questing experience in Azeroth is (at least in popular opinion) vastly superior to Outland now, you might consider staying in Azeroth for a few more levels. You’ll want to move on at 60, though.
Congratulations. You’ll finally be able to purchase flight form (which is probably the best thing to happen to a gathering druid). A few fun things about druid flight form:
- You can pick flowers while in flight form. However, you must be “landed” on the ground.
- Survey (for archaeologists) will pop you out of flight form, but you can still use it while landed which makes for quick transport between dig sites.
- You can loot corpses and items that have a cogwheel mouse icon without being landed. This makes things so much faster!
- You can cast flight form while moving. Particularly useful while falling…
- Night elves can use their racial, Shadowmeld, to exit combat (such as combat gained while mining/herbing a node) to quickly get back into flight form.
- If you have ornery friends who like to kick you off two-person mounts mid air (or if for any reason you find yourself in mid air…) you have an instant cast flying mount to save you.
- You look badass.
If you haven’t done so already, clear your quest logs and auction your old-world wares and head to Outland. In Outland, dungeon quests are no longer available just inside the instance portal like they were in Azeroth. You’ll have to do a bit of questing and digging to get your hands on them. Outland also puts a stop to reputation gains via faction tabards in dungeons. You’ll earn reputation for different Outland factions instead. However, you can still queue for and get reputation from level 60 Azeroth dungeons, so feel free to do so if you have a reputation close to exalted and want to finish it up.
It’s about that time when you begin to earn guild rep, and you’ll earn more guild rep for your time if you quest in addition to running dungeons as opposed to just running dungeons. When I hit Outland I had about 400 rep earned towards my guild and was earning 6 rep per quest turn in. Bear in mind my guild is level 25, so I get increased gains anyway.
Enjoy your time in Outland. It will be brief.