1-60 Druid Leveling Guide by Kargoz



  • 1-60 Druid Leveling Guide by Kargoz

    Class Overview, Talents, Rotation, Gear Progression, Tips & Tricks

    Video

    Youtube Video

    Introduction

    Greetings Prospective Druid, my name is Kargoz and I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for a long time. Starting my journey in late 2004, I’ve since leveled multiple classes to 60 on various Vanilla realms, including Nostalrius, Anathema, Zeth’kur, Lightbringer, and most recently on Northdale. I’ve learned through the years that leveling is probably my favorite aspect of the game, particularly speed leveling, and finding ways to beat my personal best. The amazing thing about Classic WoW is that leveling is a huge part of the experience!
    In order to ensure accuracy I consulted multiple Druid players such as Shedo, Mobia, Scylla, Skepticon, Unusual, Keftenk, Talespinner, Serendipitys and Taladril! My sincerest thanks to everyone who contributed something to this project, your collective understanding of all things Druid was invaluable. I am thrilled to present this Comprehensive Druid Leveling Guide for World of Warcraft 1.12!

    Class Overview

    Druids are hyper efficient Tier 1 levelers with low gear dependance and the highest movement speed in the game. Druids have excellent starting area progression in a Fresh Realm Environment due to the reduced congestion of both Mulgore and Teldrassil. At level 10, Druids get a big power spike through Bear Form allowing them to kill faster with indefinite sustain. Druids get Cat Form at level 20 and soon after 2/2 Improved Cat Form, giving them an astounding 30% static movement speed increase when outdoors. This speed is incredibly valuable early on, and when paired with the ability to Self Heal and Prowl (Stealth), offer Druids advantages that no other class have. Druids are capable of competently performing as a Tank, DPS, or Healer throughout the entirety of the leveling process. Bear Tanks have easy, on demand, high threat AoE in the form of Swipe and threat generation that is multiplicative as opposed to additive. Cat DPS is quite strong during the leveling stages and offers great group utility in the form of a combat Battle Rez, off Heals, off Tanking and more. As Healers, Druids are best utilized alongside another member of the party that can freely resurrect as they are restricted to Rebirth, primarily a battle rez on a long cooldown. Druids really shine when it comes to questing more so than grinding as it makes the best use of their increased movement speed, finesse with Stealth, and Single Target damage. Druids are one of the most underrated and underrepresented classes in Classic but don’t be fooled by the supposed “Hybrid Tax”. In the right hands Druids are highly capable in every aspect the game has to offer and I highly recommend giving them a shot.

    Druid Leveling Pros & Cons

    Pros

    Tier 1 Leveling Speed
    Highest Movement Speed in the Game
    Amazing Questers
    Low Gear Dependance
    High Sustain
    Strong Self Healing
    Decent Crowd Control
    Can Tank, DPS, or Heal
    Can Stealth
    Forms offer Dynamic Gameplay
    Hard to kill in Open World PvP

    Cons

    Slow Start from Lvls 1-10
    Mediocre ST Kill Speed 40+
    Subpar Grinding Efficiency
    No “Regular” Resurrection.

    Druid Combat

    The general flow of Druid Combat from Level 10 onwards when you get your first animal form looks something like this:

    1. Spend a burst of mana on damage or healing then swap to animal form and engage your target(s). Your mana will start to naturally regenerate even while you use abilities in Cat / Bear since these abilities cost Rage or Energy. It is vitally important that this mana regeneration is tracked by way of an addon such as Druid Bar.

    2. Continue to engage and kill targets, usually 2-3 until your mana is close to being 100% again. As it’s nearing 100%, pop out of animal form back into to caster form.

    3. At this point you want to spend your mana again on something productive. You can spend it on damage to your next target through Wrath / Moonfire, Roll a couple HotS, or even just Re-buff yourself. Swap back to animal form - Rinse and Repeat.

    Travel Form Speed vs 60% Mount

    Values Courtesy of Mobia

    When does it become more efficient to ride your 60% mount to your next objective versus using Cat Form with 2/2 Feline Swiftness?
    1.4t = 1.6(t-3) VS. 1.3t = 1.6(t-3)

    If you plan to ride for 13 seconds or longer upon finishing your 3 second mount cast time.
    Therefore, if your next point of travel is 16 seconds or less away you should use Cat Form to get there instead.
    When does it become more efficient to ride your 60% mount to your next objective versus using Travel Form?

    If you plan to ride for 21 seconds or longer upon finishing your 3 second mount cast time.

    Therefore, if your next point of travel is 24 seconds or less away you should use Travel Form to get there instead.

    Tips

    Your mana will continue to regenerate naturally while in animal forms. Rage or energy based abilities will not prevent mana per the 5 second rule to be interrupted.
    Use Teleport Moonglade as a second Hearthstone. Set your Hearthstone to wherever you are questing, then Teleport Moonglade when you need to go back to a major city for training.
    Bear Form is incredibly strong at all stages of the leveling experience. By sitting in Bear form in potentially dangerous areas you shave off a minor amount of kill speed for a dramatic increase in survivability.
    Rank 4 Healing Touch is the most mana efficient healing spell in the game.
    Entangling Roots and Travel Form are only usable Outdoors.
    5/5 Furor will allow you to swap Bear and immediately have enough rage to charge, making Feral Charge a much much better tool.

    Druid Specific Tips

    Shifting into a Form counts as a spell which affects your mana regen whereas shifting out does not.
    As you level be sure to save any pieces with Intellect or Spirit so you can always have a Healing set on hand for group content.
    If your mana is full while you are in animal forming killing mobs you are likely misplaying. As soon as your mana is full you should pop out into caster form and find something productive to do with it whether that be HoTs, Wrath, Moonfire, Rebuffing yourself.
    Keep things constantly regenerating.
    Bleed damage bypasses armor so it is effectively pure damage.
    There are no diminishing returns on mobs with entangling roots.
    Swipe is not connected to your auto attacks whereas Maul is connected like Heroic Strike.
    You don’t want to cast Ferocious Bite unless you have 5 points and low energy as it drains all of your energy.

    Useful Addons

    Druid Bar / Druid Mana Bar <- Click for Link to Addon(s)
    Movable mana bar that keeps track of your current mana, even in a shapeshifted form like bear or cat. This is super important.

    Energy Tracker <- Click for Link to Addon
    Addon that tracks ticks in your energy regeneration.

    XP / Hr Tracker <- Click for Link to Addon
    Track your leveling efficiency with precision. You will have insights such as EPH (XP / Hour), EPM (XP / Minute), and Average XP per kill.

    Outfitter <- Click for Link to Addon
    Addon allows you to swap gear back and forth easily.
    This is useful for switching into your Spirit Set
    between combat to reduce regeneration downtime.

    Life 1-10

    Mediocre leveling speed in this bracket. Front load spells, usually 1-2 Wraths followed by Melee animation cancel into Moonfire, then finish mobs with melee attacks to get natural mana regeneration ticking again ASAP.

    Moonfire or Rejuv immediately after your melee auto attack connects as you can cast these instants without delaying your next swing more than a .1 or .2s.

    You will primarily use Healing touch to recover at this stage as you get Regrowth at 10. Rejuvenation should be front loaded right after a casted ability.

    To survive and kill multiple mobs focus all mana usage on burst healing, then auto attacking for a while to regen letting thorns slowly widdle mobs down. Rinse and repeat.

    Alliance Bear Form Quest

    Start Quest at Kal the Druid Trainer in Dolanaar, Teldrassil (Coords 56,60).
    Go to Darnassus, set your Hearthstone there, then talk to Mathrengyl (Coords 35, 8).
    Teleport Moonglade and talk to Dendrite Starblaze (Coords 56,29).

    Talk to the Great Bear Spirit to the left of the building (Coords 38.7, 27.2).

    Hearthstone back to Darnassus and talk to Mathrengyl (Coords 35, 8).

    He will send you to fight a Moonkin named Lunaclaw in Auberdine.

    To find the Moonkin Stone, go to a cave in Darkshore east of Auberdine ( Coords 43 , 61)

    Go back to Mathrengyl in Darnassus and get Bear Form (Coords 35, 8)!

    Horde Bear Form Quest

    Start Quest at Gennia Runetotem, Druid trainer in Bloodhoof Village, Mulgore (Coords 50,62)
    Go to Thunder Bluff, set your Hearthstone there, talk to Turak Runetotem (Coords 75, 27).

    Teleport Moonglade and talk to Dendrite Starblaze (Coords 56,29).

    Talk to the Great Bear Spirit to the left of the building (Coords 38.7, 27.2).

    Hearthstone back to Thunder Bluff and talk to Turak Runetotem (Coords 75, 27).

    He will send you to fight a Moonkin named Lunaclaw in the Barrens.

    To find the Moonkin Stone, take the road from Mulgore to the Barrens ( Coords 41.9 , 60.9)

    Go back to Turak Runetotem in Thunder Bluff and get Bear Form (Coords 75, 27)!

    Life 10-20

    Big power spike in leveling speed at level 10 when Bear Form comes online. Maul does pretty high damage and should be used over Swipe even when fighting 2+ mobs. You can use Swipe if you have excess rage and you are fighting 3+.

    Against a Single Targets use Enrage on CD as the downside of 27% Base Armor Reduction is negligible. Consider pooling rage and interrupting with Bash when against caster mobs.

    Against Multiple Targets forego using Enrage as your added damage vs damage taken is likely no longer efficient. Instead use Demoralizing Roar against 2+ mobs to decrease enemy Attack Power.

    Life 20-31

    While you get Cat Form at 20, there will be many instances in this level bracket where it’s preferable to sit in Bear Form. One reason is that you don’t have an efficient finisher for your combo points in Cat Form at stage and don’t even get Shred till 22. Secondly, you are penalized more swapping from Caster to Cat than Caster to Bear as you start with potentially 0 energy as Furor isnt 5/5 till 27.

    At 24 you get Rake. At this point you should start opening with it as your first combo point.

    26+ use Dash on Cooldown for 50% speed increase when you know you will be running for 15 seconds straight. You also get Travel Form at 30 and this should be used whenever out of combat moving to and from objectives.

    Life 32-60

    You get Faerie Fire (Feral) at 31 and Ferocious Bite at 32 which is your first efficient finisher to use with your combo points. Claw / Shred to 4 combo points then Ferocious Bite.

    Cat Form really starts to shine once Feral Faerie Fire and Ferocious Bite come online and should be prioritized more.

    You get Pounce at 36 offering you a 2 second stunlock opener if need be.

    Talent Options:

    Kargoz’s Feral Balance

    Noteworthy Aspects: 5/5 Feral Aggression, 5/5 Furor before 1/1 Nature’s Grasp, 3/3 Natural Shapeshifter, 0/2 Imp Shred. Getting 2/2 Blood Fury right as you hit 32 for Ferocious Bite.

    Start in Feral Tree:
    5/5 Ferocity -> 5/5 Feral Aggression-> 2/2 Feline Swiftness

    Proceed into Restoration Tree: 5/5 Furor

    Proceed into Balance Tree: 1/1 Nature’s Grasp

    Proceed back into Feral Tree:
    3/3 Sharpened Claws -> 2/2 Blood Frenzy -> 1/1 Feral Charge -> 2/3 Predatory Strikes -> 1/1 Feral Faerie Fire -> 2/2 Savage Fury -> 3/3 Predatory Strikes -> 1/2 Brutal Impact -> 5/5 HotW -> 1/1 Leader of the Pack.

    Proceed back into Balance Tree:
    4/4 Imp. Nature’s Grasp -> 5/5 Natural Weapons -> 1/1 Omen of Clarity -> 3/3 Natural Shapeshifter -> Respec at 60

    What is Front Shredding?

    Front Shredding refers to a clever manipulation of game mechanics which allow you to use Shred from the front. Shred deals a whopping 225% Damage plus bonus damage, however, the drawback is that you are only able to use it from behind.

    Steps:

    Get as close to the mob as you possibly can without it backing up, basically hover right on top of it.

    Begin a tight strafing pattern back and forth left and right with strides just long enough for the mob to appear like it’s turning directions exposing its back.

    Bind Shred to something easily spammable. I highly recommend Scroll up or down on the mousewheel.

    While strafing back and forth spam your Shred. If done correctly you should have opportunities while strafing back and forth to use Shred from the front.
    Your initial attempt to get the Front Shred off can potentially be unsuccessful before your next energy tick. To hedge your bet against wasting energy ticks start the fight with Tiger’s Fury to give yourself some buffer time to get the Front Shred off.

    Serendipity’s Front Shred Speed Build

    Levels: 10-19
    Noteworthy Aspects:

    The Flat damage increase through Natural Weapons will provide better pound for pound value then the rage reduction of Ferocity in Feral Combat. Also a fast Nature’s Grasp can help increase survivability.

    This is a Front Shredding Build optimized for maximum speed.

    Start in Balance Tree:
    1/1 Nature’s Grasp -> 4/4 Imp. Nature’s Grasp -> 5/5 Natural Weapons

    Serendipity’s Front Shred Speed Build

    Respec at 20 to:
    5/5 Ferocity -> 5/5 Thick Hide -> 1/2 Feral Swiftness

    Proceed as Follows through Feral Tree:
    2/2 Feral Swiftness -> 3/3 Sharpened Claws -> 2/2 Imp. Shred -> 3/3 Predatory Strikes -> 1/1 Feral Faerie Fire

    Proceed into Balance Tree:
    1/1 Nature’s Grasp -> 4/4 Imp. Nature’s Grasp -> 5/5 Natural Weapons -> 1/1 Omen of Clarity

    Proceed into Restoration Tree:
    5/5 Furor

    Proceed into Balance Tree: 3/3 Natural Shapeshifter

    Proceed back into Feral Tree:
    2/2 Blood Frenzy -> 2/2 Savage Fury -> 5/5 HotW -> 1 Leader of the Pack

    Taladril’s Feral Balance

    Noteworthy Aspects: 5/5 Feral Instincts > Aggression, 1/1 Nature’s Grasp before 5/5 Furor, 3/3 Imp. Thorns, 0/2 Imp Shred. Getting 2/2 Blood Fury right as you hit 32 for Ferocious Bite.

    Start in Feral Tree:
    5/5 Ferocity -> 5/5 Feral Instinct-> 2/2 Feline Swiftness

    Proceed into Balance Tree: 1/1 Nature’s Grasp

    Proceed into Restoration Tree: 5/5 Furor

    Proceed back into Feral Tree:
    1/1 Feral Charge -> 3/3 Sharpened Claws -> 2/2 Blood Frenzy -> 2/3 Predatory Strikes -> 1/1 Feral Faerie Fire -> 2/2 Savage Fury -> 3/3 Predatory Strikes -> 1/2 Brutal Impact -> 5/5 HotW -> 1/1 Leader of the Pack.

    Proceed back into Balance Tree:
    4/4 Imp. Nature’s Grasp -> 5/5 Natural Weapons -> 1/1 Omen of Clarity -> 3/3 Improved Thorns -> Respec at 60

    Shedo’s Feral Balance

    Noteworthy Aspects: 1/1 Nature’s Grasp First, 2/2 Brutal Impact, 3/5 Feral Instinct > Aggression, 2/2 Imp. Shred

    Start in Balance Tree: 1/1 Nature’s Grasp

    Proceed to Feral Tree:
    5/5 Ferocity -> 2/2 Brutal Impact -> 3/5 Feral Instinct-> 2/2 Feline Swiftness -> 1/1 Feral Charge

    Proceed into Restoration Tree: 5/5 Furor

    Proceed back into Feral Tree:
    3/3 Sharpened Claws -> 2/2 Blood Frenzy -> 2/3 Predatory Strikes-> 1/1 Feral Faerie Fire -> 3/3 Predatory Strikes -> 2/2 Savage Fury -> 4/5 Feral Instinct -> 5/5 HotW -> 1/1 Leader of the Pack

    Proceed back into Balance Tree:
    4/4 Imp. Nature’s Grasp -> 5/5 Natural Weapons -> 1/1 Omen of Clarity -> 3/3 Natural Shapeshifter -> Respec at 60

    Feral into NS Resto
    Noteworthy Aspects: 5/5 Feral Aggression , 1/1 Nature’s Grasp before 5/5 Furor, 0/2 Imp Shred, 3/3 Reflection, 5/5 Tranquil Spirit, 1/1 Nature’s Swiftness, 2/2 Enrage

    Start in Feral Tree:
    5/5 Ferocity -> 5/5 Feral Aggression -> 2/2 Feline Swiftness

    Proceed into Balance Tree: 1/1 Nature’s Grasp

    Proceed into Restoration Tree: 5/5 Furor

    Proceed back into Feral Tree:
    1/1 Feral Charge -> 3/3 Sharpened Claws -> 2/2 Blood Frenzy -> 2/3 Predatory Strikes -> 1/1 Feral Faerie Fire -> 2/2 Savage Fury -> 3/3 Predatory Strikes

    Proceed back into Restoration Tree:
    5/5 Improved Healing Touch -> 3/3 Reflection -> 2/2 Enrage -> 5/5 Tranquil Spirit -> 1/1 Nature’s Swiftness

    Proceed back into Feral Tree:
    1/2 Brutal Impact -> 4/5 Heart of the Wild

    Leveling Stat Priority

    Agility > Strength > Stamina > Intellect > Spirit
    While stacking Strength at first glance might seem better than Agility, at low levels the AP gained from stats doesn’t translate very well into faster kill speed. The AP power curve is linear requiring substantial amounts of AP to go from let’s say: 12 hits to kill a mob to 11 hits. At least by stacking crit you can sometimes get lucky and get occasional high tempo burst damage. Crit also becomes significantly more valuable once Blood Frenzy talents comes online.
    14 AP = 7 Strength = 14 Agi = 1 DPS

    Stamina’s effect on a Druid in all forms:
    Increases Hit Points by 10 per 1 point of Stamina.

    Strength’s effect on both Cat Form and Bear Form:
    Increases Attack Power by 2 per 1 point of Strength.

    Agility’s effect on both Cat Form and Bear Form:
    Increases Druid’s Cat Form Attack Power by 1 per point of Agility. 20 Agility is equal to 1% Crit and 1% Dodge. In Bear Form Agility doesn’t provide Attack Power.

    Intellect: Increases Mana by 15 Points per 1 point of Intellect.
    Spirit: Increases Out of Combat Health / Mana Regen Rate.

    Noteworthy Feral Gear

    Tunic of Westfall - Chest -Lvl 14 - Dungeon Quest Reward “The Defias Brotherhood” Deadmines
    Triprunner Dungarees - Pants - Lvl 25 - Dungeon Quest Reward “The Grand Betrayal” Gnomeregan
    Loksey’s Training Stick - Staff - Lvl 31 - 10% Drop off Houndmaster Loksey Scarlet Monastery
    Ironshod Bludgeon - Staff - Lvl 37 - 20% Drop off Ironaya in Uldaman
    Mason’s Fraternity Ring - Ring - Lvl 40 - Dungeon Quest Reward “Divino-matic Rod” Zul’Farrak
    Wolfshead Helm - Head - Lvl 40 - Crafted by Leatherworkers - Great for Powershifting
    Warden Staff - Staff - Lvl 43 - BoE Epic Weapon .025% Chance World Drop
    Devilsaur Gauntlets - Hands - Lvl 53 - BoE Rare Crafted by Leatherworkers
    Devilsaur Leggings - Legs - Lvl 55 - BoE Rare Crafted by Leatherworkers

    Closing Thoughts

    Thank you so much for your time - I hope this guide was of some help!

    If you have further questions you can contact me in our community discord:

    discord.gg/r9cVrzJ

    About the Author

    I am an entrepreneur, U.S. Army soldier, and lifelong gamer from NYC and currently living in San Francisco. I stream and make video content on YouTube primarily for WoW Classic. I hope to continue to build my channel and this project and to become a positive influence in the Classic WoW community. I hope that more people can enjoy the same life changing experience I had when I stepped into Azeroth for the first time at age 13.


  • Druid Alliance Initiate

    Awesome as all your guides are. What do you think about the viability of feral DPS in high end?


  • Founder Druid Alliance

    It's decent but to be decent you have to be super try hard. It'd mean farming a lot of Manual Crowd Pummeler.


  • Initiate

    Great guide, thanks 🙂
    Quick question though, The NAtural Weapons talent, when it says all "forms" does this include caster? So will it increase meleee dps when in caster form?