General Druid Playbook

EQ related discussion about Druid life in general.
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Daldaen
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:28 pm

General Druid Playbook

Post by Daldaen » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:00 am

Healing/Support

Our primary role in raiding. The way that most all raid guilds utilize their druids.

To maximize your potential healing you want to get these type 3 augs before starting:

Salus Faycite Shard: Benevida -- 200 Dream Motes + Amiable Faction/T3 HoT flagged
Salus Faycite Shard: Adrenaline Blast -- 200 Dream Motes + Amiable Faction/T3 HoT flagged
ISalus Faycite Shard: Survival of the Propitious -- 200 Dream Motes + Amiable Faction/T3 HoT flagged


A list of our core heals:

Singles:
Benevida - Backbone of healing. 3.75 cast (2.2 fully reduced), No recharge
Adrenaline Blast - Old 'fast' heal, our largest single heal. 1.8 cast, 15 recast
Rejuvilation - New fast heal, tad higher value than Benevida, 0.5 cast, 12 recast
Promised Replenishment - Promised line, procs a heal after 21~ seconds. 0.5 cast, 15 recast (refreshing on target before it ends, yields no heal)

Groups
Lunamelioration - Backbone of group healing. 4.5 cast (2.7 fully reduced), 12 recast
Survival of the Propitious - Emergency heal. With a lucky critical and RNG help, you can bring a group member from 10% to full health in a single cast. 0.5 cast, 90 recast (if you have Fortified Survival maxed... you should).

Support

Untamed Growth - Large HP buff. Duration 2.5 min (5.5min fully extended + AAs), Recast 75 seconds.
Shell of the Reptile - Proc buff that procs a small ATK/AC debuff on mob that is attacking target, and reflects a heal + HoT on target. (Little aside to this, on mobs that you can't / shouldn't cast spells or fire on -- SS5 or Masked Invaders greken --, don't use this. The proc triggers the 'bad' mechanics that casting on said mobs incurs)


As with basically everything else our class does, the way we heal, is largely dependant on the raid and group setup we are given.

For example if your guild has 13 clerics in the raid, there is almost 0 reason for you to be healing the main tank. If your raid has only 2 clerics in the raid and you are in a tank group, that best be your only focus. Obviously this isn't a set in stone thing, but use your judgment and common sense. If you have lots of clerics, you probably don't need to devote your entire time to healing. Do other stuff that benefits the raid or expediates it. If you are in a group that is composed of tanks and clerics, you will want to be healing, etc.


Healing Protips:

1. Learn to EXPECT damage spikes. You shouldn't mindlessly chain heals on a tank to keep them alive. You want to have your heals timed to be landing when the tank actually NEEDS it (IE directly after the mob swings/AEs). MOST of the time, you aren't healing your target at the HP you see when you cast your spell, you're healing your target's HP 1-2 rounds from then. - This is referring tank healing, (read #3 to see what I mean)

2. Learn to utilize your group heals. Just because they are group heals does not mean they cannot be used on just 1 or 2 players. If you have a group full of 5 players at max health and 1 player at 20% health, Survival IS the BEST course of action you can take to save them. Even if the rest of your group doesn't benefit. If you have two players at 50% and the rest at full health, Lunameloriation is an excellent option to fix both of their health issues and get back to what you were doing.

3. Understand the types of healing. There is tank healing, and non-tank healing. Tank healing, meaning, the player you are healing is constantly getting melee rounds and environmental effects that will continually lower their HP. Non-tank healing means they will largely be taking damage in packets far more spread out than those that a tank would take.

Tank healing = every 1-2 seconds they are taking a melee round and every XX seconds they take a hit from an AE DD/DoT

Tank healing you need to be PROACTIVE. Healing what they will need in the future, not what they need in the present

Non-Tank healing = every XX seconds they are taking a hit from an AE DD/DoT, on occasion taking a spike from over aggro / adds that are uncontrolled etc.

Non-Tank Healing you need to be REACTIVE. Healing the AoE damage they take, saving them from overaggroing stupidness / adds that are loose etc. (You can be proactive here if you are watching the landscape. IE if an add is charging the wizard in your group, start that heal on him before it gets their or casting a group heal before a timed AE goes off etc.)

4. Understand the main uses of the heals at your disposal:

Benevida - This is our bread and butter heal. The spell feels slow compared to all our fast heals but it gets the most done out of them all. This is the spell you need to learn to understand its timing the most. It's timing usually is such that a mob has completed about 1-1.5 attack rounds from the start of your casting to the end of your casting. This is a spell that when cast you shouldn't try to be healing the players current health, you should be anticipating their health in the future, and covering that.

Adrenaline Blast - This spell is in a weird place currently. It was previously our reaction heal, which was replaced by the spell below this. It also has a buff confliction from the proc if your tanks are using Shining Rampart -- Given they don't buff block the proc --. As is it is falling out of favor *slightly* but it is still a very solid tool in our healing repertoire. This spell casts fast enough that you are only healing a tank about 1 round in the future, making it a solid mix into a general heal twist. Where I find myself using this spell the most is as a repositioning of my timing:

For example if I notice my Benevida's are landing at a time where they are doing nothing I have two options. I can either pause, wait half a second inbetween casts and then cast my Benevida such that it is landing at a more favorable time (IE when the tank needs the health).... OR I can cast Adrenaline instead of a Benevida, readjusting my timing as I do it due to the 1.8 second cast time on Adrenaline vs. the 2.2 second cast time on Benevida.

It can also be used as a more slow reactive heal, but with a bigger kick to it. If a group member who isn't in immediate danger is at low health, not low enough to warrant a Survival but low enough that Benevida won't top them off, Adrenaline is useful for that.


Rejuvilation - ALWAYS ON SPELL BAR NO EXCEPTIONS - This is our single target emergency heal. If a tank gets a large damage spike, this is your primary heal to use. It is fast enough to catch many damage spikes you will see in the raid or group game that are catchable. This and the spell bellow are the only spells we have that you are aiming to heal the player's current health, and generally will want to be used as such.

Bind your Rejuvilation spell gem to a hotkey that is easily accessible, personally mine is '1'. If you notice a tank goes from 100-20% in a single round, you want this to be a very very fast reaction that you take to try and save that tanks life.

Survival of the Propitious - ALWAYS ON SPELL BAR NO EXCEPTIONS - This spell has several uses. Personally I try to reserve this for personal healing, heavy AoE damage cover and non tank spike damage. Meaning, if I get a mob or a spell that hits me down to low health, I don't want to be fumbling with my mouse or tapping F1 then tapping another key to hit a heal, time wasted = dead druid.

Bind your Survival line spell gem to a hotkey that is easily accessible, personally mine is '8'. Much faster than hitting F1 + Alt 8 or whatever for a self Rejuvilation or self Adrenaline Blast etc.

Events/mobs that are extremely heavy in AoE damage is another area where this spell gets utilized quite often. Princess Klaknak in Al'Kabor with its large PBAE DD + DoT for example. Miragul when poorly positioned or any other raid where your group comes under extreme AE DD + DoT fire, Survival is able to cap off your group in nearly an instant, such that you can time to Radiant Cure off a DoT or toss a Lunameloriation to cover the next DD wave, etc.

When I said 'non tank spike damage' above this is another example of trying to save time when time is of the essence. If a player in your group grabs aggro on a mob or gets heavily damage by DDs + DoTs, the last thing you want to do is waste time hitting F# to target that group member and then casting a single heal on them. Many times by the time you get to that they are dead. Group heals are a GREAT way of making sure you are fufilling your healing role without having to change targets from the main tank who you are also trying to keep alive or the boss who you are trying to debuff whatever.

Lunamelioration - This is our main group heal line. It has a 12 second recast so it cannot be chain casted, however it is fast enough such that it is usually up to cover most all group healing situations well. One strength of this spell is that its heal amount is roughly equivalent to a Benevida. Due to our excellent mana preservation abilities between Wolf Forms / Shawl / Specilization Alt (and the Spec Alt Aug), mana isn't really an issue... so this spell can be used for counter intuitive purposes. For example it can be used to not draw your focus away from your target (whether it be a mob or a tank), but still healing your group.... just think of it as a Benevida that doesn't require you to target your group member AND a group heal, rather than just a group heal. And you will get many more uses out of it than you need --- This is largely for non tank groups, if you are in a tank group you probably won't want to be using it like this.

Promised Replenishment - This spell I use very rarely, about only on fights where I cannot DPS or where getting Line of Sight / keeping it is a pain (Cazic Thule can be like this, Al'Kabor can be depending on group also and SS5 definitely since he cannot be cast on with any reliability). The strength of the spell... is it isn't a merc spell. Many tanks seems to block Promised line because mercs use it too much and don't use direct heals enough (from my observations), they don't really block the druid line. The drawback is, it takes up a precious buff slot. To each their own, I know many druids are very proficient with the use of the spell line, I prefer to use is very rarely however.


Support Protip: Assign every Warrior a Druid/Shaman to look after (given they aren't in a tank group already). Maintain Untamed Growth on said Warrior the entire time. You want to be refreshing it every ~2-3minutes so it doesn't dip bellow its maximum HP increase too much (every tic bellow 2.5minutes the HP increase starts to diminish. You want to stop this from happening). Knights have their own line they should maintain that.



Debuffing

Debuffing as a druid is largely dependant on how many druids your raid has, what the average RA of your druids are, and how your guild uses druids as a whole (Main healers, support healer + DPS, all out DPS with ability to keep group healed etc.)

Something we do, that I would suggest to others who often have a high RA% among your druids is assign debuffs. Every time they are at the raid, they do debuff X. Leave your most skilled/competent druid as the freeforall debuffer. Filling in when another druid is missing or is dead or is slacking. The more aware the player is, the better they are for that role.

Protip: If you don't intend on DPSing the mob or forsee the need for you to burn it, pop Acute Focus of the Arcanum at engage, to ensure your debuffs land.

Protip2: Adds in most raids generally don't live long enough to warrant being debuffed by spells. But if they do still put out a beating it is useful to F8 and cast Blessing of Ro inbetween casts. Since it is an AA it won't detract from your healing/DPSing/other duties much if at all. The 1.5 second cast time on the AA makes it ideal for fitting in between spells.

Our standard setup is 3 druids in the raid, occasionally just 2. Due to this we assign AAs like so:

Grasp of Ro - Druid A
Bracing Breath - Druid B
Argent Frost - Druid C

You want whoever is the 'B' druid to be quick with the debuff, as C can't reliably cast and land Argent until Bracing has landed.

If you are running with 2 druids:

Grasp of Ro - Druid A
Bracing Breath - Druid B
Argent Frost - Druid B


Get in the habit of recognizing long lasting fights. Our main 3 debuffs last for 12~minutes extended. So in fights such as Cazic Thule or Terris Thule with low DPS they may wear off if not recasted. Your goal is to never ever let this happen. Generally I pop one of the Wolf Forms at or before engage on any boss. If I get to the point where that wolf form has refreshed, and the boss isn't going to die in the next several minutes, I need to refresh my Debuff just incase. You can use other standards of measuring like using Acute Focus of the Arcanum on engage. If you let that refresh, you need to refresh your debuff also.



Debuffing Burn Mobs ONLY:

Including the debuffs above, you'll want to toss these on.

Skin to Leaves - Druid A
Gelid Moonbeam - Druid B
Scorching Sunray - Druid C

Depending on your guild you may opt to use Feralescence over Skin to Leaves in most encounters if the mob hits hard and you'd like a little edge to cut off its DPS or if your DPS is highly melee oriented and would benefit more from it. Skin and Feralescence have a weird stacking order.... I believe Feral has to land 1st for Skin to be allowed to land. Feral cannot be cast and land on a mob already debuffed with Skin.

You will want to see my DPSing guide bellow on when to cast the last 2 burn debuffs (IE while under Twincast, to maximize their Empathy/Debuffing/DPSing components).


DPSing

Okay, new post for burning with HoT AAs/Spells.

Spells are Blue
Items are Green and their effects are Purple
AAs are Yellow
Optional AAs are Red

You will want to pick up several Type 3 augments before trying to max your burns. You will need 3 definitely, 2 as more optional and 1 just a bonus.

To get most you merely need 1000 Dream Motes, be T3 flagged in HoT and have Amiable Faction.

Irae Faycite Shard: Winter's Pyre -- 200 Dream Motes + Amiable Faction/T3 HoT flagged --Used every burn
Irae Faycite Shard: Summer Prominence -- 200 Dream Motes + Amiable Faction/T3 HoT flagged -- Used every burn
Irae Faycite Shard: Annihilate the Divergent -- 200 Dream Motes + Amiable Faction/T3 HoT flagged -- Extremely situational, vs. constructs/elementals only. (Lord Silfore -- SS4)


Irae Faycite Shard: Horde of Scoriae -- 200 Dream Motes + Amiable Faction/T3 HoT flagged -- Short burn fights aren't worth using this DoT due to its duration.
Irae Faycite Shard: Nature's Incenerating Wrath -- 200 Dream Motes + Amiable Faction/T3 HoT flagged -- Used rarely

Irae Faycite Shard: Harvesting Inferno -- 15k + Ally Faction with FoScale Theme Dragons -- This is from a discontinued spell line however the nuke is still relevant, being quite useful at a 1.0 second cast time.

Before we the boss is even pulled/active (Kilrek in Conv 5, Al'Kabor, Deepsea Leviathan in SS3, Lord Silfore in SS4 for example) or burn stage activated cast about 1 minute before hand:

Frostfell Aura/Wildfire Aura
Tonic of Resonant Elemental XIII/XIV/XV (Requiring Aderirse Bur / Cosgrove Dust / Dream Dust as its droppable component before hand)

While the boss is incoming Precast:

Acute Focus of the Arcanum
Silent Casting
Group Spirit of the Black Wolf
Nature's Fury
First Spire of Nature

A hotkey for these:

/alt activate 1668
/pause 2, /alt activate 494
/pause 28-18, /alt activate 10397 (The pause amount depends on what rank of Quickened Silent Casting you have)
/pause 2, /alt activate 386
/pause 2, /alt activate 1480



Then cast your Debuffs, whatever your assigned are (even if you have DoTs). Demem them for DPS spells if necessary, mem 1 at a time standing up to cast inbetween and then mem another while the universal cooldown works.

*IF* you have Scorching Sunray / Gelid Moonbeam, use spell twincast and fit those in BEFORE Horde/Sunbrand.

Cast:


--Optional AA-- Glyph of Cataclysm --Optional AA--
Twincast
--Optional Item-- Claw of Frost (Icy Tunic, OMM) --Optional Item--
Horde of Scoriae
--Optional AA-- Intensity of the Resolute --Optional AA-
--AA-- Storm Strike --AA--
Sunbrand
--Item-- Seradi's Sagacity (SoD T4.5 BP) --Item--
Cyclonic Hail
--Item-- Season's Fury (Epic 2.0/2.5) --Item--
Remote Sunflare
--AA-- Nature's Guardian --AA--
--AA-- Forceful Rejuvination --AA--
Cyclonic Hail
--Optional Item-- Glitterfrost (Woven Bramble Tunic, PoR Group BP) --Optional Item--
Remote Sunflare
--Optional Item-- Glitterfrost (Everliving Bramble Tunic, PoR Raid BP) --Optional Item--
Winter's Pyre
Summer's Prominence
Improved Twincast


Chain cast,
Cyclonic Hail
Winter's Pyre
Summer's Prominence
Winter's Pyre

Refreshing Sunbrand/Horde if them seem viable according to the HP of burn mob. At 10% left they aren't worth casting with 25% on a 100second burn, Sunbrand is worth casting etc.

Another method you want to do is prioritize your nukes in value. The way I have them currently is:

1. Cyclonic Hail
2. Remote Sunflare
3. --- Annihilate the Divergent ---
4. Winter's Pyre
5. Summer's Prominence


For Pure burns I set them up as my spells 1-4 in that order (excluding Remote because its always in my spell bar). That way I can alt cast my way down the bar. (Only use Annihilate on SS4 / MC Sand).

Also whenever spells repop the one first in the list that is repopped gets cast first (you can multibind, I don't... but its essentially the same thing, but lazier)

Stephen51
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 12:50 pm

Re: General Druid Playbook

Post by Stephen51 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:34 am

Excellent post. My druid is not my main, but my Girlfriend plays a Druid. This would be useful to her if she didnt think she knew everything already. :D

ginny
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:47 am

Re: General Druid Playbook

Post by ginny » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:00 am

What an incredibly useful and helpful post this is. Thank you so much for writing it.

I have a question about the shards, you list several of them, to help with both healing and nuking. But they all seem to be type 3 augments, and I have only 2 items in my inventory that have slots for type 3 augments. (My shield and my mask). I don't seem to be able to find other items with type 3 augment slots either. How can I use all these shards that you recommend?

Daldaen
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:28 pm

Re: General Druid Playbook

Post by Daldaen » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:17 am

All group gear from SoF onward has two versions. A normal and a rarer version which has a type 3 augment slot. The exceptions to this are:

Weapons
Visible slots.

All ears, ring, face, neck, shoulders, back, belt, ranged, shield have a type 3 version.

I'll update this for VoA in a bit

Iila
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:54 pm

Re: General Druid Playbook

Post by Iila » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:00 pm

Any ETA on the VOA update for the dps weaves at least? All my attempts have been really shitty. In some cases doing 30% less damage than I was doing during the same duration in HoT. Definitely not the 25% improvement I'm seeing some others post.

And thanks a bunch of writing these guides up, they were very helpful on getting up to raid speed last year on healing and DPS after not playing for 7 years.

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