Sunday, November 1, 2009

Paladin Druid Team Leveling

Running as a team can make the game a whole new experience. Grettir and I have leveled entirely as a team, we have not run solo with these characters at any point. This was difficult early on as he was a human paladin and I was of course a night elf druid we had to choose where we would level and figure out how we would train. We decided to run the Darnassus route rather than Stormwind. There is not a paladin trainer in Darnassus however, Grettir was able to hop the ship in Auberdeen to Stormwind to train.

We had decided early on, before we ever created any characters that we wanted the ability to tank and heal. This immediately limited our choices to druid, priest, paladin, warrior, and shaman. We also wanted to be viable in multiple roles. Grettir already had an 80 shaman and was not interested in healing. I didn't want to level a shaman since we already had one. Grettir absolutely wanted to be a tank. This left him with the choice of a paladin, warrior, or druid. I suggested that he choose paladin for their great group tanking and self preservation ability. I chose druid, I wanted the buffs to assist him with tanking and the HoT's. Mostly though, I wanted the AoE damage. A druid is the perfect compliment to a paladin tank (IMHO) while leveling.

We found at low levels that it was easier to act as solos when killing. By this I mean that we both grabbed and killed MOb's on our own while doing quests. Neither one of us had any sort of group damage ability except for thorns and in the beginning it just wasn't really doable to run as a tank-dps/healer combo. We didn't really start pulling large groups until we were around level 20. By then I had the ability to heal and I had cat form to pop into when I burnt my mana. This was very important to our leveling. The low levels are tough on the druid side of this combo for many reasons, mana being the biggest factor. I easily burnt my full pool within a fight or two. When I went OOM I would pop into cat form, run up and act like a rogue. Every level made it easier and easier to heal and dps without running OOM and eventually around level 30 I abandoned using cat form completely.

Once I got my AoE spell ( Hurricane) we began to tear through everything rather fast. We could pull a large number of MOb's and knock them down within seconds. We now had mana issues with the paladin as well. He likened it to Mana Burn. Whenever I used Hurricane, he'd be left without his mana recharge from the MOb's attacking him. He was constantly running OOM, even more often than myself. This wasn't really an issue as we were killing massive groups, drinking, and repeating. As we've leveled since then, the issue has grown less and less to the point now that I rarely if ever run OOM, he still does but that's because I'm his personal Mana Burn.

Now that we are in our 60's and have been running Outland content we are rarely if ever taxed. I am sure we could two man Ramps now. Grettir has the highest dps numbers I have seen from anybody so far in any of our instance runs. By a very very long shot. He is roughly double the next person. At 59 or 60 he was averaging 550 dps as the tank, the next nearest person was 220 and a warrior. He confided in me that he finally understood the general dislike of DK's after we picked up a couple when advertising for DPS for Ramps. They immediately replied and we invited. It was instantly evident that these guys had no idea what they were doing. One decided to become a tank, the next one decided to Death Grip and become a tank, and Grettir was in a battle for aggro because they were both in frost and just spamming their frost abilities. I was madly healing everyone (they didn't step out of the fire). I popped off after the 3 rd pull that I would no longer heal anyone else acting like a tank when they were not a tank. As I'm sure you've guessed, one of them died right there on the spot and demanded to know why he wasn't healed. I explained that they were not the tanks, Grettir was. If they wanted to be healed and buffed they would stop pulling. This thoroughly confused them because they had no idea how to play anything but they way they had programmed themselves to run. They pulled aggro several times more. I never healed them again when they did this and never res'd them. I tried to educated them, tried to beg them, tried to berate them, nothing worked. During that run Grettir still out DPS'sall of them..... combined. Grettir had 587, the nearest DK had 189 then 120 and 118 respectively.

The paladin/druid combo is very strong and extremely fun to play. I'm loving every second of it. We will continue to post articles on this along with a broken down guide for others to follow if they want to follow in our footsteps. For now though, I'll stick with the simple overview of our main story and begin writing some more in-depth articles for future release. If you would like to read a bit more from Grettir and myself on this topic we have a few articles already published. Resto/Prot Leveling and Instance Fun and The Birth of a Tank.

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