Adventures in Azeroth

It’s a Druid’s World (of Warcraft)

I’m not sure what this means, but it’s interesting…

WoW Insider recently reported on some research a player named Zyph posted in the forums.  Basically Zyph wrote a program to pull around 6,600 profile names off Allakhazam, look them up on The Armory, and collect talent point distribution stats.  In particular, Zyph first grabbed some percentages on how many players in each class specialized in a particular talent tree (where specialized was defined as 31 or more talent points in that tree).

Then Zyph went on to examine, for those that specialized, how many skipped the 31 point talent, and how many skipped the 41 point talent.

I’m kind of struggling to decide if the results really tell us anything meaty, but they are interesting.

First of all – Feral is the most popular by a long shot.  Of all Druids in the study, 60% specialized in Feral, 27% went Resto, and only 13% were Balance specialists.  Hey wait – that adds up to 100%  I guess that means there aren’t any Druids out there that don’t specialize?  That’s kind of interesting in itself.

Where it gets interesting for me though, is how deep each specialization goes. 

It looks like us Ferals go deep.  Virtually no one (0.5%) of ferals skipped the 31 point talent (Leader of the Pack), and only 2.7% skipped the 41 point talent (Mangle).  If any of those 2.7% ferals are reading now, please take a moment to go outside, find a hard stick you can get a good grip on, and beat yourself senseless!  Respec NOW – take Mangle.

Okay, moving on.

Resto Druids start to get more interesting.  Only 2.8% skipped the 31 point talent (Swiftmend).  I’m no Resto, but I know enough about Swiftmend, that you 3% should probaby join the Mangle-skippers outside.  Maybe they would offer to beat you also, since you’re obviously not interested in healing.  The number jumps for the 41 point talent (Tree of Life) with 22% skipping this talent.  I guess you Resto’s don’t like walking around as a tree with all those sharp weapons out?

The most interesting to me though was the Balance Druids.  With only 13% of all Druids in the survey specializing in Balance, 7% of them skip the 31 point talent (Moonkin form), and 24% skip the 41 point talent (Force of Nature).  That tells me that folks are dipping into the Balance tree, but looking elsewhere to compliment those talents.

Now, Zyph has lots of qualifications – only level 70’s were examined, some profiles were on Allakhazam but not the Armory, etc. etc.  Plus, who knows if this breakdown accurately reflects your server, or is even statistically significant to be worthy of review (can 6,600 random level 70s really reflect 8 million players worldwide)?

Maybe, maybe not.  But I still find it interesting and I’m wondering how you all feel about these numbers?  Do they sound right to you?  What’s up with you Balance folks – why are there so few and what to you have against Force of Nature?  Lastly –  how come 72% of Hunters went Marksman?  I bet BRK will have something to say about that…

Forms Bar

May 4, 2007 - Posted by | Strategy - General, World of Warcraft


  1. From my limited knowledge, that sounds about right. I know that most of the druids in my guild are feral. I had been resto then went to feral and it has made leveling a whole lot easier.

    Comment by gillir | May 4, 2007 | Reply

  2. I’m running with a deep balance build of 51/0/10 right now but have never, ever specced for anything less than Force of Nature as soon as I had enough talent points to get the trees. Though I would consider raiding without them, I most definitely would not quest or farm without them. They are too valuable.

    My posse has saved many a situation, like when something respawns right on top of me, or when someone makes a bad pull, or any manner of situation where I need a “get out of trouble free” card. They also are quite handy for farming — just set them on a mob and let them tank it while I burn down other targets. I just need be sure to get a DoT going on the trees’ target so I can loot the corpse if the trees finish it off before I finish off mine.

    The only trick is needing to be careful where I place the trees. When the bloodlust comes over them, they can go on a rampage. I’ve seen them aggro half a field of undead in the Western Plaguelands and when they went down after their 30 seconds, suddenly a whole bunch of hate was headed my way.

    So I can’t speak for other balance druids who don’t spec into Force of Nature but as for me, my posse and I are a rock solid team! Or should I say bark solid? 😀

    Comment by Cybeline | May 4, 2007 | Reply

  3. The only conceivable time to ever drop mangle is when doing arena pvp, namely 2v2 and 3v3. It is of enormous importance to have Nature’s Swiftness in order to save your party member as he continues to go guns a blazing while you shift and heal, suddenly cutting the advantage to 2v1 in your favor. However, even when I was in my arena spree, I’d respec back to mangle after I got in a large enough quota of games. I would just feel so gimped, both in pve and pvp, without it: claw sucks, period.

    I have seen a few balance druids who are required to heal that forego the 31 and 41 point talents in order to pick up regen and resto talents. This allows them to have fun in pvp and still do damage when questing, yet doesn’t force them to respec for raiding or instance healing.

    Resto build wise, if you don’t take swiftmend and are actually a healer, take off your belt and slap yourself with it. Repeat until you quit WoW or bleed onto your keyboard and ruin it so you can’t log in.

    I’m very interested (having taken numerous statistics classes and always on the lookout for skewed stats) how Zyph determined what “specialize” was. Does that mean they actually had 31 points in that tree and didn’t have the 31 point talent? Or did they simply have the majority of their points in that tree? Maybe they simply had more points in that tree than any other. Who knows. It does seem rather fishy that they all add up to 100%. Of course, our trees do seem somewhat mutually exclusive. It would be very strange to see a druid spend a proportional amount of points in 2 or even all three trees. Eh, I’m rambling. Put a fork in me, I’m done.

    Comment by Eilianna | May 4, 2007 | Reply

  4. In his forum post he defines “specialized” as at least 31 points in the tree.

    Comment by Amanna | May 4, 2007 | Reply

  5. I’ve mentioned this before – but here’s my talent spec:

    It’s a hybrid spec between feral/resto and is mainly built for survivability. I’ve never had mangle simply because I had spent points in resto to get ‘Nature’s Swiftness'(NS). I’ve found that pretty handy in terms of solo’ing and being able to provide a quick emergency heal when doing instances.

    Is mangle really that good to drop the survivability that NS can offer – even if I don’t do any arena?

    If I was to drop NS and go for mangle here’s the spec I would consider:

    So what do ppl think?

    Comment by Liraele | May 4, 2007 | Reply

  6. Did you notice how many holy priests skipped Lightwell? I laughed so hard at the results.

    Class/Tree %Specced %Skipped31 %Avoided41
    Druid/Balance 13.4 6.7 24.4
    Druid/Feral Combat 59.9 0.5 2.7
    Druid/Restoration 26.7 2.8 21.8

    Priest/Holy 53.7 76.7 83.7
    Priest/Shadow 32.7 0.0 3.2

    Comment by Slipslappy (Icedown) | May 4, 2007 | Reply

  7. Ah, so he did. The link wouldn’t work for me in class 😦

    Comment by Eilianna (Mal'Ganis) | May 4, 2007 | Reply

  8. Liraele,
    That is very similar to my spec. The only thing I would change would be to take the three points out of Intensity and move them into Primal Tenacity. You won’t believe how many fears/bashes/etc you’ll “resist”. It’s amazing.

    Also Amanna, it seems half of my posts don’t show up on here… is that your choice or should I consider using a different browser?

    Comment by Slipslappy (Icedown) | May 4, 2007 | Reply

  9. A few things:

    1. On your current build I would scrap nurturing instinct and pick up predatory instincts. You’ll do more damage, faster, and therefore won’t need that extra heal.

    2. Grabbing thick hide really depends on if you do tanking or not. If you don’t, don’t waste the points. Dump those 3 points into natural shapeshifter.

    3. Its a huge toss-up between naturalist, predatory instincts, thick hide, and natural shapeshifter. It really depends on what you’re doing. For pure damage, naturalist and pred are best. For pvp, I’d argue pred and natural shape. For tanking, definitely thick hide and either pred or naturalist. It really depends on your playstyle.

    My all-out feral dps spec

    A more versatile, yet completely feral build. This lets me tank, pvp, yet still pump out high damage. Naturalist and nature’s focus are interchangeable here, depending on style.

    Arena Build with NS. Survival of the Fittest, Pred Instincts, Nature’s Focus, Imp Rejuv, and Naturalist are all interchangeable here depending on if you are taking more a healing or damage role.

    Current healing build. I sometimes drop a point out of Imp Regrowth to get Insect Swarm for the extra miss on the tank.

    Comment by Eilianna (Mal'Ganis) | May 4, 2007 | Reply

  10. Thanks for your feedback there. It’s always interesting to see other ppl’s specs and get their thoughts.

    You’ve mentioned quite a few specs there. Do you find yourself respecc’ing a lot or have you more or less settled on a role? Only reason I ask is that respecc’ing a lot would be rather expensive 🙂

    Also, with regard to your healing build – is there a particular reason you don’t drop a single point in Bramble in favour of putting it into Tree of Life? I’ve never been a full healing spec druid – but the tree sounds rather beneficial? Healing +25% of SPI and 20% mana reduction on HoT spells sounds good to me. Afterall, druids do take a more proactive approach to healing with their great HoT spells whilst priests take a more reactive approach?

    Thoughts on a postcard.

    Comment by Liraele | May 5, 2007 | Reply

  11. I actually screwed up on the healing spec I posted by having 5 points in furor instead of Imp MotW, even though MotW is gimped now IMO.

    In regards to your ToL question:

    1.I find when I’m healing in raids, I waste more mana shifting in and out of ToL than anything else. If I don’t have ToL, I very, very rarely run out of mana. With a shadow priest and a shammy in the group, along with great mana efficiency, I can cast forever.

    2. The +25% of spirit to healing isn’t that great. For starters, spirit is crappy for druids in comparison to other casting classes, so it isn’t a stat that we really stack up on. Secondly, in a large raid (i.e. a 25 man like Gruul’s), it seems to be favored to have two pallies for their respective auras and a warlock for blood pact in the group with both tanks. However, in smaller raids, being in the group with the MT is viable.

    3. As I said in #2, it is viable to use the aura in smaller raids, like 10 man Karazhan. However, remove curse, abolish poison, and healing touch can’t be cast while in ToL. A few times I’ve found myself having to shift out and decurse when the mage or other druid in the raid is dead. Granted, you can stay in caster form after this, but its just a huge pain. I also find myself wanting to use HT sometimes when I’m in ToL and having to use regrowth instead. With the improved mana efficiency its not horrible, but still a waste when I’m just topping someone off.

    I actually have spec’d ToL a few times and been put in the MT’s group. However, since I can only use HoT’s, I just keep two on the tank and generally spend time tossing lifeblooms and rejuvs on spot healing duty for the rest of the raid.

    Regarding my constant respeccing, yes, I am . I’ve been at the max cost for quite a while now. While it is expensive, when I respec to healing for raids its usually because we’ve been short on healers or didn’t have a resto druid show up. Thus, our GM usually pays for my respec to healing and back, which is nice.

    Comment by Eilianna | May 5, 2007 | Reply

  12. No, it’s not me Slip – for some reason a lot of your comments end up in “moderation” for review. It may be your armory link. I only review spam comments about once or twice a week, that’s why they take a while to show up.

    Try not putting your armory link in and see if that helps.

    Comment by Amanna | May 5, 2007 | Reply

  13. Armory links don’t currently work anyway, so that’s sort of pointless.

    Comment by Eilianna | May 6, 2007 | Reply

  14. Hmmm, Slip’s worked for me just last night and although they are mighty slow, I’ve not had any problem with them.

    Comment by Amanna | May 6, 2007 | Reply

  15. Hmm, according to the Armory, it is best experienced using Firefox. Surprisingly, it won’t follow through to the profile using Firefox, just dumping me on the main page. IE, on the other hand, works fine.

    Comment by Eilianna | May 6, 2007 | Reply

  16. @10 & 11

    I used to have a full resto, Tree of Life build and while I loved the mana efficiency on HoTs, I found its limitations (20% decrease in movement speed, need to shift out to decurse/de-poison/cast healing touch) too frustrating and it didn’t really suit my playstyle. I’m not the most coordinated being on this planet, and one more button to hit to shift out of tree when the sh*t was hitting the fan didn’t really work for me.

    I’ve switched to a 27/0/34 build, taking NS / Swiftmend in the Resto tree and up through Lunar Guidance / Nature’s Grace / Moonglow in the Balance tree. It gave me a nice little boost to my +healing, I still feel mana efficient and I like staying in caster form the whole time. If my guild ever starts raiding Kara seriously I may switch back to ToL, but for now I’m primarily running 5-mans and find this build really works well. It’s also nice to be able to do some damage and take a DPS/offhealing role if its called for. Plus it’s a whole lot easier to grind for my epic riding skill money now than it was a 61 pt. resto druid.

    That’s the great thing about being a Druid – there are so many choices as to how you want to spec, it’s all about finding what works for you.

    (Interestingly enough, while the survey would classify my build as ‘Specialised’ with more than 31 points in Resto, the Armory classifies it as a Hybrid build.)

    Comment by Amandrel | May 6, 2007 | Reply

  17. Amandrel, after checking out your spec, I have one concern. It is very much a Healing Touch build, but you don’t max out Naturalist, so your HT is still a long cast. Wouldn’t it be more economical to take the points out of Living Spirit at least and put them in Naturalist. We don’t get as much mana/sec with spirit as priests do, and by casting HoT’s all the time, it is harder to utilize mana efficiency.

    I guess my question is what is your justification for not maxing out Naturalist?

    Comment by Eilianna | May 6, 2007 | Reply

  18. My guild is short of tanks atm and we pick up pug tanks quite a bit. This has meant I often find myself under attack when the tank can’t hold two at a time in places like Shadow Lab (the big room in front of the ‘Time for Fun!’ guy) or Shattered Halls. Or if the tank just can’t hold aggro at all… My recent experience is that I find myself needing the 70% chance for an uninterrupted heal when something is bashing me more often than I need a heal that’s three-tenths of a second quicker. (I had the same problem with my ToL spec when I had 5/5 in Subtlety so I’m not totally convinced that would make a difference.)

    I took two points in Living Spirit to maximise my mana regen as much as possible for something like Black Morass (which was very much top of mind when I did this build). I’m happy with my mana efficiency, but I need to do some more theorycrafting to see how much of that is actually coming from the extra 10% spirit.

    When I start trying heroics, I see Naturalist and maybe even Subtlety as being more important (if one or two whacks is going to kill me, Nature’s Focus really isn’t going to help anything) and will probably shift my spec accordingly, especially as I start to pick up gear with a little bit more +Spirit.

    Comment by Amandrel | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  19. Can a random sample of 6,600 be extrapolated out to 8 million (or, realistically, the fraction of that 8 million with level seventies)? Emphatically, yes– IFF the sample is genuinely random. If I’m doing this right– and my statistics is a little shaky– we should be able to say with 95% level confidence that these figures are correct within a margin of (roughly) +- 1.21%

    That said, Allakazam profiles may not be a tremendously good sample frame– I can think of reasons that segment of the playerbase might be slightly skewed. Armory data might be better, if you can get it– though even then you’re in danger of overlooking regional differences between the US, EU, KR, PRC and other populations of the game– and there may, potentially, be differences on a server to server basis.

    About those 2.7% of Mangle-free ferals– I’m honestly surprised the percentage of 40/21 swiftmending PvP kitties is that low.

    Comment by ADamiani | May 18, 2007 | Reply

  20. […] keep your eye on I just saw this on BRK’s blog.  The Armory talent build research I wrote about recently is hitting the big time.  Someone has taken that idea and is getting serious about it.  In the […]

    Pingback by One to keep your eye on « Adventures in Azeroth | May 21, 2007 | Reply

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