The Early Hybrid Days

The first 20-plus-some levels of a druid’s career is a lot like making a character, playing it to 10, and then making another character of a different class. There’s a feeling of constantly starting over.

The first 10 levels is like being a newbie priest. You have some okay nukes, you have some heals, and you run out of mana a lot. (No wands or shields, though.)

The next 10 levels is like being a newbie warrior (albeit without the Charge ability or Rend). You melee slowly but powerfully, building up rage, throwing out the occasional special attack.

The next 10 levels, you’re a newbie rogue. You get to stealth around, you get a build-combo-points move, and you get a finishing move.

In each case it feels a little like starting over a new character, going from having a small but tidy stable of abilities to just one or two. In some ways it’s mildly frustrating, but the advantage of being the ultimate hybrid outweighs the disadvantages. If I’m fighting in cat form and get some adds, I can go bear for more survivability and the joy that is glyphed Maul and Swipe. I can also use Nature’s Grasp to do some easy crowd control. Or (as a Tauren) War Stomp to stun everyone and pop some heals. And if all else fails, there’s always going cheetah to run away.

Salem’s level 17 now and still doing quests in the Barrens. As mentioned, I did the questline for Aquatic Form rather than buy the skill; the reward is a very nice belt with an on-use self-heal. That belt is a lifesaver for a young druid and quite easy to get if you know where to go to pick up the parts of the sea lion pendant. I recommend that anyone rolling a druid take the time to do it.

Salem as a Blood Elf woman. Gotta love the holidays.

Salem as a Blood Elf woman. Gotta love the holidays.

Close-Up of Salem Bearface. Grr!

Close-Up of Salem Bearface. Grr!

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