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Currently playing as a druid on hard. First character I made and I'm sticking with him (which is somewhat unusual for me). So far he's very solid. The start of the game was very doable primarily due to wildshape (I chose bear form mainly due to RP reasons, didn't test any of the other forms. Boar shape did look very interesting). It is a per encounter ability and unlike the older IE games it doesn't hinder your spellcasting. It doesn't last very long, doesn't do much for you durability and it  doesn't give the melee abilities of a martial class. Still, the damage is good and early game you'll easily punch through the DR of pretty much all enemies. After that guns and enchanted weapons will pretty much negate the advantage it gives you. The druid spell list is comparable in power and versatility to the wizard spells, though the wizard does have an edge in debuffs (in my current game I have acces to up to third level spells). Also, you get access to the entire spell list for free. It features a ton of aoe spells with some very useful fireball like effects and cone shapes as well as some good buffs. All in all, the druid is a very potent class which gives you a lot of options. I use it as an aoe nuker with some buffing potential. Early game I used wildshape a lot as it makes melee combat an option and thus limiting the amount of spells you'll need to use, which in turn saves you camping suplies and/or a run back to the inn. A complicating factor of using a druid in expert mode is that I believe it does turn off the friendly fire indicator for aoe spells.

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the biggest downside of druid is there shapeshifting...shapeshifting reset the carried weapons to claws...so if you want to do a frontline "tank" and specc them into tank through basic stats...and shild talents...they will loose in shapeshifting form all there buffs they got through this specc...

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I have a L4 Druid that can change into a wolf on normal difficulty. Its more like a giant werewolf. It does pretty good damage. I am leading in total damage, crits, kills, etc. A little squishy if you arent careful with positioning. I cast spells first, then shape change after. Its really good against trash.

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Druids are as-advertised.  A caster class with a versatile suite of available spells (weighted to AoE elemental damage) that has a short-duration per-encounter transformation into a fragile high-damage melee combatant.  The efficacy of the shifted form declines as level increases, as the Druid's base Accuracy doesn't keep pace with opponent defenses.  The effectiveness of their spell list more than makes up for it, though. 

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Druids are probably the strongest AoE casters, with varied elemental damage and a strong, versatile spell list. Generally, Spiritshift isn't worth using - focus on spells.

 

For attributes, you want Int, Might, Dex, the norm. You'll get a lot of mileage from the talents that boost electricity and frost damage, as some of your stronger AoE spells have that damage type.

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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I'd argue that the shifting is very worthwhile in early levels-- a shifted Druid is a really nice source of damage to already-engaged enemies.  You have to be careful with it, as you would with a melee rogue, but it'll get you through a lot of routine fights more efficiently than burning a per-day spell or just plunking away with a bow or a reach weapon. 

 

Later on, yeah, enemy defenses outscale the Druid's low base accuracy to the point that its usefulness is very situational.  So I do agree that investing talents to improve it is not likely to be optimal in the long run. 

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