Druids are a true hybrid class in the World of Warcraft, able to assume any group role from tanking to dps to healing. This versatility comes from their ability to shapeshift into different animal forms as requirements dictate. Only the Tauren and Night Elf races can choose to become druids.
In their natural state, Tauren or Night Elf, druids can cast spells to damage their enemies or heal their allies. They also have powerful spells to remove curses, neutralize poisons, or even bring a fallen ally back from the dead.
Upon reaching level 10, all druids can learn to shapeshift into a bear form which will allow them to serve as tanks in groups. At level 16, druids can embark upon a quest that teaches an aquatic “sea lion” form, which improves their swim speed and allows them to stay underwater indefinitely.
After attaining level 20, druids learn to shift into a panther (night elf) or lion (tauren) form which greatly increases their melee dps. At level 30, a faster cheetah form is learned that greatly increases a druid’s travel speed across land. Finally, druids that spec deeply into the Balance tree can learn the Moonkin form which great increases their spellcasting dps.
Because of their incredible flexibility, druids are unable to perform as optimally in roles when compared to other classes. This greatly increases the skill and gear required to play a druid competitively in particular roles against other classes. It is not uncommon to see druid players maintain several different sets of gear that they can switch between as circumstances change.
Druids are keepers of the world who walk the path of nature, following the wisdom of the Ancients and Cenarius, healing and nurturing the world. To druids, nature is a delicate balance of actions in which even the smallest imbalance can create storming turmoil from peaceful skies. Druids draw their power from this natural energy, using it to change their shapes and command the forces of nature. Traditionally, druids chose the path of a specific animal totem. Since the invasion of the Burning Legion, however, most druids have undergone a number of reforms, including encouraging the study of magic from all totems. Druids who do this are known as druids of the wild.
Malfurion Stormrage was the first night elf druid, receiving instruction from the god Cenarius himself. In Darnassus he currently rules over the Night Elf society along with his wife, Tyrande Whisperwind, the high priestess of Celune.
Stormrage was instrumental in halting the advance of the Burning Legion in the War of the Ancients. During the Battle of Mount Hyjal, the world tree Nordrassil was severely damaged in the battle against Archimonde and the forces of the Legion. Subsequently Archdruid Fandral Staghelm spearheaded the growth of a new world tree, called Teldrassil, upon which the current night elf capitol of Darnassus sits.
The Taurens were later introduced to druidism by Cenarius, although the origins of this event remain murky. The elder scroll, Forestlord and the First Druids, hangs in the tent of the Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem in Thunder Bluff. It reads:
In time, the child, Cenarius, grew to the stature of his proud father. A brother to both the trees and the stars, the great hunter roamed the far places of the world, singing the harmonious songs of the dawning. All creatures bowed before his grace and beauty – there were none so cunning as the son of the moon and the white stag.
Eventually, Cenarius befriended the Shu’halo and spoke to them of the turning world. The children of the earth knew him as brother and swore to help him care for the fields of life and the favored creatures of their great Earthmother.
Cenarius taught the children of the earth to speak to the trees and plants. The Shu’halo became druids and worked great deeds of magic to nurse the land to health. For many generation the Shu’halo hunted with Cenarius and kept the world safe from the shadows that stirred beneath it.
The Cenarion Circle is a coalition of druids dedicated to protecting the natural wilds of Azeroth from harm, and restoring damage when possible. They are based in the enclave of Moonglade, but have outposts through Kalimdor, most notably in Silithus.
Although all druids are automatically considered members of the Circle, other individuals can gave favor and prestige with the Cenarion Circle.