|Apollo and Daphne
by Adam Rosenlund
While it might be easy to get lost in the doldrums of nerfdom, I thought I’d lighten the mood with a piece inspired by a recent post made by Horns of Yet Another Warlock Nerf, a Restoration Druid version of What It Means to be a Warlock. Format shamelessly stolen from Horns!
What are Tree Druids?
Druids are “keepers of the world who walk the path of nature, following the wisdom of the Ancients and Cenarius.” Traditionally, Druidism was a vocation limited to males of the Night Elf race whose eyes glowed with golden light, indicating their propensity toward the class. Female Night Elves have since taken up the vocation (though their eyes continue to glow silver), and the path of the Druid has also been embraced by the nature-loving Taurens. Druids are known for their ability to shapeshift, assuming the form of specific, often low-polygon animal totems.
The word “Druid” is made up of two words: “Dru” meaning “Anything you can do, I can do better” and “Id” from Freudian psychology:
[The Id] is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality, what little we know of it we have learnt from our study of the dream-work and of the construction of neurotic symptoms, and most of this is of a negative character and can be described only as a contrast to the ego. [...] It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle. — [Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis]
Which of course explains the often conflicted nature of the official Druid forums.
A Tree Druid specifically is one that has embraced the path of Restoration. Through dedication and wisdom, she is granted the ability to restore living energy. Unlike civilized Paladins and Priests or the wild but elemental Shaman, her restorative abilities mirror that of Nature and are as inexorable as time itself (except, of course, when countered by Purge). The Earth Mother Elune has conferred upon Druids the ability to restore living energy to an empty vessel —even amidst the carnage of battle. A Druid is adept at cleansing the disruptive forces of Poison or countering unnatural Curses. She fights primarily defensively, protected by thick bark and even thorns that serve to deter those who would harm her.
Origins of the Tree of Life
The original Trees of Life were saplings from the first World Tree, Nordrassil. Through the planting of one of these trees, Night Elves were able to maintain their connection to Nordrassil, regardless of distance.
The Tree of Life is regarded as the most important of the ancients within Night Elf society. Like the Druid form by the same name, Trees of Life rarely enter battle unless surrounded by allies and then only fights defensively. The Tree of Life Form available to Restoration Druids is likely a less powerful version of these Ancients. Perhaps with the passage of time, we will outgrow our miniature brown broccoli form and assume a form that matches the majesty of our namesake.
- While primarily defensive, a Restoration Druid will often eschew her barky, thorny exterior to “Heal Face” in Arenas. Her elaborate, almost spiritual dance around and about pillars serves as testament to her arboreal nature.
- While a group of Druids is entirely self-sufficient, a group without at least one Tree will find itself unbalanced and savage, cut off from the restorative qualities of their patron goddess Elune.
- Once a Restoration Druid has successfully taken root, she will continue to send off shoots that can overwhelm a delicate ecosystem like that of Arenas.
- Despite the fact that Nature contains an astonishing array of color, Druids primarily adorn themselves in green and brown. It is believed that this decision stems from a desire for ease of color coordination.
- Arbor Day is the annual celebration of Restoration Druids. Traditional activities include taking elaborate pictures of oneself, debauching on an excess of water, and lighting others on fire.
- Restoration Druids are frequently surrounded by adoring animal companions – and not just Feral Druids.
Why Go Green?
Druids that choose the path of Restoration and a life in bark often do so in order to support their companions or because they have a particular affection for a specific key on their keyboards, typically the one bound to Lifebloom. A career in pillar dancing attracts many young druids looking to make their Mark in small scale Arenas, where Restoration excels. Whatever the reason for choosing Restoration, a Tree Druid must be possessed of patience, a high QQ-tolerance and a love for broccoli.
Things to Say to Demonstrate Your Treeness
It’s important to assert your deciduous disposition, lest you be asked to “tank” (a process whereby you are bashed repeatedly in the face so that your companions are spared). You can do so by yelling out one or more of the following leafy phrases:
- “I’m sorry you died. Run back.” (obsolete as of 3.0.2 – yay!)
- “Rez me; my Rebirth is still available!”
- “Do I make you THORNY, Baby?”
- “Sorry, I’ve already used Innervate.” /cast [target=player] Innervate
- Any statement that can be typed in the sporadic, six-second increments between refreshing Lifebloom.
- “Stop overhealing my HoTs!”
- In Wrath of the Lich King: “OOM!” (sometimes confused with the call of the Moonkin)
Good Times to Assert Your Treeness
There are times when it’s best to reveal your leafy nature. Here are a few examples:
- When hiding behind a pillar.
- While rolling Lifebloom on three or more raidmates (macros are preferred).
- When casting Rebirth on a fallen comrade.
- When casting Hibernate on a frisky Feral.
- ARBOR DAY
- When wanting a hug.
Sometimes, however, it’s preferable to downplay your affinity for Treedom. These times include:
- While banished by a Warlock.
- When confronted by an OP Death Knight.
- When carrying the flag across Warsong Gulch.
- When standing in fire.
- While being chased by anyone carrying an axe.
- The Midsummer Fire Festival
What to Do as a Tree
Finally, some general tips on how to make the most of your Restoration experience:
- HoT Anything that Moves … While Moving
As a Restoration Druid, you should cast Lifebloom and Rejuvenation on all friendly targets. Revel in your ability to heal while on the move by targeting Paladins, Shamans, and Priests and using the /rude or /golfclap emotes.
A lot. Encourage others to do the same.
Trees need lots of water. Satiate this need in real life by consuming many alcoholic beverages, especially when raiding and PvPing. Wine is preferred, but Tequila works, too.
- Take Control of Nature
Leave other healers all wet by using your Tranquility spell. Allusions to “Singing in the Rain” are encouraged.
Special thanks to Horns for the “calling out” on this post. I’d like to challenge Runycat of Unbearably HoT and Graylo of Gray Matter to share their thoughts on What it Means to be Feral and Balance Druids respectively!
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