Choices Race in Druid

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Druids are limited to being Night Elves if they play as the Alliance and Tauren if they are with the Horde. In general, the WoW developers have stated that their design philosophy is to make race choice be relatively insignificant, so that players of any particular class do not feel compelled to make that class a certain race. You’re going to be spending a great deal of time with this character, so your first priority should be picking a race that appeals to you…if you’ve always wanted to play an elf, for instance, don’t create a Tauren just because you’ve heard their abilities are a little better for druids, or vice versa.

That being said, there are some differences between Tauren and Night Elf druids, primarily in regard to both racial abilities and aesthetics.

Racial Abilities

Both Night Elves and Tauren receive +10 to their Nature resistance, so as a druid you will be getting that regardless of which race you pick.

Night Elves

Night Elves possess the following racial abilities:

Shadowmeld: "Activiate while immobile and out of combat to enter stealth mode. Lasts until cancelled. 10 second cooldown."

This ability is situational but can be very useful. It is convenient as it lets you stealth out of sight of players and wandering monsters, allowing you to go afk for a few moments if necessary- although once you get cat-form you will be able to do this anyway. Tactically, the stealth won’t be cancelled until a spell is actually cast, rather than while it is being channeled, so if you are able to get in range of an enemy you can shadowmeld and charge up a damage spell such as starfire in order to catch your enemy completely by surprise. Definitely most useful for balance druids (who focus on damaging magic spells). Shadowmeld also increases the effectiveness of your stealth ability slightly, making you slightly harder to locate when you’re stealthed.

Shadowmeld can be very useful, especially on a pvp server, where in general you are never safe from attack.

Quickness: "Dodge chance increased by 1%."

While 1% doesn’t sound like a lot, having extra dodge is almost always a nice thing to have. Especially useful for feral druids who will be fighting the enemy up close most of the time.

Wisp Spirit: "Become a wisp when dead with movement speed increase of 50% (25% faster than normal ghost)."

This is purely a convenience racial ability, will make long runs back to your body after dying more bearable.

Teleport Moonglade: Teleports the caster to the druid village of Nighthaven in Moonglade.

Both Tauren and Night Elf druids get this spell, which teleports them at level 10 to a small village controlled by the neutral Cenarion Circle druidic organization. This can be used as an alternate means of getting around the world, as druids can teleport from anywhere in the world to Moonglade. For Night Elves, this spell is very convenient, as it is a short 2 minute or so flight from there to the Night Elf capital of Darnassus, which is otherwise a 15-20 minute trip from the other alliance capitals in the Eastern Kingdoms. The spell has somewhat less of a utility for Tauren druids, as after going there there only option until they get to max level is a ~10 minute flight to Thunderbluff. Basically, for Night Elves the spell almost acts as a second hearthstone to get back to a capital city in a hurry, whereas for Tauren its mostly an inconvenience to get out of there once you teleport in.

Tauren

Tauren possess the following racial abilities:

War Stomp: "Activate to stun up to 5 opponents within 8 yards – lasts 2 seconds – 2 min cooldown"

A very useful ability, although not useable by a druid in any form save Caster and Moonkin. This provides druids w/ an extra spell interrupt, as well as the ability to buy some time to get off a heal while they are being attacked at close range.

Endurance: "Max health increased by 5%"

Provides a small amount of extra health. More health is always useful, and this ability has a slight bit more utility than the Night Elves’ extra dodge. Dodge may help you avoid a melee hit or two, but having extra health lets you live longer from any type of attack, not just melee.

Cultivation: "15 bonus to herbalism"

Somewhat useful if you are a herbalist. Any herbalist will eventually be able to pick every herb in the game, however, regardless of race, so in the long run this skill will not matter much.

Aesthetic Aspects of Racial Choice

Some druid forms also look different depending on whether you choose a Night Elf or Tauren. For some people, these differences may be enough to prompt them to choose one race over another.

In cat-form, Tauren druids look somewhat like lions with horns sticking out of their heads, while Night Elf druids look like Puma’s or Panthers. In bear-form, Tauren druids have bull horns coming out of their bear’s head while Night Elf druids have swept back, elven ears on their bear. Travel form and aquatic form look identical.

Summary

Both races provide some nice abilities that complement a druid well. Neither race is ultimately a better or worse choice for a druid, and in general it’s recommended that you pick based on what you think you will enjoy the most.

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