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Having played EQ for many years I have decided to try WoW. I want to play a healer but I am having trouble figuring out which would suit me best - probably druid or priest though.
I like some of the things about the druid but I know that I dislike meleeing vastly prefering to be a caster. Thus I am wondering if a resto (for grouping) / balance (for soloing) druid that never really uses feral due to a dislike for meleeing is handicapping himself too much or if thats not an issue.
Also - when it comes to raw healing - how does a resto druid compare to a priest thats specced for healing?
Finally, how does the shadow spec priest fare when soloing compared to a balance speced druid?
I doubt I will be raiding so that can be left out of consideration.
Thanks for any advice.
You should be fine as either, you wont get dual spec until 30 though
Ya, you won't get dual spec right away. I leveled my Druid as feral until I could dual spec; you could alternatively level as balance until you could dual spec. Though she's on the back burner while I play another toon right now, my Druid was resto main, balance secondary so that I could go solo and do dailies and such... but mostly I just healed in groups. Lots of DPS as a balance spec, but healing was my favorite. I leveled a Priest first, two of them actually (diff servers, diff factions), both to 70. (This was back in TBC.) I just could not get into Priest healing, so I rolled a Druid. Then when Wrath hit, I ended up leveling the Druid over my Priest(s) to 80. But that's me, and you may be totally different.
The style of healing is slightly different between the two: with a Druid you've got all of these heal over time spells to "roll" so it seems like more preventative healing, and with a Priest you've got more reactionary heals. Someone takes damage, you assess which heal you will need depending on the beating, and throw off a heal. With my Druid I was rolling a heal over time on the tank and then supplementing with various heal spells as needed on spike damage. Priests can also be preventative with bubbling their target to buy them some extra time as they get off a bigger heal spell. But at the end of the day, I just loved healing with my Druid more.
Now, take this with a grain of salt, as I said... I've not played my Druid since Cata hit because I've re-rolled another toon with some friends on another server, and I know that healing has changed for everyone at the endgame, so you may have to adjust your thinking a bit when you get into 80-85. But that gives you a rough idea :)
I'd also suggest looking through both the Priest and Druid forums here on the site to help you figure things out. As for the classes themselves; take turns playing both of them till about 20 or so, you'll figure out which one you enjoy more by that point.
Seeing how you want to heal, and don't like melee, I'd recommend a priest. They have two specs for healing, and one for dps.
Druids have 1 healing spec, 1 ranged-dps spec, 1 melee-dps spec and 1 tanking spec. (tanking+melee dps share same tree, so could do both ... but melee-dps won't tank as well as tank-spec, and vice versa).
So druids have more versatility, but if tanking and melee are out of the question for you, than they only have 2 specs, whereas priests have 3.
When you're solo-playing, both ranged-druid and shadow-priest are ok, at at least were fine when I played them last expansion. Personally I preferred to range-dps on a druid though.
Blizzard's design is to allow any heal-capable class to be equivalent in healing to others, so paladin/shaman/priest/druid should all be capable of healing anything.
People who want to heal, can safely pick any one of them.
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