Druids and weapons. Where to start? Let’s do an overview and go from there.
Druids in the World of Warcraft are able to use six different styles of weapons. These are a Staff, one handed Mace, two handed Mace, Dagger, Fist Weapons and Polearms (polearms at least as far as the current patch). Druids may not use a shield nor can they dual wield however Druids can use items that are held in the “off hand.” The trick comes in when you start to consider what sort of weapons to use and in what forms those weapons will be effective. For example, when in Bear, Dire Bear or Cat forms your Druid will not be “using” your weapons in combat, your Druid will be hitting your opponent with claws and teeth. This means that while any stat increases you gain from the weapon will be in effect many other effects will not, such as weapon procs. Weapons will not proc when a Druid is fighting in Bear or Cat form because the Druid is not actually hitting anything with the weapon, okay? Now, in other forms such as Moonkin and Tree of Life Form, you can use weapons to their full effect however you’re in those form to either deal big spell damage or land big heals.
What weapons you strive to obtain either through drops, buying them at the auction house, quest or raid rewards will depend a great deal on your Druid build and your style of play. If you spend most of your time tanking in Bear it makes more sense to get weapons high in stat increases. If you are pure Balance or Restoration it may be worth looking into a weapon with a proc if your play style would take advantage of it. A common question is on the choice between a two handed weapon such as a staff and a one handed weapon and an “off hand” item. Which is best? The answer depends totally on your goals for the character and the druid build you have put together. It really comes down to math on most occasions. When trying to decide between one nice 2 handed weapons and a nice set of one handed plus an off hand item literally write down the total gain your Druid would get from the two handed weapon and the total gain from both the one handed weapon and the off hand item. Which serves your Druid best?
An interesting thing comes up with weapon choice that makes little practical sense in the game: the “cool” factor. Many times I’ve seen Druids running around with a big flashy, glowing, spinning, sparkly two handed weapon that really does not benefit their Druid build and only benefits the “look” of their character. Had they chosen the alternative two piece set they would have a more effective Druid. No matter how cool your weapon looks if your Druid can’t deliver when it counts you’ll start rethinking your choice!