Paladin Q&A – Huh?!?!

I have been thinking about how I would respond to the Q&A that was posted.  I am still not sure.  I guess what best encapsulates my feeling is “Umm….   Really?  You make us wait this long and…   Really?”  I guess, reading it, there is just not a lot of information in there.  There are a few things I want to talk about, but not much.  They do a whole lot of typing for not much info or insight.  Anyway, lets go through the Q&A hotspots (or rather lukewarm spots?) and see what they want to tell us at this point.

What is it that makes them unique compared to all other classes?

Despite our design changes to share buffs around among more classes, we still kept several abilities unique to the paladin in order to keep a hint of their original role. Thus paladins have everything from their powerful Blessings to their bubbles like Divine Shield, the ability to dispel multiple kinds of debuffs, and utility abilities like Blessing of Freedom or Hammer of Justice. Paladins can wear plate armor in all three roles, which is particularly powerful for a healer. Finally, the Seal and Judgement system is a unique mechanic that works like no other class

Class homogenization is a big concern for players of all classes, just not paladins.  In all respects, I understand the methodology behind “Bring the player, not the class” and I support it wholeheartedly.  I was the victim of many “Lolret” jokes in BC.  But at the same time, a mechanic such as the seal/judgement system and a few exclusive buffs do not make a class seem distinct.  There is a very fine line they are walking here, and I am not entirely sure that I like the response I see here.

How do we feel about raid-wide paladin buffs instead of limiting the buff applications per class, only?

We think it works out fine. It’s a different buff mechanic than other classes and helps to ensure that the second or third paladin is still considered valuable instead of letting a single one buff everyone.

Honestly, this is the answer I liked the most.  Some players don’t like having to click more than 1 button to provide their buff.  I don’t mind it so much.  Plus, in a 2 pally system where one just kings everyone, the second can provide either BoM or BoW, whichever benefits the class most.  It’s just fine as it is.

All classes vary in dps from one encounter to another; however, some paladins may feel their dps can be less competitive at times in comparison to other classes, more so in straight stationary single-target dps encounters. How do we feel paladins are doing in terms of dps across the board?
Retribution dps is too low in PvE in 3.1. We are buffing it in 3.2 through the new way Seal of Vengeance / Corruption will work. This Seal is designed to really deliver damage once the paladin gets five stacks up, which will make it the Seal of choice for boss fights. Seal of Command will be used in PvP or PvE for short fights. We expect overall for Corruption / Vengeance to be the “go-to” Seal much of the time, perhaps even in PvP, provided you can keep the buff up.

Hmm.  I have heard from several of my trusted paladin players that are currently tackling hard-mode encounters that they do feel that we are starting to slip behind in DPS.  I think its because ret pally’s are kind of the opposite of holy pally’s right now – Where holy pally’s feel like they are pigeonholed into one type of healing, I think ret pally’s are in a place where we don’t have a distinct nich.  We have some great AoE attacks, but our single target DPS is a little lacking.  With the seal change to Vengeance/Corruption we’ll have to see how it plays out.  Unfortunately, it means that we are going to be running two seals in raids, which is a bit of a pain in my eyes.  They buff our single target dps with SoV/Corruption and stick us with SoCommand for trash mobs.  Unless SoCommand is buffed in a significant way, we are going to be hurting a little in AoE trash situations.

Exorcism will be usable in both PvE and PvP once more which is great; aside from allowing this ability to be used against other players, what were the reasons to go down this route in redesigning this attack?

Exorcism never did a ton of damage to players, but it was an instant attack which meant paladins could use it while closing with an enemy. It was essentially just free damage and never a decision of any kind. The new approach to the spell prevents it from being used while closing, and also makes Retribution paladins have to pay a little more attention to their combat rotation — you want to use Exorcism when Art of War procs, and generally not at other times.

There are times when I think “Are you kidding me?  Do these guys even play Ret PvP?”  This is one of those moments.  Exorcism played to one of the major weaknesses we have as a PvP class – No ranged, and lack of a gap closer (ohh gosh, more on this below).  It really  was never about doing major damage (although it was a tiny bit easier to kill a healer with this).  It was about being able to attack when being (easily, might I add) kited around.

Consecration seems to utilize a sizable portion of mana per application of this spell; do we have plans on making this a bit more mana-efficient?

We think the mana cost is appropriate. Retribution and Protection paladins have enough ways to earn mana back that it doesn’t seem to be slowing them down much.

All I can say is – Did you really expect any other answer than this?  They tweaked our mana regen considering this was part of our rotation.  If they would tweak the Consecration mana throughput, they would have to tweak the Glyph, and our mana regen.  They don’t want more screaming from ret pallies on mana regen.  Not an egg they want to crack right now.  Maybe in 4.0, not now.

Do we feel Divine Shield is fine in its current rendition versus other abilities such as Shattering Throw and Mass dispel?
Divine Shield is just a very powerful spell, so game-changing that we thought it needed a counter. The problem is that only one class has access to Mass Dispel, which we feel makes priests too much of a “hard counter” to paladins. We understand that classes will to some extent always have other classes they are better or worse against, but we want to avoid extremes. Shattering Throw is an attempt to let someone other than a priest have the chance to break the bubble. We implemented the ability as a ranged attack to help discourage warrior “tunnel vision” in just always unleashing all their attacks on the same target rather than having to switch targets on occasion.

Will it be possible to prevent Avenging Wrath from being dispelled as well? This ability is the means to allow for on-demand maximum dps output for a brief period of time and only affects the paladin.

It’s possible but not probable. Really this is symptomatic of a larger problem, which is that the dispel game has become too important in PvP. If the other team has a dispeller, then abilities like Avenging Wrath get totally shut down. If the other team lacks a dispeller, then they may be in trouble. This leads to junk buffs and inconsistencies on which abilities can be dispelled or not. We are going to redo the entire system, though not for 3.2. One direction to take dispelling is to give magic dispel to all the healers (since 90% of player spells are magical), but to prevent offensive dispelling of any kind, or at least prevent dispels for “your-class-is-supposed-to-have-this buff” like Arcane Int or Fort

Two in one here.  I think the statement they make in Avenging Wrath question is completely true.  Dispells are just out of control.  If they decide to change it, great.  I hate going up against a priest (who can outheal my damage ANYWAY), only to have them dispell my wings when I try to burst them down.  Absolutely frustrating.

As for bubble.  This is again, where I feel that the devs have a disconnect from what they want the class to be and what it actually is.  Again, we have no (as in *NONE*) way to close a gap.  It is so insanely easy to kite a pally around, its not even funny.  Often times, pally’s use the bubble as their makeshift gapcloser, just to stop getting snared and rooted.  This used to be a major balancing feature of ret PvP – if the ret got to you, he blew you up.  With burst incredibly toned down, if ret gets to you, there is very little fear he will actually kill you.  This has went from a major balancing feature, to a MAJOR flaw.

Do we have plans to introduce a stand-alone interrupt ability for paladins?

We would like to add this kind of utility to paladins. First we have to get the burst damage under control so that Ret paladins are not winning PvP encounters by blowing players up. When we accomplish that, we’ll look at finally giving them more tools.

Oh Em Gee, my Be Eff Eff Jill!  Awesomesauce of Uber – IF this happens.  And I think thats a big IF at this point.  Don’t expect to see it IF it comes through till 4.0.  Implications here for both PvP and PvE bosskills.  Less so for PvE, but gosh I would really like to have more than one option to help my team mates interrupt spells.

With the slew of options to either “jump into” or “jump out of” PvP encounters for either offensive or defensive purposes many classes receive, do we have any plans to incorporate special abilities for paladins to either help them escape tough situations or quickly get into pvp battle (i.e. Deathgrip, Typhoon, Summoning Circle, Disengage, etc.)? It seems paladins are the only class without a short cool-down ability on the same scale.

Players are pretty good at detecting problems, but for solutions they tend to just look around at what other classes have that is working for them. Homogenization is something we fight as much as we can, which is the reason not every class has Death Grip and not every class has Charge. Judgment of Justice is intended to be the gap-closer for paladins. If it becomes a huge liability, we’ll evaluate, but at the moment paladins are doing extremely well in PvP without it

BAH!  I am sorry, Judgement of Justice doesn’t cut it anymore.  I resisting the urge right now to not nerdrage.  BLEAH!  It’s no longer a matter of *if* it becomes a liability.  It’s a matter of *when* you are going to fix it.

Last two comments – they want to make librams visible on the paladin model – not until 4.0 at least.  Ehh..  Moot for me.  The defining trait of my toon has always been the big hammer I carry around, not a book.  Although it would be hilarious to bitch slap some Blood Elf skanks with a book now and then.  BOOYAH Biatch!  Eat my BIBLE!

And most finally, they talk about ranged attacks.  They say they have changed their stance on “no ranged attacks from paladins” (*cough exorcism cough*), to “paladins are ok where they are with ranged attacks.”

Meh, i’m ok with having no ranged attacks.  But if you think Exorcism is ranged with a cast time – on a class that is designed around mobility, you are sorely mistaken.  SORELY.

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Comments
5 Responses to “Paladin Q&A – Huh?!?!”
  1. Ten'nen says:

    Hey there–

    Stumbled across your blog, and as a WoW player with a level 80 paladin, I was intrigued by your responses to their Q&A. I was already a little /meh with their response to my mage’s Q&A, but this…wow.

    I like how they’ve tried to keep Paladin’s as melee fighters. It’s good for them. 10 yards on a judgement is plenty. Exorcism was a great little way to pushback that Frostbolt the mage was casting so that you could be close enough to stun him with SOMETHING. Then rip his clothie butt to shreds.

    But a cast time on it? Bogus. We’re not a casting class. It doesn’t make sense for us to have to cast it. It was also a great tool for Prot paladins to do damage during boss encounters. Who doesn’t like instant damage, during that second where you’re waiting for something to come off of a CD because your finger slipped or you faced a bit of lag and got your 969696969696969696 rotation off?

    Just as long as they can’t dispell my wings, though, I’m ok. I just wish they would let you fly for like, 10 seconds to escape combat. Then you swoop down from the sky…muahahahaha

  2. Dump says:

    Judgment of Justice is intended to be the gap-closer for paladins

    That quote right there tells me how much pain we will suffer in pvp in 3.2 and for the foreseeable future, Like you said i suffer greatly from classes that can kite us (“just the mention of frost mages makes my blood pressure rise”) The only chance we had was to catch them and burst them down before they could snare/blink/ teleport away to kite us more.
    I was really dissapointed in the Q&A, I wasnt expecting much but what we got was less then that.

    And if they think any paladin is going to bother with points in SOCom, they are crazy id rather lose the stacks then bother with the failseal.

  3. Dump says:

    oh fire, I wanted to postt a link to a really well done ret pvp video, I even learned alot from it and really enjoyed watching it and thought maybe you or some of the other readers might enjoy it as well
    Hofflerand 2 – Ret PvP (2.5-2.6k arena)
    http://warcraftmovies.com/movieview.php?id=115963

    • Firespirit says:

      Thanks Dump, for the movie. Yeah, I am probably going to add a link to Hofferland, as well as Blessing of Might. They are the big PvP bloggers.

      Myself, I don’t enjoy PvP too much, unless it is with a bunch of friends. I freely admit I am a bit weak in the PvP area, but I have done enough of it to see the big holes that we have in our arsenal.

  4. Aaron says:

    “We’re not a casting class. It doesn’t make sense for us to have to cast it.”

    makes more sense than slam kthnx

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