Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Silver Lining.

Just a quickie.

I've been trying to articulate a long post explaining how, though not everything has gone our way during the Beta period, one of the features of the 3.0 Paladin we can take to the bank is a better framework for any future class augmentations. It perhaps doesn't feel like it but we have more active abilities now than we ever did in the past, and with active abilities comes a scope and opportunity for targeted class improvements for specific areas of the game. This is especially the case for Protection, but also for Ret and lesser extent Holy. Simply having three different Judgements on a shared cooldown opens up many options previously closed due to a very rigid Seal->Judgement system, and the same can be said for the new Blessing/Hand system.

While Glyphs can and arguably should be the medium for these changes (if other class glyphs are anything to go by, WTB ones which add functionality), talents or plain skill improvements are also routes to improve the Paladin experience. Skill and talent interdependence has greatly reduced, mostly because of the decoupling of Seals and Judgements, which allows the designers to create much more intricate features. Seal scaling is the one major lingering issue, but multiple answers to this are so absurdly simply that one wonders if a lack of time is a big factor.

While it's perfectly natural for us to be disheartened by the nerfs of the last few weeks (and the rational behind them) we shouldn't lose sight of the very real improvements to the class developed over the last few months. While these improvements may not make a huge amount of operational difference to the class as we get towards the level 80 end-game, primarily because of changes to wider game mechanics such as downranking and raid-wide buffs, it at least provides us with a basis through which we can now target class roles and specific actions for PvP/PvE.

The big problem of course is that change will be slow, any Ret Paladin who played that way in 2.0.1 knows this. Nerfs are implemented fast, buffs are much slower. And at least now, with very little Paladin specific utility and much more utility for the 'pure' classes, any weakness in the specs primary will be immediately obvious and unjustifiable.

--

Okay, so that's still not particularly well articulated, nor very quick. It also won't be much of a bone to throw to hardcore Paladins looking for immediate Arena and Raid viability if there turns out to be a shortfall at 80. But I put it out there as a means of generating some hope and positive expectation after a few weeks of nerf after nerf report. If you liked playing the Burning Crusade then pick up Wrath and give it a go. You'll almost certainly enjoy the lore, and may be pleasantly surprised by just what you are capable of. And, if you're anything like me, you'll love continually busting your friends' expectations of what one Paladin is capable of.

2 comments:

Aerophilia 12/11/2008, 10:33  

The class has come a long way.

Playing Paladin is a completely different experience then it was a few months ago. We are no longer dependent on Windfury to do half decent raid dps & from what I can see we are kicking allot of ass in PvP.

I'm very happy with Blizz's work so far to remove us from flash of light / cleansebot titles.

Vndead 12/11/2008, 17:47  

Our class is fine i think, the only change that i want to see if to the wings. As of right now, who in the right mind would use it? Our healing is too long and almost always get interrupted before we can get one off. FoL is too little for 1.5 second cast and can't keep up with pvp dps. Also, if you don't dps, you don't use judgement/CS/DS and if you don't use them, you won't get instant FoL, in turn, our healing sucks even more. It is now off of my action bar because when i accidentally use it, i will surely die if they don't.

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