Friday, January 16, 2009

Paladin Points of Interest on the Latest PTR.

A new PTR Build, memorably titled 9464, has been pushed to the servers today which contained a couple of changes some Paladins will find interesting:

  • Glyph of Turn Evil now also increases the cooldown of the spell by 8 seconds. No long will we be able to instantly fear demons and the undead without any cooldown.

  • I mentioned in an earlier PTR post that Vengeance stacked up to 5 times. In the latest build it is now back down to 3, indicating that Blizzard right now are probably happy with Paladin PvE DPS.

  • This is in addition to the change to the Glyph of Hammer of Wrath which will reduce the mana cost of HoW by 100% ('cor blimey guv!).

    So, Glyph of Turn Evil to start with. Obviously it's with PvP in mind, probably because of how nasty it was for Warlocks to be fear-locked without any possibility of responding or interrupting. Irony is such a wonderful thing.

    Argueably it now seems more in line with a minor glyph slot as opposed to Major (which it currently is) as its' relative power for Arena PvP has been significantly diminished relative to other Paladin Major Glyphs. Given how much of a catch-22 taking it will now be, and that it always was situational at best, 'demoting' it to a 'Minor' Glyph would not only see it's continual use but also provide us with some much needed improvements in the Glyph department. On that note, the SoB Glyph could be changed to 'Less recoil damage on Judgement' which would alleviate concerns over the ever popular 10k+ JoB crits.


    We made that change (stacking Vengeance to 5) when we were worried that we needed to give Ret some kind of compensation in PvE for nerfing them in PvP.

    Since then, we have seen some very high PvE numbers for Ret (read: too high) and arguably they aren't even nerfed much in PvP. Despite all the fears about TO THE GROUND, I think in retrospect it wasn't.


    Paladins being better against undead and demons than other types of creatures is a problem, especially when the current content has a lot of undead and the next tier will most likely have far less.

    Assume for the sake of argument that the damage you do in Naxx (at 3 Vengeance stacks) is the damage we want you to do all the time. You don't need to invoke "but if we are good in Naxx we will be just okay in Ulduar." That is a design problem you don't need to worry about.

    The justification for not maintaining the Vengeance buff seems reasonable, though I am troubled that Blizzard feel some Ret DPS numbers are 'too high'. Also interesting is that Blizzard feel our DPS shouldn't be constrained by the mob type we are fighting, i.e. that we shouldn't have an artificial boost against Undead mobs and lower relative DPS against non-Undead. This opinion is all well and good but would require some significant changes to Paladin Undead-only abilities, most notably Exorcism and the Sense Undead Glyph, and it's difficult to see how it can occur. I suppose a different route could be taken in order to compress down Ret rotations into fewer free GCD's, so that Exorcism will never be used... but as the man says mechanics are their job. That's why they get paid the big bucks.

    Patch on Tuesday? I think there's a better than evens chance.


    Dradis 16/01/2009, 10:16  

    Well I agree and disagree with the whole 'Paladins are better at undead/demons' thing.

    First the disagree part. Indeed, we are better against those mob types, but that is pretty much a given for most paladins in most games. And there are several classes that have class benefits against certain mob types. Hunters are anti-beast, warlocks are anti-elemental and demon, Priests are anti-undead, and mages are anti-humanoid and beast. Most other classes are just anti-everything for the most part. So with being said, it would be hard to justify removal of the paladin flavor without the removal of the flavor other classes have. Granted most of them are not direct damage spells, but still.

    On the damage aspect, Sense Undead is not that big of a deal. 1% is not really enough to get excited about. If you are doing 4000 dps, you get an extra 40 dps against undead. Granted, over a 5 minute fight, that is an extra 12,000 damage. But it would only take an extra 3 seconds to do that damage without the glyph.

    Now the direct damage spells, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I like the flavor, they fit the lore, and you have to remember to use them when you can, which helps a bit with the pally mindset (if you want to call it that). Essentially, I makes me a bit more into my character to have those things since I get all excited when I see undead or demon mobs.

    However, I do see some balance issues and I would really like to be able to use those spells more often or have the same damage on what ever I am fighting. At the very least I would like to be close. Maybe just have Exo and HW usable on all mob types, and if used against undead/demons they get a 5-10% boost? Maybe cut down the base damage and mana cost as well? They have pretty long cooldowns, so working them in would take a little extra thinking and they would not be spammable so to speak.

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