Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What More Could A Class Want?

It has to be said that Paladins of all stripes made out like absolute bandits in 3.0. Retribution gained higher DPS and less reliance on group composition for this DPS, Protection gained more HP, Mitigation and Threat scaling, and Holy got a spell forever known as 'Bacon'. Well, okay, if pushed you can say that Holy's ability in mobile healing and potential healing throughput increased significantly. In 3.0.8 every Paladin will also be getting Hand of Reckoning, a new ranged pull and taunt which means that those annoying quests will no longer be quite so bad. I know that some Paladin's aren't too happy in principle with getting a baseline ranged pull, yet while I have sympathy for their position I can't help thinking that distinctive class flavour has been too high a price to pay for hours of frustration whilst questing or doing dailies.

With the 3.0.8 PTR coming to an end (okay, it's not this week but it will be soon) our attention will be turning to 3.1, the Uldaur patch. As BRK already outlined Hunters will be getting a major working over which is certainly less than surprising given the unevenness of the three talent trees. Warlocks too are due some love in PvP and PvE, perhaps even Rogues in PvE. But to be honest I cannot think of anything which the Paladin class needs, for any one of the specs.

In that vein there have been two interesting posts over at Retpaladin.com. Ferraro (the mind behind Paladin Schmaladin) is looking at Crusader Strike as a prime candidate for attention. Having had the 'refreshes Judgements' effect removed from the skill in 3.0.1, CS is not so much weak as boring. Most similar talented melee strikes, such as Mortal Strike or Stormstrike, have an additional effect of some kind. Suggestions in that thread are summed up by 'more damage' or 'more PvP utility' but very little is truly original. Using Seals and/or Judgements would be a nice idea for different effects in PvP and PvE, and not tying it to additional damage seems sensible to side-step scaling issues.

The other thread is an ever thorny topic: removing Divine Shield. The argument is the usual one: that Divine Shield is a crutch which has been used as an excuse to prevent Paladins from having x, y and z skills in our toolbox. But, is suggesting we get rid of DS really a good idea without having a very firm idea of exactly what sort of utility we could get in return and of what we will need in Season 6 of Arena PvP? This is to say nothing of how enormously detrimental it would be for Holy to not have access to it.

I argued for ditching DS back in in 1.3, when I felt that DS truly was holding our class back. The class changes made over the past 4 years have led me to believe that it hasn't been when all other factors are in balance, and if anything it is less powerful than other tools on a much lower cooldown. When Arena PvP returns to 5+ minute matches, and the 50% DS damage nerf hits in 3.0.8, I'm sure it will yet again be exposed as overrated and not a valid excuse to not deal with other unreasonable class weaknesses.

Right now we seem to be able to perform pretty well in all roles in PvE, and both Holy and Ret are above par in PvP (though the latter is most often partnered by Death Knights). So, for me 3.1 would be an excuse to deal with pet hates rather than buff or nerf the class. Forbearance is the prime candidate, BoK another. The odd talent in Holy too, and perhaps reducing the feed-back damage from Judgement of Blood. Finally the ever elusive Protection 11pt Talent will hopefully make an appearance, though I'm at a loss to know exactly what form it will take.

I guess my question is... what do you want to see in 3.1 and why? 'Cos right now, I've got nothing.

9 comments:

Anonymous 14/01/2009 22:30  

My biggest prayer is no nerfs. I am in absolute love with my paladin as Ret (3.5k on patchwerk last night woot!), and with adventuring into heroics as prot. Please do not change us, no nerfs, thats all I want

Alex - aka Firelight 15/01/2009 10:32  

I want Mortal Strike's -50% healing added to Crusader Strike.

They're turning Ret-Paladins into DPS Warriors anyway so why hold back!

Either that or give our special attacks the Holy Damage back. Divine Storm is next to useless in PVP as it does barely any damage now.

Captain The First 15/01/2009 12:30  

Paladins are fine for the most part. We've been on the topic of pallies for months now and while I am as pleased as the next guy that my pally is getting so much attention I think there's a plethora of other classes that could really use some help rather than finetuning a paladin class that is overall doing very nicely.

BigFire 15/01/2009 16:16  

As a protection paladin, I want a spell interrupt on a shorter cooldown than 30 seconds. I'll settle for a 10 second cooldown.

Suicidal Zebra 15/01/2009 16:49  

Alex:

Unfortunately, we're not going to get an MS effect. Blizzard have pretty much stated that they don't want to give it to any more classes even though it is undoubtedly a powerful effect. We need to think of something as game changing, but in a different vein.

Bigfire:

I know that having an interrupt on a shorter cooldown would be great, but do we actually need one as the game stands?

Assuming that Prot does need it, how about modifying Exorcism so that it can be used against all targets, but deals only minor damage against non-undead ones? Using this work-around the Glyph of Exorcism would work as an interrupt on a 15sec cooldown. Would that be a reasonable compromise?

Anonymous 16/01/2009 23:56  

I haven't played a ret spec since I was first leveling in vanilla WoW (I'm prot), but it seems to me that a good secondary effect for Crusader Strike could be something along the following lines. "Increases raid dps (or crit) by 1% for each judgement applied to the target."
With 3 possible judgements, this would allow for a possible 3% increase and also be sort of a kick-back to the original intended purpose.
As to the prot spec 11 pointer, a shorter CD interupt would really be nice, but I would rather see a gap closer instead. Maybe a knock off of the original (and failed) warrior ability Heroic Leap. Maybe call it Holy Leap instead.

Glam of Proudmore

Suicidal Zebra 17/01/2009 00:39  

Hrm, interesting Glam.

I very much like the idea of interacting with Judgements somehow. Additional Damage would be very powerful, but could be a very difficult sell given we already have quite a few raid-wide buffs to bring to bear.

I'm very much with you on a distance closer at 11pt Prot. The large issue with Heroic Leap was that it was essentially targeted, which allowed warriors to exploit terrain in the old world. Making a point to point leap - i.e. target an NPC/Player to jump to - would have solved this issue but was deemed identical to Charge/Intercept and hence unnecessary for Warriors. However providing such an ability to Paladins would not simply be retreading old ground for the class.

It would probably pose some balance issues which could require restrictions (shield must be equipped, can only leap to a target afflicted by a Judgement etc.) but at it's core I think it's an ability that Paladins could use a lot of.

Damn, I do hope Blizz will shed some light on their plans for this talent soon.

Anonymous 17/01/2009 13:32  

Agreed, it would be nice if they would shed some light on the subject soon. I also agree on the point-to-point issue. Adding a shield requirement to it, would definitely prevent abuse by rets as well.
Since I play the PvE game more than the PvP game, I too don't have much love for the infamous pally bubble. In my opinion, it has definitely held the prot spec back in a number of ways due to balancing in PvP. I often wonder if that skill would be better as a talent option under the Holy tree. Where it to be there, I think it would cut back on many of the problems the devs have in balancing us. I also think that it would allow for more options in the Ret tree as well.
Having said that, I would definitely miss the old Bubble-Hearth while in a bad PUG.

Glam of Proudmore

NightKnight 28/01/2009 18:47  

Hm, I'd say it'd be sweet to have a jump ability, but it would seem to be geared towards a ret spec in my opinion. After all retribution is meant for those who want to bring justice to the world and we'd want to close the gap on any of those who oppose us. Call it "Leap of Faith" haha. They'd have to make it so you'd jump in a manner with your 2h over your head ready to strike at your opposition. I'd say it wouldn't be that much of a change to have it work for any spec (like a warrior charge). If it was an 11 point prot talent I would definitely open it up for both Ret and Prot since almost every ret paladin will be putting 10 points into protection as it is (15%+ str and Kings). Just my 2 cents.

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