Thursday, July 15, 2010

These Aren't the Beta Talent Trees You're Looking For.

By now, you should have been able to have a look at the new talent trees on or similar. If you haven't, look now.

Here is a look at the current Paladin talent trees.

You might have expected a long and detailed analysis of Holy, Prot and Ret from me about now, or at least a brief snark over how awful they are. Well, panic not. From the mouth of Ghostcrawler:

"These are old talents. This is not the paladin revamp that we said was coming. Sorry, you'll just have to wait a little bit longer."(Source)

"Reactive Judgements [are] dead.


I'm going to regret saying this, but the paladin trees are the most changed in the game. There are only a few of the current beta talents that survived the, um, cleansing."(Source)

Sound familiar? Well, with that in mind it seems totally pointless to jump off the deep end, tempted though we may be. In fact this is almost a shame. For all their faults there were a few gems in this build, such as a Sanctified Wrath which allowed Hammer of Wrath to be used whenever you're under the effects of Avenging Wrath, or a PvE-effective Eye for an Eye. Also the loss of Divine Purpose will hurt a lot if it goes ahead (no, the Mastery isn't a Stun break, it's passive mana regen). But oh well.

If we do one thing for class design in Cataclysm, it will be changing the paladin (all 3 specs) rotation up a bit!

In the Ret case, we started with a basic question: what is it they should be managing? There are a lot of things they *could* be managing. Today it's cooldowns. It could be mana or procs or a lot of things. There was one Ret talent in particular we really liked, and we started building a rotation around it. Then we decided the mechanic was good enough to flesh out for Holy and Prot too.

We're not ready to share the design just yet, and like all changes of this sort, it will be controversial. Some players crave a more interactive rotation. Some like their paladins the way they are. Some are only attracted to the class because it can be overpowered and they like to feel like a superhero.(Source)

Reflections on overpowered-ness aside, we should all be pretty happy with this mission statement. Shaking up rotations to differentiate the great Paladins from the merely 'good' is something that all specs should allow so long as it doesn't feel clunky or out of place with the class. It should be quite interesting to see just which talent or rotation they plan to implement, the only frequently used spell each spec has in common is Judgement so... okay, I got nothing, but it should be entertaining.

There's one final thing worth mentioning, and that's the change to Holy Shield design.

We are going to turn both Holy Shield and Shield Block into short cooldowns. A short cooldown is an ability that you don't save for an absolute emergency (like Shield Wall) but we also don't want it to be on such a short cooldown that it feels maintenance-y. It's a tricky number to get right, but something in the 30 sec to 1 min zone feels about right. Then you might use Holy Shield one GCD instead of SoR or you can choose to save it until the next big boss attack.


This somewhat files in the face of previous announcements. Supposedly Tankadins were being designed to effectively block more often than Warriors, but for less mitigation per block. The effective removal of block value probably necessitated a convergence of Paladin and Warrior blocking mechanics, but this could potentially homogenise the classes too much. Should be interesting to see how it shakes out.


Rhidach 15/07/2010, 14:16  

Color me tantalized by promises of a radically different rotation!

Robert 16/07/2010, 22:15  

I think I might be a little confused. What in the hell is a healer rotation? I've never healed on a pally, but have on both the shaman and druid. I don't a rotation in the natural sense of the word. You have hots and/or procs to manage, but not a rotation. I am curious to see exactly what they are trying out because of the rotation for healers sounds interesting.

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