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A honkload of news (Paladin)

July 19, 2010

Boy oh boy. I always enjoyed the developer chats, but this latest one has been the mother-lode. They’re finally dropping us a proper preview of what they have planned for Paladins, including a new resource called Holy Power and several new heals! Read on!

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Q. Any thought to having Retribution paladins use spell power plate to help put Holy paladins on equal footing as other healers?
A. We think Retribution paladins needs to use strength plate. Changing this would require a lot of funky solutions, such as how we handle Crusader Strike damage, and trying to control Retribution from being too powerful a healer. We realize it’s odd to itemize spell power plate for one specialization, but we think all of the solutions to this issue are worse than just living with it.

Q: What is the goal when re-designing the paladin class? How do you plan to change rotations, talents, etc?
A. All of the paladin specializations will make use of a new resource called Holy Power. Holy Power accumulates from using Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents. Holy Power can be consumed to augment a variety of abilities, including:

  • An instant mana-free heal: Word of Glory
  • A buff to increase holy damage done: Inquisition
  • A massive physical melee attack for Retribution paladins: Templar’s Verdict
  • Holy Shield’s duration is now extended by Holy Power
  • Divine Storm’s damage is now increased by Holy Power

We also introduced several new heals for Holy Paladins including Healing Hands (an AoE heal-over-time that is applied to all players standing near the paladin), Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range), as well as a new heal called Divine Light, which is similar to a priest’s Greater Heal, and the new instant heal mentioned above, Word of Glory.

Q: Are Protection paladins still going to refresh Divine Plea on melee hit (via a talent or trained ability)?
A. Yes.

Q: Can you give us a sneak peek at one or two of the new Retribution abilities or talents?
A. Templar’s Verdict: An instant weapon attack that causes a percentage of weapon damage. Consumes all applications of Holy Power to increase damage dealt:

  • 1 Holy Power: 55% Weapon Damage
  • 2 Holy Power: 125% Weapon Damage
  • 3 Holy Power: 225% Weapon Damage

Word of Glory: Consumes all Holy Power to heal a friendly target for a specific amount per application of Holy Power (0 mana cost, 0 cooldown, instant cast).

Q: If Judgement of Wisdom is being removed from the game, are paladins getting a new Judgement so we don’t all have to use Judgement of Light?
A. There will only be one Judgement spell. This spell places a single debuff on the target with the effects currently associated with Judgement of Light and Judgement of Justice. The Judgement of Wisdom effect has been retired completely.

Q: Are the improved aura talents going away? They were still present in beta.
A. If you mean talents like Improved Devotion Aura, then those are gone. We still have talents that, say, increase healing on targets of your auras. Improved Concentration Aura still exists. In genera, though, you shouldn’t have to worry about having raid buffs of different power competing with each other.

Q. Are Protection Paladins still going to refresh Divine Plea on melee hit (via a talent or trained ability)?
A. Yes.

By the light, this is amazing! A resource built up by using certain abilities that can then be spent on free heals/boosting damage in new and exciting ways! Woot! From what they’ve said this mystical new force fills up a 3 part bar of Holy goodness. At any point, you can spend it all on a new, free heal, some damage buffs for Retribution or new attacks, or boosting your threat and Holy Shield duration for Protection. It sounds pretty nifty. They mentioned it’s filled up by Crusader Strike and Holy Shock. Consider that the first of these abilities is becoming baseline and part of the single-target rotation for both Tanking and DPSing Paladins – on a 4 second cooldown it would take a mere 12 seconds to build up a full load of Holy power to unleash upon your target. As a Holydin, Holy shock doesn’t currently see much use (only on the rare occasions I’m urgently needing to move AND heal someone taking loads of damage) but this may obviously change with all these new heals and redoing of numbers to shake things up.

Now, that excites me. I can’t decide if the second news excites me more: Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range). Whenever I hear the word ‘cone’ in conjunction with a spell, I can’t help but think of the Mage spell Cone of Cold. If you don’t know it, roll a Mage, or find one and get him to use Cone of Cold. I am imagining a light-themed version of that, although with a 30 yard range it’d have to be a fricking big cone. Maybe it’ll look more like a flash-light beam. In which case, hurrah for lazorz!

To be perfectly honest, these new spells and abilities really sound like they’re going to be adding some much needed cool factor to the class. With the removal of Divine intervention and the fiddling with Divine Shield, I was (and still am) worried that the few really fun and unique powers Paladins possess would be going away. We don’t have anything amazingly fun to use like Demonic Circle, Blink, Invisibility, Spellsteal, Stealth, Thundershock or Charge. They could easily have given Paladins practically any of those abilities, slapping a glowing gold visual on the spell and renaming it something to do with Light, Holyness, Goodness or Divinity. So Paladins need some fun tools, and it’s good to see Blizzard working towards that.

I’m glad about the news of Judgements being folded together. I wonder what Retribution will do for Mana return now, but it’s probably too early to tell. There’s a lot more of a focus on Judging in the Holy tree as I mentioned before, and this only enhances that, especially the target of our Cleanse being judged if we spec into that. I hope it works through stealth, imagine: A rogue is attacking your healing target. The healing target is stunlocked and dying, but you manage to keep him alive. The rogue is getting so low on health thanks to your handy retribution aura splashing damage on him that he vanishes, and runs away like a pansy. You then set about not only healing your target, but dispelling all of the poisons the rogue left behind on him. 40 yards away, three or four Judgement hammers smack into the air and suddenly a rogue fades into the visible spectrum and hits the dirt.

Lets hope, anyway.

-Zal

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