Thursday, March 16, 2006

Paladins and the Community

The Paladin community right now is two groups. Those that rolled a Paladin and expected to be up front in the thick of combat and throwing out a little bit of healing. Those paladins are the ones who complain about lack of DPS/Control/Fun. Then you have the nouveau Paladins who's vision of the class is more in line with a cleric. Healer in Plate who buffs. These are the players who go onto the boards and say "The class is fine. L2P."

The second group is the greatest threat to the class. The second group is a bigger threat then whiny horde, stupid CMs and all of the board trolls combined. That's pretty imflamtory but it needs to be. The nouveau Paladins see the class as having a single role, as having only one correct thing to bring to the table and that is just wrong. Every type of every class brings something to the table for a raid. Bring a shadow priest to MC and see if your locks don't love the increased power that Shadowweaving lets them have. Bring a Feral druid and see if your hunters and rogues don't weep for joy.

But what do Retribution and Protection Paladins bring to the table for a raid? Protection brings Kings and Sanctuary. And Ret brings what? Vindication? God knows the raw joy of buffing BoK every 15 mins. And Vindication is going to be nerfed next patch to be useless on bosses. But the nouveau Paladin screams that it isn't our role to do anything but buff and heal. All they can see is how powerful our buffs are, how efficent our heals are. But that only supports one play style. I'm glad it makes you happy...but that doesn't make others in the class happy.

Some may ask why the nouveau Paladin cares if Ret and Protection get buffed. The reason they care is fear. They have built an identity around buffing and healing. They see themselves as following the "one true path"...and if Ret and Protection become viable builds then there is no longer one true path. They fear that Ret and Protection buffs will cause blessings and heals to be nerfed. They are afraid that what justifies thier righteousness will be taken away.

As long as the nouveau Paladins continue to say the class is fine then they give a reason for the Devs to say the class is fine. What keeps us down is Paladins in our own community.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well you could explore those two groups further and realise that the 'nouveau' Paladins are probably heavily into endgame raiding content, and have had to gear and spec into Holy and healing in order to get a spot in a decent raiding guild. The other group you'll find are more PvP oriented and may raid only occasionally.

Looking at the changes to the Talent Tree's in Burning Crusade and coupled with the reduction in raid caps the hybrid classes will come into their own in endgame content by virtue of their versatility.

Will Ret spec Paladins be welcome in 25 man instances? Well with the 41 point Retribution talent Blizzard have given Paladins a reason to be in the front lines. The changes in the Protection tree look to have finally addressed the glaring issues this tree had. It is currently so weak most Paladins are forced to grudgingly spend 11 precious talent points to be able to buff Kings, probably our most sort after buff. With more 5 man content under development Prot spec Paladins can expect to find themselves main tanking these instances and the new tree only makes this easier.

As a holy spec raiding Paladin I don't belong to either, in fact I refuse outright to be boxed and told this is how your class should be played. I am my current spec because I chose to see just how well Paladins in plate can heal. The result is that IMHO Paladins are in some circumstances better healers than priests because they can heal a significant amount and are self sufficient in looking after themselves. I don't think that we will tank better than a prot warrior although I've seen some Paladins in my guild given a party who understands about Paladin tanking who do a damn good job. As for DPS Paladins, well its not a myth, and I am waiting to see what is possible when BC comes out. I knew a Paladin pre 1.8 who was a critadin and he could really dish out the damage when his seals procced. Post 1.9 things have been a bit leaner but there are still some fearsome Ret pallys out there.

Paladin from Gilneas

5:37 PM  

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