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WWI '08 Panel: Paladin (UPDATED)

There weren't very many exciting things for Paladins at the Worldwide Invitational Panel earlier today, and this reflects the development we've seen leak out from the Wrath of the Lich King Alpha. The sneak peek of the Alpha showed that while most classes have proposed talents and abilities mapped out, there's still very little work done for Paladins. This doesn't mean Blizzard isn't thinking about the class, though. In fact, from the few things they've mentioned, it looks like they're moving in the right direction.
  • Confirming something the Paladin community has known for quite some time now -- Retribution itemization blows is very poor. They're moving itemization for Retribution Paladins to share items with Death Knights and Warriors. This means future Retribution items will have no Intellect on them... could this herald some Strength as mana mechanic?
  • UPDATE: Also on the Retribution Paladin front, Blizzard mentioned during the Q&A that Retadins will have their group utility increased by making them more efficient DPS-wise. No details on exactly how, but this little bit of information should send a thrill down the spine of every 2-hander swinging Paladin out there.
  • Hand of Purity is a new "reactive healing" spell for Paladins, something that the oft-maligned 'two-button healers' sorely need. It will work as a clutch Prayer of Mending-type spell. Will it be instant cast? As the two staple heals of a Paladin unenviably have casting times, maybe this new spell will actually be something to thank the Light for. Having another healing spell to cast during encounters should be a real blessing.
  • Speaking of blessings, overlapping Blessings have always been a problem with Paladin support, with active Blessings like Blessing of Freedom and Protection overwriting passive Blessings already on the target like Blessing of Kings. Blizzard plans to allow these spells to be non-exclusive and rename them. Not much, but it definitely addresses existing issues.
These changes aren't as exciting as a Warlock's Demon Form (or Illidanform, as Blizzard staffers jokingly call it), or a Warrior's Titan's Grip, the changes show that Blizzard knows what's wrong with the class and is serious about fixing it. So while there hasn't been any major news like a new tanking tree for Hunters or greater Arena viability for Priests, we're hoping to see more exciting stuff for Paladins!
WoW Insider is on the ground in Paris at the Blizzard Invitational bringing you the big announcements and latest Wrath news as it happens. Check out our latest coverage!

Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

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