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Paladin changes in Beta build 8982


The nerf bat swung and we got grazed a little bit. I didn't cover the last build's changes because they were somewhat minor, and most of them were reverted in this latest build anyway except for the change to Beacon of Light's duration to one minute (and all ranks work now). That's a buff, just in case you were wondering. On the other hand, the rest of the news is not so good.

Seals were nerfed again. The coefficients for Seal of Vengeance / Corruption, Seal of Blood / of the Martyr, and Seal of Command were lowered. I don't really have much to say about this other than that I'm disappointed but confident that it's all balanced. I haven't done as extensive a test of the Beta as I probably should, so if these damage nerfs were based on hard numbers that Blizzard has gathered, then they're probably right. I have to believe that.

Melee hits no longer refresh Judgements, which means that in order for the debuff to stay on opponents, Paladins will actually have to continuously Judge them. With the change to Crusader Strike some time back removing its Judgement refresh feature, this means Judgements will be every Paladin's responsibility. This also means Blizzard is forcing Holy or healing Paladins to insert Judgements into their rotation. With Judgements eating up the GCD now, I'm not so keen on the idea.

Shield of Righteousness was rebalanced to deal 100% of block value plus 300, although this might not be its final form as Blizzard tries to get the right amount of damage for the spell. As it turns out, a pure multiplier of Block Value -- as high as over 300% in older builds -- made Shield of Righteousness deal insane damage. This change mostly affects Protection Paladins who will have the spell firmly in their rotation.

The last interesting change is that Hammer of Justice now interrupts spellcasting for 3 seconds. The long asked for spell interrupt is finally here and it's bundled with the one spell we've always used to try and interrupt. A spell that stuns. A spell that's on a one minute cooldown. A spell that has what feels like a ridiculously high resist rate. It works as a spell interrupt against mobs that are immune to stuns, so... yay, I guess? I can't make heads or tails of this change, and I'm wary of criticizing it right now because there might be something that I'm missing.

We have yet to see a real second pass for the Holy tree, although Protection and Retribution are shaping up rather nicely. Retribution can still be kited like silly little hedgehogs (don't ask me where that metaphor simile came from), but other than that, it's pretty exciting. As I've maintained throughout all my posts, I really think Blizzard is moving in the right direction. They may take little detours along the way, but I'm fairly confident that Paladins will be great to play when Wrath finally comes out.

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

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