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Some Paladin changes announced for patch 3.0.4

A lot of hints and news on the upcoming patch 3.0.4 have been dropped on the forums recently, so like other WoW Insider writers have mentioned on and off, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw it on the PTR in the coming weeks. Before we get ahead of ourselves too much though, there was a lot of neat Paladin stuff announced by Ghostcrawler yesterday. A lot of it is simple stuff we've sort of expected would happen, but there's still some interesting new stuff in there.
  • Divine Shield: Penalty changed so that all damage done is reduced by 50% instead of an attack speed penalty.
Interesting change, and admittedly a needed one. I think Retribution Paladins being able to go immune and use the entire range of their special abilities at full damage was a bigger problem recently than their actual damage. Yes, even with the cooldown on Divine Shield. Their damage was way, way overpowered before, but it's more in line now and I would rather see this change than another hit to their overall DPS.
  • Sacred Duty: This talent no longer affects the attack penalty of Divine Shield and Divine Protection, but grants additional Stamina.
Again, good. While this means that Protection Paladins still suffer the the -50% damage 'debuff' or Divine Shield, that really shouldn't matter at all. Divine Protection is our bread and butter in groups, and it hardly makes a difference soloing.
This is good! This is what I believe was the plan originally, but they couldn't hotfix this large of a change, if I understand correctly. I wish they had pushed this change a bit earlier, but we'll live. My only concern is that Hand of Protection is on the same shared cooldown. I suppose it makes sense from a PvP perspective, I can understand why you'd want things that way in Battlegrounds or the Arena, but it seems... off in PvE. You get the option of defending yourself or defending your groupmates. Funky.
  • Judgement of Wisdom now returns a percentage of base mana instead of a percentage of max mana.
Ouch, nerfbat. I suppose I can understand it, they actually want mana users to worry about their mana in Wrath of the Lich King, and Judgement of Wisdom contributed to DPS classes still not caring. Only Healers felt the strain. Also, the way it is right now benefits high mana classes like Mages moreso than low mana classes, like the very Retribution Paladins putting up this Judgement. This normalizes it a lot. It also has a negative impact on Holy Paladin soloing, but... hey, Dual Specs on the horizon. Just go Ret!
  • All mana drain effects now drain a percentage of max enemy mana.
This is intended to help classes with smaller mana pools, like Retribution Paladins. This is good. Sapping half of a Paladin's manapool in one cast is stupid, stupid, stupid. I don't even PvP, and I know it was stupid.
I'm going to assume this is in addition to its previous effect, because it's an extremely silly change otherwise. Assuming common sense is correct, this is a nice boost for Holy Paladin soloing, running counter to the change to Judgement of Wisdom, but... hey, no big deal. If you solo as a Healer, more damage is always a good thing. You might have to drink a little more after this patch, but at least you'll do more DPS, too.
  • All Paladins receive a single-target taunt as a base ability.
Yes. Yes! Why did this take so long to happen!? Freaking Death Knights got one before Protection Paladins did. But who cares, we finally have it. No more silly games with our taunts, no more dealing with Righteous Defense cocking itself up when your mob decides to change targets last second, none of that crap. I can just... push Taunt, and Taunt my mob. Thank you. And we actually have two taunts now, just like everyone else! We're not the murlocs of the Taunt world anymore. Ladies and gentlemen, head on over to Dalaran and buy yourselves a cake. It's on me.*

*It's not on me.

Update: Ghostcrawler has elaborated on some of these things since this post was written. Go check it out!

Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

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