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Posts with tag Aura

The Light and How to Swing It: Seals, Blessings and Auras part III


Alright, so much for Wrath of the Lich King. Everything looks cool so far and it's shaping up to be one heck of an expansion. Maybe somewhere in between Levels 70 and 80, Blizzard will throw in more creative Seals, Blessings, and Auras for the Paladin to play with. With the revelation that Death Knights will be sporting a Paladin-like ability called Presence, it's time for us to take a look at the Paladin's third core ability, the Aura. In many respects, Auras are the most defining ability of a Paladin because it's something that cannot be taken away from them. It is a Holy spell applied as a Physical buff, so it cannot be dispelled or stolen. Only the ridiculously overpowered Cyclone (you can quote me on that) removes it temporarily (it used to be permanent prior to Patch 2.2). But more on that later.

Auras are an important part of a Paladin's arsenal but are also the most underrated. If I had 1 Copper for each Paladin I've seen rush headlong into battle with Crusader Aura on, I would probably have enough Gold to train for Artisan Riding all over again. Auras are passive area-of-effect buffs that affect the Paladin and her party and cost nothing to cast. Because it is a party-wide buff, it helps to get the Holy talent Aura Mastery for more group utility. Auras can also be toggled in between eating and drinking or while mounted, but not while casting spells. As good as Auras are, however, it suffers from one major shortcoming: it activates the Global Cooldown.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Seals, Blessings, and Auras part I


In the Burning Crusade intro cinematic, we see an extremely cool sight with a Draenei Paladin reading from a libram, casting a spell, and walking dramatically away with his Hammer of the Naaru over his shoulder. That spell that he cast was a Seal, one of the core features around which the class is designed. A Seal lasts thirty seconds (which makes you wonder why the Draenei in the video cast it, seeing as how he'll probably need to refresh it once he's out of the building) and can be unleashed through a Judgement for a particular effect.

Seals are self-affecting magic effects while Blessings, the other core class mechanic, can be cast on others and often have longer durations. Auras are an area-of-effect buff and the third core class feature that rounds out the Paladin's playing mechanics. Although other classes have persistent area-of-effect buffs such as a Shaman's totems or a Druid's 41-point talents, only Paladins have passive, permanent aura. Understanding and mastering the use of these three core features are key to playing the Paladin class.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Support class in disguise


I re-specced to Holy again a few weeks back to concentrate on our 5v5 after quite some time of running around whacking things with a hammer. This is one of the best things about being a hybrid class. We have the option to play a particular way. Before I had decided to focus on Retribution for a couple of months, I would re-spec about 4-5 times a week depending on what our raid needed and spec Ret when I wanted to muck around in the Battlegrounds.

The trouble is, between Holy and Retribution, there is a world of difference in how to play. Granted, most of your spells will be pretty much the same, but the playing style is completely different. As much as Shockadins will protest, the truth is, Holy is a support spec. It is terrible for questing and the best thing to do is find a partner who can kill things for you. Despite the improvements to Holy Shock and the spell damage included with healing gear, the experience pales in comparison to pure DPS classes or specs. This is fine. The only real beef I have is in the disparity in play experience and the nagging feeling that, at the heart of it all, Paladins are glorified sidekicks.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: A class full of irony


I have once again managed to steal the Light for another week, as regular columnists Chris and Elizabeth are off on their own epic quests while I am left to tend to the shop, so to speak. For today, we'll take a closer look at how the class is designed and its inherent ironies.

When I first rolled a Paladin, I didn't know what I was getting into. I rolled it mainly as a companion toon for my playing partner, my wife, who was elated at the Horde finally getting a 'pretty' race and promptly rolled a Warlock. As I leveled with her demon-enslaving new main, the experience challenged and frustrated me and it soon became apparent that Blizzard had designed the Paladin under a completely different design perspective. I was hooked. If there are any perceived failures about the class, it is largely because Blizzard had a vision for the Paladin class that was different from traditional class designs.

Blizzard worked hard at defining each class with a clear directive to make each one feel different from the others. Rogues had Energy, combo points and finishing moves; Warriors had Rage, a sort of reverse Mana bar; and Shamans had the totem system. Paladins are designed largely around the interesting Seal system. Everything that a Paladin does revolves around Seals, Blessings, and Auras, with Seals being the primary mechanic for dealing any sort of damage. For the most part, class design has worked for many classes while others, like the Shaman, have had more than its fair share of issues.

Personally, I love the Paladin class. My main is now a Blood Elf Paladin, with my Troll Shaman getting a little less love than it used to. I also used to play a Troll Hunter and an Undead Rogue. While I enjoyed all of them as I played them, it was the Paladin that appealed to me the most. To be honest, I still have no idea why. Maybe it was the challenge. Maybe it was hybrid aspect. Maybe, for all I know, it was the coolness of it all. When you get right down to it, though, Paladins have -- if you examine it very carefully -- what is probably the most inherently flawed ironic class design in the game. Let me explain.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Three easy steps to Retribution PvP


Regular Paladin columnist Elizabeth was crit by an insane amount of work at, well, work and her co-columnist Chris is away completing his own epic quest, so like those duplicitous Blood Elves, I'll be stealing the Light for this week and swinging it around. Since most of the stuff I write on the site concern the one thing I really like to do -- PvP -- I think I'll get into character and write about something that some people find taboo... Retribution PvP. After writing about a few rules on healing in PvP, let's indulge ourselves with a little retributive mayhem. Despite being the most ridiculed spec in the entire game, Retribution can be a lot of fun -- and painful for your opponents -- once you get some fundamentals down pat.

Step one: gear up
If you are at all interested in PvP as a Retribution Paladin, you must get geared up. There are no two ways about this. Unless you have the proper gear, you will simply not perform as well as similarly-geared classes and your PvP experience will be diminished greatly. Retribution is one of the most equipment-dependent specs in the game, and you will feel it in PvP. Chris has written an excellent starter guide for all aspiring Ret Pallies, which is an excellent read for learning about the perfect Retribution gear. In order to do some PvP, we'll then need to take the next step and go beyond what Chris suggested and aim much higher as far as at least one piece of equipment is concerned -- your weapon.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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