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Posts with tag Blessing-of-Salvation

WoW Archivist: When Blizzard "hated" the Horde

A night elf visits the Barrens
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Which faction does Blizzard love more?

For several years it's been all the rage to claim that Blizzard loves the Horde and hates the Alliance. Players trot out the "green Jesus" theory. They show how the past two expansions have focused far more on Horde characters and storylines than on Alliance intrigues.

It's true that Blizzard placed Thrall and now Garrosh and Vol'jin in the spotlight over the past few years. Players also look at the shiny new Orgrimmar that the Horde got when the old one burned down, and how Stormwind also took a beating and still hasn't recovered.

You can make the case that Blizzard has somewhat favored the Horde in WoW's recent history. But this is so very, very strange to vanilla players like me. Back then, players were convinced of the exact opposite. Players were so convinced, in fact, that some actually wanted a CM to die. In vanilla, Blizzard "loved" the Alliance and "hated" the Horde.

Don't believe me?

This quote is from a 2005 editorial called "Why the Horde is worse, and how Blizzard could fix it":

In the end, I am just a jealous Horde player... It is up to Blizzard to fix this game; I have done all that I can. Either World of Warcraft can be remembered as a great MMORPG, or it can go down as a horribly imbalanced one, like many before it. That's for Blizzard to decide.

Let's take a trip back to 2005. On a bus, perhaps. A bus made out of elemental electrical energy.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

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


Last week we took a look at one of the Paladin's core class mechanics, the Seal, which is a short-duration buff that is both preparatory (for Judgement) and integral to a Paladin's attack cycle. Last week, I also mentioned how Seals fail to play a part in a healers spell cycle because of how they operate. Because seals require a Paladin to make a melee attack in order for a seal to work or proc, they are similar to Rogue poisons or Shaman weapon buffs. But seals are not weapon buffs, allowing them to proc off unarmed melee attacks (although why anyone would want to is anyone's guess) but also making them susceptible to dispel mechanics.

I personally think there was a wasted opportunity in this design because it locks out one key aspect of the class from an entire spec. Because of the short seal duration, healers must get into melee range and whack at opponents constantly. Even if a Retribution Paladin is in the raid keeping up a Holy Paladin's judged seal, the Holy Paladin himself won't reap the benefits of his own judgement -- most likely Wisdom or Light -- because he won't be hitting the enemy. A healing Paladin's two-button spell cycle consists of Holy Light and Flash of Light which both have cast times, necessitating periods of no movement and often precluding melee combat. If EA Mythic's Warhammer Online follows through with the hype, there won't be any, as animated designer Paul Barnett would call it, "namby pamby healer classes."

While Retribution is fun and can dish out some hurt, and while Protection are kings of tanking entire armies, when a Paladin specs Holy, she becomes exactly that -- a namby pamby healer class. The Holy spec is somewhat ironic and goes against the grain of the core class design. Paladins are a heavily-armored melee class. When they spec Holy, that armor often goes to waste and the melee aspect is shelved away. If the spec was built to take advantage of the seal system rather than be hindered by it (putting up seals activate the GCD, pushing back healing or cleansing), we'd have a very different story. We would have Holy Paladins rushing into combat -- I don't care if they deal piddly damage -- in order to be effective, rather than standing in the back of the raid. I attribute that playstyle dichotomy to the failure of seals.

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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

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