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Posts with tag Devotion-Aura

The argument for paladin stances

Righteous Defense lays out an intriguing argument for an idea that I still personally can't get behind: paladin stances. The recent changes around patch 3.3 have shined a light on paladin versatility, and basically, paladins are forced to pay the hybrid tax three times over -- because they can do it all without limiting themselves, they can't do anything as well as other classes. So RD makes the suggestion: instead of letting paladins have all of their spells under any aura, it's time to narrow things down a bit. Devotion Aura becomes tanking stance, gets Righteous Fury's threat bonus added to it, and enabling it makes pallies lose some other abilities (Avenger's Shield is RD's suggestion). Retribution Aura becomes a DPS "stance," with added benefits and costs, and so on. By forcing paladins into a playstyle, you can give them extra power, because you've taken away versatility.

Unfortunately for those in favor, I don't think it'll ever happen. First of all, we already have a class in the game that uses stances, and I think that this type of gameplay is too close for Blizzard's comfort to implement in the same way on paladins -- they want the classes to play different. Second, the paladin class design has always focused on the versatility of being a hybrid. While paladins may want to limit themselves to see buffs, Blizzard has never shown an inclination to limit pallies' versatility just to make them more powerful. I like the idea of Righteous Fury's buff getting linked up to something else (it definitely seems like it's out there on its own as an arbitrary tanking buff), but paladins getting a fully implemented stance system doesn't seem likely at all.

Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding, Classes, Buffs

Wrath Beta patch notes: Paladin part IV - the Protection tree


Alright, we've seen the changes to the Holy tree, and as far as I can tell, it looks really exciting. Blizzard addressed some key issues such as mobility with possible instant heals, HoTs, and spell haste. Holy Paladins might actually use Seals and Judge them. There's still the quibble about mana regeneration, but for now, it looks as though Paladin healing is headed in the right direction. You can read about the changes to Holy here, as well as the list of changes to baseline abilities and talents.

What about Paladin tanking? The Protection tree in its current state is designed for AoE tanking, which Blizzard acknowledges to be the Paladin tank's niche. But where Paladin tanks shine with trash mobs and situational bosses, the reactive tanking mechanic is only moderately successful with single targets, particularly bosses with slow attacks or do not rely purely on Physical attacks (thus not activating a block). That said, Paladin tanks can frontload massive threat, scale well against multiple mobs, and are the darlings of 5-man content.

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

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: 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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