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
-- 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.