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The Light and How to Swing It: Swap seals, not sandwiches

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Not being particularly captivated by anything in patch 5.2 so far, I've recently picked up a prot warrior and have carried him through some of the lower level areas. This isn't the first time I've tried leveling up a warrior; back in Wrath I had a level 80 fury warrior that was loads of fun, at least until Blizzard nerfed Titan's Grip and my poorly equipped berserker cow lost his ill-gotten mojo.

Since then I've tried to recapture that magic but there was always something that bugged me about the warrior playstyle: stance dancing. Being forced to choose between creating complicated macros or increasing my number of keybinds by some unseemly factor, I have typically opted for the hidden choice that was retiring the character. Thankfully this aspect of the warrior class seems to have been toned down a bit in Mists, so I figured I'd give our shielded brethren another go.

As paladins we don't have to deal with stances that lock us into or out of certain abilities (though many have pleaded with Blizzard to change that), but we do have something similar -- the seal system.

The Swiss Army seal

If you happened to pick up the paladin class sometime after vanilla WoW, you were fortunate enough to level up under the new seal regime. Under the old system, seals were a short-duration buff that was immediately consumed upon casting Judgement (back then they didn't skimp on the vowels!) I vaguely remember this mechanic, back when my friends first introduced me to the game. I very much disliked having to recast my seal so often, as many others did, I'm sure.

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

Argent Tournament gains will not transfer between factions


Just a heads up for you faction transfers, though you've probably already realized this if you have made a transfer: many of your faction reputations will transfer over just fine, but not so for any Argent Tournament progress you've made. Argent Tournament reputation and gains will not transfer over if you change factions. Kisirani says that Blizzard couldn't think of a way to do it technically, and so (as we understand it), anyone who transfers factions will lose all of their current Argent Tournament standing, and have to make their way back up through the ranks to Champion. Many other reputations have changed just fine, and you can find a list of all the changes as you cross over from one faction to another on the faction change FAQ. You will bring items over with you -- any seals earned on one side are still valid on the other. But if you want to grind out more, you'll have to go through the ranks again.

Seems like a bummer for faction changers (especially those who didn't know about the problem before they did the transfer), but on the other hand, I don't believe Blizzard would have let this go if they had any way to fix it. Short of just granting ranks to all players who transfer, assuming they have no way to track where players were at in terms of which cities they'd champion-ed for, I don't know what other solution there would be.

Update: A little more information: you also lose all of your Silver Covenant or Sunreavers rep as well, so you'll have to re-earn that from the beginning, too. As players have said in the thread below, it's not a huge loss, but it's an annoyance for sure.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Items, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling, Factions

Seals? In MY purse? It's more likely than you think

Amidst all of the cost rebalancing for Champion-level rewards in the Argent Tournament, the CMs have indicated that there would soon be new ways to obtain Champion's Seals. With the advent of patch 3.1.2, it seems Blizzard has started to follow through on that!

We received a bunch of tips in the mail over the past day or so, all letting us know that their Champion's Purses -- one of the reward choices for Champion dailies -- could randomly contain a whole 'nother Champion's Seal. This is a pretty big deal, especially since you have multiple chances per day. Players are reporting the percentage to be somewhere between 25% to 50% per Purse.

Not too shabby! This also means that those mounts you want -- including the recently-reduced Argent Hippogyph -- might be a little more within your reach, and faster at that.

We'll keep you informed of changes sure to be forthcoming, given that the CMs also mentioned that the Hippogryph cost reduction was (in part) due to their desire to add even more rewards in future patches.

Filed under: Patches, News items, Factions

The Light and How to Swing It: For the love of all that's Holy


With all the love that Protection and Retribution has gotten, a lot of people might feel that Holy has fallen behind. To a degree this is true. It's important to understand, before anything else, that for the longest time Holy was the only truly viable tree for the class. Protection has come into its own in The Burning Crusade, while Retribution needed a lot more work. Now that Blizzard has done its homework and tweaked the trees to scrumptious, tempting playability, it's time for us to revisit the Holy tree. Exactly how good will Holy be in Wrath of the Lich King?

The answer isn't a simple one. For one thing, Holy is still an incredibly powerful tree and Holy Paladins are still the best single target healers in the game, with Holy Lights critting for ludicrous amounts in the Wrath Beta. It is also now more capable offensively, with ranged Judgements, better coefficients, and a lowered cooldown on Holy Shock. Even then, there are many indications that Holy has fallen behind on many respects, and many Paladins are considering speccing Retribution or Protection because of it. That's not a good thing at all.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Wrath of the Lich King

The Light and How to Swing It: Paladin 3.0


It's pretty exciting, isn't it? Patch 3.0 is coming, well, "soon™" according to Blizzard. Considering that our favorite class hasn't gotten a second pass, it might be a bit premature to talk about Paladin changes when the pre-Wrath patch finally hits. That said, it looks like more than a few new talents will make it at least into the PTRs more or less intact. Hopefully and changes we'll see during our second pass will be tweaks to numbers and some mechanics refinements but hopefully no major changes.

Assuming that most of the changes push through, we should expect a completely different Paladin in the coming months. Even without taking the new talents into account, there are baseline changes that should make gameplay technically different. The most significant change, of course, is in the way Judgements work. This is the one change that will take some getting used to. First of all, there are now three Judgements and they activate the GCD. This means no more macros for Seals and Judgements, which is actually fine because of two things: first, Judgements no longer consume Seals; second, Seals now last for a micromanagement-light two minutes.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Wrath of the Lich King

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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