Stupid paladins. Why did I roll a paladin? Why did rolling a paladin mean that I get lame skills and lamer talents? SIGH.
The Paladin Preview is out. Here’s the MMO-Champion direct link.
Let us examine it, bit by bit, shall we? WE SHALL! I haven’t read anyone else’s thoughts on things, this is just my initial impression. Can’t wait to see what others have to say.
Blinding Shield (level 81): Causes damage and blinds all nearby targets. This effect might end up only damaging those facing the paladin’s shield, in a manner similar to Eadric the Pure’s ability Radiance in Trial of the Champion. The Holy tree will have a talent to increase the damage and critical strike chance, while the Protection tree will have a talent to make this spell instant cast. 2-second base cast time. Requires a shield.
What the hell are they doing? Giving me a freaking damage spell, complete with HOLY TALENTS that increase damage and crit chance? Sounds great for prot. Does not sound great for Holy. Unless you’re PVPing. In which case, hey. Nice. Grats to those of you who give a damn about PVP. But what about the PVE holy paladins? “Ooh, I get to have another damaging spell when I want to quest or farm or something!!!!” …really?
So level 81 – nothing of interest for me happens. Good to know. NEXT.
Healing Hands (level 83): Healing Hands is a new healing spell. The paladin radiates heals from him or herself, almost like a Healing Stream Totem. It has a short range, but a long enough duration that the paladin can cast other heals while Healing Hands remains active. 15-second cooldown. 6-second duration.
Uh. Please, please correct me if I’m wrong, but does this suck or what? How much does this heal for? Lasts six seconds — does it pulse every second? Every two seconds? Every three seconds? With a 15-second cooldown (like the vanilla/BC Holy Shock) will it be used regularly and frequently or will it be relegated to OH CRAP AOE! moments?
I do like that it’s an AOE thing. I do not like that it’s based on our position. I do not like that it’s likened to healing stream totem. My character is not a totem, thank you very much.
It really seems to me like they’ve taken a common suggestion over the years (make Consecration into something that damages enemies/heals friendly units) and just made it a new ability that doesn’t have the issue of causing damage to enemy units. And added a longer cooldown. But really, isn’t this just some healing version of Consecration? Think about it — we’re at the middle of it. It’s something we pop and we can get back to doing our regularly-scheduled healing. It’s short-range, so people need to be near us. Yep, I think that’s about the same as Consecration. Obviously, we’ll see how this works out ($10 says they patch it out in beta!) but I’m not thrilled. It’s weird that I’m not thrilled, because I really would have liked a decent AOE heal. If this ends up being decent, I will happily eat my words.
I’d also like to object to the name. If Blizzard doesn’t think that HAND of Reckoning doesn’t already confuse people when you have spells like Hand of Protection, Hand of Salvation and Hand of Freedom, then I guess I can understand why this thing is called Healing Hands. Why not something like Waves of Light? Or Light Flow? Or Wind of Light? Or, hey, how about Stream of Light? I actually like that.
Guardian of Ancient Kings (level 85): Summons a temporary guardian that looks like a winged creature of light armed with a sword. The visual is similar to that of the Resurrection spell used by the paladin in Warcraft III. The guardian has a different effect depending on the talent spec of the paladin. For Holy paladins, the guardian heals the most wounded ally in the area. For Protection paladins, the guardian absorbs some incoming damage. For Retribution paladins, it damages an enemy, similar to the death knight Gargoyle or the Nibelung staff. 3-minute cooldown. 30-second duration (this might vary depending on which guardian appears).
So, hang on a second. We’re going to get a base ability that, depending on our spec, does different things? I actually might be able to get on board with that. Except that I think the holy one is lame. Seriously, we already have this in the game. It’s called Ancestral Awakening and it’s a resto shaman talent. And again, it’s single-target: “heals the most wounded ally in the area”. And what’s the area? Is it something I can target like Blizzard or Volley? Or is it something that just appears and heals anyone within 40y or so?
Blah to new skills.
Changes to stuff:
– Crusader Strike at Level 1. We already have an instant attack. It’s called Judgement. But okay. Another button to push. Hooray.
– Cleanse isn’t actually changing, so I guess I’m glad about that, unlike shammies, who must be pissed to lose things like Cleansing Totem.
– BOM/BOW… Well. They’ve streamlined it. I think that’s a positive. But will either be improved? Will both be improved? Will there be an imp BOM talent? An imp BOW talent? Will these affect which BOM is on someone? Also, possibly more importantly, are we going to be stuck with the fist icon? I like my icon for Blessing of Wisdom. :P
– Holy Shock available to all paladins. Wow. I am… not impressed. Holy Shock has been THE holy ability for years. And now it’s just available for everyone? So rets are going to be able to toss a Holy Shock in arenas while on the run? Prots will be able to cast it on themselves or others? That’s MY SPELL, Blizzard. MINE. What the hell are you doing, giving it away all willy-nilly?
– Possible duration changes on Divine Shield. When my brother asked about paladin changes the other day, he was like “well, what kind of things would they change?” and I said “I don’t know, but they got rid of Tree of Life, so anything’s possible.” And his reply was “Are they going to change bubble?!” and he was all concerned. “They could do anything,” I told him, “maybe even get rid of it.” He was properly horrified at that thought. And properly horrified about this potential change as well.
What horrifies ME more than anything is this: “Furthermore, the healing environment of Cataclysm is going to be different such that a paladin may not be able to fully heal themselves during the duration of Divine Shield to begin with, so this may not be a problem.” I’m sorry, either I’m going to have 80,000 health or I’m going to heal for 3k per big cast. 12 seconds won’t be enough time spent casting to heal myself???
– Ret rotation. Well, whatever.
– Sacred Shield/improving the Holy Paladin toolbox. Okay, I can handle a 30 minute buff on my main healing target. That’s fine. I’m not sure I LIKE the change, but I can certainly live with it. I feel like I spend raids juggling ability cooldowns as it is. Removing one from the rotation is fine. But I don’t trust them to adequately improve our toolbox. The last time they did, we got Beacon of Light. Which is hax on some fights and stupidly useless on others.
– New, bigger, healing spell. Okay, here we go. FoL, HL and then unknown bigger spell. I’m fine with that. Interesting that our current “bomb” spell is the middle one, though. Also, if this is going to be the same as the other classes, they’re changing FoL from being fast and efficient to being fast, but inefficient. Not sure I like that too much.
– Beacon of Light change. “Beacon of Light will be changed to work with Flash of Light. We like the ability, but want paladins to use it intelligently and not be constantly healing for twice as much.” Screw you, Blizzard. You give us Beacon of Light and it sucks. Then you change it to include overhealing and it’s still halfway useless sometimes, but other times, it is the reason for getting the encounter done (hi, heroic Deathbringer Saurfang, how are you doing?). And now you’re going to change it to… well, as I understand it, only work with Flash of Light? SERIOUSLY? Take the ability away. Just get rid of it. I want a 51-point holy talent that is worth a damn and a talent that is an ability that mirrors only the SMALLEST of our heals? That’s not a talent worth a damn.
– Spirit. Blah, blah, I knew this, but it still sucks. Stupid spirit.
– Prot rotations. Sounds neat. The prot pally tanking method is way too good for both single-target threat and AOE threat.
– Holy Shield, no more charges. So what, this will last 8 seconds with no charges? That sounds boring and predictable. Bind Holy Shield to all your abilities and it’ll be cast when it’s off cooldown.
– Holy. Critical Healing Effect: When the paladin gets a crit on a heal, it will heal for more. Oh, gee whiz, CAN I have more overhealing? Please?! :P I understand that they’re changing things so that we can go back to healing reactively instead of mindlessly and this will change some of the overhealing issues (as well as mana becoming an issue again) but I don’t know that we really need super crit on our heals. I imagine we’re still going to overheal a ton.
– Prot. Block Amount: We want to keep the kit of the paladin as a tank who blocks a lot. So by contrast, the warrior tank will sometimes get critical blocks, but the paladin will absorb more damage with normal blocks. Sounds reasonable, although odd. Are they trying to make tanks more niche-specific again? You have the prot pallies who are The Blocking Tanks versus the bears who can’t block or parry at all. Sounds to me like, given the choice to AOE tank things, a prot pally now has even more reason to tank, whereas a bear or DK don’t.
– Ret. Holy Damage: Any attack that does Holy damage will have its damage increased. Uh. Okay?
On the one hand, some nerfage. On the other hand, some lame skills. On a third hand, a couple of perhaps interesting changes.
Lots of things will change, of this I’m certain. I’m being overly critical and cranky, I know. We all need to wait to see what beta brings with it. But those are my initial impressions.