Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
The fixing/nerfing of the Paladin
Published on February 16, 2005 By Draginol In WoW

This week Blizzard updated its popular massively multplayer RPG game, World of Warcraft. The main changes was a "bug fix" that dramatically decreased the amount of damage the Paladin class was capable of doing.  The change occurred in how the "Seal of the Crusader" is handled.

Previously it allowed the Paladin to swing faster AND keep doing the damage he would normally do with each swing.  Now, it's been changed so that the Paladin swings faster but each hit does less damage (so the effect is mainly that the player is getting more hits in with the same overall "damage per minute" occurring).

The problem is that the Paladin becomes pretty tedious to play in the game once the player has reached level 40 or so.  Prior to that, the Paladin is probably one of, if not the most, powerful classes in the game.  Needless to say, players who remember having been killed in PvP by Paladins during their character's "youth" (level 20 to 40) aren't sympathetic to the plight of the Paladin.

What they don't realize is that the Paladin in World of Warcraft tops out. That while the Paladin may be king of the hill (not so much now but still pretty damn good) at the early to mid stages of the leveling, it ends up being one of the dullest, most tedious classes to play. The end game of the Paladin is a study in bordeom.  Battles, which used to take 5 seconds at level 20 take 30 seconds ore more at level 50 (battles against creatures of the same level).

Meanwhile, other classes, particularly preists, rogues, and mages, see their damage dealing continue to properly scale as they move up. The Paladin, in effect, falls behind in every way except in how difficult they are to kill.

In effect, the Paladin is good only in that he is hard to kill and outlasts opponents. Hardly a fun trade-off for most people.  I suspect most players would gladly have their Paladin be more vulnerable in exchange for more damage power.  The Paladin at level 50 is very very hard to kill. The Paladin at level 20 does serious damage but is, relatively speaking to the level 50 Paladin, quite vulnerable.

A suggestion I emailed off to a friend of mine at Blizzard is that the Paladin at level 40 should get a new spell.  "Aura of Might" that doubles their attack power for 30 seconds but with a cost -- it counts as a use of shield of invulnerability.  Aura of Might would have a 15 second cool down but every time it's used, it would reset the cooldown on the various invulnerability shields. So the Paladin would have to make some tough choices.

Any Paladin under level 40 complaining about the changes is, as others gleelfully point out "just whining".  But there were serious problems with the Paladin class even this "fix" was put in after level 40.  Blizzard needs to address the post level 40 Paladin fighting ability that becomes increasingly problematic as the player rises up in levels.

 


Comments
on Feb 17, 2005
Whiney Paladins =P

I'm having to ask though, do you have much previous High-End MMoRPG experience? (knowing that either way would let me bring up more valid points for a later responce.)

Not trying to be an ass... (I'm just lacking sleep atm from insomnia =/ so I have no tact and am a bit crass) but myself playing a 55 warrior I have a REAL hard time sympathising with you at all. Your basically asking to have a skill that would let you have more damage output than a warrior... You asking to have your char made into 2 classes basically... a DPS man or a tank, whichever you'd want to use at nearly a whim. ( I don't know the cooldown on the invuln shield, I'm guessing half hour?)

I understand your wanting your class to not have to take so long to solo... but truth is, you DO have it good as it is. Longevity is a BIG plus... I can already tell you that at an equal level to me a paladin could easily get faster xp than me fighting the same mobs. I don't have any real "oh shit" abilitiy that I can pop if I really need to haul ass away like an invuln shield. Normally for me, if things go bad.. it means visiting my local graveyard.

I don't know if I'm being too clear really.. I'm kinda scatterbrained atm... but I think having the changes you want made (or at least that skill suggestion) would be way overpowering, and would totally ruin PvP balance.

Aye you may not PvP.. but the vast majority of people playing are PvP'rs...

Ok.. that's all I'm going to say right now.. lol.. I'll come back to this after I've gotten some sleep and hopefully post a much more readable and comprehensive post... hehe.
on Feb 17, 2005
I completely agree. As a paladin just entering the mid-40s now I feel the pain brought on by this change. I'm already doing easily less than half the DPS of any of my group members. My heals are less effective than our priest and I have less mana so i burn through it faster. The only consolation is that I can take a beating and res everyone after a swarm of mobs kills everyone else. I'm there as an insurance policy now more than anything.

True, under 40 we're overpowered. Verigan's Fist is one of the best overall weapons for the level range we can get it in, our shields make us essentially impossible for most mobs to kill (I could fight up to 2 mobs 5 levels higher than me and live... but it would take everything I had). Now however we don't do anything particularly well aside from soak up damage and res people.

From the last-second changes in beta, through the reduction to Seal of Light, and now Seal of the Crusader... I'm not sure what Blizzard plans to do with this class. It's obvious they had something cool planned for it at one point, but they're now caving in to the screaming minority on the forums.
on Feb 17, 2005

M-Post - the Warrior also needs a great deal of work. The warrior is more broken than the Paladin currently because it's effectiveness is poor throughout the game.

What Blizzard needs to do for the warrior IMO would be:

(1) No cool down on potions.

(2) Increase the strength of the warrior further.

(3) Have the stances scale much better.

The problem isn't the Paladin being fine. It's not fine. (or we can just say that world of warcraft is a subpar game that excels only in that it creates a polished enough progress quest to be addictive low levels).  The problem is that the melee classes (other than the rogue) are too weak.

on Feb 17, 2005

Actually, the problem wasn't the Seal.

When Blizzard rolled out the patch, they screwed up the math.  Instead of Seal of the Crusader taking the hit, the Base DPS of the Paladin Unbuffed and Unsealed (I.e. no buffs or seals), was dropped about 30%.  There are been various screenshots and stats posted in the WoW forums.

Blizzard is apparently looking into fixing it.

on Feb 18, 2005

But even when that's fixed, there is still th eproblem with melee units (warriors and paladins) being very tedious at above level 40 player.

There's also an issue with the quality/quantity of quests at level 50 and above that needs to be addressed soon. I'm glad I'm moving up slowly so that I am not having to deal with this stuff too much. '

on Feb 22, 2005
I had no problems with paladins prior to this change.. guess they just listened to all the whiners who could'nt kill paladins in pvp...
[I'm a warlock... ]

more quests.. and i'm happy. [or if Wish was ressurected]
on Feb 22, 2005
The quest issue is starting to become really problematic. Even at level 37 now, it's getting hard to find non-elite quests.
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