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Offline Saberaen

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Cataclysm: Paladin Preview
« on: 04/14/10, 10:45 AM »

   In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm we’ll be making several changes to class talents and abilities across the board. While this list only outlines some of our plans for the paladin class, we want to give you a look at the new high-level abilities and an overview of how the new Mastery system will work with each talent spec. 

   

   New Paladin Spells 

   

   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. 

   

   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. 

   

   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). 

   

   Next you will find a list of some of the paladin spell and ability changes, followed by our intentions for improving each talent tree for the release of Cataclysm. There will be further changes, but those revealed below should offer some insight into our goals. 

   

   Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

       

  •       

          

          Crusader Strike will be a core ability for all paladins, gained at level 1. We think the paladin leveling experience is hurt by not having an instant attack. Retribution will be getting a new talent in its place that either modifies Crusader Strike or replaces it completely. 

           [/li]
       

  •       Cleanse is being rebalanced to work with the new dispel system. It will dispel defensive magic (debuffs on friendly targets), diseases, and poisons. 

           [/li]
       

  •       Blessing of Might will provide the benefit of Wisdom as well. If you have two paladins in your group, one will do Kings on everyone and the other will do Might on everyone. There should be much less need, and ideally no need, to provide specific buffs to specific classes. 

           [/li]
       

  •       Holy Shock will be a core healing spell available to all paladins. 

          New Talents and Talent Changes 

           [/li]
       

  •       We want to ease off the defensive capabilities of Retribution and Holy paladins slightly. We think the powerful paladin defenses have been one of the things holding Retribution paladins back, especially in Arenas. One change we’re considering is lowering Divine Shield’s duration by a couple of seconds. Having said that, Retribution does pretty well in Battlegrounds, and Battlegrounds will be a much bigger focus in Cataclysm since they can provide the best PvP rewards. 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. 

           [/li]
       

  •       We feel Retribution paladins need one more mechanic which involves some risk of the player pushing the wrong button, making the rotation a bit less forgiving. In addition, we want to add to this spec more PvP utility. Right now the successes of the Retribution paladin in PvP seem to be reduced to either doing decent burst damage, or just being good at staying alive. 

           [/li]
       

  •       We want to increase the duration of Sacred Shield to 30 minutes and keep the limit to one target. The intention is that the paladin can use it on their main healing target. That said, we would like to improve the Holy paladin toolbox and niche so that they don’t feel quite like the obvious choice for tank healing while perceived as a weak group healer. 

           [/li]
       

  •       We want to add to the Holy tree a nice big heal to correspond with Greater Heal. Flash of Light remains the expensive, fast heal and Holy Light is the go-to heal that has average efficiency and throughput. 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. 

           [/li]
       

  •       Holy paladins will use spirit as their mana regeneration stat. 

           [/li]
       

  •       Protection paladins need a different rotation between single-target and multi-target tanking. Likewise, we're looking to add the necessity to use an additional cooldown in each rotation. 

           [/li]
       

  •       Holy Shield will no longer have charges. It will be designed to improve block chance while active, and will continue to provide a small amount of damage and threat. [/li]
    [/list]





       Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses 

       

       Holy 

       Healing 

       Meditation 

       Critical Healing Effect 

       

       Protection 

       Damage Reduction 

       Vengeance 

       Block Amount 

       

       Retribution 

       Melee Damage 

       Melee Critical Damage 

       Holy Damage 

       

       Meditation: This is the spirit-to-mana conversion that the priest, druid, and shaman healers also share. 

       

       Vengeance: This is the damage-received-to-attack-power conversion that all tanks share. 

       Critical Healing Effect: When the paladin gets a crit on a heal, it will heal for more. 

       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. 

       

       Holy Damage: Any attack that does Holy damage will have its damage increased. 

       

       This concludes this Cataclysm preview for the paladin class. The development of these changes will continue to evolve in the coming months. Please be sure to provide any feedback and thoughts you might have on what was covered here. 

Offline Saberaen

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Re: Cataclysm: Paladin Preview
« Reply #1 on: 04/14/10, 10:56 AM »


   I'm a lot more hopeful than I expected to be. I anticipate making good use of all three new baseline spells as Prot.



   Blinding Shield may turn out to be the fabled gap closer (and an AE one at that) - Ret being unable to use it without switching weapons and invoking a cast time makes me think this more likely. I'd still expect some sort of ST target-based gap closer for Ret, perhaps through a talented improvement to Judgment of Justice.



   I imagine I'll try to keep Healing Hands up as much as mana permits while tanking or offtanking - I like the idea of providing healing to the other tanks and melee in addition to Judgment of Light.



   Guardian of Ancient Kings sounds just awesome. Pure paladin flavor.



   I'm also digging the idea of having access to Crusader Strike and Holy Shock (particularly assuming they keep the damage portion of Holy Shock).



   Block amount is probably a better choice than block chance for Prot's mastery. With any luck, I'll be able to stack block rating and Mastery. =x



Offline Zebrix

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Re: Cataclysm: Paladin Preview
« Reply #2 on: 04/14/10, 11:15 AM »


   I found Healing Hands to be a very interesting design direction. Depending on the range, it certainly seems to reinforce the notion that Holy Paladins are expected to be in melee range (just as much as Prot and Ret) in order to not only get their Judgements rolling (which may or may not be more crucial to their healing in Cata with tighter mana regen) but also to optimize their one and only AoE heal.



   The Beacon change is interesting. I think its current status (no-strings-attached x2 modifier) is rather overpowered. I can understand why they want to nerf that. Ultimately this change means that a Paladin can't really keep two tanks up by himself (particularly in 10-mans). I imagine they would still be the preferred tank healer regardless because their single target heals are slightly more powerful than anyone else's and they can sustain casting those big tank heals a lot longer than any other class.



   What I do think this change opens up is the notion of a Paladin raid healing with FoLs somewhat like a Druid with Regrowths. Keep in mind that Intellect will be the SP source in Cataclysm, so FoL Paladins who gem pure SP and HL Paladins who gem pure Int will essentially be the same. I would also bet they're going to retune the SP scaling on FoL to be a bit more powerful. In that situation, I think applying FoL HoTs across the raid with those GCD capped quick 1 sec casts, and having all of that transfer via Beacon to a tank as support healing isn't necessarily a bad option to give Paladins when tank damage is low and raid damage is high. It does restrict Beacon of Light into a raid healing tool, I guess, but I'm not convinced that's a bad thing.



   On a side note, along the same lines of Beacon being overpowered, I would bet money that they're going to nerf the base SP scaling on Disc Shields and force Disc into relying heavily on Mastery (hence sacrificing other stats) in buffing their absorptions. These two wildly unique and powerful abilities (Beacon and Shielding) makes these two classes mandatory for practically every 25-man, and mandatory for 10 as well everytime some extreme or very difficult fight (such as Lich King) crops up.



Offline Saberaen

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Re: Cataclysm: Paladin Preview
« Reply #3 on: 04/14/10, 11:21 AM »


   I believe FoL only applies a HoT to a target who has Sacred Shield - of which there is only ever one per paladin.



Offline Zebrix

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Re: Cataclysm: Paladin Preview
« Reply #4 on: 04/14/10, 12:12 PM »


   Edit: I was mistaken. What they unlinked was FoL from the Paladin's *own* SS. HoT still requires an SS, just not necessarily their own.



   Scratch what I said above. BoL change makes it sorta garbage. Raid healing with direct snipes don't work. Shamans got a harsh lesson on that very subject in Ulduar.



Offline Shatner

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Re: Cataclysm: Paladin Preview
« Reply #5 on: 04/14/10, 04:25 PM »


   Yay Sab, you put it where I was going to.  Paladin changes are pretty good.  I like the Ancient Kings thing.  Beacon will be gimp as shit unless they buff up FoL.  At least let it work with Holy Shock?  Situational at best.



   Crusader Strike and Holy Shock should have been made baseline in TBC beta, but I'll take what I can get.



   Holy Damage for Ret's mastery?  That went over well with Divine Storm, right?



   The rest is as expected.



Offline Criph

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Re: Cataclysm: Paladin Preview
« Reply #6 on: 04/14/10, 05:36 PM »


   Can't complain about the new abilities.  Being with melee so often, I've always wanted my own Holy Nova.  And another set of wings.



   Seems they aren't really sure where to go with BoL.  With the massive stamina gains coming in Cataclysm, leaving BoL the same as it is now but without the ability to transfer the new talented heal seems like a more realistic option.



   Holy paladins can talent into an additional heal that is like a giant Holy Light. It might take three of these big heals (or two crits) to get a tank from death’s door back to 100% health. source



   All these healing spells - Flash of Light, Holy Shock, Holy Light, Talented-Giant-Holy-Light, Healing Hands, Guardian of Ancient Kings - and only one small, soon-to-be-expensive heal transferred to Beacon.  This is one of those wait-and-see things for me.



   Also:



   



Offline lazurd

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Re: Cataclysm: Paladin Preview
« Reply #7 on: 04/15/10, 07:37 PM »
No one mentioned the buff change!  No more "OMG I HAVE WISDOM I DON"T USE MANA LOLZ!"

Offline Zebrix

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Re: Cataclysm: Paladin Preview
« Reply #8 on: 04/15/10, 08:16 PM »
Quote from: lazurd
No one mentioned the buff change!  No more "OMG I HAVE WISDOM I DON"T USE MANA LOLZ!"

Long overdue convenience/quality-of-life change. "About damn time" is all there's to say about it ;)


Offline Criph

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Re: Cataclysm: Paladin Preview
« Reply #9 on: 04/15/10, 08:32 PM »
The buff thing is pretty much the only change I'm actually overjoyed about.



The Sacred Shield change will save a lot of global cooldowns if we aren't doing a lot of shield-switching, which means more healing.

Offline Nixorrell

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Re: Cataclysm: Paladin Preview
« Reply #10 on: 02/06/13, 11:51 AM »
͘
« Last Edit: 02/06/13, 03:09 PM by Nixorrell »