If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, I hope you’ve come to understand that I’m not type to post a ‘sky is falling’ kind of post. I’d like to think I’ve taken the good with the bad over the years I’ve played Honorshammer. But even I get uneasy sometimes when I read stuff from Greg Street aka Ghostcrawler, the Lead Developer of World of Warcraft. When this guy talks, people listen.
Recently, the Crab gave an interview to Eurogamer about the upcoming Expansion for World of Warcraft, Cataclysm.
The question and answer that got my Paladin Sense tingling was this one.
Eurogamer: Is there a particular class that you thought needed an overhaul more than the others?
Greg Street: I think the Paladin is one I'd say probably needs some of the most work, it got a lot of work in Lich King but it's still not quite there. Each individual role, the damage, healing and tanking all have problems, in some cases they're over-powered but a little simplistic in other cases, so we definitely want to address that. Without changing - you know, it's a very popular class, I think it's our most popular class at the moment, so we don't want to make it unrecognizable either.
His answer was not Hunters, who are having their entire Resource system overhauled. His answer was not Death Knights who are having all 3 of their trees overhauled to give them one tank, two dps trees. No, his answer was Paladins, who the Developers spent much of Wrath trying to get right.
Remarkably, in the space of three sentences, Ghostcrawler confirms essentially every complaint that’s been leveled at the Paladin class since 3.3 hit.
Paladins are over-powered.
Paladins are too easy to play.
Paladins are the most popular class.
Had those statements come from nearly anyone else, I would have debated them with every fiber of my being. Had they come from anyone else, I wouldn’t have believed them. I can ignore some random poster on the Official Forums. I can ignore Trade Chat guy. I can’t ignore Ghostcrawler. I’ve always maintained that what he said was basically reality. No one else has access to the knowledge and datasets that Ghostcrawler does.
I can try to take some solace in the fact that he didn’t say in which cases Paladins were over-powered. I don’t know if the nerfbat must swing at Prot, Holy or Ret. Because is something is over-powered, it, by definition, needs to be nerfed. I’m fairly sure the overly simplistic part is talking about Ret. It doesn’t take very long playing a Ret Paladin to notice the difference, especially after playing a Fury Warrior. If anyone plays a DPS Death Knight and a Ret Paladin, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the differences in the simplicity of the two classes, because I know less than zero about Death Knights.
But I don’t even think that’s what bothers me most about it. Nerfs and Buffs come and go from Patch to Patch. I’ve never been one to chase the Flavor of the Month. It came to my class, I wasn’t pursuing it or even wanting it. I think what bothers me the most is that the people leveling complaints at the Paladin class were right, and I had it all wrong, likely was blinded by my own bias towards the class.
I am hopeful that Paladins are given a glimpse of their new trees soon since Druids, Priests, Shamans, and Rogues just got to see their Cataclysm trees so we can see just what the vision for the Cataclysm Paladin will be. I’ll reserve my final judgment until that time.