Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

One question that I’ve been getting lately is if I have a recommendation for people of a place to go for their Protection Paladin fix come Cataclysm. In case you weren’t aware, I am no longer going to be playing a Protection Paladin in Cataclysm. The good news is I do have a recommendation. Allow me to introduce you to Rhidach. You can find his blog at Righteous Defense. Despite being a d@mn yankee, he writes the best Tankadin blog on the net, bar none. If you play a Tankadin, and don’t have his site bookmakred, you’re doing it wrong. I think so much of Rhidach,that I tried to give him my spot writing for Paladin Schmladin when I realized I couldn’t blog as much with my new job as I had with the old one. He turned me down.
Now with that bit of business out of the way, let’s move on to the subject at hand. The mirror images of Paladins and Warriors. In Beta, it seems like the Paladin and the Warrior are becoming far too similar.
Consider:
Paladins and Warrior will have identical starting health and identical health scaling.
Warriors recently got the talent, Thunderstruck. Thunder Clap leaves a crackling zone of energy on the ground for [5/10] sec, dealing 5.63 damage every sec to enemies that cross it. Does that look familiar to anyone else? Remind you of our friend Consecrate?
Paladins are having Holy Wrath changed to hit all target types, and apply our attack speed slow, Vindication. This is exactly that Thunder Clap does on live. It’s snap AoE threat and the attack speed slow.
Warriors also received a version of Pestilence, which is a DK skill that spreads diseases, only this causes the Rend bleed to spread.
All these AoE skills have me scratching my head. Aren’t we supposed to be doing LESS AoE tanking in Cataclysm?
In addition, the Devs are also changing the Warriors fear (Intimidating Shout) to be single target with a duration like Repentance. They are basically turning it into Repentance.
Holy Shield is going to be a carbon copy of Shield Block with only Holy Power complications thrown in. The timing for Protection Paladins using Holy Power is very tight. You have to understand that Holy Powe was made for Retribution and now they are trying to shoehorn onto Prot and Holy. The fit isn’t great at the moment. You need 3 successful Crusader Strikes to get up a full power (15%) Holy Shield. Holy Shields duration of 15 seconds means you don't have any wiggle room to use you Holy Power on anything else other than keeping the buff up. One miss, parry or dodge of your Crusader Strike, and you will have to let it drop off and try to get another stack, or put up a limp 5% or 10% Holy Shield. And if you think Protection Paladins will be anywhere close to hit OR expertise capped at 85, I want to know what you are smoking and why aren't you sharing.
The two classes are coming dangerously too close to each other. I would prefer the classes to have a bit more differences than are currently present. If anything, things have just gotten closer during Beta. However, the Devs have some ideas on separating the classes.
They are experimenting with removing Shield of Righteousness which is basically a carbon copy of Shield Slam. Without Block Value scaling, it wasn’t very different from Cleave…err, I mean Hammer of the Righteous. Rhabella, one of my Twitter followers (you can follow me @TedtheThird), had a fantastic idea. Why not make Shield of Righteousness our short cool down interrupt since Ret stole it with Rebuke. It’s on Tier IV, out of reach of Prot.
The Tanks have to be very similar baseline. Otherwise the model of 10 man Raids will break down. But when tanks are so similar, it’s the corner cases where there will be separation. The corner cases for Paladins right now are interrupts, and fear breaks. Paladins are about the worst choice if you need an interupt, and in 10 mans, you can’t count on a Shaman or Rogue being able to cover you. In every tier there’s been a boss like Vezzax or Jarraxxus where your Tank needs to help interrupt. I’m sure Cataclysm will continue this trend. Shield of Righteousness has a cool down of 6 seconds which makes it perfect to the fit the short cool down interrupt role. Would it overpower Holy in PVP to have a melee range interrupt (that any Blood Elf Paladin already has with Arcane Torrent)?.
General Zarithrian in Ruby Sanctum highlights how Paladins still need a Fear Break. There is still lots of work to do on the class, and I’m hoping the rest of Beta provides the Developers with the opportunity to round out the Paladin kit.
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