Friday, July 16, 2010

Redesigning the Paladin

Man, I’m glad I did that blog post yesterday since apparently the talents are all wrong.
These are old talents. This is not the paladin revamp that we said was coming. Sorry, you'll just have to wait a little bit longer. (Source)
I'm going to regret saying this, but the paladin trees are the most changed in the game. There are only a few of the current beta talents that survived the, um, cleansing. (Source)
In the Ret case, we started with a basic question: what is it they should be managing? There are a lot of things they *could* be managing. Today it's cooldowns. It could be mana or procs or a lot of things. There was one Ret talent in particular we really liked, and we started building a rotation around it. Then we decided the mechanic was good enough to flesh out for Holy and Prot too.
We're not ready to share the design just yet, and like all changes of this sort, it will be controversial. Some players crave a more interactive rotation. Some like their paladins the way they are. Some are only attracted to the class because it can be overpowered and they like to feel like a superhero. (

I’m really getting tired of GC beating the old Paladins are overpowered bit. They haven’t made one significant change to Paladins in 3.3 or 3.3.5.
But the most disappointing take away from the series of post by GC is that they are redesigning the class… again. Paladins got one of the biggest designs in both Burning Crusade and Wrath and yet here as we enter Cataclysm we are ‘the most changed in the game.’ I feel like the Developers simply have a better handle on designing other classes.
If you look at the 4 tanking trees, the Warrior tree looks the most polished.
I’m just getting tired of having to relearn a brand new class every expansion. Balance in both PVE and PVP will be difficult early on, and the roller coaster ride of underpowered to overpowered isn’t fun for anyone. You would think that by this point, the Developers would have the Palaidn design fairly well understood. It stuns me that the Paladin will be changing more than the Hunter, who is changing its resource system, or the Death Knight, who the Developers obviously have had less time to understand. I don’t want to see a repeat of what happened in Vanilla where the entire Paladin combat system was scrapped and redone two weeks before release. I don’t want to see a repeat of 2.0 or 3.0 when Paladins were stupidly overpowered and had to be nerfed once the expansion actually shipped. We don’t have a complicated feedback loop like rage or a complicated system like runes and runic power. We should be the easiest class to figure out and predict. The Developers continued struggle with designing the Paladin is boggling to me.
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