Ori’s Helpful and Insightful Paladin Class Change Commentary

“Helpful and insightful”, I’m already cracking myself up.

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.

Yay, more things that will allow me to put out some dps while healing.  As long as it has some sort of SHINY spell effect, I’m happy.

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.

Oh, another Hand spell.  Further proof that Blizzard expects paladins (holy ones especially) to touch people inappropriately.  /gropes  I like the idea of paladins finally having an AoE option, but how likely is it that we’ll be able to get people to stand within a decent range to make it useful? I’m not holding my breath.

You know damn well that DPS’s love for standing in things will not apply to standing in things they are supposed to.  Meet the holy paldadin’s version of the lolwell.  -Amber

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).

SUMMON FAIL ANGEL.  I like this spell, it sounds fun and useful.  I’m picturing the guardian looking like a Valkyr and swooping along the field of battle.  Gimmicky spell effects will always win me over.

Or is it a WIN angel because we don’t have to die for it?!

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.
    Finally making paladin leveling less “autoattack, afk”.   Paladin leveling, not painful?  What?  BUT THAT IS ICONIC, BLIZZARD.
  • Cleanse is being rebalanced to work with the new dispel system. It will dispel defensive magic (debuffs on friendly targets), diseases, and poisons.
    Am I the only one who doesn’t care about the dispel changes? I will dispel things when I can, and if I can’t OH WELL.  Nope, I’m in the same club.  Paladins should care even less, you damn one button spammers.
  • 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.
    PRAISE THE LIGHT.  Fewer opportunities for people to BUG me about blessings and for me to get REALLY PISSED OFF and want to slap them.  It neatly solves the “hybrid problem” of needing to track long and short buffs for different specs of the same class.
  • Holy Shock will be a core healing spell available to all paladins.
    Eh, whatever. I’m not thrilled about taking away a uniquely holy spell but chances are that the other trees won’t use it much outside of leveling.  NOOOO, MY SHOCK.  Wait, I’m prot now.  Carry on.

New Talents and Talent Changes

  • 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.
  • Do not care about PvP. However, NOOO, they be messin with mah bubble!

  • 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.
  • But if the rotation is less forgiving, I won’t be able to flail my way to 7k dps in my offspec! Also, more not caring about PvP blah blah blah.

  • 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.
  • I approve of this. I use SS on the tank that I’m primarily healing, so not having to refresh it every minute is nice. Also, I’d like to see us break out of the only good for one thing box.

  • 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.
  • I … am not sure how I feel about this. First, isn’t holy light pretty much the biggest heal there is already? Putting a bigger one in is interesting. Secondly, I like my beaconhax just the way it is, and it’s part of what makes us such good tank healers, because we can keep multiple ones up. Making beacon ONLY work with FoL is going to encourage the incredibly boring FoL spam that I am so glad to have gotten away from at this point.
    They seem to be really stuck on the “three heals” thing they’re setting up across the board.  We’ll see how it pans out.  You can probably repeat my priest comment here, though: oh look, now we can ignore TWO heals while we spam just one.

  • Holy paladins will use spirit as their mana regeneration stat.
  • This is going to feel SO WEIRD, but it’s just like every other healer now. It makes things less complicated.
    Hey look, the spirit on my t2 won’t be useless!

  • 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.
  • 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.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses


  • Healing
  • Meditation
  • Critical Healing Effect

Meditation: This is the spirit-to-mana conversion that the priest, druid, and shaman healers also share.
If I can’t stack spirit and have the biggest penis mana pool of all the healers any more, I will be le sad.

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

Overall, I think I am slightly underwhelmed (and is it possible to be just whelmed?) because there’s not really anything earth shattering going on here, and the one big change seems negative (beacon only working with FoL, which is how I interpreted that change). I’m anxious to see what actually goes live.

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  1. #1 by Krikket on April 14, 2010 - 10:47 am

    Overall, I think I am slightly underwhelmed (and is it possible to be just whelmed?)

    …I think in Europe you can.

    I am with you in the “not terribly excited” camp. I was actually hoping for more interesting prot changes because I really WANT to like Paladin tanking, but rotation =/= tanking in my mind. Blah.

  2. #2 by Ceralyn on April 14, 2010 - 10:58 am

    Fail Angel! Shiny things with angels = <3

    I am still hoping it is not as awesome as priest angels. I was so jealous when I saw my first Val'kyr. WHY AREN'T MY WINGS AS SHINY!?

    Really I was expecting more after the whole "Revamping paladins" mojo but it doesn't look like anything particularly bad. Well. Pallies may be hating on the FoL change, but more decision making is good for more fun times healing IMO :P

  3. #3 by evisceratespam on April 14, 2010 - 11:03 am


  4. #4 by Jeremiah on April 14, 2010 - 11:17 am

    the beacon change is gonna throw me off.

    Rogue after faction champs: Oh man i can’t believe i stayed up that whole time they were wailing on me.

    Me: Silly rogue. You were never going to die. You were baconed.

    Seriously, i usually just beacon a tank or another person and forget about them. if it’s just linked to FoL i’ll have to pay more attention. overall pretty boring though.

  5. #5 by Vorian87 on April 14, 2010 - 12:17 pm

    TBH the changes are no where near so big or unexpected that they had to take THREE extra days on the preview. GANK sounds like a nice spell but it’s sooo wierd that HH and BS spells have already been theorized by multiple bloggers (wow.com and MTadin among others) to be the new abilities we get.

  6. #6 by Matojo on April 14, 2010 - 12:36 pm

    Spirit = big penis? Ok. *writes that down for later*

  7. #7 by Firespirit on April 14, 2010 - 1:11 pm

    I agree with you wholly on the OH NOES BIGGER CRITS thing being completely underwhelming. But I guess we will have to see how healing really pans out in Cataclysm.

    With the beacon, I am just totally confused on this. “only works with FoL” tells me that FoL will be the only heal transferred with this. They also say that FoL is going to be a quick, inefficient heal, burning up mana. So we either A) heal the tank with our standard (I guess that is going to be HL), or B) use the small heal to heal others, and burn ourselves out of mana. Which forces us back into our pigeon hole again – heal the tank or you wont heal anything at all. Counter intuitive if you ask me.

    The whole three heal thing that is going on… I understand why they are doing it. But, the thing is, Holy paladins are ALREADY there. FoL is kinda the “standard spell”, HL is the “Big Heavy Hitting, Mana Gulping” spell, and HS is our “quick, but inefficient” spell. We dont NEED any more granularity there. We are the EPITOME of what they are trying to do.

    Sometimes I just dont get blizzard.

  8. #8 by wantedpriest on April 14, 2010 - 2:10 pm

    I get the impression that raids in Cata may change the way we look at raid healing. Blizz seems to be carving out a ‘melee group raid healer’ niche for Paladins, that requires them to be standing among the melee. I am guessing that we will see lots of movement heavy fights where cloth/leather healers won’t be able to survive the damage the melee group is sustaining, making Paladins the logical choice for raid healing them.


  9. #9 by Oasic on April 14, 2010 - 4:25 pm

    My two cents:
    Healing Hands should be a spell you cast on a raid member.

  10. #10 by shodaran on April 17, 2010 - 12:22 pm

    I linked back to this article from my blog, I dunno why it did the above thingy.

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