Monday, July 19, 2010

Paladin Twitter Dev Chat: Because They Just Can't Seem to Get Us Right

I normally don't pay attention to much of this, but these are such huge changes that, if implemented, will alter the playstyle of pretty much every paladin in the World of Warcraft... I can't resist that bandwagon! Let's go!

Q. Any thought to having Retribution paladins use spell power plate to help put Holy paladins on equal footing as other healers?
A. We think Retribution paladins needs to use strength plate. Changing this would require a lot of funky solutions, such as how we handle Crusader Strike damage, and trying to control Retribution from being too powerful a healer. We realize it's odd to itemize spell power plate for one specialization, but we think all of the solutions to this issue are worse than just living with it.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing them redesign all of our abilities to scale off spell power again. It seems ludicrous that spell power plate exists for one spec of one class, but strength plate is used by five specs spread over three classes.

And as for making ret too powerful an off-healer; how about a holy-esque version of Righteous Fury? Perhaps make healing spells cost a LOT of mana, and give holy paladins a talent/aura/spell that decreases healing spell mana cost by 50/75%?

In essence, what Blizzard is saying is that they're too lazy to rework all of that. Whatevs, devs.

Q: What is the goal when re-designing the paladin class? How do you plan to change rotations, talents, etc?
A. All of the paladin specializations will make use of a new resource called Holy Power. Holy Power accumulates from using Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents. Holy Power can be consumed to augment a variety of abilities, including:

  • An instant mana-free heal: Word of Glory
  • A buff to increase holy damage done: Inquisition
  • A massive physical melee attack for Retribution paladins: Templar's Verdict
  • Holy Shield's duration is now extended by Holy Power
  • Divine Storm's damage is now increased by Holy Power
We also introduced several new heals for Holy Paladins including Healing Hands (an AoE heal-over-time that is applied to all players standing near the paladin), Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range), as well as a new heal called Divine Light, which is similar to a priest's Greater Heal, and the new instant heal mentioned above, Word of Glory.

Say we're in Hyjal or something and are grinding mobs absent-mindedly, as I am prone to do from time to time. As a result, we've accumulated a full bar of Holy Power and have just been sitting on it without using it. All of a sudden, a dirty Alliance/Horde flies down to start some shit. "Not in my house!" we yell as we charge across the battlefield. Judgement, Divine Storm, Crusader Strike... oh wait, full Holy Power, TEMPLAR'S VERDICT!!!!! MASSIVE EXPLOSIONS!!11one!

Not only do we get a "massive attack" in Templar's Verdict, but if the Holy Power damage modifier to Divine Storm is passive rather than active (i.e. doesn't use up Holy Power, but instead scales with how much you have at the time), then prepare for a real cataclysm... of tears and anguish and OMG WATCH OUT FOR THAT RET!!

In short, the return of ret burst? I thought we wanted to steer away from that. While I'm all for the OP deliciousness that this appears to be, don't expect it to be a one-shot button... at least not for the whole expansion.

Q: Are Protection paladins still going to refresh Divine Plea on melee hit (via a talent or trained ability)?
A. Yes.

Thank God.

Q: Can you give us a sneak peek at one or two of the new Retribution abilities or talents?
A. Templar's Verdict: An instant weapon attack that causes a percentage of weapon damage. Consumes all applications of Holy Power to increase damage dealt:

  • 1 Holy Power: 55% Weapon Damage
  • 2 Holy Power: 125% Weapon Damage
  • 3 Holy Power: 225% Weapon Damage

Word of Glory: Consumes all Holy Power to heal a friendly target for a specific amount per application of Holy Power (0 mana cost, 0 cooldown, instant cast).

So the max amount of Holy Power applications is 3 stacks (or whatever). And a "free" 225% weapon damage melee attack? Go, number crunchers, go! Math isn't quite my forte.

Q: If Judgement of Wisdom is being removed from the game, are paladins getting a new Judgement so we don't all have to use Judgement of Light?
A. There will only be one Judgement spell. This spell places a single debuff on the target with the effects currently associated with Judgement of Light and Judgement of Justice. The Judgement of Wisdom effect has been retired completely.

Damnit. OOMadin? No, it's not Megan and Jong's love child, it's what I fear could happen to rets if we don't get some other form of passive mana regen. Maybe that's the check on the bursty burst; you'll go OOM if you hit your buttons too hard? Intriguing...

Q: Are the improved aura talents going away? They were still present in beta.
A. If you mean talents like Improved Devotion Aura, then those are gone. We still have talents that, say, increase healing on targets of your auras. Improved Concentration Aura still exists. In general, though, you shouldn't have to worry about having raid buffs of different power competing with each other.

Good riddance. Clearing up clutter FTW.


  1. I wonder if Holy Power will quickly decay so you can't just sit on it and carry it to turn the next Ally you run into into a fine paste.

    If holy power just sat there gathering dust, I'm sure you'd see Paladins killing critters before a pull to maximize burst.

  2. Touche, sir, touche.

    I still think there is a capacity for massive burst, such as a fully-Zested DS followed by a 3/3 Templar's Verdict, followed by a Boom Headshot.

    If they change Holy Power to Holy Zeal or Zeal, I'm coining the phrase Zest. It's mine.