30 July, 2005
Wrecking the Reckoning bug
Rizzmonia explains. Turns out it doesn't store when you auto-attack, goes deeper than that though. Nice read.
1.7 brings the new Paladin spell
Ziiv pointed this out, said by Kalgan:
There is some measure of truth to this statement. Bonus honor makes up a significant portion of your total honor gain, which places a great significant on team success versus class dps differences. In addition, the tendency is for players to group in battlegrounds, allowing players who are playing supporting roles to share in the honor gains from killing.Link to Kalgan's post. Good news that the spell has a release date. Let's hope 1.7 comes out next week either live or on the test server... Going to be mighty interesting to see how this spell works.
29 July, 2005
"Paladins" on next weeks developer checklist
A bit late, but still relevant: No more Paladin feedback, explained by Ordinn.
Edit: Dev meeting early next week with their response late next week. Awesome!
25 July, 2005
Our low DPS affects our playstyle negatively
Watch and behold the DPS of a group of Paladins against Lucifron. (contains bad language)
Many players say that "we don't need more DPS, we need more controlled DPS". It's a clever way to admit that giving our class higher damage would unbalance things, making us look more reasonable when arguing.
Those who say that only are 50% right. Usually those who favor controlled DPS are those who use Seal of Command with a two-hander -- the only viable seal for cranking big damage. Those who want higher DPS are the ones who wield one-handers and use Seal of Righteousness. My DPS is much more consistent compared to Seal of Command (which I got tired of pretty quick due to it's randomness), but it's so small its negligible.
Sometimes I wonder why I stay in melee range in the first place when the damage I do is so small it's trivial. The low damage we have just locks us further in to the heal/cleansebot role that we all so much despise. If I had higher DPS I would've felt more obligated to go in to melee range other than to just judge bosses with Judgement of Light and then back off to heal. There need to be more incentives for us to stand in melee range where we belong. Raising our damage output would be one.
Anyway, go here to download the movie. (requires Windows Media Player)
Nightly News Update
I should've reported this earlier, but due to internet outage I haven't been able to that much more these last days than to check my email (not that much of an excuse these days since everybody has internet now though). I don't want to bring in my personal life that much to this blog, but thanks to the outage I've been busy being in the woods, fishing and picking berries, etc. Overall just getting a bunch of fresh air I've been missing due to WoW. I feel great now.
In other news, it was hard to find people who were willing to investigate with me at Maraudon. I'll put it on hold till next week(-end). I'll try to in the meanwhile see if I can fix up an interview with the guy who made the Fangtooth Paladin-movie from a few weeks ago.
But I've been saving the best for last! Ordinn responded to the second feedback thread:
We'd like to thank everyone who posted constructive feedback in this thread. We've collected a lot of great feedback to take to the devs.Yes! My stomach is filled with butterflies right now. I wonder what the developers will respond with? I hope they finally give insight on the planned talent tree changes they mentioned two months ago, ("...Please note that many of your concerns will be addressed when the talent trees are looked into.", "...We will be able to give you more details about the upcoming changes when the talent tree improvements begin.")
It's being a little kid again, waiting for Santa!
22 July, 2005
I know, this blog is mainly meant towards the crowd of Paladin players. However one of my interests is journalism, and I want to, or at least strive for, journalistic ethics. Tomorrow morning I will attempt to recreate the duplication bug at Maraudon that's all the buzz. This is an attempt to some investigative work. Blizzard denies its existance while others still says it works. This concerns us all, from Paladins to Warlocks. I will document this as much as I can and later on write about my results and observations. Hopefully I'll be able to publish a chat with a Chinese farmer that I've seen hang around Maraudon for quite some time.
A second thread has been created by the Eyonix for us to constructively complain. As an anonamous person mentioned in the comments on the post below that quality per post is deteriorating. I agree. There's now more wild suggestions of giving the Paladin a mounted-attack and other things. Three words to these people: Not gonna happen. Please stop.
Fath has published an article on the apparent lack of newly created Paladins and provides a list of possibilities why that might be so. Ends with the same old "sucks to be cleanse/buffbot".
Aldarius has written on suggesting shortening the time limit of the blessings. It's a very interesting concept and his arguments are pretty good for it. It'd make the blessings system more alive if all the blessings were like Blessing of Freedom and Blessing of Protection. Read it and hold your thumbs that Blizzard have too.
20 July, 2005
Paladin Feedback - 7/18/05
Edit: Yeah, I was a bit slow at noticing that thread. Sorry about that, I blame it on my time-zone difference.
Take time to read it, I've done that for over an hour. You will never find a more comprehensive library of constructive comments on the class anywhere on the entire internet. This is the Paladin community at its finest. Months of thoughts and comments are all being let out in to that single thread.
The funny part about it is that I don't think Ordinn really expected to get so much to read, because it's massive. The thread is literally filled with posts that all are quite lengthy, and at the same time very constructive. So far I see a very little rate 'crazy' posts demanding obviously unrealistic changes/additions.
It says it's at 13 pages now, but that's not the case because the thread has been bugged. I posted my slightly revised article on the Judgement-system and it didn't show up.
This is the golden moment, and we've done the best we ever could. I am extremely impressed. Now all we can do is hold our thumbs and hope that the information Ordinn forwards to the developers is what we want them to know.
"I am powerfull....learn to play!"
Lighthammer has written an article on the class titled "I am powerfull....learn to play!" published on the official Pally forum. He talks about tanking and healing and that we shouldn't focus so much on trying to do damage. He also offers a list at the bottom of what major annoyances the class have. Here's a part where I totally agree with him:
I find retribution the best aura hands down for tanking as a paladin. Sure I give up the armor but with my stuff it like a 1%dmg reduction or something stupid. Sure some mage will #@%$! but ignore him... The reason retribution aura is the best is because all melee adds take dmg from you. If you run devotion the instant you get a heal you have lost aggro on all the adds. This is why many say a paladin can't tank. So use retribution aura and short of some big early heals or a dumb mage going nuts you will be fine.Everyone expects naturally that the tanking aura of choice is Devotion, right? It gives an armor boost and is classified to be in the Protection-lineup of spells. But since that it's not the case I consider it a failure of design.
19 July, 2005
Paladin mana exploit?
18 July, 2005
Ah, the Paladin pet peeve... Five minute duration on our blessings. It's pretty sad that we have to have Buffahoy to remove major class-designed annoyances. The developers must've been well aware of this when designing the class, so the annoyance is intended by design, just think about the intention Improved Salvation-talent if you don't get what I'm talking about. If you don't understand the underlying design intention with our blessings, here's a simple rundown on it:
The blessing system is essentially a manual aura with increased versatility at the cost of manual labor.
As with many things with our class, the execution is poor. Player Dart is spot on regarding blessing duration/costs:
Arcane Brilliance:Elinia follows up with a good response in defense of the five minute limit, similar to what I used to say when I defended the five-minute blessings:
...If you make blessings (or totems for that matter) last an hour and cost 3400 mana, you loose that ability to swap them in and out. There's a reason you have numerous blessings and a reason shamans have numerous totems. You aren't meant to use just one.Dart reponds with the issue that finally ran me over to be critical of blessings:
First of most blessings are not situational, they are static. Main exceptions here are BoP and Freedom.And here is the biggest underlying problem with the entire blessing system: there are little to no incentives to switch blessings. There aren't enough short-term blessings in the likes of Blessing of Protection and Blessing of Freedom. Once again just like everything else with the Paladin it looks good on paper but the execution is poor. I wouldn't care one bit about the five minute duration if it had a better justification behind it. Remember the developers response in Uther's Hammer post?
Currently the duration of blessings are set to 5 minutes. Many feel that this is too quick of a time, as blessings must be re-applied often in dungeons or on raids. However, if these buffs last longer, we would have to increase the Mana cost of them (Comment: not true, as Dart proved above). With that being the case, buffs have to be balanced so that they are useful, but they will not drain your Mana supply every time you get brought back to life or someone in your party needs to be re-buffed. This is especially important in the Battlegrounds where dying is immanent and you need to balance your mana between buffing and healing.Simple solution, developers: Give us 30 minute duration blessings that have an increased cost along with the ones we have now, specifically meant for PVE. Would that be too hard to implement, really? We have so many PVE-only skills so that giving us a couple of more isn't that bad. Either that or give us more situational blessings, such as an BoP but for magic damage and so forth.
You know what the interesting thing about that response from Uther's Hammer is? A CM's response at Comicon:
Hey guys, not sure how many of you were at the Comic Con, but I had a chance to talk to the CM's (and honestly was disapointed) about their knowledge of the class.Seems to me the developer response of trying to justify the five minute blessings as being "essential in Battlegrounds" is not an honest answer.
Who said shield hearth doesn't have it's uses?
17 July, 2005
Good words on the role of a CM
16 July, 2005
First-hand Comicon Reports
Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe
Today at Comic Con in San Diego California.
Edit: Confirmed to be true!
You're Boring, Babe
I did get a chece to talk to one of the Blizzard employees at length at the booth, and of course Paladins came up, since that's my main, and this is what she said.
15 July, 2005
Why Divine Intervention is a typical Paladin spell
Man, some players are just too clever. Someone figured out a DI logout trick. Basically cast it on someone, have them logout, then have them log in when it's safe. Pretty good trick! Apparently doesn't work in Dire Maul though. Read the thread for more info on it. Read thread for more info.
As has been reported many times before, there's data on Thottbot suggesting that there's an alternative version of Divine Intervention in the works. How it got leaked isn't known. (there's also a healing aura on Thottbot, and this isn't the same aura from what the Paladin had in the beta either) Here's one of the new threads in discussing the improved Divine Intervention. It supposedly is going to change in to a resurrection skill that works after death, which is a huge improvement over what it is now.
Speakin about Divine Intervention, I've been in situations where this spell does the opposite effect of causing wipes. This is usually because I've casted it too soon and the party is without a healer, mobs/patrols still remain alive who then proceed to kill the healer when the timer of the DI runs out. Also I've been in situations where due to a bug the person who got it on them dies anyway.
Don't get me wrong. This spell are one of our best actually. When it works, it works absolutely wonderfully. It's very cool. The sad truth is that many Paladin players just don't care about this spell. I assume they discard it because the tool tip says you die when you cast it, "Why'd I like to cast a spell that makes me die?".
I've come to the conclusion that there are three areas that cause problems with this spell:
First reason: Let's say you're in a five-man and you want to use it on the Priest. Who in the group is most likely to die first? You-know-who! So if the Priest dies, the spell is useless. It's effectiveness is boosted in raid groups due to the fact that it's easier to tell whether you're about to wipe.
Second reason: Even if you've been able to cast it on a Priest, Paladin or even Druid, it's not certain that it will help you recover. First is the issue of trying to have your group die as fast as possible when it's been casted, making you scream your lungs off at them to race against the thirty second timer. I've been in situations when people just don't get this and instead try to run, shield up or heal themselves. It usually means disaster with a wasted wipe recovery and a wipe.
Third reason: And even if you've successfully been able to cast it on a Priest, Paladin or even Druid, it's not again certain that it will help you recover anyway. Because there's always the case where the DI target is too close to mobs or is in the path of a patrolling mob. When the 30 second timer runs out there's nothing else to do than to just watch things fail horribly.
I admire how the skill works. The Paladin is the toughest class to kill. So taking suicide and becoming a martyr is in line with the devoutness of the Silver Hand. It's also helpful for you to die when you cast this spell because when you've used it you want the party to die as fast as possible.
Also, isn't the spell itself ironic? The Paladin is supposed to sacrifice himself to save others, yet the entire basis of this spell is for you to hope your party dies, effectively having you rooting for their death. Is that really what the Paladin is supposed to be doing? Uther must be turning around in his grave!
Bottom line is that Divine Intervention is typical every other spell the Paladin has: not reliable. This is why I hope the thread above of the new Thottbot data is true, because it'd be a welcomed improvement.
14 July, 2005
Interview with Test of Honor Paladin winner
As you may know already, there was a huge outcry at the lack of Paladin winners on the test of Honor of Contest. Loke was the only Paladin who won among all players in both Europe and the US. Naturally many are interested to hear from him, and he was kind enough to take time to answer a couple of questions.
First of all, thanks for being kind enough to stand up for an interview. Second of all, congratulations to your victory. I think many Paladin players are happy and wish you the best. Now on to the questions.
"What Fangtooth doesn't want you to know..."
A thread on the general community forum has this really funny movie that's about Fangtooth's meeting with some higher up Blizzard official. Obviously it's fictional, but the way it's been made is hilarious. Someone took a tense scene from an indian movie, then added english subtitles. And don't worry, it involves Paladins.
Go here to download it! (requires Windows Media Player)
13 July, 2005
New Blessing of Sanctuary animation is intended?
A Paladin was going around casting it on people in Ironforge like usual. He hadn't casted it on himself, so I decided to cast Blessing of Freedom on him (because I don't have Sanctuary). You know what I discovered? The Blessing of Freedom animation is slightly lighter. This isn't a lighting issue: it clearly is more white in color.
Combining this with the fact that it was not removed throughout the duration of the 1.6 beta which lasted for 1+ week... The new animation for Sanctuary must be intended. Yikes!
Judgement of Wisdom
Tallena brought to my attention that the judgement has the possibility of granting ranged attackers of the mana gain effect. Sleazy me for not doing my fact-checking first. I naturally assumed it was melee because Judgement of Light was melee. I'll keep this in mind when updating my analysis of the judgement system in the future.
"Purge me! Purge me!"
At first sight, the idea of showing what blessings you have might sound good. On a second consideration... The new graphics for Blessing of Freedom and Blessing of Sanctuary is a technical nerf per say due to it's nature of alerting other players. It's already brought up by many, among for example this guy.
If you don't have this modification for your Paladin yet, you won't believe how amazingly useful it is. I try to be lightweight with my mods and use as little of them as possible... except this one: Decursive is the one I simply can't live without. I wonder how I managed to survive without using it before. Download it here.
Consecration was stealth-tweaked and bugged
Read about it here
New super trinkets screw two-handers
Once again the dilemma whether Paladins should wield slow or fast weapons, and showing that it's not possible to please both. There are trinkets in 1.6 that give different effects for different classes, the Paladin's give 25% weapon- and cast speed increase for 20 sec. A Seal of Command user doesn't approve ...
12 July, 2005
Blessing of Sanctuary: Bug or feature?
Erekose at the community forums confirmed something of what I thought would be fixed in the 1.6 beta: the new graphic for Blessing of Sanctuary. If you haven't seen it, it's pretty crazy. Blinking light effects galore. I noticed it the first day of the 1.6 beta and was expecting Blizzard to fix it. Apparently it was not. The odd part is that today in Warsong Gulch I discovered Blessing of Freedom has the same graphic! Seems to me much more appropriate for that blessing than for Blessing of Sanctuary.
Scrap the judgement system
I am getting more and more convinced of that the Judgement-system needs to be scrapped (or a total overhaul), and hope strongly that the design team is considering such a thing. Many of the judgments and seals are supposed to work with each other, which is supposed to create interesting seal and judgement combinations to juice up combat interactivity. On the table it's a very good idea, but in practice it is not.
Judging a seal costs 166 mana with a fifteen second cooldown. Combined with the fact that the most useful group judgments are random based such as Judgement of Wisdom or Judgement of Light, and where Judgement of the Crusader is supposed to be judged to increase the damage output by increasing holy damage -- tells the story that they're balanced for situations where you are more likely to stand and hit at the same target for over fifteen seconds, increasing your chance of getting the desired effect. The time spent on using the desired effect is supposed to make up for the high mana cost and cooldown. In other words, the entire system of how the Judgement-skill is balanced upon is that time rewards you. If you're a heavy hitter using a slow two-handed weapon you're not likely to judge in the first place, because this system also rewards fast weapons.
It has little or no use for in PVP, and it's bolstered upon further with the tediously high mana cost. The fifteen second cooldown means you can not switch targets at will. The high mana cost is a big reason why you're probably not judging in the first place since that mana would go better elsewhere.
When it comes to combinations, Judgement of the Crusader goes in hand with Seal of Righteousness where each time you get the effect of Righteousness the damage is increased by the judged Crusader. Judgement of Command goes in hand with Seal of Justice where each stun provides extra holy damage to the target. Judgement of Fury promotes Seal of Righteousness and Holy Shield (and Retribution Aura, but that's something I'd like to discuss another time). Judgement of Wisdom with Seal of Wisdom is a way to increase the mana generation rate while in battle.
Some of these combinations are great, but others are not. Combined with poor design they make the idea of combinations of seals and judgments very limited. For example Seal of Command is a talent gained seal making you unlikely to grab it unless you're planning on using it as your main offensive seal, its judgement does not give that much damage and Seal of Justice has diminishing returns and its talent to improve stun frequency to increase combination effectiveness is near the bottom of the Protection tree. Suddenly the combination of them are useless, hard to get, and provides little return for the investment in talents.
Another example is Seal of Wisdom. The cost of the two Seal of Wisdom at 175 mana and Judgement at 166 mana (a total cost of 516 mana). It doesn't give it's return in invested mana unless you're hitting your target for quite a while. This is due to the fact that the judgement and seal are random based -- not guaranteed to give you the desired effect of mana gain at every attack. This combination is ruled out in group play immediately due to the fact that two thirds of the melee classes do not use mana, then it's ruled out in PVP due to it's randomness and required time investment, then it's ruled out for use by slow heavy hitter specified Paladin players. All of this effectively shrinks it down to solo PVE at mobs which you expect take a long time to kill with fast one-hand hitters. It's ridiculous.
So in conclusion:
§ Promotes interactivity in battle.
§ Promotes judgments effects which benefits group.
§ Promotes interesting seal and judgement combinations.
§ Fifteen second cooldown and mana cost promotes strategic choice of target.
§ Designed to rewards time dedication, which disfranchises PVP use.
§ Judgement of Wisdom is useless for 2/3 of all the melee classes because they do not use mana, narrowing it down to PVE use only.
§ No other class beyond the Paladin and Priest does Holy damage, reducing Judgement of the Crusader down to PVE use only.
§ Hence due to the two points described above, group judgments are limited down to one: Judgement of Light.
§ Insanely mana-inefficient effect of Judgement of Righteousness, making you very unlikely to judge that seal.
§ Useless effects in PVP for Judgement of Fury and Judgement of Justice.
§ Some of the seal and judgement combinations are useless, hard to get, and provides little return for the investment in talents.
§ Rewards weapon speed, which disfranchises two-handed/Seal of Command players.
That the entire system is built up to disfranchise a popular talent build arguably used by a majority of the Paladin player base is a pretty fatal design flaw. Scrap the judgement system.
Sick of conspiracies
You've probably read many posts before of people that urgently need your attention for figuring out the reason behind Blizzard ignoring us. It usually involves spouting out some conspiracy such as the developers/Blizzard favor Horde, that the Community Managers are the ones behind it, that the developers hate Paladins, that the Paladin is the most popular class and that this is their way of making sure less people play it, that it's a money decision (with various reasons for how that would add up), and so forth.
I'm just sick of those posts. They make no sense. You have no shred of evidence to back up your claim. Just stop it, please. The truth is that the Paladin is okay as it is right now. Sure it's boring to play it because our talent trees differ very little, that we're dependent on a vast amount of skills that rely on randomness, that we're mainly balanced for PVE and that we're not rewarded for our survivability in PVP. We need of improvements, but that doesn't mean other classes don't need either.
Look at a snip of the leaked notes from patch 1.7 which is supposed to give a massive overhaul of the Druid's Feral tree. Can you honestly say you have ever seen a Feral Druid at level 60? The reason why for example the Warlock and Warrior are getting their updates in this patch might not be because they were the first ones to get their check by the developers, but because they might be the easiest ones to fix and test.
This doesn't mean that the designers are infallible...
Look for example at Warcraft III. I was lucky enough to beta test the game. The designers decided near the end of the beta to drop magic damage. All units who had that type were given the piercing type instead. I remember wondering why they did this, saying that it made no sense and that it could turn out to be a mistake. The result? People just massed casters, forcing Blizzard to reinstate the magic damage type in Warcraft III patch 1.06.
We are going to get our upgrades, maybe not this month, but we're going to get them. Hopefully they're going to be sweet.
Blackwing Lair Bingo
1.6 to be released today
The 1.6 patch will be released today, and according to the patch notes it will bring the following goodies for us:
* Blessing of Freedom - Will now counter the movement impairing effects of Frostbolt, Cone of Cold, Frost Shock. It will no longer prevent the damage taken by Frost Nova, Hamstring, Wing Clip, Mind Flay, Counterattack, or Blast Wave or the melee and ranged attack speed slowing effects of Cripple.Blessing of Freedom will be improved drastically. The five extra seconds in Improved Blessing of Freedom is something I'm really, really considering. One of the Paladin's most powerful spells.
The fix to Divine Intervention is weird, not only because casting the combination of casting Divine Shield and then casting Divine Intervention had limited use, but because I'm having the opposite problem where the victim I am casting it on is dying despite the fact that I cast it on him. And that's what has to be fixed.
11 July, 2005
Epoch's article about Paladin's RNG
As I said below, I find Epoch's writing here most excellent (it wasn't Jotancelot who wrote it as I previously mentioned, my mistake). It gives a new perspective beyond the typical complaint of that "we have no burst damage". He begins with a point by point summary of what the problem the class has, and that most of it -- if not all of it, comes down to the fact that the entire arsenal of skills the Paladin has beyond healing is mainly based on the Random Number Generator (=luck).
Here is his compiled list of spells that only are used in PVP:
Hammer of JusticeHallelujah!
First of all, let me begin by saying that I really appreciate what Fangtooth is doing. It's made the Paladin fans less rabid. After Battlegrounds was released a huge flood of angry players came which was a result of a growing fury that's been building for months, steadily growing even faster after the release of the honor system. Truth be told I found it kind of amusing to see how the community managers were forced to spend so much more time than usual responding to angry Paladins, because the general forum was literally full with them. It's different now because things have calmed down.
Anyways, there are two new posts by Fangtooth at the official Paladin forums. The first one is regarding Jotancelot's excellent critique of the Paladin's class spells. Here's Fangtooth's response:
Jotancelot and Epoch,Another thread brings up the question if he's willing to play a Paladin up to level 60, so he responds:
Kitiara, I am working on a Paladin now, actually! I am going to be re-creating it though since I started it up on a PvE realm and I want to experience the PvP life.You know what the ironic thing is about this is? The community managers keep insisting that what classes they play have no influence over what input is taken and how they do their jobs.
Take for example Caydiem which is well-known to have big presence in the Hunter and Druid forums, which coincidentally are the two classes she said she play the most as I've heard (tried to find a link to the forum post where she defends the situation, but I think it's been deleted due to being outdated). I'm not saying that they're lying, I'm just saying that they're doing a mistake by reinforcing this conspiracy. I mean, is it just an accident that Fangtooth is spending more time talking to Paladin players while at the same time he's also leveling up his Paladin character? I really, really appreciate what he's doing for us. I'm sure other class players will not when they figure this out, which will lead to even more talk about CM favoritism.