10 May, 2006

Jeff Kaplan: "... I hate Paladins"

The quote in context, from the same NY Times interview in the previous post:
Q. (Seth Schiesel) Describe the different play styles that are supposed to be represented by the Paladin and Shaman and how they are supposed to balance each other out.

A. (Jeff Kaplan) I don’t think that paladins and shamans are supposed to explicitly balance each other out. They are supposed to be different, and frankly at some perverse level I think it’s good that there’s this animosity. It adds to the immersiveness because the Horde are supposed to have a special hatred for paladins and the Alliance is supposed to really hate shamans. The paladin was always supposed to be this holy warrior in plate armor, very much a support class, though one that could tank in a pinch, and they most certainly can. The shaman is a more offensive caster who wears chain armor, centered around his totems. But when I play Horde I hate paladins. It’s like I could never kill them and it seems so futile.
(emphases mine)

So it's official. A lead Blizzard designer admits to playing Horde and hating the Paladin class. He also admits he doesn't think the Paladin and Shaman class are not supposed to explicitly balance each other. I call bull-pucky, and here's why:

The only time Horde and Alliance meet up and faction balance comes into play is in PvP. Both the Horde and Alliance have exactly the same classes if you ignore the Paladin and Shaman. On this basis alone, I could make a case that the Horde still have an advantage in PvP thanks to their superior racial abilities in this capacity. Then we bring the Paladin and Shaman class back in. Shamans in PvP are superior battle healers with their Lesser Healing Wave (LHW Healing-Per-Second destroys Flash of Light), and deal far more damage. They also have the advantage of more than one spell school. If they get counterspelled midway through a healing cast, they can still lash out with a fire or frost spell. If a Paladin gets counterspelled, he's completely shut down. Paladin survivability means jack squat if you get crowd controlled and saved for last.

As for this being "tanks in a pinch" business, that's also crap. Holy Shield does absolutely no good for holding aggro if the mob isn't beating on you in the first place. With no effective means to grab snap aggro (other than Holy Shock+ Righteous Fury, but you can't have Holy Shield with Holy Shock), the Protection tree is completely impotent on the deep end. This interview only reenforced my notion that Blizzard as a whole prefers PvP, the Horde faction, and the Shaman class, with some harboring actual dislike for the Alliance counterpart.


Anonymous Suicidal Zebra said...

To be honest, the whole 'I hate Paladins' thing is probably quite innocent. When I played my Horde Shaman I hated by Paladins too. Now of he had indicated that he only played Horde... that would be interesting.

That said, this comment needs to be highlighted:

"The paladin was always supposed to be this holy warrior in plate armor, very much a support class, though one that could tank in a pinch, and they most certainly can."

Sorry mate. We are not even close to being a 'Holy Warrior', never in the manual "very much a support class", and no chance of tanking in a pinch. Unless you mean 'tanking in 5-man groups if a warrior is AFK', in which case... we still don't tank as the group dissolves.

Half-truths, revisionism, and ignorance. Just another day for a Blizzard Rep I guess.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a CM or a Dev that actually plays on the alliance? All of them seem to have mains that are horde.

I really think their bias is starting to leak out into the design of the game. That is sad.

They will never fix this class. From Furor, to Caydiem, to Kaplan, what interest would they have in buffing a class they don't play, that is part of a faction they don't play?

They are fanboi's living out the dream of nerfing the class they don't like.

7:51 PM  

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