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Tuesday, July 14, 2009
 

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WoW: Paladin Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has posted another lengthy Q&A in its class series. This time Greg Street and the World of Warcraft Development Team focused on the Paladin. The discussion covered a range of topics including the Paladin's role in the game, elements unique to the class, and future plans.

Q: Where do paladins fit into the larger scope of things currently and where do you see them going from this point forward?
A: The paladin is an iconic class from fantasy role-playing, and one which Warcraft has been able to put its own stamp all over. Obviously they figure prominently in the lore, up to and including the Lich King himself.

The paladin started out as a defensive buffing class. Early on, buffs were pretty much the entire reason you’d want to group with a paladin. (And if you want to put a fine point on it, it took about all of the paladin’s attention to keep those buffs up).

End-game paladins in vanilla World of Warcraft were pretty much healers, which was disappointing for some players to discover once they reached level 60. As most of our readers probably already know, the paladin class was exclusive to the Alliance. We realized that we kept pushing the paladin and shaman abilities closer and closer together to solve faction imbalance issues, and that process was hurting the classes, so we’d be better off just having paladins and shamans on both sides. In Burning Crusade, paladins gained the ability to tank and could do so quite well in some situations, but were still positioned more in an off-tank role. In Wrath of the Lich King, we finally embraced all three specs of paladins: Protection paladins can tank anything. Retribution paladins are a legitimate dps spec in both PvE and PvP. And of course, paladins could still heal.

Q: What is it that makes them unique compared to all other classes?
A: Despite our design changes to share buffs around among more classes, we still kept several abilities unique to the paladin in order to keep a hint of their original role. Thus paladins have everything from their powerful Blessings to their bubbles like Divine Shield, the ability to dispel multiple kinds of debuffs, and utility abilities like Blessing of Freedom or Hammer of Justice. Paladins can wear plate armor in all three roles, which is particularly powerful for a healer. Finally, the Seal and Judgement system is a unique mechanic that works like no other class.

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