Paladin Predictions: Cataclysm


Alrighty, since we’ve got another week to wait for the Paladin Cataclysm class preview, I thought that it would be a good time to put my predictions in, at least to fill the time.
Some of these predictions may actually have some real backing due to things mentioned in other class previews, but as Blizzard states:

Please keep in mind that what you’ve just reviewed is a work in progress and as we move closer to the Cataclysm beta, you’ll see these planned changes as well as others continue to develop in response to feedback and testing.

So, on with the show.  I’ll separate these into their respective classes, so that we have some kind of organization, and who knows, maybe I’ll be close on some of them.

Protection PaladinProtection:
I believe that Protection will have the guaranteed Mastery ability of Vengeance.

This new mechanic is designed to ensure that tank damage output (and therefore threat) doesn’t fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will grant a stacking Attack Power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character’s unbuffed health. For boss encounters, we expect that tanks will always have an Attack Power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Protection tree; these values will be smaller at lower levels.

So, this means that our tanks will likely be gaining an AP buff from damage taken. Now, Linedan did have a point. Here’s his quote:

Right now, in tank gear, Linedan has around 46,000 health. With his tank weapon, unbuffed, he has 4391 AP. 10% of 46,000 is, surprise, 4600. 4600 + 4391 = 8991 AP. That’s almost…well…OVER NINE THOUSAND. (Oh, sue me, you were thinking it too.) You mean to tell me that Blizzard is going to give me the potential, while tanking, to more than double my attack power, simply by getting hit in the face?

That’s a lot of AP, crazy amounts in fact. Now, I don’t have that much AP, I might top out at 3k, and maybe more buffed, but the Vengeance buff only works off of Unbuffed HP, so my 32,500 HP would equal about 3250 AP, add that to my 3k AP (which can still be buffed upwards of 4k) and I’d have 6k-7.5k AP. That’s a lot of Attack Power. Another thing that I thought about is the fact that all “Defense Rating” stats are going to be turned into either Stamina or Avoidance stats. That’s going to grow our health pools even higher, unless the amount of health gained from Stamina is changed. If, for example I suddenly gain 5k health because of all the stat changes, that’s still another 500 AP. It’s going to be really interesting how they plan to balance this.

There was another little caveat that Linedan caught. What about those moments where you’re not getting hit in the face? There are a lot of cases, especially in WotLK, where you had to swap tanks, whether it be to wear off a debuff, or to keep from getting insta-gibbed. In these cases, your AP and in turn DPS will drop significantly. In his case with Warriors, dps was already low, but as stated before, we can’t really make a determination until we see real numbers and see what changes to damaging abilities come out with Cataclysm.

Now, another change I’m hoping for and predicting is a gap closer. Maybe, just maybe we’ll sprout wings, and leap onto our enemies (yes, borrowing from Heroic Leap), but calling it Righteous Intercept, or something like that. That would be SWEET. It would also fill in that ability that us Paladin tanks have always wanted. We can’t charge, we can’t deathgrip, we have to either silence with Avenger’s Shield, and hope we don’t pull any extra mobs, or facepull the enemies. This I mean specifically for caster enemies, where LoS pulls aren’t available.

Righteous Intercept
4% base mana
8-25 yard range
Instant        15 sec Cooldown
Requires Righteous Fury
The paladin sprouts wings and leaps towards the target, slamming the ground with his or her hammer, causing a 3 sec stun to surrounding targets.  Stun will be broken by any damage dealt.

Lastly, something that is missing from the Paladin tanking toolbox is an off the GCD spell interrupt. The current selection we have is….. Avenger’s Shield, and that’s about it. I’m considering PvE situations, where more often then not, a Boss is immune to Hammer of Justice. (Though I’ve yet to research whether the spell interrupt is not resisted… hmm.) Anyway, a nice, quick (even decent cooldown) silence would be nice. Don’t have any ideas off the top of my head though.

Retribution PaladinRetribution
I really am unsure what we can do here.  Retribution is a very well balanced melee DPS branch, with a lot of Crit and AP emphasized.  The only thing that is truly lacking here is, again, that gap closer.  A ret paladin can be tearing up a target, but if it moves away, we still have to get back into melee range, and if that target is moving faster then you (even with Pursuit of Justice, think about a Mage blink), how can you catch up?  It took me a little while to think of something, but I figured a possibility. It may be a utility spell as well as a speed increase spell that could be used while in combat.

Think of a short duration Sprint/Dash with a increase to dodge of, say 5-10%.  What this would do, is allow the paladin to have a quick (maybe 5 sec) boost of speed that allowed them to catch up with the target, however the small dodge increase, allowed them to resist some (not all) snare mechanics that may be holding them back.  I even came up with the name “Grace of Menethil”, I thought maybe “Grace of Uther”, but Uther seemed to me more on the Holy side than Arthas was (before he got all mean and lichy).

Grace of Menethil
Instant          2 min cooldown
Temprarily increases the movement speed of the Paladin by 50%, in addition to increasing dodge chance by 5-10%.

Another suggestion, would be a ranged mini-Hammer of Justice.  This would throw a “spectral” weapon at the target stunning them temporarily (say 3 sec), just enough for the Paladin to catch up, and to keep it balanced only allow it to be useable while in combat and on the same cooldown as Hammer of Justice, simply so that a Ret pally couldn’t open up with a ranged stun, then start wailing away, and then HoJ again to keep the stunlock up.  Maybe call it “Hammer of Divine Fury”

Hammer of Divine Fury
3% of base mana
1 sec cast          1 min cooldown
20 yard range

Stuns the target for 6 sec and interrupts non-player spellcasting for 3 sec. Only usable while in combat, and exclusive to Hammer of Justice.

Holy PaladinHoly
Ah, home sweet home, here’s where I can see the most changes happening.  First up, mobile healing.  With the introduction of “Spiritwalker’s Grace” for the Shamans, I can see something close to that (not identical) being implemented for Holy Paladins, called Lightbringer’s Will.  If you think about it, Holy Paladins currently heal like an actual tree would heal.  We’re rooted into one place, casting away our lives.  There is not much movement available to a Holy Paladin (except certain cases, see Paladin Raid Healer), and because of that, it makes for some scary moments when you have to run out of the fire, but still need to top off the Tank.  I could see there being some balancing where healing is slightly less effective while moving, but still capable of happening.

Lightbringer’s Will
Instant Cast      10 sec duration
2 minute Cooldown

Fills the Paladin with the will of Uther Lightbringer, allowing them to cast uninterrupted by movement or damage.  Healing done is decreased by 10% while moving.

Another concept that I thought about was a way to integrate an AoE heal into our own current skills.  Some suggestions have been made, and I have had the same idea myself, where if talented in the Holy Tree, Concecration provided an AoE heal around the Paladin instead of damage to surrounding targets.  This would be the balancing factor, as often double duty spells (heal/damage) can be the target of nerfs and QQ.  Either it could use the current Concecration, or create a new spell called Concecration of Light.  I based it a bit more on a Wild Growth mechanic then a Circle of Healing type spell, simply because it would work like Concecration, where the healing would come in pulses.  I included the “infinite number of targets” part simply because of the mechanics of the spell.  It would also require groups to move towards the paladin when heals are needed like that.  I also increased the range just slightly so that it would cover a greater amount of people, and still allow for boss mechanics to limit it’s use.  Some other spells seem to be taking advantage of the “diminishing returns” that multiple targets would create, this may use that mechanic as well, as further balancing may be needed.

Concecration of Light
23% of base Mana
Instant cast         10 sec cooldown
Concecrates the land beneath the Paladin, healing friendly party or raid members within 20 yards of the Paladin for 1442 over 7 sec. The amount healed is applied quickly at first, and slows down as the Concecrated ground begins to cool.

I hope you like my ideas, and have some of your own.  Us pallies gotta wait till Friday for any info on our class, so this might whet your whistle while we wait.

Viva la Paladin!

9 thoughts on “Paladin Predictions: Cataclysm

  1. Definitely interesting ideas, and they could be fun. But aside from vengeance, not overly likely.

    The MOST likely of the bunch is going to be the cast-while-moving effect, and there’s no way they’ll increase healing done along with it.

    The most notable change that seems to be universal to all classes is the idea of increased mobility. There will be a lot of running in Cataclysm.

    I foresee many rolling boulders and falling floors a la Indiana Jones and Duck Tales

    • I thought that I had put “decreased” healing on Lightbringer’s Will? Thought that would be more likely, simply because it would take more concentration to heal while running (lore-wise).

      I too envision a good bit of movement.. Luckily my kids will be older when Cataclysm comes out, so one-handed healing may not be needed, let alone possible, lol.

      • Oh. perhaps it would help if I could read.

        Then the run-and-heal one goes up after vengeance. Though they may make an original mechanic out of mobility for paladins for things to be fun and unique. Anyway, definitely moving.

  2. I like the idea of giving Paladins an AOE heal, however I think if we got something akin to what you described as a Consecration type heal, it would simply hinder our desire to be able to heal on the move that much more.
    As Consecration is now, in its dps form, you can cast it directly under you feet and preferably under the feet of those trying to punch you or your tank in the face. It is a nice little extra threat/dps as long as the fight isn’t having you run all over the map. Once you start having to run about the map, this spell gets set on the back burner because it can become rather mana intensive to keep casting if the mobs are just going to run out of it as soon as it’s down – mana that is normally needed for more damage dealing spells/talents. A healing spell that acts similar to that mechanic can be nice to use on a not so movement intensive fight as long as you can drop it and have party/raid members stand on it for a long enough duration for it to be of some use. If they can’t, then you run into the same problem as the tank and retadin have – a wasted effect and wasted precious mana. This may not be so big a deal right now with pallys having 45k mana pool, but if healing spells really are going to start costing us a bit more to use in the future, this may be one spell you are only going to be using on a very situation based rotation. Now, the one way to get away from the issue with this suggested spell would be: have it applied to the casting pally themselves and have it radiate from them for a set amount of time and allow it to continue even if the pally moves. A mobile AOE heal that perhaps acts like a druids Wild Growth, could be spared the decrease in effectiveness as it is not likely to make up for more that say 20-30% of your healing done and probably only that high in 5mans or raid healing (le gasp!). It needs to be able to do enough healing that is allows the pally to move with the group, but isn’t going to out heal your main arsenal of spells. Pallys need to be given an AOE heal that will either do direct healing to multiple targets or once applied stays with the target should they move from the AOE. I like giving Pallys a HOT, but I don’t want to be gimped by it not being able to affect enough people to be worth the cast or have it go to waste because they had to move from the zone before it has actually done any healing.

    • You have a point that it would greatly disadvantage the pally, as he would have to cast and run off, healing another spot with his concecration if he wanted to do any decent raid/group healing. There’s always the possibility of “throwing” a hammer and concecrating the ground where it lands, nearly making it a copy of Wild Growth. I only didn’t go that route, as I’m sure it would be taken as totally OP, or just trying to copy Druids.

      I did expand the ground effect though, from the normal 8 yds that Concecration has to 20yds, much like Circle of Healing/Wild Growth. This would still allow any members within 20yds of the pally to get heals, with dimishing returns accounted for.

      • Well, Shamans are getting a 30yd AOE HOT that is castable to a specific location, so Pally’s getting something similar may not be very far fetched. However, I still argue that a movement intensive fight is going cause waste of mana once the targets move alway from the AOE. To argue against that of course, the players are able to move back into the heal, so perhaps it could balance itself out – as long as your party is paying attention… I really do want to see Pallys get some AOE and/or HOT love, but I have a feeling if bliz does give them an aoe, it is going to keep with thier direct healing theme and will wind up giving them something akin to Circle of Healing, not as fun, but as long as they make it an insta-cast spell I can use on the run I will not complain.

      • That’s how I feel Railena. It’s not far fetched, however, they may decide to not homogenize the classes that far. At least I wouldn’t, and that’s why I suggested the spell as I had.

        Another suggestion, is maybe the AoE Concecrate heal, places a HoT on the target in the effect. Therefore if they leave the circle, they still have the HoT on them. Maybe the HoT is more powerful when the target is in the effect, and a little weaker when they leave.

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