Thursday, July 16, 2009

Paladin PvP From the Other Side

I decided to do some battlegrounds with my warlock. I'd forgotten how much fun they are. The BGs also seem to be a lot more competitive these days, as I had a wide range of experiences. Short, quick charges to the end, and also prolonged defenses. Several wins and several losses.

After a few games, I'm beginning to sympathize with all the anti-paladin feeling out there. However, it's not really the damage, or the healing, or even the bubble that's annoying. All of these seem to be more or less comparable to the other classes. I'm just in the crafted tailoring gear, so I have the minimum resilience, but it doesn't seem that bad.

The real annoyance is the Hammer of Justice stun. It's a long stun, and the paladin gets free reign to beat on you while it's up.

It seems like the only comparable class that locks you down for so long is the Rogue. At least rogues have the courtesy to stealth and sneak up on you. When a rogue stunlocks, it feels like she went to some trouble to do so, so you can't really begrudge her that.

In comparison, the paladin just bulldozes ahead, runs straight at you, and stuns you. It just seems effortless for the paladin, and it doesn't seem fair that the paladin should be able to stun you for so long without taking a lot of trouble to do so.

If I were to change Paladins in PvP, I'd take a long look at Hammer of Justice, and find a way to make it more interesting. Maybe a shorter stun with a lower cooldown. Maybe an incapacitate instead of a stun. But it feels too easy as it exists now.


Hatch said...

Could not. Agree. More.

The stun is what really puts them over the top. I could maybe stand everything else if it weren't for the ranged stun that is better than those used by rogues, who have a ton of restrictions on their stuns and yet are supposedly based around them.

Funny you bring this up, because I was going to write a blog post tomorrow about how I started playing a paladin alt at level 60 (leveled it on follow using RAF dual boxing, so didn't actually control it while leveling up). I was SHOCKED, after playing a DK, rogue, druid, and warrior at 80, and a shaman and mage in the 70s, just how simple and easy ret paladins are to play.

You have 5 buttons that are instant attacks on a cooldown. Push them. Enemies fall over. No stealth, no combo points, no disease setup, no waiting for rage or energy or runes or worrying about mana. No cast times, or synergies. Just hit one of your "do damage right now" buttons when they light up. I wouldn't have believed how simple it was until I tried it.

Yes, the FCFS and conflict resolution aspects of advanced pve make the whole thing take more skill to really maximize. But wow, soloing and pvp it's like playing a different game from everyone else. A simple one where you are a god. Every other class I've tried is about 10x more complex to play than a ret paladin. And yet they are just as powerful as anyone else. If a new player were rolling for the first time, I'd tell them the only class worth bothering with is a ret paladin, because they are so easy and yet perform just as well as anyone else.

And as for "comparable with other classes" in pvp, I find it really difficult to assemble a list of abilities as impressive as what a paladin has. Most classes are lucky to have one or two aspects that match any one single item on this list:

1) ranged, long-lasting stun
2) immunity bubble (you have to kill them twice)
3) Instant self-heals (and ability to heal while in a bubble)
4) Lay on hands (oh wait, you have to go through THREE health bars!)
5) Never have to worry about resources (effectively infinite mana)
6) Frontloaded damage with no setup time
7) 5 instant attacks. 3 are ranged, one is aoe and heals you. One of them is an execute ability that is ranged and a near-guaranteed crit
8) Plate armor.
9) Instant self-cleanse
10) Immunity to snares
11) Ranged incapacitate (because the stun wasn't enough!)

And that's why they are the only class that competes with DKs for the highest level 80 population percentage. It's a crime that Blizzard didn't immediately recognized how completely broken they made paladins all those months ago when 3.0 hit.

Wildcat0695 said...

Are you talking about a Ret or Prot pally? Please clarify, because just saying paladin (which you already know) opens the owrld of "to the ground baby" up.

Honors Code said...

I'd prefer they go the shorter duration, shorter cooldown route. That's mostly because I'd like a shorter cooldown interupt for tanking (which is what HoJ is for a Tankadin).

The other change that needs to be made to Hammer of Justice is that it needs to be off the global cooldown. When I need to interupt something I need to do it now.

Changes to the Ret Paladin in 3.2 require a bit more set up time. You need an AoW proc and a 5 stack to really get going.

Honors Code said...

Latest PTR Build has Hammer of Justice (as well as Maim) no longer working as an interupt in PVP.

twonationarmy said...

You said something yourself back in October '08 that summed up how reliant on HoJ Ret paladins used to be back in BC:

"Paladins have no snares, no spell interrupts, no gap closing abilities like charge, no anti-healing debuffs like Mortal Strike, and most of all, no real ranged abilities. Hammer of Justice is the solution to all those problems. (When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.)"

HoJ being so strong now seems like a leftover from when it sort of needed to be strong to make up for so many other failings. Its definitely time for a change in how this spell works.

David said...

I'm pleased a paladin finally brings this up.

I'm utterly fed up with the simple-mindedness of the ret paladin. Steamroll straight ahead STUN, SPAM 3 BUTTONS.

Look, I understand that the paladin needs to do more than that to be successful. But so do ALL other classes need to do more than their basic function.

My point is that the paladin's "basic function" is easier, and mroe powerful, than any other class. This lends to the perception of the paladin being too simple, and overpowered. I do not think this benefits ANYONE (including paladins) for it to remain this way.

Anonymous said...

So 'locks will not be happy until they are kings of the BG again, fearing and dotting the opposition until they are dead, while never taking a scratch themselves?

Let's see now, Exorcism is useless now thanks to PVP, the bubble is now broken thanks to PVP, HoJ is now useless for PVP, Ret damage is being lowered AGAIN because of PVP, and so on...

Why not remove the paladin class? or just limit PVP to rogues and locks?

Seriously, I am so sick of rampant nerfage to PVE because of PVP.

blah said...

To be fair tho, u have to realize, that its not like the stun is available to every paladin (save prot) once every minute. In a sense, this is the paladin gap closer which is why it's at ranged (forget JoJ) and why you can glyph it for a longer range. Trinket out and you've just gotten passed a holy paladin's exit or a ret paladin's entrance. Ret's do have the benefit of repentance, but again, thats more of a gap closer than something used to stun lock. The best strat of course, start with rep, run up and stun, however, both are on one minute cooldowns so if you get both in a bg well, u just saved the next guy

Rorik said...

I think the exact same thing can be said about warlocks and their plethora of fears except when the fear wears off, you have to play catch up to the warlock while you watch your health tick away. The hammer stun may seem annoying on the receiving end, but if you have a decent amount of resilience, stamina and/or a healer nearby that's paying attention, you'll make it out alive.

Yes, the hammer of justice is the linchpin of a ret paladin's offensive toolset and without it, we'd be pretty ineffective at pvp. I'd love to see things reworked away from the stun and maybe if they did we'd have a shot at taking out a healer without the assistance of a heavy CC class. It doesn't look like it's going to happen.

The Renaissance Man said...

A shorter Duration on a longer cooldown? That's a terrible idea. Paladins are the only class with a stun that powerful? That's flat out false.

Hammer of Justice is a 6 second stun on a 60 second cooldown. That means it's gonna have a 10% uptime. Compare that to a rogue, who, if he manages his energy well, can chain 6 second kidney shots together so closely that he has to worry about the 20 second DR window. A Warlock has a mass AOE stun that stuns for two seconds on a 20 second cooldown, that's off the GCD, and does damage on top of it. The same uptime as HoJ, plus damage, plus multiple targets. Warriors can use Concussion Blow to stun for 5 seconds, on a 30 second cooldown, and it does damage.

stephanie said...

It really isn't the Stun that is so bad or the fact that all of our attacks are instant and on cooldowns.

It is the combination of the two.

HoJ stuns for 6 seconds. That wouldn't be so bad from a warrior, death knight, rogue... because their damage takes a while to get rolling.

The "front-loaded" DPS is really more of a "wave-form" DPS. There are windows of high-burst followed by a bunch of grayed out buttons on the action bar.

The problem is that HoJ allows Ret to get all the way through the first DPS peak and then allows the valley to pass. When you emerge from the stun he/she is back on a peak.

You end up taking two doses of his best 3 seconds without being able to do much about it.

Anonymous said...

its really how all paladins play. no matter your spec you have a handful of spells you use all the time based on spec. Then you also have a 2 dozen other spells paladins of all specs use some of the times.

what separates the good from the bad paladins is how the handle using the "other" spells they have.

Anonymous said...

I was fighting this feral druid that could heal himself from 30% to full with a 2 HoTs...and I kept getting him to low health only to have it tick right back up. I was only finally able to kill him when my HoJ cd was ready and I could time it for when he shifted out. I don't think the stun is too OP considering you can only do it once every minute (or so).

Dorgol said...

"I was fighting this feral druid that could heal himself from 30% to full with a 2 HoTs...and I kept getting him to low health only to have it tick right back up."

No way that was a Feral Druid. Likely it was a Resto Druid in Bear form. Resto-in-Bear might not do MUCH damage, but it does more damage than Resto-in-Tree.

Re: HoJ - Is the stun too long? Maybe. I agree with Stephanie that the problem isn't JUST the stun - it's the stun combined with the "use it when you got it" nature of Paladin damage. The lack of finesse in the Paladin DPS structure really hurts the class, in my opinion.

A *GOOD* Paladin will engage in battle and use her Judgment, Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, and Hammer of Justice whenever they are available.
A *BAD* Paladin will engage in battle and use her Judgment, Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, and Hammer of Justice whenever they are available.

A *GOOD* Warlock will engage in battle and setup an Immolate, Corruption, use Death Coil as an interrupt / range maker, fear the enemy, Conflag, Shadowfury, Chaos Bolt.
A *BAD* Warlock opens with a Death Coil and hopes his enemy dies before they get close.

And the thing is, if you were to make similar “GOOD” vs. “BAD” comparisons for the other classes I bet dollars to donuts that the Paladin would be the only one with the same exact attack layout.

2nd Nin said...

The FCFS / Mana system is not the problem, and never will be. It is realistically no different to assaulting a caster from range (1.5s cast 1.5s cast 1.5s cast 1.5s cast - well 3 of them in a row = Ret burst). The difference is the seal procs.

Judgement + Seal
Melee + Seal + HoJ
CS + Seal
DS + Seal
Melee + Seal

The issue is the seal procs, because they represent a potentially huge volume of additional damage (5 potential seal crits in the ~6s). Thats why Ret is "bursty".

The problem cannot realistically be solved without altering how ret does damage. A Warlock (lets take affliction or felguard since Destro is similarly smashy):

Shadow bolt spam / Drain soul


For Destro PvE its similar, dots up, dps spams. In each case even in a non FCFS rotation (say the warrior priority rotation) its simply a case of smack the button that lights up, the difference is the quality of the button / joint benefits.

big button - long cd
medium button
medium button
small button - spammable
small button - spammable - stacking debuff / refresh

Its not really any different to a FCFS other than the "small debuff" getting a relative boost in priority until the stack is up. If you want to implement this for ret the equivalent would be to include a few new abilities which stack vengence or similar (however similarly to other classes there isn't a major loss if you don't get it perfect for most classes).

Anonymous said...

Oh yea, nerf the stun.

As a PvP-hater, I'mm currently using it to stun the mob that nags my while I farm a flower, pick the flower and only then attack the mob. It allows me to pick the stupit plant before someone lands right next to me and takes it while I fend of that critter.

Seperate PvP and PvE completely, then you can try to "balance" things as you like (and not ruin my game), which you will never succeed in.

Arrancar said...

i play ret and as ret:

1. pve = pve is crazy easy. questing is stupid easy and u'll never run oom. ret dmg in groups ahve gotten nerf'd and we are just above avg dmg (depending on gear).

2. pve = ret is just as easy as the pve comment, but EVERYONE else is "better". all the complaints from u ppl have had the ret nerf'd to the ground while others have been buff'd or stayed where they are.

ret is SO MUCH better than pre-wotlk and in turn makes it a fun/easy mode class to play.

fyi - if ur dying from a HoJ u need to look @ how YOU carry urself and what u can do to fix YOURSELF. not nerf sumthing that shouldn't be killing u to begin with.

Arrancar said...

#2 is supposed to be PvP.

spellcheck ftw.

Larusso said...

It seems people aren't going to be happy until every single viable ability is taken away from the Paladin and they are presented as a free kill again.

To you people that are having problems with HoJ, it's just a simple case of learning to avoid it by using the right abilities at the right time. Most classes have ways to keep range on a Paladin, but if you're not good enough (or unlucky enough) that the Paladin actually gets close then just use your trinket. Everybody has access to a PvP trinket, and knowing when to use this is a big part of beating any class 1v1.

Once trinketed most classes have a way of escaping or slowing/incapacitating the Paladin to easily get range again.

To the original poster, it's people like you that give the Paladin a bad rep. You go into Bg's with your crafted epics/blues with little of no resilience and then complain because a Retri Pala bursts you down in seconds. Also as a Warlock then you must be doing something seriously wrong to lose to a Retri Pala as I steamroll them on my Lock all the time. Get yourself some resilience and learn how to keep them at range and it's an easy kill.

HoJ is in no way the problem with Paladins, I think the main problem is a community that perceives Paladins as a joke and cant stand the fact that they might get killed by them sometimes.

People simply aren't going to be happy until Paladins fit into their stereotype as the joke class of WoW.

Wildcat0695 said...

Thank you Larusso. I fully agree.

modulok said...

Hoj stun then warlock uses puppy to devour or circle to blink or trinket to break then proceeds to destroy said helpless paladin at range. Warlocks and mages are paladin counter classes they should have nothing to complain about. Ret is stronger against warriors, rogues, and dk's you need to pick your fights better

Anonymous said...

I know this is a little out of date but regarding the Modulok comment:
1) Warlock can't use demonic circle to escape stuns, it only removes snares. If rooted you will teleport but still be rooted.
2) I dont think felpuppy can dispell HoJ as it is not a magic effect but a physical stun?

Succubus may be the way to go...

Anonymous said...

Ok so felpuppy CAN devour HoJ... apologies!
I may use it more in future..

Anonymous said...

Quoted from 1st comment:

"And as for "comparable with other classes" in pvp, I find it really difficult to assemble a list of abilities as impressive as what a paladin has. Most classes are lucky to have one or two aspects that match any one single item on this list:

1) ranged, long-lasting stun
2) immunity bubble (you have to kill them twice)
3) Instant self-heals (and ability to heal while in a bubble)
4) Lay on hands (oh wait, you have to go through THREE health bars!)
5) Never have to worry about resources (effectively infinite mana)
6) Frontloaded damage with no setup time
7) 5 instant attacks. 3 are ranged, one is aoe and heals you. One of them is an execute ability that is ranged and a near-guaranteed crit
8) Plate armor.
9) Instant self-cleanse
10) Immunity to snares
11) Ranged incapacitate (because the stun wasn't enough!)"

your 3)instant heal wut? u mean art of war proc? yeah... sacrifice dps for heals, there is an opportunity cost have to decide whether to dps or heal.

7) it doesnt matter if a class has 100 instant cast attack or heals, but if its damage or healing output is mediocre (like the current attacks of paladin and possibly in future due to changes in seal) then its useless.

9) instant self cleanse? lolwut? every class that can cure, cleanse or decurse has those spells instant cast. im not aware of any non-instant cure spells.(if u wanna talk about OP cure, its shammy cleansing totem)

10) LOL. u want paladins who doesnt have any form of gap closer (aside from the 1 min CD 5sec HoJ) to have no counter to snares? REDONCULOUS!

and u talk about pallies having 5 buttons to push and having no skill, synergy, and some other stuff. but i think u seem to forget that paladin is the most kitable class in wow and that would take skill to counter any class that can kite them. therefore they need some form of snare to help them achieve that (else a lock or any ranged class would continue dotting and running away from them till they drop down dead while praying to wow gods to get that lock's 'W' button and mouse broken so that they could stop running). try to see it in a pally PoV mate

Anonymous said...

If anything hoj stun duration isn't long enough and needs a shorter cd, I don't know who you may have been fighting on your pally but I fought a lot and they trinket out of my hoj and it's not as easy battle to take any class down as you make it seem. Paladins are not op, I lost to a lot of warlocks, mages and sometime rogues. if anything warlock dot fear dot fear, didn't even get close to him and mage got nice burst damage takes 85% of my health in less then 10secs, and rogues with chain stun, breaking free from 1 stun to end up in another. And skill is required to play a paladin, from my experince i use to suck at pvp dying to almost all other class and I have improved but there are still lots of other skills players out there that makes any class shine and are able to take out paladins without much trouble, like arms warrior that does nice dmg and able to take away bubble. If your constantly dying to a paladin in 1 stun then you need better gear and know how to handle your toon in pvp.

modulok said...

@anonymous - I worded that badly, you are of course correct that circle doesnt break any stun, I was typing on my iphone, sorry. I meant that you should first dispel the HoJ and then use Circle.

Circle is very potent against Paladins though since they have no ability to close and have no real way to get rid of CoE minus HoF, Trinket or bubble. Improved Fear is also nice to slow them down. If you can survive the initial burst, then you can kite them forever.

Warlocks really should have little to fear from Rets, although most warlocks that I see in BG's are destro/demo now which is powerful but also more subject to melee. The warlock anti-class is the rogue mostly due to cloak of skills. Im guessing that Rohan went with "pvp" gear but no pvp spec.

Rohan said...

Honestly, I was just having fun with my warlock.

My comment wasn't really so much what is "overpowered", but rather what is "not fun".

I think long stuns where your opponent can attack you at the same time is not fun. Indeed, warlock Fear + DoTs probably falls into the same category.

Anonymous said...

As has been said multiple times, a warlock losing to a ret paladin is just a bad or out-geared warlock.

I find that its absolutely ridiculous to suggest nerfing HoJ beyond what Blizzard already did to the cooldown.

Why? It's our main tool. It's already on the GCD, and it has the longest cooldown of any ability of its type.

Yes, we also have repentance. Which breaks on damage, can be disspelled, or trinketed (why you would trinket repentance and not save it for HoJ is beyond me, but its still a possibility.)

To close a pre-existing gap or to prevent one from immediately being opened without running into the wild blue yonder chasing someone and being subject to DoTs, Nukes, etc. across that entire path until we reach them or get further kited, those are our tools.

And against a warlock in particular HoJ loses even more viability due to circle. (Or ice block/blink with a mage when we get close)

Yes, HoJ is a strong ability. But thats because it needs to be when you look at the bigger scope and see how limited the paladins effective toolbox is.

Also, Lay on Hands? 20 minute cooldown and non-applicable in Arena.

Ranged? Aside from exorcism which has taken a major nerf and requires closing in and attacking AND critting before its even usable, none of our skills can truly be classified as "ranged". 10 yard judgments and what is it, 15 glyphed for HoJ if I remember right, do not count as "ranged". If you let us get that close and aren't a melee, you're probably doing something wrong or don't have cooldowns avaliable (in which case we're probably 2/3 dead from when you had them, or its a BG and well, you cant have everything all the time in BG.)

Well, except our 20% finisher, I suppose it's ranged. So 2, and both of which require that we get in close at some point (to either get a crit for AoW and exo, or to drop 80% of your HP for Hammer.)

Bubble is more of a hindrance than it is a bonus. I would GLADLY trade it out for proper balancing.

Instant heals? For an insignificant amount of HP in PvP terms and that waste your opportunity to use Exo with the latest changes. It's a high price for limited HP. There's JoLight, but I have to be able to attack you to get those returns.

As for infinite mana, it is possible to run out if you don't play right. We keep a healthy mana pool by doing damage, the same way a warrior keeps rage or a DK builds RP. If we stop and just use mana to heal or cleanse or whatnot, it can quickly become limited (especially if we're fighting a mana drain user/team for instance.)

Plate armor? You're talking from a caster perspective - it doesn't do a whole lot against spells.

Cleanse is unreliable thanks to dispel resistances and the fact that eating a GCD with it means not doing damage or healing. Is it worth using to keep the DoTs to a minimum while you run to close the gap? Sure. Then again, Blizz themselves have stated that the dispel game has become too much of an issue and plan to work on it, so maybe that'll really improve the value of cleanse...or destroy it, depending on which way they go.

"Immunity" to snares. More like "get out of snare free" button, which is spellsteal/dispelable, and has had its duration nerfed significantly recently. Also, does nothing to close gaps, just to prevent them from spreading.

A kiting class, complaining about the most kitable class in the stupid.

If you want to nerf what limited ability we have (beyond what Blizz is doing by gutting our DPS further in 3.2) how about suggesting something to put us in line in terms of balance rather than just taking away what we have and sending us back to the days of "lolret"

Anonymous said...

Dueled a drenei dk on my ret pally, we both have pvp gear and same weapon and for a blood spec dk he had like 28-30k hp with frost prescense he hit very hard and was able to heal himself back 20k hp in seconds. He was able to silence and slow my casting with ease so healing was not possible when low hp. Dueled 3 times lost 2 and won one due to using loh. He said he run through paladins and never had any problems beating them, I was just suprised a blood spec killed me since i been fighting mostly frost/unholy.

Blackthought said...

I feel your pain my pally brethren, I wish I had your upfront burst but I feel your paint. I used to think pally’s were OP, till I started trinking out of your first Hoj blow me up combo. After that While I loath your bubbles and such I’ve, learned to kite some pally’s as a warrior...yeah I never thought I could but it’s true. I can hamstring run away till charge is up and then charge, hit you, then run away, charge hit run away. When you heal I shatter throw....for a skilled ret though I hate you bastards. I have to kill you 2-3 times over before you go down, that’s not cool.

I feel your pain on the “benefit” of wearing plate. What good is all the armor in the world if a shadow bolt, ice spell, goes right through it? For having 15k armor and 827 resilience I was once crit with a Chaos bolt (after they fixed the ignore resilience) for 15k. Good thing I was wearing plate.

I also play a warlock and any warlock that can’t kill a pally needs to roll a DK because life is going to be hard for you. I can kite around and kill a pally 3-4 levels higher than me...sometimes more. I can remember at level 32 killing several lvl 39 pally’s by virtue of dots and fears and Sucubi stuns, mana drain helped too.

I will QQ about one thing. Your upfront damage is VERY high. If I don’t have a trink I can look forward to losing 8-15k life in a few moments. Which if I’m a caster is like ALL my life. As a warrior it still sucks even though it’s only 2/5 of my life. A little more balancing I think is in order for your burst damage. Less burst more sustainable damage. IMHO

And for god sake give a pally a charge ability. I’d trade you a charge ability if you guys would drop the burst a little.

And please never, ever, ever compare HoJ to Concussion blow. It’s not the same and you damn well know it.