Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Baseline Spiritual Focus?

Blizzard has announced that in Patch 1.11, druids will be getting Innervate--previously the 31-pt Restoration talent--as a baseline trainable talent (and some sort of new 31-pt talent). I think this is a good move, as a lot of raiding guilds were making Innervate mandatory for their druids.

On the paladin boards, a lot of people are suggesting paladin talents that should become baseline. While things like Seal of Command, Consecrate, Kings, etc. would be nice, I'd like to propose a different talent becoming baseline:

Spiritual Focus.
(70% chance to avoid spell interruption from damage)

Why? Well, almost every build includes this talent, forcing paladins to go 10pts deep into Holy. Pure Protection/Retribution builds are extremely rare.

Secondly, we are meant to be melee fighters. Emphasizing that we can cast healing spells in melee combat reinforces that ideal. As well, priests have a similar talent, save that it is only 2 points and in the first tier. It's slightly disconcerting that priests are able to cast from melee better than paladins.

Spiritual Focus is as close to a must-have talent as there is for paladins. By replacing Spiritual Focus with a different, more unique 5pt talent in the second tier, we should see a greater variety in paladin builds, and more freedom in abstaining from the Holy tree.

For example, I would love to make a 0/32/19 1H+Shield 'porcupine' build that features both Holy Shield and Improved Retribution Aura. Such a build would be very interesting to try.

However, not having Spiritual Focus is a huge risk. Improved Concentration Aura only gives a 50% chance to avoid interruption, and the long cast time of Holy Light means there's a high chance of the spell being delayed. Spiritual Focus + Concentration Aura gives a 100% of avoiding interruption, which is essential as we are always in melee. A priest can fear, shield, cast an instant HoT, or cast a quick flash heal and avoid interruption in that manner.


  1. This is a great idea, I'd love to see Spiritual Focus available to everyone. Sadly, Paladin talent trees are pretty much a mess and we don't have any abilities that others try to force us to have. A Paladin's role in most large instances is that of a healer (possibly off-tank if the group is somewhat open-minded), but I've yet to see a Paladin forced into spec'ing Holy to get into a Raid. As long as one Paladin has Blessing of Kings, everything's usually cool (your mileage may vary, I'm just talking about what I've seen).

    That being said, I'd like to see Paladins get Blessing of Sanctuary as a standard spell. It's not *so* good that it would be broken as a standard ability, but at the same time, I don't think it's worthy of a 21 point talent. I think if we got Sanctuary by default, not only would we be a little more viable as a tank, but it would be a nice boost to speed up leveling too. PVPers will hate me for saying it, but I'd even go so far as to say switch it for Blessing of Protection, have that as the 21 point talent in Protection.

    I honestly don't see Paladins getting Consecration, Blessing of Kings or Seal of Command as default abilities, I personally think they're all fine where they are. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing Spiritual Focus as a default ability, but am worried that since it's Passive, it would somehow get nerfed on us.

  2. I completely agree with your choice of spiritual focus. I think Blessing of Kings which is a very raid friendly blessing comes in as a close second.

  3. The thing about Kings is that it's really the third most-important blessing. First is Salvation, then Might/Wisdom, then Kings. So generally, only 1 in 3 paladins needs to spec for it.

    It's not something every paladin needs. The bigger problem with Kings is that Protection is a terrible tree. If Protection was a more useful tree, you'd have more paladins speccing in it, and picking up Kings along the way.

    For example, if Kings was in Retribution like it used to be, I'm pretty sure that every raid would have at least one paladin with it. A retribution paladin would go all the way up the tree and then grab Kings to help out in raids. What's one point when you've already spent 30 in the tree?

  4. Many paladins go into the protection tree simply to get Blessing of Kings. If Blessing of Kings were made into a baseline ability, it would allow many Paladins to avoid a tree they have no interest in otherwise.