Sunday, March 04, 2007

Paladin Burst Damage Philosophy

One of the Blizzard CMs recently posted something about how Blizzard was looking at toning down paladin burst damage. And of course, the paladin boards erupted in outrage.

Now, I don't know if paladin burst damage needs to be toned down. It may be excessive, or it may be fine. But I think there is a deeper problem at the heart of this issue. One that will not be solved by the devs nerfing a specific skill.

For some reason, whenever paladins get abilities, they almost always get powerful abilities with long cooldowns. It's like that is Blizzard's first instinct when it comes to paladins. The problem with this design, is that you can line up all your cooldown skills and use them in a row to a huge effect. The paladin sees the 90% of the time they are without these skills, and considers them underpowered. The person who was on the receiving end the other 10% of the time is unhappy, and considers paladins overpowered.

Take the Crusader Strike nerf. CS used to have a 6s cooldown. That was deemed overpowered. Rather than reduce the damage, Blizzard chose to increase the cooldown to 10s. Thus the problem with burst damage remains.

Almost all of the paladin abilities are like that. Very powerful, but with long cooldowns. If anything, the paladin needs less powerful abilities, but usable more often. It would tone down our burst damage potential, and would also make playing a paladin a bit more interactive.


  1. I was just talking about this with my wife the other night. She's a holy/discipline priest. I'm a retribution/holy paladin.

    I would not mind converting some of our burst damage into more sustainable damage. I'm just about to hit 70 and my DPS ranges from 150 to 550 DPS. As I get better gear, I'm noticing the high end number steadily going up (with +crit gear), but the 150 just doesn't budge much. I would love to narrow that margin and be able to sustain a moderate amount.

    The bigger problem I worry about is the recent statement (I think by a blue? Can someone confirm that?) that developers see paladins as a tank/healer class. That makes me think....." why did you give me the retribution tree?" I've leveled to 70 gearing myself up as a ret pally because I decided that DPS was feasible with the new talent review. I keep other sets for healing and tanking but I haven't been concentrating on them.

    So now I'm stuck. Do I respec and focus on getting better healing/tanking gear? Should I even bother crafting my 2H epic BoP hammer, "Thunder?" I've spent weeks saving up the cash and materials for that. If I'm going to go tank or healing, should I take up swordsmith because the 1H is much better for tanking?

  2. I kinda disagree because if you read the paladin forums, pallies always have and always will complain that their class is boring, monotone and painful. I guess giving them a few OP crits every few minutes is a good way of making them shut up.

    And yes, i remember seeing that post, it pissed a lot of us off. But its not surprising, from the very beginning, level 1, pretty much all the paladin abilities are defensive/buffbot. I mean, the only truly offensive abilities are judgement, SoC and CS...thats 3 out of dozens and dozens of spells

  3. re: anonymous / disagreement

    You and GSH have both agreed on one point: pallies "complain that their class is boring, monotone and painful".

    Blizzard has put in the crits, and the pallies are still complaining. They don't want to be weaker than they are, but they're still bored. So what does that tell you?

    Crits etc, while perhaps making a paladin more powerful, do not make the paladin more "fun" to play. When you compare a pally to other classes, the one area that you'll find lacking is the interactivity. You still spend long amounts of time just swinging away while you wait for your "fun abilities" to become available again.

    Slow action points are boring. Put you to sleep. Heck, I don't want to play a game where I sit there most of the time just waiting for things to happen. I could do laundry which is perhaps equally exciting (and much more useful).

    So how do you solve that? You make the "fun abilities" usable more often... of course they're OP if you can use em more often in their current forms... which is why you dump the nutso damage... you tone the abilities down and allow a paladin to essentially "click more buttons", maintain the same overall damage, but dump the spikes.

    Which I believe is what GSH was getting at. In which case, I have to agree with him 100%. I gave up playing my paladin because I fell asleep at the keyboard too many times.