Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hand of Judgement

From Ghostcrawler:
7) Hand of Judgement - All paladins receive a single-target, 30 yard taunt on an 8 sec cooldown. This spell also does minor Holy damage in order to break CC and the like for pulling ease.

First off, the name is terrible. Hand spells are minor buffs cast on friendly allies. This is not a Hand spell. Naming a taunt "Hand of Judgement" makes as much sense as naming it "Blessing of Judgement". Also, Judgement is a poor word to use, as Judgement already has a very specific paladin use. This is just going to be confusing. Name it "Condemn" or "Rebuke" or anything interesting. Heck, name it "Crusader's Defense" and let it match the other taunt.

To be honest, Blizzard is really overusing the words "Divine", "Judge", and "Righteousness" when it comes to paladin ability names.

Second, I have no problem with the taunt part. I can see the argument there, even if I think the cases where RD fails can be worked around.

Third, this is an opinion that is not going to be popular with most paladins, but I think the ranged pull part is a mistake. Back in 2006, I wrote a post called Restrictions are Good, and it covers most of my arguments.

Weaknesses are important in design, and one important paladin weakness is that we don't get a baseline ranged pull. We have to learn to compensate for that, to learn how to body-pull, to fight multiple mobs at a time, to use our cooldowns to reset the fight.

Not having a ranged pull makes the paladin gameplay different from the other classes. Especially the solo experience. It makes us value different tactics, to identify spots where we can catch flying mobs. Weaknesses make the game interesting.

And to be honest, I think having a ranged pull is unnecessary. Blizzard cannot make a mob that has to be fought at range, because there are multiple classes that cannot kill it (Warrior, Rogue, Paladin, and maybe Deathknight). Every mob must close to melee range to be killable. If a flying mob can close to melee range after the pull, it can also path close to melee range during its normal patrol.

As well, Blizzard can always add a quest item to help. Consider one of the very first quests in Borean Tundra, where you use a net to knock a Scourge flyer out of the sky. The very few cases where a ranged pull is absolutely necessary can be worked around.

Maybe it is inconvenient. But it makes for a different experience than the other classes, and that difference is worth preserving.

Of course, now that Ghostcrawler has announced the ability, he cannot pull it or he will torn to shreds by paladins on the forums. Regardless, it is my opinion that giving paladins a baseline ranged pull is a mistake.


  1. Iliya - Vek'Nilash

    I can understand your feelings on the stance, but the fact that every other class in the game has a means of pulling, except us (as a baseline ability no less), makes it appear more than an unfinished product.

    So, I hate to say, it, but you're wrong.

  2. To a certain extend some of us have ranged pull abilities, like HS and ranged Judgements. So, arguably, the lack of ranged pulling is dependant on spec.

    Tankwise - and I am no tank - people complain that its needed. As with most of the changes there are friends and foes.

    My concern regarding the latest announced changes is the increase in Holy DPS (whose lack is quite apparent). Its a deficiency of the whole design and the recent tweaking on the judgements due to Retry damage.

    The second `important' one is the attempted tweaking of the bubbles sunergy. The above are fixes. The taunt is more an addition which does help in some situations.

    I favour the addition as it will increase our tactical options but I do agree to a large extent that we need to maintain individuality.

  3. need help with pulling as a paladin? lvl engineering :P

  4. I completely don't agree or disagree with the post, but I completely disagree with the earlier comments. Pally tanks have a ranged pull it's called avenger shield. If the mutli-target nature is a problem for you use the glyph.

    There are two real problems with pally tanking. One small problem one large.

    Large problem: In a larger raid if tanks need to trade off one target our of several, you have to go Pally onto a warrior, you cannot go the other way as the warrior has a single target taunt and the pally does not.

    This means you really should have at least one warrior or druid tank, making it more difficult for a raid to have two pally tanks limiting options and going against the new mantra of "bring the player not the class".

    Small problem. There is a mob. Bad mob has broken CC. Bad mob is making a b-line to your ranged clothies. Pally tank has 2 or more mobs on him or her. Pally tank used AS to pull and it's still on 30 sec cooldown.

    How does pally tank get that mob back? You can try RD but if the caster has layed down any kind of threat it won't bring the mob all the way to the tank. The pally tank could run at the mob, possibly pulling the ranged DPS into melee threat range. The pally tank could have the clothie run to him (clothie probably don't survive this). A taunt really fixes this problem, but a shorter cooldown on AS would work just as well. Or some other ranged damage that would be strong enough with RF to pull a mob over would work just as well.

  5. I agree with your assessment. There's a pretty decent solution too - the spec that needs it the most is Prot, and Prot are always complaining that they don't have a decent 11-point talent... well, here it is. It would be low enough in the prot tree that ret could easily pick it up too.

    Definitely needs a better name though.

  6. I am in great need of a cc breaking taunt as a Paladin tank.
    The group I play with are relentless & I am never the person to break CC :p

    But to be honest, I agree that I could (& do) live without it.

    Also to the guy(or girl) who said go engineering, I am an engineer, but as a Tank my gloves enchant (+hit) & my trinkets are far to important.
    Also the 1 - 2 minute cooldowns would be an issue at the rate I pull.

  7. I disagree that Paladins don't need a ranged pull - it's less of a problem for protection paladins, Ret does and since we can't equip a ranged weapon and it would be unfair to use trinket space just to have a ranged pull, I think it's a good solution.

    I wonder if we'll also get a charge ability? Let's face it, when the warrior and the all other hybrid tanks have a ranged pull, a charge or with the DK a reverse-charge the paladin's lack of it, feels like a big gap.

    Agree with you re. the name though - Hand's should be short term buffs, Judgements - well we have that when we judge a seal as you said - your suggestions were much better than Blizzard's.

    Amazing the amount of work that Blizzard is doing post Wrath launch on the pala though - they obviously realize that there is a real need for a pala 3.5 fix fast - which is good, but bad that they couldn't have got this ready for Wrath.

    I know what you mean

  8. Does anyone else think it was a mistake to bundle two separate issues into one fix? Is this supposed to be a taunt or a ranged pull? Isn't it really bad practice to use a taunt as a pull anyway, because it's likely to be on cooldown when you actually need it?

    I don't know whether palas need another taunt or not, but this is definitely a clumsy fix for pulling. I personally like the item idea. Anyone remember linken's boomerang? What about an avenger's shield-style relic?

  9. Merlot

    The spell is a long-range taunt with a small damage component which can be used to break CC. The CC breaking part is important because of the way that threat is accumulated during CC and the mechanics of Righteous Defence. Using a taunt and minor ranged damage on a CC'd target isn't all that rare... it allows you to ensure that the first target of the mob once CC is broken is you, and not a healer.

    I don't think that it being a ranged pull has necessarily been considered by Blizzard. I think it's a happy side-effect rather than an issue which Blizzard have felt the need to resolve with this skill. It's also not a bad design for either purpose really.


    Needless to say, I support the provision of a ranged pull at baseline. Whilst class distinctions are a good thing I don't believe that something as basic and fundamental as pulling a target from range is a good choice.

  10. i think your misinterpreting the use of this ability rohan because of the way this was stated. a good pally tank will still stick to using avengers shield for the initial pull cause of the large amount of threat it does on initial pull.. i doubt hand of judgement will equal this on an initial pull basis. the use of it as a "pulling" mechanic is more related to the fact that it does dmg, and so is a great way to pull that mob off ofthe hunter at range. maybe while still finishing off the 2-3 mobs the pally is currently tanking. this is an excellent item as in a good group, most of our pulls are done within 30 seconds, and AS is not up yet.

    i run frequently with a hunter so i am REALLY looking forward to this from a heroics basis, and eventually juggling a boss in a raid with another tank is huge. not only that, but a proper taunt that doesnt just "equalize" threat but gives me a slight edge is huge when u get some pugged dps that doesn't understand pulling off the tank and then trying to dps them down = bad thing.

  11. Mike, I'm looking at it from a soloing or leveling paladin perspective.

    Avenger's Shield (and Holy Shock to a lesser extent) will supercede this as a pulling tool if you go deep into the respective trees.

    Also, all taunts give you a slight edge. The DPS needs to have at least 10% more threat to pull off you.

  12. Retribution Pallies who tank 5 mans needed a taunt.

    Using abilities to reset a fight is quite nice until you're responsible for other people's well being and messing up by body pulling more than one pack.

    Happy Thanksgiving Rohan.

  13. Yeah but I can finally stop people from drinking (in Arena) at range. Plus, it causes damage, and I doubt it will cost mana (witness RD) so I get a new damage move solo or vs taunt immune bosses.

    -Azreal, Death and Taxes

  14. I had the impression that when GC said it did damage, it would do like 10 points of damage. Just enough to break sheep and stop drinking.

    Though I'd laugh if Bliz nerfed it after people started using it in PvP.

    As for pulling, there's Repentance, actually learning how to body-pull, or getting another character to pull into a consecrate. Plenty of ways to work around your weakness.

  15. If you follow that logic, Protection paladins didn't need a ranged pull either. Just use ez-throw dynamites and body pull. Or rely on Hunters to pull -- all of which are workable alternatives.

    In the end, it's more a quality-of-life issue.

  16. I disagreee.

    Death knights do have a ranged attack and warriors not only have guns but their level 80 ability is a ranged attack. Their are quests right now where mobs need a ranged pull. I had to pull 1 mob using repent and then heal myself till it ran oom(i ran oom as well), I only completed the 1 person quest because another paladin turned up while the mob was repented and he was able to pull aggro off me when i was completely oom. If it had a been a hunter type mob rather then caster I would never have killed it.

  17. Rohan, I appreciate your opinion, but I appreciate the rage that I felt while spending 30 minutes trying to pull down crows for one of the very first quests in Howling Fjord more. Much, much, more.

  18. Just curious how you did the quest in Dragonblight where you had to pull the birds who flew above (it was the prereq to the 3 man miniboss bird sitting on the rock)

    I had to team up with a ranged dps.

    The fact that I had to find some terrible idiot (who even with ranged attacks, still had trouble hitting them), was incredibly frustrating

    Having no ranged pull is not a weakness-by-design. Its a weakness-by-ineptitude. There is a huge difference.

  19. Just curious how you did the quest in Dragonblight where you had to pull the birds who flew above (it was the prereq to the 3 man miniboss bird sitting on the rock)

    There were several spots where the birds flew within Judgement range, and at least one spot where the bird was perched within Judgement range.

    I solo'd that quest without any problem.

  20. I believe you are misunderstanding what GC said. My take on it is that the ranged pull is a consequence of adding the single target taunt, not a contributing factor to the decision.

    This is because every tank class has a de facto range pull, i.e. taunt, since all taunts are now ranged. They could not add a single target taunt for pallies that is not ranged after every other tank class has one, or they would drown in a fresh wave of pally tears.

    So it seems to me to be more of a attempted marketing thing, as in "here you go, you have a single target taunt now. In addition to that, you also get this amazing ranged pull for ABSOLUTELY FREE! call now while stocks last" they just added the small damage component, similar to feral faerie fire, to tag the mobs and break cc.

    In conclusion, if you want a single taunt you get a ranged pull. They can't be separated now.

  21. I really do not understand why paladins would need a range pull. It would be nice to have, but I agree with Rohan. I enjoyed my role as a tankadin because it was different from the other classes. I was running heroic 5 mans, raids, and questing...I never had a problem with any of them. Not having the taunt not only meant that the tankadin had to understand his character better, but it also meant that the group had to understand the tankadin, group mechanics. Adding the taunt just makes it easier to recover from mistakes made.

    Ret pallies that tank dont need a taunt! Why? Because your a ret pally. If you want to be a real tank spec prot...otherwise you have to deal with what your spec has to offer.

    Lastly, yes the name is horrible. I really am getting tired of the Hand of this and hand of that abilities.

  22. A quick follow up...but when a CC would break and head towards a one of the other group members, I made sure my group knew to run into my concecration. This would bring the mob to me as well as give me a chance to get some additional damage on it. Yes, it would make it a little more difficult on the healer, but the group wouldn't not get one or two shot'd usually. Isn't the idea of working as a group to do exactly that...WORK AS A GROUP.

  23. Rohan, I respect your opinion on this one, but I have to say this to you and all the other nay-sayers :P :
    If you do not like the new taunt, please don't use it. I'm sure your raid leader will see it your way when you cause a wipe because you decided to taunt all the mobs off the main tank using Righteouss Defense.
    We finally have a chance to be equal to warriors, and to be able to tank the endgame. It seems, however, that some of us would prefer to just tank 5-mans for the rest of their paladin career.

  24. I respect your opinion, and may even have agreed with it pre WoW 2.0.

    The game is different now, Blizz wants it to be a balanced deathmatch game for Areans (horrible for gameplay, great for Blizzard's wallet). As a result, all classes need to be normalized and have similar, if not equal, tools.

    From a PvE standpoint, a single target taunt is necessary for some fights if you are a tank (particularly OT). The easiest solution would be to make this a prot talent. A ranged pull is not necessary, prot paladins have one (AS). The damage is used to break CC (sheep/frost trap/sap/etc...). So it's for dealing with CCed mobs on trash pulls, and fights that require tank juggling of a particular mob, while other mobs are present.

    As a non-prot issue... in a crowded area with limited quest mobs spawning, who gets screwed? The ONLY class in WoW without a baseline ranged tagging ability, that's who.

    From a PvP standpoint, all other classes have a LOS ranged ability to put people in combat.

    I have no idea how this will turn out. Right now I just judge CCed mobs... The only way this would be useful (aside from the single target taunt aspect) is if it had greater range than judge, and a similar CD to judge (so they could be alternated)... which seems hard to balance around the single target taunt aspect. The damage component may really be a PvP thing.