The Revolution has begun…

Rise, rise my fellow paladins we are no longer a hybrid, WE are the main healers

I found an interesting post that shows the evolution of the Paladin class into the main healer role.

As for me, I will always be spec’d protection. I dont mind healing but that is not my playstyle.

The Evolution of Paladins, MC to BC

Quote from the link above
As Tseric recently posted,
Paladins are supposed to be a Tank/Healing hybrid. Thinking about this the other day, I noted it was interesting how they had come to this decision based upon the growth of the class since release. I’m going to posit the theory that paladins were initially designed/conceived as a melee support hybrid, capable of off-tanking in a pinch (mostly in small content), spot healing when necessary, and buffing/meleeing the rest of the time. It’s interesting that this vision has never come to pass. For new paladin rerolls or new players to the game, maybe this will be an interesting walkthrough of where the class has come from a raiding/group perspective, and where it is today.

Rewind to January, 2005.
While learning Molten Core, our paladins are all buffing and meleeing. It becomes clear rather quickly that their melee is pointless, so they should just stay back and heal and refresh the 5 minute blessings. Keep in mind they are all wearing Lightforge, with 0 +healing and just some raw stats, so Flash of Light hits for something like 300-400, but that is all there was. This new set, Lawbringer, seems designed for pure melee support. It has some +healing on it, but also Str, and the 8 piece bonus was a proc that healed the whole raid for 200-300ish. I recall having a 8 piece Lawbringer paladin in melee just for that proc. Of course, after a few weeks it was nerfed and reduced to only the party, and he went back to healing again. Tanking at this point was never an option, because there was no gear at all comparable to warrior’s Might, amidst other problems.

Fast Forward to Summer, 2005.
Blackwing Lair arrives and is buggy as sin but pretty fun. At this point virtually all raiding paladins are healers, with the best ones mixing DM healing gear (cloth/leather/mail/plate) with pieces of Lawbringer. Yet by item design, it still appears that Blizzard feels paladins are a melee hybrid: Judgement armor has +spell damage and +Str, and an 8 piece proc designed around judging a target whenever it is up. Yet in virtually no raiding group that is clearing BWL this summer/fall are paladins doing anything but healing, buffing, and cleansing. There is still no gear to tank, and they are a wasted spot in melee. Their gear is getting better, so FoL spam is starting to look pretty good on the healing meters, but half the paladins are /afk in the corner hitting Whispercast every few minutes while the priests handle the healing load, and the druids innervate the priests.

Fast Forward to Spring, 2006.
After a huge dearth of 40 man content, AQ hits the raiding community. By this point, raiding paladins have geared up in ZG with a full assortment of +healing items for the first time. The ZG set still seems to indicate that paladins are a hybrid (Agi, +Heal, +Str), but the rest of the items in the zone do not, and paladins only wear those pieces if they have nothing else. At this point the “shockadin” starts to become a bit more popular in PvP, but in raiding all paladins are healers. As AQ progresses, hybrids rejoice at the sets, but don’t really use them for raiding. Druids and priests get no use out of them, while paladins and shaman, again devoid of a raiding set that supports what they do, grab a few for upgrades and bank the rest for leveling/grinding. Raiding paladins are using a mix of ZG/BWL healing items with AQ cloth and leather healing items to build a pure +healing set.

Fast Forward to Fall, 2006.
The ultimate WoW Classic dungeon, Naxxramas, comes, and at this point it seems like Blizzard is finally admitting to themselves that ALL of the originally categorized hybrids (shaman, druids, paladins) are full-time healers: all the T3 sets are fully optimized for healing, and amazing at that purpose. Warriors become legendary due to their ability to fill two roles with the same spec (tank, DPS, we have warriors tanking on 4 horsemen and #1on DPS on Loatheb), while everyone else has their one role—ironic to many since they were not conceived of as a hybrid class. Paladins, at last, no longer need to wear cloth or carry around flowers in their off-hand because of raiding itemization.

Fast Forward to Xmas 2006.
WoW 2.0 hits in preparation for the Xpack. Without new gear and spells, there are not a lot changes for some classes, but Priests, marketed as the game’s “primary healer,” are suddenly the only fully legitimate class with a heal button that is a hybrid. Shadow priests trivialize fights like Loatheb, and compete with the top DPS classes on nearly every fight while providing group utility. Paladins, shaman, and druids (mostly) continue healing, now better than before with new talents. Cynics point out the irony that two of the dubbed “pure classes” are more effective hybrids than the hybrids.

And now we reach the Burning Crusade.
With a slew of new gear and spells, class roles are shifting all over the board…except for paladins. In smaller content and in smaller guilds, paladin tanks alleviate the tanking shortage for 5 mans and the like. Some even tank Karazhan and heroics. But none are tanking the Big Boy bosses like Gruul, because that remains the domain of protection warriors. While druid tanks become legitimate choices in most raiding content (even post nerf), paladins are not. Your average Gruul-killing raid healing is done primarily by Holy paladins, who have the ability to lead healing meters with the repeated use of one button. Shaman have earned 2 spots for DPS, enhancement and elemental; Druids have 1 spot for a feral tank, and Priests have as many shadow spots as you can fit because they are so amazing. It is perhaps the greatest irony of the Paladin class that the ability designed to allow us to effectively tank like warriors, Spiritual Attunement, is used instead by the majority of raiding paladins as a justification to have an “off-spec” in your group, a shadow priest, to give you a mana battery for healing.

It has been 28 months, and this class has deviated greatly from the vision of the paladins of Warcraft Lore, and even from that of original release. Make no mistake: paladins are the primary healers of World of Warcraft. Every other healing class has more, sometimes vastly more, legitimate hybrid potential than paladins. Even if a paladin tank had the same mitigation as a warrior, they offer you no synergy bonus for them tanking, wheras a shadow priest DPSing gives your casters more damage, a shaman meleeing increases your group’s melee damage, and so on. A paladin tank is just another tank – so why not bring a warrior? A paladin in melee is just another melee class with substandard DPS (and a Holy paladin 38/0/23 can bring almost all the same utility as a Ret paladin while healing), so why not bring another melee class?

The modern priest community is up in arms about paladin healing because they are supposed to be the “primary healing class,” but the numbers and evolution of this game tell a different story. Priests are a hybrid class, excellent in 2 roles. Druids are a hybrid class, excellent in 2 roles. Shaman are a hybrid class, excellent in 2 roles. Warriors are a hybrid class, excellent in 2 roles. Paladins are a pure class, excellent in 1 role.

I am a Paladin. I am a healer. And this is how it came to pass.

Source: WOW Forums


9 Responses to “The Revolution has begun…”

  1. 1 Andrew March 30, 2007 at 2:30 am

    Very interesting read. Having played my pally for years I had a chuckle as old memories came flooding back.

    BTW We are one of the ‘few’ guilds that uses a pally to tank most of kara (Guild has 2 mt’s pally/warrior) and have had no problems.

  2. 2 Rudy March 30, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    It is great to hear that the protection paladin is not lost

  3. 3 kazso April 26, 2007 at 2:02 am

    Paladin as main healer? With 2 healing spells (short and long heal)?! “Keep the HoT’s up on main tank”. Go go palas, throw the HoT’s. Hmm, you don’t have any? Too bad… And leading the healing meters? ROFL. Keep dreaming.
    Paladins are a support class, nothing more, nothing less. They can heal, but their main role in raids is to buff, keep the JoW up and DI (and OT sometimes). Btw with the growing number of shamans we more often choose a shaman for Karazhan instead of a paladin…

  4. 4 Whitewolf May 17, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Kazso…go take a poll. Paladins are the most wanted healing class around. I, personally, am a Prot spec paladin – but i’d take a holy paladin over any other healing class. They can take a hit, they can drop there aggro if it goes to high – they can offer there aura, and buffs, and with Blessing of Light, there heals hit hard. Not to mention the fact they almost never run out of mana, and with good +crit gear, they get free heals left, right and center. Add a shadow priest into the group, and with Spiritual attunement – unstoppable.

    Good post, Salud.

  5. 5 Tankadin May 26, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    LoL and LoL. I understand that paladins are one of the best healing classes around but still…. We are a hybrid class. We have 2 roles in raids and instances, not just one. We can tank BETTER than a warrior, and also heal better than a priest. It depends on what suits you most. I understand from what you wrote there that paladins are just some noob healers and that can’t tank. ROFL. If you just look at paladin stats in tanking you will see that a prot warrior and a prot paladin can tank almost the same. Not being able to hold aggro while a paladin? ROFL again. Some paladins can make threat faster than most warriors, be more resistant AND also tank more than 1 target a time. We have consecration, which is way better than their thunder clap. We have holy shield, mobs hit you, you block and make threat.

    So please think again. I really do not think paladins are an “only heal” class.

  6. 6 Johnkick June 27, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Your argument about threat building is very true, but the simple fact is that Warriors have many more tanking abilities. I don’t know how many times shield wall or last stand has saved our tank in a battle. What equivalent talents can paladins use that measure up to warrior tanking abilities? Sure, you can make an argument for holy shield, but other than threat building talents, that is the only real tanking (damage mitigation) talent. I personally have tried to tank the first boss in Kara as a Prot Pally (note having tanked every 5-man instance from 65-70), and I was taking so much damage that 2 of the 3 healers were out of mana before Attumen even got on Midnight (Keep in mind this is with all blue Level 70 misc. tanking gear). We have taken warriors in with close to the same gear and not had a problem with tanking the first few bosses. But if your still stuck in your ways tankadin, note that I am now a holy pally with around 1600 bonus heal buffed up, a 18% holy crit chance, and 10500 mana. Stats like that as a healer blow the other Pally specs out of the water in terms of benefits to raids (especially end-game 25 man raids). So, unless you have all epic (purple) items as a paladin tank, you are going to have a lot of problems tanking the last half of Kara (especially Nightbane and the Prince) and every 25-man raid that follows.

  7. 7 Salud June 27, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    If you are not uncrushable with 11K health then you will not successfully tank Kara no matter if the tank with similair gear is able too.

  8. 8 T. Mitchell January 25, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Well, I have to disagree. I am a paladin tank, and though I do have a couple epics and the rest blues, I am uncrushable but with only 11k hp unbuffed. Last night we didn’t use an off tank for Romeo and Juliet, I tanked them both where they spawned, let’s see other tanks do that 🙂

  9. 9 Leykis January 25, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    I dabble with different specs…31/30/0 and a more complete prot spec to go with my normal 50/11/0 healing spec. My tanking set includes 12 epics including two tier 4 pieces. With the 31/30 spec, I OT/d all of kara and had only 44% total passive avoidance (no holy shield). I was running at around 13k health, 15.5k armor, uncrittable. When not tanking in kara with this spec, I played the role of third healer where I had 12.5k mana, 20% holy crit, +1600 healing and I would press the main healers on the charts.

    As a full prot build, I run at 14k health, 15.5k armor, 75% avoidance (with holy shield), uncrittable and we took 45 minutes to clear shattered halls in normal mode in a 5-man group, 30 minutes to do it again with just 4. The AOE pulls put me tied for the DPS lead and my healer went OOM just once (at the end of the gauntlet run).

    Where I’m going with this is that most of what I’m reading here is really based on the following VERY TRUE STATEMENT: Good Tanking supported by Good Healing and Precision DPS lets anyone do anything in this game. If one of those three elements is lacking or not up to par with the skill and gear requirements of the instance, you’re going to fail. Unfortunately, this routinely leads to people saying that such and such class or a specific build is no good. If it sucked, then no one would defend it.

    Last point, Johnkick…you talk about pally vs. warrior tanking. While I love playing prot, I believe that warriors do have an easier time tailoring their tanking to any instance and situation due to more abilities and gear choices (building spell resist sets as a prot pally is no easy task). But there are several passive skills for pallies that are similar to shield wall. Redoubt is passive, as is our damage reduction (similar to last stand) skill that is far up the prot tree. We have an aggro booster spell which we use when tanking, turn off when not tanking and we have taunt. Let’s also not forget that even though we are often passed over for tanking in higher level content, particularly 25 man content, there is a lot of pally prot gear in the loot tables for BT. If that’s not an indication of Blizzard’s intentions, I don’t know what is.

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