Just a quick post to digest anything pertinent to our beloved spec!
The new talents system
Firstly, when they were gave prot paladins as the example for the new system in the WoW Preview Panel, they gave a quick list of what abilities we’d receive automatically as a result of our spec. No surprises here, except that retribution will have Hammer of the Righteous too.
(Apologies to mmo-champ for stealing their screenshots.)
As for the actual talents they offered for prot paladins later in the talent panel, I played with the wowhead calculator a little bit and settled on this spec. There’s not much reason to go terribly in depth, since these will likely all change before we even reach beta, but to briefly bob and weave through the six tiers …
Tier 1 – Level 15
First of all: HALLELUJAH — a gap closer at last! During the preview panel when they mentioned how the new talents would include a helpful amount of utility enhancements, I immediately thought that this could feasibly lead to the long-deferred dream of a tankadin gap closer to be fulfilled. So imagine my joy when that first screenshot came up on the screen showing an overview of paladin talents and the first tier was the three movement-enhancing talents in our current trees.
But I digress! Speed of Light is the obvious choice here. The fastest speed combined with a short cooldown makes it the most useful of the three choices. You’re not going to be constantly zipping around, so you want that burst of speed to mean the most it can when you choose to use it.
Tier 2 – Level 30
The stun is the only real choice I see here. CC is nice, but it has a cast time, and that’s not the kind of thing you’ll want to be playing with in combat. And, likewise, there are plenty of other CCs available. As for Seal of Justice, total PVP choice.
Tier 3 – Level 45
This is a wonderful tier, but despite the temptations of the first two, hands-down nothing can beat a cheat death.
Tier 4 – Level 60
Don’t make the mistake I first did when I saw this, the wording “friendly target” also includes the player (see Word of Glory, for example; same verbiage) so Holy Shield was be self-usable. It’s the only real survivability choice. Eternal Glory remains lackluster, and Selfless Healer focuses itself on a heal with a cast time, something we won’t be dirtying ourselves with.
Tier 5 – Level 75
Clemency seems like the best choice. The ability to get two BoPs out, for example, feels pretty powerful. Reduced cooldowns are boring, by comparison. Being able to choose the end of the cooldown will always be more powerful. Veneration likewise feels like a PVP talent, but you never know if a PVE fight may require switching to it if there’s some kind of raid-wide slowing debuff, or something of that ilk. You never know.
Tier 6 – Level 90
Holy Avenger gives us a burst of survivability: the ability to cast WoG/Holy Shield 6 times in a row — especially if WoG’s cooldown disappears in 5.0. That’s incredibly powerful, especially when choice of timing is the name of the game.
All in all, I know it’s stupid to dig through these when they are nowhere near final. But I love the new system, I’m very excited about it. For the same reason I enjoy flipping around my major glyphs fight to fight, I love the possibility of customizing my talents depending on the needs of the encounter. I really hope they stick with this to the end. (Not the numbers, mind you, the big picture framework.)
Sidenote: I think it’s cute that Blizzard is aiming for this new system to kill cookie-cutter builds. The truth of the matter is, if numbers are included on a talent, you’ll be able to crunch our its survivability value. We’re going to have a list of proper talents for each encounter, there’s no way around it.
The return of Blinding Shield?
At the class Q&A, Ghostcrawler imparted that Blinding Shield (originally a new spell for Paladins in Cataclysm, but later removed) is penciled in as the level 87 spell. As he went on to disclaim, that could very likely change, so don’t consider it remotely set in stone.
Hope burns eternal
I would love to see an orange shield.
- Ghostcrawler, when the panel was asked about a tanking legendary
Cosmetic librams soon?
When talking about hunter quivers, the panelists also brought up librams as a similar cosmetic option for paladins. I wonder if they’ll turn the soon-to-be deprecated ranged slot into a “cosmetic item slot”. You equip a libram, or a totem, or quiver, or whatever and it appears slung to an appropriate spot on your character. It’s something I’ve wanted to see since Burning Crusade, so here’s hoping we see that in MoP.
What we didn’t hear about
On Thursday, Miri texted me to let me know that she asked Ghostcrawler about active mitigation/tank changes during the charity dinner and he said there was not going to be any news about it during BlizzCon. Likewise, as the convention continued we didn’t get a single inkling of any news about the subject. I’m a little disappointed, but as long as it makes it to 5.0, there’s not much of value in worrying about not getting news about an early design iteration.