Have Paladins lost all of their "Flavor"?

94 Human Death Knight
13110
Let me start by saying that this is not intended to be a "whining topic". And I'm not even saying it's necessarily a problem yet. Rather, it's simply a strong concern I have.

Now, I'll be honest; I've never played a Paladin in anything but Blizzard games. My understanding of what a Paladin is, is based solely on Blizzard's interpretations. However, when I logged in my Paladin after this last patch, I was struck by how very different he feels from his original incarnation.

I started World of Warcraft back in the Vanilla Beta, and I always played a Paladin. I was a huge fan of Uther the Lightbringer (and Arthas, of course), and I just knew Paladin was going to be the Class for me. They were more rugged than Priests, yet more stoic than Warriors; to me, they were the perfect Class. I was also a huge fan of Diablo II, so that certainly helped make the decision.

Of course, the Class was also boring as hell to play back then; I don't think anyone could legitimately argue otherwise. They had some amazing strengths, but as the old saying goes: "It's like playing God-Mode, but you're playing a pacifist god".

However, the Class also had a great deal of flavor.

Any true Paladin remembers acquiring his or her Verigan's Fist back in the day, or obtaining your Resurrection spell in Elwynn Forest. And obviously, the Charger quest-chain was a whole adventure unto itself. But the things I'm talking about go far beyond that.

First off, let's look at the Paladin dress-code; honestly, most of the time Paladins looks like "Armored Clerics" these days. More than that, most (though luckily, not all) of their armor lacks any sort of "Knightly" attributes, or even references to the Silver Hand. I understand that Tauren can play Paladins now, but they should have to adhere to the Class's history, not force the rest to abandon theirs.

Secondly -- and this will probably sound incredibly shallow or petty at first -- is the name and icons of their Abilities. Everything is Yellow/Gold. To me, I just can't get over how strange that part is. I may very well be alone here, but to me, it speaks volumes about deeper-lying issues.

Back in Warcraft III and early-WoW, the Paladin was very much a battle-hardened character, not so distant from the Warrior, save for his faith. Over time, it feels like the image of the Paladin has gradually shifted to be someone whose armor is more ornamental than anything. They project the image of a character who is nothing without his faith, as opposed to a character whose faith is but one facet of his character.

Finally, there is the core of what made a Paladin a Paladin in previous Blizzard games; Group-utility. Now I'm not going to pretend like Auras were ever "fun" abilities to use, but they were absolutely a part of the character. I still remember seeing that Devotion Aura graphic in Warcraft III (in truth, I was always disappointed the visual wasn't more prominent in WoW), and having that added utility of several different Auras was kind of cool when your group needed a specific one.

Maybe I'm just seeing issues where there aren't any, but when I logged into my Paladin the other day -- a character whom I was considering playing again for Mists of Pandaria -- I was just struck with the overwhelming sense that "This is not the character that I created eight years ago".
Edited by Maldazzar on 9/6/2012 11:47 AM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
10590
playing one isnt as exciting/fun as it was before i prefer to mess around on my warr/mage now
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90 Human Paladin
15225
It's not just paladins. Blizzard has been making all of the classes less unique for years. It's a shame.
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85 Blood Elf Mage
7810
The paladin has definitely lost it's flare to me, but after playing it since BC I think that's fair to say. Classes change, people change, and the game changes. Personally, I just burned out on the class as a whole I think. I played all three specs extensively.

I've taken up the mantle of the Mage now, but I still have a huge attachment to my Paladin too. I'm sure I'll play it again someday.

I will agree with you that some of the armor isn't quite Paladin-esque as we would expect, but the Developers also take into account the raid zone and bosses who drop the tokens for said armor. I really don't think the tier sets have looked too far off.

The thing is, with Paladins their faith is the defining characteristic of the Oath they've sworn. They are Holy Warriors - Warriors of the Light. The very thing that empowers a Paladin is the Light they wield. I'm glad that Blizzard hasn't strayed from that fact, to me it's what made the Paladin great. Their abilities are all touched and based off their biggest weapon: The Light.

It is but one fact of their character, but at the same time a Paladin with no Faith is a Warrior (or Death Knight in Arthas' case!) That's the whole point behind the gold/yellow/Holiness with all of their spells and abilities.

To your third point: I agree again, friend. I miss the Auras. It always made me chuckle to zone into a Dungeon or Raid and see the classic 'Which Pally left Crusader Aura on?' message. It was a nice little utility to be able to bring that to the table, whether it be the Devotion Aura or a Resistance Aura for a particular fight. It's nice that they've incorporated the Auras into other Talents/Abilities now, but my heart goes out to the Aura bar. How I miss thee.

Thank you for the good read, this was a nicely structured post and I'm glad to see something like this as opposed to the normal slew of 'WHAT'D YOU DO TO MY PALLY' threads.
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85 Draenei Priest
4080
paladin is the only class so far i can't level. next to mage, which is sitting on 82. dear lord paladins are boring, but do insane damage.
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90 Worgen Warrior
7800
09/06/2012 11:47 AMPosted by Maldazzar
First off, let's look at the Paladin dress-code; honestly, most of the time Paladins looks like "Armored Clerics" these days. More than that, most (though luckily, not all) of their armor lacks any sort of "Knightly" attributes, or even references to the Silver Hand. I understand that Tauren can play Paladins now, but they should have to adhere to the Class's history, not force the rest to abandon theirs.

They've already milked the "proper" paladin attire look. So forgive them for working outside the box.

If you don't like it, then mog it into something you feel appropriate.
Edited by Jessebella on 9/6/2012 12:36 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Mage
6905
This just isn't a paladin-friendly story line. Vanilla and Wrath, with undead featuring big in the storyline, were a paladin's playground. Dragons and pandas, not so much.

Hopefully the next expansion will bring back dark, foreboding themes, and a legion of undead for paladins to rise up against.
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94 Human Death Knight
13110
The paladin has definitely lost it's flare to me, but after playing it since BC I think that's fair to say. Classes change, people change, and the game changes. Personally, I just burned out on the class as a whole I think. I played all three specs extensively.

I've taken up the mantle of the Mage now, but I still have a huge attachment to my Paladin too. I'm sure I'll play it again someday.

I will agree with you that some of the armor isn't quite Paladin-esque as we would expect, but the Developers also take into account the raid zone and bosses who drop the tokens for said armor. I really don't think the tier sets have looked too far off.

The thing is, with Paladins their faith is the defining characteristic of the Oath they've sworn. They are Holy Warriors - Warriors of the Light. The very thing that empowers a Paladin is the Light they wield. I'm glad that Blizzard hasn't strayed from that fact, to me it's what made the Paladin great. Their abilities are all touched and based off their biggest weapon: The Light.

It is but one fact of their character, but at the same time a Paladin with no Faith is a Warrior (or Death Knight in Arthas' case!) That's the whole point behind the gold/yellow/Holiness with all of their spells and abilities.

To your third point: I agree again, friend. I miss the Auras. It always made me chuckle to zone into a Dungeon or Raid and see the classic 'Which Pally left Crusader Aura on?' message. It was a nice little utility to be able to bring that to the table, whether it be the Devotion Aura or a Resistance Aura for a particular fight. It's nice that they've incorporated the Auras into other Talents/Abilities now, but my heart goes out to the Aura bar. How I miss thee.

Thank you for the good read, this was a nicely structured post and I'm glad to see something like this as opposed to the normal slew of 'WHAT'D YOU DO TO MY PALLY' threads.


As far as the constant Yellow and Gold themes, in terms of their actual abilities, I just always remember thinking Paladins were more closely associated with the color Blue, while Yellow gives off more of a "Holy than thou" vibe, to me. I always picture the Paladin more as "the Blue-collar soldier", who fights for his faith instead of glory. It's a hugely important characteristic, but it seems like Paladins are feeling more and more like "Melee-Priests" than their own thing.

Still, you do make some good points. I've never been fond of designing Armor-Sets around Raids instead of the Class itself, but diversity is always a plus, I suppose; like you say, Transmog exists for a reason. I suppose the big concern isn't so much the style, so much as the "feel" of the Class; like I said before, he just feels more and more like a "Plate-wearing Cleric" more than the kind of character that Uther the Lightbringer was.
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94 Human Death Knight
13110
09/06/2012 12:34 PMPosted by Jessebella
First off, let's look at the Paladin dress-code; honestly, most of the time Paladins looks like "Armored Clerics" these days. More than that, most (though luckily, not all) of their armor lacks any sort of "Knightly" attributes, or even references to the Silver Hand. I understand that Tauren can play Paladins now, but they should have to adhere to the Class's history, not force the rest to abandon theirs.

They've already milked the "proper" paladin attire look. So forgive them for working outside the box.

If you don't like it, then mog it into something you feel appropriate.


Well, it's a fair point, but I actually think they've only really touched on the "Cleric" aspect in most of their Armor-designs. The Tier 6 and Sunwell Sets were the only ones that really showcased the more stoic, Knightly side of the Paladin, and while Tier 10 and Tier 11 may have tried to borrow the more serious style of the Judgement Armor, I think the issue was that neither of those sets actually felt evocative of the Paladin.

It's just like the upcoming Tier 14 and PvP sets; they look okay as Armor-designs, but absolutely nothing about them evokes the image of a Paladin. Meanwhile, their Challenge Mode Armor is just "right". Here, take a look for yourself, as well as their Season 11 design:

http://media.mmo-champion.com/images/news/2012/august/finalPaladin.jpg

http://media.mmo-champion.com/images/news/2011/september/season11_paladin_male.jpg

The helmet on the Challenge Armor looks a little strange to me, but whatever your thoughts, you *know* that that is *Paladin* armor. On the other hand, here are the Tier 14 and PvP sets:

http://media.mmo-champion.com/images/news/2012/march/tier14_paladin.jpg

http://www.wowhead.com/news&tag=3d-models#modelviewer:4:5;113371;10;113373;1;115030;7;115028;3;115032;6;113365;8;113368:1+0

Again, both of those are nice-looking sets, but neither really makes you think "That's a Paladin". Now, in the case of the White Tiger armor, maybe it's related to the Lore of Pandaria in some way that I'm unaware of, and if so, it definitely gets additional points. Still, neither set really says "Knight-type character", and that's really where my concern lies, in terms of Armor-design.
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90 Human Paladin
10165
I partly agree with you about auras. I miss them, and for no good reason either!

I believe Ghostcrawler said something about not getting a lot of gameplay out of them, and I completely agree.

Devo Aura was an insignificant amount of armor
Ret Aura was doing virtually no damage
Res Aura was overlapping other resist effects, which were also underwhelming (and removed)
Cons Aura needed to be rolled in baseline (and Aura Mastery became MoP Devo Aura)
Crusader Aura amused countless players by being on through an entire PUG Heroic

Plus I was GREATLY pleased by the Seals being made the new Auras.

And yet, it now feels to me like Paladins are missing something. But ya know, it's probably just nostalgia talking. Maybe it's best to try and move on. The class is in a better place, and so are our old Auras.
RIP.
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90 Draenei Paladin
16325
I still feel like a sparkly, pretty, pretty princess. Isn't that what paladins are supposed to feel like. MORE GLITTER!
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85 Human Paladin
7400
Paladins are traditionally holy warriors. They call upon the Light and since classic WoW have drawn upon divine powers to access their strength. It is unsurprising that most of their abilities have bright, 'heavenly' tones.

The class certainly feels different than it did back in the day but imo change is good. Nothing stays the same, not even in lore, so it isn't a great surprise that paladins have moved along as well.
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94 Human Death Knight
13110
Paladins are traditionally holy warriors. They call upon the Light and since classic WoW have drawn upon divine powers to access their strength. It is unsurprising that most of their abilities have bright, 'heavenly' tones.

The class certainly feels different than it did back in the day but imo change is good. Nothing stays the same, not even in lore, so it isn't a great surprise that paladins have moved along as well.


It's funny you posted when you did, I was *just* going to bring up the Level 60 PvP Armor! Specifically, how the (Alliance) Paladins really got shafted in comparison to the Warriors. There's actually an official Wallpaper the showcases the set was obviously intended for Paladins, yet for some reason, instead of Blue-and-Gold colors, they went with the Yellow-and-White colors you have for a Transmog:

http://us.media.blizzard.com/wow/media/wallpapers/other/battlegrounds2/battlegrounds2-1600x1200.jpg

That's just kind of an example of what I mean; the Paladin's image seems to have shifted, slowly be surely, to become something that feels very, very different from what it was originally. At least, it seems that way to me.
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85 Human Paladin
7400
09/07/2012 01:41 PMPosted by Maldazzar
Specifically, how the (Alliance) Paladins really got shafted in comparison to the Warriors.


I find it ironic that you say that, actually. I see this old set more Paladin-y than Warrior-y. If anything, the gold with the eagle lends itself a more holy feel than gritty warrior-type gear. I guess all the esthetics is really an individual taste. Luckily we have transmog to make our characters more our own, eh?
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61 Gnome Priest
5095
Eh, I tried them in beta and not too excited and won't be playing my 85 one to 90. Still a pretty good class though.
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100 Human Paladin
15500
09/06/2012 11:47 AMPosted by Maldazzar
Now I'm not going to pretend like Auras were ever "fun" abilities to use, but they were absolutely a part of the character. I still remember seeing that Devotion Aura graphic in Warcraft III (in truth, I was always disappointed the visual wasn't more prominent in WoW), and having that added utility of several different Auras was kind of cool when your group needed a specific one


I only wanted to comment on this part, but if you use our new Devotion Aura party/raid wide cooldown, the wc3 devotion aura graphic pulses at everyone's feet for the duration

Its amazing.
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85 Blood Elf Mage
7810
As far as the constant Yellow and Gold themes, in terms of their actual abilities, I just always remember thinking Paladins were more closely associated with the color Blue, while Yellow gives off more of a "Holy than thou" vibe, to me. I always picture the Paladin more as "the Blue-collar soldier", who fights for his faith instead of glory. It's a hugely important characteristic, but it seems like Paladins are feeling more and more like "Melee-Priests" than their own thing.

Still, you do make some good points. I've never been fond of designing Armor-Sets around Raids instead of the Class itself, but diversity is always a plus, I suppose; like you say, Transmog exists for a reason. I suppose the big concern isn't so much the style, so much as the "feel" of the Class; like I said before, he just feels more and more like a "Plate-wearing Cleric" more than the kind of character that Uther the Lightbringer was.


I partially agree with what you're saying, the Paladin class is meant to be a blue collar soldier of sorts. They fight for their faith instead of glory, indeed, but they are still imbued by the Light and act accordingly. I can see your point, some of the spells do seem to be a bit overzealous for a Paladin though. It's close to almost transcending their morals.

I can dig that too, as much as I enjoyed the raid armor sets for this expansions it does feel that some of the 'feel' for the Paladin class has left. I'd say they grabbed hold of that and reined it back in with the Dragon Soul raid armor, you can't get much more Paladin-esque than that. I like how it's not bright and gold, as much as that color scheme is fitting for a Paladin it just seems like raid armor that was colored so seemed to be a bit overbearing where a Paladin would be a humble servent of the Light. The kind of dulled/muted colors is a nice change and I feel like they captured the essence of the paladin with that one. (Don't get me wrong I still love my Lightbringer armor, but I feel that it's a bit too flashy. The old Paladin PvP armor was a good model. It was eye catching, but it didn't belie what the Paladin was all about.)

Uther the Lightbringer... that must be a nice feel. I can only imagine what it'd be like to truly walk a mile in his shoes. Uther was completely loyal to the Light and his king, up until his last breath.
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90 Troll Shaman
0
09/06/2012 11:47 AMPosted by Maldazzar
I started World of Warcraft back in the Vanilla Beta


It's amazing. This was all the way in the third paragraph, and yet it was the first thing I really saw. Damn, I spend too much time on the forums...
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96 Night Elf Druid
13365
I dunno...

In vanilla, Paladins were bland (for those who didn't play back then, their main spell was auto-attack. Literally.)

Since then, they've added a lot of different flavor to the class. I think Paladins tasted the best during Wrath. I had a rotation that made sense (I had a rotation at all!) and could compete with other DPS in dungeon groups. Okay, so we were a little OP, but a nerf with the same spells and rotation would have been cool with me.

Then came the combo point thing. And the new spells. I don't know, I kind of feel like Blizzard tossed some garlic bread and a scoop of ice cream on my chicken fajitas. I don't think there's a lack of flavor, I think the dish was fine and then they started throwing in this other stuff that doesn't seem necessary, doesn't make any sense, and makes the class less delicious overall.

I just want my chicken fajitas back. : (
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