The history of pally seals

90 Goblin Hunter
10645
Edit: I finished the video, you guys were awesome with the information.
here's a link to the pally seal video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmbAeP3dzLY

I wanted to make a short video about the history of paladin seals similar to this one I made about hunters stings (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaKUhhSrfa8) and traps. But the thing is I get most of my information from reading tons of old forum post or just from my own experience from so many years of playing a hunter. So I was wondering if any of you veteran pallys that read this thread have any random information about how pally seals use to work or how generally awesome blood seal was, since most pallys I know never shut up about how awesome it was.
Edited by Hirumared on 5/14/2013 2:54 AM PDT
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99 Human Paladin
16620
In vanilla, seal of command was godly. It was a % proc (sometimes doing nothing, sometimes hitting) and when you judged it it did damage if the target was stunned. Because this was rare and seals had to be recast extremely frequently, everyone used rank 1 SoC as ret. We called it "Seal of Slot Machine", etc.

The only problem was that if you cast the seal as you were crossing ANY sort of zone border (area-area, zone-zone, etc) it would bug out and become uncastable until you relogged. This was a HUGE annoyance and it took blizz months to fix it.

Back then we had Seal of Wisdom (restore mana), Light (restore health), Righteousness (hits every time for low damage), Command (hits sometimes for huge damage), Crusader (you just swing faster), and Justice (chance on hit to stun).
Edited by Goo on 4/26/2013 2:08 AM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
6885
Seal of command WAS godly, and since it was not normalized, procced a lot more with slow weapons and did massive damage. It used to be 100% weapon damage and then was nerfed to 70% and it was still amazing.

In classic beta, paladins did not have seals, and since the original dev team quit (was the d2 guys) the new guys decided to put in seals right when the game was going live, then followed years of paladin hate.
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90 Goblin Hunter
10645
Thanks guys great info! You'd be surprised just how hard it is to dig up facts like these. I never knew seals were a last minute implication, no wonder they bugged while crossing zones.
Edited by Hirumared on 4/26/2013 2:53 AM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
7295
Seal of Command used pure RNG at first, and then was fixed to use RPPM later on to make it a bit more reliable (hence the damage nerf it got).

Seal of Vengeance was added in TBC. It stacked (up to 5) a debuff on the target that did periodic Holy damage and would be refreshed each melee hit. With Protection fixed, some Paladin tanks were able to tab through targets and keep up a 5 stack of the debuff on multiple mobs, making for incredible AoE threat.
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90 Human Paladin
6885
Also, you could purge seals, making them beyond useless for other than spamming rank 1 to "drain their mana"

And seal of blood was awesome, because it took away some of your HP, making it so you could get mana back from spiritual atunment (sp?) when healed.
Edited by Vod on 4/26/2013 3:14 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
9505
Also, you could purge seals, making them beyond useless for other than spamming rank 1 to "drain their mana"

And seal of blood was awesome, because it took away some of your HP, making it so you could get mana back from spiritual atunment (sp?) when healed.


Seal of Blood was actually awesome because it hit like a freaking train when Judged. The SA benefit from healing was a perk, but the damage was what made it amazing.
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100 Human Paladin
16385
During Vanilla i had the Halberd of Smiting, It wasn't the most powerful weapon i had but OMG THE PROC was insane.

I had Seal of command proc off the attack ultimately meaning i had around 5 attacks in 1 swing.

Sadly it happened during framing of scarlet monastery for cloth to sell for a epic mount :(
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55 Draenei Death Knight
470
Seal of command WAS godly, and since it was not normalized, procced a lot more with slow weapons and did massive damage. It used to be 100% weapon damage and then was nerfed to 70% and it was still amazing.

In classic beta, paladins did not have seals, and since the original dev team quit (was the d2 guys) the new guys decided to put in seals right when the game was going live, then followed years of paladin hate.


Yep the new guys name was Tigole Bitties and Furor, they were everquest players that love pure classes only'". They class they played was a prot warrior, and if it is still around there was a hatefill post of theirs where they absolutely trash hybrids and paladins in general. They also promised in a hat post that if they ever , EVER get a chance to develop a game, they promised to put hybrid class and especially paladins in their place.

So in WoW, in beta we had crusader strike, they took it away. Gave us seals and let us auto attack only. Seal of the crusader let you swing twice as fast but every swing decreases your damages done.

They gave us the pink color to our name as an insult. In ZG only on a paladin doll does it say "looks like a girl" They made sure all hybrids were put in dresses and made to heal and made sure healing was the only viable spec to further put us down.

Tigole Bittles and Furor gentlemen, Paladin bane. Ghost Crawler when he first took over showed us a lot of love. He diplomatically said he didn't know what they were thinking or why but it's a new era with him.

So no matter how bad paladins are allegedly now, under gc at least we get equal treatments. Remember TBC when we got our Crusader strike back?Only one ret paladin needed in raid to refresh seals, also your dps output was always dead last if everyone was the same as you and cs was a 15 second cool down.
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90 Human Paladin
7285
here's what i remember in vanilla. using seal of wisdom, melee attacks would give you back mana. pallies also use to have some kind of buff that would generate threat. the way it would generate threat would be to follow your auto-attacks with "phantom attacks" that did no damage but generate additional threat. but those phantom attacks would proc the seal of wisdom and literally pour mana back down your throat. it was a great way for pallies to solo stuff b/c we had way way more mana for heals than what we knew what to do with. . . . . . we just took forever to kill stuff.

CORRECTION - it was seal of fury for threat, and maybe an old version of blessing of wisdom that i'm thinking about for mana returns off melee/phantom attacks.
Edited by Kraniel on 4/26/2013 3:16 PM PDT
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70 Troll Priest
630
Ah, Paladin seals. This is going to be long, so buckle up. Bear in mind, this is just my recollection, I may be wrong about some things.

As has been previously mentioned, the Seal system itself was sort of a late-breaking addition to Warcraft, right at launch (patch 1.1, to be specific). In Beta, Paladins had been kind of a melee striker, and their “seal” spells were what would become Blessings. Right at launch, all of the melee strikes were removed, and the new Seal System was implemented.
In its original form, the Seal System was based around the idea of giving the player access to different, mutually-exclusive, 30 second buffs, which could, through the Judgement spell, be used for various purposes. While the buff was up, it would grant the player specific bonuses, and the Judgement spell would consume that buff to do something, depending on which seal was consumed. The player would then recast whatever seal they needed next. For example, a Paladin might cast Seal of the Crusader (which increased attack speed, at the cost of lower weapon damage), immediately cast Judgement (which would place a debuff on the target increasing their Holy Damage taken), then cast Seal of Righteousness (which made melee attacks deal additional Holy damage) and judge on Cooldown (Judgement of Righteousness just dealt damage) until they had to refresh Judgement of the Crusader.
In the beginning, there were seven seals.
- Seal of Command
o Gave your attacks a random chance to do an extra 100% weapon damage as Holy Damage. The only non-baseline seal, it was a talent in the Ret tree, and widely regarded as the most powerful damage seal. It was also derided as something of a slot machine, due to the unpredictable nature of it’s procs.
o Judging this seal would deal a reasonable amount of Holy Damage, which increased significantly if the target was stunned.
- Seal of the Crusader
o A well intentioned, if not particularly useful, seal, Crusader increased your attack speed and attack power, but decreased your damage per hit. Overall, it was a slight increase in damage dealt, but not by much. It occasionally was useful if you wanted to hit faster, but there were precious few scenarios where that came in handy.
o Judgement of the Crusader, on the other hand, was very useful. It put a debuff on the target that increased the amount of Holy damage they took from all sources. Maintaining this debuff was critical throughout Vanilla and BC for maximum DPS.
- Seal of Righteousness
o The baseline damage seal, this made all of your attacks deal a small amount of holy damage. It was fairly similar to what it is today, save that its damage wasn’t based on weapon damage.
o Judging this seal dealt more holy damage.
- Seal of Fury
o One of the weirder seals, this was the original Paladin tanking mechanic. It caused all of your melee attacks to cause multiple simultaneous “phantom attacks” which did no damage but caused additional threat equal to the original attack's threat. Yeah, it was an odd mechanic.
o Judging this seal would debuff the target, making your Holy Damage spells generate more threat.
- Seal of Justice
o Another odd, utility seal, Justice gave all of your melee attacks a chance to stun the target. It was extremely unreliable, and not particularly useful.
o Judging the seal had a very useful effect, however, in that it prevented NPC targets from “fleeing in fear,” as they often did (and still sometimes do) when their health was low. This was particularly useful in dungeons where a fleeing mob could cause catastrophic chain pulls. Interestingly, the debuff actually rendered the target immune to Fear effects entirely, and could be used in PvP to make an opposing player fear immune.
- Seal of Light
o Seal of Light would cause the Paladin’s melee attacks to heal her. In the beginning, it was guaranteed, and every melee attack would heal the Paladin somewhat.
o Judgement of Light was a debuff that gave melee attacks against the target a chance to heal the attacker.
- Seal of Wisdom
o Seal of Wisdom was basically the same as Seal of Light, but for Mana instead of health. As a bit of history, after 1.9, it was also the only way that early Protection Paladins could recover significant amounts of mana during a fight. Not that were any good as tanks in Vanilla, but hey…some of us tried.
o Judgement of Wisdom also applied a debuff that caused all attacks against the target to have a chance to restore the attacker’s mana. It was tremendously valuable for Raiding.

Patch 1.9 saw a major Paladin revamp, and with it, some seals changed. Seal of Fury disappeared entirely, and was replaced by the “Righteous Fury” buff that functions as the Paladin’s threat generation mechanic to this very day. Seal of Command was nerfed from 100% weapon damage to 70%, but other than that, things remained much the same.

The launch of Burning Crusade brought about one of the more interesting footnotes in the history of Seals, Faction-specific seals. Prior to Burning Crusade, only Alliance players could be Paladins, but with the addition of Blood Elves to the Horde, the Paladin class became available to both sides. In what seemed to be an attempt to maintain some sense of factional disparity, two faction-specific seals were added to the game. Alliance Paladins received Seal of Vengeance, while Horde Paladins got Seal of Blood. Oddly enough, the two seals had completely different game mechanics.
- Seal of Vengeance
o Vengeance was the predecessor of today’s Seal of Truth. It caused the Paladins melee attacks to apply a stacking DoT debuff to the target, which caused Holy Damage, and increased the damage of Judgement against the target.
o The judgement, naturally, caused more Holy Damage, increased by the stacks of the DoT.
- Seal of Blood
o This seal functioned like a more reliable Seal of Command. It caused the Paladin’s weapon attacks to deal additional Holy Damage equal to a percentage of their weapon damage. Since it scaled off weapon damage, and provided consistent damage (as opposed to the wildly inconsistent Seal of Command), it was widely considered to be the best Retribution DPS Seal. Interestingly enough, the seal had a “backlash” damage mechanic, where the Paladin took damage equal to 10% of the damage the seal dealt as well. Thus, its use could occasionally be dangerous to the player.
o Judging Blood simply dealt more Holy Damage, and inflicted more damage back to the caster.

At some point, I think the duration of the seal buff increased from 30-seconds to 1 or 2 minutes, but I don’t precisely remember when.

It’s fair to say that the reaction to the faction-specific seals was…tepid, at best. Alliance Ret Paladins wept great tears of sad while the Horde upstarts cut themselves to win with Seal of Blood; meanwhile Horde Protection Paladins felt like second-class citizens without Seal of Vengeance. Something had to change, though surprisingly, the system managed to last all the way through Burning Crusade.

At the start of Wrath of the Lich King, things changed again for Seals. Judgement was removed, and replaced with three different spells: Judgement of Justice, Judgement of Light, and Judgement of Wisdom. These spells shared a cooldown, and took the effects from the Judgements of Justice, Light, and Wisdom, and applied them to the target, regardless of what Seal the Paladin had active at the time. Justice also got a new effect, which debuffed the target so they couldn’t run faster than 100% run speed (basically, it negated all movement speed increasing effects). Around the same time, the duration of seal spells was increased to 30 minutes, and the Judgement spell no longer consumed the seal buff. I think this was also around the time that seals were made non-dispellable, so PvP Paladins could finally stop worrying about recasting their seals in combat.

The beginning of Wrath also marked the end of the faction imbalance. Alliance Paladins got Seal of the Martyr, which replicated Seal of Blood’s effects, and Horde Blood Knights got Seal of Corruption, to simulate Seal of Vengeance. Everyone partied, as parity was achieved, and no one really noticed, or cared, that Seal of the Crusader was unceremoniously removed from the game.

In 3.2, Seal of Blood (and the Martyr) were also cut from the game. Seal of Vengeance/Corruption was slightly redesigned to incorporate Blood’s damage mechanic into additional weapon damage dealt when the target had a full stack of the Vengeance DoT. While the loss of Blood’s interesting backlash mechanic was kind of sad, this was overall a great quality of life improvement for Paladins, as they no longer had to worry about accidentally killing themselves while DPSing. At the same time, Seal of Command was also redesigned to deal weapon damage on hit, and cleave to multiple targets, making it useful for AoE DPS.

Even with the removal of Seal of Blood, by the end of Wrath, the Paladin seal system was little bit…bloated. There was the single target DPS seal (Vengeance), the AoE DPS seal (Command), the DPS seal that no one used because it wasn’t as good as Vengeance or Command (Righteousness), the health regen seal that people only used because of the glyph that made it buff your heals (Light), the mana regen seal that people only used because of the glyph that made their heals cheaper (Wisdom), and the utility seal that nobody used because it was useless (Justice). On top of this, we managed three different Judgement spells that all applied different debuffs, but shared the same cooldown. Things were bound to change.

And change they did after the Cataclysm. Seals became on/off buffs, no longer having a 30 minute duration that needed to be refreshed. The clunky, multiple Judgement spells were replaced with a single Judgement, that basically just dealt damage.
Seal of Command was removed, and Seal of Righteousness was redesigned as the AoE Damage seal.
Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption were removed, and replaced with Seal of Truth. Functionality didn’t really change, just the name (since keeping faction specific spells when the reason for them had long since been removed didn’t make a lot of sense).
Seal of Light and Seal of Wisdom had their effects merged into a new, single self-heal/regen seal called Seal of Insight. Insight also found a new niche as a tanking seal, as the self-heals were suddenly powerful enough to be useful for survivability, and the Vengeance mechanic made threat mostly a non-issue.
Seal of Justice was redesigned so it no longer stunned, but instead, applied some holy damage and the movement speed reduction debuff that Judgement of Justice had previously done.

Mists of Pandaria brought possibly the most Azeroth-shaking change to the Seal system since its implementation all those years ago. Judgement, that ancient staple of the Paladin arsenal, was removed completely…and replaced with Judgment. No seriously, if you’ve been reading this whole thing wondering why I never spelled “Judgment” correctly, it’s because in-game it wasn’t spelled right for 7 years. In Mists, someone finally removed the extraneous “e” from Judgement. Nothing else of import changed.

I’m kidding a little bit about that. They also redesigned Seal of Justice again so that it functioned as a reliable snare, instead of a speed limit. Seal of Insight got some healing buffs integrated directly into it, as well as the health/mana regen functionality. And in a move that I think was calculated precisely to make sentimental old Paladins tear up, Seal of Command returned to the game…as a level 3 spell that eventually gets replaced by Seal of Truth.

That brings us to the state of seals as they are now. We’ve come a long way from 30-second buffs, consumed by Judgement to apply seal specific effects, haven’t we?
Edited by Zendraka on 5/1/2013 8:44 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
12490
Wow, I didn't know seals had so much history to them, and I thought hunter pets had the most change throughout the game. And I love that tid-bit about removing "judgement" for "judgment" that's pretty funny.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
9840
Bug in on the ptr (patch 1.9 or 2.0 I don't remember) where if you took I think 3/5 improved Seal of Righteousness it would mount you on a kodo.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
12490
Hahaha I actually looked up the kodo bug, thats just to funny >.>

(heres a video I found of someone doing it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhO3cO62sdY)
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90 Blood Elf Priest
12490
Ok so all I have to do is fact check everything said here, organize the data, then start on the maybe 500+ drawings a video with this much information will require. Hopefully that doesn't take longer than a couple of days >.>
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
DoG
10025
http://www.youtube.com/user/longWriter/videos?flow=grid&view=0

Not exactly following seals exclusively, but a general development history of paladins up to Wotlk/some of Cata. It does go into why the seals exist and some major glaring problems of them up to Wotlk.
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70 Troll Priest
630
Realized that I forgot to talk about Seal of the Crusader in my initial discussion of Seals, so I went ahead and added a bit about it.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
12490
Ooo its a good thing I came back here to check, Zendraka, your post was amazing. So after getting food poisoning and going through Finals week I have finally started on this thing. I'll make sure to post the video here when I finish.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
7015
Command was really a fallback after seal of the crusader was nerfed. it was godly pre nerf and using anything else was just unthinkable. Originally, the weapon damage was not reduced which led to it destroying all other seals in dps.
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