Oh no, not again.

Seems that Ret Paladin are getting the nurf that the forums cried out for. And I don’t mean an adjustment, or a conservative change, or a series of tweaks. Its a fully blooded destruction of the class that reached beyond Ret pvp (where there were major issues), beyond Ret pve raiding (where there were adjustments needed), and right into Prot tanking (which was just getting good), and into Holy (which needed a dps boost).

Its right back to Blizzard saying they think they know where the class is going, and has a vision for it. Sure, I see your vision:

– Ret: melee dps without snare, cc, intercept, or flee abilities. Fun? maybe.

– Prot: tanking was really good, but being still grounded in abilities that are affected by every other spec change means that there is potential for damage to Prot in every other change. And then boosting aoe tanking of other classes (which needed it), and adding a new class to tank. Right, so who is looking for a Paladin tank when the other tanks are around?

– Holy: being a good single target healer. Same old story.

WoW Insider has a good post about this.

I’m getting fed-up with Paladins being totally redefined every time a major patch or expansion occurs. I don’t just mean adjusted, I mean repeatedly mangled. Its the cycle of change that could be expected once or twice, but to have the class see-saw between fantastic and pointless so many times, every time an patch or x-pac is launched is insane. And totally disruptive.

Pre-BC both the Ret and Prot specs were basically pointless, especially for raiding. Sure people tried, but it was kind of a joke, and that is where the lolret jokes started. For all the new-ish players out there who didn’t try to get into a raid as something other than Holy, you just could not do it reliably.

Then we saw Prot get made viable and pretty awesome. Finally something to do with a paladin that didn’t involve a whack-a-mole mini game and every spell being 1.5 or 2.5 second cast time.

To those who cried for the nurf, whined in the forums, and bitched endlessly about Ret – shut the hell up. You are causing these type of knee-jerk reactions, and you’ll cry even harder when your own class is adjusted.

We knew this would get addressed, but the series of mindless zombie like forum posts is what brings us yet again to the same point in time. It does not help. The class again is being significantly changed, in all its three specs. If half of what has changed in the recent beta is applied to the live realms, all Paladins will feel it.

Holy needs more dps not less, Prot needs to be left as is for a while to see just how it plays, and Ret needs to be reduced, but not so far that Ret paladins are back in the bottom of the tables. Its PvP vs PvE balance too, which seems like trying to find a corrolation between a hamster and a wolverine – both small fury animals, but totally different beasts. Don’t treat them the same.

It all just means it will be months into the new game before anyone knows what will be viable. And that means not knowing if playing a Paladin will again be series of frustrations, which I’ve done for 70 levels so far, or actually enjoyable…..you know, like a game.

So how about this – Blizzard tell us what the plan is, and god damn stick to it! I can then decide if I want to play that way, the forum trolls can get back to chuck noris and penis jokes, and we might be able to plan runs.

5 thoughts on “Oh no, not again.

  1. Spoken like someone who has never raided as a ret paladin, barely raided as a prot paladin (does Kara even count as a raid?) and never raided post BC as a holy Paladin.

    Blizzard brought both sides of this QQ fest on themselves by not properly testing the changes before letting them go live.

    A great quote from a blue in regards to Paladin changes: “your response suggests to me that the correct way to balance the game in the future is to make a class terrible early on and then buff it so that players are happy and excited instead of fuming and disappointed. Trajectory is everything.”

    If by months you mean days, possibly hours before some ubernerd has crunched all the maths and posted it for all and sundry then yes I agree.
    Thanks to the target dummies all the theory crafting information you could ever need or want in regard to these changes is proabably already posted somewhere.

    IMO the recent changes have really exposed players whose lack of skill in playing their class had long been covered up by good gear and a cookie-cutter spec (and this doesn’t only apply to Pallys).

    Enhancement Shamans, Hunters and Arms Warriors should be expecting nerfs based on these Paladin changes.

  2. Trajectory is not everything, its a fundamental flaw in that thinking. Expectation management is everything, and its a difficult thing to master, as you need to do a few key things:

    – keep the client informed of changes, and especially unplanned changes.
    – under promise
    – deliver on or over the target and on time
    – be consistent

    Blizzard have not done this to the paladin community, their information is retroactive.

    The problem with trajectory is that you can only use that approach a limited number of times before people just remember the negative actions. It will not matter how many positive that follow, the experience has taught an expectation. And that expectation will taint all future contact.

    And this is where my key gripe is: the Paladin class has been through too many peaks and troughs in succession.

    You do not need to be an end game raider to know that, a basic level 70 playing with all types of Paladins can see this change has negative affects on areas that did not need adjustment.

    I can in fact speak for what I have observed and experienced as a Paladin. I’m not doing Sunwell, but I have tried to kill two cloth healers as Prot spec and died. Holy would not have stood a chance, and the same two healers are toast when a class with reasonable dps output fights them.

    To say that you need to be an “expert” in playing your class and be in a t5-6 raiding guild to have a valid opinion is bullshit, and an elitist attitude. So much for allowing people to learn and improve. If you’re not leet-sauce the message is shut-up? yeah, wow needs more of that like a hole in the head.

    The second point is that their own testing should have not allowed the initial Ret build to be so dangerous. It should not have gone to the live servers. You’re right, there are any number of theory-crafters out there that could see that the Ret buff was way too much, and plenty that can see the nurf is too much as well.

    The fact that Blizzard cannot is a concern. The fact that they treat class adjustments as experiments, which they roll out on live servers is a shocking concern.

    The months I am talking about is the months it will take to get to where Paladins become stabilised again. Stable in what form, I have no idea. We’ll know in days if something is odd or broken, but it takes months for the ying-yang class adjustments to end.

    As for the other classes like Shaman, Hunter and Arms Warriors – I don’t know. I have not played them enough to feel for what might be wrong there.

    Some good theory crafting, unless he too has not spent enough time playing all 3 spec in Black Temple: http://www.wulfsblood.net/2008/10/speaking-of-nerfs.html

  3. – under promise
    – deliver on or over the target and on time

    Is what I believe that the blue poster meant (the quote was in response to a more enthusiastic negative comment).

    And no I don’t believe you have to be clearing BT/SW to know how to play your character. I know many a casual player I’d rather have filling a raid spot than some of the geared no hopers I’ve raided with.

    I do believe that the vast majority of people QQing have spent very little time playing on the test realms and even then they were most likely not doing what they would normally be doing on a live server.

    I’m not sure how much time you have spent playing your Pally on the test server, but I wouldn’t have thought it would be a lot.

    I also think the devs, knowing that they dropped the ball on this, will be very quick in implementing additional tweaks.

    No need to add to the pally hysteria.
    The reason why Paladins struggle against healers has nothing to do with dps, but the fact that they don’t have a viable interrupt.

    I’ve played for a long time and spent most of that time playing closely with someone that is as good a paladin player as anyone I’ve stumbled upon in random pugs, and I can tell you as holy he never had trouble grinding. He could kill a lot of mobs slowly all at once which generally worked out better over time than being able to butcher 1 at a time really quickly.

    Paladins were a tricky class to play well and it will probably revert to that again (for Ret). I don’t see Paladins being any less popular for 5 mans going into WotLK as they are still (and will continue to be) the premier multi-target tank in the game.
    Consecrate > Thunderclap/Swipe.

    If Pallys were broken this badly, I am not looking forward to the Death Knight QQ when they finally go live.

  4. The issue for me was what they deployed on live. Beta is for testing, changing, being high and low, and for screw-ups and fixes. By the time it gets to Beta any changes should be reasonably sound.

    I wouldn’t expect that everything that gets to live is perfect; hardly! I know what software dev is like. I’d just expect that a change is close to right. There will always be bugs. Ret was clearly deployed to live broken, and I would have thought it better to not change the class or give less power and then adjust upward.

    It didn’t help that many paladins took the opportunity to run amok, brag, and kill everything. Those guys hurt the perception of the class and spec a lot.

    I didn’t respec Ret as I didn’t see it as a long term change that would stay.

    The Death Knights will be interesting as they have no previous deployment to compare against. They will be compared to all sorts of strange and wonderful things, and will need a vast raft of tweaks as the patches and maintenance rolls over.

    Yep, you’re spot on – the QQ will be steady and maintained. Spin control should be starting now to make the “subject to adjustment” message very blunt and clear.

    The only scenario I can think of which is similar was adding Shamans and Paladins to Alliance and Horde. But even then its a very strange scenario for the devs. I wonder if the experience we are about to have with DK becoming live will influence the decision to add other new classes.

    My DeathKnight will be created in the first day or so, and then parked for a while. Gaining rested xp for a week or so at a time.

    Surely Dethnitex will not be taken. ahem.

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