Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Paladin AoE

Now that I've had some time to try out my new build (this is what I currently have at 31) I figured I'll make a post about it while I still can*.

What You Need To Know

The base of this spec revolves around the use of Seal of Light to regenerate health while taking as little damage as possible and reflecting as much damage as possible. That means Retribution Aura, Blessing of Sanctuary and Righteous Fury (talented, for damage mitigation) should be up at all times, and talents that reduce damage taken (especially ones that let you block more, as it will reflect damage with the blessing) or ones that allow you to attack more often (for more damage and more chances to heal through the seal) should get priority.

Since we're basing this on Seal of Light and Blessing of Sanctuary, this only becomes an option at 30. That usually means a respec, since even if you level as Protection there isn't much point in using a main-hand/shield combination so far, and a lot of the talents go toward improving blocking. That can be a good thing, though, since if you're going to respec anyway you can experiment and do whatever you want with those first 20 talent points.

What I Like

It really does work pretty well - run into a bunch of mobs, make a train, then start beating on them one by one while refreshing your seal every 30 seconds. It'll take a while, but you'll finish the fight with your mana and health pretty much full. Doing the "mastery" quests in Stranglethorn was never this quick - you can finish them in 2 or 3 "pulls".

Slight variations are easily accessible. If the blessing can't keep up with the damage you take, judging the mob you're currently whacking should be enough to get you back on your feet. If it's going too slow and you have mana to spare, feel free to throw down a Consecration for some more damage.

What I Don't Like

Of course, it's not all fun and games here - the spec has its downsides, and while I am only starting to use it, there don't seem to be any new spells or talents that would make such a big difference in playstyle down the road. I'll get some damage mitigation, some more DPS and some more healing to improve fights, but there is nothing that addresses the real problems that bug me.

For starters, you just can't handle ranged/caster mobs very well. With only 1, you can run all the way up to the mob and kill it first, but with more than that you'll be taking a lot of damage that won't get reflected or trigger any of your talents. For casters it's even worse, since even if you get close, they still cast instead of melee attacking you, so you're still in trouble if you don't kill them fast enough.

I guess for casters the best solution would be to just switch back to your 2-hander and take 'em 1-on-1. Not ideal, obviously, but the shield is completely useless against them anyway, so you might as well do some more damage.

Now, this isn't such a big problem if you're grinding - just pick melee mobs to grind on. But who wants to do that? It's boring... Especially if you consider that I don't have any hordies over 30, so I get to see a lot of quests for the first time.

Second thing that bothers me is - it's so boring. I mean, make sure you have the right aura, Righteous Fury and you Blessing are up, and charge in. Other than refreshing the seal every 30 seconds, you really don't have to (and in a lot of cases shouldn't) do anything else. I mean, I've only just started so I'm OK with it so far, but I don't imagine it'll last very long. I guess I'll just have to see.

Is That All There Is?

Well, yes and no. Yes, that's pretty much it for soloing. No, I have no idea how well it would work for tanking (or healing). I guess the added threat from Righteous Fury should cover for the lower DPS and the added reflective damage will definitely help threat generation, so I think it'll be fine. On the other hand, taking less damage means I don't get healed as much which means I don't regen as much mana from Spiritual Attunement. Guess I'll just have to try it and see.

Now it's pretty much it - feel free to ask questions or make suggestions, and I'll keep you posted if anything changes**. Also, luckily enough, Darkmoon Faire is getting extended maintenance today, so I'll probably be starting an alt on some other realy while I wait for it. Maybe a Holy priest, just for healing instances, who knows?

* Before 3.0, that is. Who knows how talents and skills will change then? Well, obviously, the people in the Beta, to some extent, but they don't count. *grin*

** Not that you care, but how am I going to keep up my post-a-day routine if I have to talk about meaningful stuff?

No comments: