In case you’re not a Paladin (or have been living under a rock), the forums are all a-broil with foaming and gnashing over the changes currently on the PTR.
Paladin changes detailed here: Paladin PTR Notes for 2.1
AFAICT, there is an agreed-upon-by-all MMORPG trinity of “required” classes for instances (or even just big fights).
Healers, DPSers, Tanks.
In the purest form,
Healers can’t tank or dps, (Priest)
DPSers can’t heal or Tank, (Rogue, Mage, Warlock, Hunter)
Tanks can’t heal or DPS. (Warrior)
Interesting that there are more pure DPS classes and only one of each of the other trinity.
More interesting still, so-called “pure classes” can hybrid spec to somewhat do a job they aren’t designed to do (Shadow Priest, Fury Warrior). So it looks like the only truely pure classes are Rogue, Hunter, Mage, Warlock, the DPS classes. I believe this stems from the fact that solo play features profoundly in Wow and if you can’t DPS you can’t effectively solo… so everyone needs a little bit of DPS. BUT, in order to do their “pure” job they need to change their spec. (Interesitng idea.. when setting up a group, would a shadow-priest be able to replace the spot of a rogue as dps? If so, then even more interesting that when “pure” classes off-spec they’re still viable.. but when “hybrid classes” specialize they’re still not viable)
Enter the Hybrids. Hybrids are classes of characers that can do two or more of the trinity with moderate success.
Paladin (heal, tank)
Shaman (heal, dps)
Druid (heal, dps, tank)
The rub comes when a “hybrid class” tries to replace the function of a “pure class”.
Before the 2.1 changes I would say the most common post on the Paladin forums would be about Holy Paladins being more effective and utilized more often than Priest healing. In fact some healadins were practically bursting with pride at out-healing the healing class. Add to that, Death and Taxes acknowledged that in their guild, “Paladins heal and Priests DPS”. So batter up, healadins are hit with the nerf bat.
The second most popular topic on the Paladin forum before the 2.1 changes were announced was a vaguely whiney post by Paladins protesting that they didn’t want to be forced to go Holy to be an effective character. In some cases even -calling- for a nerf to the Holy tree.
We’re described as “a melee-oriented healer” I’m pretty certain this isn’t the roles we’re fulfilling in the game.
The problem is that “melee” and “heal” have been defined completely differently. Melee fighting is to stand toe-to-toe with a critter and beat on it. “heal” is to stand at the furthest range from your party and to heal them as needed. When mentioned in the forums, the idea of a “healing tank” is rejected outright. It’s impossible to do both effectively with our current tools. Right now, if you try to cast a heal while “main tanking” it takes forever to get the heal off AND the critter gets to hit you freely (no shield in the way).
Paladins -should- be standing toe-to-toe with a critter and beat on it and heal our party. AND healing our party should not open us up for harder hits from the critter.
If I’m beating on a critter.. and I cast “Seal of Light”/”Judgement” on the critter.. than anyone who hits the critter with a melee weapon will get healed. This is where I feel that I am operating closest to the definition of a Paladin.
If we had two paladin’s in the group.. and the other one cast “Seal of Wisdom”/”Judgement” on the critter.. then anyone who hits the critter with a spell or melee attack (not sure about ranged attacks) will gain mana.
At this point it’s practically free heals/mana. The problem is that the healing/mana is so very little compared to the health/mana pool at this level.. and compared to the damage caused by boss mobs. This -is- our heal over time (the one everyone says we don’t have). It’s just tiny… and not terribly directable. BUT it effects -all- of the attacking party simultaneously. So it may only be healing 50-70 hp/hit.. but that’s 50 x weaponspeed per attacker.
I wonder if that healing gets attributed to the Paladin on the heal meters?
I would absolutely LOVE it if the health/mana returned by Judgement of Light/Judgement of Wisdom was scaled with the health, mana or level of the critter it was on. OR even better.. if Judgement of Light/Judgment of Wisdom were to steal health/mana from the critter and give it to your party. This would make “melee healing” viable.