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Are Paladins Good?

Are Paladins naturally good? The last post “Are Warlocks Evil?” got a surprising amount of response (yes, 7 is surprising). The general concensus seems to lie between “warlocks are evil” and “players play warlocks as evil”. So.. as the class opposite (and yes, if there were a wheel of classes I’d put warlocks on the opposite side from paladins), are Paladins naturally good?

Paladins get all the same quests that everyone else does.. aside from the class quests. So in all other quests the Paladin is as-good or as-evil as every other class.

In the class specific quests..

To learn resurrection Blood Elves have to first kill a brother Blood Knight.. then resurrect him. To be fair, he jumps out at you out of nowhere.. and then doesn’t ever yield forcing you to kill him. So I don’t see this as contributing to the good/evil quotient anywhere. As a later part of the resurrection quest Blood Elves have to suck the energy out of a Na’aru who is down in the basement of the Paladin training house and then use this energy to resurrect the Blood Knight you killed earlier.

You could say it’s doubtful that lesser beings would be able to restrain a Na’aru.. so probably the Na’aru is allowing them to skim off its energy.. but the intention still stands. The Powers That Be in the heirarchy of Blood Elf Paladins has made the choice to imprison a Na’aru and to siphon off its energy. Yeah, that smacks of evilness.

Outside of quests Paladins have the same opportunities as other classes to save oppressed mobs from random killing. I don’t see paladins rushing in to protect Hogger. So the Paladin is no more good than any other class when it comes to protecting the populace of Azeroth.

So there you go.. Paladins (except for blood elf ones) are neither good nor evil.

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6 comments to Are Paladins Good?

  • If you’re going to continue with this good and evil thing, you really need to look at the lore of the classes. Yes, technically you could make any class good or evil based on the actions performed in-game. Going back to a comment on the Warlock post, do the ends justify the means? Yeah, the whole thing with the resurrection quest for BE is “bad”, but they then yield the power to bring their allies back to life. Is that evil? But on the lore side… yes, the Blood Elves have a unquenchable thirst for power, and don’t really care what they have to do to get it. Yeah, I’d call that evil.

    So, there’s really two sides to it. If it’s class lore you’re talking about, then Horde pallies are evil and Alliance pallies are Good. (Note: I did not say that Horde is evil and Alliance is good… that’s a discussion for another time.)

  • Busket

    I had a post but it ated it :( Still long, but abridged summary:

    Belf paladins aren’t “real” (Uther Lightbringer/Order of the Silver Hand) paladins and probably shouldn’t be in the discussion. Although game mechanics wise they are paladins and if that’s what you’re presenting I can’t really argue.

    Lore wise, alliance paladins made a decision to devote themselves to the Light, and that choice is a good thing. Even paladins who went bad had to make that choice at some point.

    Paladin abilities tend to revolve around sacrifice and protection. To compare with locks, look at wipe prevention. Locks steal something else’s soul and uses that energy to empower a stone which brings someone back to life. A paladin willingly sacrifices his own life to prevent someone else from dying at all. I don’t buy the willing Naaru prisoner theory, but if they’re trying to reform blood elves by exposing them to paladin abilities, doesn’t that mean that paladin abilities probably have inherent goodness to them?

    Lastly, although I won’t say all paladins play like I do, I am more altruisticly when I play a paladin. I help others more, I complain less, and squelch temptation more easily knowing what ideals I’m supposed to be living up to.

    Players can play their class however they want, but in terms of lore and class abilities, I think paladins and locks are perceived to fall on the good/evil spectrum where they do for excellent reason.

  • Syrien

    I agree with what Busket says, but would like to add a little something. Good and religious isn’t always the same thing. I would argue that it is room lorewise for alliance-based paladins who still believe in the light, but who do morally despisable actions. Go have a look in the cathedral in Scarlet Monastery if you can’t think of any examples yourself :) So lore-wise it seems to be two options for paladins (talking alliance here, confer with Busket’s post): 1. Good, devoted followers of the light, and 2. Fanatical zealot-followers of the light.

    Personally, even though my main is a human paladin, I find that a tauren shaman or druid is maybe the top of goodness in WoW, but I guess that depends on if you prefer to choose between cowboys with white or black hats or if you’d rather cheer for the indians ;)

  • Paladins are “good”, their powers are given, Blood Knights (to give Belf Paladins their proper name) are not, their powers are stolen.

    However since it seems that the Scarlet Crusade has people with Paladin-like abilities running around, then that notion of what’s “good” is tied into the persons own beliefs rather than the will of a higher power (ala. D&D). I kinda like it since it gives the WC ‘verse a more morally ambiguous tone.

    That said, The Light itself was described (pre-introduction of the Naaru) as a personal philosophy, a belief in the inherant goodness within people rather than any specific God. A Paladin stood as an exemplar, as the best and most righteous a mortal could hope to be. That’s the kind of Paladin I play, with just a little bit of arrogance thrown in for good measure. After all, no-one’s perfect, right?

  • Pretty much agree with Busket also.

    I think looking at it, Paladins seem to be Anti-Warlock in almost every way. Each on each extreme of the other.

  • Velserine

    Agree with most of the posters. BE have stolen their powers they kill someone just to res them. I have leveled both alliance and horde pallies almost all the way (ally 62) and there is a noticeable difference in the lore of said pallies.

    I always got a good feeling off of doing the class quests from the alliance side. The horde side was for the most part ok until I did the epic mount quest. Think about it, you go into strat, which is almost in complete ruins, go inside the last building that has a beacon of hope for the place and extinguish the light. Then you proceed to kill the Paladin that has watched over that place. That was the building where the order of the silverhand was established and I went and destroyed it.

    Just more food for thought.