Bliz Just Can’t Get Us Right

They really should just stop trying I think. Surely the Paladin community outcry against changes is larger and more irritating than every other community combined clamoring that we be nerfed (hence why even the developers continue to make jokes at our expense). I’m sure every raid leader and healer out there, ever, has thought to themselves, “Man, I sure wish my Paladin tanks had less cooldowns and couldn’t use their Lay on Hands on themselves whenever they felt like it,” or “WTF? We don’t need to heal our ret paladins anymore because they removed seal of blood so they don’t kill themselves by default BUT THEN they get to use sacred shield on themselves to mitigate some damage and then use their Art of War proc to cast Flash of Light on themselves instead of just smashing more DPS buttons and get the HoT from the shield AND Sheath of Light!? Absurd!”
I don’t arena, and I am only a casual battleground player (I do it for PvP-mount grinding so I can get my 100 mount achievement) so I simply cannot appreciate or tolerate changes which affect me based on someone else’s inability to kill other people who play the same class that I do. As a poor player in a PvP sense, nerfs hurt me doubly so, which only serves to push me further away from PvPing or to roll a rogue or a warlock, not convince me to get better. I’m sure this is not Blizzard’s desired intent; especially not with the change that will bring arena points to me every time I BG at 80, an obvious tactic to make arena gear seem accessible to people who will likely never get the necessary rating to wear it anyway; though I do approve this change on principle.
I do like the reduction of the cooldown on Divine Intervention for the simple reason that it will significantly impact my repair bills in progression fights when half my raid is dead and a wipe is called. 🙂 I also do like the reworking they did to the planned Sacred Shield nerf. Making the ability close to useless was not the right solution. While I will miss the hots I can put on myself as retribution, the original mechanic was intended for use by Holy Paladins so that Blizzard could try and move the game away from Holy Light spamming (which they have now accomplished, hopefully) with Icecrown Radiance.
There’s been a number of suggestions by people on how to normalize the “hybrid tax” which seems to hit Paladins in a completely different way from Druids. Rhidach over at his blog Righteous Defense gives his take on the prevailing train of thought which is to give Paladins “stances” the way warriors have (Honor’s Code has weighed in on the issue previously). I have not played a warrior tank in a dungeon setting (I leveled prot though) so I don’t know the pain of stance-dancing. It always seemed like a neat idea to me, but warriors tell me it is a pain in the ass. Also, now that I’m more experienced and give it a good think-through, wasting GCDs seems like an idea likely to just make you suffer for rolling a warrior.
My only concern with his suggestion to combine Righteous Fury into Devotion Aura is the loss of utility of the individual buff. I was hugely appreciative of the change to make it a toggleable ability and not one that I had to refresh for almost 1000 mana every 30 minutes (nevermind having so little mana if you get battle-resed and need it to resume your role). The problem lies in the utility of Devotion Aura are an offspec buff. If there are multiple paladins in a raid (and no protection paladin) devotion aura is still a significant armor bonus for mitigation. A retribution or holy paladin wouldn’t be able to provide this buff anymore (even in its untalented form) if they started out-threating tanks. In PvP Righteous Fury provides and extra fake buff to be dispelled giving useful buffs some breathing room and has long been a strategy of players. As if anyone needed “water breathing” or “path of frost” in Arenas; you know what I’m taking about. Then there would be the inevitable reworking of the Improved Righteous Fury talent which gives a flat 6% damage reduction from all sources with RF is active; if RF was removed, that talent would need to be as well, or at least reworked so that the significant benefit was not lost.
As a Paladin tank I have so much utility at times that I get giddy. I can’t tell you how many times I was overjoyed to be able to use each of my 4 hands, sacred shield someone besides myself and have it not be totally meaningless (even though my spellpower is low). If any of that was taken away from me, aside from feeling like losing part of my identity, I’d feel suddenly crippled. Not nerfed, crippled. My guild runs with 2 paladins in my 10man setup, a holy paladin and myself. In 25s we usually have 3, sometimes 4. Some guilds have fewer or none. If those that had only 1 paladin suddenly lost half of their utility on a consistent basis because of stance-restrictions it would definitely alter a lot of playstyles that people have been comfortable with for all of Wrath raiding.
In the end, I don’t like class homogenization but I do favor +/- equality. I appreciate that Blizzard is trying to achieve it, but I don’t think they know where they really want to go, they don’t really know how to get there, and every change they make, from the favorable to the *cough*ill-conceived*cough* is like hitting one more rock or reef.

My 4piece Tier9 bonus might have just gotten a whole lot more awesome if these silly LoH changes make it live. Someone else said it best, so I will just quote them:
“A Holydin panics and hits their LoH. Well, they JUST TURNED OFF MY DIVINE PROTECTION!!
Let me repeat this for those not following at home. MY cooldown can be shut off by someone that isn’t me.
They don’t do this to Barksin, Shield wall, or any of the DK CDs.

The most common tank healer is now not someone I want healing me. 

…this is AWFUL. Seriously, crap. I don’t want any offensive crud if it means I am no longer tanking. Because believe me, the first time I die because I couldn’t chain 2 tanking CDs (shield wall and last stand going to do this too?) then the warrior is up or the DK. And the fact that the holydin can use LoH on them without worrying about removing their CD is another game breaker.”

Honor’s Code said the same thing more eloquently (and in a much longer post), but I feel like being hysterical about this for the sake of it 🙂 Why don’t we just make it so that Paladins can’t PvP anymore so people stop nerfing us in PvE 🙂

But everyone can use all the binding stones anywhere in the world now, so I guess that makes it all ok…

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