Monday, February 15, 2010

Where is the Paladin Buff Overhaul?

Shamans got their totem groups implemented recently which took the tedious process of manually putting down the same sets of totems over and over and turned it into a think about it, set it up once, and reuse what you've already decided type mechanic. Something add-ons like TotemTimers had been doing for players before that. Shamans always had it easier than paladins though since totems are not nearly as heavily scrutinized as blessings. People can be downright snippy when you let a blessing lapse or not give them the one they wanted regardless if you can even cast it or not.

Paladins without add-ons are still back where shamans were, having to make the same decisions every few minutes. It isn't an interesting decision either like certain totems are more useful for different fights. The same classes/specs always want the same blessings fight after fight. Add-ons like pally power mask the problem, but that doesn't make it go away.

Paladins need some mechanic to make a choice with each group they are with and reuse that decision repeatedly throughout the raid. Something like a prayer ability that refreshes all of the paladin's active blessings would be a start, but blessings do fall off when people die at the very least. The next step would be to have the prayer not only refresh, but restore the previous blessing the paladin used last on each person. A unique buff or debuff could be used to indicate that a blessing was used and is no longer active on affected players so it wouldn't seem so out of place compared to existing game mechanics.

Once it is easy to refresh blessings on an entire raid the next logical step is to remove the longer class wide versions of blessings and make all blessings last a half hour, or even leave them at 10 minutes. Longer is better, but it really doesn't matter; look at warriors and death knights with their 2-3 minutes buffs to refresh. Rebalance reagent and mana cost around whatever duration is decided.

The blessing refreshing ability should be made available right around the time the paladin is starting to group with others in instances, somewhere around level 20 at the latest. Too soon and it is added complexity, too late and grouping is frustrating.

That would be a nice way to get paladins more in line with everyone else in terms of clicks to buff as well as simplifying an overly complicated set of abilities with a clunky by class mechanic and at the same time keep that unique paladin feel.

I should not be required to use an add-on to play one specific class effectively.

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