Well, here's the problem. I was going to do this whole long article on my predictions and wish-list for the paladin Cataclysm class previews that were coming out Friday. The problem is that they've moved them up to Wednesday which is the same day this column normally goes live. So, I can either write a nice long column with predictions that will end up going live after the real information comes out or we can do a short and sweet prediction article a day early with more time spent on analysis for tomorrow.
I'm going with short and sweet version.
All I want for Cataclysm:
- Baseline Crusader Strike - I want this bad and preferably at level one. It could actually just be an ability like it, but a little less polished. This would help out with the absolute boredom that is the low level paladin (being as we only have one real attack ability for way too long). If done right, this would also give protection a different button to press when needing to concentrate on single target only in those situations where AoE can be a bad thing.
- Greater Holy Light - Okay, I don't really want a new spell called Greater Holy Light. What I do want is a new spell called Holy Light that's a mid-range heal and for the current Holy Light to be renamed to Greater Holy Light. While I'm not usually a healer, I do recognize how limited our healing kit is. A middle of the road heal would greatly help out the variety of spells we can choose from. Also, the mid-range heal would probably have a lower cast time which is never a bad thing.
- Sanctified Strike - It doesn't really need to be called that, but another melee attack that leveling holy, prot, and retribution could all use would be handy. It could add a nice debuff to our opponent or just be a flat damage ability, but a little more variety in melee attacks in a melee class would be nice.
- Cast/Run Ability - Shammies are getting an ability that allows them to cast while moving for Cataclysm. Being as holy despises movement, I figured it might be a helpful choice.
- More procs - The Art of War ended up being a nice talent for retribution by allowing an instant Flash of Light or Exorcism when it procced. Also, the 2-piece bonus from the tier 10 retribution set added some variety into the monotony. Having some procs to watch for allows for a more skilled player to start pulling away from face-rolling n00bz. We don't really have enough of those for either ret or protection as it stands and a few more could add some depth to both specs. I'm actually not all that worried about this one popping up, because they've said the want all talent trees to move that way for Cataclysm.
- AoE heal - I want an unglyphed AoE heal. We're the only healing class not to have one and I don't count Beacon of Light (although it is handy in its own right). No more comments necessary.
- Less static rotation for prot - Okay, I'm all for ease of use. Being able to mindlessly hit abilities while watching a bunch of other things going on during a fight can be really handy. However, something to shake things up would be nice. It could be proc based or just another ability to break up the rotation a bit.
- Fixing prot's mana starvation - This is really more of a dungeon issue than it is a raid issue for protection. Currently, if you're over-gearing the content by a fair amount and the pulls are a little over 15 seconds apart, then your mana bar will quickly deplete. A lot of this has to do with the current content being so AoE based and having to constantly drop Consecration to keep threat on everything. However, it's fairly easy in some dungeons (*cough*Violet Hold*cough*) to have things timed where you can't quite keep Divine Plea up and running. Being as we're a mana based class, if we're out of mana, we're screwed. Things tend to die before Blessing of Sanctuary becomes useful. While Spiritual Attunement does help with this a little bit, you do run into the issue of not taking enough damage to be able to get healed in order to regenerate some mana. I'm not sure if the answer is changing talents around so that we gain mana from hitting things or giving us a boost to Judgement of Wisdom's returns for when we do hit things, but if they're fixing warrior and druid resource starvation, they can fix ours as well.
The Light and How to Swing It tries to help Paladins cope with the dark times coming in Cataclysm. See the upcoming Paladin changes the expansion will bring. Wrath is coming to a close and the final showdown with the Lich King is here. Are you ready for the assault on Icecrown Citadel?