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The Light and How to Swing It: A field guide to bad paladins


A couple lifetimes ago, I wrote a pretty comprehensive guide to bad rogues for Encrypted Text. I considered doing the same for paladins, but as I didn't have a 70 Pally yet, I decided to hold off for a while. Well -- good news, everyone! I'm 70, and it's time to offend every race, spec and playstyle with the Field Guide to Bad Paladins. Please direct all Crusader Strikes to management.

The Guy Who Doesn't Understand Hybrids

  • Identification: A long time ago, someone told this Pally that paladins can heal, tank and DPS. Unfortunately, they never bothered to tell him that you can't do all three at the same time. Paladins of this category are notorious for trying to do way too many things at the same time. He will pop a bubble and heal himself while tanking. He will run in and try to get a raid mob away from a clothie while in healing gear. He will tank with a two-hander.
  • Mating Call: "Don't worry, guys, I can heal myself! Wait, it keeps getting interrupted ..."
  • Habitat: Low-level instances.
  • Management: This guy's heart is in the right place -- his brain is just elsewhere. This problem can usually be corrected with some education at low levels. If he keeps trying to tank and DPS at the same time, suggest he roll a Death Knight. "They can tank with two swords!"
Delusions of Persecution Man
  • Identification: This forum denizen is convinced that Blizzard, much like Dr. Frankenstein, has grown to hate its own creation, and will stop at nothing to destroy and demonize paladins. Many Delusioners will believe that Blizzard developers have a deep-seated personal vendetta against their class, possibly due to ganking at an early age. Every nerf to paladins or buff to another class is yet another piece of evidence about The Paladin Conspiracy.
  • Mating Call: "Once again, Blizz goes out of their way to screw pallies over."
  • Habitat: The forums, your guild chat late at night after a patch.
  • Management: Ask them why Blizzard would want to maliciously attack people who have been giving them money fairly continuously for years. If this doesn't work, suggest they get off the cross because the shamans need the wood for their totems.

The Roleplayer Who's Way Too Into It

  • Identification: Roleplaying can be a really interesting way to liven up the game for a lot of people. But for a minority of RPers, roleplaying is a way of life, much like the military or an alien cult. An extreme RPer who plays a paladin might spend all her time hunting Forsaken characters across the continents ... or trying to join the Scarlet Crusade ... or refusing to group with warlocks, rogues, or anyone who has an undead alt. When RP turns into frankly harassing players, that's where you'll find her.
  • Mating Call: "By the Light, I sense the taint of the Scourge upon you!"
  • Habitat: Western Plagueland, Scarlet Monastery, /spitting on Forsaken in Shattrath City.
  • Management: Buddy up to her by claiming to be a righteous Priest/Paladin/Druid/Warrior, then "fall to the Shadow" and start acting like you've been having tea on the veranda with Arthas. Either that, or roll a Death Knight and watch her head explode.

The Self-Righteous Longtime Allydin

  • Identification: This player has been playing a Paladin since release and feels uniquely qualified to judge the class's strengths and weaknesses. This, in itself, is okay. But when he starts attacking newer pallies as Johnny-Come-Latelies -- particularly when they've killed Illidan and he's still wearing Kara gear -- it gets tiring. He's also known to dismiss any idea that comes from a Blood Elf or Draenei, even if it's an idea such as "Free candy for everyone!"
  • Mating Call: "I've been playing this character since open beta. How long have you been here, a month?"
  • Habitat: The old folks' home in Stormwind and the Pally forums.
  • Management: Tell them that if history was everything, we'd still be curing cancer through leeches.

The Arrogant Belfadin

  • Identification: The polar opposite of the Longtime Allydin, the Arrogant Belfadin believes that he can avoid all the mistakes made by those stupid Alliance who thought they should be able to DPS. This character comes in Healadin and (less commonly) Tankadin versions, and staunchly opposes any improvements to the Ret tree because ... I don't really know why. It would upset the feng shui of the talent trees?
  • Mating Call: "Shut up and heal."
  • Habitat: Whining on the pally forums about 2.3.
  • Management: Hit them with something that prevents spellcasting from the Holy school and watch them run around in panic, flailing wildly at their surroundings.

The Non-Reciprocal Blesser

  • Identification: This Pally has Mark of the Wild, Arcane Intellect, Fort, and a half-dozen other blessings on her, and she hasn't touched her own blessings bar in two days. Buff-capable classes generally buff each other when they meet in the wild, but this pally is content to receive and never give -- even when that 15 minutes of Wisdom could mean life or death.
  • Mating Call: Nothing but stony silence.
  • Habitat: Running cluelessly through the woods, followed by a trail of priests, mages and druids hoping for a scrap of Kings.
  • Management: Cast useless buffs on her, like Detect Lesser Invisibility and Water Walking.

The Warhammer Retadin

  • Identification: This Retadin developed a deep, abiding love for the Warhammer Online game after hearing the concept for the Warrior Priest: a holy cleric who can better protect his allies by smiting his enemies in battle. This fits with many players' original concept of a Paladin. However, this particular specimen has decided to spread her hate for WoW and love for WAR all over the forums, posting articles about how So Totally Awesome!!$! WAR is going to be.
  • Mating Call: "WoW: Waiting on Warhammer."
  • Habitat: The General and Paladin forums.
  • Management: Ask her when the release date has been pushed back to these days.

What Would Uther Do?

  • Identification: Kin to the Roleplayer Who's Way Too Into It, this player has developed a man-crush on Uther Lightbringer. He might spend his days railing against the Horde quest to desecrate Uther's grave, speculating whether the Order of the Silver Hand will reform under Tirion Fordring, or posting fanboyish questions on the forums. This species can also crossbreed with the Delusions of Persecution Man, as seen in the quote below.
  • Mating Call: "While people believe it was Arthas that killed Uther, some say Uther died after he saw what Blizzard had in store for WoW pallys."
  • Habitat: In the Cathedral of Light, hanging out in Darnassus with the nelf druids and priests that have similar crushes on Malfurion and Tyrande.
  • Management: Slowly walk away.

So what's your least favorite type of bad Paladin? Healbots? Retnoobs? Tanka ... whatever the derisive name is for tanks?

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