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Gamers on the Street: For the love of the light

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Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.

A true Paladin makes his class his cause – we think it's probably safe to generalize a bit when it comes to this honorable class. There's a certain type of player who's attracted to the whole Paladin mythos, and there's a certain type of player who's attracted to the whole support role. Whether it's a reader letter from Alytenn
of Stonemaul or a chat on Moon Guard with Baladore, we found that even the most brief of explorations seems to uphold the stereotype of Paladins as fanatic followers of The Light.



Alytenn, Level 70 Human Paladin, Stonemaul
Alytenn of Stonemaul sparked our interest in the Paladin ethos when he wrote in with his own tale of dedication to the class.

Gamers on the Street: What attracted you to the paladin class?
Alytenn: It was a combination of things. The seal and judgment system felt new and fresh to me after trying so much sameness throughout MMOs. The free mount certainly helped; I've never been one for farming gold. Divine Shield was one of the most broken abilities in classic WoW PvP, but still is very effective without any priests around.

Tell us a little bit about how you got your start as a Pally.
My main has really always been my Paladin. When they released the Seal/Judgment system just before launch, I knew it was the class for me. He was the first character I rolled, my first to 60, my first to 70 (twice) and the only character I really played in the TBC beta. My first spec was holy/ret, but I wasn't thinking so much about builds back then and just getting to 60 quickly. I tried full holy I think as my first real build and quickly realized this way to heal. Divine Shield is so much better for raid healing than Fade ever could be, even automated in tier 2.

What spec have you enjoyed the most?
Retnubs have a hard time finding a raiding guild, so I've opted to use other characters to get my raiding fix from time to time. As a PvP-centered player, the new ret has really made me happy over the last year. Old ret was too defensive; also, healing and tanking in BGs is not great.

What spec do you think has given you the most actual mileage, the most bang for the buck?
I think my bang has been pretty even between holy and ret. I'm trying my hand at my Priest again in raids, and I don't like how he really can't take a hit. Thinking about rolling another Paladin so I don't have to switch specs anymore.

What are your Pally's goals for 2.4? What about Wrath of the Lich King?
Well, my Paladin isn't going to do much different in 2.4: more honor, more arena points. Hopefully some of those changes in the patch provide some real benefits to players. Lich King is gonna be real nice for him, because Blizzard says Paladins will be able to get better strength-based gear. Maybe get a serious arena team? I see him spending a lot of time in Lake Wintergrasp, for sure.

Baladore, Level 70 Blood Elf Paladin, Moon Guard
It wasn't hard to find other Paladins who are passionate about their class. When we randomly selected Moon Guard realm, logged in and sent a tell to the first level 70 Pally we saw listed in a Shattrath City, we found a player who had just recently finished leveling his second paladin.

Gamers on the Street: How long have you been playing Baladore?
Baladore: I've been playing Baladore since July. He's my main now, but I played a Human Paladin since the original release.

Two faction perspectives! Why the switch?
It was more the decision of other friends; I just went along for the ride.

Any faction preference?
Blood Elf racials are really nice, but I'd rather play a Human. Humans are the classic paladin race -- in Warcraft, anyway -- plus Blood Elves get no respect.

Heh, we hear you! Ok, so what's the attraction with the Paladin class as a whole? Why are you a pally fan?
Well I started off on a PvP server, Bleeding Hollow, and I just felt Paladins were a really strong support class. Blessing of Freedom, BoP, Cleanse, etc. ... It seemed like a better choice than Priests or Druids to me.

Have you gamed before WoW?
FPSs, but not MMORPGs.

Wow, so rolling a pally was wading right into the thick of it for you. What spec did you start out in?
Ret leveling, then when I started to raid Ony and MC and such I went holy, which I stuck with all the way 'til the end of "vanilla WoW."

Yeah, that was pretty much a given back in the day. What about now?
Well I followed the same path with Baladore: leveled ret, then went holy for raiding. But after picking up a lot of tanking gear people didn't need, I switched over to prot at some point.

You're prot now?
Well technically I'm ret at the moment ... but basically.

What spec have you enjoyed the most?
Prot for raiding, holy for PvP.

What do you think you get the most bang for the buck, in terms of spec? What's most useful right now for you?
I think they all have their strengths and weaknesses right now, so I guess it depends what you want. Holy is still very efficient but needs help in many situations. Prot is great but PvE only (of course) and has a few snags. Ret, I haven't played too seriously, so I don't think my opinion on it would be the most informative.

Ok, here's where you get to share your earth-shaking perspectives on how pally design is working right now.
Uh-oh. =O

What do you think? How is Blizzard doing on balancing and polishing the class?
It's certainly a lot better than it was before TBC. Ret and prot were a joke back then, so they have made a lot of improvements. That being said, there's definitely room for improvement. Hmm, I'd say I think prot could use a silence-breaking ability. It certainly wouldn't matter to PvP balance, and it's just a small step to help put them on par with warrior tanks. Holy definitely needs help in that it's a one- or two-button spec and that you are confined to single-target cast spells.

You don't think AE heals are the property of other classes?
I don't think Paladins should be masters of HoTs or AoE heals, but they definitely need more than they have. Let's put it this way: Do you think a relatively new paladin in all iLevel 115 blues could heal Magisters' Terrace easily? I mean, with a non-epic'd-out party?

With your experience, we bet you'd be fine. Do you have anything special you're looking forward to doing in 2.4 or in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion some day?
In terms of what I'm looking forward to, I'd say further tweaks and improvements.

Gonna stick it out to 80 with this guy?
Yep!


Find out what's on players' minds in more interviews with World of Warcraft players, from 15 Minutes of Fame and Gamers on the Street.

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