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Massively Exclusive: DK Online Paladin revealed

MJ Guthrie

Magic and meatshields are practically a staple in the fantasy genre. In this way, the upcoming free-to-play MMO DK Online is no different; Aeria Games recently revealed its take on these roles with the Sorceress and the Warrior classes.

Today, the company introduces a righteous avenger to the mix, the Paladin. Massively brings you an exclusive look at this new class with a dev blog, an interview, and a trailer showing off some of the holy fighter's moves.

DK Online screenshot
Paladin dev blog

Greetings, followers of the light,

We're back to talk some more about our third class spotlight, the ever-shiny, never-shady Paladin! These holy fighters are hand-picked by the goddess Dione herself to charge into battle and defend their allies from Kharvag's minions.

We're going to go a little off course here and share some of what Paladins used to be, because ongoing improvement is always a crucial part of the development process. Much of DK Online is being fine-tuned and overhauled as we continue to work towards releasing the game, and the classes are no exception. This also gives you a glimpse into the game development process as a whole, where things have to flexible and fluid as certain needs and demands arise.

So what did Paladins used to be? The earlier vision for the class was that of a primary damage dealer and support class. Whereas Warriors once favored the good ol' sword-and-board and Paladins relied mostly on two-handers (though both classes could use either, they were each designed around a particular weapon), there's now much more parity between them. Paladins before were best suited to being straightforward DPS, but they now have the tools in place to enhance and defend their party as they lead the charge into battle.

New abilities are also being added to make the play-style more engaging. We felt like the Paladin of old needed more active abilities, and was perhaps too reliant on passive skills. While the class still has very useful passives, we decided that it is important for the Paladin to actively take control over the party's well-being. We're continuing to add abilities as we go, so that the end result is fun, interesting, and really establishes the image of the Paladin as a bastion of light.

Well, in light of all that, it's hard to pick a favorite skill -- but we're going with Heaven's Wrath. In addition to having the coolest name, the hard-hitting attack leaves nothing but a crater where the enemy once was. On top of that, enemies that take the hit and are still standing have a chance to be stunned, opening them up for further punishment.

We hope you enjoyed the latest look into the development process. We think it's good to have a bit of transparency too! Keep an eye out for our next class spotlight as it comes down the pike!

DK Online screenshot
Interview with Producer Vishal Aasdhir

Massively: In the video, we see the Paladin smashing critters to bits with both a two-handed sword and sword-and-board; can you elaborate on some of the other weapons and special mechanics available to the class?

Vishal Aasdhir: The Paladin possesses an interesting set of skill trees. For one, weapon specialization gives the DKO Paladin the chance to become a significant force in battle. This is customizable based on player preference -- imagine being a shield-toting meathead one moment and switching to a skull-bashing great-swordsmen another. Combined with their support skills and excellent defense, the Paladin is capable of standing at the forefront of combat in a variety of roles.

DK Online screenshotTraditionally, Paladins in fantasy are more than just warriors; they're warriors with, as the trailer notes, "righteous fury." But we didn't see any spellcasting in the video. Can you explain how the caster part of DKO's Paladin will work?

The thing here is that the Paladin in the video is by himself. Paladins really shine during team play. The DKO Paladin has a number of spells and skills that allow them to be the vanguard. In a strategic sense, the team also relies on the Paladin's ability to sustain them in the heat of battle. The spells are what give the Paladin the opportunity to unleash righteous fury on the enemy while ensuring the safety of the team.

Will it be possible for the Paladin to function as pure support or pure melee, or is he at his best only when embracing his hybrid role?

DKO allows players to customize their class based on what the current quest calls for. The aim is to have a class that is useful and effective, without players feeling forced to play in a certain way. We invite the player to take full reign of their legendary Paladin and determine how best to achieve victory.

Are there any fundamental or flavor differences between a Human Paladin and a Lycan Paladin?

Aside from the aesthetic differences -- which are impressive! -- the class is still under development. This means that there will be changes made to some core mechanics which can potentially include race-based distinction.

Do the developers have any tips to offer prospective Paladins?

Remember, the goddesses are aware of your deeds. A good paladin is a righteous paladin.

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