Monday, November 19, 2007

Breaking the Mold?

For a long time, I had this preconceived notion that “pure classes” generally perform their job better than “hybrid classes”.  For example, a warrior’s main job is being a tank.  There’s no way that he can ever spec Arms or Fury and produce more damage than a rogue, for example.  Furthermore, the fallacy would continue that there’s no reason to bring a non-protection spec’ed warrior, right?  Continuing on this thinking, classes like paladins or druids can never really be efficient at much of anything since warriors will always be better.

As a whole, this seems to be proven mostly false, at least in my experiences.  I know druids that make great tanks.  I know paladins that make great healers.  I know priests that bring a lot to the group by providing decent DPS and using Vamperic Embrace and Vamperic Touch to help keep their group alive and full of mana.  Kind of unfair that all the hybrid classes can change roles without having to level another 70, and the DPS classes (rogue, mage, warlock, hunter) have to keep DPS’ing.  (I know, I know… cry me a river, right?)  But that’s not really the point of this post.

So, if you can heal, then you can be a healer (priests, paladins, shaman, and druids).  If you’ve got plate or high armor, you can be a tank (warriors, druids, and paladins).  And then everybody can DPS, right?

The only caveat to that last statement is that I have yet to really understand what a retribution paladin brings to the raid table.  Sure, there’s another blessing: awesome.  You can consistently have some judgments up that either heal melee or restore mana, where as your healing paladin is probably too busy healing to renew the judgments.  These effects would also be raid-wide, while a shadow priest only influences his 5-man group.  But on many occasions, I have heard that their DPS is “abysmal”.  Maybe it’s like the shadow priest: they’re not meant to be on top of the damage charts, but the additions they bring to a group help others to do well.  I don’t know.  Patch 2.3 was supposed to be a huge boost to the viability of a DPS’ing paladin.  Maybe that helped enough to make them raid viable once again.

This whole thought process came up because we had a Retribution Paladin apply to our guild.  My first thought, along with the other officers, was to ask him to respec tank, because that was what we wanted.  He’s willing to do that, but has the DPS purplez, where the tanking set is only blue.  To avoid burn-out of players, I tend to want them to play the role that they enjoy the most, as long as we can accommodate that.  So, I don’t know… maybe we have a new Retribution Paladin.  I’ll have to let you know how that turns out.

Anything else you can think of that I should consider about Ret Pally’s?


Matticus said...

I'm currently leveling a Paladin of my own. Do keep us updated as to how he performs in the raid (at least, potentially). I'm very interested in Paladin options.

The only thing I can think of is an another judgment on a mob.

Dammerung said...

I would ask:

He's a big proponent of DPS'n pally's. And his posts are well written(not that this indicates anything about how well he plays but it shows he can think clearly enough to write something well as opposed to orcs like me).


Dammerung said...

Bah I meant to post this link sorry for spamming your comments:

Anonymous said...

I play a shadow priest in a casual raiding guild on Dunemaul. There is a lot more going on from us than just the mana and health regen within-party -- we have two mob debuffs that increase raid DPS significantly: Misery, which increases *all* magic damage taken by 5%, and Shadow Weaving, which increases all Shadow damage by 10%. I've been the only SP in there for a long time, and we often roll with 2-5 warlocks, so that makes a huge difference in their DPS.

Ret pallies (we don't have one, but from my limited knowledge) have a similar +3% raid crit debuff. On VR, one of our healing pallies would stand in the center refreshing the judgement that allowed the melee to self-heal, and it makes the fight much easier (we don't have our melee move during the Poundings). Having a Ret Pally do that would make a lot more sense.

Our highest DPS for single-target fights is often our GM in Moonkin form. We have a pally tank Gruul. Our guild embraces off-specs in small numbers -- the synergies from multiple specs can really do a lot to boost overall raid performance.