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[US] Feedback: Paladin Updates

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[US] Feedback: Paladin Updates

In this thread, we’ll be testing and talking about Paladins in The War Within. Look here for posts from the development team as adjustments and bugfixes are made throughout the testing period.
Please note that off-topic or inappropriate posts will be strictly removed.

Thank You

Before we continue testing The War Within, we’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who read and responded to the Hero Talent previews we posted over the last few months.

Looking to the Alpha

In this first Alpha build, every single class has at least one new Hero Talent tree available for testing, with the rest coming in the following weeks. We’re asking testers to initially keep several things in mind:

There are UI elements on the talent panel that are placeholder, including things like talent icons, text, or final UI art.
Some talents may not be functioning yet, or may be marked as not yet implemented (NYI)
New spell visuals and audio for several new Hero Talent trees are still a work in progress. Many trees are using placeholder assets for now that will be updated over the course of Alpha.
There are some talents that are not fully tuned yet. This is expected, and we will implement tuning adjustments throughout testing.

The combat design team has two big areas of focus right now that we are prioritizing over other concerns such as tuning or generic class updates/maintenance:

Finish building the remainder of the Hero Talent trees that are not yet available.
Fix bugs that are blocking testing of new talents.

With the Alpha build being playable and all of the discussion that will occur around the flood of data, we wanted to reiterate that the responses to our blog previews were highly valuable. The feedback we received allowed us to make some early improvements or revisions while we didn’t yet have a public test environment. It allowed us to take some big early swings on certain trees, and then react to early feedback quickly.
Going forward, we aren’t planning to publish any additional Hero Talent previews in blog form, since we’ll add the remaining classes to the Alpha as soon as they reach their ready-to-test state.

Working from Feedback

Several Hero Talent trees have received changes after reading feedback to the blog posts. Some of these were tuning changes to ensure that the Hero Talent tree felt competitive, while others were significant design changes. The feedback thus far has been of great benefit to us.
Going into Alpha, we feel good about the shape of the Hero Talent tree designs. Keeping a consistent number of utility and defensives nodes across all trees, having parity between number of choice nodes, and the overall structure of the trees are things we’re confident in.
We’re also working on tweaking some core class designs as well. In some cases, it was necessary to make adjustments to the class or specialization talent trees before significant work was done on a Hero Talent tree. In other cases, we did work seeking to improve base class talent tree designs.

Alpha Feedback

Now that we’re in Alpha, we’re looking for feedback on how it feels to playtest these trees. We’re specifically curious about:

Hero Talents that you feel are “required” for your spec in a type of content, such as raiding or Mythic+, or that push you towards picking a specific tree.
Hero Talents that create frustrating or unsatisfying gameplay or rotations for your spec.
Hero Talents whose functionality is confusing, unclear, or difficult to track during gameplay.

Throughput comparisons of Hero Talent trees are helpful, but we’re more interested in gameplay, feel, and choice feedback at this stage. Also, when possible, we appreciate it when you focus posts or articles on a single spec and Hero Talent tree, rather than combining feedback about multiple issues.

Again, Thank You

We greatly appreciate all your feedback on Hero Talent trees and are very excited for you to see everything else we’re working on. Thank you!
– The World of Warcraft Combat Design Team

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Community Manager

#2 – April 18, 2024, 6:01 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Retribution Paladin

Hello Champions of the Light!
In The War Within, we have several updates to Retribution that we’re excited for you to test in the Alpha, and we’d like to highlight some of our goals and philosophy here.

Secondary Stat Scaling

Our initial goal is to explore how we can make secondary stats more appealing to Retribution, to allow a natural progression of scaling throughout an expansion. Due to the nature of many talents offering guaranteed critical hits, it was difficult for us to make Critical Strike a stat that felt valuable. To address this, we’ve reworked and rebalanced these talents to not automatically crit. They will instead gain value when you do crit, such as increasing their critical strike damage.
This type of design has been applied to other aspects of Retribution to increase critical strike value. Most notably, Art of War has been updated so its chance to proc is increased when you critically hit or the new cap stone Burn to Ash that increases the duration of Truth’s wake and makes your other damage over time effects more powerful when you critically hit.
A more subtle-but-effective change is an update to Mastery’s coefficient to scale better with the secondary stat. We’ve also updated Mastery with a passive proc that gives you a chance to blast your target with holy damage when you cast Judgment. The damage and chance are both increased as your Mastery is increased. Alongside these baseline changes, we’ve introduced several new talents that interact with Mastery to make it a bit more engaging and flavorful.

AOE versus Single Target

One of the sources of frustration we’ve seen when it comes to the Retribution spec tree is that there is a large amount of friction between Single Target and AoE builds, leaving very little wiggle room for any sort of hybridization. We’ve done some restructuring to alleviate some of this tension, to create more room to explore hybrid type builds for when the scenarios might call for it.

We look forward to hearing your feedback especially as it relates to our goals for Retribution in The War Within.
Here are some questions we have for you:

Do these changes open up new build possibilities?
Are Crit and Mastery more exciting as stats now?
Do talent choices feel more meaningful?
Is there anything unforeseen that these changes created, such as degenerate builds or rotations?

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Community Manager

#3 – April 18, 2024, 7:08 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Holy Paladin

Our goals are to replace Light of the Martyr with a passive spell but keep the same thematic sacrifice theme, move more of their throughput from Beacon of Light into their baseline spells, and redesign Blessing of Summer to feel more specific to their role.
Blessing of Summer will now work as an external buff that converts healing to damage or damage to healing ability depending on which specialization you place it on. We’re hoping this offers a dynamic and more interesting way to use the spell. This effect will have a slight cap in order to allow us to tune it between AoE and single target scenarios, similar to Ancestral Guidance.
Beacon of Light represents a very large amount of throughput and we’d like to move more of that budget out into the base spells. We believe this gameplay feels better to use as your direct healing will be punchier while still offering around the same total output.
Light of the Martyr felt a little too separated from the Paladin kit as well as being an additional keybind eating up space when talented. The intent of its update is to keep the thematics in place while moving its power into a passive.

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