Today Blizzard put out the class preview for the paladin for the upcoming expansion Cataclysm. As you may or may not recall I play a paladin - It might be more appropriate to say that in many ways I am a paladin. I find it very interesting for the normal reasons that people find these things interesting: Knowing how my hobby will play in the coming year, knowing what cool things I will get to do and hoping to be able to accomplish wondrous and legendary tasks. I also find this preview fascinating because I get to contrast the changes that many smart, creative game developers come up with for problems with the solutions I create myself. It is endlessly entertaining to make predictions and outline issues and then see if others see as clearly as I do. It is just too much hubris to think that they have to live up to me rather than the other way around? I think I will call it confidence instead. ;)
Crusader Strike available at low levels - check
Separating Protection's AOE vs. single target rotation - check
Holy Shock baseline - check
New heal for holy paladins to increase kit size - check
New true AOE heal for paladins - check
Ret paladin defensive nerfs for pvp reasons - check
Ret rotation mechanic complication - check
Blessing consolidation - check
Flat out % nerf to Bacon of Light - failure
Now this one is interesting because here Blizzard has lots of funny ideas that won't work. They need to take the number 100 in the code and make it 30 or so. They know there is a problem but they have not yet properly parsed the various ways the implementation can be repaired.
Seal of Command moved deep into Ret (away from prot!) - failure
Total overhaul of mana regen including Divine Plea, BoSanc and JotW - failure
Nerfing/removal of Ret passive AOE - failure
All of these could still be happening but were not announced. Will have to wait and see the talent trees to find out if my soothsaying is right.
Thing is, unlike most of the forum crowd, I give Blizzard a lot of credit. They have a great team building the game and are always improving. I am very excited to hop on the beta and do my best to break their mechanics over my knee.
If anyone reading this gets a beta key from Blizzard and isn't especially interested in using it... I can think of someone who wants to get on the beta servers and build a gigantic spreadsheet with the information gathered there. Just saying.