Class Fantasy

Now that my move has more or less been completed, my attention has shifted to Legion.


Remember when Ghostcrawler mentioned that Blizzard didn’t like to change things too much between expansions since change can be overwhelming? I laughed then. I’m not laughing now. Seriously, I actually played in the current expansion (about a year ago), and my eyes glaze over just at the thought of looking at Wowhead again.

Some of that will likely go away if I just, you know, jump back into WoW. But I don’t enjoy blind jumps. I need to have some kind of idea first. I enjoy research. Legion research though? Jesus. It’s not even as though you can ignore the Artifact stuff either, as that will be mission-critical in a few months.

After spending considerable time looking over things, the classes and specs that piqued my interest the most were Rogue, Death Knight, and… basically that’s it. Maybe Enhancement Shaman and Affliction Warlock also. My namesake Paladin? Not so much.

I do know that Blizzard spent a lot of time focusing on the “fantasy” of the various specs, and it shows in the talent choices and such. For example, I do get the impression that Destruction Warlocks are all about chaos, fire, and… ripping holes in dimensions. Okay, that one might be a bit weak, but still a massive improvement over the prior fantasy of “Fire Mage.” Shadow Priests seem pretty cool with the Cthulhu business. Rogues have more flavor than which DPS cooldown you want to use now. I especially like how Assassination is poisons and bleeds whereas Sublety is more mystical shadow damage-esque.

Indeed, the flavor thing is really bringing me down when I think about my former main, which spent most of her time as Retribution. What’s the fantasy of Retribution? There isn’t much, you know, retribution going on. Eye for an Eye is neat, I guess. And, whatever, there’s Retribution, but you know what I mean.

You can’t even really say “holy damage” because Exorcism is gone, along with Hammer of Wrath, and basically Execution Sentence (now a talent) and Consecration (mutually exclusive). I thought it was bad last year, but now it’s even worse; I expected nothing, and was still disappointed. The spec seems entirely reliant on Ashbringer for its whole fantasy.

For as flavorful as paladins can be conceptually, the amount of squandered possibility is sad.

Posted on July 28, 2016, in WoW and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. The “retribution” fantasy is the old testament version of an angry angel. Filled with righteous anger/wrath on its mission to lay waste to Gods enemies. I think they caught some of that flavour with the names of certian abilities (not sure which of them are ret only though). But I aggree the spec as such doesnt really catch the fantasy that much :-/
    I think maybe wings and hammer of justice get the closest.

    Some of the protection abilities are rather iconic though, even if some of them are from talents only. I like the idea of concecrating the ground in an area, and being stronger in that area (even though I really think it ought to benefit the paladins allies as well when prot.), and the stand behind me and take less damage talent fits so well with a protection pally


    • Yeah, Avenging Wrath was/is the highlight of the entire paladin class, but Retribution in particular. I loved the feeling of popping wings and then being able to throw holy hammers around (Hammer of Wrath). Before the Exorcism worked on everyone, I always imaged a talent or whatever that allowed you to Judge(ment) someone and consider them “evil enough” to count as Undead/Demon and thus allow Exorcism to work on them. Now that how angle is just gone.

      I dunno. If they aren’t going the avenging angel route, I always imagined a sort of mechanic where the Ret paladin kept getting stronger the more you didn’t focus them, then having the Eye for an Eye cooldown bit for when you did focus them.

      Alas, Retribution apparently means… two melee builders, one finisher, and an awkward ranged debuff.


  2. The trouble is the “class fantasy” concept doesn’t seem to have been applied equally. Rogues are far more fun and flavourful than they’ve ever been, but warlocks got stripped of nearly everything. I’m a little confused by your comments on destro, because they play much more like mages now than they ever did before.

    I haven’t gotten around to trying ret yet, but on paper I do agree that it sounds pretty bland now. The loss of exorcism pains to me — to me that was a very iconic spell. Prot spec seems a lot more fun now, though. It’s kind of squishy (tank balance seems a bit borked at the moment) but the rotation/playstyle is pretty fun.


    • I’m drawing a distinction between flavor and actual mechanics. Destro might still be a glorified Fire mage, but thematically they seem to be more “entropy/chaos/dimension ripping” than… whatever it was they were before. Indeed, when looking at Demonology, I’m not sure how you can say they were stripped of much at all. Granted, the Demo rotation is goofy as hell, but pets doing 80% of your DPS is way different than before. Yeah, the resource mechanic of each was reverted to the same thing, but the three specs are (or at least read) distinct from one other.


      • Destro was never really a fire mage, though. At least not in recent memory. They were more of a ranged rogue. 1 second GCD, rapid fire casting, hyper-charged mana regen… Now they pretty much are just fire mages, except with less RNG.

        The dimension-ripping is just one artifact ability, which we don’t have yet. Otherwise it’s still all fire, all the time. Confusingly, the one other rift spell warlocks get is affliction-specific.

        Demology was stripped of everything it had before. It basically got deleted and a new spec with the same name was added. Maybe the new version is okay, but I’m too bitter over losing my favourite spec to try it. Certainly the playstyle doesn’t sound at all appealing on paper.

        And affliction is just tedious now. Refresh DoTs once in a while, then channel filler until your brain melts.

        Arguably the specs are still distinct from each other, but they’re definitely much less distinct than they were before the patch.


  3. Strangely enough I actually like the new Retribution spec. My pally was my last to be levelled (and still only at 78) but with the changes I am finding him a lot more fun. To me there is the real feel of a warrior filled with light, and I like these new buffs he has. I like having judgement bounce to several targets, I like having multiple aoes running at once. I haven’t played him in a group yet though. Might try a few dungeon runs this weekend.


    • Holy paladins seem better off in Legion so I will likely be switching my guy to that from ret, or at least playing more as holy.


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