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Horde Paladins and Alliance Shaman in WoW Expansion 153

Gamespot has the news that Blizzard will be allowing 'crossover' classes with the new races promised for the Burning Crusade expansion. The Paladin class, up until now an Alliance class, will be allowed for the Horde race of Blood Elves. Likewise, the Alliance Draenei will be able to choose the Horde Shaman class. From the article: "According to Blizzard, Horde paladins and Alliance shamans will have many of the same talents of their traditional counterparts, though they "will also enjoy some unique abilities to themselves, similar to the priest class' racial specialties." Since this new feature will fundamentally change the asymmetry between the game's two factions, it will presumably have a significant impact on the way the game is played, especially in competitive player-versus-player combat." It's also likely to somewhat balance the preference between the two factions. A pretty race for the Horde, and what is considered (by some) a very powerful class for the Alliance.
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Horde Paladins and Alliance Shaman in WoW Expansion

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  • by GundamFan ( 848341 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:04PM (#15758584)
    and I saw this comming... this is a sad day for creativity in gaming. Just making everyone identical is not a good way to balance a game. If WoW ever had a soul it has officaly lost it.
  • *sigh* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Krater76 ( 810350 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:09PM (#15758636) Journal
    I frankly don't really care who gets what, I'm just disappointed in Blizzard.

    I've played a Shaman to 60 and enjoyed it. It was the uniqueness of the class that made Horde stand out. The dungeon 1 shoulders are unmistakable, you know it's a shaman. In PvP a shaman is really fun to play due to the high survivability and DPS, although melee was nerfed somewhat in the last patch.

    On the other hand, I found it unique to also fight against a class I couldn't group with. Paladins are a special challenge, especially against my rogue. Their gear is mostly gold, so you can really see them coming as well.

    This just seems like a cop-out by a company that used to do innovation very well. They supposedly class-reviewed the shaman and for some reason gave them PvP buffs (especially with their offensive spell tree) when shaman were asking for more PvE utility. Horde in the end game is tougher than Alliance and the pally/shaman issue is the reason. So instead of coming up with a good idea or listening to the customers who had some great ideas to help shaman out, they just ignore the whole thing and give the Horde paladins, and Alliance shaman.

    It'll take months after the expansion for either to make their presences truly felt but I guess Blizzard is just trying to scape a couple extra months of playtime out of an increasingly boring game.
  • by pezpunk ( 205653 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:24PM (#15758766) Homepage
    Shamans are almost useless in end-game raids, when you can have paladins instead!

    Shamans for the alliance will be a nice novelty, but ultimately a white elephant in dungeons. they will be quite a nice addition for burst damage in pvp though.

    on the horde side, the raiding shamans will see their roles marginalized by new paladins.
  • Doesn't Fit.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Renraku ( 518261 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:44PM (#15758952) Homepage
    A Horde Paladin? Paladins are against everything evil, bad, unholy, etc. Half the horde is considered evil bad and/or unholy. What's next? Undead paladins? Gnome shamans?
  • A copout. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Halloran ( 182820 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:48PM (#15758985)
    This isn't to "expand play opportunities across factions", its to ease the burden on the designers of having to constantly tweak existing content for two separate play dynamics, not to mention this constant cry by the player-base to balance the Paladin against the Shaman.

    The ugliness will begin when the loot tables for both sets are turned on, and guilds that do MC/BWL content start seeing drops wasted by a month or more of Paladin loot for the Horde, or Shaman loot for the Alliance, before the classes are of the appropriate level to raid.
  • by RsG ( 809189 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:52PM (#15759024)
    Actually, as an ex-WoW player, I disagree.

    Everybody could see this coming a mile off. The alliance whines that shamans are overpowered and the horde whines that paladins are as well. There is a clear case of "the grass is always greener" going on, and it's pervasive.

    The easiest way to fix this is to give each side the so-called "overpowered" class that the other side gets, thereby completely eliminating the complaints that the developers are favouring one faction over the other.

    It does make the two sides even more similar, but let's be honest, they were never that different to begin with. WoW hasn't had radically different factions since it was in beta; making the faction specific classes available to both sides at this late stage won't make the slightest bit of difference in terms of faction identity.

    I should clarify that I played both sides, and both classes (among others). The claim that either side is over/under powered is complete bunk. About the only concern that I see as valid is the complaint that paladins are completely boring and passive to play ("Paladins are to gameplay as porn is to sex" sums that up nicely), and that doesn't impact their performance, so it isn't a balance issue.
  • Re:Doesn't Fit.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:58PM (#15759078) Journal
    Does the Horde consider themselves Evil, or is that just Alliance propaganda? I thought that one of the fundamentals of the Warcraft world was that both Horde and Alliance see themselves as the good guys, with only the undead being objectively evil. But then, I don't play WoW, so maybe the lore has changed?
  • I play WoW. Not a lot, like I used to, but I still play. I intend to get the expansion and I think I will enjoy it, even though I am a casual player these days. I'm even considering getting another account so I can dual box. It makes solo'n a lot more fun and the money is immaterial to me. I've played since beta so I have a pretty good knowledge base of the game (been in a hardcore raiding guild for a while now, one which is consistently in competition for furthest advanced on our server, Windrunner). I was the second person on my server to hit level 60 in my class (Warlock).

    All that said, I think people who are whining that both Horde and Alliance will be basically the same now (in endgame) are making assumptions.

    First, the Horde Paladin will not be identical to the Alliance Paladin. The same goes for the Shaman on each side. The new racial abilities will see to it that they are different in a meaningful way. If there's one thing I know about racials in WoW, they ARE relevant. Take Perception for humans, WotF for Undead, and Escape Artist for gnomes as just three examples of how racials are useful. I promise that Blizzard will make the new racials quite useful as well. And on top of that there will be specific skills, like the Priest class has, which are unique to the new cross-overs. For example, undead horde priests have Devouring Plague, which is a pretty good Drain Over Time. Nobody else has that.

    Well, ok then. So what about the problem with "evil" paladins? Uhm, what? Who said the Horde was really, inherently evil? Show me somewhere in the WoW Lore that says Horde are 'evil'. Tell me why the Argent Dawn would ally with Horde if they were? Just because they are at war with the Alliance makes them evil? I don't think so. So the Horde sees things differently than the Alliance, and so they clash... Take any number of real life examples and you see that two groups can be at war with each other and either none or both might be considered "evil". Sometimes it's very difficult in a war to see which side is right and which wrong.

    I wouldn't mind it, however, if the Horde Paladin, being Blood Elf specific, was given an extra word in the name, such as Crimson Paladin... But that's beside the point.

    From personal experience I have found that the people who tend to leave WoW are the ones who can't play along with others. They can't join a guild or don't want to because they just don't have a very agreeable personality. So they wind up playing alone. And they wind up watching as everyone else progresses and has a good time while they are still wearing the same old crappy blues, or whatever. Well, like I said, whine, bitch moan and sniffle. If you can't play well with others, WoW isn't for you.


  • by PMuse ( 320639 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @03:50PM (#15759481)
    It's a well-known sign of the apocalypse. Every gaming system starts out with a few cool options (e.g. paladinhood) that are only available to certain characters. While the game system is new, everything is fine. Players pine for permission to create ever more potent combinations, but the game masters hold their ground and maintain order.

    As the game system matures and options are added and tweaked, there is a progressive relaxation of the old restrictions. Eventually, the players get their way and anything is allowed. Shortly thereafter, the game system is swarmed under by a tsunami of half-fiendish self-healing incoporeal supersneaking uber-paladin arcanists.

    The player base melts away to a new "low-powered" game system with "balance" and the cycle repeats. There's no use being upset about it; that's just the way the Wheel turns.
  • by Cadallin ( 863437 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @04:25PM (#15759735)
    I.e. Alliance will finally be able to camp just outside low-level towns and gank with impunity, just like horde does now. Fantastic gameplay there! I play alliance, and if you're on a server with even a SLIGHT imbalance towards horde, leveling becomes painful at about lvl 20, due to high level horde running around ganking lowbies. And yes, its usually shaman.
  • by snuf23 ( 182335 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @07:54PM (#15760937)
    What you say about the solo game is also true for small groups. Honestly I think I enjoyed doing Dire Maul with 5 good players much more than I ever enjoyed the higher end raid instances. Part of the reason is that commitment of time but also I just prefer the play style - versus follow the leader orchestration necessary in the large raids.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie