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What part of Holy Paladin did you not understand?
comment 22 Written by on February 16, 2010 – 11:06 am

There’s a rather annoying phenomenon quite common to see around the internet. I see it with regards to paladins a lot, but it happens elsewhere too. In fact, that’s what’s inspired this post.

Someone has written a rather well nice little “rant” about frustrations when healing small groups as a holy paladin. I have some of these same frustrations, and have expressed them before. When I clicked to leave a comment on that post, however, I found myself blinking at my monitor in confusion and annoyance.

The first comment?

“Spec ret.”

Spec ret? That’s the best you can do? Why not tell me to reroll a priest?

If I wanted to be a DPSer… I would spec ret. Obviously, since I am not specced ret, either I or the group of people that I raid/instance/group with would prefer that I take the healing role.

I’m also a damn good healer – it’s something I try really hard to be good at, and I spend quite a lot of time working on being good at it. As a consequence, I’m not that great as DPS. Sure, I can pull numbers that won’t get me booted out of a 5 man, but that’s because I have gear, not because I have any real skill or am used to standing in melee to do much of anything other than smack a mob for Judgment of Wisdom mana regen. I’m also the heal lead in a 25 man raid. Suddenly deciding that I was no longer a holy paladin would be a /bad idea/. It doesn’t help me if my friends would like me to heal instances, since we have a very large, very talented group of DPSers.

(As an aside, I’m very thankful for a few friends who have been using healing offspecs for some of our 5 mans, so I’m not relegated to frustrated healing in 5 man groups every day so that I can keep up with the badge requirements for raiding. Hooray for random heroics being part of the raid progression.)

The next best answer is (paraphrasing) “You heal tanks great, STFU.”

… um. Obviously I care. Since I’m not talking about healing tanks in a raid. In fact, I’m not talking about raids at all. I’m talking about 5 man groups. Being the best 25 man tank healers? Does shit for me if I struggle with healing a 5 man. It does me no good when my tier 10, epic’d out paladin has more trouble healing a 5 man than my noobshat, two piece Tier 9, BOE epics priest.

Other answers include things like “But my class has it harder in raids. At least you have <ability>.”

Know what? I like my abilities in raids too. That doesn’t mean I never get frustrated with other things. Your classes’ lack of paladin abilities in raids doesn’t make it easier for me to heal a 5 man group.


I get it. Paladins are the redheaded step children of WoW. They’re universally disliked, and have been since beta. Sometimes, they’re even unbalanced! (OH NO SOMEONE ALERT THE F*ING PRESS) Sometimes paladins deserve the nerfs they get. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they get knee-jerk, unannounced, Thursday morning nerfs. Rarely do I think a knee-jerk, unannounced, Thursday morning nerf that bypasses the tooltips is warranted for ANY class.

And yes, I know that’s happened to warlocks too. Newsflash, I’m not talking about warlocks. I don’t even really CARE about warlocks unless they happen to be named Arrens, Yva, or Juntu. Just because some other class has gotten a knee jerk nerf doesn’t make all knee jerk nerfs right. And just because I’m not pleased when that happens to paladins doesn’t mean I think it’s OK when it happens to other classes. Same thing goes for balance issues.

My problem or displeasure does not invalidate, push aside, or in any way take away from the fact that there are other problems with the game that you might be encountering.


Ahem. Sorry.

What I am talking about is this:

Being good at one thing (tank healing) doesn’t negate the fact that holy paladins sometimes have trouble with other things.

Wanting to be really good at one spec sometimes means that people run into headaches because of their class mechanics.

Comments that boil down to “STFU and spec ret”, “STFU and reroll”, “STFU and heal tanks” don’t actually answer any of that.

They make you look like a jerk, because they say very clearly “I don’t care what problem you’re having, and I don’t care if it’s balanced or unbalanced. I don’t care about your argument, what reasons you might have, or why you might think differently than I do. I want you to shut up and get out of the way because I don’t like your class and don’t care what you think.”

And really, I’m OK with you not liking my class and not caring. You’re some dude on the internet with a wasp up your butt (FYI: adding “lol” to it doesn’t magically make you a funny-funny person either).

But if you don’t like it and don’t care, why bother commenting at all? Is this just an ego thing? Do people really feel better about themselves because they can shove aside or otherwise verbally marginalize the problems that someone else is having? Someone saying “Lol spec ret” actively stomps on whatever the person (s) who made the original post is trying to say. Shooting off a three word “ha ha loser” comment doesn’t actually contribute anything or encourage discussion. It says “give up now, nobody cares.”

And that’s a pretty crappy thing to say to someone who has taken the time to put together a statement about their frustration.

Expressing commiseration is one thing. Someone saying “Oh yeah, such and such really sucks. I have that problem too when I’m doing <whatever> with my healer (of whatever class) as well. You’d think they’d get this sorted already” or “Yeah, gearing up a new paladin to raid is a pain in the butt because some of the instances are so unfriendly” or “Yeah, my class really struggles with <this thing> and it’s incredibly annoying for me too” or anything of that nature? That’s fine. It contributes to discussion, widening it to include other classes and other people’s experiences. Heck, even giving advice (as much as sometimes that’s annoying too) can be useful. Just about any comment that’s more than 10 words is going to be better. It says that you’ve actually given half a brain cell’s worth of thought to what someone has posted and have related what they’ve said to your experience. This is good! This is how the internet should work.

But I could really, REALLY do without being told to respec, reroll, or just quit the game when I suggest that maybe, perhaps, something isn’t working as well as it should, simply by virtue of my playing a paladin.

I realize, by posting a rant about this, that I have also become some dude on the internet with a wasp up my butt. Spare me the irony and don’t bother disturbing the electrons.

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22 Responses to “What part of Holy Paladin did you not understand?”

  1. “I get it. Paladins are the redheaded step children of WoW. They’re universally disliked, and have been since beta.”

    Errm, not sure about that. Anyway, vibes, and hope you get the tools you need for instance healing.

    I am sympathetic, trying to tank heroics in TBC on my warrior drove me to tears. I was terribly jealous of the paladins who seemed to have AE tanking so easy, and all we ever got from them was bitching about ‘well you’re better at tanking raid bosses’ which might have been great if I had actually been a raid tank at the time.

    It is, btw, really bizarre that paladin tanks get great AE tanking but paladin healers are specialised in single target.

  2. In defense of that first comment, it was a guild member who likes to pick on me for being so bad at ret. We have a lovingly teasing friendship.

    I fully agree that it’s frustrating to be told “you’re good at X, so why is this even an issue?” It’s an issue because I’m not DOING x thing all the time. I get that other classes have issues too, but that doesn’t really solve the issue with holy paladins in 5 mans. I did feel bad for someone who commented about disc being underpowered when compared to a paladin in raids, but that basically boils down to every class having some sort of downside.

    It really does seem that there is a lot of bitterness directed towards paladins in this expansion. I don’t remember it being like this in BC, but suddenly every spec of paladin is told to QQ more when we have a complaint, because we’re so OP. You’re a protection paladin who constantly runs out of mana in heroics? It doesn’t matter, you’re too OP anyway. You’re having trouble pulling good numbers with retribution? What’s wrong, that’s a faceroll spec! And then of course the holy paladin issue with 5 mans.

  3. Pretty sure I read and commented on the post you’re talking about. It’s really a bit silly. Being good at healing one target does not excuse how far we lag behind (compared to other healers) in -most- content. Because there’s not a whole lot of content where you’re only going to heal one person.

    Yes, we can peg 20k heals on a tank and one other person. Woo. Hoo. Meanwhile if we aren’t 100% on our game, the rest of the group/raid dies horribly.

    I guess I just really don’t get the ‘so do something else’ comments. If I didn’t care about my class, I would do something else. And then I won’t be posting about it on a freaking blog. Thank you for being Captain Asshat and stating that. Very helpful.


  4. @Cel – I saw that post farther down, and decided that (in this case) the guild member comment is kind of an exception to a rule that I’ve heard from people in my own social circles in WoW. Even if that person IS a guildmate and regularly jokes about it, “Lol spec ret” is kind of a tired, worn out dead horse of a refrain that I kinda wish would die in a fire (because then those kinds of jokes between guildies would be funnier, for one thing).

    And I think Bitterness is a great word for it. Maybe that paladin that’s having mana troubles really IS playing an OP class. That doesn’t mean he/she isn’t having mana troubles – something that could possibly be solved with a spec/gear/strategy change. But that conversation is less likely to come up if people assume that because they’re having a problem with a supposedly OP class, they just fail and shouldn’t bother and give up.

  5. @dristanel

    Exactly. 🙂

  6. Yes, absolutely, to all of this. I felt the same frustration when I thought, “Hey, I’d like to roll a holy paladin.” I didn’t want to tank really. I didn’t want to DPS. I like healing, I knew healing would be fun in pugs, and the only healer I haven’t tried is a paladin.

    Yet the only information I could find for lowbie healing paladins was “Don’t be a low-level, healing paladin.” Really? That’s so helpful. If only I would take your sage advice and just not do what it is that I’d like to do! It doesn’t contribute to any useful discourse and is less than useful. I’ve since found some good Holy paladin stuff, that I keep meaning to compile in one place for people who it might help more than “Don’t waste your time doing this.”

  7. Weird I expressed exactly that frustration today on the WoW forums. I got to 80 on a shaman alt and tank and raid healed Toravon with craptastic gear the day after I dinged 80. I almost got Ony last night in blues and crafted 200 purples. I have no tier 9, and just last night after finishing my dungeon runs got the crafted 245 pieces for her.

    My biggest question is why paladins are so quick in some cases to jump down another pallies throat. It was a paladin who was on me for asking for some more dynamic abilities for 5 mans. Even if it only worked in 5 mans. I would be okay with that. But yes the discussion got hijacked exactly as you describe.

  8. @Arkaneena – I think some of it is that people assume that making any changes will rid paladins of their already strong abilities. (which is a point I can understand. I am primarily a raider, not a 5 manner, and I’d not like to lose my skills for an ability that wouldn’t serve me well there.) They forget that what is being asked for is not a total change in the class, but a tweak that would allow us to still shine the way we do – but give us a smidge more versatility in smaller groups. I honestly see it as similar to how Shamans were in Burning Crusade. Kings of raid healing, but couldn’t hack a heroic. The changes brought about in WotLK have allowed Shaman to still be able to heal in smaller groups (riptide is a HUGe help to that), but without taking away their incredibly strong raid healing skills – at least eventually. I know it didn’t happen magically all with one patch.

  9. In response to the “lol spec ret” comment in that post, which I have also read:

    My pally IS ret. It is her main spec, holy is her off spec. Sometimes, I just feel like healing, dangit. Swinging a huge glowing axe at stuff just gets rather monotonous after a while, you know? Sitting in the back, watching the green bars and keeping them full, is a nice change of pace one in a while. And I agree, it would be nice to have more variety in our abilities to keep the whole group alive.

  10. [quote]Comments that boil down to “STFU and spec ret”, “STFU and reroll”, “STFU and heal tanks” don’t actually answer any of that.

    They make you look like a jerk, because they say very clearly “I don’t care what problem you’re having, and I don’t care if it’s balanced or unbalanced. I don’t care about your argument, what reasons you might have, or why you might think differently than I do. I want you to shut up and get out of the way because I don’t like your class and don’t care what you think.”[/quote]

    I cant even work out why people even post these unhelpful comments at all. To my mind, its the equivilant of wandering into a place you dont like, walking up to someone you dont know anything about and saying “I dont care anything about you and to prove it, I came all the way over here to tell you”.

    Its mindless and it annoys me and this sort of dribble started getting to me late last year, especially in the advent of the dungeon finder. Why is it that so many folks have opinions on something without offering reasons, evidence or independant, critical thinking and expect everyone else to agree with them?

    By Mac on Feb 16, 2010 | Reply
  11. I don’t know why people post these unhelpful comments, but I do get tired of one of the results of holy paladin complaints. I am a good heroic healer — actually, probably the best heroic healer in the groups I generally run with. It was hard hard work to learn to do it, and yes, I wouldn’t mind a tweak to make 5-mans less harrowing, but I’m also proud of the fact that I can heal 5-mans so well, given a really poor set of tools for doing so.

    My problem is that twice in the last week, I’ve been vote-to-kicked from randoms because the tank said “Oh dear, paladins cannot heal this instance”. In both cases, of course, we proceeded until the vote-to-kick option came up. In both cases, no one came close to dying in that time. And in both cases, the tank refused to continue running unless they got a “real 5-man healer”.

    Is it harder with equivalent gear than it is with my druid or holy priest? Yes. Does that mean I cannot do it? Well, no, actually, it doesn’t. The myth that holy paladins are ONLY good for raids is driving me crazy.

    I’m not sure what the answer is. If we talk about the frustrations of 5-man healing, we contribute to the “proof” that we cannot do this content. If we don’t talk about it, then nothing gets done.

  12. What astounds me is the current proliferation of this attitude that paladins are somehow a favored or spoiled class. I see people talk about how ‘blizz is in love with paladins.’ Oh really? They clearly never played a paladin before BC. A lot of things had to happen behind the scenes, amongst the devs, for paladins to even be a viable class, let alone enjoyable. People who were deciding the direction for wow for a long time were pretty vocal about their outright dislike of paladins, or really any hybrid class, and only suffered their inclusion in wow because they were an integral part of the rts and the lore. And with that said.. for all the people who now dislike paladins so much in wow.. were they paying attention when they decided to buy a game with Warcraft in the name?

    By Illirien on Feb 17, 2010 | Reply
  13. @Illirien – I’m going to point out, just so you know, that the last sentence of your comment fits in the “totally not helpful” category.

    “And with that said.. for all the people who now dislike paladins so much in wow.. were they paying attention when they decided to buy a game with Warcraft in the name?”

    And what about people that had never played Warcraft 3? Everyone that subscribes to WoW is supposed to have played every game ever made by Blizzard, and know everything about all the game developers before we subscribe so we know to avoid a certain class? Your statement fits in with the “why are you whining, you should’ve known better, been able to read the minds of the developers, and came into this game with a meta knowledge of everything that’s ever happened in it.” I didn’t really play much of WCIII – I did the first three campagns, but I got on the bandwagon late. I knew Arthas, and I knew Uther, and that was enough for me. Prior to WoW, I played Diablo – and all things considered, the Paladin in Diablo was a pretty solid class. Blaming /gamers/ for problems that exist with the game isn’t exactly a novel concept, but it still doesn’t do any good.

  14. Wow, my comment spawned a wholepost from a well known blogger 🙂

    That comment was an inside joke with my guildmate and should not have been taken seriously by anyone.

    Sorry if i offended you. As i said on another coment on the same post, Pally have a harder time in 5 man than the other healers but they have a much easier time in raid than the other healers too as far as keeping tanks up. Its a kind of balance i guess.

    Also, most of the time, when a Pally healer have a tough time keeping everyone alive on a Heroic its because the dps or the tank is doing something wrong.

    A good group with a good holypally shouldnt have any problem in any Heroics meant for his level of gear.

    If a newly dinged HolyPally tries to heal H HoR then its no surprise if he has a tough time.

    By Kotakh on Feb 17, 2010 | Reply
  15. @Kotakh – Thank you for filling my comments box with exactly the type of meaningless, marginalizing, useless drivel that I was posting about. You’ve just made my point perfectly. (Also, I’d like to know if you have any experience with playing a holy paladin at all, let alone the freshly geared holy paladin that you say is so easy to play if the group is good.) If you had bothered to read the rest of the comments on this post, you’d notice that I did, in fact, recognize that you had made a joke, and that your making a joke was one thing. As that is the exception to the rule, I opted to write the post anyway, since so many people say that exact bullshit line and ARENT part of an inside joke.

    Since you didn’t bother to read the comments, and instead made THIS comment, you’ve just proven that even if it WAS an inside joke, you did in fact mean “lol spec ret”. Congrats and thanks for playing!

    As an aside “Sorry I offended you” is not an apology. “Sorry I offended you” is “Sorry I go caught” and not “Sorry for saying something dumb”.

  16. As an aside “Sorry I offended you” is not an apology. “Sorry I offended you” is “Sorry I go caught” and not “Sorry for saying something dumb”.

    This really isnt true. its more “sorry, my opinions dont match yours” you dont agree. fine. my biggest beef with “sorry if I offended you” is that the person saying it isnt strong enough to stand up to their convictions.

    its a surprising news flash, especially to young people, in todays homoginised world that we’re allowed to have our own opinions and it doesnt matter if others dont agree. You’re allowed to have your own opinions.

    One of the biggest indicators to me that someone is socially mature is that thay can accept this and then be friends anyway.

    By Mac on Feb 19, 2010 | Reply
  17. @Mac – Sometimes, yes. And in this case, probably so.

    However, that’s very often NOT the case. And the phrase really rankles with me for some reasons I’d rather not discuss here. If you’d like, we can discuss/email about it though 🙂

  18. When I said “all the people who now dislike paladins” I meant the people I’ve run into in the game who tell me they wish Blizzard didn’t have paladins in wow.

    I definitely didn’t mean people who are playing paladins and find the experience isn’t living up to their expectation. 🙂

    In-other-words, I was being anti-hater.

    By Illirien on Feb 19, 2010 | Reply
  19. @Illirien – Clearly, I have misunderstood! Sorry about that, and thanks for clarifying 🙂

  20. I thought you holy guys got some help through the new beacon? I know they’re really making that the focus of your utility; I’ve read interviews about what they want to do, and it all seems to revolve around how beacon of light interacts with other spells and whatnot.

    And I can’t have any sympathy for warrior tanks whatsoever. Especially in BC. I’ve been prot since classic, and maybe warriors couldn’t aoe tank as well as us in BC, they could still do it and were allowed to. Whereas most of the time I wasn’t even given the opportunity to tank. So I look at BC as reparations for prot paladins haha. If it were like you guys had no viability, maybe it’d be different. However, warriors could tank any situation fine whereas in classic I was considered a cleanse spammer.

    By Brian on Feb 23, 2010 | Reply
  21. @Brian –

    A discussion of “OMG WE HAD IT WORSE SO STFU” doesn’t help here either. Like I said in the post – I realize that Holy Paladins are not the only people with complaints in this game. This is /our/ complaint. It has nothing to do with whether or not we were OK in earlier expansions, whether you were marginalized in Vanilla WoW (Join the group with ret pallies, feral druids, boomkin druids, enhancement shamans and elemental shamans. Go check out the Tier gear for all the hybrids and notice how ALL of it is healing. Vanilla WoW sucked in terms of balance and flexibility. For everyone. Period.)

    None of that changes our challenges right now.

  22. Oh I understand that. My first part of the post really was asking if the changes to beacon have helped, and if they’re heading in the right way to helping you guys out. The second part was me never being able to let go a protection warrior saying how other tanks excel at certain areas they may not heh, especially when it’s totally viable for them to do said job (or was, in this case). Try not to be so quick to jump on someone as if they’re making a “…STFU” post, I was trying to get the discussion steered toward what could be/is being done about it, not just agreeing we all think paladins need help in 5 mans but not offering any ideas on what can be done about it.

    By Brian on Feb 25, 2010 | Reply

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