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Finished the Game, Feedback on the Paladin

feedback suggestions paladin

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#1
Alweth

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My PC was a Goldpact Paladin. Overall, I found the Paladin decently interesting to build and play. I liked the bonus to defenses from certain reputations. I felt that was a much nicer way to make Paladin's the "roleplay" class ala D&D without hamfisting it (like AD&D does with most things) and still allowing a wide representation of roleplaying Paladins that weren't all Lawful Good. However, I found the Paladin to be pretty boring in combat due to the low number of abilities, with a low number of uses, that were fairly niche as well and no distinguishing combat mechanics (other than a couple auras that overlap with Chanter anyway). By the end of the game, in particular, my PC Paladin had a laundry list of low-use abilities (many of which were per-rest) that I rarely used, and were frequently irrelevant anyway. (Some of that was because I would wear ability-granting equipment just because there was nothing else to wear in that slot, but that's another issue.) Even though I accidentally picked Lay on Hands at the beginning of the game, by the end of the game I was running out of abilities that I wanted to pick.

I've read somewhere that the Paladin was supposed to be like a D&D4 Warlord, but giving the Paladin single-target buffs doesn't really play like a Warlord at all--it plays like a Priest. Putting the Warlord into RTwP gameplay would probably be hard, but I think you could do a lot better than PoE. First step would be to make Coordinated Attacks an early, rather than a late, ability, so that the player can build around it. I'd remove the melee limitation of Flames of Devotion, because that bombos with Coordinated Attacks. I'd add an ability that let the Warlord swap places with an ally without triggering Engagement Attacks. Liberating Exhortation works okay for this paradigm, because it's a bit about controlling the battlefield by helping your allies. I'd let nearby allies use Flames of Devotion, Sworn Enemy, and any other attack ability that makes sense. Abilities that trigger on killing enemies are yucky because they are "win more" abilities and they encourage unrealistic and unfun gameplay where you stop attacking an enemy so that the relevant character will get the kill. Instead, I'd give the Warlord an ability that applies a limited duration debuff to defenses when the warlord attacks a full-health enemy. That way the Warlord is leading the charge. But honestly, I'd make the Warlord paradigm a set of talents that anyone can take because, why not let the Fighter or any class be the battlefield coordinator too?

 

To fix Paladins, first of all, I'd give the Paladin all the auras one by one, because they're not significant enough that it feels worth giving up an ability to get another aura that's mutually exclusive with the aura you already have.

Second, I'd make Lay on Hands and Reviving Exhortation into Priest spells (because that's what they really are), and then just let the Paladin pick a spell from a list determined by his Order but taken (thematically) from the spell lists of all other classes, and have that spell as a 1-per encounter ability. Let the Paladin do it again at 6th and 11th level, or something. This should allow the player to build the kind of Paladin he or she wants to play while ensuring that the Paladin has abilities that the player actually wants to use. In this concept, the Paladin becomes a knights that draws on supernatural powers to complement his traditional martial abilities instead of pursuing an alternative martial art like the Barbarian or Monk.
 

I felt that the Paladin didn't get enough tanking support in comparison to the Fighter. Some possible ways to improve that might be: Since Paladin's are known for wearing armor, give the Paladin a free small reduction to their armor penalty. I'd give them a Challenge ability that reduces the target's accuracy against other allies. Maybe give the Paladin an aura that slows enemy movement while the Paladin is standing still. Make the Paladin's single-enemy abilities allow the Paladin to engage that enemy for free.


Edited by Alweth, 18 April 2015 - 03:43 AM.

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#2
b0rsuk

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Be aware that Paladin has been used to win solo on Path of the Damned.

 

Here is my feedback on Paladin from another thread, to give you some food for thought:

 


Paladins are somewhat tricky to discuss all at once, because their order has more impact than Priest faith.

 

1. They can use most or all their buffs practically in the first seconds of combat. A priest has the bottleneck called Recovery Time, which all buffs have to go through.

 

+ Aura has no casting time, and no recovery.

+ On-kill effects don't interfere with auras

+ On-flames effects trigger when you smack things, which you want to do anyway. On-flames effects don't interfere with auras and on-kill effects.

+ Reviving Exhortation is designed in such a way that you don't want to cast it early. Not only you're doing something WRONG if you need to cast it early. But also, you don't pay the price of damage over time if you cast it near the end of combat.

+ Coordinated Attacks is passive, doesn't interfere with anything except non-attacking.

+ You probably don't need to cast Lay On Hands early.

 

You can go exhortation-heavy, and then recovery could be a problem. But Priests don't have the option to build into something as fluid.

 

2. Mobility.

Priests need to spend several "turns" to get their buffs off. But their buffs usually have short range, or even worse - are centered around the priest and immobile, like Consecrated Ground. Having a priest in the middle of a melee group is a bigger risk than with a paladin. So Priest parties are encouraged to fight defensively and hold choke points. You can't buff with short-ranged spells while charging forward. Buffs like Consecrated Ground and Moonwell are a double-edged sword. If someone casts a damage-over-time spell in there, you have to suffer it. With Paladin, you can move away. Switch to Zealous Charge for best results.

 

Paladin's auras work outside combat ! Your party can have the initial ranged volley or sneak attack with accuracy boost. Zealous Charge aura works outside combat, too. You can more easily sneak into positions, it magnifies the effect of stealth and sneak attacks.

 

There are actually only two paladin auras you'd want to use together: Zealous Endurance and Zealous Focus. Other two combinations - Charge+Endurance, Charge+Focus - let you switch practically without penalties.

 

3. Deprive the Unworthy may be a sleeper ability. I'm not aware of any such effect that would work on enemies. If enemy AI is improved and/or expansions come with more buffers, it may become more valuable. Monsters just rarely use buffs intelligently.

 

4. While Paladin has a limited subset of abilities, Lay on hands and exhortations are single target. There is a distinct lack of single target buffs and debuffs in this game. Paladin fills a niche. It is difficult to make use of more powerful Priest heals, because to do so you need to distribute damage equally. This also affects Kind Wayfarers. Aside from Lay on hands, there is no option for a strong, single target heal. Similarly, most forms of revival revive several people. So what am I supposed to do - revive one person straight away, or wait until several are downed ? I can think of one fight in the game where mass revival can be useful. I prefer a focused revival with a strong healing effect.

 

Some Paladin abilities could be improved, for example Liberating Exhortation doesn't clear effects like Stuck and can't be applied on Charmed or Confused allies. They don't count as allies anymore.

 

Inspiring Triumph is awkward and could be completely replaced, because with Accuracy as low as that Paladin is not going to get many kills. Maybe giving Accuracy bonus to Flames of Devotion strike would help.

 

Deprive the Unworthy could be faster to cast and 2/encounter rather than per rest.


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#3
Alweth

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Be aware that Paladin has been used to win solo on Path of the Damned.

 

I am not sure what your point is here. Shouldn't evey class be able to win solo on Path of the Damned? I'm not bothered by the Paladin's power level. The Paladin just feels pretty bland and non-interactive in combat. Also, he makes a relatively poor tank, it seems, compared to the Fighter, which seems a little out of concept. For tanking I'd expect Paladins and Monks to be tier 1, Fighters and Barbarians to be tier 1 or 2.



#4
flamewavelight

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Be aware that Paladin has been used to win solo on Path of the Damned.

 

I am not sure what your point is here. Shouldn't evey class be able to win solo on Path of the Damned? I'm not bothered by the Paladin's power level. The Paladin just feels pretty bland and non-interactive in combat. Also, he makes a relatively poor tank, it seems, compared to the Fighter, which seems a little out of concept. For tanking I'd expect Paladins and Monks to be tier 1, Fighters and Barbarians to be tier 1 or 2.

 

I am sure that there are some power games who can win with Paladin on PotD.

 

The question is the relative difficulty - plus I would not want to balance classes around solo plays - I would rather that they are balanced to be in a party and contribute meaningfully enough that it becomes a hard choice if people drop a paladin (or any class).

 

Lots of paladin abilities are not very fun now.

 

I would like some changes:

1. Replace the on-kill abilities with something else. Reason: you can't expect a support character to also reliably kill. Its a perfect character then.

 

2. The paladin is described as someone who buffs individual (compared to the cleric buffing groups). I agree - but give the paladin some good solo buffs - which improve attack speed, might, action speed, whatever.

(Not stuff which just delays effects, and is very defensive).

 

3. Give the auras for free. Let players choose which one to use when - increases player decision, makes it a more active class.

 

4. Make Paladins / Clerics in the party affected by Reputation too - both positively and negatively.

 

5. Give them some useful per-encounter abilities (like Holy Radiance for Clerics). Apart from Lay On Hands. 


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#5
b0rsuk

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Be aware that Paladin has been used to win solo on Path of the Damned.

 

I am not sure what your point is here. Shouldn't evey class be able to win solo on Path of the Damned? I'm not bothered by the Paladin's power level. The Paladin just feels pretty bland and non-interactive in combat. Also, he makes a relatively poor tank, it seems, compared to the Fighter, which seems a little out of concept. For tanking I'd expect Paladins and Monks to be tier 1, Fighters and Barbarians to be tier 1 or 2.

 

I am sure that there are some power games who can win with Paladin on PotD.

 

The question is the relative difficulty - plus I would not want to balance classes around solo plays - I would rather that they are balanced to be in a party and contribute meaningfully enough that it becomes a hard choice if people drop a paladin (or any class).

 

Lots of paladin abilities are not very fun now.

 

I would like some changes:

1. Replace the on-kill abilities with something else. Reason: you can't expect a support character to also reliably kill. Its a perfect character then.

 

2. The paladin is described as someone who buffs individual (compared to the cleric buffing groups). I agree - but give the paladin some good solo buffs - which improve attack speed, might, action speed, whatever.

(Not stuff which just delays effects, and is very defensive).

 

3. Give the auras for free. Let players choose which one to use when - increases player decision, makes it a more active class.

 

4. Make Paladins / Clerics in the party affected by Reputation too - both positively and negatively.

 

5. Give them some useful per-encounter abilities (like Holy Radiance for Clerics). Apart from Lay On Hands. 

 

 

My point was: a class whose good side is support can win solo on the hardest difficulty. Surely it can't be worse with a group !

 

ad. 1) I can agree with this proposal, but not with your reasoning. So what if it's a support class ? There's more than one way to build a paladin. The trouble is Paladins' base accuracy, which is among the lowest. So does anyone have an idea for a replacement skill ?

 

ad. 2) Paladin already has a few things you mentioned. Hastening Exhortation increases attack speed. It's hard to describe Liberating Exhortation as something that delays killing! The problem is the limited number of effects which it clears.

 

ad. 3) This could be good.

 

ad. 4) I'm not sure what you're suggesting here. Reputation already affects paladins in the party through Faith&Conviction.

 

ad. 5) Like I said above, paladins have abilities which work even outside combat - those auras. Besides, giving paladins something cast before combat would slow them down. One of their strong points is they can charge into action at increased speed.







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