Basically Paladins suck in PoE1. They're like fighters but less good due to them having so low deflection and accuracy. If you put a fighter and a paladin against one another, the fighter will win 100% of the time because he simply has better stats. For example, a fully boosted and upgraded Faith and Conviction will only make up for the incredibly low base-deflection for the class. Accuracy will never be on par with the Fighter, and neither will damage, and Fighter isn't even a particularly powerful class to begin with, Balthazar even ranking him in the lowest trash tier alongside the Paladin, which would make Paladin the absolute worst class in the game. No amount of empty "you can make viable Paladins" - rhetoric will change the fact that every single other class is far more useful and powerful in just about every single situation.
I agree that they lacked the strength of vancian classes like druids, priests and wizards but all martial classes do especially in PoTD. Also I dont know if you use shields on your Paladins but a Paladin with full faith and conviction and a shield rivals a tank Fighter in Deflection (has way more then a DPS fighter) and has WAY WAY better Fort, Reflex and Will. On Path of the Damned your second least useful defense is Deflection, what you have to avoid is being CCed which then gets you killed and it doesnt matter how good your deflection is. Also the only Dragon that targets Deflection is the Sky Dragon and its a push over dragon. The Alpine, Wizard Ground Dragon and the Adra Dragon auto attacks target Fort and the Breath (Dont let them breathe) Reflex. A fighter tank is MUCH easier to CC cause his FORT, Reflex and Will is going to be lower then a Paladin tank. In fact a fighter has to grab a Large Shield to beat out a Paladin on Reflex where a Paladin is about even him in that area with a buckler (lol). That being said if you are a pure tank with a fighter you are doing it wrong. The fighter is easier to kill, I have played them both on Triple Crown and have logged over 2000 hours on that difficulty (yes I am a loser).
Lastly, once you got Sacred Immolation your DPS was damn good. With Flames of Devotion and Sworn Enemy you were only a good alpha striker. My Paladin always beats out everyone save true DPS damage dealers who start as damage dealers from the start. So at the end he is usually second in total damage done.
PS Yes I am a Paladin fan boy but if the class truly sucked I would say so cause it is my fav class and want it to be great! It was not GREAT, no but it did do the job. Things cant be balanced around Path of the Damned and the fact is that Vancian class that reduce defenses were absolutely vital on that difficulty (to make things easy). So ya they are the best. Paladins do a good job of supporting them. Which hey that IS their job in POE 1.
Edited by Torm51, 24 January 2018 - 06:29 PM.