I was reading about Gladiator stance over at Tales of the Aggronaut and immediately fell in love with the idea. How awesome is that – a shield wielding DPS class? That is a great addition to World of Warcraft Warriors. Back in an old post My Favourite Classes I chose the Warden from Lotro partly based on that exact theme. You never see a DPS class with a shield – shields are for defence (tanking) or healing classes. I immediately checked if that stance, or a similar option, was available to the Paladin. No dice. Shucks! I have a 80ish warrior that I started leveling up with but didn’t fall in love with her play style – whereas the Paladin tanking rotation just fits me.
I love tanking in dungeons in MMOs. Part of that is because I like to lead groups, and the other part is because of my time constraints getting into an instance group fast is important for me. In WoW I would run with my Paladin tank as my main the past couple of expansions for that reason, as well as my Druid tank. Even though my druid was my first “main” character (as a healer, back before druids made good tanks) one thing I dislike about druids is the lack of armor options. I keep believing someday WoW will build in shifting armor for druids but I understand that is a lot of work for whatever percentage of the player base druids make up these days. Everything about a heavily armored sword and board class speaks to me. Even when I played Dungeons and Dragons as a kid I always went for the Paladin, or Crusader type. I am getting off topic. Tanking is fun.
Silly as it sounds, if the Paladin had this same option I would be more inclined to resub to World of Warcraft faster if just to see it and experience it. That is a pretty arbitrary thing to say, but the idea is that cool to me. It is one of those design choices that speaks directly to my desires and wishes and when that happens, you tend to support.
I have said for many years that Shaman should be tanks – there is so much you can do to make that fit. Part of this desire is due to the fact that Shaman were my be all, end all favourite class for many years. They had such flexibility and flavour when they came over to Alliance. Blizzard has homogenized that all away now but I was a crazy Shaman raid healer in TBC and became an Enhancement main with dual specialization. However, since I love tanking a lot, I had to give up the Shaman in order to do so. I don’t think there is much wrong with the desire of having your favorite flavor class also fill the role you enjoy the most, which is why there are a lot of options. It always seems the “perfect” class is one racial choice away, or one skillset.
This could open up a much broader discussion on how limiting classes can be and some of the solutions that are out there in play solve this issue – but we all know Blizzard isn’t changing to go down those roads. They don’t need to. Still, I am going to dream of the day my Shaman can tank, Druids will get visual armor while transformed, and hope that with enough positive feedback Blizzard will give the Sword and Board DPS option to Paladins.