Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Case for Fury Paladins

Ever since Druids got their fourth specialization I was thinking if one such could come in future for Paladins. First idea I came across  was old but, for some time, proven solution. Shockadin. You see, Shockadins were spell power damage dealers that invested half their points in Retribution talent tree, and half into Holy talent tree.

But that is one idea I did not appreciate. It is indeed that Paladins lack ranged specialization, but I am quite happy with that. They are supposed to be in thick of battle, swinging their swords and hammers, driving the enemies morale into ruin by their presence, by their conviction. And doing that from range and throwing holy fire balls around just defeats the purpose.

I will be honest. I don't like most of the shields in World of Warcraft. I wish more of the shields were like Royal Crest of Lordaeron. This is why my paladin is not a healer nor a tank. But I would gladly tank the content if I wielded two swords, instead a sword and shield. besides that, there is an, what it feels like, increasing shortage of tanks. The rule of cool here applies. If it looks good, more people will do it.

What is the problem, is that of all plate wearers, only Holy Paladins use spell plate. Fury Paladins could share that spell plate with Holy Paladins. I know that some of you right now are thinking how this is a bad idea. It is an idea. A few conversions here and there and it can work. The truth is, the damage plate is shared between five specializations. Tank plate is used by three. And only one specialization uses spell plate. But for now, I will leave the logistics aside and focus on the idea I want to present.

Fury Paladins. Name is to some degree appropriate, and it explains what they would do. Fury Paladins could dual wield one-handed weapons such as swords, maces, and axes. And contrary to the idea that is right now in the back of your head, they would not be damage dealers. Fury Paladins would be tanks.

You see, dual wielding was historically not very common. But when it came to be, like with gladiatorial combat in ancient Rome, Renaissance Europe and Medieval Japan, it was never an attacking stance. It was always used for defense. And you could argue that shield does that just fine, even better. But dual wielding always reemerged when there was no fear of flying arrows. For that purpose, shield was perfect. Through history, shield stood against javelins, spears, arrows, and all kinds of melee weapons successfully.

But every now and then, dual wielding emerged. It looked cooler. It allowed better spectacle when it came to Gladiators, was much more compact in case of Renaissance duellists, and served aesthetics of perfection of the blade in case of the Samurai.

Gladiators who dual wielded, usually used two short sword, or gladii. Renaissance duelists used a rapier in combination with main gauche. Main gauche is for the purpose of easier understanding, a dagger. Also called parrying dagger. In Japan it was katana and wakizashi. Again, long blade and short blade.

It is our fantasy tropes that diluted the picture of actual dual wielding through history. My guess is that old westerns had some influence in that. Seeing how wielding two revolvers gave you more offensive power, creators of early fantasy literature and games assumed the same would be true about swords and daggers. The rule of cool if you will.

Why would anyone through all the history want to use his both swords to attack? Because it is higher chance to hit? It is not. It is only more dangerous to get hit. You are either wide open when you try to attack, or your both blades can be parried, or blocked by just one weapon of the opponent. And in the time you used to invest your both weapons to attack, your opponent just got a chance to kill you. Melee weapons combat is in that regard much more of a give-take dance, than a full all-out fight that the firearms bring. It is different philosophy.

To get back to topic at hand. Fury Paladins would be tanks. Now that I showed that dual-wielding has been a defensive style of combat and not offensive, let us move on. I am not ready to dismiss the fury. In that, Fury Paladins would be much closer to Retribution Paladins. While Retribution Paladins are crusaders led by their sense of justice, and Protection Paladins guardians of the week, Fury Paladins would be protectors led by their emotions.

Unlike Retribution Paladins, when facing a problem they would not just find one who is guilty and smite him to hell. They would not just put themselves between the victim and aggressor like Protection Paladins. Fury Paladins would trade blows. Fight war of attrition, to show the aggressor why his actions are wrong. To teach right from wrong form example. From experiencing it on their own skin.

Inspiration for Fury Paladins, came from a Forsaken that just refused to accept reality. Forsaken, that was more than anything else driven by her fury. Her anger, her righteous anger. That Forsaken, was Lilian Voss. And she might have died. But her spirit lives on, inspiring the future generations of Paladins, to protect others not by a shield, and not by trying to avenge their loss, but to accept it and still feel something. To show that utilizing feelings and not just pure reason is also a viable way for a warrior of the light.

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