|Stats Experience Adjustments|
The noblest of beings, paladins are a strange mixture of both benevolence and arrogance. Preferring combat with honorable weapons such as a shield and sword a paladin's true strength lay in his ability to lead others into combat. Although they have a definate preference for melee combat, paladins are known to heal both themselves and others. The 8% (up to 24% with class-enhancing skills) bonus to beneficial auras is quite noteworthy since auras often benefit the entire group. They can use resurrection gems at level 30. -- In game description
Strategy and Builds Edit
The Paladin is generally going to be a melee type. Although there is something to be said to having a healing abllity as a Caster, both Priest and Angel are much stronger archetypes for casters, with somewhat better healing abilities.
Paladins are good defenders, given that they are melee types, and their Class Ability (CA) effectively gives them additional hitpoints during a fight -- whether PvE or PvP. The CA, when used on themselves, heals roughly 13 hp per character level (roughly 110 hp at level 80). When used on a friendly target, the Paladin sacrifices up to half of the health, (or the amount needed to fully heal the target, whichever is less). Those hp are immediately transferred to the friendly target.
Thus, they may not need to emphasize Dur quite as much as other classes. (Many builds emphasize Dur only, especially at lower levels, until Dur reaches about 450.) Paladins can better afford to allocate some defensive points to Agi and Cnt, both of which complement Dur rather well, particularly at high levels. Conversely, there is also something to be said for a very high Dur build on top of the healing ability, but there can be, I suppose, too much of a good thing.
Magic may be a secondary consideration for melee types, but it should not be neglected. It is in general, a good idea to have separate pouches for PvE and PvP, if you can afford or be bothered to create such, since each emphasizes different things. This is no different for Paladins.
Paladins have excellent bonues to combat stat experience gains -- Melee and Defense -- but do not have any intrinsic abiliites that promote their combat damage. Thus Paladins may be somewhat more inclined to use DoT's to increased their combat dps a bit, particualrly in PvE, where dps is king. Their class special, increased effectiveness from beneficial auras encourages use of such gems.
Paladins are very useful additions to teams, as their CA is far more useful that it may first appear. Paladins's CA somewhat mimics that of the Priest or Angel, in that they can quickly bring a dying teammate back from the brink of death, but while being a melee type. The Paladin 'sacrifices' his own health to heal a teammate, redistributing their own hit points, rather than purely healing them. However, doing so keeps your friendly target's dps in play, and allows the Paladin some time to rrecuperate some (usually) before becoming a target themselves.
Given their CS and CA, Paladins make fairly good tanks, much like guardians, but use additional hitpoints gained from their CA, rather than a shield to prevent damage,without needing to commit to shield style (although they can do so). They tend to play in PvE like high stamina types, especially early in the game, as their Clas spec restore hitpoints, and reduce the time waiting to recover them.
Solo Play Edit
Weapon Types: Paladins don't have any specific affinity or antipathy for weapon types, but do not make the best archers, since they get a negative to experience points gained in the Magic skills, and archers need quite a bit of INT. Also, like many melee types, it is useful to be able to sink negatives into INT when adjusting stats.
A defensive fighting style suits the Paladin well, but that will not get you far in farming, where total dps is king, so either a 2H or dual wielding style should be used in PvE, whatever you decide to do in PvP. Thus seek any offensive advantages you can find, to keep up your dps during farming.
Class Specialties: The Paladin has a defensive twist in an offensive body, so, in addition to all of the basics for playing a melee type, one should take steps to optimize PvE to use those advantages. The Paladin has two useful benefits to leverage during solo play:
-- the class spec : benefits to useful auras, and
-- the class ability: the "sacrifice" healing ability.
Beneficial Auras: Not a great shock, but the Paladin should leverage the not-insignificant bonus to beneficial auras by packing these in your pouch, particularly in the 2,3,4 slots, where they may being in play, automatically.
Blue Resistance Aura: During solo play, for most of the game, the most annoying things that the mobs can do to you are related to blue magic, mostly, but not exclusively, Daze. Being stunned or mesmerized can and will slow down your farming times, and increase your need to rest. Resisting these effects will keep you on your feet more often, and prevent decreases to your offensive output. Thus, Blue Resistance Aura is quite good, in general, and even better in the hands of a Paladin. One in these slots is worthwhile while farming. During early levels, where Daze can make quite a difference, packing several auras of lucidity is quite helpful.. While being dazed is always annoying, the benefitst of the blue resist, and natural resitance and strength increases to the point, where later in the game (about level 45 or so), the Lucidity auras aren't quite so important.
Damage Negation Aura: reducing damage is as good as healing, and in farming, that can mean less recovery time between fights, even without high recovery stats. At medium levels, the Paladin abilty can easily make this gem provide 7 pts of shielding, instead of 6, and 9 or 10 instead of 8, and later on, 14 instead of 12, etc. However, by the time you reach high levels you really dont need that much shielding during farming. This gem is useful during farming up to say level 40. It is much more useful in PvP.
Devampiric Energy and Mana Auras: If you follow a strgategy that lets you use your mana and energy these can be very effective means of staying in good supply.
Sacrifice: In solo play, the ability is used on oneself. This allows you to regain lost hit points, both to prevent dying, but also to maintain your health, and reduce recovery time between fights. This means it is even easier than for most classes to forgo adding points into Reg, since you will be able to regain hit points more easily during farming than other classes.
Solo Spell Pouch Notes:
DoT's: The solo pouch for Paladins could well emphasize DoT's, since the Paladin's intrinisic abilities emphasize defense and hit point recovery. Thus a small extra amount of offense and farming speed can be obtained from the pouch, where other classes might need to put more healing gems, but have intrinsic abilities that provide them with extra offense.
Whatever you choose to do with your pouch, as a melee type, you will not have a lot to spare for Pst (although a few points occasionally are useful), so you will have far less energy than mana. Thus you should emphasize spells that use mana. Don;t overdo it, since you might as well use your energy. Also, you will have to commit points to Cnc, in order to land your DoT's, so balance that extra offense against the commitment into junk levels in magic, particularly early in your toon's development.
Mana and Energy: Note also, that a large amount of DoT's expend a lot of mana and energy. Being a Paladin, the resources you can most often spare during farming is hit points / health, so Blood mana and Blood Power are excellent ways to restore mana and energy. Of course auras are always attractive, so devampiric mana and energy might be better choices, especially if you have room in your 2,3,4 slots. If not, then Blood Power and Energy are fine choices. Actually using your spell pouch to the limit here might not be worthwhile, anyway, since it must be weighed against the other generally useful auras (thorns, damage negation, rabid--for BM/Whippers).
Group Play Edit
General: Paladins are very useful additions to teams, as their CA is far more useful that it may first appear. Paladins's CA somewhat mimics that of the Priest or Angel, in that they can quickly bring a dying teammate back from the brink of death, but while being a melee type. The Paladin 'sacrifices' his own health to heal a teammate, redistributing their own hit points, rather than purely healing them. However, doing so keeps your friendly target's dps in play, and allows the Paladin some time to rrecuperate some (usually) before becoming a target themselves.
Do be cautious about timing the CA in a grouped fight, though. Waiting too long can be frustrating. If you activate the CA on a (very recently) dead target, the CA will be expended anyway, but will not revive the target. Nod doesn't know what you meant or didn't mean to do, only what you actually do, after all. With a 6-minute cooldown, you will not likely have the opportunity to to use the CA twice in an arena match.
Spell Pouch: One viable approach to a Paladin's (or any melee character's) pouch is to reinforce the defense and healing aspects. While Paladins get no additional intrinsic dps or other damage bonuses, keepingyour teammates in the fight as log as possible is more useful than a smll amount of additional damage. That said there are certain non healing gems that are simply worthwhile.
Sample Pouch: This general design uses many cantrips, both to minimize the cost of the pouch, and to effectively shrink it, increasing the consistency of the draws.
- Auras: The 2,3, & 4 slots should always be used for auras, since they may come into play at the start of a fight, based on your gem handling skill, providing their benefits, and also "shrinking" your pouch.
Death Resistance, Damage Negation Aura, Aura of Thorns, Aura of Sloth, Aura of the Stoic are generally useful, and the Paladin bonus improves the effectivess of the first two.
- 15-40% Mana / Enrgy Cantrips: Using Cantrips lowers the overall cost of the gems in the pouch, and, since they replace themselves, effectively reduce the number of gems in the pouch, overall, at a very small cost in implementation speed. With fewer non-cantrip gems in your pouch, you are going to draw what you want more often.
- Death Resistance Auras : Most, but not all, casters use black or red gems for damage, and so this gem, which provides resistance to both colors, is very worthwhile.
- Aura of the Stoic: While mesmersizing is almost as bad, stuns are far more prevalent, between crushing weapons and whips... and that downtime adds up to a lot fo teammates' early departures from battles.
Sadly, when the opponents have stun or black red magic capability, these gems will often be the ones to get shattered, but it is the best you can manage. One extra of each may be worthwhile. If the PvP landscape changes, swap these out for something more useful.
Healing gems, and Ephemeral Shields: These are always useful for staying in the fight. Mana-only-based healing (and the Ephemeral shield) need a big place in your pouch, since melee types, like Paladins, will be able to spare more mana than energy. However add a fair bit of Blessed Healing, too, since they are very effective, and you might as well use what energy you have.
Ephemeral shields can be placed on the friendly target taking damage, so the fading aspect is usually irrelevant, and they are the most mana-efficient. They are less overall efficient than HoT's, whose cost lay in the delay before obtaining the benefits. Balance between the two, favoring the HoTs a fair bit.
- Most arena fights do not last long enough to warrant energy or mana replenishment gems. However, if yours do, these might help.
- If you are a team of non-whippers, consider adding one or two level 1 rabid auras. Your whipper opponents will do a bit more damage, but are generally far more fiercesome for their healing abilities. All tiers of this aura stop pet healing, so using the tier 1 conveys the least benefits to your opponents, at the lowst upkeep costs. Even whippers might want to have a spare rabid, in case they are being outhealed, but not out-offensed.