Paladin Identity Crisis: New Animations & New Name


With the addition of Zandalari Paladins, or “Prelates”, the identity crisis of the Paladin class has worsened.

All of these unique flavors of Paladin make sense in their own way, but only the Human and Dwarven Paladins (including the Dark Iron) are actually referred to as a “Paladin” because all the other races are called something else.

Sin’dorei: Blood Knights, drawing on the Sunwell
Tauren: Sunwalkers, drawing on Anshe
Zandalari: Prelates, drawing on the Loa
Draenei/Lightforged Draenei: Vindicator, drawing on the Naaru

Fix: New Animations
There’s no difference in how it feels playing a Paladin of any of these races from the other. Even if Blizzard didn’t want to introduce new spells unique to each race because that leads to balancing issues, getting a few animations unique to each type of Paladin would be a great start in making the racial choice in your Paladin feel like it meant something.

The new Holy spells might’ve been a great chance to emphasize the difference between these types of Paladins and I’m sad they didn’t seize the opportunity to do so.

Fix: New Name
Because “Paladin” is only suitably to the Human and Dwarf Paladins, it might be worthwhile to rename the Paladin class to something that would more effectively catch all of the other Paladin types in a way that adequate describes them.

I suggest renaming the class to “Paragon”.

A Paragon is defined as a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality and also as a person or thing viewed as a model of excellence.

In WoW, a Paladin is seen as an epitomized ideal of virtue, faith, and leadership. The values of a human Paladin are different than the values of a tauren Blood Knight and a Zandalari Prelate, but what they have in common is that they act as an revered example of what’s important within their own culture.

I think these are minor adjustments to the class that would go a long way to make the different Paladins look and feel as different as they are from one another in the lore while.

Precedent: Druids and Shamans
The lore of the Druid and Shaman is that you’re all part of the same club (Cenarion Circle and Earthen Ring, respectively), and that was how it was way before the Order Halls were a thing. Both groups had been active and consisted of multiple races since the very beginning of the game. Blizzard can get away with designing those classes to be the same for each race because there isn’t a significant distinction between them in lore.

Except they don’t. Despite the fact that all druids are Cenarion Circle druids, they get unique animal forms. Shamans get racial totems.

The Silver Hand was different. It was only expanded to include the other races for the duration of Legion, and now that the Horde and Alliance are at war again, it’s very reasonable to presume that they’ve splintered again. Lady Liadrin is going to war against High Exarch Turalyon in Arathi Highlands, while the Earthen Ring and Cenarion Circle have not splintered and are hanging out with Magni in Silithus to deal with the restoration of the world. Malfurion, leader of the Circle, is agitating in Darkshore after the destruction of Teldrassil, but this is more to do with his role as a leader of the night elves, not his compunction as a druid.

If Druids that are all part of the same unified organization can have unique animal forms, and Shamans that are all part of the same unified organization can have distinct totems, then it’s not unreasonable that Paladins have some kind of racial identifier as well.

(Zhoe) #2

When they fix the rest of the game, sure, they can ponder on this. Until then, this is a non issue that only affects snowflakes.

(Ãurum) #3

I think it’s an interesting topic for debate - dismissing it as a ‘snowflake issue’ is silly when a lot of this game’s hardest content’s reward is entirely cosmetic (the usual mythic mount, the elite sets, titles, etc).

I can see it not happening because of the usual attitudes towards any type of new content (“wow couldn’t plug resources into <spec I think is bad/thing I do that needs tuning>??? gg blizz”), but it’d be nice if it did, Freyton. It’s a nice touch of RPG to a game that’s sorely lacking it in some areas. I’m down for extra glyphs and cosmetic changes, though. Maybe those can be a reality?
And Zhoe, I think you would too, given the blood elf heritage armor you’re wearing. Wouldn’t you want to see more racial specific things than just an armor set? Something that would make you happy you selected a belf, and not a tauren? Food for thought.

(Divenity) #4

The art team would be the ones working on this, and they have nothing to “fix” in the rest of the game… Contrary to popular belief, the game devs who work on mechanics and gameplay don’t make the art assets and spell effects.

(Zhoe) #5

I was just under the impression the art team doesn’t code the new effects for some reason. I don’t know what I was thinking.

(Gormosh) #6

The light is universal. Humans actually got the light from visions of the Naaru.

(Ocmulgee) #7

They should do this via reworking Inscription since it’s now only cosmetic. Make some glyphs for anshe/druid/sun inspired pally spells for sunwalkers, naruu inspired spell graphics for draenei and loa themed spell effects for zandalari. I honestly never understood the angel wings spell effects since angels and winged celestial beings are more or less nonexistent in WoW.

(Klowdywilde) #8

I would actually love to see this kind of thing. Something like white or yellow lightning effects for shaman abilities, or more race themed effects would be so great.

(Feckless) #9

Tbh, this feels extremely petty and wouldn’t fix anything for you. It’s all the same power, and that power manifests itself between the colour hues of yellow and yellow-orange which are pretty indistinguishable. Just to humor the discussion, let’s focus on Holy Pally since they got the new animations, and do a quick view of the others.

For starters, I’m going to write off changing colour for the reasons above. Because about the biggest change they could make is having Tauren spells be a darker hue of orange that would probably be indistinguishable from the current colours especially given that they already have a hint of orange in them.

So what about different character animations? Well, how many ways can your character wave their hands around for casts? Put them up in the air, put them infront of you… thats about it. This i will again write off because changing this wouldnt change the feel, with the exception of maybe the Holy Light/absolution tome page flip.

So then what about particle effects? How many ways can light infuse someone? Holy shock with a pulse of light at their core, holy light where light washes over them from above. So what else could they realistically do here because I dont see any more options?

Light of dawn is literally just puking light, but again there’s very few ways to make a frontal cone heal not look like crap, and again it’s all the same power regardless of the source.

Throw a shield, whack with a hammer, Slam with a shield, infuse self with light. I don’t see a way of differentiating these, the are basic concepts with a yellow hue.

Everything that’s swinging a sword makes it pretty difficult to add any flavor beyond yellow colouring. Blade of Wrath is maybe the one ability they could adjust. But I also don’t see how this would create more racial flavour for the class.

Soo imo animation won’t “fix” anything.

The issue I have with the title Paragon is that it has no reference to the main thing all these groups have in common which is a connection to the light and the faith. Moreover this doesnt create any sense of paladin racial identify because they’d everyone would now just have a blanket class title of Paragon. The definition of Paladin is “a knight renowned for heroism and chivalry.” the current name captures that just fine.

A cat is a cat, they just reskin it the same way we reskin our armour. Shaman totems are external of the character model and arn’t in the same vein as druid’s. If you want to RP a KoSH, transmog your gear to do that. This is already available.

(Feckless) #10

This is because it’s an identifier of the class’s major cooldown. They could remove the wings and just have it be the yellow glow effect, but that would feel and look lame.


I agree completely OP. It is attention to detail to this sort of stuff that makes a game really shine. This is just another layer of complete laziness that the game has let itself fall into partially due to the apologetic attitude of people who will accept anything Blizz gives them at this point.

I don’t even understand how the none human/dwarf players can enjoy playing the Paladin class. None of the animations are even close to being fitting for them. 90% of the Paladin armors look completely out of place on them. You have a Tauren wearing armor with a hammer on one shoulder and book on the other? You have A Tauren using a spell that gives them angel wings? A spell that spins hammers around them? All these ability animations look so completely out of place on Sunwalkers, Prelates, Blood Knights that I can’t understand how the players actually playing these offshoots can stomach them.

I enjoy the class because the animations and armor look perfect for my human character. Can Tauren or Zandalari Paladins say that?

(Caspery) #12

They should just rename the class to holy warrior or Crusader.

Troll and Tauren ‘paladins’ have Uther rolling over in his damn grave.

(Ocmulgee) #13

No, I understand abilities having spell effects. My opinion is simply that it should have originally been a spell effect that visually represented the paladin class existing lore. Instead of holy angel wings in a game where there really are no holy winged angels.

(Ocmulgee) #14

I tried having one of my paladins as a human for a few months, couldn’t get past how terrible looking the human models are. Ended up just settling on having dwarf, tauren and blood elf paladins. Also in Cata and mop they released a few armor sets that are a lot less knightly and look much better on tauren than most paladin armors. Most paladin sets look really stupid on tauren, there are only 2-3 i’ll actually use on my tauren. But with the amount of non class specific armors, it isn’t really even close to being an issue.


Yes that is fine that you are finding transmogs that are none class specific that work. But doesn’t that point to the issue itself. You are specifically avoiding majority of the paladin class mogs because of how unfitting they are on the Tauren? Again I’m not against Tauren being a light magic wielding sunwarrior, I just want Blizz to stop being lazy and give proper animations and armor that is fitting.

(Rautha) #16

i knew it was gonna be a human paladin xD

but really tauren aren’t actually paladins in lore they are some sort of weird druid or something.

(Lannera) #17

I agree completely with OP.

There need to be some difference between spell effects, names and icons.

Gosh, they do this for different Pet families. Double-Gosh, they even did this before, with Seal of Truth and Seal of Blood for Blood Elfs.

(Airc) #18

Uh, do you have a source for your claims? Because the Naaru are not “The Light”. They are merely creatures highly attuned to The Light.

(Ocmulgee) #19

Yeah, humans didn’t get the Light from the Naaru. The Naaru did make contact with several humans after the Troll Wars and made humans aware of the Light and its powers. But humans never worshiped the Naaru or anything, they created the Church of the Holy Light as a conduit for their worship and channeled the Light through their faith in their new religion more or less.