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Dev Blog: Oathbound Paladin Design

Von Akromatik | Fr 30 Jan 2015 10:10:00 PST

Greetings Adventurers!

Today we are excited to unveil some more details about our next class, the Oathbound Paladin. Oathbound Paladins can become either tanks or healers using their Paragon Paths, which allow them to take either an Oath of Protection or an Oath of Devotion. These paths confer unique passives in addition to their own powers, as well as modifying all encounter powers the Paladin has.

Oathbound – Devotion: Your healing is increased by 100%. When you heal an ally you also increase their stats by 5% for 8 seconds. This effect does not stack and only works if you actually restore HP to the target.

Oathbound – Protection: Your Damage Resistance is increased by 10%, you generate 500% more threat. When you take damage you gain power proportional to the amount of damage you took. This bonus caps at 10% of your Max HP in power.

Before we take a look at some of their powers, let’s take a look at their class mechanic, Divine Call. Paladins generate Divine Call energy passively, as well as when they use their Encounter Powers. They may store up to 3 charges of energy at any given time and they may press Tab to call in Divine power to drastically sway the battle. The Oath you select changes and drastically empowers your Divine Call.

Divine Call:  Consume a charge of Divine Call and taunt all foes within a 30' area. Allies within 30' will be healed slightly.

Divine Call – Devotion: Consume a charge of Divine Call and heal all allies in a 30' area. Subsequent casts of this within 10 seconds heal for 50% more.

Divine Call – Protection: Consume a charge of Divine Call and taunt all foes in a 30' area. You gain 10% increased Damage Resistance for 10 seconds and reflect 5% of incoming damage while this buff is active. This reflection cannot exceed 5% of your Maximum Hit Points.

Paladins approach both of their roles in relatively unique ways, and we are going to touch on each of their Oaths separately to reveal a little more about how they perform their role in a party of adventurers. Firstly is the Oath of Protection which turns the Paladin into a powerful tank who can protect allies and avert harm. Protection Paladins focus very heavily on generating a large amount of threat and generating Temporary Hit Points and protective shields that allow them to shrug off damage and keep fighting. As a powerful example of this method of tanking, let’s take a look at the encounter power that is unique to Protection Paladins, Binding Oath.

Binding Oath: All targets near the Paladin are forced to attack him for 2 seconds. During this time he absorbs all damage against him. When this effect expires he takes 50% of that damage and deals 50% of it to all foes in an AoE. Players affected by this power deal 75% less damage to targets who are not the Paladin.

This power fills a few special spots in the Paladin’s kit that allow him to perform his role. With his focus on applying shields and preventing incoming damage, he can use this power to command all nearby foes to attack him, letting him use his powerful shielding techniques to delay and slow incoming damage while dealing a lot of damage back to his foes. This can easily be used in conjunction with another encounter power, Absolution, to create a potent defensive wall that allows the Paladin to redirect an incredible amount of damage to foes.

Absolution: The Paladin puts a powerful absorption shield on himself or target ally. This shield lasts until it breaks. The Paladin may have this shield on himself and one other ally at any given time.

On the other hand we have Paladins who take an Oath of Devotion who channel powerful holy energies to heal their allies and mend their wounds. Devotion Paladins use an At Will heal, Cure Wounds, to provide a constant stream of outgoing healing while using their encounter powers to react to different situations that may arise. Devotion Paladins are exceptionally well equipped to handle healing parties because of their unique encounter power, Bond of Virtue.

Bond of Virtue:  All allies within 60' become bonded. Allies who are bonded gain 20% increased healing from all sources. Additionally any time you heal a bonded ally, other bonded allies receive 15% of that healing.

This allows Devotion Paladins to provide a solid heal to all of their nearby allies while saving their encounter powers to respond and react to changes in the battle.

In addition to the different Oaths Paladins can take, their Class Features fill a unique role as part of their stance as a lynchpin to a party. Paladin Class features are all Auras that affect nearby allies or foes, providing incredibly powerful benefits that can empower, weaken, or heal nearby targets. These class features provide the Paladin lots of powerful tools to aid their friends and allies. It is worth remembering however that two Paladins cannot stack the same aura to greater effect, so having a broad selection for different situations is important when building your Paladin! Below are a few examples of these auras.

Aura of Courage: You and allies within 30' of you deal bonus damage.

Aura of Truth: Foes within 30' of you deal 5% less damage.

Aura of Wisdom: You and allies within 30' have 10% increased Recharge Speed.

Aura of Haste: You and allies within 30' move 20% faster and generate AP 20% faster.

That is all we have to share about the Paladin today! Please keep your eyes on the preview server to see more about Paladins and their Paragon Paths!

Good Luck and Godspeed Adventurers!

- Chris “Gentleman Crush” Meyer, Neverwinter Systems Designer

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