Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Thinking outside the box

Thank you to everybody who contributed in helping me decide whether I should make a paladin or warlock to explore the Alliance zones pre-Cataclysm. If I had just counted the "votes", the warlock would have come out on top. But it was interesting to hear that people who recently leveled a paladin thought that he'd be a good leveler too nowadays. So the decision remained hard, until more by accident than by design, I used a problem solving method called "thinking outside the box".

The principle of thinking outside the box is to first state a "box" constituting the limits within which the solution must lie. In this case I had stated those parameters, that I wanted to play one character from 1-60, on the Alliance side, either paladin or warlock. But the second part of thinking outside the box is to allow in the discussion of the problem to talk about solutions that lie outside the box, which then lead you to conclusions that allow you to find a better solution inside the box.

In this case the "out of the box" thought was a comment proposing that I should play both, paladin AND warlock. Clearly outside the parameters I had stated. But the "why not play both?" thought led to the answer that I probably wouldn't have the time pre-Cataclysm, and that one character would be enough to explore the Alliance zones of the pre-Cataclysm world. Which then led to the part of the plan that I had failed to mention, that of course POST-Cataclysm I would want to level a goblin, and possibly a worgen too, through the post-Cataclysm world to see what had changed. And suddenly the answer which class to play was perfectly clear: Neither goblin nor worgen can be paladins, but they can be warlocks. So the obvious solution is to play a paladin now, and then play the warlock after the expansion comes out with one of the new races.

But thanks again to everybody who gave feedback, even if you proposed something which I didn't end up choosing, all the comments were helpful in the decision process. And I was positively surprised about the unusually high level of feedback on the subject. Of which more, later.
Didn't participate in the original discussion, because, due to lack of first hand experience, I'd have been talking out of my backside, but in hindsight, I'd say your choice is (in addition to the reason you named here) correct exactly because of the shortcomings of the paladin class in the low-mid level range as pointed out by others.

What you want is to experience the zones, the quests, and the lore, not being caught up in DoT balancing and pet management. A class which plays "with two buttons" might be just the ideal choice for that sake.
But if Warlocks get a total soulshard revamp in Cataclysm, you will never experience the feeling of the old-school warlock! :>

I would probably prefer a Paladin nowadays, too... they are just more flexible and can fill three roles.

DKs and Paladins are the most numerous WoW classes by now, they are really powerful, versatile and fun compared to being just one more DD.

Still... there are already to many of them. Kill them all. xD
I'm one of those who actually play a paladin, and I voted for lock, but that's because i actually wanted you to make it up to the higher levels. If you only want to explore the lower end zones, then making a paladin to 30-40 (then getting burned out) is easy enough (not sure if your going to play through stv). I am not being overly critical when i say the paladin is a boring class to level pre level 40. I would only suggest you try to find as many undead areas as you can, as that will give you a couple extra skills to use other than judging and consecrating. Other than that,
nearly all the fun skills you get as a paladin happen after 40.

The thing with paladins is if you look at the skills, you are totally defined by the talent tree you choose, and until you get enough talent points to grab a skill that defines that tree, you're really just an auto-attack toon.

If you go ret, you can get seal of command at level 20, but then you won't see art of war till 40.

if you go holy, you don't get divine favour till 30, and holy shock at 40.

if you go protection, you don't get to feel like a tank till you get holy shield which is at level 40, and avengers shield at 50.

so all in all, really tough choices starting out, and heaven forbid you try to spread your points out amongst several trees early on.

I will say, that if you tough it out, and stick with the paladin (past level 40), eventually you'll start to find out how great the versatility of the class can be. I think the dual talents really benefited paladins the most end game.
Also don't forget, when you like to do alot of sightseeing, the Retribution Talent tree, has a Talent that let's you walk 8% faster.

Not that big winner anymore ,since you can now get a mount at 20, but anyway a welcome help during solo-leveling anyway.
Arghhhh ... Tobold you gave a beautiful description of "thinking outside the box" and then let us all down with a relatively mundane conclusion. I was fully expecting you to finish this post with: " I rolled a hunter".

On the subject of boxes how about double boxing? A surprising number of people do it.
Apparently my description of the thinking outside the box process wasn't all that well done, because otherwise you'd have noticed that "... and so I rolled a hunter" would have been against the principles of that method. You only THINK outside the box, but the final solution has to be back inside the box.

Which is why this was a good example, I ended up exactly with one of the two possible choices I had outlined as starting parameters. But the thinking outside the box enabled me to find a very solid reason why this one choice was better than the other, so I didn't need to decide on gut feeling, or by throwing a coin.
That was a great way to decide. I wish I'd thought of that. Very clever. I may try this "out of box" type thinking in the future.
Nice logic. Although sometimes it is fun to chase ideas created when the answer lands too far out to go back into the box.
I agree that it's "out of the box" thinking, but it's just as much "thinking ahead" -- the way you have to do in chess and other strategy games.
Either way you go, those two classes are fun in their own ways. I started in the Alliance as a Warlock, later picked up a DK on the Horde side, and then started a Pally and snapped up to 20 in about 18 hours.

If you want to be less encumbered by confusion, I think the Pally is the better choice. I love my 80 Warlock and my 80 DK. I play them both almost every day to do whatever dailies I am working on or rep grindage etc.

So, you are to become an explorer... Funny, because I do the same thing with My DK now. I never have played the Horde side from 1 to 80. It helps get the reputation I need and it is fun to see where they were going with the plot and I can do the quests fast enough that I stay ahead of the Pally and he knows what to expect when he gets there.

On a side note, Warlocks are fine in PvP once they are geared. Palidans are extremely tough to drop with either my Warlock or my DK. If they know what they are doing, they keep that health up and keep dropping that stupid hammer on your head until you just want to reach through the Internet and smack em.

Great post though, and welcome back. I knew you wouldn't be away long. ;)
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