“Lad, no one feels ready. No one feels he deserves it. And you know why? Because no one does. It’s grace, pure and simple. We are inherently unworthy, simply because we’re human, and all human beings–aye, and elves, and dwarves, and all the other races–are flawed. But the Light loves us anyway. It loves us for what we sometimes can rise to in rare moments. It loves us for what we can do to help others. And it loves us because we can help it share its message by striving daily to be worthy, even though we understand that we can’t ever truly become so. So stand there today, as I did, feeling that you can’t possibly deserve it or ever be worthy, and know that you’re in the same place every single paladin has ever stood.”
(Certified Badass, and Dead Person, Uther the Lightbringer to Arthas Menethil)
Week Six of the Alt Appreciation Project (laeleiweyn.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/alt-appreciation.html) is devoted to Paladins, stalwart defenders of the innocent and all that is good and righteous, fierce warriors with the Light as their greatest weapon. Paladins were born out of necessity after the fall of Stormwind, when the human refugees realized they needed more than prayer to defeat the savage ferocity of the orcs rampaging across their land; they would combine their Light-given powers with sword and shield, using martial prowess to help defend their people. Initially the class was restricted to the Alliance (while the Horde got shamans), but with the release of TBC Blizzard relaxed that restriction and allowed for Draenei shaman and Blood Elf paladins.
That’s where I enter in, with my ever so lovely lady paladin, Antebellum (Hellscream EU, of course).
I can’t quite remember when I made her–I’ve remade her several times before I even started her leveling process. She currently sits at level 84 and 9/10 (so, almost 85), where she’ll scoot on over to Pandaria to finish leveling (which I’ll admit, I’m not thrilled with, but it’s necessary). I’ve rolled paladins in the past (back when they were exclusively Alliance) and got to the 30-40 bracket before deleting them; I’m not entirely sure why I did It. I can’t remember what it was about them that made me get rid of them. I just did.
She’s also my blacksmith, which makes her ‘special’–I generally have more fondness for my crafters than I do my gathers, and I’ve never gotten blacksmithing past 100 or so before, so it’s unique on two fronts. I’m hoping I can push myself to 90, get her started on some profession cooldowns, and get a farm set up; anything beyond that, I’m not sure yet–I won’t know until I cross that bridge.
I normally don’t get on with melee characters (though my perspective is changing slightly, thanks to my monk Wensicia, which I mentioned last week), and Antebellum does help in that regard. Sometimes I’m kinda clunky and awkward with her, but NOTHING KILLS HER. And I love it.
Situations where I normally would fold like a house of cards are nothing to Antebellum. Take the above photo, in the Twilight Highlands; she was doing the quests to steal the meat and blow up the barrels whilst dodging stupid dwarves (and seriously, where are my orc friends at when I need them?!). This is also a daily, and I used to do it quite often when Cataclysm was current content and I needed the Dragonmaw rep, and it was a literal nightmare for Alyza (or any of my max level alts really) to do this quest. It involved lots of ninja-nicking of food, trying to find the barrels in easy, open areas where I could be quick and shoot out before the dwarves spawned, or someone else was already fighting crap and I could take advantage of the situation. Not so with Antebellum! She was able to complete the quest with no deaths, acting like a total boss when taking on multiple dwarves; a few times it got a bit hairy and I thought I might bite it, but I managed to get my heals off in time, and eventually I emerged the victor. Huzzah!
So, being like a walking tank is a pretty good feeling, especially since I primarily level (and play) squishy cloth wearers. I’m not entirely accustomed to bouncing around in plate. Granted, I do have a death knight, but it’s different somehow with a paladin. I have many more tools at my disposal to deal with moments that would certainly kill any of my other characters; I don’t find myself panic-mashing buttons like I do on my death knight.
I can’t speak to how she plays at max level, just because I haven’t gotten there yet. But it’s been a fairly painless leveling process so far, and there’s just something so cool about taking on the world, and being the last one standing that I could easy grow accustomed to. I may even dabble with a holy spec at some point, just because 1.) I can, thanks to dual spec and 2.) I’m curious to see how it feels. I know a lot of people who end up playing protection paladins, so I of course Have To Be Different.
TL;DR: paladins are awesome powerhouses that can’t be destroyed. The end!
“Our people had walked a dark path and mine was among the darkest of them all. But the Light showed me that I was not lost. It helped me to find the strength to survive in spite of all that had happened and all the evil I had wrought. It is a strength that we sin’dorei all share.”
(Officially Licensed Awesome Female Character, and my Patronus, Lady Liadrin)
*Disclaimer: my faction rivalry is meant to be humorous in nature. I love all my Alliance friends! <3