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Paladin: Skill feedback and gameplay discussion

I’m currently 40 hours in with Paladin, and while it’s not really a large amount for ARPG, I’d like to discuss a bit the early impressions.

It seems to me that Paladin is at the moment a popular pick in spite of the class skills, rather than because of its class skills.

What I mean is that Paladin has an exceptional satisfying skill in Judgement, 2 buffs in Holy Aura and Sigils, and that’s it.
I think Healing Hands probably won’t survive until 1.0, since direct healing has very little room in games like LE (it will be a problem if it proves to be either too little or too much).
However, thanks to passive nodes and the buffs from Aura and Sigils, Paladin is still quite strong with the base skilla from Sentinel, notably Hammer Throw and Warpath. Overall I think this leaves Paladin in a comfortable spot, and I think that with multiplayer it will be interesting to see how Holy Aura will feel on other classes.

I was wondering if there is any direction that the team is considering for Paladin other skills, and class identity in general.
Healing Hands, as I said, will probably be changed, but it could stay if it becomes a cooldown/mana gated skill that grants something else on top of healing (Crowd control, damage and defense buffs, direct damage, etc.).
Personally, I also think that, thematically, Sigils of Hope overlap a little with Holy Aura as a buff, although there are differences with duration, resources, etc.). I’d personally like for Sigils to have a more active effect on Paladin’s gameplay, but I don’t think that’s a popular sentiment.
It seems that Paladin also currently lacks a skill, compared to other masteries (although not all classes get 5 skills per mastery).

Anyway, those are my first impressions: good passive nodes, mastery skills are a bit lackluster, overlap between SoH and HA, Judgment feels great, HH seems a wasted slot.

Wait till you play Forge Guard… if you found Paladin “odd”, Forge Guard is in a weird space right now…

Healing Hands is in limbo right now… Mike (dev) is keeping whatever they are planning with it close to his chest… He even hinted it may be removed and replaced entirely with something else…

By 1.0, All classes and masteries are intended to have the exact same number of skills… Mike confirmed this on discord and iirc he said its 27 or something total for each class. So its likely that Paladin or the sentinel class may even get another skill.

I think most Sentinel classes are chosen because they are generally easier than others… especially for new players… tanky, decent damage and sort of fit with the classic Pally type arpg class that most would be used to…

The next class I want to try to have a more organic view on the sentinel is VK, since VK Autobomber is considered one of the easiest masteries to play, it should be useful to gauge the effectiveness of Paladin compared to other masteries.

Forge Guard AFAIK is in a weird spot because it’s sort of hybrid? I don’t know, I hoped armament and multistrike allowed Forge Guard to have even more Forged Swords (Like Rive does) but it feels like the gameplay flow doesn’t work that way.

Anyway, compared to paladin they still have more options, I think: as I said, Paladin performs well thanks to passives and making good use of base skills

VK is a very interesting Sentinel type - when I first started playing I couldnt quite understand it… I think its probably the most creative of LE class masteries. A spell based tank in armour doesnt usually seem like it should work but it does - VERY well… and the whole concept of Echo repeating your attacks makes things like Warpath and others even more interesting…

You are likely to be even more disappointed in Pallies after playing Autobomber. That particular build is so good that its a little unfair… :wink:

Hybrid FG… probably part of it. The dev’s moved some skills around too which kinda messed with FG possibilities… and the throwing vs 2h kind of thing doesnt feel polished … Manifest Armour builds are very good (imho as OP as Autobomber) but quite niche… Its a strange thing really… You can try lots of things with FG and be generally successful, but it seems like its like its not quite there yet - especially in comparison to VK or even some Rogue builds…

The thing is, you mentioned 2 skills (Devouring Orbs and Manifest Armor) that are fitting with the character fantasy and toolset of the relative masteries.

Paladin only has Judgement. Which, again, is quite strong, so I’m not complaining, but I feel that between here and 1.0 Paladin needs more to feel complete. Looking forward to see whatever they come up with for the two missing skills.

If you only look for mastery specific skills, you might be right. In that regard the Paladin lacks some exclusive build opportunities.

But I think if you take all possible skills into account, it has some build variety. Especially with javelin and the lightning synergies. Multistrike along with smite also is an option, also with strong synergies with smite.

Void Cleave has a fire conversion so it fits into a Paladin fire build, too.

With the addition of healing skills, shield/ block/ spell support it is one of my favourite masteries.

But I get your point and I won’t argue that options are enough - more options and build variety is always nice. I just think you should not solely look at the mastery specific skills when considering a build. I had an argument with somebody some time ago that said because summon skeletons is not in the necro mastery, it doesn’t count towards necro skills and thus necro has to few summoning skill options.

Paladin is chosen a lot because of Aura. It’s a skill that is passive that a great deal of people want (passive skills that is). Also, you don’t lose many skills from the other 2 specs. Sentinel needs some work so that each spec feels like a strong pick with real tradeoffs. Right now, you don’t really lose much by choosing Paladin over Forge Guard. Void Knight is super niche, so people wanting to play void will spec that most of the time.

I would have to agree; Healing Hands is in a bad spot. Many similar games suffer from the same issue; your allies only ever exist in two states: either alive or dead before you can burst heal them with Healing Hands - which is often why ‘heal-over-time’ effects or temporary health/shields are typically superior.

A solution could be to allow Smite to target allies - which would further emphasize Healing Hands being a “wasted slot”.

Unless Healing Hands becomes a strong heal-over-time that automatically targets allies or provides additional support, I don’t see much hope for it.

You definetely have a point there, in fact I said that Paladin is popular in spite of the lack of mastery specific skills. I just think those skills serve a purpose, usually to define a fantasy/niche/role for that specific mastery, regardless of individual viability of each skill.

But I wouldn’t argue that Paladin lacks a cyclone build because warpath is in the sentinel skills.

Well, as many other ARPG, damage in Last Epoch is bursty in nature. You need to have enough health to survive a oneshot, but then each mastery can usually comfortably fill up their health bar relatively fast.
Healing hands could spec into HoT/Shields/Mitigation, but personally I think it would have a more defined niche if it turned into an healing “well”, i.e. a short duration persistent AoE with the aforementioned effects (and possibly other effect when specialized, like Crowd Control, Damage, buffs, etc.). But then it would overlap with Judgement, that also creates Consecrated Ground. Perhaps they could move the effect, and give Judgement something else.

The most likely option is of course the nuclear option, with Healing Hands being completely reworked and basically removed in its current state.

It seems that this issue stem from having the most useful skill being readily available with few point invested into the mastery. For example, Void Reversal it’s quite strong and it’s the first skill you can unlock from the VK tree. Same with Shield Throw, AFAIK