A Philosopher's Blog

Hand Reckoning

Posted in Video Games by Michael LaBossiere on January 24, 2009

In the most recent patch, Blizzard added the Hand of Reckoning spell to the Paladin. This ability is a taunt that finally enables a Paladin to engage in ranged pulling. Prior to this, Paladin Pulling meant closing with the enemy and getting their attention in that manner. There were some obvious disadvantages with this. For example, since Paladins could not pull a monster (yeah,I know they are called “mobs”, but I’m marked by years of D&D…a mob is a crowd, a monster is a monster) from a distance, they ran a greater risk of accidentally pulling unwanted monsters. The standard WoW pull is like a classic mugging-you lure a monster away from its friends and gang up on it. Now Paladins can enjoy what other classes have long enjoyed.

The ability works well, although it does only one point of damage.  When I first saw that, I thought “one point of damage? Seriously?” Of course, its intent is to pull so damage is not really critical. Also, giving the Paladin an effective  general opening ranged attack would be a rather radical change to the class (and one that might create balance problems). I’ve found that it changes my play dynamic quite a bit, especially in groups. Since my Paladin, Xathon,  is Protection specialized, it helps me start the fight with the aggro. In my normal group, my main job is to stay alive while everyone else pours on the DPS-so this makes my job much easier.

The Hand of Reckoning can critical-I’ve seen that mighty “2” damage pop up over monsters. That is a bit funny. It will also kill most critters instantly (I had to try). So, you can use the power of the light to blow up squirrels from a distance-just as the light intended.

The name is a bit odd, though. All the other Paladin Hands are beneficial spells applied to the Paladin or other characters. For example, the Hand of Freedom frees the target from snares. “Reckoning” is also an odd term as well. In my group, we jokingly call it the Religious Pamphlet-I imagine my character is throwing a rock with a religious pamphlet attached to it.

Xathon: “Okay, I’ll pull the troll to the left.”
Goldstein: “Y’all do that. I’ll start shooting him when he gets close.”
Xanu: “I’ll loot him when he dies.”
Xathon: “Pulling now.”
Troll: “What the hell? Did that Paladin just hit me in the head with a rock? What’s this tied to it? Is that a religious pamphlet? No, I don’t need to be saved by the Light…Hey, this says I’m a filthy infidel! You son of a…I’ll kill you!”
Goldstein: “Here he comes! I’m shooting him in the face!”
Xanu: “Hack! Stab! Hack!”
Troll: “Arrgh, my spleen…save me Evil God of the Bad Trolls!”
Xathon: “The Light will save you. Specifically, the Judgment of Light I’m dropping on you…then my hammer.”
Troll: “Hey, stop looting me…I’m not dead yet.”
Xanu: “Sorry. Stab. Hack. Execute!”
Troll: “Blooorp…”
Xathon: “By the blessings of the Light…yadda…yadda…I’ll roll greed on that Blue.”