|Human, Dwarf, Draenei, Blood Elf
|Holy, Protection, Retribution
Paladins are divine warriors, fueled by their conviction for the Light. Through a mix of combat strength and healing, paladins protect their allies and outlast their opponents.
Paladins are known more for being a defensive class than an offensive powerhouse, and rely heavily on their armor and healing skills. They are a hybrid of these two aspects, and a paladin can choose to focus on healing, tanking, or they can simply try to seek righteous vengeance by being as aggressive as is considered acceptable for a paladin. These correspond to their three talent trees, Holy, Protection, and Retribution.
Paladins are especially known for the use of a few select abilities. Seals are a group of paladin abilities that allow him to channel divine energy in a particular way for a brief period of time. While the seal remains active, the paladin can judge his target in such a way as to provide a similiar effect as a debuff on the target. (For example, Seal of Light returns health to the paladin when he attacks, and Judgement of Light returns health to anyone who attacks the judged target.) Paladins are also capable of a few short-term buffs called Blessings, which are generally very powerful effects. A paladin can only use one blessing on each person in the party, but two paladins can bestow different blessings. Finally, paladins exude certain energies that affect nearby target members, called auras. Like blessings and seals, one aura can be active at a time.
Paladins are a healing/tanking hybrid. They can do well in either role in the niche that suits the class. There are strengths and weaknesses to each role:
That said, even with those weaknesses, skilled healing or tanking paladins are generally an asset to raids and 5-man groups and in some cases, make certain scenarios almost trivial. And despite the weaknesses, as of June 2008, paladins have main tanked every raid boss.
In other circumstances, paladins have often been compared to cockroaches because they are sometimes equally difficult to kill. An old joke said that paladins have "3 lives" because of Blessing of Protection and Divine Shield giving them time to heal themselves safely, and this doesn't even consider Lay on Hands.
However, paladins are not known for exceptional damage capability. Some would argue that this makes it rather mind-numbing to level a paladin. They also have no standard ranged skills, which forces them to rely on talent abilities or items, or run in and make physical contact to start a fight.
Paladins get a mount at level 30 from their Trainer. They must quest for their epic steed at level 60.
Paladins are usually expected to be healers unless they indicate that their character is built for tanking. They can fill the main healer role much better than they could at WoW's initial release, meaning that some players will often specifically seek out paladins to heal. Whether the paladin is main healer, back-up, or main tank, they will be expected to cast blessings on their party members and provide the most ideal aura. (Usually the aura that provides armor.)
At level 12, paladins will get a quest from their class trainers that teaches them the art of resurrection. The quest will involve finding a fallen victim in a hostile area that they must resurrect using an item. After this, they will learn the skill Redemption.
There is an additional quest line around level 20 for paladins, granting them access to a few pieces of special equipment. The quests are truly quests and not mere tasks, sending the paladin to numerous parts of the globe and into multiple instances.
Paladins have a quest at level 60 for an epic charger. The costs for this quest are close enough to the cost of simply training their riding skill to 150 for an epic ground mount that many paladins do not bother since the release of Burning Crusade.