The Case for Seal of the Crusader

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Darg727
Posts: 6

The Case for Seal of the Crusader

Post by Darg727 » Tue Sep 13, 2022 3:38 am

Seal of the Crusader is a seal that lives in the minds of players as one they would rather never have to touch. It's just that awful. Even Seal of Justice has some use in the eyes of the players. The problems with the seal are quite frankly numerous. The largest is that although it provides 40% haste, the damage you deal while under its effects are reduced by 40%. This makes the damage a wash. However you do get a boost in attack power. Rank 6 gives 326 at level 60, or 23.29 dps. Interestingly enough, this is just slightly over the base dps of Seal of Righteousness which is approximately 22.5 dps. Unfortunately, any slight lead Seal of the Crusader has is quite readily trounced: Seal of Righteousness penetrates armor, has a scaling component, is able to benefit from holy damage increasing effects, has a judgement that deals direct damage, and counts as a weapon swing for proccing items and effects. The reason why I am comparing these two seals is that they are the first two seals you receive, they are your only untalented damage seals, and I want you to keep in mind the reasons why the three changes that I will propose for this spell will make it a competitive seal.

Before I get to my proposed changes I want you to see and understand the history behind the spell itself as it should influence your perception of my proposal. At the release of World of Warcraft in patch 1.1 until patch 1.2.2 Seal of the Crusader saw its heyday. The 40% haste was not accompanied by a 40% damage reduction. This time period was fun and much horde death was had. Then it came to a swift and brutal end in patch 1.2.2 which caused the haste to apply to the base weapon speed of the weapon. This reduced the damage of the weapon and the benefit from attack power to match it's new speed just like a faster weapon with the same dps would. This one simple change brought the mighty so low that the only real use for the seal was to waste a global and mana to apply its judgement to benefit your other abilities. One might say it was necessary. Another might say it was unfair. The truth is that it was both. Necessary to see the design to fruition and unfair due to the whimsy of development. A short while ago the game designer who designed the spell, Kevin Jordan, spoke about the reason for the change:
SotC was kind of a "hopeful ability". What I mean by that is I was kind of hoping that WoW would/could support both playstyles/builds that favored slow weapons and fast attacking weapons. For example, flat damage bonuses are better when you attack fast. Sadly, there were a few cases where this was realized but the more common "meta" was to always use the slowest weapon possible and over time the design team leaned into it and fast attack builds sort of disappeared/stopped being supported by design.

As you can see, Seal of the Crusader was intended as a way for the paladin to better take advantage of flat damage bonuses, but this style of of design was never fully supported. I think we should take this idea and implement it in a way that would see this seal as a capable alternative DPS seal. My proposed changes complement each other so I hope you'll read to the end to understand why I landed on these and their purpose.

My first proposition and the heart of the changes is that Seal of the Crusader should change all your damage into holy damage. My reasoning behind this change has several factors. The first is that it would allow your regular melee attacks to benefit from Sanctity Aura, providing one needed extra avenue of increasing damage. The second is you won't suffer glancing blows. This increases your dps without actually increasing your damage dealing capability. The third reason is now you don't suffer reduction from armor. Again, you don't do more damage, just deliver more of your damage to your target. The fourth is that this change will not step on the toes of Seals of Righteousness and Command. Command is the burst seal. It's all about delivering more damage in a short amount of time depending on chance. I will go more in depth about the comparison with Righteousness in the second proposition. My fifth reason is that it allows it to interact with the paladin's version of Defensive Stance, Righteous Fury. My third proposition complements this reason quite well.

My second proposition is to have your new holy damage attacks scale with a flat 10% (or any reasonable amount) of your spell damage. The purpose behind this is to have another lever for increasing or decreasing damage with the seal. I settled on 10% because it won't scale with spell damage better than Seal of Righteousness except for weapons of 1.5 speed or slower and the whole point is to make you attack faster to greater benefit from flat damage. This would also allow the Seal to benefit from its own judgement just like Righteousness and Command do.

My third and final proposal? The seal itself should have a 20% holy damage threat reduction. I include this addition because I think it provides unique interaction with Righteous Fury while tanking and gives paladin a unique source of built in threat reduction. All other melee based classes, other than shaman, have a source of built in threat reduction. It's only fair that paladin does so as well. Part of the issue is resolved through the use of the seal's damage reduction and spreading out the damage. However, this will only do so much on it's own because the paladin will do competitive damage in PvE environment even if not in raids. The 20% just allows for evening out the playing field a bit in this regard. Now for the other half. A 20% reduction puts the bonus threat from Righteous Fury right at 28% and 52%, before and after 3/3 talent points. This makes it nearly identical to the threat enhancement of Defensive Stance and Bear Form. While using the seal your abilities and autos will function at the same rate as other tanks. You are also free to swap seals to deliver full threat judgements, benefit from Righteousness' ability to get extra procs, or gamble for a proc from Command. This gives paladin a reliable way to increase their threat from melee stats

To put it all together,
160 Mana
Instant
Requires Paladin
Requires level 52
Fills the Paladin with the spirit of a crusader for 30 sec, granting 326 melee attack power and causing all weapon damage to be considered holy damage. The Paladin also causes 20% less threat and attacks 40% faster, but deals less damage with each attack. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time.

Unleashing this Seal's energy will judge an enemy for 10 sec, increasing Holy damage taken by up to 140. Your melee strikes will refresh the spell's duration. Only one Judgement per Paladin can be active at any one time.

Now on to the consequences of these changes. You no longer lose damage when using Seal of the Crusader with Holy Strike while leveling. As all your damage bypasses armor you don't need to worry that you're losing damage from the haste damage reduction. This seal will reduce the damage of Holy Strike when used in tandem and so will have minimal if any real impact on pvp other than maybe giving a more reliable source of damage against high armor targets. The damage reduction makes it a poor combo with reckoning. You still have to swap seals to use other judgements. Paladins will be able to more reliably benefit from melee stats to increase threat generation which hopefully will reduce the reliance on the extremely small pool of good paladin tanking gear and the need for greater blessing spam to generate threat.

How it increases damage: 326 AP, 10% from Sanctity Aura, armor bypass, not subject to glancing blows, flat 10% scaling with spell damage, haste is multiplicative with each source, and increases your threat cap.

The mechanics of it all:
  • 100% crit damage
  • Counts as a melee hit and refreshes your judgement
  • Is considered a melee attack so it suffers block/dodge/physical miss/parry
  • Cannot be resisted or partially resisted

Thank you for reading this far. Whether you like it or hate it, I hope you all will leave constructive feedback so that this idea can be further refined and draw attention to this spell which needs our help to be special.

Gerdyus
Posts: 9

Re: The Case for Seal of the Crusader

Post by Gerdyus » Wed Sep 14, 2022 4:57 pm

I like the post - elegantly make seal of the crusader useful without invalidating another seal
Only point I'd like to put up for consideration is that the threat reduction gets baked into the heart of the crusader talent so that prot can make good use of the revised seal as well without have their threat reduced.
Very well written up post with historical backing.

Mekunekud
Posts: 34

Re: The Case for Seal of the Crusader

Post by Mekunekud » Wed Sep 14, 2022 5:57 pm

I think realistically that it should just be a 40% melee haste seal and nothing else. 40% attack speed on a 2h mace is unironically a great tool and a decent DPS increase for physical geared paladins. THe extra ranks can be for the judgement effect but 40% attack speed would neither break nor make the class as long as they didn't include extra AP. Just a flat haste increase so that paladins effectively have flurry constantly but sacrifice the damage/utility of other seals to do so.

Andima
Posts: 20

Re: The Case for Seal of the Crusader

Post by Andima » Wed Sep 14, 2022 9:59 pm

i like +1

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Kwayver
Posts: 84
Location: Australia

Re: The Case for Seal of the Crusader

Post by Kwayver » Thu Sep 15, 2022 1:05 am

+1
Retpal for hire. Will cleanse, hand of freedom warrior, and pocket heal 2s upon request

Klouther
Posts: 6

Re: The Case for Seal of the Crusader

Post by Klouther » Mon Oct 17, 2022 11:29 pm

+1. Make SotC great!

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Darg727
Posts: 6

Re: The Case for Seal of the Crusader

Post by Darg727 » Tue Nov 01, 2022 2:31 pm

Mekunekud wrote:
Wed Sep 14, 2022 5:57 pm
I think realistically that it should just be a 40% melee haste seal and nothing else. 40% attack speed on a 2h mace is unironically a great tool and a decent DPS increase for physical geared paladins. THe extra ranks can be for the judgement effect but 40% attack speed would neither break nor make the class as long as they didn't include extra AP. Just a flat haste increase so that paladins effectively have flurry constantly but sacrifice the damage/utility of other seals to do so.
Well, the problem is that you lose some things with SotC being a flat haste seal. Part of the problem is that even for human characters you still suffer ~6% dps loss from glancing blows against targets three levels above you. Another part is that you are subject to armor reduction. Physical damage doesn't benefit from sanctity aura. +AP and +spell damage is worth more than +AP alone. On top of all that, if you wish to deal damage with your judgement you must switch to a different seal to judge and switch back. This guarantees the loss of haste for a minimum of one swing or up to 2 with terrible timing or interruption.

The only time when SotC would be valuable would be when under the effect of MCP due to the way haste multiplies from each source.

Another reason this wouldn't be a great change is that low level combat would heavily favor the use of SotC and the judgement would have little use at all.
Gerdyus wrote:
Wed Sep 14, 2022 4:57 pm
I like the post - elegantly make seal of the crusader useful without invalidating another seal
Only point I'd like to put up for consideration is that the threat reduction gets baked into the heart of the crusader talent so that prot can make good use of the revised seal as well without have their threat reduced.
Very well written up post with historical backing.
The main reason I chose to include the threat reduction within the seal itself is that it would have minimal impact on tanking. As mentioned in the OP, the outcomes are that the total threat multiplier is extremely similar to the threat multipliers of defensive stance and bear form. The reasons as to why I included this functionality in the base version of the seal is to give every player from the moment you get the seal the benefit and to provide tactical choice to the use of other seals. If it didn't have the threat reduction from the start there would be little reason to tank with other seals during the lower levels and you'd get the same amount of threat from your AoE threat capable abilities.

Who knows, maybe I overthought it. However, I think playability at all levels of play is very important.

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Dsxcore
Posts: 3

Re: The Case for Seal of the Crusader

Post by Dsxcore » Wed Nov 02, 2022 8:20 pm

+1

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Namesaj
Posts: 1

Re: The Case for Seal of the Crusader

Post by Namesaj » Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:32 am

SoC already has a great use: longer term fights, especially elites. When I know that I am going to be hammering on a guy for a bit, the first thing I do is SoC > judge > SoR. The holy damage boost from that alone is pretty big, and then I will slowly stack strikes until they are maxed. The holy damage bonus at this point is pretty great.

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