Mechanics Monday – The History of [WoW] Ret Paladins

Welcome to the first [of hopefully many] Mechanics Mondays!

I’ve been thinking about what could make my blog entries more interesting lately, and I figured giving a ‘game-design’ focused analysis of existing games could be something cool that people might find interesting.

This week, I’m going to be analyzing the Retribution Paladin from Blizzard’s Warcraft franchise. Here goes!


Retribution is the ‘dps’ (for non-WoWers, think ‘damage-dealers’) tree of the Paladin class. The Paladin class is typically defined by heavy armor and an ability to heal. In World of Warcraft, Paladins are also highly associated with their moves: “Bubble” and “Wings.”

The aesthetics of the Retribution specialization (spec) are further defined by a wielder of a large 2-handed weapon (often a mace), harnessing his weapon and holy magic to personally endow justice to his foes.

1:03 and especially 1:53 are ideal portrayals of the retribution aesthetic

Warcraft 2 (1995)

Okay, so technically, this game only had “Paladins” – “Retribution Paladins” didn’t exist until the mmorpg World of Warcraft came into existence in 2004.Paladins in this game are BARELY recognizable from Paladins of World of Warcraft, but the blueprint (heavy armor, ability to heal) is still there.

Of the Paladin specs available in WoW, the paladin unit of this game most closely resembles (and it’s not very close) is Ret. The unit’s primary function is to do damage.


About Pantherra

Computer Science student with a desire for a career in Game Development or Software Engineering.
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