Let me begin by saying this is certainly not a full World of Warcraft guide on Paladins. There is no way you could cram everything this most versatile of classes is able to do in a few paragraphs. It is merely an overview that will hopefully give you a small window in the world of the paladin, the holy warrior of WoW.
Paladins are a class of their own. They’re said to be hybrids of warriors, Priests and other DPS classes like Mages or Warlocks. By the way, DPS means Damage Per Second which means a class which give out lots of melee damage or close combat damage.
Even if they borrow these specialist traits from classes who are better recognized for having them, the Paladin’s use of them is so powerful that they are probably one of the most difficult classes in WoW to kill and get the better of in PvP (player versus player combat). As a warrior myself I tend to really steer away from them as they are the equivalent of fighting another equally well armoured warrior that not only can heal him or herself but can also cast spells. That is awesome power and imo quite unfair.
So Paladins specialize as tanks by having in one of their abilities tree called the “Protection Tree” spells and learned talents which enables them to both take and give enormous damage to and from several enemies at once. Special spells here include “Holy Shield”, “Retribution”, and “Consecration” which all add up to give the Paladin well sought after tanking abilities which for some raids and instances are far superior to that of any other class.
The second tree and not necessarily in order of importance is the “Retribution” tree which is where the Paladin draws abilities that enable them to give lots of DPS or melee/close combat damage to enemies that are being fought against. Here abilities like “Crusader Strike”, “Seal of Command” make the Paladin an especially useful class to include in raids.
The third ability tree of the Holy Warrior is their healing power. Their healing abilities are especially attuned to give heals to different players in the game. On top of this they can fight making them healing warriors. This makes them probably the most versatile class for group play where they can both take the role of the Priest as healer and tank as warrior. Perfect for either job or as back up.
So there you have it, whether you fancy yourself as a healing priest, or a tank raging warrior or a DPS expert like a Mage or Shaman, there is no need to start up one of these classes when a Paladin does all three things at once. Also, this is a class that in WoW is highly effective in groups and ideal for all the end game activities like raids and large instances where the services of paladins are highly rated.