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MMORPG.com Final Fantasy XI Correspondent Wesley Bond writes this overview of the Paladin class in Square Enix's MMO.
The iconic image of the White Knight with his sword and shield has always been a part of the realm of fantasy. Charging head long into battle, the clang of weapons and the sounds of war follow the way of the Paladin. You will be on the front line of the fight, the tip of the spear, but your job won't be killing. If you are looking to post huge damage numbers and gloat over enemies slain then this would not be the job you are searching for. The Final Fantasy Paladin is based around defense with a mission to shield other fighters during battle. Looking back to the days of the Final Fantasy III Knight class, little has changed as the Paladin is still a group of white magic wielding guardians. Your job is to take the hits meant for others and if need be, die for your party. It's not a glamorous job but one that is quickly missed if removed from play. The Paladin can be little else and is wholly consumed with becoming a wall of protection to his comrades, the target of hate for his foe. As a defender, you will stand on the precipice of life and death, to hold back the tide of power that seeks to destroy your party of adventurers. You will spend your waking moments staring at monsters eye to eye. You are charged with funnelling their hate toward you and taking hit after hit until it can finally be brought down. Unlike the Dark Knight, whose job is to unleash fury, your job is to harness the fury of your enemies and use it against them. While they dump their rage squarely on your head, the rest of the party will be working to bring the beast down and healers can mend without fear of reprisal. Unlike other tanking classes, yours has no other role to fill and considered a "pure" tanking class in the world of Vana'diel.
Read the Paladin Overview