I promised and so I deliver. Erik was kind enough to explain the reasoning behind re-naming clerics to paladins. Here it is.
We had no intentions of muddying the waters with that name change. We felt 'cleric' was just too passive of a name for our holy warriors. Simply put, it just didn't fit well with the lore. Of course, if we were trying to be historically accurate (which is not our aim), Paladins in the real world would have been gone about 300 or 400 years previous to guns. Still, we felt it was the best name for the class, so we decided to go with it.
I guess we'll see how the public takes it. I have heard negative gut reactions from a handful of outside folks, however I hope from a game play perspective, people come to appreciate the choice. I also hope folks enjoy the lore that goes with the class and how closely it ties to the current events in Cantele.
In no way, do we envision anybody being compelled to wear shining armor. You pick your outfit when you design your character and it has no effect on your stats or bonuses, you could look like a knight of old in shining armor -- which honestly would be out of place in this era, but you could be role-playing such a character from a time past -- or you could choose to wear dark leather and a long coat. Either way, it is the player's choice and either way it has no effect on the game mechanics. Currently, the only gear that you find that impacts your appearance are the weapons you acquire. Otherwise, your look is totally your own to design.
What's more, with the ability to choose multiple classes over your character's career, you could very well build exciting combinations like a Rogue/Paladin or even a Sorcerer/Paladin. We believe these combinations fit in with the lore just as well as being a pure Paladin.
Heroes and Heroins from many vampire stories might very well be considered part Paladin in our world.
So there you have it. It makes a ton more sense now doesn't it?