Retribution Needs a Clear Direction

Paladin
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I appreciate all the attention Blizzard has paid our class lately. The fact that they care about retribution and want it to play well is proven by the considerable resources they have been putting into it over the past six months.

That said, I don't think retribution is working out with the new design. In reading this and other forums, I get the feeling that a great many ret paladins feel like our current incarnation plays in a bit of a haphazard way. I think we have some core design problems, specifically:

1). Too much rng. In psychology, a great deal of research shows that intermittent rewards are strong conditioners of behavior. An intermittent reward is unpredictable, and what happens is that you become obsessive about it. Slot machines and boss loot are examples of intermittent rewards.

The problem with our main resource being an intermittent reward is not only that it makes our play unpredictable, it also adds a strong psychological compulsion to watch obsessively for holy power procs. For me, this winds up taking me out of the game. I lose situational awareness, and I am also less immersed in the beautiful world Blizzard has created.

2). Lack of synergy. We have three resource generating mechanics that can actually work against each other. We have a randomly proccing strong dps ability that competes with our supposed finisher. Our cleave ability competes with our AoE attack, DS. Holy Wrath is a single target attack that splits it's damage like an AoE attack.

Overall, I find that our combat system is frenetic. It is like playing whack-a-mole. I don't enjoy it.

I'm skeptical that this will change on reaching 85. These issues seem to be systemic; it's not immediately clear that Inquistion or better gear will make any difference.

Blizzard has shown a strong commitment to our class. I dearly hope that they have a plan to streamline our gameplay considerably.

What he said... See my post.
I think he said it better than I could have. I want to marry him. And the Fact he is a Blood Elf only makes him more mistakenly possible to confuse him for a woman... -winks- hey baby.
Oh wait... it is a woman... So this is how confusing BE men can be?

But, seriously she is right on the money.
@OP, nice post. Though as a long time player I would say with these changes blizz has shown less of a commitment to the class/spec than before. They had gotten things just about right throughout most of Wrath; whereas today's changes feel more along the lines of: "Hey, guys, from what I've been reading on the forums and experiencing in BG's, ret is too faceroll and easymode and they only have to press three buttons to beat people, so let's change that up a bit." Cata will be hit or miss for ret depending on the designers' whims.
I think Holy Power started off as a great idea, but after seeing it live, I don't see myself ever really being happy with it.
Ret just needs to melee until you get Art of War, then spam exo. Might as well make us a caster since spells do more damage then our melee attacks.
@OP, nice post. Though as a long time player I would say with these changes blizz has shown less of a commitment to the class/spec than before. They had gotten things just about right throughout most of Wrath; whereas today's changes feel more along the lines of: "Hey, guys, from what I've been reading on the forums and experiencing in BG's, ret is too faceroll and easymode and they only have to press three buttons to beat people, so let's change that up a bit." Cata will be hit or miss for ret depending on the designers' whims.


Well, I think that Blizzard hasexpressed sentiments similar to what you describe. Whether or not ret was particularly ez mode is a bit of a sore point, but I do agree that we had a design that was curiously limiting in that it was relatively easy to be good but impossible to be great, in terms of dps and even high-end pvp. We dominated low-end content, but had a tougher time getting similar results in arenas and heroic raiding.

I honestly think that Blizzard's intent was to change the design enough that there was room for really good ret paladins to be competitive with really good mages, warriors, etc, in any situation, while making it harder for average ret paladins to automatically be top dps in every 5-man. I'm just not sure they've exactly done that; moreover, even if they have, my deeper issue is that what they've built for us is a system that is considerably less fun to play.
rng is a stupid mechanic and i thought they were moving away from this.
Paladins have been an RNG class since day one. Why did you roll one, knowing that, if you don't like the mechanic?
My hate for Holy power aside, as it's been stated the RNG aspect of our game play is the worst. Our mastery does not help this out, other classes get straight passive DPS boosts (wasn't blizz trying to move away from this) ours again is an RNG proc, making our mastery little desired. I was fine with ret the way it was, but understood the reasons blizz wanted to change it, but what we have turned into is a wanna be rogue. Also i find the "Hybrid" aspect of paladins is now gone. Our defence got kicked in the teeth and we cannot toss a worth while heal at all, even spec'd into Selfless Healer it's still garbage. So the op is Dead on we need a clear and better direction
Hold up everyone, you’re getting ahead of yourselves here. Holy Power is a great concept. Templar’s Verdict should have been a holy power dump that offered a significant amount of damage. Where they lost Holy power was by causing that to be the base rotation of a paladin’s rotation and it’s simply too much based on chance.

The one potential way to handle implementing Holy power is allowing that to work like Inquisition is set up to work and rework Inquistion because it's another avenging wrath basicaly. Charge one causes holy damage to do 10% more damage and 10% more mana to the ability. Charge 2 Holy damage increased by 20% and mana cost 20% more, and finally Charge Three 30% more damage and 30% mana Cost. If your mana pool is dropping rabidly, Holy dump Templar Verdict, GG with awesome Weapon damage. (That is one idea, not my favorite but plausible.)

The 3 button DPS mentioned previously wasn’t terrible, it really came down to which seal to use for which circumstance. A pro player was proactive with the seals pre 4.0.1. Now the seals are pretty much idiot proof, SOR for AOE dps, SOV for Single Target, SOL for mana return and Seal of Justice for single cast slow down. Yet, buffing SOJ and casting it takes too long and not practical.
What is RNG I am not familiar with that term? Or at least the Abbreviated form of that term.
What is RNG I am not familiar with that term? Or at least the Abbreviated form of that term.

Random number generator
Am I the only one who liked Holy Power in it's current form? I still top meters in ICC.
Paladins have been an RNG class since day one. Why did you roll one, knowing that, if you don't like the mechanic?


As one (post patch) Mage to another, that is bull. Every class has some degree of RNG, but post patch pallys have that as a major part of the play. My ret pally did not feel overly dependent on RNG pre patch. By the way, how many non RNG instant casts that do not share a cool down do Mages have? It seems to me that in frost and arcane, I always have a big hit off of cool down. The OP is right on although I feel much to nice and generous to the devs. Damage is important, but the fun of play style is more so to me and that is where the devs screwed the pooch on rets.
I've been though at least 3 ICC-25 clears with my Ret Paladin since the change, and I have to agree, it is not nearly as fun to play a Ret Paladin anymore. I don't know what the most annoying/frustrating aspect of playing one vs the old way is quite yet, but it definitely is not as fun to play. I was hopefully that the level 81 and 85 ability would help it out a bit, but from reading other peoples experience with Inquisition in particular, I am not sure sure now.

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