-'You're doing it wrong!'
-'It really boils down to skill!'
-'Ret is in the best place it's been for years!'
-'It's about using the right moves at the right time!'
etc etc etc...
But what if that's not the case? What if these excuses are in fact simple denial of what most classes have long known: that Retribution just isn't very good at PvP? What if no matter what you do, nothing can change the fact that Retribution is just inferior in too many departments to others in a PvP environment?
When you really look at it, Retribution has perhaps the most limited and bland toolset of all the melee DPS in WoW. Whereas Warriors, Monks, DKs, Feral Druids and even Enh Shaman have methods to put pressure on healers outside of simple damage, Retribution has literally nothing. When it comes to fighting casters, Retribution has nothing to slow casting or silence, just damage and slightly higher mobility than some other DPS which is hardly unique anymore.
Not only that, Retribution remains perhaps the easiest melee to counter with hard CC like Fears/Stuns etc since they lack any breaks outside of a 2.5/5 min CD that halves their damage for the duration, essentially CCing themselves while most other classes have multiple means to break hard CC AND soft CC like snares/roots without such a drastic damage loss.
I know, you can't fight like a Warrior as a Ret Paladin. But if you can't act like a front line damage dealer, what more are you than someone who can only accomplish something if the oppossing team is full of fools while you piggyback off of more effective DPS? Retribution is not a predator, it's a scavenger who can only kill something far weaker than it, much dumber than it, or with significant help from the abilities of real DPS which it alone does not possess.
Look at the DPS CDs, Retribution is the most recognizable when it comes to bursting with the wings essentially telling the entire world 'Hey look! I'm about to burst someone!' This kind of pressure is more proof of bad design as it is entirely reliant on your opponents not seeing it a mile awhile and using something like Deterrence/hitting you with a hard CC you have no counters to, or simply running away. People will say at this point that is the real skill in Retribution by trying to trick your opponents into using such counters at the wrong time, but is it really good design if any CC/Iceblock can render it useless and you have to rely on a dispeller to otherwise make it work? No other melee has so much of their damage in CDs and they have a much easier time applying pressure, so is it really about skill or is it simply bad design?
Bottom line, Retribution is still very much a defensive support DPS and cannot stand toe to toe with others or fill any of their roles.
So what would Retribution need to be a predator instead of a scavenger? Several things to start:
-Have it lose some of it's defensive utility like HoS and possibly HoP to truly break it away from the defensive stance.
-In place of these, add offensive based abilities like Eye for an Eye that could act similar to Karma and perhaps a Holy Power attack called Seraphim Strike that would cause healing to the target/outgoing damage from the target to be staggered slightly and the Paladin healed for a portion of the amount staggered.
In this way, Ret Paladin would have legitimately dangerous abilities casters would need to pay attention to as well as a means to pressure healing specs without outside help from other better equipped DPS.
-Add a class-based hard CC break such as a reitteration of WotLK HoF stun or Fear breaking, with a CD attached to the use thereof so the CC break can only be used after the duration to prevent abuse thru abilities like Clemency. As well, this break would only affect the Paladin himself and could not be applied to others, though the standard HoF effect would be granted to them as before.
In this way, Retribution would have a means to operate outside of dispellers and have more opportunities to bring it's CD damage to bear without being diverted so easily as it currently is.
-Get rid of SoJ permanently and instead institute a passive in it's ability slot called Chains of Justice which would cause the Ret Paladin's Judgement to snare targets for the standard duration similar to how Feral's Infected Wounds works. A Major Glyph could also be added that could root the target if Judged past a set number of yards.
Retribution needs a ranged snare variation over a melee as it does not have an instantaneous means to close gaps like all other melee aside from Shaman, hence their ranged Frost Shock. As well, SoJ represents a noticeable DPS loss over Truth making the entire system very inefficient and ill-suited to a melee DPS like Retribution. Finally, giving Judgement the ability to snare would make it more difficult to kite Retribution when they no longer have to rely on a melee snare, something Retribution currently has noticeable trouble with with the loss of the Burden of Guilt talent.
-Consider giving Retribution a means to burst outside of straight CDs such as a Killing Machine type talent. For example, when Art of War procs it could also increase the critical strike chance of Exorcism or Templar's Verdict by 100%.
This way, Retribution has a chance to be dangerous outside of straight CDs and have a better chance at standing toe to toe with other frontline melee DPS.
Ultimately, it would only take a few tweaks in a few areas to rid Retribution of the ball and chain which is defensive support and turn it into a front line PvP DPS instead of a scavenger who can only kill something someone else has already crippled for them.