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You're right, it is a horrible mechanic and no, no AoE acts so counter-intuitively off the top of my head.
It's mind boggling. It's like they looked at paladin use of Shard of the Fallen Star and Shadowmourne and thought to themselves "Man, paladins used the hell out of those things. We should make it into a base ability or two!" And there it was.
Christ, no one a Blizz HQ actively plays Ret. Not one of them.
I think it is meteor that also does it. The difference is that I assume meteor does not hit like a wet noodle against a single target, and so is even worse when that damage is spread over multiple mobs.
TBH it makes no difference. HW does the same DPS regardless of the number of targets. And DS is only a DPS boost against 5 or more opponents.
Ret to all intents and purposes doesn't have an AoE option.
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