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I'll be posting a rough list of changes I see in PvP Retribution. What I am not satisfied by or what I feel needs clarification will be put in Parentheses, or after in a general Comments section.
-30 Second Guardian of the Ancient Kings. Burst and Damage. (Doesn't increase str by 1% as tooltip says, Sometimes attacks targets you are not on, Sometimes stands still and does nothing.)
-Inquisition. Burst. 30% Holy Damage. (Very Costly. Purgable. 3 HoPo is often difficult to obtain and it takes a global to put the buff up.)
-Holy Radiance. AoE Healing. (Takes a large portion of our mana pool. Heals for very little. Overall may benefit your group members, but using it as a self heal is a waste of a global for the most part. Lackluster).
-Movement Impairing Effect Cleansing. (While I do consider Magic Removal a 'Nerf', I also must add this. We can 'cleanse' Hamstring, Traps, and other such nonsense without removing UA and Shadow Priest Nonsense. It is a very interesting mechanic, however it does only cleanse one movement impairing effect, meaning CoC and Imp CoC mages can laugh as we spend 33% of our mana pool cleansing and still be slowed.)
-Templar's Verdict. Damage. (Costly. Usually only tickles plate wearers. It is however our primary form of reliable damage against casters and their ilk.)
-Removal of Magic Cleansing. We can't remove any magic CC from our partners. Polymorph, Repentance, Novas, Roots, etc. (some may be removed by HoF)
-Removal of HoS breaking CCs. (I find this an unnecessary change. It lowers the skill cap for PvP paladins while giving an indirect (or direct) buff to Mages, Rogues, and other classes with abilities that this used to break.)
-Judgements of Light, Justice, and Wisdom Removed. (Gives us simply a flat spell to cast instead of a real choice - Light no longer helps rets or other melee heal, Wisdom no longer helps casters sustain, and Justice, while now a seal, makes us choose between damage and a maximum movement speed on our opponents.)
-Seals. In general, PvP ret is lacking a real seal. Truth is a great seal to use with the glyph against melee to avoid dodges and parries yet makes that target nigh un-cc-able for 15 seconds and it makes Repentance impossible to cast in melee range of a caster if you actually want it to last its full duration (you hit them and apply a DoT). It makes switching targets impossible unless we can live with the 15 second nigh immunity to CC). Seal of Justice makes us give up real damage and expertise for a 100% maximum speed for just a few seconds. This is ridiculous. Our targets can't sprint away from us perhaps but they can run just fine - especially mages who have 3+ slows+snares on us at any one time. Seal of Righteousness I haven't tested to see if it breaks CC but I assume it does, thereby making it unreliable and unusable to any serious PvP player. Insight is not really in the ret arsenal as a simple CS will generate a HoPo and give us the opportunity to reliably heal for more while doing damage even with sword+board on.
To recap, every seal has a significant downside and a barely noticeable upside. Truth is what I use for the moment but I usually end up hating myself for it when we have to switch targets.
Edited by Heratli on 12/19/2010 5:16 AM PST
Long Arm of the Law. Movement. (It is very useful in many scenarios. Combined with HoF it is fairly powerful. However, in most serious PvP situations you'll be immediately purged of HoF and put into another snare (Mages in general can do this solo while buffing themselves with your buff)
HoW through Avenging Wrath. (An interesting buff making one of our spells usable when it usually would not be. However, Avenging Wrath being purgable and spellstealable, using Avenging Wrath in itself will (when a mage is present) usually work against you instead of for. When not, you'll usually get one hammer, if they aren't simply spamming purge on you to begin with. Against mage teams, it's almost a must to have a /cancelaura Avenging Wrath macro.)
Zealotry – Damage. Generates full HoPo after a CS instead of just one (effectively adding 2 HoPo). (Along with all of our real burst activatable buffs, this is a magic effect. A team that has purged the ret paladin will probably pick this off immediately. Requires a full HoPo bar to cast – does not consume it – can be cast from a HoL proc. Can be used defensively for CS-WoG-CS-WoG and Offensively with CS-TV-CS-TV. Overall an interesting spell, but in PvP nigh useless due to purge.
Hand of Freedom – No longer Breaks stuns (talented), reduced duration. (Still Purgable with no negative side effects – spellsteal is less effective than before only because it doesn’t last long enough for the mage to get any real use out of it. I simply consider this a de facto gimp pvp trinket nowadays, and save it for my allies.
-Auras – Resistance - All combined into one now, but any caster worth their weight in salt will have enough spell pen to make this aura useless. Retribution – hasn’t really scaled with the level, also damages targets you’re probably not even on and their self heals or aoe heals by the other team pretty much has them covered. Concentration – Rets don’t consider it unless your group is heavy caster and even then, most melee have interrupts now and it doesn’t synergize with many allies’ talents. Devotion – My primary Aura now as it increases physical damage reduction for most of my team even more than me, and does a considerable bit at that. Unfortunately we seem to be lacking in a good aura to use against casters with spell pen (you won’t find many without them in high arenas/bgs).
Rebuke – Melee range interrupt, 10s cooldown. Prevents same school cast for 4s. (I consider this the single biggest buff Retribution has received in this overhaul. The overall nerf to PvP healing combined with this has actually made it possible for us to threaten healers when we’re on them (instead of simply being laughed at.) Also helpful against warlocks)
-Self Healing. (Holy light is now a spell you will hardly ever see in arenas unless a ret gets desperate and can somehow LoS the enemy team (or last player standing) and try to get a few heals off with the small mana pool they have. We can cast up to 4 Flash of Lights (with JotB on) totalling likely no more than 40% of our full health pool unbuffed. We can cast 11-14ish Holy Lights roughly equaling the same amount of hp, if not maybe a bit more while nearly tripling the downtime required to heal ourselves. Let’s pretend we’ll ever have 30 seconds+ to sit and heal. May as well go down for drinks and FoL. Divine Light will heal for a bigger 60%ish of our total unbuffed HP but requires a full 12-15 seconds to get, and ooms us. Probably not likely to see in arenas either, making our one real heal Word of Glory, which will heal some 4.5k per charge on ourselves equalling about 13.5k at a 3 HoPo which probably took us 6-9 seconds in melee range to come by. Very inefficient for the cost.
-CC – Beyond Repentance, Hammer of Justice, and perhaps Seal of Justice we have no CC. Both of these are minute long cooldowns and in order to get HoJ to a 40s cooldown we have to give up a lot of haste or crit and real damage on exorcism to obtain – probably not worth it. With a PvP trinket HoJ becomes useless and half our seals break our own Repentance. Mages in particular can simply ice block a HoJ and trinket a repentance and spellsteal all our buffs and we’re left bare without any way to counter. Enhancement shamans can do the same and drop Earthbind which (after HoR nerf) we have no real way of breaking without taking up a full 3.xx autoshot or a global and a real damage spell.
-Survivability – We have two cooldowns to blow, both magic. Divine Protection is a 20% shield for 10 seconds on a mintue cooldown. Handy but again, purgable, and usually since we pop it at 50%~ it’s probably just a 10% real HP buff (equaling maybe 12k hp). Useful. I’m not complaining. However, this leads us to:
Edited by Heratli on 12/19/2010 5:16 AM PST
Divine Shield – In my opinion, the bane of all paladin’s PvP existence. Yall at Blizzard have been forced to balance paladin survivability around this 5m cooldown. If the cd was shorter than 5m it would be blatantly overpowered. If you give us other survivability tools then you run into the danger of us being able to last until the next Divine Shield is up. You were forced to add Mass Dispel to attempt to balance it slightly. (My Personal opinion is to remove this spell in favor of shorter CD survivability options. Perhaps making this only reduce damage by 50% but keep the immunity to negative magic effects and allowing it to break cc other than a school lockout.)
Burst – since ret damage is largely RNG, ret’s only real burst is to wait for HoL/AoW proc and pop wings and toss in HoW-Exo-TV and hope your wings last that long and that you’re able to stay in melee range of the target for that long.
Ret’s main issues in pvp are Survivability, Lack of Crowd Control Effects, Lack of Consistent Burst, Susceptibility to CC, purge, lack of real heals, and general lack of time on the target.
Overall, we’re probably the Ten of all Trades instead of the Jack of All Trades. This is why ret will not at its current state, and has not really (other than s5 where we had consistent burst) made the top tier of gameplay. We’ve always wrecked BGs simply because of our 5m immunity and amazing burst when in melee range of the target, when not being cc’d or purged.
What you have created in Ret paladins is the ability to make people pay who do not pay attention to them. We’re the easiest class to shut down in all aspects because our most dangerous spells (HoJ, Avenging Wrath, Repentance, Zealotry) are all dispellable by defensive Magic cleanses or Offensive Purges. Due to this, ret only survives in moderately high brackets in 5v5 play due to the large amount of buffs. We will be the least represented class in 3v3 and 2v2 (as usual) and probably in rated BGs due to the ease of snaring.
Survivability is nonexistant outside of Divine Shield and Divine Protection (possibly sword and board, does nothing against casters (lack of Spell Reflect or any spell disruption) We have to give up all offensive capabilities against our target in order to use our HoPo to WoG. In the higher tiers of play most Priests will predict a Divine Shield and precast Mass Dispel or (since its cast is so quick) just cast it immediately after and we’re sitting ducks.
We are probably one of the easiest classes to CC. We have a few bandaids to put over our bleeding wounds. Trinket every player has, Hand of Freedom and Movement Impairing Cleanse are all that’s left for CC removal (not counting divine shield, but it is possible with a /cancelaura macro). HoF lasts for nearly no time with a 22.5-20s cd and is quickly purged or stolen and new slows are put on all the time. Movement Cleanse does nothing against frost trap+snare or DK’s slow+snare or the multiple snares a mage can put on you in the same global. We can only cleanse one at once. We use 25% of our mana pool on two cleanses and after which we’re probably still slowed in most cases.
While we are hybrids, most of the primary Damage classes can now heal for more than us in either a single global or without any drop in their damage at all. At the current level of resilience, my Zealotry CS-WoG-CS-WoG spam with Divine Protection on can easily be damaged through by any class, wheras it’s simple enough to run from a ret and use one of many self heals.
Retribution Damage is probably really good when RNG gods smile…in PvE. On a target that you can be on consistently. PvP usually works a lot different in that you usually wont get a melee strike as often as possible simply because your target is moving in and out of melee range very often. Retribution has no slows, and there’s nothing stopping people from applying cheap snares immediately after we remove them. Long Arm of the Law is ineffective when one snare is applied to you. With the removal of CC duration decreasing talents and the addition of multiple crowd control effects that do not share drs that each class other than paladins now have, and the removal of disarm reduction, we simply will not be able to attack our target long enough for the RNG gods to smile. You really won’t have 4 globals to use purely offensively. We only have defensive support and not offensive support – we simply stare at our targets and judge/spam cleanse on ourselves to try to get at them when we’re outranged. Enh shamans can purge during that time, or shock, or their pets are on them. Rogues can use numerous cc, damaging abilities, and in some cases ss. Ferals can jump to their targets, warriors can leap/charge. All melee classes have ways to increase uptime on their target. Ret has cleanse spam LoatL and a quickly uttered prayer to a diety of their own choice.
Edited by Heratli on 12/19/2010 5:19 AM PST
Our talent tree and new spells largely play against us in PvP. Many of our talents are rendered useless by purge and lack of uptime on our targets. We have no chance for RNG with the few hits the other team will allow us to get on them. Sanctity of Battle is nigh useless due to both lack of uptime and the necessity of haste on gear when Resilience replaces one of the two slots where haste could occur. Inquisition is far too costly in it takes HoPo (at least 1) and a GCD that could be better used cleansing (one autoattack on our target would probably be superior to 30% increased holy damage, being that we would get only one HoW if we pop AW and exorcism requires an autoshot to proc anyway). Seal of Truth will never get maximum stacks, SoJ is the weakest attempt at a snare I’ve ever seen, Divine Storm is useless, and I’m not even sure if PoJ HoPo generation was some weak attempt to make up for that lack of CS time on our targets. About half of our talents are passive, a quarter active and the other quarter simply adding RNG onto our class and our already RNG mastery (which will proc 1 out of every 12.5 autoattacks – meaning in pvp probably once or twice a match if ever.)
With the removal of much of our support and only the addition of purgable or just inefficient new spells, Retribution is the weakest melee class in PvP BY FAR.
They'll just keep stringing us along saying "wait till you're in x gear" then when we are in x gear it will be wait till you're in y gear in y season, you'll do better cause we'll do a small hotfix. Then it will be well, wait till 2 seasons later because we still wanna see where things are going and we may hotfix it again then, but just maybe we like where this is going. Then it becomes wait till the next xpac we want to see how things go then when you're at lvl 90.
Otherwise good post, I haven't pvp'd in a long time, but I do know that ret right now is basically a meat shield in PvP
Edited by Allíe on 12/19/2010 2:34 PM PST
This is a pretty good post overall. Like really good/ But to tell you the truth so many paladins focus on that Divine Shield to balance it and make all paladin not upset about the dmg reduction i think it should be a cast time, however short they wanna make it it should still be a cast. And then they can lower the cooldown on Lay on hands (which IMO is a much better replacement [while still being OP] to a bubble.)
Also giving ret the talent that prot had before (cant remember its name) but it made divine plea refresh off of ever melee attack and give it a 60%chance to resist dispel effects, if they gave the dispel effects mechanics to our CD it would balance it out so much more.
I would really love for them to expand the Judgement and Seals once again. Having to go from doing any really dmg with Seal of Truth To (not slowing them) limiting them to max movement.
I think the RNG isn't all that bad but proc-ing off your auto attack is the bad part. If it was that AoW Proc-ed off of your TV or WoG and was a percent per holy power. or if your Hand of Light (the mastery ability[not to sure if that is the exact name]) proc-ed off your CS or Judgements and they up ed the % chance.
It is sad that many other classes can out heal us. When i say out heal us i mean whatever they use to get Health back mid battle is more efficient then our WoG, and any of our heals. Such as Health Stones healing 45% of a locks health, Or the amount of Health Mages heal and even how well recuperation seems to be doing.
As i am new to the Arena Scene i've learned the two things are important the balance of survivability Vs Burst Dmg and to tell you the truth I would like to hear Heratlis Idea on fixing the problems we have in both.
-Judgement and Holy wrath should have 100% chance of getting 1 HP.
-Consecration should have 40% chance of getting 1 HP every 3 seconds if any hostile targets step in range of it.
-Cleanse should have immunitie for 3 seconds when you removed a slow/movement impariing effects. 30 second ICD
-Inquisition should convert physical to holy damage by 50%
That's all for now.
I won't pretend to know exactly what will fix retribution.
However...I do have a few ideas. Some have been mentioned before and some have not.
I am happy with our burst potential in PvP, but as you say, it's so reliant on autoattacks and not getting purged that it's not viable in any high rated scenario.
For Susceptibility to CC:
1. (Adding to Acts of Sacrifice Talent) When Cleanse removes a Movement Impairing effect, it also grants Immunity to all forms of CC for 5 seconds. (This would have to mean Cleanse takes off all movement impairing effects if multiple snares are applied to the paladin pre-cleanse.) This would effect Retribution Paladins only. Could be combined with LoatL to actually get melee hits in on targets. A normal cleanse would not put up this buff so paladins would not be immune to all forms of CC. In effect, players would snare paladins less because of this cleanse, while this talent would not effect ccs that incapacitate, stun, cyclone, et cetera unless the paladin had cleansed a snare/movement impairing effect within the past five seconds. This would counter the AoE slows in the game and allow the paladin uptime on targets equal to other melee, while allowing them to be CC'd as long as you are careful to not snare them, or immediately after this immunity ends.
For Purge = Win:
2. and/or 3.
2. As Affliction Warlocks rely on their DoTs for damage, Retributions rely on Zealotry and Avenging Wrath for our real burst. Both of these are purgeable and spellstealable. I find it ridiculous that by popping our major damage cooldown (Avenging Wrath) we are probably killing one of our teammates. Avenging Wrath itself should be made undispellable either by making it a buff like our auras or giving it purge/steal immunity.
3. Perhaps Paladins (or multiple classes) could have talents that make certain spells cut the effectiveness of Purges by half. Avenging Wrath lasts 20 Seconds. 1 purge at 18 seconds would reduce its duration by 1/2 to 9 seconds. Same with Zealotry, but not with Blessing of Might or perhaps Buffs exceeding 30 seconds in duration. Hand of Protection, Hand of Freedom, and Hand of Sacrifice should probably get this kind of treatment. I believe this is a fair compromise. It still would not change that Mages are able to spellsteal and probably kill our team. (I don't believe comparing AW to a Shaman's bloodlust is a fair comparison, and I don't know any other classes whose main source of burst can work against them in this way - not warriors dks rogues shamans hunters mages (can spellsteal back or spellsteal the other mage's) warlocks priests ----anything.
1. In all honesty, the only thing I can think of is making Holy Shock baseline. This would allow generation of Holy Power before PvE encounters, before Arenas begin, and it would be an instant heal (necessary for PvP purposes, you won't see rets casting FoL in the thick of it) that doesn't take away from our damage besides using the global, and perhaps adding to a future WoG. Due to it not healing for THAT much it would be used as an on-the-go HoPo generator. It would probably also be used in PvE over Holy Wrath, but I think that would be a good change personally. Perhaps it could have an extended cooldown for Retribution...but balancing a hybrid class around one heal that is a choice between our damage and our survivability that requires THAT much ramp up time is ridiculous. We're screwed no matter what we pick. I'm not even sure Holy Shock alone would be enough but it would help ret's problems immensely.
Remember, if it only tickles plate, it also only tickles elemental and resto shamans, and priests as well. Mages are really hard to even land something on, and tend to have pretty big bubbles up, so that leaves locks, druids (until they bear up), enhance, hunters, and rogues as the only people it'll really hurt. So, it's really unexciting vs over half the class/spec combinations in the game.
SoI does give some healing automagically, however. It also gives mana back, allowing more use of Cleanse as a snare break, and so on. Thus, I use SoI on the basis that I'm giving up a little damage, though I switch to Justice is it seems it'll be useful.
Nothing about SoI is offensive...if you're playing that defensively straight from the beginning it'll just cause you to lose pvp scenarios. SoI has its uses in very few situations...but not as a primary ret seal.
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