Want Opinions - Ret Pally Potential in 5.3?

For background, I'm currently leveling a retribution paladin. I got completely hooked on paladins and leveled 1-87 in a week and a half. I would very much like to turn him into my main focus on gearing at level 90. However, although paladin damage is insane post-80 to 89 (since 85 I've topped the lists without fail against everybody higher leveled than me - including level 89's), popular belief suggests their damage is lackluster relative to the majority of damage classes at level 90.
- Does this belief hold true to raiding ret paladins out there?
Now, ever since reading the 5.3 patch notes, I've been quite excited given retribution paladins will now have 30% increased damage with two-handed weapons up from 15%. I see that as a substantial difference, and a very smart move on Blizzard's part.
However, do you all think this -will- make a big enough difference to make retributions sufficiently competitive against the rest of the damage dealers? Do you believe this will be a chance to bring them among the top? Because as far as I can tell, aside from enhancement shamans, I don't see any substantial damage buffs that they will be receiving.
I would love to hear your opinions. Thank you if you do.
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90 Dwarf Paladin
12730
Ret's already sufficiently competitive. The problem with damage as a fresh 90 is that you have practically no gear, and Ret is one of the most gear-dependent specs in the game and you're essentially running alongside people that could have been geared for months and will floor you on meters. Beginning of expansion, when no one had gear, I was keeping pace with everything in comparable gear - and still am, often beating most other specs in LFR save for the odd heroic raid geared player that drops in for some extra VP.

Bottom line is that Retribution is nowhere near as bad as people would have you think.
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90 Tauren Paladin
9730
Popular opinion isn't always correct. Ret is middle of the pack, but not significantly so. The buff will help close the gap between Ret and the top, though.
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90 Human Paladin
16115
Grognard's exactly correct. I usually top the charts, even against better-geared DPS.

The nay-sayers will tell you that means that every other DPS I play with, whether in my regular raid group or in LFR, is a bad player. I find it easier to believe that they're wrong than that literally everyone I see in WoW is terrible at playing their spec.

Are we the strongest DPS class in the game? Probably not, but I firmly believe that our shortcomings in that department only show at the very highest level of play. For what 95% of the player base is doing, Retribution is a strong DPS spec with some fantastic support abilities. Our healing throughput might not be impressive, but the ability to spot heal with a Selfless Healer proc or a LoH, or to support a tank with Hand of Sacrifice or a healer with Blessing of Protection at critical times is very valuable to a raid.

If you like playing the spec and are seeing good results with it from 85-89, you will probably do well at 90. We do competitive DPS and when an encounter starts getting rough, we have a number of things we can do to help our group/raid out besides "DPS it harder!" and hoping for the best.
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Thank you for your responses. The information you've given makes a lot of sense, and helps solidify my idea of the ret paladin's benefits in the context of raiding. I definitely realize that retribution paladins aren't and shouldn't be the highest dps class (no matter what the encounter), but I wasn't sure how valuable they were. The reason why I say this is because I've read articles written by Blizzard staff paladin players as well as kept up with raidbots, dpslogs, theory craft, you name it - and ret pallies aren't ever close to the top.
As Keten said, they are near the middle, but from what I've seen, under the middle slightly. I will definitely continue my ret pally endeavors since having fun is what matters. My only concern was because raiding guilds typically want solely holy and prot paladins, and I haven't quite seen guilds that are like "need ret pallies!!". Anyway, thank you.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8950
From my experiences in raiding in ret, I have found that I am a key person in our raid comp. Like Camaeris said we don't just provide dps, we provide support as well. If we were strictly dps there would be no difference us and warriors. But that's not to say we can't be up on the top in dps. I am often in the top 3 in dps in my raid comp competing with a frost death knight, frost mage and a hunter. (Sometimes taking top dps on certain fights) and this was all before the buff! But it isn't the dps factor that makes me a key person, it's my support. Our big off heals due to SH can not only save someone but ease the pressure on your healers especially if you roll with 2 healers. Along with this we are one of the only dps classes that can dispel! Being able to help dispel poison and disease with cleanse and magic effects with HoS makes us a great asset to healers. I have had the same amount of dispels on Horridon as my healers before and proved to be key to downing him. We also have devotion aura that helps reduce magical damage as well as hand of salvation which has saved the life of my healers numerous times, preventing new adds from destroying them. The final point I have to make is HoP. With HoP(hand of protection) you can save people from mechanics. I found this out on Horridon where I used HoP on a tank and it got rid of the triple puncture debuff.

So in my opinion ret pallys were handy in last patch but in this patch they will definitely be a great fit into any raiding group.
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