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I'm going to tell this strictly from a 2's perspective, as I have not had much of a chance to get into 3's yet. Just a forewarning. (Lol 2's)
Well, I am having a severe problem surviving in arenas. I can kite melee just fine, and do my best to LoS ranged DPS when they are applying pressure.
I switch to insight while being trained hard, pop my DP (and dwarf racial!) appropriately, burn HA and AW for healing more often than not, and manage my buffs well on whoever my partner may be (either breaking CCs for a healer or freeing up peels from a DPS.) I keep up inq constantly for the extra crit on my heals.
Why am I having so much trouble surviving? Is it a problem inherently built into Ret at this point, that healing buffs may or may not fix? Seeing we've had some already, it doesn't entirely seem to be the case to me.
Is there something that I am not doing? I mean, even going so far as to deliberately keep up the TV glyph proc because I am in such need of damage resistance.
It seems that every time I get caught even a little out of position, or even just straight up trained the whole game, I always manage to take ludicrous amounts of damage very quickly.
Anything I'm not getting here?
Could be different in 3's I suppose, but even in 2's with a healer I get pretty manhandled trying to flee for my life from DPS.
I see that you're running with a hunter.
If you are up against another double DPS team, chances are 90% of the time they're going to focus you, especially with a hunter partner. I highly suggest using Seal of Insight from the start. The extra damage from Truth is good, but in my opinion, the extra 5% healing on top of the frequent heal procs from insight far outweigh the added damage in this scenario. Those ticks add up fast and go a long way mitigating the enemies damage. I just started running Insight against double DPS teams a few weeks ago and noticed a good increase in survivability.
If you find yourself fighting a healer/dps team, you should stick with Seal of Truth. I still use Insight in the beginning if I think the other enemy DPS is going to burst me while my partner sits in a CC chain. After they blow CDs, I swap to Truth to help burn the healer faster.
Watching out for and anticipating your enemies CDs is extremely important vs another double dps team. We can heal through sustained damage pretty well, but it's that crazy burst flying around that will flatten us in seconds. If you notice the enemy team poping cds, do anything in your power to distance yourself and get to safety. Use Blinding Shield and let them sit in it for the whole 6 seconds, use stun defensively if you have to, hug pillars, have your team mate CC and peel while you escape, anything to avoid the trinket/cooldown damage.
If using Selfless healer, don't be afraid to use flash heal at two stacks. Most people are not going to be able to interrupt a .4 second cast. I use it at 1 stack all the time if I have some distance. Funnel all your Holy Power into healing to live through their burst, getting a TV here and there isn't going to help you, you need to survive (exorcism procs TV glyph now anyway).
If you avoid the burst and still haven't had to use Wings, you've pretty much won.
If you have to bubble a warrior, use Blinding Shield before they cast Shattering Throw, then find cover.
If a Rogue opens on you, don't engage them right away. Put some distance up, cleanse poisons, heal, and engage them after they've been out of stealth for about 10 seconds. You need to let Find Weakness and Master of Subtlety fall off or you'll take massive damage. If they used Shadow Blades you defiantly need to get away for a bit.
Hand of Protection will clear necrotic strike stacks, it will also break Fear.
Against any melee class you need to use Hammer of the Righteous to put up Weakened Blows. The 10% less physical damage helps.
If I can think of anything else later, I'll add it. This turned out much longer than I anticipated.
DK's themselves are pretty squishy, but a DK sitting in Blood Presence with Conversion rolling, with cooldowns is IMO in a better defensive spot vs most classes than a Ret.
DK's would cry that Rets get bubble, but honestly it's an old mechanic, too long of a cooldown and the forbearance is a little too much IMO. Many classes have much better defensive cooldowns at this point in the game.
I dunno, if anyone gets double teamed, I don't see them surviving for long without using all their defensive CDs and CCs.
What you need is peeling from your partner when you are getting double teamed. Hunters are particularly good with peeling with scatter trap, Explosion Trap, Silencing Shot, and roots. You also have the 30 second stun when they seem to be hounding you.
If they both pop offensive CDs, you have Divine Shield, which is an absolute counter to everyone not a Warrior or Priest.
I think maybe the best solution for you may be practice and teamwork.
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