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I am a very casual gamer and though I have been playing WOW for a long time, there is loads and loads of things I do not know about this game. I read these boards and a lot of time have no idea what is being said. Especially when I have to figure out abbreviations. It's ok to laugh.
So, I could use some help. Would you mind looking at my character and giving me suggestions on what I should do? I only have a little experience in dungeons now that my guild is very inactive and I don't have any desire to do PvP. Any suggestions are appreciated and if you do answer, the more details the better. Thank you.
Expertise and hit aren't capped. Haste is extremely low.
Go questing in Dread Wastes; lots of 450 gear, there, to help get your item level up if you're wary of starting heroics. The scenario...Arena something? Free 450 weapon, plus a chance at 458 (463?) gear out of the bag.
Other than that, read the sticky here and get some gear!
And most importantly, have fun!
Pretty much what Grôgnárd said. You can get into heroics once your total ilevel is 440 but if your scared that you will get shunned in there perhaps the extra 10 ilevel boost to 450 would be helpful. The most important thing is that you have a strong weapon. As Grôgnárd stated you can get a 450 weapon from a quest inside the arena of annhilation scenario. If your familiar with the ring of blood, ampitheater of anguish, or crucible of carnage its exactly those, just in a scenario this expansion. I don't remember if you need to turn in a quest after each boss or if its just after you defeat the last boss (which is random between 3 last I remember).
Weapons are the strongest pieces of gear that help just about every single class/spec in the game perform better. Melee DPS specs rely on the weapons more than probably any other spec in the game. Retribution is no different. You'll see a DPS increase from what you have now, no doubt.
I don't know if you know this, but stray away from polearms whenever you see them unless it has strength on it.
It seems like you have the general idea of your character/spec from a gear standpoint. I'd just get some more blues from questing, replace that 365 trinket, get a better weapon from the scenario and your golden. Hit & DPS exp cap is most important, after that haste haste haste. When you obtain trinkets that say "on-use" put them on your bar(s) as though it were another ability. Time it with your avenging wrath/guardian of ancient kings you'll be flying in no time. Its alright, everybody starts somewhere.
The bulk of polearms are agility-based, now, for Druids and Monks - and formerly Hunters. The agility polearms can still be if your existing strength weapon has significantly lower weapon damage, but an equal level strength two-hander will trump an agility polearm.
I agree with the post above that you seem to have an idea of what you're supposed to be looking for gear-wise. The only real recommendation I have about your current choice of gear is that you should try to avoid anything that has dodge or parry on it. These are tanking stats and, as such, are completely useless to you. Aside from that, you should visit a reforger and optimize your current stats. I recommend using Mr. Robot to help you out with that. Now, onto some gear recommendations.
If you happen to know any blacksmiths who would be willing, there's a 463 axe (Masterwork Spiritblade Decimator) that can be crafted. If you don't know any, and if that particular weapon is expensive on your server, then the 450 scenario weapon is a great weapon to go for as well.
Some of the quests in the Dread Wastes award 450 (I think?) pieces, but not very many do so. Rare mobs throughout Pandaria drop 440s (for the most part), but I would recommend killing those on the side rather than actively seeking them out. You're very likely to get a non-plate or intellect piece rather than the strength plate you need.
If you're not comfortable with heroics yet, then you can get valor gear by just doing daily quests for the various Pandaria factions. You can reach the valor point weekly cap through daily quests alone, although it will be rather time consuming. However, this may be ideal for you considering 489 gear doesn't cost much valor at all.
I recommend joining a group for a Sha of Anger kill (or any world boss for that matter). Killing the Sha allows you to loot a quest item that you can redeem for a pair of 476 boots. You also have a chance at receiving tiered gloves or legs (496 ilvl), or PvP pieces. However, it's possible that your server doesn't form Sha groups regularly (mine doesn't, anyway). Most people are only interested in Nalak now.
In addition to the crafted axe, there are several other crafted items that you can take advantage of. The 450 or 458 PvP set is still fairly decent for Ret paladins, the 458 set especially so because of the gem sockets. This is made via blacksmithing as well, and I imagine runs relatively cheap on your server (if you don't know a blacksmith) since the mats are extremely cheap. Jewelcrafters can craft 450 rings and a 450 necklace as well. That may be a bit pricier, unfortunately, since one of the materials is a royal pain to farm (or at least it was when I was still making them on my jewelcrafter).
Of course, gear isn't the only important thing to consider. If you don't feel confident running heroic dungeons, then I would recommend reading up on your class/spec on any number of online resources. Noxxic, although lacking in explanation, is a fairly decent start to see how your stats are prioritized. It also identifies the Retribution ability priority. Elitist Jerks and Icy Veins go into much more detail, although Icy Veins may be easier to navigate. It's useful to understand what your class is capable of so that you can maximize your potential in heroics, LFR, or raid groups.
I hope that this post is helpful to you.
It is because you need hit/exp to 7.5% in order to ensure all of your abilities land. Haste has gotten better for gemming because they changed gems to give double secondary stats and haste has an effect on a number of abilities in addition to Sanctity of Battle.
Be sure to do the barrens quests and the follow up to KunLai as it rewards some nifty boots.
Ah, yes. Haste has become quite a bit more powerful this expansion. For most people at or above heroic quality (ilvl 463) gear, one point of strength is equal to .54 points of haste. It's still beneficial to gem strength at lower ilvls, but once you hit 463 or higher haste pulls ahead. Of course, the values are relative to each other and change as your gear does, so it's a good idea to plug your gear into one of the many spreadsheets on the internet to determine your own stat weights, and to see when 2 points of haste becomes stronger than 1 point of strength. I think the Elitist Jerks retribution thread has a link to such a spreadsheet.
Also, hit and expertise are our absolute most powerful stats until cap (and dodge cap for expertise). You usually won't gem pure hit or expertise, though. You would usually gem a hybrid gem to meet socket bonuses. The only time you would want to get pure hit or expertise is if you are very far away from the cap, but retribution gear doesn't have much of a problem with this once you reach an item level of 463 or higher. If you find a mace or sword, then you get a bonus 1% expertise due to your human racial, so expertise shouldn't be too difficult to cap. 7.5% should be your goal, although being a few points under won't hurt (really, if you can get to within .25 points, then you're golden). Mr. Robot can help you optimize your reforges and gems in order to get you as close to the caps as possible without exceeding them.
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