Dual Spec Help

Hello Friends :)

It's been two years since I've played (I'm loving drinking the kool-aid again) so I feel like a n00b, novice, virgin...take your pick.

I'm love the dual spec option, but because the talent trees and stats and...everything else is a little different since last time I played, I could use some advice on dual spec.

I want to be an asset in dungeons so I'm assuming holy is still a good spec because healers are few and far between. Put with soloing, is prot or ret better?

I've tried both and it seems like prot is better. Ret has some really cool features to knock out a solo enemy (I love art of war) but the trade off doesn't seem to be worth it: not as much defense, lower armor, not as much AOE. Or am I missing something?

I love the two-handed sword specialization in ret, but again, doesn't seem to be worth the trade off of a shield. Is it just me, or has paladin melee taken a huge backseat to spell usage? The extra DPS of a two-handed sword doesn't seem to be worth it when I'm not getting a lot of melee damage anyway. Again, am I missing something?

I'd love to know your thoughts/opinions.
Many of the posters seem to complain that things die too quickly as Ret. Interesting that you should feel the opposite.

Ret's damage is a force to be reckoned with at this point. Can protection solo well? Hell yes. Can ret? Hell yes. Ultimately there's no right or wrong answer. You're going to get fanboys and fangirls from each side trying to sway you. Just pick the spec YOU enjoy, and learn to play it well. End of story.
Very good advice Eckdahl!

With going toe-to-toe with one enemy, me likey the ret. But with multiple enemies, I feel like most others, "HOLY CRAP! Why is my health bar draining so fast?!?"

If you had any courage at all, you would level as Holy.

I already leveled one pally to 80 as holy, so it doesn't count for me.

Yes, perhaps I am that dumb.
You're not dumb for leveling as Holy. It's never been as bad as people complain it is (at least, not in WotLK), and it's a LOT better now than it was in the past. (Yes, I walked until 40 and completed the quest to get my charger at 62, just before I was allowed to fly at 60. As Holy.)

OP: The main thing to keep in mind about Ret is that most of your abilities scale off of weapon damage more than spellpower or attack power. The higher your weapon damage, the harder you will hit and the less time you'll spend in combat. Speaking as a wannabe Holy caster dps, Crusader Strike hits like a wet noodle if you don't have a beefy weapon behind it. That's why Ret is considered to be a two-handed spec. It's the "offensive" spec of paladins, not meant to be able to take as many hits simply because the potential damage output is so high. That's also why Ret has things like Repentance, Rebuke, and Eye for an Eye available while leveling - if you're fighting three mobs, you can Repentance one, focus on another, and let a third caster just nuke themselves to death until you get to them.

There's certainly nothing wrong with leveling as Ret, as Prot, or as Holy. They provide three different playstyles, three different toolboxes, and three different areas of focus. Feel free to experiment a little - you'll be getting a free respec later today, and the first respec or two are relatively cheap.
Jantilla - Ooh good advice on using Repenance and Rebuke for multiple enemies.

Notforrent - LOL, I acutally leveled this pally to 50 with holy, simply because I didn't know better. I was like, "Holy Paladain, that sounds cool." It wasn't until I started getting into the theory of the game did I realize that a Prot Pally could take on so many more baddies.

Alt- That's why I want one spec to be holy so I can be viable on teams. I feel gameplay wise, I'm a good healer but I'm horrible at tanking.

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