Retribution Needs a Clear Direction

Paladin
@OP, nice post. Though as a long time player I would say with these changes blizz has shown less of a commitment to the class/spec than before. They had gotten things just about right throughout most of Wrath; whereas today's changes feel more along the lines of: "Hey, guys, from what I've been reading on the forums and experiencing in BG's, ret is too faceroll and easymode and they only have to press three buttons to beat people, so let's change that up a bit." Cata will be hit or miss for ret depending on the designers' whims.


Well, I think that Blizzard hasexpressed sentiments similar to what you describe. Whether or not ret was particularly ez mode is a bit of a sore point, but I do agree that we had a design that was curiously limiting in that it was relatively easy to be good but impossible to be great, in terms of dps and even high-end pvp. We dominated low-end content, but had a tougher time getting similar results in arenas and heroic raiding.

I honestly think that Blizzard's intent was to change the design enough that there was room for really good ret paladins to be competitive with really good mages, warriors, etc, in any situation, while making it harder for average ret paladins to automatically be top dps in every 5-man. I'm just not sure they've exactly done that; moreover, even if they have, my deeper issue is that what they've built for us is a system that is considerably less fun to play.
a good ret paladin has been able to top the charts throughout icc. even at 85 they have been doing very well on the beta


I don't want to get into a debate with you as I think you are a troll, but the point you raise is worth debunking. If you look at raid data from WotLK you will see that, when you track only the top 50 performers from each class, retribution is second from the bottom in terms of overall dps performance in ICC (shamen are the worst). However, if you track all raid data, retribution moves up to the middle of the pack. This confirms my point that ret fell out of competition at the highest levels precisely, though it isn't really news. I believe WoW Insider put it best when describing Wrath-era retribution as "kings of low level content."

As to the beta, I think that ret has overall been performing well in pve. Pvp is harder to measure, but the feedback so far is not great.

However, all of that is beside the point. You could make us the top dps class in the game and our new system would still feel "clunky", as another poster put it well. What I care most about is whether my class is fun to play. Right now it is less fun for me.

That in itself is a personal issue, and not one that Blizzard or anyone but me should give a lot of credence to. However, I get the sense that many paladins share my concerns. On various forums I read far more paladins who are less happy now than they were. This may just be a "squeaky wheel" phenomenon, but it may not. Anecdotally, I notice fewer people playing ret; for example, I am the only regular ret paladin remaining in either of my guild's 25s. The rest have all switched to alts.

My thesis is that the new ret design doesn't mesh very well yet, and this is the root of much of the player dissatisfaction. I am not really concerned about particular numbers, as numbers are relatively easy to tweak.
alright clowns, i'll spoil it for you: the clear direction for retribution is directly towards your enemy. once you arrive, you wail on them with the clear tools we have clearly been given to clearly function as melee dps. clearly.

how is this hard to figure out?

oh, also, our rng is at a high enough chance of proccing that you can almost depend on the procs to show up. it is very rare that i do not have exorcism available, and it's very rare that i have holes in my rotation. people who are slamming their heads on their desks in frustration from a one second gap in their rotations really boggle my mind, frankly.
Dps is irrelevant to the OP's topic. We could have 1 spammable button hit for 100k a pop, but I don't think anyone would call that a good design. If you were competent, your dps should have increased with the Holy Power changes.

What has bothered me a lot about the changes is that blue posters have been relatively silent on our plethora of issues with the spec. That can lead to all sorts of paranoia. The fixes they have implemented since 4.0 have done nothing to actually address the root problems we have. Increasing our damage, only to have it taken away this week did nothing but piss people off and was quite bewildering. The change to Divine Storm was also head scratching as it doesn't generate holy power but shares a cooldown with CS. The change to Zealotry was welcome, but we got the Holy Power bug at the same time that was reported for literally weeks on the beta forums with no acknowledgement. I don't know if it's fixed yet because I've had no desire to do any raiding or even heroics with my ret recently.

I'm still unclear as to actually why they changed our class and what they wanted to accomplish with it. All I know of it is just hear say and opinion on the forums. That irritates me to no end to think that the class I enjoyed playing for months was just gutted with no real explanation, like it's just a mean joke.







i'm honestly surprised that no one playing this game payed any attention to what was going on in the beta, where the developers were explicit when stating their intents and goals with the changes they were making. this entire thread is full of people who appear to be angry that they chose ignorance over keeping up with the information that was being released frequently during the development of the expansion.

there is nothing 'unclear' about why they changed our class, and what they wanted to accomplish with it. you are simply complaining because you don't like the changes, and that sort of thing is why developers aren't posting here, and probably at all. there is nothing useful for the developers in this thread, and it would be a waste of time to even read it.

edit - also, the developers have a devblog now, it's where they'll be posting for the future, because their blue posts on the forums ended up being picked apart by ingrates and morons. the sort of people, in fact, that have posted in this very thread who think that posts like this are intelligent and warranted.
i'm honestly surprised that no one playing this game payed any attention to what was going on in the beta, where the developers were explicit when stating their intents and goals with the changes they were making. this entire thread is full of people who appear to be angry that they chose ignorance over keeping up with the information that was being released frequently during the development of the expansion.

there is nothing 'unclear' about why they changed our class, and what they wanted to accomplish with it. you are simply complaining because you don't like the changes, and that sort of thing is why developers aren't posting here, and probably at all. there is nothing useful for the developers in this thread, and it would be a waste of time to even read it.

edit - also, the developers have a devblog now, it's where they'll be posting for the future, because their blue posts on the forums ended up being picked apart by ingrates and morons. the sort of people, in fact, that have posted in this very thread who think that posts like this are intelligent and warranted.


Well, I certainly don't feel angry; I'm sorry if that came across as my tone. And I think I was pretty clear in describing exactly why they felt they had to make changes to ret. Your assertion that I didn't follow the changes in Beta is simply incorrect.

I'm not at all concerned at this stage as to "why they changed our class." As I think I pretty clearly stated several times, I fully understand why they felt the class needed changes. I'm concerned because the current model for our class lacks synergy and is too rng dependent; as a result I find it less fun and less immersive.

Why does Holy Wrath do damage like a single target attack but hit like an AoE attack? Why are our three resource talents often at odds with each other? Why are Avenging Wrath and Zealotry incompatible? Why do we need the current model for DS and seals of command? Why does exorcism hit harder than Templar's Verdict? In a nutshell, my concern is that our play feels chaotic. I can't put it any plainer than that.

I've been a proud Paladin since 1.1. This is my first negative post about the state of the class, even though I have been tempted in the past.

Ret is much weaker in PVP then it was prepatch.
PVE seems somewhat ok, I'm satisfied with my dps in pve for the moment. The DS nerfs drive me crazy though. You've taken the former top end talent and turned it into an afterthought.

We are much more vulnerable in PVP now.

1.We have lost a ton of passive healing due to the removal of flash art of war proc's, the decline in healing from DS, and the loss of Judgement of light.

2. The stun removal mechanic from Hof, the inability to cleanse magic, and the removal of SS greatly reduce our ability to actively react defensively in order to reduce the amount of incoming and passive damage. Both on ourselves and our allies.

3. We don't produce enough holy power in PVP to use TV often or heal allies, or even ourselves.

4. Both Dshield and Dprotection have been nerfed.

If Blizzard wanted to move us to more of a support role then they failed badly. I cant waste holy power or cd's to heal others because I'll be killed if i don't use them on myself. We are more reliant on rng then ever.

My other support spells have been nerfed or removed.

I don't mind the addition of the holy power system but there was no reason to remove so many other abilities. The holy power system WAS NOT A BUFF and should not have been implemented at the cost of many of our core abilities.

If you want to add a new resource system to the paladin class then fine,but don't try and convince us you've given us any sort overwhelming new powers to keep us alive.

Some Solutions.

1. Give back SS as a holy power resource, SS was my favorite new ability in Wrath. Further buff DS and move Holy Wrath to holy power. This makes the holy power system a bit more then a gimmick and building up holy power to unleash a holy nova seems to make more sense. Moving consecration to holy power is another option and remove the cooldown.

2. Return the stun removal mechanic to HoFreedom. This was a nice reactive ability and is sorely missed.

3. Holy pallies have more then enough survival ability in pvp and don't need Blessed Life in pve. Move this ability to the ret tree to give us some holy power generation as we are kited around.

4. Cleansing hamstring and other snares seems pretty silly. Tie it into P. of justice or return the ability to cleanse magic so we can get rid of magic snares.

I've been pvping as ret since the TM days when i had to deal with a bugged Seal of command that would constantly stop working until you changed ranks. I didn't have CS, DS, AW, or Hammer. And I still managed to do pretty well. I've never been this frustrated in PVP.

I know what I'm doing and I'm well respected on both horde and alliance. This has been my main for 6 years. If i have to use AW or Bubble in a 1v1 then i consider it a loss.

Any pally who thinks they're ok because they can pop AW and one shot badly geared players is ignorant.

I've been mainly casual through Wrath due to personal and work issues but I know my class probably better then almost anyone else on my server. I'd give you my time played but I'd probably have a stroke if i looked. I don't need to learn how to play I'm just upset that my class has become one based on random procs and gimmicks like AW.

I've never felt so reluctant to pvp as ret as I do now. I do fine, but I'm nowhere as effective as i was before and I cant support my team half as well as i used to. I feel like half my keyboard has been taken away from me.

Additionally the new system just feels clunky. We need some serious tweaks.

PS. What kind of pally can't sense Undead? Give that and DI back please.
maybe YOU were on the bottom of the meters but i strongly disagree with you saying that ret had bad dps during icc


I refer you to the data at wow meters online.

Nor did I say that ret had bad dps during ICC. I said that at the high end of raiding, ret had the second worst average dps, which is true. In regular raids, pugs, etc, ret was just fine. This is, in fact, one of the specific issues that the changes to ret were designed to address. It is a weird design when a class can dominate easier content but lag behind on harder content. It also limited what designers could do with the class, since if you buffed to make ret more competitive in heroic raids and arenas, the spec would become that much more godlike at easier content.

Let's be clear: ret was a poor arena class, but a great BG class. A mediocre raiding class, but a godly 5-man or solo class. So that makes it very difficult to balance. Most players focus on the lower end content, and thus rightly perceived ret as OP. On the other hand, those who focused more on tougher content saw ret as a fairly weak spec. The changes to the spec were intended to change this dynamic so that ret was more consistent. This is a laudable goal.


Well, I certainly don't feel angry; I'm sorry if that came across as my tone. And I think I was pretty clear in describing exactly why they felt they had to make changes to ret. Your assertion that I didn't follow the changes in Beta is simply incorrect.

I'm not at all concerned at this stage as to "why they changed our class." As I think I pretty clearly stated several times, I fully understand why they felt the class needed changes. I'm concerned because the current model for our class lacks synergy and is too rng dependent; as a result I find it less fun and less immersive.

Why does Holy Wrath do damage like a single target attack but hit like an AoE attack? Why are our three resource talents often at odds with each other? Why are Avenging Wrath and Zealotry incompatible? Why do we need the current model for DS and seals of command? Why does exorcism hit harder than Templar's Verdict? In a nutshell, my concern is that our play feels chaotic. I can't put it any plainer than that.


ahh, okay.

well, i can see how you'd feel rng dependant as ret, given the procs we use. however, i think the problem with ret at 80, with the way it's designed, is that the community decided to stack haste until they couldn't stack it any more, and ignore mastery. admittedly, if you are trying to max your dps output this is on paper exactly what you want to do - but stacking haste at 80 to the extent that people have done has basically given them a false impression of how ret will play post-80, and will leave a whole lot of people disappointed in the extreme and likely angry. which is very silly, in my estimation.

for procs, you have AoW, which is extremely reliable. it's up often enough that i can weave it into my dps cycle without issue, and it's damage is very nice. i can pretty much rely on it.

HoL gets a lot of hate, because most people want a mastery that they can math out as clear dps increase by a percentage, and HoL doesn't really allow for that sort of thing. as an experiment, i reforged everything i could to mastery, to see how play would be like with a lot of mastery available to my character, as it would likely be at 85, but with only a decent amount of haste. what i ended up with was, i think, about 14% mastery or something, and this allowed me to proc HoL often enough that i seldom had any holes in my rotation and was able to mash TV two, three, and sometimes four times in a row, to great personal enjoyment. i've come to feel that with enough mastery, i.e. as much mastery as we'll likely have at 85, our dps cycle becomes a lot more enjoyable. this is also going to be apparent when ret has to juggle inquisition as well - HoL procs basically refresh it at almost no cost, and without having to really worry about timing overmuch. this is, while perhaps not easily numerically provable, clearly a pretty hefty benefit.

other stuff:

HW as a filler being an AoE that we use on single targets does feel odd; i would have perhaps liked DS in that role instead, because spinning hammers is still awesome. however, i do understand why it was designed that way (being a base class ability instead of a talent, ect), and i can live with it, considering that i believe it deals more damage on one target that it would do on multiple targets (splitting it's damage and whatever, not sure but i think that's how it works).

AW and Zealotry are compatible, but you gain more damage overall by not stacking them. this is because AW is all about HoW spam, and zealotry is all about TV spam. i personally enjoy having two dps cooldowns that i can throw one after the other - usually i work zealotry asap because it lets me set my combat system up really quickly, and AW pulls agro at the start of a fight in ways very few other things can. i don't know about our lvl. 85 ability, but i suspect we'll want to use zealotry during it for maximum effect, so there would be synergy there if you're really concerned about it. ;p

exo hits harder than tempar's verdict because TV is based on pure weapon damage, and our weapons are literally half as potent as lvl 85 weapons in terms of raw damage range alone. as far as i know exo still hits harder at 85 with the gear that was accessible, but just barely and only because of inquisition. i suspect there may well be a threshold where TV will hit harder, but that is purely speculation. it may also be that since you will be slamming TV like a madman with enough mastery and the nature of our cooldowns, it is probably okay for an attack that is available much less often to hit for slightly more than our go-to damage strike.

the current model for DS indicates that AoE trash in cata is going to be of the onyxia whelp variety - weak but incredibly numerous, too many to single target. in that situation, you might not even need to worry about not generating that much holy power, since our AoE attacks don't require it at all to work! only inquisition, and that is proccable with mastery!

in summation i suppose ret feels chaotic right now because people were convinced that stacking haste to an outrageous and never-again-attainable degree and ignoring mastery as a mechanic was the ideal way to play the class, and that simply is not true, given how many people are angry with how the spec is playing.

i suggest doing it wrong and actually giving mastery a shot with current gear - reforge as much mastery as you can and go wail on a target dummy for a bit and see if you like it more. that's what i did, and i actually enjoy the way ret plays, so it can't hurt!


Well, I certainly don't feel angry; I'm sorry if that came across as my tone. And I think I was pretty clear in describing exactly why they felt they had to make changes to ret. Your assertion that I didn't follow the changes in Beta is simply incorrect.

I'm not at all concerned at this stage as to "why they changed our class." As I think I pretty clearly stated several times, I fully understand why they felt the class needed changes. I'm concerned because the current model for our class lacks synergy and is too rng dependent; as a result I find it less fun and less immersive.

Why does Holy Wrath do damage like a single target attack but hit like an AoE attack? Why are our three resource talents often at odds with each other? Why are Avenging Wrath and Zealotry incompatible? Why do we need the current model for DS and seals of command? Why does exorcism hit harder than Templar's Verdict? In a nutshell, my concern is that our play feels chaotic. I can't put it any plainer than that.


ahh, okay.

well, i can see how you'd feel rng dependant as ret, given the procs we use. however, i think the problem with ret at 80, with the way it's designed, is that the community decided to stack haste until they couldn't stack it any more, and ignore mastery. admittedly, if you are trying to max your dps output this is on paper exactly what you want to do - but stacking haste at 80 to the extent that people have done has basically given them a false impression of how ret will play post-80, and will leave a whole lot of people disappointed in the extreme and likely angry. which is very silly, in my estimation.

for procs, you have AoW, which is extremely reliable. it's up often enough that i can weave it into my dps cycle without issue, and it's damage is very nice. i can pretty much rely on it.

HoL gets a lot of hate, because most people want a mastery that they can math out as clear dps increase by a percentage, and HoL doesn't really allow for that sort of thing. as an experiment, i reforged everything i could to mastery, to see how play would be like with a lot of mastery available to my character, as it would likely be at 85, but with only a decent amount of haste. what i ended up with was, i think, about 14% mastery or something, and this allowed me to proc HoL often enough that i seldom had any holes in my rotation and was able to mash TV two, three, and sometimes four times in a row, to great personal enjoyment. i've come to feel that with enough mastery, i.e. as much mastery as we'll likely have at 85, our dps cycle becomes a lot more enjoyable. this is also going to be apparent when ret has to juggle inquisition as well - HoL procs basically refresh it at almost no cost, and without having to really worry about timing overmuch. this is, while perhaps not easily numerically provable, clearly a pretty hefty benefit.


Well, we already know that stacking mastery is a pretty severe dps loss: Redcape's spreadsheet at EJ currently has a point of mastery at 85 being worth about 1/8 of a point of strength, or 1/4 a point of haste or crit (which have very similar coefficients). Exemplar's 80 spreadsheet has a similar but slightly lower spread.

But your claim about higher mastery decreasing rng and thus making the rotation less chaotic and more fun is interesting. It may indeed be the case that maximizing dps will require a more unpredictable rotation, thus forcing players to choose between max dps and, for some of us anyway, a more enjoyable experience. Perhaps part of the problem is that Blizzard has designed the play style to rely on a mastery that players, in our haste to maximize dps, have thrown out as worthless.
i suggest doing it wrong and actually giving mastery a shot with current gear - reforge as much mastery as you can and go wail on a target dummy for a bit and see if you like it more. that's what i did, and i actually enjoy the way ret plays, so it can't hurt!


/facepalm

In a competitive environment for raid spots you can't just play your class wrong to make it exciting for you - one should be able to play the class so that it remains competitive to other classes.

Wall of text crits me for - "I didn't bother to read the rest."

Personally, if Ret actually would work according to what the design is supposed to be, I think I would be tanking/ kissing the floor on any raid. Our threat needs to be fixed before they give us better damage capability.

TV on a 15 second cooldown is just silly. /end rant.
To Aieoz,

Yes, yes I did. =)

Sorry, I've been busy and haven't had the time or energy to retype for every new thread.
Please forgive me and send cookies.

Incidentally, I don't really mind Zealotry and AW not working well together. One, it's just asking to be purged in PVP. Two, it seems like it could be overwhelming if both were usable at the same time, I don't mind using one and then having the other to use until the first CD is back up.
Ret is clearly a more RNG and whack-a-mole like affair in PvE, and I don't really have a problem with it. My ICC 10/25 single target dps is fine at the gear-level that I run at and if that's how Blizzard' wants it then fine - I'll be paying a little more attention to procs than to my surroundings but we'll get by.

My bane lies with PvP. Almost anything out there will destroy us utterly before we can them. Wings + HoW for 6k - great, 3 HP Templars Verdicts for less than 1k - fantastic! Exorcism is about the only thing I have that hits hard.

Case in point (x2); there is absolutely no reason why should die to a shadow priest before I can break their bubble despite stun, repentance, rebuke and arcane torrent. Additionally, fighting a rogue should not be a laughable show where you'd almost imagine it was a Prot Pally vs Rogue. It took me about a minute to kill the rogue - and I had heals.

Seriously, after 150 or more days played and over 160,000 lifetime kills I'm loathe to spend much more time playing a Paladin and being free kills for someone else.

Yes, people can say we're all tuned for level 85 and PvP isn't balanced for 80 but in the end we're playing now, in a time where we can't level beyond 80 and it's just not fun to get clobbered by everyone.
i meant simply that mastery makes ret work better, and that intentionally avoiding it, or attempting to remove as much as possible from your character, might not the best thing to do if you like actually playing the class and having it work in a way that is worth playing. i know that haste is the best stat by a factor of 3 over every other stat. however, i didn't want to play my main in a way that would give a false impression of how it will play in the expansion, so i didn't stack haste to an outrageous degree.

i also know that with the testing done at level cap on the beta, they probably saw that ret paladins were avoiding and reforging out of their mastery in favor of haste. this tells me that the value of haste and the value of mastery is likely to change when cataclysm goes live.

TV on a 15 second cooldown is just silly. /end rant.


can't help but point out that complaining about the effective cooldown of TV while also avoiding our mastery like the plague is rather silly. just sayin'.

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