CHANGES THAT WOULD HELP RETRIBUTION IN ARENAS AND RBGS
1. Mechanic like the old sacred shield reintroduced. When your health drops under 30%, you will gain a shield absorbing damage equal to 25% of your maximum health. Can’t occur more than once every minute. No ap/sp scaling or healing increase. Only scaling with health increasing abilities and buffs.
In cataclysm rets were too squishy and easily trained down before we got sacred shield in 4.0.6. For some reason blizzard decided to remove it in MoP and it no longer can be taken for the same purpose from the talent tree. Sad thing is that also our world of glory heals have been cut down and they actually heals pretty much the same or even slightly less than they did in cata (after pvp power nerf and battle fatigue). Add that to a pvp season of strong shadow priest and arms warrior representation and our divine shield gets taken down instantly. That leaves us in a vulnerable spot, our defenses are too easily countered and our sustained survivability has been cut down a lot from cata, and pretty much completely destroyed after 30% battle fatigue, 25-28% reduced healing from pvp power and 25% mortal strike. This is the reason why you should not base melee (or any other damage dealer) defensives to healing. Mechanic like the old SS is just what we need. Something that is not dispellable and we don’t have to pop bubble every time someone looks at us. However I do not think it should be introduced with ap/sp scaling because it forces you to pop cooldowns for higher absorb and also makes you too much stronger while doing offensive pressure. Season 11 ret paladins were able to take advantage of this in 3 dps comps. 25% of maximum health also keeps it’s strength relatively the same throughout the expansion when SS on the other hand scaled stronger with better gear.
2. Mechanic like the old Last word talent reintroduced. Increases the critical strike chance of your word of glory (and FoL?) by 60% to targets under 35% health.
One of the biggest utilities/reasons to pick a ret to your team in cataclysm was off-healing with wogs. While I admit that instant heals between 70k and 120k to 140k health pools were too strong most of the time, the mechanic of getting almost 100% crits to weak targets was very important part of it. The reason for this relies on the holy power system of paladins. I still think paladins have to sacrifice the biggest amount of resources and damage for selfhealing or peeling with heals. If we use all our holy power to stay alive or heal an ally with wogs, our sustained damage plummets too much. Right now for example, we have to use a lot of holy power to wogs because the heals are so small to keep us up. This is where Last word comes to play. Blizzard tried to limit the need to spam wogs with a 20-second cooldown (10 later on) in early cata but that was a crippling change. What should have been done in the beginning is last word type of mechanic that promotes the use of the holy power to wogs only when we or allies are low on health and it almost 100% doubles the heal. This way rets won’t have to spam all holy power to WoGs and we can save them for better use later. Everyone who plays ret can say that our sustained damage is too low. It is, but part of the problem is that we rarely get to hit TVs in pvp because of the need to refresh inquisition so often and the rest of the holy power we have to use for healing. After the change to old Selfless healer and the loss of Last word, we no longer provide the utility of good offhealing in pvp and we still can’t peel properly so this change would do a lot. This would *possibly* prevent the need to buff heals because they would be more powerful if used right.
3. Seals off the global cooldown and Seal of Justice changed to proc from judgements too.
We have 4 seals as ret now, but for some reason 3 of them are so weak that they can’t be used pretty much anywhere. Seal of Justice is the only real pvp seal after Seal of Truth, but in addition to being a pretty big damage loss (to a spec with already weak sustained), it also does not have dot-component to prevent stealthing or just to provide damage while being kited and does not proc off judgements like SoT does. The slow it provides is a decent 50% slow, but its usability is not decent. We can’t sit on SoJ because of the damage loss, so we need to swap seals to slow someone and then come back to SoT before censure runs out. However, for some reason Seals are on the global cooldown. This is the only “stance-mechanic” in game that I know is on the normal GCD. So in order to slow someone with this seal and come back to SoT for better sustained damage, we have to sacrifice two globals of 1,5 seconds. After all that, it can be dispelled right after we applied it. How is this reasonable compared to other melee? No wonder other seals don’t get used in pvp because their design is unfinished and irrational. As as small note towards pve, this would also help the use of SoR in aoe, but the seal itself still needs a damage buff because there isn’t a single boss in this tier that using SoR instead of SoT would be a dps increase. Even in Wind lord you are better with SoT on 3 targets.
About the proc off judgement part: After implementing this slowing seal to retribution paladins, Blizzard invented a talent called Burden of Guilt, a passive physical slow from judgements. This talent is problematic.
First of all, it’s way too strong a slow in its current form. A physical ranged slow with 100% uptime is too foolproof, annoying for opponents and requires no effort to use. It also makes seal of justice completely useless if specced into it.
Secondly, it’s placed in a talent tree against 2 crowd control talents. As strong as it is, it can’t be taken to arenas because of the weak cc of retribution spec without FoJ. If repentance was actually usable, BoG would be even less used talent. You can’t go to arenas and fight against the huge amounts of crowd control with a slow. Slow does not work as a cc in arenas.
Thirdly, it’s basically a retri paladin talent anyway. I’ve never seen holy paladins use it in pvp. Some prots seem to be using it in pve, but why not give them SoJ too then? This talent is so retribution specific and important for rets that why can’t it be added to SoJ? As part of SoJ it would not be as powerful because SoJ is magic and dispellable. Rets have played for ages without slows and now that we finally got it, we can’t properly use either of the slows. We need a way to peel with something else than healing.
4. Selfless healer to retribution spec baseline. Your successful judgements reduce the cast time of you next spell with under 2 second cast time by 50% and increases the effectiveness of flash of light by 25-30% per stack when used on others.. Stacks to 2 times. NOTE: Art of war could make repentance instant after a proc too but that would be more RNG and more uncounterable.
The purpose of this change is not to improve defensives or off-healing of rets. The purpose of this is pure reasoning and utility. It never made sense to give holy paladins a chance to spec for “selfless healer”. I know the reason for this is to give them chance to use judgement in their rotation because some liked it. The concept just does not feel right. Selfless healer was “the thing” of rets in cataclysm and it’s still needed for arenas. Pretty much every ret specs this right now for competitive pvp but few to none holy paladins. Prots use sacred shield in pve. Blizzard took something from ret again that was too much a ret talent and now we are forced to take it from the tree and other specs don’t want it.
The change I proposed is reasoned with this: It’s an excellent way to give some complexity to ret spec, in a good way. Instead of it being the free heal you toss every once in a while, if could be used for more utility. Repentance in its current form can’t be taken by rets to pvp. Melee just can’t cast cc and for a spec like ret that gets trained a lot in arenas, we can’t start casting a long cast and get spell locked out of divine shield. If selfless healer also affected repentance, it would create a choise between peeling/healing with FoL or peeling/pressuring/preventing damage with repentance. Now it would actually make repentance a decent choice in the tree. Blinding light for holy is seemingly getting a cast time in 5.2. and this mechanic would allow a cast time for rets too. Less instant cc with no ramp up or cost=profit??? SH has stacks so it’s visible when rets are able to use it and the stacks are dispellable so it’s actually counterable too. However with added utility to it, it needs to stack to 2 only to provide smoother functioning. I get the feeling that the 3 stack change in beta was for holy only. I’m also suggesting a reduction of the healing increase-% to party members to offset the possibility for more frequent use.
EDIT: looks like blizzard did is doing tweaks to SH in 5.2. and increasing the power of flash of light by 50% to rets. Good change but makes SH even weaker for nonrets, which just means it should be baseline instead of a talent.
IDEAS HOW TO FILL THE EMPTY SPOTS IN THE TALENT TREE.
1. To replace Burden of guilt: Instead of slow, the talent needs to compete with utility to the other 2 cc. For example: Improved blinding light. Reduces the cooldown of BL to 60 seconds and it increases it’s range (not radius) to 30 yards. 1,5 second cast. Think of how ring of frost works.
Wouldn’t increase the amount of chainable cc. Would not leave any spec with weak cc if specced like BoG did. There would be 3 different crowd control with 3 different diminishing return groups so you can pick what fits your arena or RBG team.
2. To replace selfless healer. Last word like I described it would be one idea. It does not have to be ret baseline ability but it needs to be something you can get somehow.
I see it as a good choice for other specs too than ret in the spot. Choise between having stronger heals to weak targets, a heal-over-time or an absorbing shield sounds like a good trade-off. Selfless healer has too much utility tied into it because it's both self and off-healing talent.
THINGS THAT NEED CHANGING
1. Repentance. In its current form, it’s way too weak for ret and way too strong for holy. The duration of it should be reduced to 6 seconds in pvp again and it’s cooldown should be increased to 20-25 seconds. This way it wouldn’t be too good for holy. After doing this, however, it needs to be instant or able to make instant (via SH) for rets to be even remotely competitive.
2. Holy Avenger. Ret has too much burst at the moment but it’s available with a very high cooldown. This makes it bad for both rets and our opponents to play with and against rets. Currently many specs have 1 minute cooldowns that deal weaker burst and that’s exactly what rets need too. Holy Avenger with 1 minute cooldown and 10 second duration would be much needed change to reduce stackable burst and make rets have some sort of burst more often. This would make it stack with usable pvp trinkets too which is a good thing, and make it better for stuff like challenge modes where you could use it in trash packs more often.
3. Sanctified wrath. This talent is poorly based on having 4 piece pve bonus from the current tier. Instead of increasing the duration by 10 seconds, this talent should just reduce the cooldown of Avenging wrath to 2 minutes and the set bonus should be removed. This will make it a viable pvp talent. There is no real reason for anyone to pick this talent for pvp and in pve it’s only good for rets with the set bonus and probably good for prots because of the healing taken increase. Changing it to reduce the cooldown won’t make it worse for anyone. 30 seconds of burst is not really needed and it’s not good design for the game anyway.
4. Guardian of the Ancient kings could need a change for ret. The only purpose of this spell is to be another stackable cooldown to our burst. Changing the guardian would be the easiest way to reduce burst damage. It could be changed to grant haste instead of strength which would reduce the big numbers during bursts but still make it decent bursting cooldown. I’d like to see it do something else than to be a bursting cooldown, like a utility cooldown or defensive cooldown, but i guess that will never happen anyway.
5. Ret needs some exclusive utility. At the moment rets are highly unwanted for RBGs because of the huge downtime on their damage cooldowns and weak sustained pressure without any cds. Our cc is not strong and our survivability relies on long, dispellable cooldowns too. However, the biggest reason most likely is that rets don’t have a niche. There is nothing that a ret paladin can bring to a RBG group that holy can’t bring. There is nothing unique about ret paladin utility after most of our utilities are now talents that holy can take. This is pretty much why enhancement shamans are unwanted too. Two specs that can’t offer anything better than their healing specs while being sub-par in melee utility compared to highly wanted melees (rogues, warriors, death knights, ferals). Windwalker will most likely get a pass to RBGS via the new buffs in 5.2. especially with ring of peace.
6. Inquisition. This effect feels like pain in pvp and is part of the whole sustained damage problem. It costs too much, is too important and has a bit too short duration. A good idea with inquisition would be to change the useless glyph that reduces its power and increases duration, or then just plain buff the spell a bit. For example, you can use it without holy power and it lasts 10 seconds and every holy power you have increases the duration by 10 seconds (maximum of 40 seconds). This would make it better in both pvp and pve. Other ideas would be just to increase its duration by 50% per holy power used or even make pvp set bonus do this (instead of the horrible pvp power increase from crusader strike).
7.Denounce to all specs. If you think about feral druids, there are many things they can do with their Predators swiftness proc. They can make their cyclone, hibernate, entangling roots and healing touch instant cast. Basically this proc allow them to do multiple things depending on the situation. Selfless healer is perfect to fit into a mechanic like this. We would have a choise to use our stacks of selfless healer to instant flash of light for defensive or offhealing purpose, instant repentance if you want to spec for it, turn evil if you don't want to glyph it, and denounce to cast when pressure is needed. Denounce is a good choise for paladin unqiue pressure mechanic. It has a base cast time so it can never be spammed by a ret paladin outside very special situations, spamming it won't be viable damaging or bursting trick and it would be instant only once every x seconds with SH stacks. Denounce is not only good for pressure. It would also help ret paladins peeling problems. It would be an excellent peel every x seconds and not OP at all when it would have an uptime of max 4 seconds out of 15+ that it takes to get the stacks IF you use all of the stacks to denounce instead of heals and repentance.