Yes during Vanilla and TBC Betas Ret were OP and they were crap for the rest of the time.
Let me start by saying that I haven't played Mists of Pandaria.
However, I did follow a bit on the skills that we got.
So now you got Pursuit of Justice that increases your movement speed by 10% with an additional 5% for each Holy Power you have. Then you get burden of guilt which not only is a slow, but it's a ranged, along the way, no cost slow. You also can choose a talent that reduces the cooldown on Divine Shield for each Holy Power you spend. Or you get a talent that allows you to use some of your hands twice before they go on cooldown. You also get an interrupt, which is pretty standard.
Now, do you have any kind of idea how much Paladins cried out for just a slow in TBC? Let alone all those other fun skills. And back then our damage was pretty much crap. But all we wanted was a slow. Nowadays you get said slow and you get a couple of other fun and useful skills. Not to mention that our damage is way higher and in better place than it was in TBC. You get some burst damage, you get some sustained damage, you get the option to do some healing if needed, you get the option to provide utility for your teammate(s).
All said, I think it's a matter of learning to play. And gear, ofcourse.
---------- Post added 2013-03-20 at 10:38 AM ----------
---------- Post added 2013-03-20 at 12:54 PM ----------
Remember that in cata we had Long arm of the law AND pursuit of justice for 15% movement speed. Now you choose one. With Laotl you sometimes struggle to catch people that run behind pillars because we don't have more speed than others anymore. With PoJ you struggle hard with uptime because it's not reliable for closing gaps and you can't sit on holy power.
We can spec burden of guilt now but if you want to choose that talent you have to give up already nerfed repentance from cata and improved hammer of justice talent that we have had for ages from prot tree. BoG is a nice slow but costs too much to spec for it. Ret paladin cc in MoP is very weak and not choosing FoJ for arenas is just gimping yourself and your team. If we still had either imp hammer of justice or repent baseline, BoG could be usable in arenas.
Unbreakable spirit is a fine talent, but double hand spells are so much better. Freedom duration and cd got nerfed coming to MoP so without Clemency it has a weak uptime. In 5.2. blizzard implemented absolve, which makes hand of sacrifice dispel magic. The other 2 talents are not match to having 2 charges on freedom, BoP and sac spells.
Some of the things we have look good on paper but the current version of ret is still a nerfed version of cata. Also you have to investigate what new spells other classes have gained since you played. Looking at ret talents and spells only does not give you the right picture of the current state.
And I think this is why Blizzard thinks Ret is in a good spot.
It is easy to look at things on paper and say "hey Ret looks like its got a lot going for it". But when you actually start playing the game at a high level you start to notice that all of those things that looked great on paper aren't helping you against other classes with even better tools.
Ret doesn't do the best damage, It doesn't have the best utility and it doesnt have the best defensives. So in the end what is Ret good for? Short periods of burst that can easily be stopped by a good cc chain.
Train the Ret, Force bubble and its GG.
Training ret is the only strategy against a ret is the problem. Its the only viable strategy while his hunter is doing incredible damage and instant cc and the pally has multiple cc breaks for his healer, rets selfhealing is amazing as well. Watched a ret pop 2 instants (assuming FoL and WoG) and go from 20% to 70% in 2 gcds while his healer was in full cc and his 3rd cant offheal. Plus they can dispel diseases which is a nightmare for my dk/spriest team. Run with a disc as a ret, they are not as easy to kill as people think. Sure they are fairly limited in their comps, but run ret with any hybrid and a healer and you will never die, or run with a hunter and drop 18 sec cc chains on healers every 30 seconds.
Ret is fine, its not overpowered or underpowered. Im not here to claim its OP or something but its definitely not terrible. Things like mages, rogues, spriests, and dk damage are still slightly overshadowing ret but they are a little underrated imo.
While I could be doing better in my role as retri, I find I do ok (ish) usually in the top 5-10 but then the disparity for the top 3 and then 4th and 5th is usually quite high but I have to put that down to either them being better at the roles or the encounter favouring them enough obviously excluding gear in this as I didn't check.
But being ok doesn't mean I'm happy with my latest performance either.
Retri paladin really depends on it's cd's.
Welcome to MoP pvp, where half of the classes just take some face roll over the keyboard (let's not point out, we all know them) while others depend on cd's or need to use 23 attacks per pvp fight (yep, 23 and sure people know what it is).
In my opinion, this is one of the worse seasons. Sure it's not as bad as getting ran over by trucks as it used to happen, but now the cookie cutters are plain outstanding.