I edited the original post and added my idea for Sacred Shield so that the idea of my original post can be read more concisely.
This is just a thought-peice. Some ideas I had about the role of Inquisition. I posted this on the official forums but I'd like to see what people here have to say as well. If anyone has any ideas or opinions on what they'd like to see happen to Inquisition, whether it should stay in the game or be replaced for something else, definitely leave a comment about it (and feel free to criticize my own, lol).
Think about it this way. If you increase the duration to one minute, that's HUGE right? In my opinion, it almost makes it trivial to simply push a button once every minute that serves no other purpose than to buff ourselves. Especially when we traditionally never had any mechanic resembling that kind of ability before Cataclysm.
So now, if you hit Inquisition you can just forget about it; a nice quality of life improvement. But doesn't that defeat the purpose of the original design of the skill? Which, for all intents and purposes, is more or less a skill-check. If you take out the skill check part, what's the point of having it on a 1-minute duration?
Do you revert it back to 30 seconds? I certainly wouldn't like that. I don't like Inquisition at all. I played a Paladin because I liked a playstyle that didn't feature maintenance buffs like rogues or ferals. That was the deal I signed on for. Doing a 180 on that and giving Paladins combo points and a maintenance buff really killed the class for me.
I understand the need of a rotation. I understand you can't win by pressing just 4 buttons. But really, Dk's and Shamans have a very whack-a-moley rotation, and they have never been given a mandatory maintenance abiltiy like Inquisition. And they can upkeep whatever Dot's or debuffs that they need to simply as part of their rotational abilities. And they can do this with the benefit of every skill still dealing damage, unlike Inquisition.
So really, what is the point of Inquisition now? Paladins are 2 expansions ahead of the WOTLK-era, and we are not anywhere near being as overpowered as we were back then. A Ret who can always keep Inquisition up still isn't killing people in just 4 button presses like we could in WOTLK. That kind of burst has been toned down for us. Inquisition sucks for Ret in PVP due to the dynamic nature of PVP encounters and how hard it can be to get HP when your being controlled. Simply put, Inquisition does nothing for the Spec, and we aren't given anything to compensate or even to justify having to keep it up. Unlike Ferals and Rogues, Paladins can't lock down a class to get the combo points they need. Maintenance buffs for Ferals and Rogues makes more sense because if they didn't have to work for that extra bit of damage, then they would be way too bursty in addition to the amount of control they have over you. Paladins simply don't have that kind of control, nor do they even have that kind of burst damage when Inquisition is up to begin with. We have our 2-minute window for amazing burst, but after that, even if we can maintain Inquisition, Paladins simply aren't putting out huge numbers, nor do they have any unique control or utility against other classes (like rogues or ferals) that needs to be balanced against having to maintain Inquisition.
What if Inquisition was removed, the damage buff baked back into our spells and abilities, and replaced by another unique ability that gave us utility or maybe some CC, or maybe we could cast Sacred Shield with 3 Holy Power, or just anything really? Here's an idea I had for Sacred Shield (which I think needs to be given back to us baseline regardless of what happens to Inquisition)
Sacred Shield (WOTLK model): Is now baseline for Retribution spec. Cost: 1-3 Holy Power.
Protects the target with a shield of Holy Light for 10 seconds, per charge of Holy Power. Absorbs X damage based on spell power. Can be cast on multiple targets. If cast on self, you cast a Shield that is half as powerful as when cast on others, all other instances of Sacred Shield end, and you deal 10% less Holy Damage (ballpark numbers). If cast on others, all instances of Sacred Shield on self end and you deal 7% less Holy Damage (ballpark numbers) per instance of Sacred Shield.
**EDIT**: Perhaps the damage reduction part of this spell isn't too attractive. If you took that out of the equation, I think you can still get the general idea behind the change. Basically, no more Inquisition, and more personal/group utility to spend Holy Power on.
My proposal is this (obviously this is just an idea, just to get the creative juices flowing on how we might be able to come up with an interesting replacement for Inquisition): Remove Inquisition, and replace it with this hypothetical incarnation of Sacred Shield in its place. Give us increased utility via Sacred Shield and the choice to decrease damage output levels similar to the decreased amount of damage that we currently have if we're not keeping Inquisition up. The purpose of incurring this reduction in "Holy" damage is to balance the fact that we inherently have Inquisition's buff baked into our abilities as well as the extra personal and group utility that has become available to us. Hopefully, the choice we would make between damage/survivability/group support would be dynamic and interesting enough to not be overpowered after baking the Inquisition buff back into our spells.
To everyone who thinks Inquisition is needed to prevent dumbing down the class: Would getting rid of Inquisition be such a problem if it were replaced by something more useful, something flavourful and unique, while still keeping the player engaged with the spec? A compensation might need to be made in scaling down our magnitute of burst if it meant that we'd inherently be receiving more sustained damage, but I would be ok with that.