Friday, August 14, 2009

Retribution Paladin changes in 3.2

I am going to wade into the quagmire that is "having an opinion" on changes to a class. As you may have figured out, I play a paladin, and at the moment I play pretty much equal time as holy and ret. I will put up my take on holy soon, but first up are the ret changes. These are just my personal experiences with them. I certainly don't claim to "know" anything, and I can only compare myself 3.2 with myself 3.1. Just remember, your mileage may vary depending on your gear, your ability and the fights you are currently working on.

I take a lot of EJ with a pinch of salt. There are a quite a few differing opinions on that site for this topic, but for the most part, people seem to be complaining about the changes, seeing them as a nerf. Personally, I don't agree. I don't think they are a nerf, as more of a shifting of the focus of the DPS.

This is why people get upset; A job they used to like doing (front loaded damage for aggressive target changing DPS) has now been changed. Ret is now more in line with the other classes with its ability to target swap and maintain output. There is a ramp up time for Seal of Vengeance, and Seal of Righteousness is instant, but does significantly less damage. SoV is the choice for single target DPS and SoR is the choice for quick change targets.

This means ret now has to actually think about their target. What am I killing? Will I be killing this thing for 10s or more? Will I need to swap off this boss and hit an add for some time then come back? And you know what? I like having to think about that in my fights, not just "look for blue swirly thing, move out of blue swirly thing, hit boss"

The other thing people like to see are big numbers. I have seen bigger numbers on my screen since 3.2 than I ever did in 3.1 (and I don't mean a bit bigger, I mean ALOT bigger - I did my first 10k crit this week, I was pretty stoked! my previous best was around 7-8k). My average damage output is up (due in part to a weapon upgrade, but not entirely) and I feel like a contributing part of the DPS team, not just a healer offspec anymore.

So here are a few facts about 3.2
Fact: single target DPS is increased (ie the patchwerk test) - no question here (for example, I have gone from generally last on the DPS meters to the top third. This is in part due to a new weapon but mostly due to 3.2).

Fact: AoE is down a smidge (I now do metric shit tons, down from imperial shit tons)

Fact: ZOMG I HAVE TO CHANGE SEALS depending on the fight or on trash!!! whatever, I actually find that a little bit interesting.

In short, I have barely noticed the changes as impacting negatively on my enjoyment of DPSing. The Aoe nerf has probably saved me more than once and allowed me to start AoEing packs earlier without worrying about pulling accidentally on mobs the tanks have not picked up properly yet. The only changes I have really felt is that I need to judge wisdom or I go oom, and I sometimes have to change seals, which is a nice addition to the Priority queueing system of ability management.

It really feels like people are always seeing change as negative and that shits me to tears. Get over it ret pallies and adapt. 3.2 is not negative, I would actually rate it as a net buff in a back handed way. What I mean here is, in the right conditions I do imperial shit tons (up from metric shit tons) of single target damage, but less aoe and quick change DPS. Over all damage output is up, individual DPS, however, is down.

I am happy with my performance as a ret paladin in 3.2