Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ret Getting Another Look

So it looks like the Ret Tree is getting some lookin' at. Combined with news that Prot itemization's being examined, it may be an exciting time for our class in the next couple of months. (Holy's not slated to get squat, but the impression I get from most is that we really don't need it.) I suspect that the Prot gear changes, if they come, will primarily affect the late end game, but changes to the ret tree or paladin DPS/Utility abilities in general could be more sweeping. (I hope I get a free respec out of it.)

I'm a believer in the idea that you don't have to do much to make significant power-level changes. While ret may be hurting now (and has been hurting as an end-game spec basically forever), a massive overhaul of the spec is probably unnecessary, and player-produced 'talent tree revisions' that just make every single talent slightly or substantially better are a very out-of-control way to approach improvements. A few strategic improvements that clarify and reinforce the role of a ret paladin could be much more effective (and less potentially unbalancing) than ham-fisted attempts to improve the tree by simply making everything in it better. Increasing synergy within the tree might also be nice; there's a sort of vague focus on crits, but there's no clear emergent style or synergy like there are in our other two trees. (Holy says 'crit your heals', prot says 'get wailed on'. And those are hardly the two best-designed trees in the game, although they're pretty good.)

As a no-time ret paladin, and one who has never hardly worked with them (my tendency to wind up with warrior tanks and my status as a holy pally tends to edge them out of groups), it's hard for me to say exactly what ret needs; it'd all be theory, and not very informed theory at that, since all my experience with the end game is secondhand and incomplete. It sounds like many the more informed ret paladins don't want a straight DPS increase as much as they want things like threat reduction and raid utility.

When the prot tree got some nice things in 2.1, I didn't leave holy for it - partially because I have a reliable tank around and I don't have a reliable healer around, but also because I genuinely enjoy healing, at least for now. The idea of a more widely-accepted ret tree appeals to me not because I have any interest in speccing into it now (unless they make it -very- interesting), but because I like the idea of having options should I ever tire of healing. (I love doing groups, and I don't want to have a spec that makes people resent me in groups.)

What do you ret pallies and aspiring ret pallies think? What's your spec need to get a bit of respect?


Jehu said...

I'm with you. I've been a holy paladin for most of my WoW "career." But in my opinion, Paladins need more consistent (controllable) DPS, not MORE DPS across the board. A plate wearing class that can heal themselves and others, with the opportunity to make themselves virtually invincible every 5 minutes, would be an outright beast with just the DPS of, say, a fury warrior.

I'm all for improving the Retribution tree so Ret pallies get more respect, but how to do it without losing balance is whole other issue.

Megan said...

Ret spec not only needs a revamped tree (honestly, the only real time I went deep into Ret was way before TBC and the new trees where Repentance was freshly moved to 31 Ret), but a specific and unique utility.

Melee groups love Enhance Shamans and Feral Druids for their buffs, Caster groups like Shadow Priests and Boomkins for the pewpew, that leaves Paladin's for..?

Jehu said...

Clint said...

I think its ment to be the xtra 2% crit chance if u release the seal of cruader on ur oponent. But then again this is only one the one target so its still not as effective. Im a ret pally lvl 64 atm and i get no respect from opponents. This isnt just a bad thing tho as they ofter go easy at the start, then shortly realise that their loosing and by then its too late. Ive even taken down the occasional lvl 70. Just this Morning i took down a lvl 70 warrior who had half s1 gear. im lvl 64 with awful gear and a wep that is xtremly quick for a 2h and yet i managed to take him down. The only improvements Bliz needs to make atm is gear. I look at the gear i can get and its not that great compaired with other classes. Ret pally's are just an xtremely difficult class to play. Takes a lot of development and skill so i think it would take a lot of adjustment after being a healer.