"Don't nerf me, bro!" was a bad joke. It turned out to be an ominous statement because Retribution Paladins are being nerfed -- how shall we put it -- to the ground. Ghostcrawler has bravely come on to the Paladin Beta and live forums to address some concerns and answer some questions about the forthcoming nerfs to the class.
In the Beta forums, which players seem to be unable to post on at the moment, Ghostcrawler outlined the nerfs and explained the reasoning behind each one. Over at the live forums, he answered some questions fielded by players from several upset posts. It's a very illuminating read, and here are some of the interesting points:
- On Retribution burstiness as part of design - "Yes, that's the design. It's also a tough design to nail because if you're too bursty the opponent doesn't even get to respond."
- On Paladins running out of mana - "we might as well take the mana bar off the UI because it was just irrelevant to hitting any buttons."
- On why they said Retribution was fine (even during BlizzCon, where the now-famous joke quote was uttered) - "Because we didn't want to have to nerf the spec. Ret players were having fun."
- On other classes now laughing (again) at Retribution - "Well, they're jerks."
The real good news, however, is that Blizzard is actively tuning the class instead of ignoring it. This gives me hope for better balance, particularly when Ghostcrawler talks about how the nerfs to Seals damage affects the other two specs, as well. He says that they realize that Holy and Protection are affected by the nerfs, too, "and that is something for which we are prepared to offer compensation".
Hopefully this means that talents deep in both trees will be reworked or buffed to compensate for the massive 20% damage nerf. I'm hoping even more that Blizzard addresses other key issues of the Retribution spec, such as mobility and the inability to overcome healing now that burst potential has been, ahem, nerfed to the ground. With Blizzard's close focus on PvP -- and a large reason for the nerfs come from PvP numbers -- I hope these perennial issues will be fixed, too. Head over to the forums for more from Ghostcrawler.