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The Light and How to Swing It: Raid gear for ret paladins in Dragon Soul {WoW}

Dec 7th 2011 7:53PM I'm very confused why you think he's given haste an equal value to mastery and crit.

"With haste still being a fairly distant third in our stat priority" is a direct quote from his article.

On top of that, he picks the items that minimize haste, where other things are equal.

Good write up. The only thing I'd add is that, based on the testing available so far, Gurthalak seems to be far and away the best choice for weapons. They seem to have hotfixed its crit rate, and possibly its # of ticks and damage, but it blows away any other options.

The Light and How to Swing It: Ret talent preview for Mists of Pandaria {WoW}

Oct 26th 2011 7:25PM Speculation on how these abilities will work, when we don't know which abilities we're losing, what is being made baseline, or anything about any of the MoP mechanics, as well as the changes to other classes, seems a bit premature. It'd be a wishlist, not a speculative list, since there's nearly nothing to go on.

The Light and How to Swing It: Ret talent preview for Mists of Pandaria {WoW}

Oct 26th 2011 7:23PM I like Ardent Defender even as Ret, simply because it will act somewhat like a spare bubble. And as we continue on the trend of bubble not working on many abilities, having an extra-extra life in our back pocket may come in handy. It might not be my go-to choice, but I imagine I'll be speccing into it for progression.

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution in the Firelands, part 3 {WoW}

Oct 13th 2011 11:38AM Sulfuras is better than Heroic Shannox's Axe. You do more SoC, SoT, and TV damage, because none of those are normalized. The extra dps on the heroic axe can't make up for the slower speed of the mace.

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution in the Firelands, part 3 {WoW}

Oct 13th 2011 11:36AM On Baleroc, don't forget that survival is the name of the game. You can't divine shield the torment damage, so make sure you're on the ball. Since you can't use it for yourself, use it for the raid - I've saved us several times when our tank has died, by popping Divine Shield and taunting the boss (then spamming righteous defense). It buys enough time to get the tank ressed and ready to jump back in, without getting all of your melee killed.

On Stagelm, you can bubble yourself after he shifts into human form. I've mashed it while stunned, and as soon as the stun breaks, it goes off. It has never triggered seed. It's not ideal, since you're losing free damage while stunned, but it's good to know, in case you're slow to bubble. Especially on heroic, you want to protect your Concentration ferociously.

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution paladin feedback {WoW}

Oct 6th 2011 4:01PM I can't believe I read someone saying (paraphrased) "Ret was the easy, mindless dps spec, and people who didn't want to have to think gravitated towards it. It's unfair to all of us who dislike having to use our brains, now that it's slightly more challenging than literally mashing 1-5 on my keyboard as fast as I can. That's why Inquisition is bad."

Hunger for Blood was removed because keeping up Slice and Dice, Rupture, *and* a buff that couldn't be applied unless the target was bleeding, was indeed clunky. That's like having to keep up 3 different Inquisitions. Rogues still have 2 timers to watch that use the same resource, compared to our 1, but they can't "downrank" with fewer CPs like we can with HP.

If you're going to appeal to the past to complain about the present...

CS used to have a 10 second cooldown. Seals had to be refreshed more often than Inquisition does now. Judgement was off the GCD, and we had no other fillers except for rank 1 Conc, when mana (rarely) allowed, so you sat around hoping for SoC and WF procs, and kept up judgements for the raid. Even with 40 raid slots, you were barely worth 1.

CS was changed to a 6 second CD, and we gained raid utility, but our personal dps was still terrible. It wasn't until WotLK that it made sense to give a paladin gear over warriors, since an upgrade barely changed our dps, and buffs didn't scale, so a paladin in blues was almost as useful as one in full epics. Our damage in Sunwell was okay, but it was because we were part of the stacked melee group, not because we actually had good output.

WotLK took away some of our utility, but gave us actual damage. Our rotation was whack-a-mole, and had next to nothing to do with individual skill. A G15 could outperform any human, simply by mashing everything 100x a second, and using whatever was off cooldown. All you had to do as a player was move your character, and mash 1-5 as fast as you could. Watching t.v. while raiding might have been how you had fun, but it's not good class design.

The blizzard UI is terrible for inquisition monitoring, but the mechanic itself is perfectly fine. It's only relevant twice a minute when its duration drops into single digits. Its timer matches up almost perfectly with our HP generating cycles, meaning most of the time, there's not even a question about its timing. It can be applied with 1, 2, or 3 holy power, works with Divine Purpose procs, and using it a little early or late is a minimal damage loss, making it very forgiving. I really don't understand why so many people find it such an issue to have to choose between a TV or Inq at a set point in the rotation.

Including DP procs, only 1/6th of your holy power is going into its upkeep, while it accounts for almost 1/6th of your *total* damage. An Inquisition adds close to 4x the damage of a TV.

If you really do miss the not-having-to-look-at-the-screen rotation of the past, just make a cast sequence and consider the lost 15% damage a laziness tax.

All that aside, our rotation IS clunky. I've learned to deal with it, but it should be changed. However, that's mostly a function of our procs. A rotation that has 2 procs that account for close to 20% of our damage, which still leave noticable, unpredictable gaps between abilities, is a poor rotation indeed. Especially when we're so cooldown-based, allowing for the timing of the procs (not even the # of procs) to result in a swing of thousands of dps. In two kills with nearly identical proc rates and duration, I've differed over 3000 dps at the end of the fight solely due to the timing of procs *in the first 45 seconds.* That's ridiculous.

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution in the Firelands, part 2 {WoW}

Sep 14th 2011 4:46PM I don't mean to fanboy/white knight or anything, but it seems like you're focusing on a small point because you happen to do the job that he's saying we shouldn't.

I think the message is that WoW's StarFox64 is a game better left for other classes. He could have elaborated a bit more on why playing tag with Alysrazor isn't a good idea, but he's definitely right that we're not the right choice. Even with proper play, you will start and end the air phase out of range, have less time to dodge clouds, and have less to show for your efforts. Plus, we can't swoop down and dps the mobs on the ground like ranged can.

Not only do casters benefit far more than we do from the buff - one caster does about 25% more damage by himself than a melee in the air and a melee on the ground combined - but the huge gap between them and us dwarfs any differences between us and other melee. If you do have to send a melee up, as long as you don't pick an enhancement shaman, you'll see pretty similar results.

For comparison, a shadowpriest, lock, or boomkin flying through the air would match my damage to the targets on the ground, while doing 75k extra dps to Alysrazor. Take my damage on the adds, my damage to Alys, add in your #4 parse, and they'd still have a 10-20k lead on us. A mage would do even more. You'd have to have a pretty irregular raid comp if there's no better option than sending one of us up.

I think you're right to point out that we *can* do the air part of the fight, and have a valid point about why his reason is overstated. I was initially assigned to fly through hoops for our guild, and though I found it markedly more difficult than you seem to, it's doable. However, you're not just saying we're capable, but actually say that it's not a bad idea, and I disagree completely. It is definitely possible for a ret paladin to do that task. That doesn't change that we shouldn't.

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution in the Firelands, part 2 {WoW}

Sep 14th 2011 1:57AM Another great article, Antigen!

The only things I'd add are:

Use Righteous Defense before Hand of Reckoning, and try to get it off while the spiders are still lowering themselves down their web strand. You will frequently catch 2-3 targeting the same healer (they love druids in our raids), and then have Hand of Reckoning for whatever's left over. If you do it in the other order, you might Hand-taunt one that RD would have covered.

Judging the Hatchlings as you run between Initiates gets you free damage, and bridges the gap faster, so you can start dpsing again.

Also, for those of you have mastered the art of the horizontal shuffle (I clearly mean the Tornado phase. You have a sick mind), you can attack her while running your circles. Antigen mentioned to me that you can hit her at the start of the fight, so I start attacking her within seconds of her opening knockback (watch out for her frontal cleave as she flies overhead!), and set her as my focus. Later in the fight, while doing the Tornado Twist, I'll pick her back up as my target and mash my dps keys while spinning in circles. Not only will Judgement's sprint help you dodge the tornadoes, but you get some free damage.

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution in the Firelands, part 2 {WoW}

Sep 14th 2011 1:47AM Carrot before the nerf bat?

It's pretty clear their intentions are to leave us as is or buff our
damage further, as they say flat out that our damage was low, censure
was a tweak, and they'll do more if needed.

Increasing all our damage a bit (like buffing 2h-wep spec another 5%),
or playing with HoW's mechanics would both do the job. If they wanted
to truly "fix" the spec, they need to lower our RNG, which is a result
of DP and AoW procs, not just increase it.

The best option is probably to stop auto-attacks from proccing AoW.
Instead, make 3-HP and DP Templar's Verdicts give AoW, with a 10s
internal cooldown. This ends up getting AoW once per 3-CS cycle, which
runs about 13 seconds long. You'd get 5 melee swings in that same time
frame, for 1 AoW proc. The difference is that you won't waste it with
chain procs, it fits nicely into the rotation, and removes the random
aspect almost entirely. We'd gain a small amount of dps, and a lot of

Our rotation would become CS, filler, filler, CS, filler filler, CS,
TV, Exorcism, which ends up being incredibly smooth. If they lowered
HW's cooldown from 15s 12s, it would fit that rotation as well,
leaving you with 2 open globals per HP-cycle, and one would be filled
by TV on average.

Those small tweaks ends up adding a lot of stability to the rotation,
while a slight buff to 2H-wep spec would cover our needed dps gain.

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