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Posts with tag DanDesmond

The Light and How to Swing It: Observing retribution on the Mists beta

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Well, comrades in arms, as the old Azerothian saying goes, the squeaky player gets the beta invite. I'd like to think my sobbing in coffee shops and passionate diatribes secured me a spot in the Jade Forest, where I can run around in the beautiful scenery competing with dozens of other players trying to tag one of the three quest mobs that respawns every six days, but I must admit to myself that I'm no more special than the 99,999 other players who received invites at the same time.

In short, I got into the beta. We've already been over what we expect to see when the mists part, but experiencing it firsthand is something else entirely.

The silent filler

One of the first things I noticed after rebuilding all of my macros and assigning keybinds was how disjointed the rotation felt when I was smacking the collection of wild creatures grazing around the outskirts of Dawn's Blossom. Judgment on the pull, Crusader Strike when in melee range, Hammer of Wrath under 20%, Templar's Verdict at 3 holy power ... but something was off. As it turns out, I had forgotten about Exorcism.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: Mists beta retribution roundup

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Last time, I promised to pack as much comprehensive beta information as I could into this post, so I won't bother boring you all with the story of what exactly happened in that hotel room at BlizzCon. Instead, I'll stop wasting precious words and get right to it!

As always when discussing content in an open beta, everything is very much subject to change.

New glyphs

This is probably the most retribution-relevant thing to come out of the recent Mists of Pandaria press tour. Sure, there's all the new zones, Battlegrounds, UI updates, and Pet Battle stuff, but the uniquely paladin piece of the pie is curiously small. Sacco wrote a detailed listing of all of the new glyphs available, but when perusing the paladin glyphs, I noticed something interesting -- there are loads more healing/utility glyphs (Cleansing, Protector of the Innocent) and cosmetic glyphs (Bladed Judgment, Fire from the Heavens) than glyphs affecting damage output (Double Jeopardy, Immediate Truth).

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: Refreshing the retribution utility toolbox

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

I have always been a staunch supporter of the Ret Paladin DPS Equality movement. Ever since my male blood elf first picked up a two-hander and started swinging, I've been quite fixated with the entire meter-chasing DPS subculture that manifests itself in at least a small handful of raiders in each and every guild. There were a few tricks that felt too dirty to use (I'm looking at you, agility gear during Wrath), but for the most part, I have enjoyed the process of milking as much delicious damage from my character as possible.

Lately, however, I have found myself examining this philosophy in a wider scope. Sure, battling for the top spot on Skada has been fun, but is that truly what we should be aspiring to? Is there more to being a ret paladin than golden combo points and a big weapon? Clearly the answer to this question is, "Of course, Dan, are you mental? We have so much utility -- get the net!"

Well ... chyeah, right! Actually, you are right -- our utility spells are among the things that set us apart from other classes and keep us from being just better-looking rogues. But is their mere existence enough, or should our playstyle involve some form of active utility? What would this look like, and is it even feasible?

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: 4 ways to start retadin combat off with a bang

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

One of the perks of this job, at least in my mind, is receiving reader mail and interacting with the community. I love doing what I can to help people new to the spec; it's really why I started blogging and writing about retribution paladins in the first place!

Anyway, last week I received an email posing the following question:
I have noticed that some other ret paladins have very high initial DPS. How are they doing this and how can I do the same?
The string of abilities and buttons you hit at the beginning of combat, called opening sequences or openers, are a much-discussed topic among theorycrafters and the community at large. Naturally, your first few attacks can set the pace for the rest of the fight. Fortunately, the spec is forgiving enough that even if you flub a button at the beginning of an encounter, your overall DPS won't go straight in the toilet. Even so, I have a few pieces of advice up my sleeve from my own experiences that can help you start the fight off right.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

Should Blizzard leave heroic encounter difficulty alone?

When the Raid Finder was first introduced, I had high hopes for its impact on the game. While the main reason behind the implementation of this system was arguably to get as many players experiencing raid content as possible, at the time, I was more interested in the impact it would have on the progression races between all of the top guilds in the world. I have always had a great deal of admiration for players in these types of guilds and have watched intently during each new tier as they all vied for world firsts. I believed the Raid Finder could benefit this type of competition by preventing heroic encounters from being nerfed while the content was still current. Surely, I thought, if so many people are able to experience raiding like never before through this new tool, Blizzard would have no pressing reason to make heroic encounters any easier.

Well, it seems I was wrong, for in the very next tier of content Blizzard released, we saw progressive nerfs to these difficult fights. Personally, I prefer to keep these encounters the way they are, at least until a new tier is released. Something just feels wrong to see the hardest fights available made easier through a series of hotfixes. Even with respect to my own guild's progression, having sweeping nerfs hit Firelands just as my guild was putting in some really good attempts on Ragnaros felt like Blizzard moved the finish line, taking what would have been a very gratifying kill and turning it into an accidental one-shot that contained none of the catharsis we had felt during previous boss kills.

What do you think? With the Raid Finder now a reality and a new expansion looming on the horizon, do you think the difficulty of heroic raid encounters should be static, like those from tier 11, or should they be more flexible?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Achievements, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: In defense of Inquisition

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

When your paladin first hit level 81 and you visited your trainer, I bet you had no idea how much of an impact that little ability called Inquisition would have on your future DPSing career. OK, maybe if you read the tooltip you could have had some idea, but I will fully admit that I completely forgot it was in my spellbook until a short while after I hit 85. And to be fair, at the time it was a really lackluster ability. Sure, Exorcism hit like a truck thanks to the new version of The Art of War, and Hammer of Wrath still hit decently hard, but other than those two abilities, Inquisition didn't really buff a whole lot. One of the main selling points of Inquisition (if not the main selling point) came when Blizzard changed our mastery from 3 free holy power to X% extra holy damage off your most used abilities in patch 4.0.6, allowing Inquisition to boost an even larger percentage of our damage by 30%.

So, thanks to our mastery, Inquisition is here to stay. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? In case my own opinion wasn't made clear in the title, I have been a long-time supporter of this ability. However, I know that there is a very large group of players with a dissenting opinion, and that's OK. Some preferred the Wrath model of retribution to the current model, and for others, it's just the opposite. In an effort to make my reasoning clear, I'm going to pick a few of the most common complaints I have seen or heard. Hopefully, my responses won't make me seem like I'm a masochistic freak who loves to stare at a countdown and plot in advance exactly when to refresh it.

Because I'm totally not -- my therapist assures me that I'm a completely normal person.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Light and How to Swing It: The Fall of Deathwing, ret edition, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

This is it, guys and girls. This is the moment we have all been training for while hitting that poor target dummy in Orgrimmar, because only repeatedly bashing a plank of wood will truly prepare you to square off against a dragon as epic as the big DW. So pick up your weapon, your bag of tricks, and your handful of cooldowns -- it's time to kill Deathwing the Destroyer.

Spine of Deathwing

I remember when there was wild speculation on what the Deathwing fight in Dragon Soul would actually look like. The devs announced that we would jump on him for part of the fight, and my strange brain secretly hoped that we would start at his tail and work our way up, maybe chopping off his legs and wings into a giant container of dry rub so the Titans could come on down and throw it on a massive barbecue. Honestly, we should have done that with Onyxia so she couldn't be resurrected 14 times!

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Filed under: Paladin, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm, Raid Guides

The Light and How to Swing It: The Fall of Deathwing, ret edition part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Well, here we are, the first two of the final four bosses of the expansion. That is, we think Deathwing is the final boss of the expansion -- it is still unclear whether Blizzard will pull another We're not done with the next expansion yet! raid on us like it did in Wrath with Ruby Sanctum. Regardless, we have a raid that needs a conclusion and a guide to go along with it, so let's get started!

Please note that this guide, like many others I have written, is for the normal version of each encounter. Some mechanics, like Fading Light and Twilight Sappers, either work differently or have been removed on the Raid Finder difficulty.

Ultraxion

I really wish I had more to say about this fight, but Blizzard isn't having it. Simply put, Ultraxion is this raid's Patchwerk with the addition of a button. Yes, you really do just stand in one place, run your rotation train on him, and hit a button when the situation calls for it. I honestly wish there were more to this fight, but there it is.

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Filed under: Paladin, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm, Raid Guides

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

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Before we begin talking about upgrades in Dragon Soul, we need to discuss the three separate tiers of raid gear available in patch 4.3. Thanks to the introduction of the Raid Finder, a lower tier of the same gear that drops from normal and heroic Dragon Soul is readily available to those who queue for it. This lower tier is of ilevel 384, the same level gear that drops from Ragnaros on normal difficulty. If you had done any heroic Firelands raiding and got some gear, you will find that the Raid Finder tier is seven ilevels behind that gear.

For most pieces, you will want to upgrade as normal (from 378 to 384, for example). For tier gear, however, it appears that the new two-piece T13 set bonus overpowers the itemization difference between heroic T12 and Raid Finder gear, at least for now. If you're available to do additional testing, I'm sure the theorycrafters at the Elitist Jerks retribution thread would adore you for contributing. For the time being, I would pick up some lower-ilevel tier and test it out while still holding onto your heroic T12. Remember, four-piece T13 is our ultimate goal here, so don't skimp on those loot rolls.

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Filed under: Paladin, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Dealing damage in Dragon Soul heroic dungeons

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

This new series of heroics runs akin to the Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, and Halls of Reflection trio of Wrath in that you must complete them in a specific order. In the interest of fitting all of these encounters in one post, I will need to truncate a lot of descriptions and irrelevant details. If you have any questions or suggestions for your fellow ret paladins, please feel free to drop a comment below!

Warning: This post contains strategies and brief descriptions of the new heroic dungeons in patch 4.3 that may or may not be spoiler-esque. As always with my columns, proceed with caution.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

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

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned retribution paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or compliments!

This year marked my very first BlizzCon, so naturally I camped nearly every WoW class and talent panel I could manage. With bated breath and a semi-charged smartphone, I sat ready to transcribe my thoughts on any and all retribution tidbits that flowed forth like honey from the developers' proverbial beehive. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how much faith you have in the ret community to produce cogent questions), there weren't many big revelations related to our spec at any of the Q&As. There remains, however, one relevant topic that we can discuss, and that is the revamped talent system coming with Mists of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Paladin, BlizzCon, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Mists of Pandaria

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

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned retribution paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or compliments!

We're on the home stretch, ladies and gents. We have slain Shannox and Lord Rhyolith. We have squashed Beth'tilac and Alysrazor. Now only three bosses stand between you and that pretty orange mace that has "The Retribution Dream" etched on the hilt. However, before you start making vacation plans with your beloved future acquisition, we need to get through those roadblocks.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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