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The Light and How to Swing It: Why retribution DPS is a-okay

The Light and How to Swing It Why retribution DPS is aokay
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!

Towards the tail end of Ulduar and into the beginning of Trial of the Crusader, I was in a guild that had a rogue that would consistently top the DPS charts. I would run so many heroics and PuG raids to get gear, all the while practicing what could laughably be called our "rotation" in retrospect, and I would still fall short. Over time, however, I began to notice that even though I wasn't beating him, I was beating many others. Soon the time came when I was neck-and-neck with him, always biting his heels and waiting for him to allow me an opportunity to beat him, once and for all.

When I eventually did overtake him and saw my character's name on the top of Recount, the feeling was greater than any boss kill. You can't ever see a boss collapse and have the feeling that you did that all by yourself, that you were the sole reason for this victory, because it took a combination of other players, all supporting each other, to see that end result. The DPS race is totally different -- aside from healers keeping you alive (which, if you're properly aware of your surroundings and your threat, shouldn't be an issue) you shoulder the responsibility to push out as much damage as you can. Seeing yourself at the top is a much more personal victory because you can honestly say that you did that, that you pulled yourself up there and truly earned that spot. And from what I understand, this is not a unique experience.

I have talked to quite a few players who have expressed concern over some fairly recent SimulationCraft results that show retribution ranking near the bottom out of all available DPS specs. Even ignoring SimCraft, many more players have expressed concern over their damage output as they compare it to their fellow raiders, guildmates, and random DPSers in LFR. Despite this mounting evidence, I have asserted that retribution is in a nice place -- not great, not OP, but comfortable. Indeed, Ghostcrawler tends to feel the same way. So what's the story here? Why does it seem like everyone and their uncle think ret is doing poorly?

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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: Retribution reader mailbag

The Light and How to Swing It Retribution reader mailbag
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 my guild first started in Mogu'shan Vaults and we were working on The Stone Guard, I was rapidly approaching what felt like a breaking point. I believe our first combination was Jade, Cobalt, and Jasper Guardians, and I was having trouble managing my rotation and cooldowns while simultaneously dodging mines and trying to wordlessly negotiate with my chained partner which of us would be moving toward the other. I vacillated between rage, frustration, and despondency, wondering if this was an accurate reflection of how the entire tier would go.

Luckily I had some good friends willing to listen to my ranting and incoherent babbling. They managed to eventually convince me to not give up, bite my lip, and give myself some time to get readjusted. I'm still not the best ret paladin in the world, but I'm having a much easier go at working through my abilities and staying out of bad stuff ... most of the time.

Anyway, my inspiration this week came from quite a number of you who had emailed me asking some of the same questions I asked myself at the start of my level 90 activities, most of which can be summed up with a single inquiry: "How can I improve?"

Balance your DPS with your survivability. Most people will correctly tell you that the most important skill you can develop, whether it's for PvP or PvE, is self-preservation. If you die, you can't do any damage; it's as simple as that. However, what use is staying alive if you're spending so much time watching the floor that you're being outclassed by Mr. Grubbs?

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

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