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Posts with tag retribution-dps

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 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: 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 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

Cataclysm Beta: Holy power questions

Holy power is the big conversation topic for paladins right now (well, that and mobility in PvP -- but that's always a topic of conversation for paladins). For those of you who have been out of the loop, Blizzard announced during its last developer chat that for the betterment of the class, paladins would be receiving a new resource called holy power. This would be used in conjunction with mana for a variety of new and existing abilities.

So after having played with holy power on the beta realms, we decided to ask our Twitter followers if they had any questions or concerns about this new system for us to look into.
Soranomaru asks:

"How fast does it accrue? How do you spend it effectively? Is it a mechanic to empower spellcasts or another ressource like mana?"
Short answers: Currently, every 3 seconds for ret, 4 seconds for prot, and 6 seconds for holy due to the abilities and talents they'd be using to earn it. Usually, three points is the most efficient. It's a secondary resource, like runic power is to runes on a death knight, and there are certain abilities that use it and other abilities that have nothing to do with it.

Long answers: Holy power is a secondary resource that you'll have along with your current mana bar. As retribution and protection, you'll be using Crusader Strike to build up your holy power points (HPP). If you're holy, you'll still have access to Crusader Strike, but you will also be using Holy Shock to build up that HPP. The most HPP you can build up at a time is three, so you'll be earning and spending fairly quickly. Some abilities give a flat rate based on how much holy power you put into it (Word of Glory), while others get much more efficient with the more points used (Templar's Verdict).

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution tips and tricks in Ulduar

I know, it's another Retribution post, but since we got hit with the nerf bat again (ever so slightly) I decided to devote one last column to the spec before I rotate back to Protection. Besides, my past month or so has been spent raiding Ulduar as Retribution (with the first few forays as Holy) so I think that's what I'll talk about for now. Rather than talk about specific boss strategies, we'll talk about the little things we can do to perform at our best in Ulduar.

Flame Leviathan
First up is Flame Leviathan. Obviously, none of the usual strategies will apply here but one key point players should remember is that the vehicles scale with gear. This means having to prepare an outfit set optimized for the encounter. One thing to note about vehicle scaling is that it doesn't look at stats, just iLevel. Optimizing a gear set for this means putting the highest iLevel item you have in every slot. For "pure" classes, this is usually their normal set-up, but for Paladins who keep several sets of gear, an iLevel-optimized outfit can be composed of healing items, a few tank items, some DPS items, and even PvP gear. Players can use AddOns such as RatingBuster to determine an item's iLevel and outfit managers such as Outfitter or Blizzard's new in-game equipment manager to quickly swap gear.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: The Retribution solution

A while back I wrote a short post pointing out to the community that now is a pretty ripe time to see how Retribution can be improved. Ghostcrawler and the devs have taken an interesting direction with the Retribution tree, and although they've recently mentioned that there will no longer be big changes throughout Wrath of the Lich King, it's still a good time to examine the spec. It's come a long way since the launch of the game and 'lolret' is arguably a term now only used in spite and no longer with genuine ridicule. Ridicule and some fear and loathing, maybe, but no longer just ridicule.

Despite the statement that there'll be fewer changes to classes in the foreseeable future, Ghostcrawler did say "there will be some (changes)" in addition to "tweak(ing) numbers up and down as needed". So don't despair, Fury Warriors, you'll be swinging those two-handers once again in glory one of these days. I'm also dead certain that Paladin tweaks aren't quite done. For one thing, we know that Crusader Strike is in line for some coolification. Another is that Exorcism was quickly hotfixed not to work on player targets as precursor to what Ghostcrawler calls "a little more tweaking" to the class. So while I asked the community to share their thoughts on how to improve Retribution, it's taken me much, much longer to ruminate. Humor me for today as I go share my own thoughts on the matter.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

New Crusader Strike is in the works

I've said it before -- Crusader Strike is the most boring key talent out there right now. It's vanilla 110% weapon damage strike, a 41-point talent that all Retribution Paladins pick up. It's simply not optional. Despite its lackluster nature (its original seal-refreshing feature was utilitarian but ultimately boring), it has held a firm place in every Retadin's arsenal since its inception. Imagine the elation of Paladins everywhere when the latest PTR patch notes revealed a shocking change that made me run for new boxers: "Crusader Strike is now An instant strike that causes 110% weapon damage. In addition, if you strike a player while they are casting, their magical damage and healing will be reduced by 50% for 6 sec."

The bad news is that this change isn't going to happen. Ghostcrawler was quick to prevent mass hysteria by saying that this change will not make it into Patch 3.1. This thankfully saves the world from an epidemic of Retribution Paladin players dancing naked on the streets in ecstatic celebration. He says that they are merely experimenting and that they wish to make Crusader Strike "more exciting," but ultimately feel that some sort of reverse Mortal Strike wasn't the way to go about it. Crushed Retribution hopes and dreams aside, the good news is that Crusader Strike is going to be improved. Blizzard is working on it, and the change sneaking unintentionally into the PTR gives players a sneak peek into the developers' thought process. Even if we don't see the change happen in Patch 3.1, I think it's safe to say that Retribution Paladins have something to be excited about. The rest of you who play another class, you can put down your pitchforks now.

Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Ghostcrawler talks some more on Retribution DPS

I'll be honest with you. Retribution DPS has made me a rather sad panda lately. It wasn't my DPS exactly, but I sat down to watch my brother-in-law farm Valkyrs in Valkyrion with his three-week old Level 80 Death Knight. He pulled about five mobs and proceeded to demolish them. With Cinderglacier and Killing Machine proccing, he hit all mobs with a Howling Blast for about 6-7k each, and topped things off with a 7k Frost Strike. It made my jaw drop. Mind you, my brother-in-law is an excellent player, so this probably isn't your average Death Knight. But then, he was only equipped in heroic gear, with his best loot being a Wraith Spear. He hadn't even hit his peak.

I know anectdotal stories like these are plenty and tangential to the issue, but if you've raided as a Retribution Paladin with equally geared and skilled players, you'll know exactly what I'm trying to say. So it was a major surprise in Patch 3.1 that the slimming down of the Retribution tree hit our DPS hard with a nerf to Fanaticism (reduced to three ranks for an 18% crit, down from 25%) and Righteous Vengeance (reduced to three ranks for 30% damage, down from 40%). Was it to balance out the fact that Exorcism could be used on any target? Certainly not. At any rate, Blizzard was aware that Retribution DPS on the PTRs wasn't where they want it to be.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Forums

Retribution should branch out

After admitting that Retribution DPS isn't quite where they want it to be in the current build of Patch 3.1, Ghostcrawler illuminates us a little bit about the direction they wish to take with the spec. He explains that the Retribution tree is one tree where players would go 0/ 0/ 71 if players could (if they put Divine Strength in the Retribution tree, he might even be completely right!).

Blizzard would like to increase Retribution's DPS but are looking into making talents in other trees more attractive, essentially forcing the spec to branch out somewhat. This would be akin to how they slimmed down the Warrior's Protection tree, which turned out to be a good thing for the class. He feels that most trees in general are "too thick," making it hard for players to put points in another tree. Hopefully, we'll see some changes in the PTR that should reflect this design direction in the near future.

Filed under: Paladin, Forums

Retribution DPS too low

Ghostcrawler had one line to say about a flood of complaints from Retribution Paladins who are feeling the pinch of a restrictive tree, effectively ending the argument: Blizzard feels that Retribution DPS, particularly in PvE, is lower than how they would want it in 3.1. This comes in light of the changes in the upcoming patch, which on the surface seems like a good thing because of the slimming down of the tree and freeing up talent points.

What many players should understand is that unlike pure DPS trees or even other hybrids, Paladins simply don't have any room to be flexible. Retribution Paladins can pick up every damage-boosting talent already with points to spare, and there's just a DPS ceiling that simply can't be broken through. Whether Ghostcrawler's statement indicates that they'll be reversing the 3.1 nerf to Fanaticism and Righteous Vengeance remains to be seen.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Forums

The Light and How to Swing It: Maximizing Paladin DPS, Part 1

Welcome to the first part in a three-part series on Paladin DPS! We will be examining how to squeeze the most DPS out of your Paladin, no matter what their spec. Before we get started, I'd like to say a few words about Paladin DPS in general.

Paladins dealing damage is a hot button topic these days, especially where their main DPS tree, Retribution, is concerned. Retribution paladins in particular have to put up with a lot of abuse from other players and even sometimes from within their own class. The main reason for this is twofold, in my opinion: 1) some paladins, especially the new ones, spec into Ret without knowing how to gear for it, which just feeds the stereotype that paladins can't DPS or are bad at it; 2) many players are unaware of the benefits of having a Ret Paladin in their group, or are just biased because they feel that being able to wear plate, heal, and do damage is simply too much for one class to do.

If you're the type of Paladin that I've described above in reason 1, then this article should help you. Though I won't be recommending gear you should shoot for (that's a topic for another time), I will be discussing the stats you should be aiming for, so you can adjust your own gear accordingly.
For everyone else, it is my hope that this series lays a little enlightenment on you, so that afterwards, you can make a more informed opinion regarding Paladin DPS.

Alright, with that out of the way, let's start with Retribution!

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Talents, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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