Ghostcrawler: Ret Was Broken

A recent post from Ghostcrawler leads off with, “Ret was broken.”  I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around those three words since I first read them, and I am having a hard time seeing eye to eye with Blizzard on this one.  I do agree with the mechanics not providing an appealing or challenging gameplay in WotLK, but I think “broken” is just the wrong word to use.

Here is Ghostcrawler’s post [Source]:

  • “Ret was broken. If you don’t see eye to eye with us on that, then it’s understandable why the degree of change might be surprising to you. We tried to advertise that change was coming for a long time because we didn’t want anyone to be surprised when it happened. Many players, including many Ret players, were just not happy with the mechanics of the spec in Lich King. I can understand if you just happened to love your character the way he or she was, but unfortunately, that doesn’t give us much room to maneuver in attempting to implement a design that we will be happy with, and ultimately many players (though it will never be all) will be as well.”

First, I completely understand the situation where half the player base wanted a more challenging Ret Paladin gameplay, and the other half (who I take are casuals like myself), enjoyed the class as it was.  Ultimately, those of us that love our class as it is, enjoy the fact that, yes, we are overpowered.  We are a very well-rounded wrecking ball in almost every aspect of PvE gameplay.  We can crush the leveling aspect of WoW, survive nearly any encounter with self-heals, and top the DPS charts in raids.  To make matters worse, we can do all of these with very little effort.

FCFS rotations were great for our DPS, but it leaves much to be desired in terms of creative thinking and skill.  Whatever comes off cooldown first, use it.  In addition to the simplicity of our rotations, our AoE damage was as ridiculously powerful as our normal single target damage.  Blizzard worked hard to “fix” our class in WotlK, and they did it too well it would seem.

In Cataclysm, they have completely revamped our class and gameplay. 

Let’s take a look at what we are losing:

  • Self Heals in Combat– Heals came freely with Judgement and Divine Storm.  Now, with Divine Storm out of our normal DPS rotations, and Judgement no longer providing the additional heal or mana regen, we are left with Word of Glory and the Mana Sink-Hole Supreme, Flash of Light.  To use Word of Glory, you are opting to forego Templar’s Verdict (or DS in AoE situations).  Flash of Light was redesigned to be a very quickly-casted large heal, but at a monstrous mana cost.  This likely won’t be used unless healers are under much duress.  In terms of soloing older content, we will have to be much more careful in our fights with HP and mana management.  No more reckless charging in and pulling the whole dungeon with us (sometimes).
  • AoE Attacks Out of Single Target Encounters– In most boss and long-fight scenarios, Divine Storm and Consecrate are out of our rotations.  With CS, Judge, Ex, and TV providing the bulk of our DPS, DS and Consecrate just don’t quite fit into an optimal rotation.  This is forcing us to change our rotations dramatically from AoE encounters to single target fights, whereas in WotLK it was more or less the same rotation for both scenarios.
  • Relaxed Gameplay– In all truth and honesty, playing a Retribution Paladin gets pretty easy as you get comfortable in raiding environments.  In Cataclysm, we will be on our toes, as the complexity of our class with not be as forgiving this time around.  Facerolling DPS in Cata will not be synonymous.

So, when I look at these points, in addition to the other aspects of WotLK Ret Paladin gameplay, I think, “Man, what a massively wonderful, yet highly overpowered class we have!” 

I think when Ghostcrawler said, “Ret was broken”, a more accurate statement would have been, “Ret was over-fixed.”  The class worked very well, just maybe a bit TOO good to leave us on an even playing field.


  1. Typhron says:

    Somewhat agree with the last statement there. We seem to be hovering around the “Too bad to be good” or “Too good to be bad” line to be gauged accurately. We always seem to be an expansion or so behind more evolved classes, so that’s to be expected.

    There’s also a bit more to the post then just Ghostcrawler saying that. That being that they are looking at the numbers are (probably, I have to add as a biased jerk) looking for acceptable solutions. Which is better then writing it off as damage being an acceptable loss due to (insert any excuse they’ve used in the past).

    As far as losing the ‘faceroll’ moniker over the expansion: Only if people playing the class begin to hate it and our numbers bottleneck again (like with Warlocks).

  2. Handera says:

    You didn’t mention our pvp experience in Wrath. That’s where most of the complaints about us being overpowered came from, not that I’m arguing against those complaints. Like a lot of classes, it was the pvp that caused us to be toned down.

  3. Joe says:

    Ret Pallys RULE i dont give a half rats you know yes we are gunna lose alot of items that helped us solo and raid such as macros for off heals to the tank when it gets low but from playing the beta and seeing the damage and new spells and abilities we will dominate the new expansion i promise

  4. Typhron says:


    How do people like you get in the beta? :/

  5. Xav says:

    I love(d) the impression we give(gave) as Paladins of being immortals. Some Paladins just seems to never go down on PvP. AoE could have been quick fixed with some nerfs and buffs on seals, you know switching seals betweens phases or adds.

    @Joe: If we dominate Cataclysm I’ll be a happy Retribution Paladin and since we are the most popular class on WoW I guess that a lot of people will be happy too 😀

  6. Joe says:

    We are immortals HELLO! RET PALLYS = OUTSTANDING!! Typhron dont be hating i know people im sorry if i offened you but it is very promising and i feel i will do fine along with every other ret pally that will fight to level and take names

    Xav we will i promise you when you first hit the dock of SW and take that first quest with all ur new spells and talents and abilities you will not want to stop playing

    Dont Be afraid if anything we are gunna get buffed and by 85 with our new tier gear we will make rogues look bad

    And Typhron id be more mad at Sam Raimi because he is going to screw World of Warcraft the movie hard so but if you all have any questions or concerns let me know and i can address them

    If you need to get a hold of me make a toon on Kul Tirus and mail me or check im always on after work that be 9pm Utah time whatever zone that is but yeah and my name is Zonama look me up guild Pantheon


  7. Joe says:

    Oh and for PVP guess what ret pallys have JOJ aka Judgement of Justice FTW!!!!!

  8. Ret tarded says:

    Mmm… been playing a pally since BC first came out. Don’t know if I like these changes or not… It’s the sheer versatility and survivability of the Ret class that makes it fun to play. True, they are very, very powerful in most situations (inb4 Frost Mage), but most people who play them, myself included, don’t play them to be blah. IMHO it’s the single most enjoyable and rewarding class. I assure you, if these changes detract in any way from the fun factor of my retribution paladin, i will never be buying more playtime.
    Thanks for the info though 🙂

  9. Joe says:

    RETTARDED we will deal so much damage target will drop before they can dent us trust me i have been there

  10. some pally guy says:

    hello everybody,
    its needless to say ret was op…..he could take half ur hp while ur stunned and even if he cant manage to dps u well…he gives himself another chance with LOH or Divine shield and LOL ur pwnt
    dont consider me trolling…but i think that cata changes makes u less op and much no faceroll(except with zealotary/AW anyway :P)
    …this is better for other classes but not for many rets xD
    hope numbers gets fixed anyway so every class gets its chance 😛

  11. Joe says:

    Hey Guy RETS ARE AWESOME!!!! So there

  12. edward says:

    Mr. Greg Street (alias Ghostcrawler), the new Lead Systems Designer for Blizzard .Seriously: Auto-healing, auto-buffed, auto-dispelling, plate-wearer, stunning, damage-sharing, bubble protected class can only be underpowered if you’re sleep-deprived, drug abusing, drunk in an old computer, with laggy connection.
    I dont believe him,because he done many wrong things in this nice game.
    Wonderful days in this game belong to the past. Go home Mr. Greg Street (alias Ghostcrawler), the new Lead Systems Designer for Blizzard .

  13. Khor says:

    Ghostcrawler has done an outstanding job in my opinion. He has been superb in terms of communicating with the player base. I think in this particular instance, I would have chosen a different way to say what he said, but the guy is still pure awesome in my book.

  14. Joe says:

    Khor What do u plan to do with the changes in the patch?

  15. edward says:


    Here is one of many posts about Mr. Greg Street (alias Ghostcrawler), the new Lead Systems Designer for Blizzard .

    Anyway I understand your support to him.You are paladin.You need understand opinien about all classes.

    Sorry if i made some mistakes with english language.

  16. Khor says:

    I think it is easy to understand why so many players get upset by these changes. Believe it or not, I do have a Hunter and play him enough to feel the sting of the change as well. But much like our Paladin re-vamp, the Hunter is getting one, too. It will be like playing a new class.

    Ghostcrawler, in my opinion, has always had good points, but the way he puts them down in words tends to lead to posts like the one you linked.

    The way I view this particular issue is that Blizz wants to stray away from the generic laying down AoE ability for the Hunter. Instead, they will have a much more mobile arsenal at their disposal for what is assumed to be harder trash/content in terms of PvE. Blizz has stated before that the AoE packs will be far less in Cata, and taking down trash won’t be as simple as it was in WotLK. Volley would be a hidnerance here, where as multi-shot may trump other, more reckless AoEs.

    GC and Blizz have a direction they want to take with the class, even if it enrages the current player base. One thing we do know, is that no matter how much we percieve them screwing up a class, we still play. We adapt and learn, and find the strengths over time.

    I could always moan and whine about the Paladin changes I don’t like, but instead I opt to look at the challenge of mastering a new way of fighting.

    These guys at Blizz are smart. They know what they are doing. We may not always like it, but they know what they are doing.

    Now, if only we could crack GCs code when he posts, things would be much easier.

  17. edward says:

    I’m not disagreeing that Blizzard has done a good job since the early days of WoW, but we should never forget that this is the same people who let Arenas and BG completely derail their efforts at class balancing. Blizzard is still struggling with this legacy to this/clearfocus
    Blizzard likes this goal Lets make classes that take enourmous amounts of skill to play broken, while faceroll classes destroy everything else.
    Its true.I play hunter over 5 years and know how game works,but arena is total unbalanced.I know that you know your job perfect but dont do support where things go wrong.Blizzard do business only.Yours and opinien of mine is not inportant.its true again.

    Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils … – Louis Hector Berlioz

  18. Joe says:

    Why di they say we pallys are getting nerfed when all truth we are getting buffed i dont understand?

  19. edward says:

    This is rediculous. I don’t think I ‘m going to bother again with this game. I see people leaving on every server and everyone is bored of the stupidity OP classes and the totally unbalanced PVP.Blizzard developers team going to kill wow.They want to correct their own big mistakes in the past and done overpovered classes with stuns and fear.Paladins are very easy class for young ppl. they dont need have skill. they need know that they can use only 3 button and they can kill almost all class.

    congrutulation Mr.Dr. Greg Street (alias Ghostcrawler), the new Lead Systems Designer for Blizzard!You have no idea how this game should work!

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