Patch 4.0.3a DPS Concerns

Patch 4.0.3a brought about some nerfs that weren’t mentioned in the patch notes.  Yes, we knew Crusader Strike was being knocked down to 115% weapon damage…and yes, we knew Hammer of Wrath was getting a roughly 25% damage reduction.  But, with Exorcism getting another nifty boost to damage, I figured things would be okay, even with the Seal of Truth nerf tacked onto everything else.

Retribution DPS Concerns

Here is all I can say…our DPS at level 85 must be pretty dang competitive with the pure DPS classes to get this kind of attenti0n.  None of the changes were overwhelming, and I am not going to run home and cry in my pillow because of them, but I think there is a fine line between great DPS and acceptable DPS.

We definitely are in the acceptable DPS range, whereas prior to Patch 4.0.3a, we were sitting in the lower tier of the great DPS category.  Now, most of this was extremely high burst damage, with alternating Avenging Wrath and Zealotry buffs to hold our sustained DPS high.  But the recent changes more or less neutralized this.

For those that are underwhelmed by the current state of our DPS, I think I am starting to agree that it kind of stinks.  My 5-man DPS is pretty low (Pushed 5k at my highest thus far), and I still am not using Divine Storm, even with the change buffed to 80% weapon damage.  For raid environments, I think I am still working out kinks, because my DPS is on a roller coaster ride, and I have nothing solid to confirm other than it seems to be in the vicinity of 1.5k to 2.5k DPS lower than before 4.0.3a.

Single target DPS should appear better at level 85.  I trust in this much, because Inquisition will really pump up our numbers.  We have to remember that the current Retribution combat designs are factoring in aspects that we do not yet have access to, so the best thing to do is to shrug off the current state of DPS, and keep our eye to the future…only five little levels beyond!

Divine Storm

To sum this up, I have now put Divine Storm through some extensive testing, and I am pretty confident in saying it is still is fairly underwhelming.  I like the cool down aspect, and I don’t mind it sharing a cooldown with Crusader Strike, but the damage output still doesn’t quite meet AoE standards…at least in my opinion.  I don’t feel 80% makes us competitive enough in the AoE combat field.

Some posts I have read online say Divine Storm at 3 targets or more instead of Crusader Strike.  Nope, I disagree there…100%.  Some sources are saying 4 targets or more.  This is 50/50, and you are hoping for some crits in there.  I am really leaning towards saying 5 targets or more for Divine Storm use, because I found my overall DPS higher with Crusader Strike use.

Think of it this way…you attack a pack of 5 mobs.  You Divine Storm and get the first one down.  Now, you are down to 4 mobs, and must choose single target or AoE DPS.  At 3, 2, and 1 mobs remaining, you are single target DPS.

In true “AoE” situations, AoE combat may only take up 20% of your combat time…at least for optimal AoE damage efficiency.  The rest is still taken over by single target rotations and combat strats, with a few AoE tricks mixed in (Holy Wrath, Consecration).

What do you guys think?


  1. Paul says:

    Your always first to infrom me, thank khor. keep up the great work.

    haha i found a typo “there is always a fin line between dps”

  2. Khor says:

    Haha thank you Paul! Typos like that annoy me, especially since spellcheck couldn’t pick it up!


  3. lordmogg says:

    As it stands you are correct. Our DPS is average. I dont use Divine Storm at all. And would only use it if it did not share a cool down with CS.

    It would need to be double what it is now for weapons damage to make any significant effect.

    And you stating that your DPS has come down by up to 1.5k is just appalling.

    Level 85 better be something special.

    It really annoys me. What is the point of testing if its not sorted.

  4. ScytheNoire says:

    Divine Storm is still sucking.

  5. Shogan says:

    With DS being such a disappointment compared to how it once was, is there really a need to spec for this in the Ret tree any more? In my opinion, I think not, better to improve our raid utilities or healing.

    At this point, it appears to me, that Blizz are trying to retain this once much loved ability for nostalgic reasons more than any practical ones. However, this may not be the case once we hit lvl 85 but I find it highly unlikely.

  6. lordmogg says:

    Shogan has a point. I may take it out of my build alltogether. Im pretty sure i could get better overall DPS or effect by outting the points in ” Arbiter of light ” for example:

  7. Anthony says:

    I for one am trying to get Divine Storm back into my rotation, but Im still up in the air with it.

  8. Agonus says:

    I, too am unimpressed with Divine Storm. If it could generate Holy Power at a higher rate, I could see it being useful, but only to open up Templar’s Verdict. I’m hoping to see a buff to it in a patch in the future. We still have at 1 more Tuesday before Cata launches.

  9. Handera says:

    I disagree on the dps change, but it seems to depend on who you talk to. My dps was awesome pre 4.0.3a, but sucks now.

  10. HolyShoteR says:

    guys , i’ve been wondering for some time…
    the chance that the DS gives to you Holypower … can it be counted by how many targets you’ve hit or they count only the spell itself when used?

    and yes , i felt hard this nerf and i really hope for enhancements
    in lv 85

  11. Nytengale says:

    Exorcism – yeh it may hit harder but we really only use it when AoW procs.
    Crusader Strike – Our main hitting talent Nerfed huge and I really don’t think Exorcism makes up for it.
    HoW – Pooched also
    The Paladin class has been majorly screwed with and messed up by Blizzard. We hit like weaklings now but hey lets not talk about Shamans chain lighting and I will not even talk about Boomkins.
    I do raid and pvp and have noticed a hugh difference in pvp. I think it totally sucks what Blizz did to the paladin. I will still play my pally but with complete frustration. Sorry just needed to rant abit!
    Peace all,


  12. Milos says:

    It only counts once, despite how many targets you attack. So from 1 DS charge it’s only 40% chance to generate HP.

  13. RetForever says:

    I haven’t done any calculations but from experience I have converged to this rule:

    1-3 mobs : Normal single target FCFS

    4+ mobs: TV > HoW > Exo > DS > Cons > HW…

    Really big pull (8+ mobs): DS > Cons > TV > HoW > Exo…

    Btw, I really despise the new holy wrath. It became one of those spells that you hate using but you know it’s a DPS loss if you don’t squeeze it in there, so it’s just annoying. Get rid of it I say, I’d rather pop Lifeblood with that GCD.

  14. Gwar says:

    Well, I tried throwing ds into rotation but with the need for that many mobs and the low damage I am seeing, I don’t see the point. Maybe if they could increase the damage a bit more… My 5 mans were also about 5k+ still getting beat…

  15. Jeryth says:

    I hate to admit to this as I have always loved my ret pally, but I think a friend of mine may right and we actually do more dps as prot (grtanted I’ve got nothing to back that up, but on Runetotem anyway, if you’re ret, no one will let you raid with them.)

  16. Naitha says:

    IS there a new dps spec/rotation? I droped from 6k to 4k dps 🙁
    ‘A link to spec would be helpfull.
    My paladins name is Tenderkiss (Argent Dawn) and i cannot seam to get my dps up where it was

  17. Cloudruler says:

    What i find really sad is this….. i tried out the Exodin “Exo as prime dps in a holy build” and was out dpsing rets in 5 mans……. and i was still healing as well. Had another test it out on Saurfang in icc….. yep 10K dps as a holy pally. EL OH EL! While this im sure will get nerfed i feel something very wrong when a holy pally casting HS and Exo can come close to a ret in dmg. (those 5 mans while i was healing and casting Exo pulled 5K)

  18. Empact says:

    Yeah I’m pretty bummed about the drop in DPS. I am getting out dps’d by people by 1k-1.5k, and I’m almost all BIS gear. Le Sigh.

  19. Cloudruler says:

    Just an edit to my above comment keep in mind on the saurfang fight he is undead so Exo is a 100% crit rate there.

  20. Lightadam says:

    i just wonder, what was the reason to nerf CS? they didn’t mention it in the patch notes but it’s already received a nerf. 1-2 weeks before they buffed it, now they nerf it, why? what’s the trouble that Paladin class causing to keep them missing with it? it’s not like we were on the top Dps anyway.

    how sad a well geared retribution paladin can be (25icc heroics) when a DK or Warrior alts with mostly justice points gear out damage him?

  21. Sith says:

    It seem like were going back to a utility instead of a dps class.

  22. Alastrinas says:

    I was quite surprised to see the actual dps drop.
    Prior to 4.0.3a my dps in VOA 25 was approx 10.5 – 12.8k per boss – with the ice boss peaking at about 12.8k dps.
    I currently have only 264 level gear and was competing quite well.
    Same gear, same gems, same enchants and a drop of 2 – 3k easy.
    Looking forward to level 85, cause now rogues have over us.

  23. Galyo says:

    Imo, Paladin has taken a huge nerf with 4.0.3a, tought like Khor that Exorcism buff can handle all other nerfs, but it don’t.

    I’m actually full BiS Except 1 trinket(Deathbringer 264 and not277), here is my armory link : Pre 4.0.3a, I was like, 21kdps~ on boss like Saurfang/Festergut, 17-18k on LK 25 Hm, Last week, I never go trought 16k with a perfect spell rotation, it really pissed me off. But I still believe that this is only for 2 weeks, and that Inquisition will rebuff our DPS up, but I’m still worried…

    And to talk about DS, Yes, I agree 100%, it’s useless…

    I’m a big fan of pvp/arena, and I’m afraid of what Ret pally will be in 85 Arena… Feel like I’ll have to go prot in pvp è_é

    (Sorry for my english ! :p)

  24. Morphius says:

    I’ve completely given up retribution on my paladin. I tried dps gear with a shield, tank spec, and two-set tank t10, and I rose from a fail 13k dps on bosses to about 20k. Avenger’s shield crits for 16k’s, and with shield of the righteous critting for 54k, I don’t know what Blizztard had in mind when nerfing ret, but apparently, prot > ret on the dps charts.

    Can anyone confirm said increase of dps in prot? Or am I the lucky individual? 😮

  25. Khor says:

    @ Morphius – I have heard whispers (or maybe they were loud shouts) that tanks are doing some massive damage. I have tanked a few instances as Prot, and am getting equal or better DPS than as Ret. Its okay, though. Burst damage is still high, and should be fun to level with.

    If Ret DPS is a challenge at 85, it will be a welcome change 🙂

  26. Nytengale says:

    It is called Prot DPS from what I have seen. More Paladins are going to it saying it is better DPS than Ret. I am looking for better articles – I will post any Prot DPS spec I find.

  27. Zero says:

    proc dps is incredible at the moment for tanking and holding aggro. It is at least double, sometimes even 2.5 times better than a ret paladin in equivalent gear for the spec. I started doing heroics today with gear that should be good enough to hold my own and I was only able to pull out 5-5.3k average with zealotry and burst dmg factored in. I keep getting a lot of flack from players who don’t understand in the least it’s not physically possible for us to maintain the level of dps you get from other classes.

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