It’s the day after Patch 4.0.1 went live, and forums and sites like this one are on fire with angry Rets. I spent a good chunk of time last night testing everything out, gauging where we are on the DPS totem pole, and sinking myself into our very scattered DPS rotation.
First, I will try to put out some of the fires, though I think it will be an unsuccessful attempt. The changes we have in place in 4.0.1 have nerfed our DPS. That much is pretty certain fact. But these changes aren’t meant for level 80, and I hope everyone keeps that in mind, however frustrating it may be. These changes will build us up to level 85, at which point our DPS is supposed to rival everyone else’s. Until Cataclysm is here, we won’t know how much this hurts or helps us.
Here is what I accomplished yesterday:
- Sold about 1000g worth of glyphs, though I think many people made much, much more.
- Sold about 2000g worth of herbs.
- Sold about 500g worth of eternals.
- Had all but 8 glyphs for my Paladin in my bank, and had to buy the rest, costing me around 400g, or 50g per glyph. I omitted 3 major glyphs, and will get those on my up and coming inscriptionist. They are non-factor glyphs that I won’t need any time soon.
- Glyphs averagin 50g each on my server, with non-important glyphs hovering at 25g.
- I mis-judged the epic gem factor, and all the epic gems nearly doubled in price…at least the cardinal rubies. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Now, for my review of what has happened to our beloved Ret Paladin class.
The most common question I am seeing is, “What is our new DPS rotation?” This is a tricky subject that I am still hammering out. The problem is that in 5-mans, our burst damage is gone. I mean GONE. I was wreaking havoc with a whopping 3.5k DPS. On target dummies, I was consistently in the 4.8-5.1k DPS range. Comparably, like many of you have noticed, our 6-7k DPS 5-man days seem to be over.
The DPS rotation actually seems to still revolve around a FCFS set-up. The more I looked at it, the more I realized I was hitting abilities as they popped, but in a prioritized order. So are we trading one very solid FCFS for a seemingly weak FCFS with limited sustained DPS, and minimal burst damage? Only level 85 will tell.
This is the best and optimal FCFS I have come up with so far:
- TV (3HP) > CS > Ex > Judge > HoW > HW > Cons
Now, Elitist Jerks has something similar, though they prioritized Holy Wrath above Hammer of Wrath. My personal feeling is that HoW with talents and glyph could take priority, but I didn’t get a great chance to test out Holy Wrath to make that conclusive.
AoE damage in 5-mans was almost a hindrance. By the time I got 3 HP to deliver a Divine Storm, either one or half of the mobs were already dead from other AoE damage. WotLK 5-mans are almost all AoE pulls, and I was severely lacking. Seal of Righteousness felt underwhelming, and Consecrate did very little to bolster my overall DPS. IF I got to use Divine Storm, it was maybe once per pull. Sometimes I found myself throwing it in at 2HP, just to make sure I got it off.
Seals of Command felt nowhere near it’s original form.
AoE is down considerably, and the Divine Storm mechanics are futile in my opinion as of right now. The old Divine Storm is tremendously missed.
Making some adjustments to my glyph recommendations. For Prime Glyphs, Judgement is such a disappointing attack now that I can’t justify using it’s glyph, even with a 10% damage buff. This could change in the future, but Judgement isn’t hitting anywhere near what I am used to seeing. Seal of Truth is a likely replacement.
What scares me is that our Prime Glyphs seem to be pretty strong. If our DPS mediocre, what would it be without the glyphs?
I like our talent tree. I really do. Acts of Sacrifice is the only talent I feel ‘forced’ to take in a PvE environment, so no complaining there. But again, what’s scary is all the straight buffs to damage we get via talents…and just not seeing the fruits of that damage in combat. If I am seeing the benefits of that damage, then what in the world would our base DPS be like?
Yep, it does feel like a FCFS rotation like I mentioned above. But combat feels choppy. From trying to lay out a solid rotation, to checking when Exorcism procced, and constantly looking for 3HP on my interface…I felt disorganized and disoriented. I lost my targets several times, and was missing on kills because of how much I was looking back and forth on my screen. That will correct itself in time as I get used to the playstyle, but it just didn’t feel SMOOTH. It didn’t flow as well as I would have expected.
Strength vs Agility
Gotta dump that agility! Strength gear now takes full priority. Having to make some gear swaps myself to accommodate this.
What Do I Like?
With so much negativity out there, let’s focus on what I saw that I liked…
Templar’s Verdict is wonderful, and Exorcism added as a staple to our rotations is awesome. It hits hard, though I wish it procced a bit more often. Crusader Strike is great, but I think I am going to have to stack more haste to get it to the point of maximum efficiency.
Reforging is pure brilliance. I mean simply awesome. Some of my gear I cannot swap yet for the strength/agility changes, so reforging has helped me keep hit cap by swapping the few options I have.
I remain optimistic, but my first impression on live servers dampened my spirits. I think we will be competitive in DPS come Cataclysm, but for now, it’s a waiting game to see how much further Blizzard will tweak our class.