We now have the preliminary changes for Retribution Paladins in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. This basic information released yesterday highlights the intentions Blizzard has for us Ret Paladins, and to be honest, I am quite optimistic.
I have been reading Paladin forums and comments on Paladin websites, and I am seeing a large quantity of unhappy Ret Pallies. The outpouring of negativity really turns me off to that kind of content, because I really try to look past the initial “WTF?” and search for intended purpose. The changes I see right now for Cataclysm actually bring a beacon of hope to our DPS. Now, before you start bashing me on that, let’s take a closer look at what Blizzard has posted with their Cataclysm Paladin Notes.
Guardian of Ancient Kings
All three Paladin specs get Guardian of Ancient Kings, with Retribution basically getting a 30 second pet to deal additional damage. It is impossible to speculate what our DPS will be like in Cataclysm, but I will take any additional DPS Blizz will give me. Not to mention, this could be a positive change in PvP, allowing us to put GoAK on ranged DPS classes, or healers to cause additional chaos. I realize this isn’t the “closer” that everyone wants, but it definitely gives us some additional help for those ranged issues we tend to have.
Crusader Strike Changes
Crusader Strike will be available to all Paladins at level 1. I am thrilled with this change, because the only ability Paladins really have for leveling early on is Judgement. This will really speed up the leveling process. As a tradeoff, Blizz states that it will be removed as the 51-point talent, and a new ability could possible take it’s place to either enchance it, or become a new talent all together. Seeing as almost all 51-point talents are an active ability or spell of some kind (as opposed to passive), this would be a great change. Another attack for our DPS rotations? Adding a DoT, additional seal proc to Crusader Strike? Who knows! Whatever it is, this keeps Crusader Strike as our core DPS attack, and gives us, in theory, another strong 51-point talent to add to our arsenal.
As stated before by Blizzard in an earlier post regarding dispelling in Cataclysm, Cleanse will become a spell attainable through the Holy Tree. This is one of the changes I do not like, because cleansing ourselves is a huge efficiency boost to almost all aspects of Ret gameplay (Arenas and PvP anyone?). I am hoping they put it high enough into the Holy tree that we have the option of speccing into it, even as Ret.
Blessing of Might and Blessing of Wisdom Changes
Blessing of Wisdom is gone. Blessing of Might will provide both attack power and mana regeneration benefits. This is a huge change, further reducing our annoying Blessings duties. Like the notes say, one Paladin will be buffing Kings, and the other will be blessing Might. Awesome.
All I can say is, will it still retain its damaging properties, or will it be changed to only be a heal? If it is still a damaging spell in addition to healing, then that adds an interesting mechanic.
Retribution Defensive Capabilities Decreased
To be honest, I’m not really sure what to think here. I don’t think there could have been a more generic statement about this subject. Divine Shield is not top on my priority list of Ret changes I was looking for. I was hoping for a little detail on tradeoffs of protection for damaging abilities, but it looks like we’re going to have to wait for that.
Adding Difficulty to Facerolling
Now this is intruiging. It’s a shame they’re not giving specifics here, but I am very excited they will be complicating up our DPS in some way or form. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy our FCFS rotations and the damage we put out, but if there is a chance to push even more DPS with a little skill related to mastering Ret mechanics, I’m all for it. I hope they leave our AoE abilities alone, and if they need to tweak a DPS mechanic, let it be done in our approach to single target encounters. Using Seal of Vengeance is nice, but the ramp up time and chance to lose the stacks with movement really hurts us. If they can enhance the seal mechanics for boss fights, I’d be thrilled.
True, this is some pretty generic stuff. I now agree with Blizzard in that they still have a lot more to hammer out. None of this was groundbreaking, but it does give me hope that the Cataclysm changes will be positive for Retribution Paladins. Now, we play the waiting game. Let’s see what Blizz throws at us next.
What do you think about these Ret Paladin changes?