Retribution Paladins Cataclysm – Day 2

Cataclysm has impressed me tremendously so far, and day 2 was no exception.  I wrapped up Deepholme, ventured into Stonecore, made more gear changes, and got an intro to what may be my favorite Cataclysm zone: Uldum.

As my gear has gotten better, so has my DPS and survivability.  I didn’t quite climb into 84 like I had wanted to, but I should do that in a few hours this morning…then it’s off to the daunting task of leveling to 85!

I am realizing that not being in the Cata Beta process was unfortunate.  Not only would I have had some serious input, but I am just now experiencing problems that players were only guessing at.  It’s impossible to know how things will go until an expansion hits live severs, but there are some Ret issues that need to be addressed.

Not Enough Mastery on Gear!

Yeah, RIGHT!  Mastery is everywhere.  Seriously, everywhere.  At first, I thought, okay, maybe Blizz is just showing off its new stat, but as levels have progressed, the Mastery is still abundant.  Maybe it’s  in Blizzard’s plan to have Mastery be a key leveling stat as well as end-game stat, but I must’ve missed that memo somewhere along the way.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it has come in handy, but I hate seeing myself sacrifice crit and haste, which I would rather have, for gobs of mastery.

AoE is Completely Underwhelming

Blizzard needs to throw Retribution AoE damage a lifeline, because it is just putrid.  I hate to say this only halfway to 85, but our AoE damage has been almost completely ineffective.  Even during leveling, Divine Storm and Holy Wrath are barely putting scratches into those 100k+ HP mobs.  Holy Wrath is almost better used as a single target DPS attack.  I am recommending a stat boost for Divine Storm back up to its pre-nerf 150% weapon damage.  I quickly abandoned Divine Storm in dungeons, as it was like striking a Tauren with a roll of paper towels.

Blizz, need some help on this one please.

Gear Replacement

I’d wager a good 75% of my gear is gone at level 83, with only 4 bars remaining to 84.  I finally got rid of my T10 legs, and oh, by the way, do any of you know how much I HATE the look of plate skirts?  Ret Paladins are melee fighters, and while I know those skirts hold true to lore, it’s just not practical!  Give me normal pants any day!

Threat in Dungeons

Here’s the culprit: Seals of Command.  As a passive talent, we are dealing damage to everything around us whether we want to or not.  In WotLK, Seal of Command was a stand alone seal that could be swapped if needed for a single target seal.  Want to know why we are pulling so much threat in dungeons (minus our huge burst damage)?  Seals of Command is hitting everything, where the tanks may not be able to keep up that AoE threat.

I found that out pretty quickly in Stonecore, after 4 deaths.  I had to sit and wait for the tank to gain aggro for 5+ seconds each pull, and even then I had to watch myself.  I was using Hammer of Justice and Repentance a ton!

I was able to control my burst damage for the most part, but even then it took the tank awhile to catch back up.  Hand of Salvation, how I love thee…and how I loathe thee, too!

Dungeon DPS

My dungeon DPS was mediocre, coming in last place to the other DPSers (mage, warlock, hunter, DK).  I think most of this was due to my need to control damage and threat, but I don’t feel like I should be having to avoid combat or attacks in order to survive.  I think there is still some balancing to be done.

Need Elementium?

Not me, oh heck no!  Deepholme was overrun with Elementium Ore, and since it is such a massive zone, I don’t see that ore being a huge problem.  My whole experience leveling in Deepholme yielded 35+ stacks of Elementium Ore, and that was without farming the stuff!

Discovering Instances

You have to literally and physically discover an instance, or the entry to the instance,  in order to be able to queue for it via the dungeon finder.  It’s a hindrance, but I think I like the concept.  It makes you visit the place, which otherwise, you may never have a reason to do.

More to Come

I will have more to come as I close in on 85, then my focus will shift to end-game content and reputation, etc.  Stay tuned, and let us know what you have experienced thus far in Cataclysm!


  1. Empact says:

    Agreed Agreed. This having to wait 5+ seconds thing reminds me of Vanilla WoW…which is refreshing. At least now tanks have to work harder for threat, and us DPS needs to manage our aggro.

    About the AOE….yeahhhh I was fighting 4 level 84 mobs yesterday and I had to burn every cooldown I had, as well as Health Pots, and I barely made it out alive. When you get to multiple mobs…it only makes sense to use AOE moves right? Well when your AOE moves totally suck…you have to single target DPS…and when that target has ~100k hp…um yeah. Sry theres my QQ. Help us BLIZZARD!

  2. Victimize says:

    I indeed have to agree to your post about the aoe dmg.. and also to the other ofcourse! When i pulled 3 mobs accidently i usually popped my cooldowns and needed to burn em down 1 by 1 instead of getting the 2 other mobs to atleast half their xp. Blizzard really should consider the value of Divine Storm and Holy Wrath..
    Those 2 are just not cutting it..

  3. Sion5 says:

    I didn’t decide to level my Pally in Cat, instead I levelled my Shammy (I know, I know, traitor), but the Mastery is most welcomed, especially elemental.

    Anyway, like Empact mentioned it is refreshing to see some old WoW traits re-appearing, for example the need to CC in dungeons. Overall, I too am impressed with the expansion.

  4. Lykaon says:

    Isn’t the prudent thing to do in the case of pulling AOE aggro in dungeons to just switch seals? Seals of Command only has the “cleave” effect when you use Seal of Righteousness. Switch to Seal of Corruption and your problem goes away.

  5. Khor says:

    @ Lykaon – Yes, unfortunately, we have to switch to Seal of Truth in most cases, which renders Seal of Righteousness pretty much useless in 5-mans…at least for now. Maybe when Cata is a year old and we are all in much better gear, things will be a bit different.

  6. Zonama says:

    Yeah AOE need more Con and divine storm suck

  7. Sith says:

    So with all this mastery on gear now, is it the way to go? Ive been real hesitant to swap out my T10’s for any of the newer stuff. The only things I have changed out are my trinkets & soon my wep. I’ve lvled almost to 84 now in my good ol’ t10’s and have only seen 3 to 4 deaths thus far. My bags & bank are filling fast with mastery gear & I’m thinking its getting near DE time….so i’m looking for some input on this before I clean house.

  8. Darthal says:

    I’m glad i’m not alone on the meandering dps, also i suppose you could reforge the mastery into something more useful? I mean it’s only greens so it’s not worth your time during leveling but it does get me wondering how that will play out in end-game raiding. Also, i hit 85 last night and it took a good 7 or 8 hours in Twighlight Highlands at a fast(but not server first) pace :P.

  9. Gnarlie says:

    I hit 85 on dec 8 and i gotta say, aoe… we dont have any… pull three mobs and cds goes fast and i actually sometimes need to bubble and heal if i get just one mob to many. i switched out my gears asap. my dps and survivability incriesed so much that i almost feelt like pre patch 4.0.1 :D. but then i meet the 85 mobs :/ now its kill 2 mobs, heal. rinse and repeat. i dont like it. But overall i like cata, fun zones and quests and a little more brains in dungeons. 😀
    but i do really hope blizz will give us something so we can preforme better in dungeons. dps isent great. and CS is up to 4 secs! haste is the way to go! sometimes u dont even have an attack to use, and i refuse to use tv with 1 hp…. so u just wait for cds and then go again.
    GL to all of you getting to 85 and have fun! Uldum is amazing! 😀

  10. lordmogg says:

    managed to get a little more time on last night. Still not even at 81…… /blush

    anyhow. aoe is bad but I have found that I can still pull up to 4 or more mobs and keep alive fairly easily. maybe its because im still at quite a low level but ive not found this to be a problem.

    I did start out in mount hyjal but then based on comments on other sites I found it better in vashjir. I like some of the layouts and how quest lines work and the whole environment looks good.

    I’m pretty sure it should look amazing but im playing on a 12 year old pc that only plays wow and a big old fat monitor so you guess anything other then space invaders is challenging for it.

    I had a quick go in Black rock also last night. one wipe at the first boss but other then that that was good. quite sparse with mobs tho I found.

    anyhow. I seem to be holding my own at this low level. no decent drops or quest give aways yet for me. fingers crossed

  11. Pauliee says:

    DS n Holy Wrath are serious fail spells. i use divine storm just for fun rlly and holy wrath to get an hp if CS n judgement r down :/

  12. Shogan says:

    Khor, after reading this I can’t wait until you get to see these instances in HC.

    As for AoE, I recall reading some time ago that the idea was to reduce the overall ability of Paladin AoE tanking and DPS. Why? Mobs!! I was on a guild run last night of Grim Batol HC, with 2 Rets and a Warlock. Every pack of trash the 3 of us would each CC a mob; we would focus on killing the free mobs picked up by the tank.

    At the moment this method is the only viable way, given our gear/stats, to actually make it through the trash. Any AoE at this point from DS, HW or SotR would free those CC’d mobs and result in a wipe. I seriously recommend using the HW glyph, those stuns can save lives. You may think the DPS is weak but stopping a mob hitting you or the tank form is welcome relief.

    Healer went OOM a lot!!! After nearly every pull we had to stop for a MB, healing at the moment is very mana intensive due to the scaling of the mana needed to use those abilities. So do what you can, cleansing yourself and those in your party will go some way to helping out. We have these utilities for a reason and it would seem Blizz wants us to use them again.

    I found myself using my 3HP and HoL procs to heal myself or other raid members (anything less is a waste) rather than keep up Inquisition or use TV. I have also been using Seal of Light more so than the other two during these runs, basically I was doing anything to get more mana/health back. I plan to readjust my talents to better incoming and outgoing heals.

    For now these HC’s feel more like mini raids, we were in GB for a solid 2 hours. You need to be geared, even for these. Personally, I plan to spend a bit of time acquiring gear from normals. Just because you have the min required ilvl doesn’t mean you will succeed.

  13. Holybubblies says:

    So far my experience for cata has been wonder.
    With one exception. Dungeons I still think its going to take some time for people to realise that it isnt as easy as WotLK.
    As for AoE they are completely useless at this stage of cata :(.

    Can’t wait for your next post
    Ret pally

  14. Gnarlie says:

    So. Iv been gearing up fast now and only have legs left to get superior. In my last post i was all over the place. sry. 😀
    To focus, dps is kinda good, i have gotten comfarteble in the rotations and with better gear comes more dps. Im now ceartin that when we get to raiding a ret pally will be a welcome asset. Repentance FTW! and iv been using hw and hoj alot. stunning those dragonkins and elementals is awsome. Tonight i hope for some HC grinding as we now are 7 85s in the guild. everyone else is getting there. Quick question tho, do Obsidium nodes seem to be missing from the game for u too? cause i cant find a single one. Ty for a great site Khor.

    Gnarlie, gayelf Pala ^^
    Skullcrusher EU

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