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.
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!
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.
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!
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!