Retribution Hybrid Healing Nerfs?

From the question and answer session regarding PvP, a question came up about hybrids losing some of their healing efficiency, while pure DPS classes (Rogues/Warlocks) still had strong self-heals.

Here was the quote: [Source]

Q: The healing abilities of hybrid classes are being severely limited (eg. Retribution Paladin, Shadow Priest). Compared to this why do DPS Classes such as Rogue, Warlock have strong healing capabilities? Can I get some explanations for this? – ????? (Korea)

A: Our definition of hybrid is a class that can respec to tank or heal. That versatility is much less relevant in PvP than in PvE. So it isn’t all our intention that classes who have a healing talent tree are good healers at all times and more than you might expect Restoration or Balance druids to be tanky just because they have a tank spec.

We don’t specify a set amount of self-healing and try to adjust everyone to hit those targets. Instead we balance specs around their entire package. If rogues die a lot, then we can explore the option of increasing their mitigation, giving them stronger survival cooldowns, or increasing their self-healing. We found that rogues were one of the most painful classes to level, so when we revamped them for Cataclysm, we wanted to make sure they didn’t have to stop and eat or bandage every few pulls. Warlocks self healing did get nerfed, but also remember that their resource mechanic is burning health to generate mana, so they need a way to replenish that health.

Finally, hybrids can absolutely swing the outcome of battles with their self or off-healing. Feral druids can stop, shift, and heal themselves up. It happens all the time (though obviously not while being focused). That doesn’t mean that those specs are supposed to be chain healing the whole time (that’s what actual healers do).

So, I thought I’d give my spin on this answer, and I am curious what you PvPers think as well.

To say it shortly, I agree with the response.  My issue with how strong our hybrid healing could be was that I would DPS for the short periods of time my cooldowns were available, in which I would burn them all, plus trinkets.  I would destroy anyone during that time period, but once it was over, I switched back to support and self-healing, inflicting little bits of damage here and there.  More so being a pest than a wrecking ball.

My gameplay style is wanting to crush everything in sight.  If I am Retribution, I want to be DPSing the whole time in PvP.   If I want to heal, I’ll go Holy.  And I think that’s the basic idea of their response.

I know a ton of PvPers like the utility role, and that’s cool.  That’s your gameplay style.  But for me, I think I’m on the same page as Bizz with this one.


  1. Amoralen says:


    I agree that you want to be dishing out the damage. And I agree that Sefless healer had to be nerfed. The better question is why are Rets having to use WoG to heal themselves so much?

    Our mitigation is awful right now. I do TB, BG’s and 2v2. And I can tell you that I use WoG only on my self 80% heals over TV because I have to. Simply put when we get focused we go down – and very quickly.

    And what about the nerf to Sacred Shield? Why? I want to stay positive and upbeat, and I’m not nearly as concerned on the PVE side of things. but Ret will be dead in PVP next patch.

  2. Not Disclosed says:

    Long time reader of your site. Always loved it. Check on it most days. This is the first time I have felt the dire need to comment. The new layout – TERRIBLE. Please change it back. If you aren’t happy with the last one revert to the set up before. Both fantastic compared to this rubbish. Please.

  3. Rodradin says:

    As of now i don’t do that much pvp, but when i do i really can see this nerf destroying ret in pvp once more.
    Many times in 2v2 for example you focus more on healing yourself and your team mate just because other
    classes dps output is ridicilously high and your survivability is slim to none.

    By adding such long cooldown to WoG their gonna make ret survivability so low that it’s either go holy or don’t pvp once more. Don’t suppose you’ll be seeing many rets in the 2.3k+ department anymore after this.

  4. Xav says:

    The problem is that we are bad at surviving in arenas and since killing the Paladin is the easiest kill we are usually focused and killed. WoG and SS are what can keep us alive to actually do something (usually get them to use their offensive CDs) nerfing WoG might have merit and the SS CD might be too short, but these are our only useful “defensive” abilities since all the others can be and are easily dispelled or shattered.

    PvE wise it doesn’t really matter but PvP wise it changes everything. If they wanted to down rank our survivility they should have picked one (WoG or SS) but not both. The good thing about this is that I can have one PvE/PvP Ret spec and one PvE tank spec for instant queue now!

  5. pulse says:

    “So, I thought I’d give my spin on this answer, and I am curious what you PvPers think as well.

    To say it shortly, I agree with the response.”

    And that’s where I stopped reading your blog…. Life’s too short to have retribution self flagellators to hold us all back… Or just admit you don’t have a grasp of the situation because you don’t pvp.

  6. Sektual says:

    Im in line with alot of people, that Ret is dead 4.1 unless u have a healer forsay 3s. I am full Vicious stacked resil and still take alot of damage im spending my HP on heals not dps. Dont get me wrong i love ret but at this point what is the point everything gets dispeled spellstolen purged or tranqed where if we are focused we spend our Zealotry on trying to heal or most of the time early bubble. Ok yea nerf the heals make up for it in something we dont have a MS, our CC isnt reliable.

  7. Jimakoma says:

    Hlo all, I just had 8/8 arena loses for the first time in my PVP history ;P

    listen to this because for me it’s simply unacceptable! Keep in mind that I’m 33 y old have 3 kids and less and less play time…

    my 2v2 team is ret pally (me) with beast master hunter (my brother) I know it’s not the ideal combination but with wog we were winning just fine!

    I had no problem with 20sec CD on wog until I confronted a dk 1v1 in arena and realized that he could heal 3x faster than me! While i was dueling i kept repeating in my head “this is simply futile”
    Then i dueled 1v1 with a worrior (arena)… 2x faster healing than me… a warrior outhealing a paladin… I play wow for 3 years now, never had such issues I’m average at PvP and I know my standing… this is simply stupid… Now that i think of it better, it just can’t be, I must be doing something wrong… maybe a respec could help I don’t know *confused*

  8. Cheyanne says:

    Short, sweet, to the point, FREE-exactly as inforamotin should be!

  9. Valiant Slayer says:

    First iv got to say i’m and optimistic guy and don’t give up easy, I love a challenge and don’t mind dying but this, This Nerf is ridiculous! Most of my PVP experience is in 2s. The hardest team set up iv run across has been War/mage. I’m running Ret/rogue if we cant cc the mage in under 5 sec i’m dead. For several reasons. Mage will steal Avenging wrath every time and force me to hit like a kitten ><!


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