Regional FlagEvery Spec Should Have a Weakness ...Source
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Halmir
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#0 - 2007/09/17 03:16:54 AM
... but why does Retribution have to have so many? To quote a recent Blue post on the forums:

Q u o t e:
What I am trying to say is that it is quite erroneous to compare classes since they are all different and is supposed to be different, but if a class has too many shortcomings fulfilling a role that it is intended to be able to fulfill, then by all means post about it... But be sure to skip the dramatization and instead go straight to the point, be precise and also try to give concrete examples and documentation of the shortcomings in play.


We as a community have discussed the class comparisons to death, we have suggested idea after idea, we are even at the point of recycling some of them on a regular basis. Now while some of these things apply to all paladin specs, there context is not necessarily the same, which is why I wanted to tackle Retribution on its own.

Hopefully I can do that without comparing other class abilities or making a single suggestion. I should also point out that im basing this on possible 41/20 talent point splits, whether its 20 into Holy or 20 into Protection, hopefully keeping with Blizzards idea of balance.

Healing

Now while we have healing as a base line, we have no clear indication that its supposed to be part of Retribution play. I like to think and hope it is, I want it to be part of what we are, but not define who we are.

Given that, beyond a 15 point talent in the protection tree we have nothing that helps what has always been a bane, spell lock and counter spell effects. By speccing into that talent we lose the ability to spec Spiritual focus, and while it is a personal choice, I do not believe its a fair choice. By making that choice its a lose lose situation either way, while we do gain a reduction in CS effects, we lose knockback on casting immunity. If we get knockback immunity, we lose the reduction in CS effects.

The reason its a lose lose situation is that as a Retribution paladin, when we do heal it needs to be a quick effective combat heal. Not having knockback immunity means we lose casting time, not having CS reduction we lose time between casts, as well as the initial cast itself. Depending on our opponent we either need one or the other.

For example, Warriors, Rogues, Warlocks, Shamans & Mages can be particularly brutal in this area, having both the ability to knockback the cast and interupt it, with Hunters causing problems on knockback due to their pets. In other words its an inherant weakness in the spec, no matter where we spend those extra 20 points.

Removable Buffs & Debuffs

We rely on magical effects to boost our damage as well as actually do damage. All of these effects, even Vengeance, can be dispelled, purged and now stolen. Again while a solution has been provided, it requires spending 20 point into the Protection tree, while at the same time it allows a solution to counter spell, because we are unable to take Spiritual Focus it still leaves us open to knockback on casting, again removing the ability for quick effective combat heal.

The solution itself is a 30% chance, given that our damage boost abilities, our debuffs, our combat system, our crowd control and our procs are all subject to being removed 30% is very weak when taken in that context. It often leaves us weakened and having to recast buffs using not only mana that we need, but also using up a global cooldown, and against some classes helps our opponents.

The argument could be made, and skirting close to making a suggestion, that because we have buffs that benefit all our team mates, and our debuffs do the same, that 30% isnt weak, but why does it have to be 30% for our buffs on us.

For example, Priests, Shamans & Warlocks can be particularly brutal in this area, having the ability to not only remove most of our combat system but also either leaving us weakened or subject to mana burn in one form or another.

Auras & Cleanse - GCD's

We have several auras for both defensive and offensive moves, as well as having cleanse to remove several different types of effect from us. The problem is that they trigger a global cooldown, now the odd GCD here and there is not a problem, however if we were to use our auras to switch between two or three auras, which would help immensly against a lot of classes, as well as using cleanse to remove the multiple buffs that stack and are hard to remove due to our opponents talents would mean that we would be unable to actually use any other abilities due to being locked up by constant GCD's.

We are left having to choose a single aura for a fight, and if lucky we may be able to change it part way through, but for example switching from Shadow Resistance to Improved Concentration requires knowledge of forsight on when we will need that aura otherwise we cannot cast a quick effective combat heal. So this leaves us in the position of choosing an aura, which can not only make a talented aura redundant but also make a quick effective combat heal ineffective, the other option being a damage reduction aura with no guarantee of an actual damage reduction, merely a chance to reduce damage.

Virtually all classes cause us problems in this area, some not only having multiple schools of damage, but also multiple debuffs, as well as having spell interupts. Taken together with the problems of healing and the problems of buff removal there seems little point in these abilities in TBC PvP.

Melee Range

Getting into melee range against a ranged class is a feat of luck and skill in itself with a Retribution paladin. While we do gain the advantage of Pursuit of Justice, that advantage is quickly lost with a simple enchant or gem. Our abilities that help, JoJ2, requires us to be practically in melee range to use it, and BoF has a cooldown longer than duration, and both are removable. BoF doesnt give a speed boost so we can still be kited, and if we finally close that gap, we are CC'd and it starts all over again, having already taken a lot of damage.

All ranged classes cause us problems in this area, they can if they so wish, easily keep us at a distance, even when we use DS as a way to close range without taking damage, as soon as it ends we are subject to the same punishment.

Controllable Damage

We are a high crit requirement proc based damage class who's effective crit is capped below 20% given current gear and resilience. So we lose out on crits, our big damage seal is an unreliable proc, our big damage judgement requires a stunned opponent to be truly effective, all that coupled with the fact that we need our combat system not being removed or locked up with GCD's and also being in melee range to do it. The unreliability of the damage also has a knock on effect on whether we heal or not, attempt to heal or hope that we crit and proc, its a gamble either way on whether we will be successful.

Divine Shield

Finally we come to the late great DS. A solution to many of the above problems, an all purpose cleanse that can help you gain distance unscathed, and leaving you immune to dispels and counter spells. The problem of course is that it doesnt work, other people have learnt to circumvent DS, either by keeping range, or using the opportunity to heal themselves. Not of course forgetting that DS itself is subject to dispel, and while not a function of the game mechanics can be purged and spell stolen because its still bugged.

Another problem with DS is of course the cooldown, and skirting dangerously close to class comparisons, but in TBC other cooldowns are much shorter, and the duration of the TBC PvP trinkets would indicate that a 2-3 minute cooldown period is being used for the purposes of PvP balance.

Once DS is gone of course, not only are we afflicted with forbearance but our one and only semi - reliable "oh no button" is gone, and we are once again at the mercy of dispel, counter spell etc. and at the mercy of a 5 minute cooldown.

Summary

Thats about as concise as I can put it, I did my best not to compare to other classes, I gave precise problems and who we have problems against. As you can see, we have multiple "shortcomings in play" against the vast majority of classes, so I ask again why do Retribution paladins have to have so many weaknesses?

Its not even a case of weak in one area against one class, weak in another area against a different class, its multiple weaknesses against multiple classes! The entire spec is based on luck and gambling, there is no real control in the spec and I am reminded of something said by Blizzard about CC, they didnt want players losing control of their characters. Well speccing Retribution is all about losing control, its one of, if not the most luck reliant specs from start to finish.

This isnt the first time I have done this, its not the first time its been done by anyone, and I doubt it will be the last. Of course Blizzard could simply say that balancing every spec for every part of the game is not a priority, but they have also said that Retribution is the PvP damage tree, so if its not balanced for general PvP, arena PvP or either, then do they not consider that only having a healing spec of a primary melee class balanced for PvP is a priority that needs addressing?

I really hope that we can get some decent feedback about retribution PvP, I know that the Devs current priority lies with making Retribution & Protection more PvE viable and I commend that. But with the upcoming nerfs to Retribution PvP, please spare a thought for those of us who enjoy PvP with our Ret paladins, please dont neglect that aspect of Retribution.

Conclusion 1 - http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=771470160&postId=9119595635&sid=1#474

Conclusion 2 - http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=771470160&postId=9119595635&sid=1#475

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#24 - 2007/09/17 03:43:52 PM
Disclaimer: there are my, Tharfor's, reactions to the post which was reported as sticky worthy. It is an attempt to explain why I have chosen not to sticky it.

Healing
You stated that, when points are spent in the Retribution tree, there is no way to reduce the casting time of, or negate the casting interrupt penalty of, pure healing abilities.
Q u o t e:
Now while we have healing as a base line, we have no clear indication that its supposed to be part of Retribution play. I like to think and hope it is, I want it to be part of what we are, but not define who we are.

Since the Retribution tree would arguably be the ‘damage’ tree for this hybrid class, it is normal that healing must suffer. You can still heal yourself no matter where your talent points are spent; it is just not as easy to cast a quick, uninterrupted heal unless you spend the points to become a ‘healer’.

Removable Buffs & Debuffs
Q u o t e:
We rely on magical effects to boost our damage as well as actually do damage. All of these effects, even Vengeance, can be dispelled, purged and now stolen.

The Protection tree, one would assume, is the tree in which you save yourself and potentially others from harm. By spending points to ‘protect’, you can ‘protect’ your buffs from being removed or stolen. The term Retribution would suggest that you are vengeful and, rather than negate damage or ‘protect’, you would respond aggressively or with ‘retribution’ when you take damage or have your skills removed/stolen.

Auras & Cleanse – GCD’s
In the section above you stated that you do not wish your buffs and abilities to be removed, yet your are fully aware of your own ability ‘purge’ which does just that to other classes – just an observation.
Q u o t e:
We have several auras for both defensive and offensive moves, as well as having cleanse to remove several different types of effect from us.

Concerning Global Cooldowns, all classes are subject to this cooldown and all classes must find a way to work with or around them. You have ‘several’ abilities for offensive and defensive moves, you must find the best/most efficient way to utilise them.

Melee Range
Q u o t e:
Getting into melee range against a ranged class is a feat of luck and skill in itself with a Retribution paladin.

As a melee class with no real ranged skills to speak of, one might argue that this is a feature which you must learn to adapt to. You have skills which allow you to close that gap, though these can be rivaled by other items and abilities; if that were not the case the paladins extra speed might be considered to be too powerful.

Controllable Damage
Q u o t e:
We are a high crit requirement proc based damage class who's effective crit is capped below 20% given current gear and resilience.

Increasing damage output through crit rating is often considered to be a PvP tactic. A melee fighter seeking to boost their DPS is generally expected to seek Agility and Strength in order to increase attack power and you make no reference to this in your post.

Divine Shield
You speak as though Divine Shield is the main skill of not only Retribution paladins, but paladins in general.
The question I would pose to you is: if you are able to move without taking damage, and you are also able to apply the buffs and auras which you require not to be dispelled, whilst under divine shield, is it not a wise tactic to use divine shield for that purpose whilst closing gap to enter into melee range?

Summary
In my opinion, the weakness of a retribution paladin is that if you need your buffs to be active and you need to be in melee range.
If people can dispel your buffs when they see you coming, why not have no buffs active until you get to almost melee range?
If they can prevent you from getting into melee range whilst dealing damage to you, maybe find another target or get someone to help you?

It’s just a thought, but if you came running at my lit up like a Christmas tree with all your buffs, I’m likely to turn the other way until you burn yourself out/get dispelled a little. Paladins are not about getting momentum over time like a warrior, or about building up to massive damage like a rogue, they are about getting to the right place and exploding a shower of painful light. Get there first, and then power-up your dynamo; in my experience it doesn’t take very long to get from no buffs to ‘omgwtfpwn’ mode.

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#36 - 2007/09/17 03:59:10 PM
I said purge in inverted commas so as to make a comparison, not to indicate that was the name of your skill.

You do defensively through cleanse, that which shamans do offensively through purge. Thusly, you have an ability which is similar to purge and therefore you have a 'purge' ability.

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#54 - 2007/09/17 04:14:12 PM
Q u o t e:
So shamans have a defensive purge and a offensive purge.

Paladins only have a defensive purge.


Ok, I concede that point. The two abilities cannot really be compared as I had intended.

However, that is only one point which I raised and does not negate or otherwise eliminate my argument.

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#85 - 2007/09/17 04:42:04 PM
Q u o t e:
The presumption I have made is that as we have healing as a base line and given the ethos behind the class, I would expect healing to be part of the gameplay.

Can you heal regardless of where your talent points are? I say yes, you can.

Q u o t e:
The other presumption I have made is that the Devs take a 41/20 point split when looking at class balance.

I don't honestly know and I feel it would be foolish to speculate (based on peoples' reactions to my previous inaccurate statements).

Q u o t e:
No other class relies as much on dispelable buffs as we do, those classes that use debuffs to do damage have a means of punishing people who remove them or stack so many that cleanse is ineffective. Where as purge/dispel literally removes our combat system in one go.

There must be a way to get around this. I don't know the class well enough yet (and I challenge anyone to have the personal experience of playing all classes and talent specs in both end-game PvE and PvP) but I have theorycrafted it based on what skills I have gained thus far.
Q u o t e:
And I will respond that the most efficient use still isnt viable, and still isnt working. I have tried every variation, every way of using them, and they just arent up to the job.

I don't mean for this to sound like a personal attack, but perhaps there is something fundamental that you have missed? For example, a rogue can run into direct combat with both swords drawn like a warrior... but he'll probably get mauled. Repeatedly. Perhaps running in guns blazing is not the best tactic for a paladin - this was my point, you guys have more experience than I do, so I may be wrong.

Q u o t e:
I make no reference because it not relevant to the point I was making.

You say that you cannot control your damage due to a reliance on crit rating. I say stop relying on crit rating and get more strength and agility to increase your standard, steady damage output.

Q u o t e:
Its a great tactic, until 12 seconds later, then its CC'd and ranged classes gain range again and we now have used our only real survival ability.

A brief conversation with my colleagues who do play paladins came up with the (parphrased) statement: "I'd rather have Divine Shield than Charge any day."
I didn't get the full details and you may disagree, but it's an opinion and a way of thinking that may have been overlooked.

As for the disco lights issue: I shall compile the more valid concerns based on this discussion and see where it leads us. Deal?


Getting back to the point of making this a sticky also: Yes, it is my decision. No, I'm not an expert on the class. However, there is a lot of negativity (albeit valid points) and I do not feel that new players or players seeking to learn more about the class should be subject to such pessimism. The stickies are not for topics which you agree with, they are for topics which are important to the community - I feel that this thread is relevant and important, but not essential for all users for visit this forum.

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#93 - 2007/09/17 04:56:05 PM
There may very well be something wrong with me, because I actually enjoy people flaming the things I say. :)

I don't appreciate direct and personal attacks, and I'm sure no one here does (not that this has happened, I'm just saying).

I'd like to get to know the true causes of this negativity so that I can try to help resolve it. I can't do that from personal experience and I think your posts may be a little biased - so I mix things up and see how people react; it's my way of exposing truth and I'm sorry if it's a painful one for you.

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#255 - 2007/09/18 10:18:27 AM
...and a jolly good morning to all of you too.

So, here's what I've been up to this morning:

Healing, whilst possible in all talent specs, is easily interrupted or cancelled unless many points are spent in the Holy tree; this is considered to be a significant flaw in a class which relies upon being able to heal in all situations.

The majority of a paladin’s damage is done through seals, auras, and short duration buffs. The majority of these can be dispelled, purged, or even stolen by other classes which effectively negate the paladin’s damage output.

Being able to change aura based on a particular fight is a strength of the class. However, due to the global cooldown essentially causing an interrupt to a damage cycle, changing aura for each new pvp opponent is not really viable.

Many paladins feel that getting into melee range is nigh impossible as many items and effects can allow an opponent to outrun even a properly specc’d paladin, and they have little or no way of effectively preventing an opponent from running once melee combat has been initated.

Due to a reliance on abilities and buffs rather than flat damage, many paladin skills rely on critical hits in order to be activated. This means that paladins are forced to sacrifice other stats in favour of +crit rating.

The only saving grace (forgive the pun) lies in divine shield which allows paladins to cross the distance into melee range without taking fatal damage. However, this is felt to be the on and only skill which can achieve this and is considered to be easily circumventable by simply running away for its duration.

In short:
Healing needs to be more viable for non-Holy paladins.
Paladin buffs and auras need to be less easily dispelled or debuffed (or applied faster once in melee range?)
Auras would be better for PvP if they did not share the global cooldown.
There are not enough abilities (snares, speed boosts) to help a paladin reach melee range – Divine Shield is currently the only one and is easily avoided.
Heavy reliance on +crit rating means other stats (such as resilience) are not available/viable.




Can you confirm that these are the issues which you, the paladin community, feel are the main weaknesses of a Retribution specc’d paladin?



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#265 - 2007/09/18 10:35:13 AM
Q u o t e:
I think most paladins (retribution paladins at that) would be more than happy to trade it for hamstring and intercept.
This topic is mostly about PvP retribution issues, there are still alot of PvE issues to.

You got my respect anyways, for posting the summary.


It certainly does appear to be heavily PvP based, yeah.

Feel free to start another thread along the same vein and if I can get enough information from it I'll make another compilation.

The druids, for example, had one thread covering all talent trees in both PvE and PvP. That was hard work to sift through, but worth it I think.

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#314 - 2007/09/18 01:58:03 PM
Ok, so here's the dealio:

I'm changing
Q u o t e:
Healing, whilst possible in all talent specs, is easily interrupted or cancelled unless many points are spent in the Holy tree; this is considered to be a significant flaw in a class which relies upon being able to heal in all situations.

and
Q u o t e:
Healing needs to be more viable for non-Holy paladins.


to

Healing, whilst possible in all talent specs, is easily interrupted or canceled unless points are spent in the Holy tree; the heals which can be cast by a retribution paladin are weak and are felt to be not worth the effort needed to cast them when taking damage.

and

Healing needs to heal more effectively for non-Holy paladins.

This will be our Retribution PvP concerns.

I'm currently going through Cromfel's thread trying to catch up on what I missed (might take me a while). It is my intention to gather the PvP and PvE concerns into a single, concise as possible, document.

I'll let you know what I come up with so you can approve/correct it; but it probably won't be until Friday at the earliest.

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#389 - 2007/09/18 04:50:08 PM
I'm heading off shortly for the evening.

I have extended the post limit on this thread so that it may live on.

And I'd just like to clarify: I'm not specifically gathering feedback because there is specifically any planned action for the class. 20 pages of debate is all well and good, but without a summary of the conclusions it's unlikely that many people will read it; I'm here to make sure the point is not lost in ether.

Have a good night all.

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Blue Poster
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#511 - 2007/09/20 04:10:27 PM
During my reading and research into Paladins, PvP, and general viability, I came across the following information which seems to answer most of the questions.

Q u o t e:
While trying to get each spec to be arena viable in the different formats is a noble goal, the reality is that it isn't an immediate goal for every spec to be optimized for every aspect of the game (arenas, battlegrounds, solo-ing, raiding, heroics, etc).

In the case of arenas, it seems to me that getting each class reasonably represented in highly rated teams is a more important goal, and unfortunately the paladin class happens to be somewhat grossly over-represented in this regard.


Source: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=96961585&postId=959288344&sid=1#3

Also, from the same thread, regarding what the Retribution tree is intended to be:

Q u o t e:
It's an effective solo'ing/questing/"grinding" tree. It's also an effective tree for damage in pvp, although most of our pvp is group oriented and your groupmates will generally prefer that you play a support role since their classes can often supply the needed dps but aren't able to supply the support a paladin is capable of.


There are also several comments about how WoW is not a dueling game and balance will never be sought in the 1vs1 scenario. Comments such as this:

Q u o t e:
Warlocks are very strong in 1v1, but not only do we not try to claim wow will be balanced for 1v1 pvp (even though in a perfect world I'd love to have 1v1 balance be as close as we can reasonably get it), it's also the case that almost any 1v1 scenario that isn't just a duel is heavily influenced by the conditions under which the 1v1 happens (ie: one character low on health or mana, already used important cooldowns, etc).


Source: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=1134165636&pageNo=12&sid=1#236

So essentially, whilst 1 on 1 PvP is bound to happen in a ‘world’ environment, it is dependant on a number of factors and there is no shame in running away if you think you can’t win.

From the BlizzCon panels I found some relevant comments regarding Battleground versus Arena viability in the form of:

Q u o t e:
Learning from Arenas: Difficult to balance classes for use across different formats. What works in BGs and raids may not work in Arena, and vice versa. "But we're still trying."


Source: http://www.wowinsider.com/2007/08/04/liveblog-world-of-warcraft-pvp-panel-at-blizzcon/

This means that seeking balance is an ongoing process but it something that may never be achieved in a way that pleases everyone.

I would recommend reading (or re-reading) the panel discussion transcripts from BlizzCon on wowinsider as they seem to cover a lot of concerns that that I see on a daily basis.

I realize that you will have more specific questions about exactly what is going to happen, why it’s happening that way, and when it’s going to happen; however, the details you seek may not even exist yet and there is a chance that we will not reveal them right away even if they do.

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#619 - 2007/09/21 01:19:00 PM
There is a lot of information about a lot of topics circulating not only these forums, but the entire internet.
I would like to tell you that I am always on top of all the information about all aspects of World of Warcraft, but I would be lying.

I only recently joined the Community team and I am not fully up to date on where people stand in all areas or what information has been released, for that I apologise. If I get things wrong, or am not up to date, please give me links so I can catch up and correct myself. I can only post what I believe to be the current truth based on the information I find or have access to.

I see that Cromfel’s post has some information from BlizzCon and also the Leipzig interview with Jeff Kaplan which basically states that the Paladin Retribution tree is being looked at for raid viability. This means that DPS is likely to go up in general, so PvP DPS will go up as a by-product of that; though it was stated that PvP DPS will be watched carefully so that it doesn’t become too strong.

So going back to my alleged ‘STFU and heal’ post, what I said (paraphrased) was:
You can be retribution and, as retribution, you can do damage. This damage is not great or overwhelming and whilst it is currently being reviewed from a more ‘raiding’ point of view, most of the ‘end-game’ combat scenarios are group based; and most groups would rather have the Holy or Protection support class rather than ‘just another DPS spec’.

If you can provide me with a more recent official link of something different to what I posted, please do. Otherwise I have to assume that Jeff Kaplan and Tom Chilton know what they are talking about.