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Retribution Paladin Review - Battle for Azeroth Class Community Opinions
2018/07/21 시간 17:29
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Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth State of the Class and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Retribution Paladins. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Ret Paladin community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of Retribution.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Retribution Paladin Guide
- Thordros is a Ret theorycrafter from Emerald Dream-US, and the author of the Retribution Guide on
The Silver Hand
. He became obsessed with theorycrafting when a spectral crab murdered his parents by nerfing them to the ground, and he swore vengeance for his fallen family.
- Ret with strong feels about a lot of game design type things. Sticks mostly to discord.
- Writer of the Retribution Paladin guide here on Wowhead. I've played a Retribution Paladin since 2009.
- Raider in Wildcard Gaming and enjoys mashing keyboards in his spare time.
- Ret theorycrafter and guide writer of
- Guide writer and Ret Paladin commentator.
The transition from Legion to Battle for Azeroth Retribution Paladin has seen many changes. At its core, Ret is still a spec that cycles between building Holy Power with generators and spending Holy Power with finishers. Anyone that has enjoyed Ret in Legion should find themselves in a comfortable position for BfA.
One of our best overall changes comes as our new mastery,
특화: 빛의 손길
. Mastery was the woe of Ret from the start of Legion up until Antorus. It served only to buff the damage of
as well as applying a temporary debuff on the judged target causing it to take increased from our Holy Power finishers. Our Mastery now provides a flat damage increase to all of our Holy damage and allows us to have greater flexibility in our gameplay as we are no longer limited to using our Holy Power finishers on targets debuffed by
debuff does still exist and will boost the damage of only your next Holy Power finisher allowing for a “class fantasy” element of doing additional damage against an enemy you have passed
Adding onto our damaging abilities we have received additional welcomed baseline changes:
now generates 1 Holy power
: Auto attacks have a chance to reset the CD of
now increases damage, healing and critical strike chance by 20%.
With all of these great changes we should also take a step back and analyze how we have come to this point. The ongoing pruning of Ret's core abilities is a point of contention within the community. On one hand, it's positive for new players that the base spec is simple, and that you can add abilities up to your comfort level through talents. On the other hand, most of the new active talents—
—used to be baseline mechanics in the past. Many veteran and returning Paladins are upset that they need to choose specific talents to play the class they knew and loved in the past. That said, the balance between the new talents is great, and we stand to have a lot more choices than we currently have (i.e. we're no longer locked into a single build, ± Divine Hammer)—it's a major step up from Legion.
: Simple and effective passive for ST and AoE DPS. Being completely passive and having no “weaknesses” can make
seem too powerful in a given scenario.
: ST version of
. Recent tuning has made this talent incredibly strong, potentially too strong versus other options in the row. Once we move on to 3+ targets we are forced back to using
: Redesigned to instantly deal damage and apply a debuff that increases Holy Damage against the target. Some compare this to the old
“window” but this is more similar to
as a short CD burst window. As complex as this talent is to use it feels very lacking number wise compared to our other 2 choices. Potentially suffers the same target count issue as
unless a target is high priority.
All talents in this row are balanced very equally.
: Essentially the same as Legion. Now provides a 15%
CD reduction rather than a flat 1s white still retaining the 15% chance to reduce the HP cost of our next spender by 1. If the feeling of “slow” rotation is really bothersome to you,
is the most effective at reducing our downtime while providing a small amount of unpredictability.
: Fan favorite from Legion. Modifies our baseline
to occur twice as often and provide a 25% damage buff to your next
. If you want a more dynamic rotation to keep you entertained this is a go-to choice.
has returned, albeit as a talent that many would of preferred baseline. Still usable during
and while your target is at or below 20% HP.
will provide you a faster paced rotation during wings and execute but it could potentially leave your rotation feeling dry in between these periods.
Situational Crowd Control tier. More uses in M+ rather than Raids.
: Reduction reduced to 2s. Otherwise same as Legion.
: Same as Legion. Can potentially be very useful with the seasonal Infested affix. This depends on mob type though as we are limited in what this can be used on. Removing the type requirement could help this talent tremendously.
: Same as Legion. Still only useful as an AoE interrupt as any non-Holy damage will immediately break the effect.
: Heavily undertuned talent. Provides priority target damage in scenarios that have multiple stacked low priority adds next to a priority target. Currently T21 2P is propping this talent up to be in a somewhat competitive range. Once we lose this bonus
will fall far out of favor.
: Now on a 20s CD with a 6s duration. This allows
to be effectively used without much fear of a tank pulling mobs out due to the low uptime. Now also generates 1 Holy Power.
: Ashbringer Artifact ability with some minor adjustment. The CD is longer at 45s and it no longer has a DoT component. Can have great synergy with
as every since other Wake will line up with its use. It also fills the same role as in Legion where it can help us build our
stacks in a relatively short period.
: Same as Legion. Due to the loss of Divine Intervention we now have much more freedom with our talent selection making this a much more lucrative option when we need the additional movement speed.
: Replacement for Divine Intervention (Cheat Death). Provides CD reduction to
. If we find ourselves in a situation where we need an immunity every 3.5M and an absorb every 1.4M this is a solid choice. The reduction to
does not contain any value because at most we still only get to use it once in a given fight.
: Same as Legion. Many would prefer if
had a similar treatment where it reduced taken damage by a Flat % rather than HP %. Only useful in the odd scenario that we need Physical DR outside of
: Provides a sizeable buff to healing and cast time reduction based on Holy Power spender usage. Throughput is not as high as WoG but has the benefit of no cost and being available more frequently.
: Does less damage than
and costs 5 Holy Power. Does 50% increased damage on stunned targets making it hit only marginally harder than
. Better options exist for this row and you can safely avoid this talent.
: An initial target can be selected as well as healing 2 additional targets within 30yds. The heal is incredibly powerful but can be awkward to use due to it both having a CD and using Holy Power.
: Rather than just providing a free spender it now has a 15% chance to grant a free spender that does 30% increased damage and healing. This is our strongest talent by a significant margin. However, 2 bugs do exist with this talent:
will consume the
Buff as well as use up to 3 of your stored Holy Power. As
is now also a damage/healing increase it should not be consumed with a non-damaging/healing ability. This only exists during pre-patch, however, due to use of the Legendary
is no longer chain proccing. Currently, if you get a
proc and cast a spender the initial cast can proc another
, but as the initial proc aura has not properly expired both procs are consumed in the process. This issue will persist into BfA unless addressed.
: the king’s reign is over.
now lasts 25s and can only stack up to 10. At this time, it would be a niche pick if there was a priority target every 2 minutes that needed to die in 25 seconds. Now that we have viable alternatives to this cooldown-centric talent, we are no longer as reliant on our burst damage.
: Back as a multiplicative 7% Haste and Damage buff. It is best as a talent so the “maintenance buff” playstyle is not forced upon anyone. Provides a consistent increase to our overall DPS. Slightly better than
but noticeably worse than
also has a bug where it will consume our T21 4P bonus along with up to 3 holy power, but will ignore the discount and only count holy power for its duration.
All of these great changes we have received to our damage toolkit have come with a potential drawback: increased rotational downtime. In Legion, for a 5-minute fight. on average you have 6s of downtime or 2.1%. In BfA depending on your talent build you could have as little as 2.5% or as much as 13.5% downtime, a range of 7.5 - 40.5 seconds. At this time our best talent build falls into the 6-7% downtime range, which is 18 - 21 seconds. Although it's refreshing to have so many competitive talents, it also means there's a higher chance for players who care about min-maxing to end up with a frustratingly high-downtime combination at some point in the expansion.
At face value this seems like a lot of downtime and has many people concerned. But it's important to remember that these numbers are based on a pure "Patchwerk" environment with no mechanics and no movement. Often you will find that a decent chunk of time is spent away from the boss dealing with fight mechanics, and since our abilities still recharge over this period it negates some of that potential downtime. So in theory we only end up with a few seconds of downtime each minute which is nothing to be concerned with.
In practice this works differently, as we do not have many evenly spaced periods of downtime. What we do receive, though, are multi-GCD gaps that are quite jarring. At one point you could press
and then have no other abilities to press for 3 or more GCDs. So the bigger issue we have is not the downtime itself, but how the downtime is distributed across our rotation.
had its base CD increased from 4.5 seconds to 6 seconds, or from 3 GCDs to 4, which has caused the majority of our issues, and
granting Holy Power was not enough to offset this change. This is compounded with the loss of our Tier bonuses that have granted additional HP each raid in legion and the loss of
During Legion we had a number of excellent tools for AoE. Divine Hammer during Nighthold, Greater Judgment during Antorus, and the Judge Unworthy artifact trait all helped to turn single target elements of our dps into cleave or sustained AoE when it was required. We’re losing these tools in addition to
losing its baseline ability to cleave onto a second target. As it stands now Ret only has a single baseline AoE spell,
At first we were very concerned with the loss of these abilities as our damage from
was not strong enough to compensate. However we have very recently received significant buffs to our Holy Power finishers which includes
. This change in addition to the AoE provided from our Level 60 talent should allow us to have adequate AoE in raids and Mythic+ dungeons.
Like many other specs, we've also had our 2 target cleave heavily reduced since Legion. While we used to cast
as soon as a second target appeared in a fight, it's no longer worth using until there's at least 3 targets, which means the only damage we gain from an additional target is passive cleave from
We are carrying forward with the same baseline defensive options that we had in Legion:
has remained the same and we have seen some significant changes to
now scales based off of 30% of your maximum HP at the time of cast. In Legion
scaled off of your attack power, and in endgame gear this would amount to ~15 - 17% of your HP.
was also able to crit in Legion so the absorb could be up to ~34% of your HP. Having to rely on a critical strike on a defensive to absorb a meaningful amount of damage was far from ideal. While we did receive this buff to
it was also added to the GCD.
Most other classes tend to have defensive CDs that are off of the GCD.
happens to be in a unique position where it also deals damage equal to the amount that was absorbed, so not only does this make
our only short-mid length defensive CD, it also means that
is one of our hardest hitting damaging abilities.
When it comes to taking large amounts of damage Ret can really struggle with DS being on CD, and this is especially prevalent in high M+ keys. In Legion we could play more loosely as we had Divine Intervention to save us if the damage became too extreme or a misplay occured. Now we will have to use DS much more proactively and can end up using it in situations where it turns out it was not needed, but then shortly after have a pull where we would have survived if we hadn’t used it earlier.
is a talent that can alleviate some stress of the aforementioned issues. It reduces the CD of
to 3.5M and
to 1.4M. If we find ourselves in the rare situation that there is heavy physical damage,
can also be a good choice.
When judging utility, we have to consider the content. Our main class specific utility consists of
. We also have a few talents which may see some use in the form of:
. Most of these abilities can be reasonably useful in dungeons but much less so in raiding. In Mythic raids in particular,
may see use two or three times an expansion because potentially fatal damage is generally magical in nature.
is also of niche use in a handful of fights per expansion. With Warriors, Demon Hunters and Monks all getting new raid-wide utility, and Rogues always being useful, the squeeze on melee spots on certain fights will be problematic.
is rarely useful in raids, even when adds need slowing, because it’s single target. Other classes bring AoE slows and roots which will do the job better. So, although utility in mythic raids isn’t non-existent, it is almost always a poorer version of what someone else will bring. Blizzard did talk about all classes having something that would let them shine at certain points, but the bottom line is our utility will shine on a few fights across the entire expansion, and those fights may not even be the tougher ones, but some other classes will have utility that is useful on every single fight.
For pushing high Mythic+ dungeons, though our utility is stronger than in raids, we will still likely fall behind other classes where only five players make up a group. This will be no barrier to completing your +10 and, later, +15. It also won’t stop you pushing higher, but it is unlikely to be the spec of choice for really pushing those exceptionally high keys.
Our mobility is in the same exact spot as it was in Legion. We have
on a 45s CD and
on a 25s CD. In addition we still have the
talent which grants us a second charge of
, and is now a much more viable option as it no longer has to compete with the automatic pick of Divine Intervention. A good example of a fight where
would’ve shined would be Mythic Kil’Jaeden, where with DI we had to play the knockback phase perfectly with our single steed charge leaving 0 room for error.
When we compare our mobility to the likes of Warriors, Monks and Demon Hunters we fall very short. Coincidentally these classes also provide the raid with damage buffs and debuffs which can make us a hard sell in comparison.
The Azerite system was billed as the new age of character customization, a replacement for tier sets and Legion’s Artifact system. In practice, the system is substantially weaker in power terms than either of those previous systems. In addition, the relative power bonuses that are provided by these traits do not currently equal the secondary stats they would have otherwise. This is likely to incentivize playing alts, and reduce the rate at which the power curve grows (as opposed to Legion, with its many parallel character advancement mechanisms which led to a very rapidly exploding power curve).
As far as gameplay goes, most of the spec-specific Azerite traits do not have that significant an impact. Some of them, like
, may slightly change stat weights, but likely not enough to dramatically change the priority. Similarly, traits like
may affect talent balance somewhat. And traits like
may cause minor changes in the rotation. But by and large, the choice will likely come down to what is numerically strongest, even when the differences aren’t that large.
This feels like it strikes at a core problem the class designers have grappled with for the last several expansions: too much differentiation feels bad for players, since they feel useless in certain situations; but too little differentiation means choices do not feel particularly meaningful or have that much thought in them from the average player’s end. The good news is that the Azerite system, unlike tier sets, offers the designers the ability to experiment within a tier with more interesting options. Rather than locking Retribution into a particular play style with a single tier set, the ability to introduce different Azerite bonuses which synergize with different playstyles may offer increased freedom of choice. This still remains to be seen - the existing Azerite bonuses not quite offering the kind of playstyle-altering bonuses seen in tier sets, at least for Retribution - but perhaps that path will be taken.
Passive is an ability that is of constant discussion within the Ret community. It is almost universally disliked and provides us with an ability that is outside of our control. It creates a situation where for our personal dps we want to see party members die, which is not only counter-intuitive but promotes degenerate gameplay.
Blizzard has recognized this to an extent, and in BfA the duration has been changed to 10s down from 20s. Blizzard feels strongly about a Paladin seeing an ally fall in battle and wanting to seek “Retribution” as our spec’s name might imply. We believe that the damage increase portion of this should be removed and the defensive bonus left in place. Rather than becoming bloodthirsty as a Warrior might be seeing an ally fall, as a Paladin we could strengthen our resolve and call upon the light to protect us in battle. This could very well be enough flavor for our class fantasy rather than hoping to see our fellow raiders die.
Headed into Battle for Azeroth, there is plenty of change to be excited for. At its core, Ret is still maintaining the familiar feel that we had during Legion, but with some added flair reminiscent of Warlords of Draenor and Mists of Pandaria. A revitalized talent tree has given us a level of choice we have not seen in some time.
At the same time we do share a lot of the pain points we had in Legion. Our mobility is lackluster. Melee spots tend to be limited in high end Mythic raiding and the melee classes with the most mobility happen to bring some of the best utility as well. Our utility is highly situational, and even then can be covered by a Holy or Prot Paladin. Even then, that utility might only be useful on a fight that is not considered challenging.
One should not be dissuaded by these potential downsides! If you have played Ret Paladin or have had an interest in playing one now is a great time. We have plenty of viable talent choices which you can tailor to suit your needs. Overall the spec is widely considered to be a good step up from Legion. The most important factor is playing what you want to play. If Ret ticks all of your boxes you should be happy with your choice!
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