Tuesday, September 9, 2008

WotLK: Buffs and Debuffs Changes

I know our insane equine friend Suicidal Zebra didn't break the story, but I'm linking his post on buff/debuff changes in the expansion. In the post, he lays out and explains a blue post from a dev on the beta boards which breaks current raid buffs and debuffs into categories, and informs the community that the strongest buff/debuff present will be counted and others ignored.

Now, I don't mean to be alarmist, but consider this for a second. What does a ret paladin bring to a raid in WotLK?

  • 3% crit on debuff judgements
  • Replenishment from Judgements of the Wise
  • 3% haste from Swift Retribution
  • 2% increased damage to all raid members affected by Retribution Aura
Now, let's take a look at each more closely...
  • The crit can be provided by a Holy/Ret paladin, which I anticipate many healer paladins speccing for since Conviction helps their healing now, and they have a reason to Judge. In addition, Totem of Wrath is a additive raid crit buff, so both cannot be active at once.
  • The Replenishment buff, unless it can be provided by multiple people at once, is duplicated by survival hunters and shadow priests. This is nothing exceptional.
  • The haste from Swift Retribution is duplicated by Moonkin Aura.
  • The damage multiplier is duplicated by Ferocious Inspiration.
I'm not saying that no one should spec retribution in WotLK. All I'm meaning to do here is point out that there is no longer a uniqueness or necessity for a ret paladin in high-end raiding. You can get all the buffs a ret brings from other sources. Combine this with the fact that all paladins will be judging (meaning if you have 2 of any spec in the group, you'll get both JoW and JoL), and I'm not sure how many raids will decide "hey, I need a ret paladin!"

Depending on how well Blizzard does in tuning ret paladin damage and mana management, we might see a new age in paladin raid invites - ret paladins being sought after purely on skill rather than a desperate grasp at having a full-time Judgement bot.

Me, though? I might just take the easy way out and spec prot at 80. Everyone always needs a tank, even if they're just "good" and not "OMG amazing!"


Jacob said...

Hi Josh,

Your analysis of what other classes can provide those buffs is right.

But as I read your list, I think of the raid composition that I usually go to Kara/ZA with:

1 prot pally
1 feral druid
1 resto shaman
2 holy pallies
2 warlocks
2 MM hunters
1 rogue

One of our holy pallies would love to be Ret - he keeps spec'ing it for PVP/questing, and switching back to Holy for raids. In Wrath, it would be great if he spent more time as Ret, because we don't have any other source of the buffs you listed. (No spriests, no moonkins, no survival hunters, no BM hunters.)

Bring it on, I'm looking forward to the changes.

Smacker said...

That is exactly what Blizzard is trying to achieve, so the raid leader doesn't say "hey we need a Ret Pally" he says "hay we need Cathmor" and is not worried about covering all the buffs.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Note that Ferocious Inspiration is (for the time being) a 3% party buff and Ret Aura is a 2% raid wide buff. So it's kinda comparing apples to oranges.

They do not stack either so groups with hunters in them will be getting a 1% damage boost opposed to the raid.

There is no uniqueness to bringing a Ret raider anymore besides 2% raid damage buff, that doesn't stack, and Divine Storm for the extra melee healing. Combine this with mana issues and lackluster dps and it sounds like many Ret paladins will be borderline benchwarmers.

Tim said...

DPS hasn't been tuned yet for, well, anybody.
you have combat rogues stuck at 1600 DPS at 80, in Naxx 25, fully raidbuffed.
you have mut rogues using HOLY SHIT OP poisons and doing 4-5000 DPS, most of it from the poison.

They've said that every DPS spec should do very close to the same damage in equal gear, but we don't even know if entry level Naxx DPS should be 2k or 3k...and yes, the current top of the heap could well do less DPS in sunwell gear once they hit 80, since they'll lose a huge amount of crit/hit/haste/arpen/expertise from the rating scaling, but won't replace much until Naxx.

Dakkar said...

@ Eric, I respectfully disagree. Paladin mana issues, at least as they are for Ret on the PTR, are virtually gone. You now essentially have a blue rage bar that starts full. I believe Divine Plea should also help out, unless it became a talent, but I think it was going to be trainable to the last time I looked. Right now the DPS for Ret is just batshit crazy. I have been three shotting everything in IQD on the PTR. Of course this is all subject to change, but essentially it looks like Ret Pallys are a Warrior/SPriest hybrid atm. Just my observations.