Friday, September 5, 2008

WotLK: Retribution Aura

You know how Retribution Aura, in its current state, is sorta wimpy? And you know how the talent in the Retribution tree, Improved Retribution Aura, is avoided like the plague because of this? I have a feeling that the latter is about to change.

In the upcoming expansion, one of the changes being implemented for paladins is that Retribution Aura will scale with spell power on the paladin. What was previously a static thorns-y kickback that most people never noticed is about to get a big boost, since every paladin will have spell power (go go stamina -> spell power and AP -> spell power talents!). Paladins everywhere will have Retribution Auras that kick back 100+ damage upon being hit. When you consider how many times a rogue can stab you in the span of 5 seconds, that damage adds up to an appreciable amount.

What does this mean for the Retribution tree? Well, Improved Retribution Aura just got a whole lot more appealing. At 2 talent points, it increases the damage return on the aura by 50%. On live servers at current, a boost of 50% on the piddly damage the little-used (by ret paladins, anyway) aura is not worth any talent investment whatsoever. Ret paladins hardly activate that aura, and 50% of a small number is small.


With the damage return ramping up and having a scaling component, 50% of that number suddenly became appealing. It's only useful against melee attackers, but a good portion of both PvE and PvP opponents depend on connecting with melee strikes to cause damage. What does this mean to you? Death Knights, Ret Paladins, Enhancement Shamans, Rogues of all types, Warriors of all types, Hunter pets, Feral Druids, and all melee NPC's are going to attack paladins and go "What the hell is killing me? He hasn't even swung at me yet!?! I've lost 1k health just in the span of this stun!"

Unless health pools ramp up to insane proportions at level 80, I think that we're going to learn to absolutely love our Retribution Aura, and possibly even the corresponding talent.

EDIT: Oh, and congrats me, 100th post.


Honors Code said...

Gratz. My question though is, as a PVE Ret Paladin, you really shouldn't be getting hit right?

Josh said...

No, but aura's going raid-wide means it's gonna be on somebody getting hit, even in PvE.

And in PvP, go go punishing machine gun-like melee attackers!

Suicidal Zebra said...

I believe that Ret Aura is being underestimated by many Paladins, especially in its effect raid encounters with significant AoE damage. However having three different talents, for a total of 5 points, affecting a single semi-situational aura is more than a little silly.

The scaling stat for Ret Aura is also a bit wonky. It scales directly with Spell Power (indirectly with Attack Power via Sheath) at a coeff of 6.6%. Hence its primary effect is significantly better for Holy than Retribution Paladins.

It's not a great aura, but then no aura has really been great. I think though it could be improved significantly whilst still retaining it's core mechanic. If nothing else, slimming down the number of talents needed to improve it would be a good start.

Josh said...

Yea, it's 6 points to improve Ret Aura to its maximum potential. But consider what you're getting...

Increased outgoing damage on a scaling thorns effect.

2% extra damage for everyone in range.

3% haste on everyone in range.

Think of what you used to get for even 3 points on an aura...

Improved Conc? Silence duration reduction by 2 seconds or so, since the extra pushback negation was overkill when considering Spiritual Attunement and other such talents.

Improved Devotion Aura (old version)? 300 or so armor. Whoop-dee-doo.

Those 6 points to improve Ret Aura in WotLK are super sweet.

valane said...

Congratulations on your one hundredth post.

I am very excited to see an appealing version of the retribution aura, i always found sanctity to be a very boring aura.