Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Improved Retribution Aura

Until the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the Improved Retribution Aura talent was a laughing stock. The base aura did not scale at all and was a fairly small amount of damage - a small amount boosted by 50% is still a relatively small amount. However, when WotLK shipped, Retribution Aura was changed so that it scaled with the paladin's stats. Now it is possible to have the feedback damage reach up above 200, whereas it used to be about 60 in the Burning Crusade.

Since the base aura now scales, the Improved Retribution Aura talent has gained new life. Boosting a somewhat larger number (that can grow even larger with buffs and gear upgrades) by 50% makes it a much wiser investment. For example: wearing my PvE ret set, my base ret aura hits for about 215 in a group. When I talent into Imp Ret Aura, it reaches up near 295. I'm not sure how the improvement is calculated, but it doesn't seem like it's a straight-up 50% increase.

So after extolling the virtues of Imp Ret Aura at the onset of WotLK, now I am not sure. It seems the improvement (at my level of gear, in a 10-man raid of assorted classes) is only ~80 damage. And against single targets, that ~80 damage doesn't even equate to an 80 DPS increase for the tank. Since Ret Aura damage does not get reflected when a player parries, dodges, or otherwise avoids the damage (excluding a full block), and bosses do not always attack once a second, this damage gets averaged out to much less than 80 DPS. As a rough estimate (I have no backing for the following numbers whatsoever), I'd say that the DPS increase for the tank from Imp Ret Aura is probably more like 25-35 DPS in a 10-man raid setting.

Now, of course, this number fluctuates based upon the number of things being tanked, the attack speed of the mobs, and the avoidance of the tank(s). But, for a single target fight and damage being taken from physical attacks every 2.5 seconds or so, I'd say that you're looking at about ~30 DPS for your 2 talent points. Is it worth it? That's for you to decide. I've posted a subjective poll on the sidebar - weigh in with your thoughts there and in comments. Your feedback may have an effect on my suggested cookie-cutter raid spec!

I'm considering swapping the points over to either Vindication or Divine Purpose, since they each have limited application but very real effects. Divine Purpose can be used to un-stun people, for example to remove the web-wrap from people vs. Maexxna. Vindication is sometimes applicable vs. trash mobs, which would chop their HP and therefore kill them quicker. The main question I am considering: are these effects worth more than ~30 DPS?


Anonymous said...

Divine purpose doesn't remove the web effects, but it certainly does have it's uses in pvp, can't say i've had it work much in heroic raids but 10man and 5man heroics it's extremely useful.

ace danger said...

It's a shame there aren't more comments here regarding this. This is a great topic. Have you posted this in the official Pally forums?

Josh said...

Yea, I just discovered that I was wrong about the Maexxna application. But, it did make me semi-immune to King Ymiron's paralysis-thingy in heroic UP!

@ace danger
Nope, only posted here.

BigFire said...

If you're a PVE retribution paladin, the improved rebtibution aura is not for you, but for the tank, especially for a protection paladin in your raid. I'm a protection paladin, and for the most part, I put up improved devotion aura for the secondary effect of 6% extra heal. With your better scaled retribution aura, I'll do a whole tons of threat.

Josh said...

But that's just my point, BigFire. We're talking about ~30 DPS, which is no more than ~60 TPS (rounding up). Is 60 TPS worth 2 of my talent points, when I could spend it on something situationally useful? Are any prot paladins having *any* issues with threat nowadays?

Anonymous said...

BigFire - as Josh said, he knows that Imp. Ret Aura is for the tank, that's clear in his post.

As a Prot Pally, I'm getting great threat right now. If a Ret Pally wants to bring Imp Ret Aura fine, but don't sacrifice something good in order to do so. Tankadin threat is so good right now that we really only need to establish initial threat and then it's nearly impossible for us to lose it as long as we keep Holy Shield up and make some basic attempt at a threat ability rotation.