In the patch today Blizzard buffed Ret paladins a lot. Our old mastery effect gave us a chance to get a free finisher from autoattacks, and this had lots of problems with it that I have already gone over; most particularly it is true that adding more attacks to a very full rotation isn't very useful. The new mastery effect is entirely passive and just makes me do more damage so its scaling is good and the numbers are big enough that it hits very hard. I worked on updating my spreadsheet for the new mechanics and ended up concluding that today I should do 18% more damage than yesterday. Part of this is the new metagem changes allowing me to use a 3% crit damage metagem and the exorcism glyph bugfix but the bulk of it is simply mastery changes.
The crazy thing about this extra damage is that it is in huge chunks. I went and whacked on a boss dummy for a bit and was getting crits on my TV as high as 78k. Obviously in pvp people have a lot of resilience, but in pvp I also would have more buffs than the ones I make myself so I would certainly expect to be cracking people for 50k fairly regularly. Given that I can get several of these in a row I wonder if the burst potential of a ret paladin suddenly got to be just a bit too high. I also have big droughts with the new system too as they are times when I am building up holy power and get no procs so I really stand there doing nothing for extended periods. This is fine in pve generally speaking but is a recipe for being excellent in pvp as occasional huge spikes are great for putting people in the ground.
The other big benefits I got were massively improved target switching and AOE. Prepatch I would expect about a 11 second ramp up time from engaging before my full damage would be rolling and now I should hit my stride in 3 seconds, as soon as my second autoattack lands in most cases. This is going to mean I am hugely better at swapping to adds and in fact may completely remove any use for Seal of Righteousness - Seal of Truth simply does so much more damage that even in AOE situations there is no reason to swap. The AOE news is much less relevant as Divine Storm now does a lot more damage but it is still a very small part of my overall damage. Gaining 5-10% AOE damage when I can AOE a large number of dudes is nice and all but my damage is still so anemic that I should never *be* AOEing unless it is absolutely necessary.
Basically I think they got the mechanics right for single target. Mastery now makes sense and applies itself in a reasonable way and my stat weights look very sensible. I expect stat scaling to work fine too, so the only thing that is left to worry about is whether or not I do too much or too little damage right now. Sometimes I was able to top the charts but usually I languished down low so I think 18% will be sufficient to have me competing at the top but not dominating. I still am hideously bad at AOEing and I don't know if that is a design decision or just something I have to live with. It may be that decent AOE is something that is going to be reserved for some classes and not others.