Sunday, January 22, 2017

Nerf me more

I have been ranting some here about the way retribution paladins work in WOW at the moment.  Blizzard agrees with my basic thesis, it turns out, and they are moving to change things.  The principle of my issue is that Crusade is too powerful.  I can see why it ended up where it is, because the basic version you see here is totally reasonable.


Instant2 min recharge

Increases your damage and haste by 3.5% for 20 sec.

Each Holy Power spent during Crusade increases damage and haste by an additional 3.5%.

Maximum 15 stacks.

This is a fine talent.  The problem is that at the end of Crusade you are doing a truckload of damage, and there are a bunch of ways in the game to extend the duration of Crusade, which means you extend the part of the buff where you are a brutal hitting machine but leave the setup time of the buff the same.  When Crusade is fulled stacked you are doing roughly 2.3 times normal damage, so trinkets and other buffs that give you temporary bonuses that coincide with Crusade become nuts.

It isn't good.  That is, ret paladins do lots of damage, but there is no realistic choice other than Crusade, and every relic you pick has to buff Crusade duration, and every trinket you pick has to synergize with Crusade.  Blizzard wanted us to have options, and right now we don't have that.

I won't take any credit for this, but Blizzard agreed with my posts and decided to nerf Crusade to 3% per stack instead of 3.5%.  This is fine and all, since ret paladins are one of the top dps specs right now, but it doesn't solve the problem.  Crusade, even with this nerf, is still absolutely the best and you still want to stack trinkets and relics to buff it.

There is hope on the horizon though.  People have datamined changes in the next big patch that have two more ranks in the trait that extends the duration of Crusade, potentially allowing you to get it up to 40 seconds in duration.  Clearly this cannot go live with the current version of Crusade.  There is also datamining that suggests that ret paladins will get a trait that allows you to cast Judgement more during Crusade (or Avening Wrath, if you don't have Crusade.)  At the moment this Judgement benefit is quite terrible because Judgement is bad.

But wait!

Many months ago I suggested that Crusade should be gutted and Judgement damage should be doubled.  This would be pretty much a wash in terms of overall damage dealt, but it would mean that ret paladins might actually care about the mastery stat on gear because it affects Judgement, and the new trait that affects Judgement would get a lot more attractive because Judgement would be a hard hitting attack.  Relics and trinkets that line up with Crusade would still be fine, and running a hardcore Crusade build would be viable.  However, it would also be viable to take other options on that talent row and use relics that buff other strategies.

For example, if you took the Greater Judgement talent, it would be great to stack Judgement relics.  The Final Verdict talent would make using Templar's Verdict relics good.  There would be lots of choices, and Blizzard wouldn't have to worry that if they forget to include relics or trinkets that buff Crusade in a particular tier of content that ret paladins will be trash, and they also wouldn't have to worry that if they put a few too many of those things in that ret paladins will be too dominant.

What I would do personally is change Crusade to have a flat 35% damage bonus, but have the stacking haste buff be at 2.5% per stack.  This means that fully stacked Crusade is a 85% damage increase, much less than now, but it is better at the start.  Crusade would still retain its flavour, and would be comparable to the other talent beside it, but would be lowered enough in overall power that relics and trinkets that buff it wouldn't be such a problem.  People that chose Crusade would obviously lean towards things that buff it, but other strategies would be perfectly fine.  Again this assumes a doubling of Judgement damage in order to make this work out.

So there you go.  Blizzard agrees with my goal... now to see if they implement it the way I suggest.

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