This was originally posted on the paladin forums. It was deleted. Ghostcrawler's original post can be found here.
1) Judgements of the Wise: Mana gained reduced from 33% to 15% of base mana. We spent many hours arriving at this number. For example, we did a lot of Patchwerk fights, watching the mana bar to see when and if it ever went down. In BGs, we were seeing paladins able to go from target to target without pausing even when unleashing all of their attacks. While we don't want you to go OOM in a few seconds, we don't want you to ignore the mana bar either. Mana is not rage -- warriors can't typically start a battle with a full bar.
Unlike seemingly everyone else, I'm fine with this. The numbers work out very nicely for PvE DPS. The basic rotation is sustainable indefinitely, there's room for a few minor utility spells, and the Burn mode with Hammer of Wrath lasts for about 1 minute, which is solid.
2) Judgement of Wisdom: mana gained reduced to 1% of maximum mana and proc frequency cut by 50%. This ability was flat out better than Vampiric Touch when the mana provided between the two really needs to be close in order for the decision between Shadow priest and Retribution paladin to be a real one.
Could you tell us what the actual mechanics of Judgement of Wisdom are meant to be? So far on Beta we've seen:
- 2% gain, 100% proc, 4s cooldown per person
- 2% gain, 100% proc, 4s cooldown per raid
- 2% gain, 100% proc, no cooldown (I think Wis/Light are like this on Live)
- 1% gain, 50% proc, no cooldown?
3) Judgement and Seals: Damage reduced by 20%. This is the major damage adjustment -- a lot of damage was coming from these. We do realize this hurts Holy and Protection as well, and that is something for which we are prepared to offer compensation (particularly if it hurts Protection's threat generation).
Why are you so insistent on having Seals proc off special attacks?
Almost every nerf you've made to Ret has had this change at the heart. We were perfectly happy in TBC with Crusader Strike and Judgement not proccing Seals. So far, this change has led to:
- significant nerfs to Seals/Judgments
- hurt Holy soloing and levelling, as Holy doesn't get extra Seal procs
- an increase in the magnitude of burst damage
- random chance of complete silliness with Seal of Command
- lackluster Retribution abilities, because they have to pay an invisible "Seal Tax"
-- Crusader Strike is now worse than Mortal Strike, and MS is easier to get
-- Divine Storm is now Whirlwind with a small heal, only Whirlwind is baseline, and DS is 51-points
Seriously, if you removed Seal procs off specials, that would give you some room to tune Ret without affecting Holy/Prot, and maybe even make our special abilities more exciting and paladin-like, rather than being poor copies of Warrior abilities.
Nerfing a spec or class is never fun. It means that our initial estimates of numbers were off and we know that the community is going to react negatively (to put it mildly). But we have to try and keep the game in a relatively balanced state and that is going to mean making decisions that are unpopular sometimes. If you need to blame someone for the nerfs, blame me.
Here's the thing. Why do you have so much trouble with Retribution paladins? We went through this exact same thing in TBC, when you nuked Crusader Strike, and we didn't recover until that change was reverted (and we got threat reduction in 2.3). That's where all the forum angst is coming from. We've been through this scenario before, and it didn't end happily for us. Why do you think it will be different this time around?
We're a relatively simple class. Almost all of our talents are straight damage increasing talents (which is another issue entirely). Vengeance has full uptime very quickly. We don't have feedback loops like Rage, or complex mechanics to model like Combo-point generation. The most complicated part of our class is the internal cooldown on Seal of Command. Other-wise it's pretty much wait for the cooldown to finish, hit ability, and wait for the next ability to come off cooldown.
I'm rather worried that you can't seem to model our damage properly. Of all the classes in the game, I would imagine you would be able to predict Retribution damage with extreme precision. Yet it seems to be the class who's damage you have the most trouble predicting.