In the same patch where we remove the “not on players” limitation for Exorcism, we are going to change the way paladins do damage so that their normal combat moves have more depth to them instead of just using abilities every time they finish their cooldown. This should make causing damage as a paladin more interesting and also less bursty. While we have some ideas on how to accomplish that, if you have suggestions or your own ideas about how this could work, this would be a good time to share them. (As examples of abilities you don’t just use whenever their cooldown has finished, you might look at Conflagrate, Brain Freeze, Rip, Overpower or Arcane Blast.)
It's hard to work with Ret, as you can't make changes that will seriously affect Holy or Protection. Here's an idea I had that's relatively simple, but might tone down Ret and make it more interesting.
- Increase the talent Vengeance by 2 points for 5 stacks of 5% each.
- Change Crusader Strike to require 2 stacks of Vengeance, and to consume 2 stacks of Vengeance when used.
- Change Divine Storm to require 3 stacks of Vengeance, and to consume 3 stacks of Vengeance when used.
- If Crusader Strike or Divine Storm crits, they still generate a stack of Vengeance (net loss of 1 and 2 stacks respectively).
- Tune the numbers so Ret puts out the damage you want.
This is a very simple system, but CS and DS now eat Vengeance charges, while auto-attacks and Judgment generate them. You can't burst right off the bat, as you have to build Vengeance charges.
As well, I don't know what the optimum time to use an ability is. If you're at 2 charges, do you wait for 3 charges to Divine Storm, or do you Crusader Strike right away? If your Judgement cooldown is coming up, should you delay a special in order to maximize Judgement damage? Will the value of Haste and Crit go up? Will slightly faster weapons be better than slow weapons? There's a fair amount of room for the theorycrafters to play with.
It might even be good in PvP, as you can trade off using an ability right now for a bigger ability later.
Finally, this is fairly simple to implement. We only touch 3 talents in the top half of Retribution. Vengeance is already the heart of the Retribution tree, so making it even more important is not much of a stretch. It doesn't affect Holy or Protection at all. It also works fairly well for a leveling paladin. First they would get Vengeance, which is always good. Then they get Crusader Strike, and that introduces the mechanic at a very simple level. Ten levels later they get Divine Storm and the full range of choice.