- Exorcism: Now has a 1.5 second cast time, but can once again be used on players.
- Seal of Blood: This ability has been removed.
- Seal of the Martyr: This ability has been removed.
- Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption: These seals have been redesigned to deal substantially more damage. Now, once a paladin has 5 copies of the debuff from these seals on his or her target, on each swing the paladin will deal 33% weapon damage as Holy, with critical strikes dealing double damage.
- Art of War: Now only applies to melee critical hits, but will make your next Flash of Light or Exorcism instant.
- Crusader Strike: Damage reduced to 75% weapon damage to match the new 4-second cooldown.
- Seal of Command: Redesigned. This seal now deals 36% weapon damage on every swing, and deals substantially less judgement damage.
- Vindication: Redesigned. Now lowers target attack power, is consistent and does not stack with Demoralizing Shout.
With Seal of Blood removed, Blizzard appears to be pushing Seal of Vengeance as the sustained damage seal, and Seal of Command as the burst damage seal. SoV needs 5 hits to get the full debuff rolling before it starts dealing damage, but looks to do more damage overall than SoC, especially if you pick up Seals of the Pure in the Holy Tree. This looks like a pretty good design to me.
General Rotation Changes
I'm not really a fan of the direction Blizzard is taking Retribution. I really liked the model of 3 abilities with 6-10s cooldowns. It felt measured with lots of open GCDs to do hybrid things. The upfront burst was a problem, but I think it could have been fixed without moving in the direction that Blizzard has gone.
The thing is is that I like the "few big hits" model. I'm not really a fan of the rogue/deathknight "many small hits" style. It feels wrong and frantic for a 2H weapon class. But it also appears to be the only model that this Blizzard dev team can balance, so all the melee classes are trending towards it. For paladins, that has resulted in Consecration and Exorcism being part of the regular rotation, and a weak, quick Crusader Strike.
As for the Art of War change, I don't think it makes much of difference. Ret crits a lot, so it should be available whenever it is off cooldown. It will be used a lot less in PvP though. I don't think this change will result in any extra thought or deliberation on the paladin's part.
This is a good change for Vindication. It becomes useful in PvE, provides another alternative to Demo Shout, and let's the warriors do more DPS. All good.
The Ret changes are probably mathematically sound, and will probably result in Ret doing the proper amount of damage in PvE, while reigning in their burst in PvP. However, I'm not sure I will like the resulting button-mashing playstyle. It just doesn't feel right for a 2H class.