Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Threat Reduction

Blizzard is giving Retribution Paladins threat reduction:
After further discussion and testing we’ve decided to add threat reduction deep in the paladin's retribution tree. Fanaticism will now reduce threat caused by all actions by 6/12/18/24/30%, in addition to its current effect.

It seems like Blizzard is equalizing all the melee DPS specs at 30% threat reduction. Rogues, Feral Druids, Fury Warriors, Enhancement Shamans, and now Retribution Paladins will all have the same level of built-in threat reduction.

The only negative is that this talent will make it very hard for Retribution Paladins to tank or off-tank. So much for my Ret OT build. To be honest, I'm not sure I really approve of building such a large, permanent disadvantage into a talent. It seems against the spirit of talents.

In general, a paladin with talent points is always equal to or better than a 0/0/0 paladin at every task. This holds true for pretty much every class. But now it's possible that a Ret paladin will be worse than a 0/0/0 paladin at tanking. And that doesn't really seem right to me. Maybe the increased damage from the other Retribution talents will make up for the loss of threat.

I mean, Shadowform is an awesome talent for Shadow Priests. Would it still be a good talent if it was permanent? 99% of the time a Shadow Priest will be in Shadowform, but being able to turn it off is a lifesaver for that 1%.

Still, from a pure DPS point of view, this is a massive buff. Now, just kill Seal of Vengeance and give all paladins Seal of Blood, and Retribution will be in solid shape.

Then Blizzard can start work on the harder task: fixing Holy.


  1. Kill SoV? i like it, i use it for off-tanking, since it does more damage then righteousness, but yeah, spread the bloody fun :)

  2. My opinion is that SoV is too close in function to SoR. They both do pretty much the same thing. You don't use both, you use whichever one is better.

    Whereas SoB actually does something different than SoR and SoC. There are situations where you want to use SoR over SoB, or SoC instead of SoB, and vice versa. This makes for more interesting gameplay.

  3. I think you're correct. The -threat thingy should be a buff you should be able to turn on or off, pretty much as the +threat (Righteous Fury) is.

    Warriors can also turn their +threat buff on by swapping into defensive stance. They can trigger their -threat thingy by swapping into berserk or battle stance.

    However, your statement is a bit tricy. A fully talented paladin will be better than a 0/0/0 one at tanking unless he takes 5/5 Fanaticism.

    - Galladan

  4. You don't know that the paladin threat reduction is going to be always-on. You and I both don't know the innards of the game, but intuitively it seems pretty simple to say, have the game disable it while Righteous Fury is active.

  5. There are a few points that are missing from this debate.

    1. Righteous Fury and Righteous Defense are the on/off switch you are looking for. No, it will not be perfect, and certainly will not be easy, but threat really will be a Retribution Paladin's least worry. Instead of clicking off Salvation, you'll now have to turn on Righteous Fury.

    2. Without Holy Shield, tanking is so limited anyway. As someone who has healed, tanked, and DPSed on Hyjal raids, I can certainly say that if you are not really specced for the job your expectations should be rather limited.

    3. Retribution tree is very heavy as it stands now. There's so many talents that people are picking up. With the changes to Vengence, crit might not be as important any more. If you find that you are called upon to off-tank enough that the threat reduction is an issue, simply do not get Fanaticism! if off-tanking happen enough, you probably want a few more points in Protection anyway.

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  7. I see your concern, but even if it doesn't disable it with RF up, you still have 1.12 threat, which is enough to keep off healing aggro. Honestly, I probably just won't run with salv on in 5-mans and I'll certainly be able to pick off any extras.

    The way I look at it is, we're now choosing to sacrifice just one role of our hybrid design. We're still solid offhealers, and with RD and RF we can still pick off stray mobs, but there's no real reason to pretend to be able to tank with a 41+ ret build.

    Then again, I also have a 70 prot pally.

  8. I used to be a subscriber to this blog, until today.

    Up until now, retribution pallies have been crying for threat reduction so they could be viable DPS. Now, they get it, and you complain that it won't let you tank!

    And fix Holy!? Pallies are currently the *best* healers possible to bring to a raid, which is why mine and every other hardcore guild in the game stacks them to the gills in a raid.

  9. I used to be a subscriber to this blog, until today.

    You may have been a subscriber, but it sounds like you never actually read anything of mine.

    I've never asked for more DPS for Retribution. Heck, I predicted that it was an attempt to get Retribution paladins to toss heals while meleeing.

    And my views on Holy being broken have been the same for years now.

  10. to turn off a subscription because you dont agree with one comment seems rash, ret pallys are getting threat reduction sure, but if you cant turn it off, then it would be hard to attempt to save a clothy who just aggroed the mob. Even if you arent the MT or OT, you are a dps who gets to wear plate, and therefore might have to take a hit or two now and then to save the instance/10-man/full raid. Thats what makes us gods, that we can SAVE bad situations from wipes. As far as the comment of the holy tree being broken, it is, for leveling at least, To note a previous blog entry, one of the reasons paladins don't like being healers is that our image, from the time you start playing doesn't jive with that, at least once you realize that besides the increased int, the holy tree is useless without 20+ points in it. To be fair, I'm a tankadin, and don't intend to change. My guild at least is desperate for us because we can OT better than any other class, specifically because we can become really rather decent healers when we aren't needed, and the tankadins healing in Gruul's have saved us more than once

  11. Up until now, retribution pallies have been crying for threat reduction so they could be viable DPS. Now, they get it, and you complain that it won't let you tank!

    Thing is about Coriel is that she's never been pro-modal hybrids. She's always been very pro-fluid hybrids, and additions of talents like this decrease fluidity.

    Also, while you're correct about SoV being a similar to SoR, it's different enough so that it's not interchangable for any fight. Really short fights you will always be better off using SoR than SoV, while on long fights with slower weapons 1.8+ you're better off with SoV than SoR.

  12. Honestly ret will perform just fine without seal of blood. I posted before about spell damage ret with SoR, and the damage numbers very much favor spell damage on alliance side.

    These numbers that follow are after judging ISOTC and assume you picked up sanctified seals. Its all unbuffed.

    With 1000 AP, a 126.8 DPS 2H, 20 melee crit 16 spell crit and 905 spell damage, you can expect 856 dps with SoR and 746 with command. Note that in this case your SoR hits for 813 damage per swing. This is comparable to having SoC proc every hit but never crit.

    With 1700 AP, FORTY melee crit, 11 spell crit, 450 spell damage, you can expect 795 with SoR, 854 with command.

    So 700 AP and 20 crit later, you're only barely putting numbers similar to someone using shockadin gear for ret(ideally you use scaled and gem spell damage).

    For raid dps, you will require imp faerie fire and totem of wrath, however. Obtaining 16 spell hit is difficult, but you'll gain 10% from precision and those two abilities+draenei shaman spell hit. So you just need to find 6% more, which isnt too bad. Spell hit as far as I know will help reduce partials from holy spells due to boss level. Frost mages can confirm maybe?

    The kicker here is WF scales incredibly well with SoR, and that your high spell damage makes for some ridiculous consecrates(270/sec) that I didnt include in my damage calculations. I can see ret paladins being able to thrive in either the melee dps or caster dps groups, which should be a definite plus. Versatility is the key I'd think.

    After WoA/flask/raid buffs you can expect an easy 1-1.1k dps. For these calculations I assumed 20% armor mitigation, but I'm really not sure what sort of mitigation bosses have after sunders.

    The spec I used(and currently am testing on live since I've picked up just about all the arena gear I could ever use) is 10/8/43. Imp. SoR is key to this, and you can seal juggle SoV into your dps rotation, as the first stack will deal well over 1000 damage(over time) and has a 100% procrate with a 3.6 weapon. Refresh it near or after it falls off, and you'll increase your dps. In a raid environment youd probably drop a point from either sanct judge or sanct seals to finish off imp sanctity. Vindication is fairly pointless in raids since I believe the immunities remain.

    I will concede, however, that SoB is nice with an spriest as the self damage helps with SA. Beyond that alliance ret dps should be in good shape for 2.3 if people readjust their gear accordingly. I really recommend everyone give this a try, especially on ptr if you already copied over. I'm not a hardcore raider or even a ret paladin, but I do have a pretty good understanding of game mechanics so the numbers should be accurate.

    Halad - Mug'thol

  13. Not buying what you're selling. The ret paladin in our raids is whining about the same issue (threat issues hurting prot/ret offtanking), and I just kind of want to slap you (and him).

    People who play hybrid classes (warriors, paladins, druids, priests, shamans) have been very greedy in their expecations of their classes. They want to perform every role as well as the pure classes. So Blizzard has done that for us -- feral druids, shadow priests, enhancement shamans, all perform roles, generally speaking, just as well as their pure counterparts, and are just a respec + gear away from switching completely.

    Now you whiners want to be able to do everything without performing a simple 50g respec? Get a grip. We sacrificed our same-spec-hybrid ability for actual raid usefulness and I will fight tooth and nail to you nay sayers that try to reverse the progress. Why bother being a hybrid if it means being able to do two things badly?

  14. Iliya - Vek'Nilash

    I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one.

    It wasn't until this news about the Threat Reduction occured that I had no idea Ret OTs existed. Now, Ret paladins are divied against themselves instead of the Holy Vs. Ret/Prot pallies.

    I guess the violent backlash is there because it seems like those that are arguing against this are looking a gift horse in the mouth, and considering the colorful past the class has had with the developers, and the forums spam from last week, those people would rather not push their luck by continuing the subject further after getting what they needed most.

  15. I'm Holy, and I occassionally tank 5-mans, and one time I tanked the Raven God in Heroic Sethekk. Our druid was Feral and tanking, but he switched to healing on that fight so he could heal the statues, and I tanked the boss. That's the kind of situation where a little bit of flexibility is good.

    Very few talents have outright drawbacks. Usually the drawback is one of missed opportunities: by taking talent X, you cannot take talent Y in another tree. Would it really be so bad if Fanaticism preserved the flexibility, by turning off when RF is on, or increasing RF by 30% to compensate?

    (As Kaziel said, I don't really like modal hybrids, I prefer fluid hybrids.)

  16. Iliya again;

    No, it wouldn't be bad at all. However, with how it's placed on at the moment, some are just going to have to make due with what they can.

    Granted, it would be nice if RF canceled out the Threat Reduction, but it just seems so counter productive to go all out to ask for it, and then do a complete one-eighty with this OT business.

  17. @baseball

    This is untrue. A hybrid class playing as DPS always has less damage potential per threat than a pure dps class, even in 2.3

    All pure dps classes have true aggro dumps. With the exception of hunter, they also get 10%(range) 30%(melee) threat reduction. Hunters get a shorter cooldown as a result.
    Mage - Invis
    Rogue - Vanish
    Hunter - Feign
    Warlock - Shatter

    Hybrid DPS classes only get the 30% reduction, moonkin/spriest are the exception with 20%/25% at ranged.

    Moonkin - 20%
    Cat- 30%
    Fury Warrior - 20+10=30%
    Ret Paladin - 30%
    Enh Sham - 30%
    Ele Sham - 10%
    Spriest - 25%, but typically uses mindblast in dps rotation.

    In short, pure DPS all get significant advantages over hybrid DPS, and hybrid dps will only replace them due to utility (typically utility FOR the pure dps). Any pure dps classes worried that their raid spot is going to be taken away by a simple regear/50g respec probably sucks, and needs to learn to play. Equivalent threat reduction combined with 5 minute/30 sec aggro dumps means higher potential dps, always.

    As for the tanking option, this is really only a 5 man situation. You realistically will have someone else capable of off tanking in a 10 or 25 man. 5 man theat is not so sensitive that 30% reduction is going to kill it. Paladins generate tremendous aggro as it is. While it would be nice for fanaticism to turn off when RF is active, it really doesnt seem a big deal.

  18. Honestly, I wish Blizzard would have added the threat reduction to 2h weapon specialization. "While a two-hand weapon is equipped...and all threat is reduced by 6/12/18/24/30%."

    This would still keep options open for ret pallies in an OT or 5-man tank position.

    I'm frankly surprised at the responses to ret paladin tanking. I don't think anybody's asking to be able to tank 25-man raids here. But previously, a paladin of any spec could tank a normal 5-man fine assuming they're properly geared (i.e., enough mitigation/hp). Blizzard is buffing DPS warriors for tanking in 5-mans yet they still lack the survivability to tank raids. Asking for the retribution threat reduction to be flexible with tanking duties for a class that wears plate is hardly asking too much.

  19. I think that attaching the threat reduction to Fanaticism is the correct choice. With a 30s Vengeance and a 6s Crusader Strike, it's not strong enough for a 5 talent-points, let alone a 35-point talent. The last time I went Ret, I seriously considered spending those points elsewhere, as I didn't really judge a whole lot.

    This change makes Fanaticism a solid talent, and very worthy of its placement in the Ret tree.

    If Blizzard just tacked on "... reduces threat by 30% while wielding a two-handed weapon" that would be perfect.

  20. I'm honestly shocked at all the debate I've seen here and on the EJ forums regarding the threat reduction granted to ret paladins. It all strikes me as a purely syntactic argument about roles, hybrid types and other theoretical issues without having any real practical considerations. From a utilitarian standpoint we're looking at a buff that helps ret paladin in 99% of their functioning while only hurting them in 1%, .1%, whatever. I just don't understand the waste of breath by such a huge portion of the paladin population on trivial issues, I guess that's inevitable after large ones are solved(I raid ret in a SSC/TK guild).

    Also, I especially don't understand the whining when retribution scaling is STILL messed up. Wtb AP to spell dmg conversion or removal of spell dmg coefficients from gear. That matters, not pointless theoretical debates.

    -Agrippina/Messallina Perenolde

  21. It's only that low of a percentage if you are only looking at Ret pallys in raids. and i would argue that many paladins do more than just 25man+ raids where they will never be called to tank, either to prevent a wipe, or because there is no one else there to do it. true if im a ret pally in the middle of a fight, and the prot pally/prot warrior is killed for some reason there is something wrong with the situation, but its still nice not to wipe. also other situations where even in a 5 man the retadin might want to have aggro, such as the last boss in sl, if the pally can keep the aggro of the spectral balls, he can let whatever burst dps open on them full steam without worring about being 1shotted by them.

  22. "This change makes Fanaticism a solid talent, and very worthy of its placement in the Ret tree." -gsh

    You're right, I agree with you here that the addition to Fanaticism makes an otherwise lackluster talent worth taking. I just feel like a "while a 2h weapon is equipped" mechanic works better with 2h-weapon spec, but if they were to add that clause anywhere in that tree it would give the same result. Namely, fluidity and adaptability.

    The other problem with creating a new "must-have" talent is the same issue that the protection tree is facing. (My paladin is and has been prot for some time now.) We're seeing revisions to old talents previously omitted from the cookie-cutter builds that make them highly desirable in 2.3. Perhaps this will all be moot with an additional ten points in Wrath, but that's a long ways off.

    That being said, the diversity that's coming out of this is great, but the bloat in our trees is only getting worse, not better.

  23. jhc, I guess that depends on how you view talent points. I dislike builds that allow you to get everything useful. (Holy is particularly bad for this.)

    I like making choices, seeing variations in builds. Rather than one cookie-cutter 0/49/12 for PvE, we'll start to see different builds that omit Precision or Reckoning or Imp Devo Aura. Maybe some builds will concentrate even more points in Protection, while others will go deeper into Retribution for Pursuit of Justice and/or Vindication (in the unlikely event it actually affects raid mobs).

    To me, build diversity makes the game more interesting, and you can't really have that without having "bloated" trees.

  24. Easy fix - associate the threat reduction with 2h weapon specialization

  25. The problem i have with people complaining about the Fanaticism change is this:

    With the current build, with Salvation on, a retribution paladin still has problems with threat. They still need to watch that they don't pull aggro, they still need to hamper their dps due to the threat ceiling.

    So if a paladin NOW can still rip aggro off a tank with -30% threat, how can they expect to have problems stealing threat in 2.3? Add in to this that they can STILL turn on RF, increasing their threat to above what it currently is, and they shouldn't have any problems in the threat department.

    Also, if you're tanking as Ret, then your dps should expect you to be slower generating threat, and should compensate accordingly.