Saturday, October 25, 2008

Retribution Mana Constraints

The JotW nerf makes the Ret numbers pretty interesting. Let's start by defining some terms for PvE:
  • Basic Rotation: Seal, Judgement, Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, Divine Plea (use all when cooldowns are up)

  • Burn Rotation: Basic Rotation + Hammer of Wrath

  • Minor Spells: Flash of Light, Hand spells, Avenging Wrath, Hammer of Justice, Exorcism, Repentance

  • Major Spells: Consecration, Holy Light

Unbuffed, a Ret paladin can sustain the Basic Rotation forever. However, any other spells cast come out of her mana bar.

(This assumes that the paladin takes Benediction and the Crusader Strike glyph. The Crusader Strike glyph is pretty much the second-best glyph now.)

Raid-buffed, a Ret paladin can sustain the Basic Rotation plus about 1 Minor Spell every 20 seconds.

The Burn Rotation, on the other hand, can only be sustained for one minute. After that, the paladin will be out of mana. Any Major spells cast, or extra Minor spells, further reduce the amount of time the paladin can stay in Burn mode.

Essentially, a ret paladin will stick to the Basic Rotation all the time--maybe tossing one or two Minor spells every so often--while maintaining 100% mana, until the boss drops to 20% health. Then the Ret paladin switches to Burn mode, and has one minute to kill the boss or run dry.

The largest effect of the JotW nerf is to ensure that the Ret paladin will almost never cast Major spells like Consecration or Holy Light.

Honestly, I don't think it's that bad a scheme (for PvE, anyways). I've never really liked Consecrate being part of the regular rotation. It's an AoE spell, and should be reserved for AoE situations.


  1. Your logic has a couple of flaws.

    No single glyph should be absolutely required to just do your job. Does tanking absolutely require threat enchant to gloves? Does healing absolutely require the exact right meta gem? Yes, some profession items will be better than others and will be used by most people, but none should ever be required just to participate.

    Blizzard has stated that Retribution Paladins would have a "blue rage bar". Its what they called it. The changes eliminate that mechanic, the one they intended. Rage tied to damage output for warriors only means they gain more sustainability as they get into Execute rotations. This is the exact opposite.

  2. The CS glyph is not "absolutely required". You can get by without it. It just reduces the number of Minor spells you can cast, and will reduce the time in Execute mode slightly.

    It's pretty much the same as using the proper (extra crit) meta-gem or enchants.

  3. You are right that this isn't a "blue rage" bar. It's pretty much a normal mana bar, only spells in the basic rotation effectively don't count.

  4. Hmmm shouldn't be too bad if your using SoB and getting mana back from Spiritual attunment aswell as the JotW - that will add a few extra spells to your execute run :)

  5. Recall that SoB and JoB damage has also been nerfed. In addition the Ret Paladin will typically be the Paladin who Judges Light due to the way it scales, and JoL procs will more than make up for the self-damage factor of SoB/JoB.

    Thus, not only is SoB damage now pretty low (and hence the SA mana return will be pretty low) but also most of the healing of SoB damage will be accounted as a self-heal and hence won't return any mana.

    Plus, relying on taking damage in order to achieve your optimum DPS rotation? Isn't that just a little counter-intuitive in a raid situation? Kind of like a Fury Warrior needing to take damage in order to do optimum DPS. If that's the case, why wouldn't a raid want to just swap out Ret for another class which doesn't need to constantly inflict damage to themselves to do a higher DPS level?


    Frankly, if our DPS has been balanced around being able to include Consecration in our rotation then it is de facto part of our rotation. If Blizzard want to remove it then fine, but they need to provide us with a mana-less alternative which makes up for that loss of 150+ DPS. I'm not sure about you but I haven't seen any evidence of such an ability.

  6. Actually, the numbers are better than your post suggests. You seem to have assumed that base mana = total mana. If you account for the fact that total mana ~= 1.3*base mana at lvl70, you end up with substantially different numbers. Assuming 8s Judgement and no cooldown overlaps (for simplicity) I am getting a "burn time" of 93 seconds. If you account for overlap you would probably end up with ~100 seconds.

  7. Heh, actually I did the same 1.3 modifier. A minute is a rough estimate, it's a bit more than that. Don't forget that you have to pop Avenging Wrath and there will be extra Hammer of Wraths during that time.

    Also, I saw a suggestion that instead of "Burn Time", paladins should call it "Hammer Time".

  8. Divine Plea is a level 71 ability. If it's required to avoid going OOM just doing a standard rotation, then leveling as Ret is going to be a huge pain.