Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Simplifying PvE Retribution

With the change to Crusader Strike in 3.2, Retribution gameplay can be simplified with a couple of macros. The optimum Retribution rotation is a priority First-Come-First-Serve (FCFS) list with:
Hammer of Wrath > Crusader Strike > Judgement of Light > Divine Storm > Consecration > Exorcism

Basically, you hit whatever ability is off cooldown and at the top of the list.

Regular Gameplay

For the first 80% of the fight--where Hammer of Wrath is not available--you can simplify the ability list using two macros:
Macro 1:Single-Target
/castsequence reset=4 Crusader Strike,Judgement of Light,Crusader Strike

Macro 2:AoE
/castsequence reset=10 Divine Storm,Consecration

Your priority list now becomes:
Macro 1:Single-target > Macro 2:AoE > Exorcism

If the first macro is on cooldown, hit the second. If both are on cooldown, and Art of War is up, hit Exorcism.

This scheme is identical to optimal FCFS, but only uses 3 buttons instead of 5, so you might find it easier to use. It also has the advantage that if you can't AoE (for example, Crowd Control is being used), you can just ignore Macro 2.

Execute Range

Once Hammer of Wrath comes into play, the above system breaks down. However, there is another sequence which comes very close to optimal FCFS play. You lose about 1 second out of every 24 seconds of DPS, which is about a 4% loss from perfect play. However, 2 buttons are a lot easier to press than 6, so you might find that you come out ahead.
Macro 3: Execute
/castsequence reset=target Hammer of Wrath,Crusader Strike,Judgement of Light,Divine Storm,Hammer of Wrath,Crusader Strike,Consecration

The priority list becomes:
Macro 3:Execute > Exorcism

As before, if Macro 3 is on cooldown and Art of War is up, pop Exorcism.


  1. Good lord, has our beloved class _really_ come down to just 3 button presses? /sigh

  2. While leveling up, I wrote a "spamadin" macro that just staggered all abilities so that something was usually available. 1 button to win!

    Thanks for these, looks like a way to simplify my keybinds

  3. and players complained about the 1 button smashing in vanilla wow

  4. I love this blog. I always get something out of every post.

    I had been using Judgement at the beginning of Macro 1 (followed by two Crusader Strikes) because it has a longer range than Crusader Strike so I could open up as I approached. Your setup is better because it frontloads the damage.

    I have a spam button set up on my n52 speedpad so the final macro is:

    /console Sound_EnableSFX 0
    /castsequence reset=combat Crusader Strike, Judgement of Justice, Crusader Strike
    /console Sound_EnableSFX 1
    /run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

    Also, you may want to add "reset=10" into Macro 2 for those times when you don't want to spend the mana on consecration.

  5. What about just putting a reset=4 on that first macro so it will always have CS if it's up, but Judgement if isn't. Otherwise you're stuck with Judgement on top if you get stunned for 4 seconds, even though CS would be better.

  6. I added resets to the first couple macros.

  7. Couple notes on the intricacies of /castsequence:

    1. "reset=4" means it will reset four seconds after the _last time you pressed it_, not four seconds after the first time you pressed it. If you're spamming the macro the reset will never trigger.
    2. Castsequences wait for server confirmation before continuing on to the next spell, so it will always be less optimal than pressing the right buttons at the right time.

    There are several posts on the dual-boxing.com forums in the macros section about the 3.2 changes to castsequence and castrandom.

  8. Thanks so much for this. Normally I pvp and there a strict First come order doesn't always work so its hard for me to get in that mind set (as dumb as that may sound). I don't pve much, but its nice to have something like this to help out in an area I don't do allot of.

    It is dumb though that our PVE rotation is essentially 3 buttons total though.

  9. 1 mod= SERIOUS HELP IN TIMING. You set up the rotation and it does the thinking.

  10. I'm the author of since-WoW-2.0-defunct LazyRogue. I both love and hate your macros, I tried them out and saw a serious boost to my dps. I really don't want to use them, I'd much rather be able to juggle the abilities myself, with the same or better output. As with LR, macros like this are as much a tool for understanding as they are criticized as tools for mindless spamming. Bottom line: thank you for helping me play the ret spec better: now I have a goal to shoot for.