Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Swing that Light -- Retribution Paladin Made Easy PT 1

So I hear you're leveling a ret paladin...
At the crux of a guild crisis time I was invited to run early Naxx with friend's guild on my main at the time, a holy priest. I had recently been finishing the grind to 80 on my new favorite character, Eidel - my retribution paladin. The guild master knew I was looking for a new home and that I was disenchanted with priest healing. He opened his recruitment to me with a simple line "So I hear you're leveling a ret paladin..." Thus began my foray into the world of melee and the "TOTALLY OP!" ret paladin.

Stat stacking a la mode
There isn't a lot that I can tell you that you cannot find through browsing Elitist Jerks, various blogs and forums. However for the new ret paladin, stat stacking can be a daunting task, something even I struggle with when considering gear. I will seek to simplify the prioritizing and explain my choices. The stats are in order of best to inferior.

Strength is a girl's best friend. Due to a requisite talent in the prot tree (Divine Strength) - paladins glean more than just your average two attack power from one strength. We gain an extra 15% when fully talented, which is nothing to sniff at. Next to your weapon's dps, the one thing that will reflect your dps best is your strength. A ret paladin should gem for strength almost exclusively and seek it out for upgrades first. (Exception being to gem for hit if you are under the cap.)

Hit Rating is a must-have for every dps class. For the ret paladin this is 8% hit (two hander melee.) 263 hit rating should accomplish this for you neatly. Gone will be the days of missing on your white hit (normally melee swings) and your special attacks. It should be noted that Exorcism and Consecration are considered spells, and thus the hit cap for them IS different. You do not need to reach spell hit cap. I rate this stat equal to strength UP UNTIL when you are hit capped. After you have achieved cap it is no longer useful, thus you cannot stack it infinitely.

Expertise is no longer just for tanks! Expertise is like hit. It is a cap that helps remove dodges from the table against you (much like hit removes misses.) When used along side of hit to cap, your dps should significantly increase. Before I go into the cap, certain racials allow expertise to be capped more easily with certain weapons. I will only be covering the general cap, though I might go into racials and ret paladins at a later time. 214 Expertise rating = 26 Expertise = 6.5% which is the cap. Again- past the cap this stat loses almost all of it's value. You should be able to cap it from gear without gemming.

Crit Strike Rating makes you pew-pew harder. Bigger crits mean all of your hits are hitting that much harder. Ret talents play largely into improving both our crit on certain spells/attacks (Hammer of Wrath anyone?) as well as improving our crit damage (how much extra damage we get on crits.) I try to sit between 30%-35% self buffed on crit- raid buffed this jumps into the 40s. With my innate crit on certain spells/attacks I'm pulling a loooot of critical hits. You realistically cannot stack this too high, most of it will come naturally through gear, and you should not bother gemming for crit. Crit strike affects both our spells AND our melee abilities, making it superior to agility.

Now the next few stats will be on your gear potentially, so I feel I should address them. However the stats you REALLY want are the ones listed above.

Agility is rarely found on plate, and does not buff our spell criticals, making it no where near the oomph packer crit strike is. However, if it is on your gear, do not distress. This is not a bad stat, just not a /great/ stat.

Haste showed up a lot on tier 7/7.5 gear. Come 8/8.5 this has been downplayed vastly, much to all paladins' glee. This stat was recently buffed for paladins in 3.1, as we now receive extra haste per rating. Do not bother stacking, gemming or actively seeking out this stat. It will give you a little extra dps in white swings but does not affect our special attacks/spells at all (specifically doesn't affect the global cooldown on them, which is why we don't much bother.) Again, if you have it on your gear, don't sweat it.

Armor Penetration also recently received a buff in 3.1- but not for paladins specifically. It only affects 40% of our damage, thus is not worth stacking at all. Much like haste/agility it is not something to avoid, but is generally acknowledged as semi-useless, especially when it edges out a better stat like crit strike.

Attack Power much like agility is rarely seen on plate, but if you start dipping into leather and mail it will pop up more (don't scoff, some Best in slot pieces are currently leather. /sigh.) Strength, due to the buffs paladins get is much better than AP. Unless when all the math is said and done the piece has more pure attack power than strength + talents afford us, don't bother really.

Thus concludes the stat-helper. I would like to continue my discourse on retadins for dummies with the following topics:

Rotations and rotation help

Glyph choices and you

Tips for the uninitiated


Monday, May 11, 2009

The Light and How Not to Let it Swing You

Less is more
When I first was brainstorming this still very-much-in-progress blog, I wanted to name it "The Light and How Not to Let it Swing You" as a pun on my switch from holy priest to retribution paladin. A very wise woman in the wow ladies mirc convinced me that "Swings Both Ways" was both more succinct and intruiging. Here's to hoping that she is correct.

The title of this blog seeks to address the now more important than ever issue of role switching in the wonderful World of Warcraft. I had decided that I wanted to discuss this issue before 3.1 was a twinkle in our eye. Dual spec is something I would like to explore on a number of levels, as well as people like myself who find solace in alts that become new mains.

Assuredly other topics will emerge, such as class specific things, issues with women/gender as well as sexuality in WoW. Hopefully any reader base I manage to rez within this blog will bear with my meanders and probable hops in topic. If there is something interesting to you, I wouldn't mind hearing of it myself!

As a closer I would be interested in how to allow this niche-esque topic line to exist without getting terribly boring and/or too specific. Many people are experiencing growing pains in WoW like they never have before. As players we can soothe and ice them together.