I did manage to finish off a couple of elite quests, thanks to the help of a level 70 priest. I’ve played with a few priests the past couple of days, and I’m really impressed by their damage and survivability. I’m strongly considering leveling up a Priest at some point in the future. I’ve played casters before, but not “seriously,” so I’d be interesting to take a shadow priest to 70.
The big news however, is that I finally took the plunge and respec’d to Retribution. I hesitated at first, but I figure I can do it for one level at the very least. My gear—well my DPS gear isn’t so great. I’ve still got a few items I need to upgrade, but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I hit the Auction House and picked up a nice little 2H Axe, a couple of gems, and a new DPS ring. Even if I go back to protection, I’d still like to have a decent 2h weapon in case I run into any trouble, mostly in the form of alliance casters.
I didn’t get a chance to really put my new Ret Pally through the numbers. I tried to increase my LOW 2h Axe skill by doing some SM runs. I usually run SM to level up my weapons skill, because it’s close to Undercity and I can load up on gear to disenchant. (Side note: I’m at a weird stage in my enchanting skill. Everything I pick up DEs into something too low or too high for me to use.) I activate SEAL OF COMMAND, and one shot the first guard the SM entrance. Not bad.
Overall, I didn’t get too much of a chance to mess around as Ret. I was just blowing up low level mobs, so it wasn’t indicative of the actual “Ret Experience,” but I’m impressed with damage. You get a lot of nice buffs that increase your damage.
HOWEVER, I don’t think the mechanics of a Ret Pally are as cool or fun as a Prot Pally. Prot Pally has cool tricks like using seal of light/seal of wisdom to AoE grind and take on countless enemies. Ret Pally definitely seems more in line with a traditional DPS class—you go all out on 2 or 3 targets then stop to eat and drink. And running through SM was a hell of a lot quicker on my Prot pally, but that was because you can just pull the entire instance at once.
I’m anxious to see how a Ret Pally fares in Outlands. Prot spec is king for AoE grinding, but I wasn’t really able to get a good grind going once I reached Zangarmarsh. The mobs in outland are so varied and have weird little abilities that make taking on 5 or 6 at a time too risky. I do think Ret will be very good for taking down targets quickly while still maintaining a small part of Paladin survivability.
And there’s always Lay On hands . . .