A Crab has spoken,
Retribution has too sustained damage for PvE
We shall nerf the damage of Retribution
Alas, once again the wrong approach has been taken between a PvP balance issue and a PvE damage issue. The solution our favourite crab has implemented is to force Retribution into using a dot based seal to build up its damage, and to only stack the dot for this seal through white attacks meaning 3.6s (-haste) between dot stacks.
The major issue burst classes have (Destro locks, Ret Paladins etc) is that we have few attacks and must attain reasonable DPS, for an assumed 6K DPS sustained with a spammable attack and an auto attack we are looking at:
In other words, assuming we hit for 2K with white attacks (4.0 speed weapon), we need to be capable of doing 5.5K DPS with yellow attacks, since these are typically GCD limited we are looking at 5.5*1.5 ~= 8.25k Damage per hit. This is problematic, in PvE its realtively fine it just means we hit very hard with no ramp up (Destro Locks require 1GCD/14s to maintain 100% immolate uptime, and this can likely be averaged to rougly 1GCD in 10). Other classes have other methods for ramping up DPS, and to assist in switching targets part of the ramp stage remains on the player not the target.
For Retribution to achieve 6K DPS we need to look at our abilities:
Judgement - 10 yards, 8S CD (talented)
Crusader Strike - Melee, 4s CD (talented)
Divine Storm - Melee, 10s CD (talented)
Seal procs - Melee, varies.
Consecration - 8 Yard AoE, 8s CD
So for a 60s period, observing GCD limits (so no 4s crusader strikes I am afraid), we can get:
6 Divine Storms
13.33 Crusader Strikes
20 Auto attacks (assume 3.0 speed)
Seal procs equivalent to all melee attacks: ~46.
Assuming damage is split equally we see 6K DPS*60s = 360,000 Damage done per minute, averaged over 100 attacks so roughly 3.6k damage per strike. Assuming this can be done perfectly our burst is now:
3.6k / 8 = 450 DPS consecration
46 attacks @ 3.6K + 46 Seal strikes at 3.6K = 5.5K DPS
Each GCD however you receive 3.6K + 3.6K + 0.45K ~ 7.6K Damage, in other words highly burst based damage since this assumes strikes do not overlap where as melee + special will do so upping the damage potential to 15.2K _ 7.6K + 15.2K as the damage pattern.
Solving this is not a simple task, however you cannot force a large build up onto the class without killing it
What we need is to combine a few tools:
Self buffed damage: Damage increases based on time on target, does not drop off immediately
Target debuffed damage: Damage increases based on time on target, drops off relatively quickly if not focused.
Positional buffed damage: increase damage based on "static" fights
Breaking it down this becomes relatively easy to solve:
Seals proc their effects based on self buffed damage, once you achieve a certain time in combat (15-20s say) you remain buffed unless your opponent can elude you for a significant period (30s-1 minute between strikes, 15-30s if toggleable from range). This is movement independent, target swap independent.
Seals build additional damage based on target debuffs stacked through divine storm and white attacks (Linear increase, not a cliff). This rewards / punishes fast changes but allows the building of aoe threat and damage.
Consecration becomes a self damage buff, stacking 1 stack per tick upto 8, lasting 20s, and boosting the effectiveness of crusader strike.
By combining the 3, we reduce PvP burst (~10s on target for full burst), ramp up linearly, and maintain damage if we are forced to move. We are also forced to employ high mana cost abilities (consecration) to maintain our damage output meaning we will need to trade off Exorcism / Divine Storm for the sustained damage.