Retribution Paladins continue to take a beating. As much as Ghostcrawler tried to soften the blow in his post, there just isn't any nice way to go about this -- Blizzard is looking for a way to make Divine Shield and Avenging Wrath to be mutually exclusive once again. He says that the combination of both spells contribute to the impression that the spec is overpowered.
Blizzard might do this through Forebearance, but says that they're also looking to reduce the duration of Forebearance through a hotfix. This means it's a pretty serious issue considering the duration of Forebearance was also intended to balance or space out the use of Divine Shield and Divine Protection. They have no timetable for the change, although it should be expected that it will be applied soon. Blizzard doesn't seem to hold back on nerfing the Paladin class, stating that "the last round of pretty severe nerfs didn't seem to do enough to Ret's dominance of PvP".
These are very fast reactions to nerf a spec that was "dominant" for all of a few weeks in a metagame that is tuned for Level 80. This is an extremely disappointing course of action in comparison to the complete absence of nerfs to Druids despite their utter dominance of the Arena format for three seasons (reducing Cyclone's range wasn't quite the solution, was it?). Paladin representation in Arenas went on sharp decline through all four seasons -- and this includes the Holy spec.
[UPDATE: The nerf has been applied on live realms. So much for the advanced warning Ghostcrawler was talking about. Avenging Wrath now causes Forebearance, and Forebearance's duration has been reduced to 2 minutes.]
While I don't care much for the mutual exclusivity -- I've always used Divine Shield defensively and am used to its function outside of Avenging Wrath through several seasons of Retribution PvP -- but the continuous nerfs to the spec and class are simply upsetting now. This is one more nerf to the one melee class without a true snare, spell interrupt, and counter to HoTs or healing. Ghostcrawler says that "the spec might need other tools to be viable in PvP," once its burst ability is taken away.
This is an interesting conclusion considering that the Retribution community has been asking for it for the longest time. We never asked for insane burst, although that was fun while it lasted. We wanted a true snare or a means to keep our enemies close. We wanted a spell interrupt or a means to stop or block heals. Blizzard has been extremely quick to nerf lately. I just hope that the utility changes come sooner rather than later. I don't want another 6 second Crusader Strike afterthought.
[UPDATED] Invincible vengeance no more
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