So. Having about equivalent damage done and DPS on the meters as a Rogue and Shadow Priest, both wielding Legendary weapons, is kind of awesome.
I've really grown to love playing a damage role recently, and it feels a lot more visceral in terms of having a direct impact on the encounters. You can see that when you're given a task, there's a real, active process you can apply to it and whittle down the enemy - especially when you're assigned a particular target like working down the Mana Bubble on Heroic Yor'sahj, a specific tentacle on Heroic Zon'ozz or the pylons on Heroic Haggara.
It took me a while, but I've gotten over the whole, "I need to save my cool-downs for Heroism." The fact is some of my cool-downs are very short, and even the long ones will get used twice in most fights (though Morchok died in ~3 minutes this week just as he cast the second pool, which was hilarious).
So, if I hit Guardian, buff Inquisition with 3 HP, hit Wrath and Zealotry, right at the pull, over a 6.5 minute long fight, I will get to use Guardian twice, Wrath and Zealotry 3 times, twice along with the Guardian buff if I wait just a bit for the 3rd use. That is awesome, and it really makes an impact on damage throughput. Having trinkets that buff me either through stacks from swings or from an ICD rather than on-use is also great because that's one (or two) less things to worry about (though I tend to just use those with a macro on Crusader Strike anyway).
Both our tanks are quite good at threat output (Death Knight and Warrior) so I give a two second count before exploding into a gibbering rabid animal, and I've never come close to pulling off of them. Even if that was an issue, that's what we have Hand of Salvation for, and the few seconds of decreased threat will give tanks the time to build up Vengeance and get their lead and after the first 10 seconds, threat is just not an issue anyway. We'll see how that holds up in Pandaria.
Now that I've gotten used to Retribution, the play-style has gotten rather simple. Keep Inquisition up, build up to 3 HP and spend it on Templar's Verdict. Hit Wrath and Inquisition more or less on cool-down except if Guardian is within a minute or so of coming up. With 4 piece Tier-13, we build Holy Power through Judgments so fast, those Templar's Verdicts just keep going out.
It almost makes me consider picking up Selfless Healer as it wouldn't be
hard to setup a macro to throw a heal on the tank on a press just to
keep that extra 3% damage done buff rolling. But it probably isn't worth
the trouble. Very rarely do I use Holy Power to self heal except maybe on Zon'ozz and Haggara.
Warlocks are looking like so much fun on Beta that's all I play when I log in, but I should spend some time running some dungeons as Retribution just to get used to it and see what's changing. It doesn't seem like Retribution has a lot of changes but the 2 extra HP buffer and the new Talents might make a difference and I'm curious to see how weaving those into the game will change the rotation.
My off-sepc is still Holy and I'm running dungeons and LFR now and again to keep that in shape, as our 3rd healer slot was filled by an actual healer and not a pretender to the throne like me, so I can focus hard on keeping my number up.
At first, I was intimidated by the two legendary-wielding DPS in the raid - one of whom frequently lands on the WoL top 100 rankings for Shadow Priests on certain fights - would I embarrass myself in front of them? But their numbers have become my benchmarks instead.
It's not like I'll be ranking anytime soon, but hey, I'm going to play like I'm about to!