Just a quick not to start off from a comment I got. The commenter asked me to not publish the comment, but was basically asking how I felt about another player. Since the commenter didn't sign the comment, I can't respond to it privately. If you want to know how I feel about someone, whisper me or email me, I'll tell you. Don't assume you know.
Okay, now that I got that out of the way. I started doing quests in Dragonblight. The first quest had you mount up on a griffon to save villagers. When you grabbed them, your character says, "Come with me if you want to live." It was great to be able to fly again, but adding that line was wicked cool.
About that time my good friend, Aoesrus had logged on, so I headed back to Howling Fjord so we could quest a bit. Nights like last night are why I started playing World of Warcraft in the first place, to hang out with my friend who happened to move 3 time zones away. This was long before I even knew what a Raid was, or a phat epicz. We've been Taurens, Trolls, Humans, Dwarves, and even Night Elves.
We knocked out a bunch of quests, but there were some (like the quest where you become a robot) that I couldn't continue with him because I had already done them. I did discover a neat little trick that you can use. You need to complete the Harpoon chain that starts in Valgarde and ends with the quest "Let's Go Surfing Now". This allows you to pull a lever by the big harpoon gun in Nifflevar. You stand on the arrow as it flies you back to Valgarde. Then you do whatever it is you need to do in Valgarde and go talk to the Dwarf by the plane. He puts you in his plane and bada-bing, you are back at the Explorer's Camp.
We bumped around Howling Fjord for an hour or so before Aoes had to log off.
Once he did, I headed up to Winterguard Keep and started questing up there. It was some of the most fun I've had in game in quite some time. At one point last night, I got so wrapped up in the storylines that I didn't care if I needed the undead for a quest or loot. I was on the top floor of Town Hall retrieving a scrying orb. Why is it that it seems like everyone who makes a scrying orb loses it somehow?
Anyway, as I was walking back I saw a villager cowering under the threatening gaze of a giest. I hopped over the railing, landing a Judgment of Command before my boots even hit the floor. At that point, I started attacking any undead that moved and saved a couple of more villagers.
The night ended with me about to hop into a new Steam Tank. This certainly brought back some memories for Honorshammer.
I really should write up the backstory I made for him sometime, but part of it was that he is a veteran of the 3rd War. He started out as part of a Mortar Team ('Mortar Combat!'), and eventually got moved up to driving a Steam Tank and Gyrocopter. This is part of the reason I've kept Engineering on him. It's fairly lackluster from a gameplay standpoint as Tinkers don't stack with enchants like other profession bonuses do, and the Goggles are replaced in the first Tier of raids rather than the 2nd this time.
I ran back to Winterguard, so I could log out at an Inn. As I made my way back, I got jumped by a Level 80 Horde Rogue. Apparently this emotionally well adjusted person had sped his way to Level 80 so he could gank the poor sub Level 75 'noobs' questing around Wintergaurd. Well Mr. Rogue was in for a bit of a surprise. You see, this Level 73 (DING!) noob happens to be sports the equivalent of a full set of Level 78 Blues, and despite our level differences, I figured it best to go down swinging.
I stoneformed, then hit him with Hammer of Justice and started into my standard DPS sequence (Judgment, Crusader Strike, Divine Storm). Then I used an Art of War instant cast Flash of Light. He had me down to around 35% when I bubbled. I got a lucky crit and he slipped below 25%. Hammer of Wrath lit up and next thing you know I'm standing over the body of a rather dead Rogue.
I didn't get long to savor my victory because the graveyard was literally 10 yards away. With all my cooldowns blown, he came back and got his revenge before I could even finish my hearty meal of Pungent Seal Whey and Honey Spice Lichen.
I almost felt bad that I had won. Every time I kill a Horde as Ret I'm sure I create another person convinced that Ret is still overpowered. Blizzard has shown a propensity to do collateral damage to Prot and Holy every time they try to fix Retribution.
I wonder what the reluctance is to move Paladins to a some sort of Forms/Stance/Presence system that seems to be in place for every other hybrid. This seems like one of the core issues in balancing Paladins. Our Healing spells are never locked out when we are in DPS mode like a Priest or Druid. Our DPS never takes a hit by going into Tanking mode like Warriors and Druids.
The way Blizzard has chosen to address this is by making the Paladin talent trees 'top heavy'. Protection's mitigation is split between a relatively low talent that Ret can reach and a relatively high talent that Ret can't reach. The core DPS strikes are put way up high in Retribution so no Protection or Holy Paladin can reach them. This also delays a Retribution Paladin leveling up getting them. What other class has to wait until Level 60 to get all its basic tools (Seal of Command, Crusader Strike and Divine Storm)? I guess that's going to depend on what your definition of 'basic tools' are. Shadow Priests have to wait all the way to 40 to get Shadowform which us what I would certainly call a 'basic tool' .