Hello everyone and welcome once again to my World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) Beta Journal. In this entry I am going to discuss a variety of topics that should be of interest, that just don't quite make up their own articles. They are: exploring the Borean Tundra and to some degree Northrend, blacksmithing, Retribution Paladin DPS and being a fighter pilot. Hang on tight, here we go...
For some reason I found myself at almost level 72 and had really not explored that much yet, so I took a break and setout to search the zone for what I could find. All I can say is WOW! There is a ton in the primarily Alliance zone of the Borean Tundra. There is an ice covered island (Coldarra), Tundra (complete with woolly mammoths), Tuskar Settlements, Mines, Oil Refineries, Horde Settlements, and even what appears to be an outdoor boss in the form of Kel'thazad (whom I almost ran smack into)!
Having gotten the exploration bug wandering the zone and locating flight points in the zone, I thought now would be a good time to explore even more before returning to leveling. With that in mind, I headed east to try to find my way to the Howling Fjord and connect to the one other zones flight point I had since I visited it for the Utgarde Keep instance. On my travels I got to see Dragonblight and its two flight points, Grizzly Woods for its flight point and then onto the Howling Fjord. It took a while, but I had traveled all the way across Northrend and can now move about much quicker as I level.
Leveling, that's right, I want to hit 72. Time to hearth to Shattrath, and then go to Stormwind to respec to Retribution so that I can level faster. While I do not have the best ret gear as much of it is not enchanted and is only season 3 PvP, Badge, Blacksmithing and KZ gear, it is good enough for about 1900AP on the real servers. It should be enough to try out the spec on WotLK. Once I spec over to Ret I then jump on the ship to Valiance Keep back in Northrend and once again get distracted when I land there.
Right at the harbour is a Blacksmith trainer. I have to see what I can make now with all the cobalt ore that I have been collecting. While nothing at low level looks like a replacement for my current gear, my eyes wander down to the higher level gear, which isn't even the top end you will be able to make since it is meant for skill 440/450. WOW!!! Expect Tanks health to go WAY up in the expansion. The two epic pieces that were available from the trainer where a helm and boots, and they had 162 and 120 stamina respectively. That's right, 282 stamina between the two and they are not even the highest end blacksmithing pieces. They also had respectable strength and defense numbers as well.
While still on the blacksmithing topic, the profession now grants you 20 stamina just for having it, and apparently it ramps up to 35 stamina when you max the profession. I can't wait to see what the others grant. This is a great side benefit that should help players out that chose professions that fit their class. Now, where was I, oh, leveling and trying out Ret.
There is a lot that has changed with ret, and much of it will find its way into a future guide on Retribution. The basics however are that you now have three core abilities on timers: Judging Seal of Command(SoC), Crusader Strike and Divine Storm. All are on short timers and you need to learn to manage them and your stun ability to get the most out of your SoC.
All have the potential to do big damage though, especially a properly time SoC judgment while the target is stunned. I have had critical hits of up to 10,000 damage! That's right 10k! It takes buffs, timing and a bit of luck, but it is by no way the max players are getting. There are screenshots out there of 20k crits from Paladins. Unfortunately, everyone must realize that it is unbalanced and the big crits will probably be nerfed before release. We can only hope they move some of the max damage down to white damage so our overall dps does not change.
Overall DPS while questing is very good so far, and probably in line with my gear. In the regular game in Retribution spec I was able to get about 600-700 DPS while questing, which always felt low when other DPS classes with similar gear could push 1k. Now I am able to maintain 900ish DPS and spike to 1300-1400 on single mobs.
Last but not least this week, I wanted to share a great picture from exploring. The flight point at the gnome airstrip in the north of the zone, sends you back to the keep in style, check out the wings!