So, I'm up late watching the US Presidential Election. Crawling Bluetracker I come across this hilarity which apparently made it to live. I hope you weren't expecting to learn your Charger at 61 just yet without doing the quest:
'Expert' Riding skill is 225, or entry level flying. :D
One thing you may not be aware of or have just noted: the PvP 4-piece bonus change is in 3.0.3. 10-sec off HoJ's Cooldown is out, the new 1-sec off Judgement Cooldown is in.
Yeah, I know, it's not great. But even I can admit that the prospect of a 20-sec HoJ cooldown at lvl80 would be overboard for PvP.
Ghostcrawler provided an update of their thinking on the changes to Avenging Wrath, which is nice. Thanks to Josh for the heads up.
Our eventual plan is to put Divine Shield on a shared 30 sec cooldown with Avenging Wrath. We also plan on changing Divine Shield's attack speed penalty (which isn't really much of a penalty) and have it apply to all damage done while the bubble is up.
Divine Protection would no longer have the attack penalty, but since Prot paladins typically talent out of that penalty, it won't have a big effect on tanking (though obviously that talent would need to do something slightly different).
All of this assumes that preventing AW from being used with DS actually makes the Ret tree a little more balanced. We'll need to monitor that a little bit longer first.
We are going to go ahead and change the mana drains to a percentage of mana so that Ret paladins don't lose so much larger a percentage of their mana than casters with 15K mana.
I'm glad that they're looking at a more sensible solution, but if I had a pipeline to the Devs then I would strenuously suggest that Forbearance has had its' day and an effort should be made to get rid of it entirely. The change to mana drain abilities are fairly value-neutral for Paladins TBH, the relative cost of mana drain effects to a Paladin remains higher than that for mana users that stack Int as a PvP and PvE stat. With Divine Plea coming at 71 we should be able to combat this mechanic more effectively, and if nothing else it should take a little longer to be deprived of your entire mana pool.
Speaking of pipelines to the Devs, the Beta has officially ended.I'm not too surprised TBH, the servers have been dead since 3.0.1 hit Live, but it was a little disappointing that there was no 'end of Beta' event. But that's by-the-by, all changes now will be made on the PTR and Live Realms so good quality feedback on the forums is more important now than ever.
With regards to 3.0.3, indications are yet again that the build is buggy. It's not yet live on EU servers but first reports are that the SoB un-nerf hasn't been included in this version. Also the AW Hotfix has only been partially implemented, which I believe can be put down to a bug. Currently it activates a 3m Forbearance but the debuff doesn't prevent it from being activated, hence popping Bubble followed by AW is once again possible. I expect that this will yet again be hotfixed back sooner rather than later. I'll probably write more about 3.0.3 as and when it reaches live over here, but right now I expect that Ret is still fine for lvl70 content.
EDIT: Sounds like the Hotfix has been re-hotfixed. The change to AW made this weekend is back in.
Finally I just want to take a moment to give my best to Galoheart. He's shelved his Paladin, I hope temporarily but fear that it is more permanent. I'm not sure that he will keep WoW blogging with a different class, but whatever he decides to do I wish him all the best. He's truly been one of the best Paladin and WoW bloggers out there, and if he does decide to pack it in he will be missed. With any luck he'll take a sabbatical and be back raring to go once things have settled down somewhat.