Played some more Beta testing over the weekend and managed to grind my way by pure grit to 73 and almost half way to 74. Used up every bit of rest bonus in the process getting to 73 as well. But it was a challenge at that for Paladins as a whole are pretty much broken as of the last patch 8820.
I think last thursday with the Patch it was pretty obvious within a few seconds of combat that Paladins Judgements were absolutely broken and not working and not doing any debuffing and damage. At best it did very little physical even less than I can swing my weapon for in white damage. This made those trying to level as Ret quite painful and leveling as Protection even more a torture. This has yet to be fixed by Blizzard to put class testing back on track. The QQ and Pew Pew on the forums were thru the roof and at times just plain funny to read.
But despite it I didn't have to change my spec much I just kept on leveling as Protection Spec as usual being creative in how I did quests buy trying to group round up every mob for pure effiency of mana to use AoE abilities to make it less painfull and juggling seals in creative ways using SoC to deal damage and still to SoW to maintain some mana. If it wasn't for the fact that Protection Spec has the new HotR which procs seals on hit whether its SoL, SoW, SoC/SoV on every hit leveling as Protection would just about be impossible and broken with the dismal low DPS that we do already.
Even leveling without Judgements its also plain obvious just how low protection DPS is and does need much improvement. With all Paladin spells including Seals, Judgements, Consecration etc scaling on AP for damage and effect, Retribution Spec now has the greatest advantage to use just about every ability. With their high AP vs a Protection Paladin having much lower since well Retribution Specs have Tons of AP usually vs a Protection Spec Paladin who does need some measure of DPS boost. Thus Rets can take much greater advantage of spells scaling with AP it seems.
However since the Beta Patch 8820 left Paladins in such a bind unable to use Judgements a core ability of the class its been tough going. If your a Blood Elf Paladin as a result of the Patch Arcane Torrent currently does not work either. So trying to mana tap for mana and release it for desperate mana is just a plain bust at the moment as well though the "Silence" effect of the spell does work.
So basically I just leveled trying to AoE everything when and always if possible to use HotR to proc my seals for mana really. Fighting single mobs like casters on just about every fight left me just about almost OOM all the time using up every ability to get rid of a casting NPC mob. Needless to say in using Divine Plea it was on constant cooldown all the time and a great help though far from perfect for a Protection Spec. Given that, I was drinking often for mana as result of this patch more so that before. But using SoW made it bearable but at times real slow if its just one or two NPC mobs.
Anyway through it all manages to just keep questing through some fun and interesting quest though its still many the quests as usual. Usually a Protection Paladin can usually Solo Elites just by being able to survive long enough to kill it slowly. But with Judgements not working either that made it almost impossible as well. So had to group up for all the elite quests I had after trying once to Solo and failing doing pure dismal damage to and Elite and barely seeing their health move or moving just really slow.
I'm starting to see more Quest rewards with defense on plate but really not much I would say. The amount of Quest Plate reward as a choice for a plate DPSer is allot on almost every quest. The amount of quest with defense plate reward is few and far in between. Often you can see lots of plate reward for a Holy Paladin though as its pretty obvious with the stats. Even when it comes to Quest Weapons reward it seems the same thing as well in my opinion. So in survey on quests I just noted all that on feedback to Blizzard.
So far as zones mainly been Howling Fjord >Dragonsblight with quests available in Grizzly Hill but haven't done any there as yet. Getting to Dalaran was great by way of Portal by a friendly Mage and it does have portal to every city there. Had a friendly Mage that was helping on a Scarlet Crusade Elite quest offered everyone after a Portal to Dalaran. You usually have to be 74 to do a quest to get there. But Mages can teleport there at 71.
Picked up a quest inside the city and completed it though to gain access to city more easily as well as picked up the FP there and hearthstone to return. Getting to Dalaran made it much easier to return to Silvermoon for respec and talent training. But Dalaran is just plain awesome pretty. I could not help think of a magical Saks Fifth Ave in the process. I saw a few people in Dalaran also that were already lvl 80, gee that's fast.
Servers we up and down all weekend like every 15-30 mins it seems but up and down often that it wears a bit and steal the focus sometime getting returned to a different prior area to where you were. But for now just trying to get to 75 so can maybe get some crafted Tempered Saronite blue gear set crafted with Shield and pick up the new Shield of Righteousness spell as well and try it all out in more fitting gear to take advantage of it. So far with the recent patch 8820 screw up that may be a bit slow going till the next patch release When its Ready I'll assume.