If patch 4.0.3a (or as it likes to call itself, THE SHATTERING ) winds up hitting on Tuesday, it'll be the death-knell for Wrath Raiding, I think.
And I can't wait.
20% reduced XP in Northrend will let me get my Warlock and Warrior up to 80 before December 7th, hopefully, and that will leave me standing with a total of six level capped characters with most professions covered. The problem being that with Cata, crafts at least need to get near the level cap to learn the final professions but that's okay. My main professions of Enchanting and Jewelcrafting are on Joachim anyway, so he'll get there, but I need to level up my mage for the Alchemy and Tailoring, my druid for Leatherworking, my DK for the Blacksmithing and 2nd Alchemy, and my Warlock still needs to train Engineering and Inscription from scratch.
Looks like I'll be leveling a lot of alts when I'm not grinding out Heroics for points and gear. But I'm excited for the new zones and the new quests and new dungeons and hopefully I don't need to do every fucking quest in every zone to get to 85 so I can get up there while questing without doing a lot of repeated stuff.
I've also started working out a raid plan for Cataclysm. With the two medium-length raids to tackle and the one short raid, I think we'll focus on Blackwing Descent first and then Bastion of Twilight. I'm happy to leave Throne of the Four Winds to the side for a bit until we gear up a bit in raids as that raid seems to have some steep DPS requirements and gear can only help.
In terms of end-bosses, I think we'll be doing Nefarian, then Cho'gal, then Al'Akir, with Lady Sineastra coming late in the gearing process, I think.
For a while, I was thinking about swapping over to DPS as my main spec in Cata but honestly, I'm absolutely loving the Protection Paladin tree and playstyle right now, and after an hour and a half of working on and downing Heroic Sindragosa last night, I have absolutely new-found respect for the Paladin tool-kit.
Between Word of Glory, Hand of Freedom, Hand of Salvation to make taunts trivial, macroed Divine Shield to drop debuffs, glyphed Divine Protection to provide 40% damage reduction from magic, Ardent Defender anytime I dip below 50%, Avenger's Shield with a Focus glyph, a 2 minute Avenging Wrath, and the massive crit-scale of both Shield of Righteousness (I was getting 50k crits on H:Sindi, I've hit 90k crits on H:Festergut) Hammer of Wrath (crits in the 30k+ range) I was keeping myself alive through some crunch moments, able to work through movement impairments so easily that I didn't even miss a closer, while pushing nearly 7k Damage while downing a single-target boss with messy movement heavy mechanics and a fair amount of downtime.
I'm a little worried that we might even be a bit over powered right now, even with the Ardent Defender nerf (I actually like being able to chain DP and AD to give healers a breathing room stretch when they're really busy healing up a raid).
Do I sound a bit giddy? I'm getting pretty excited for Cataclysm. I think it'll be a good time and I'm excited for my guild to come roaring back from the year-long malaise that ICC has plunged us into.