Yep, that's Balth on his Headless Horseman's steed. And yes, that is him keeping up with a Violet Protodrake. No, I didn't pay 5k for the pleasure.
And, well, mounts and achievements have been a nice little distraction lately:
A wee bit grindy? Um, yeah. Especially the Wintersaber. Kattastrophe & I have been working on it since we found the trainer 16 months ago while levelling (16 months or there abouts)
I'm 23/25 on my Exhalted achievement, with 3 different factions well into the Revered level. (Honor Hold, Shattered Sun and maybe lower City) I'm not sure which I'll finish. If I can get Honor Hold rep in regular Ramparts, that will likely be one.
Also, I've been helping Kattastrophe get her Rivendare mount (she now knows her way around there well enough, so I may not go much more). We have also been farming for the Zul Gurub Tiger (I got the lizard already) and we've also been working on the Ravenlord (so I may get Lower City Exalted in the process as well)
As far as RAIDING goes, I'm still a temp player on our main (only) raiding team, and we are now 3/12 in heroics (we gave Saurfang one attempt before calling it a night last night). There is talk about somehow helping other guildies (like me) get to see and hopefully kill the Lich King. Possibly an alt group or something. But we shall see. The last couple times a second raid group formed we ended up losing those players to new guilds. Also, since it would likely be alts of the main raiding group, I may STILL have problems getting in.
As far as the new ret stuff...
- I reforged about 100 Expertise points into Haste, and that seems to be helping a bit (I went from 580 or so, up to 680 or so) I'm still expertise capped, so it was "free" Haste.
- Rotation? I am getting better at it, but that's about the best I can say. I still dumb-thumb the hell out of it, and it is STILL super clunky.
- Output? On Test Dummies, I am get ~6,300 DPS. In ICC last night, I managed to be 1st overall in Damage (and waffled between 2nd & 4th in DPS) We have a Fury Warrior (wow-heroes GS of 3224, compared to my 3188) that is sligtly better than me single target, but KILLS me on the small groups, small single target, "target switching" stuff. Single target I can pull a solid 10-11k. Taqrget switching, small mobs gets me down to 3-4k range (remember, this is with the ICC buff!) My Ret survival abilities and some reasonably head's up playing is what enabled me to be top damage dealer, but my actual fight by fight throughput still has me bugged.
- Gear? I now have enough Justice points to buy my 4th piece of T-10(i251). The bummer is that I already HAVE an i251 chest with slightly better stats/etc: Blade-Scored Carapace Do I want to "waste" those justice points for a slight (and completely theoretical) DPS bump? Do I want to buy 2 new gems PLUS an enchant? I don't know. Especially with level 81 looming in 6 weeks or less.
- Tanking: I haven't even talented my Prots spec yet. I could use those Justice points here as well, but my tepid interest in tanking right now, as well as the "free" level 81/82,etc greens on the horizon make it a difficult choice as well. Though, if I ever intend to get back into tanking, getting in the swing of things sooner rather than later would be a good thing.
We shall see...