I don't know how much of it was patch changes, I don't know how much ToC contributed (ok, a LOT), and cloth makes up a large part of my gear, but I am now pretty much what I would consider "geared". I have two things to replace, my shield (crafted epics blizz? seems like a waste downgrading conquest badges just to get an upgrade), and totem (which is my first priority, 19 badges each for resto and elemental). I also really want the mail shoulders you get with badges of triumph, but I really only get those from the daily heroic, so it will be a while.
What I think is kind of strange/funny is the speed and ease of gearing up my shammy as opposed to the pally. First of all, I figured I would have to rep grind and get purples that way. Not so much. I am just about revered with Ebon Blade and Wyrmrest Accord and the purples from exalted are no longer upgrades. I ran a BUNCH of ToC over the weekend as well as the dailies (cept CoS, get to that later), and the drops were good to me. I got the +Hit trinket from heroic violet hold, as well as the robe, which it turns out I no longer need. I got the Abyssal Rune from ToC to upgrade my other slot. I got the mail pants from the black knight on heroic, in addition to the cloth head and cloth boots. Basically the only gear I have left from dinging 80 (I made the titansteel guardian a lil later) is my totem, shield, Revenant's breastplate, shoulders and my 2 capes (I am using the Ebon Blade rep one for elemental, and a BoE spellpower one for resto).
I am not all enchanted up or gemmed completely (I wasn't quite prepared to get geared this fast), but with some easy gemming/enchanting I got some pretty ridiculous numbers. I downloaded Rawr a while ago because it seems like the best way to compare gear and see where I'd be at. Rawr does seem to heavily favor crit, which I guess I could see based on what I've read on Elitist Jerks, but I've been reading shadow priest stuff too, so it's easy to get paths crossed. Anyways, my gear on dinging 80 Rawr said would give me DPS of around 2500 (I think they use a patchwerk type boss for example). Now with my upgrades I will be hit capped, and Rawr showed my DPS to be around 5k. I still really don't know what "acceptable" DPS is, but I would think 5k would be acceptable for 10 man content. I also don't think that number takes Chain lightning or my ability to drink my unlimited mana potions (yay free mana!). Their rotation was Flame Shock, Lava Burst, 5x lightning bolt, repeat. Mine normally ends up being FS, LB, chain lightning, LBx2, repeat. While it does put a slight drain on mana, my pots are plenty without even factoring in replenishment to keep me up.
I am also really close to 450 alchemy on the shammy. I still cant do the master of transmute quest, I need to farm some primal airs for that. While extra pots is semi good, potentially getting 2 for 1 epic gems is just too good to pass up. I still keep doing the JC daily every day on pally because there are always more cuts I need. I am working on the skyflare one for crit (Rawr said its BIS for me, I don't really have a basis for comparison on that, but as crit triggers my water shields so I guess it will work for both). After that its the epic luminous cut and maybe the epic royal cut. I am trying to get as many double duty cuts as I can. Hit really is entirely a DPS stat. I have the epic yellow +hit, and I have a couple melee epic cuts, now it's time to work on caster cuts.
I almost forgot about my Culling of Stratholme "drama". Now, I have recently been pugging heroics, generally with no problems. I usually end up healing, which is fine, I have a full resto set and I think I now have a decent grasp of when to use my abilities (I also have had zero probs with threat, so I'm gonna switch some points around in my resto build into improved healing wave). I got through both daily heroics from the weekend with no wipes (although admittedly with hugely over-geared pally tanks). So I got into a group for H CoS, and they dropped me 2 mins in. I whispered the leader with a WTF? (I hearthed in the middle of dailies to switch gear) and he said "sorry, we're trying for drake". WTF!?!? In other instance difficulties, we had a pretty big problem with a guild run in H VH. There were other problems, but I had major issues keeping the tank up. He was really actually well geared, but I've never healed a DK tank before. I dunno if it was his dual wield build or generally lower health than I'm used to (he had 27k during the run) or just some weakness with DKs, but he seemed to be taking a lot of spiky damage. I don't know if its a lack of SP on my part, or my build, or something I can fix. I do need to get my emergency macro together so I can do instant healing wave. I want to have it hit my focus target and just focus on tank but apart from that, I dunno what else I could do.
I didn't really play on my alts at all this weekend. I can tell I'm really enjoying the shammy because I havent really had the desire to play my alts. I will def try to get my warlock up to 65 to level his enchanting, and I still want to try a shadow priest, but shammy is just so much fun! Hope everyone else's weekend went as well as mine. . .
1 year ago