I only just realised that the only thing I've mentioned regarding 5.0.4 is a bug. A bug! Before the patch was released, I complained about my Cataclysm burnout, Pandaria not being released yet, guild worries... And not one positive word now that the game is actually fun again. In fact it's fairly logical, since I really want to play it now - that leaves no time for writing, right?
Anyways, I thought I'd go through the start of the patch and how it has worked out for me. The most notable difference in gameplay are obviously the new talents and abilities, so I'll start with those. For Nicasia the elemental shaman, my main, I chose the following talents for heroic Dragon Soul raiding purposes: Astral Shift, Frozen Power, Totemic Restoration, Echo of the Elements, and despite the fairly overpowered totem, Ancestral Guidance.
After testing in multiple encounters, I came up with the result of Echo being better than the other two options. It was particularly strong in encounters with steady DPS maintenance, such as Ultraxion. Her major glyphs are Telluric Currents, Flame Shock, Spiritwalker's Grace, and for minor ones I went with Far Sight, Totemic Encirclement and Lakestrider, which has nearly got me killed already! I was really jaded raiding with Nica. I kept thinking about swapping for my death knight for the remains of Dragon Soul... Until 5.0.4 came out. Then BAM! It all got fun again!
Vladan received Boiling Blood, Purgatory, Asphyxiate, Death Pact and Blood Tap talents for his blood spec, and Unholy Blight, Anti-Magic Zone, Asphyxiate, Death Siphon and Runic Empowerment for his frost spec. His blood glyphs are Unholy Command, Icy Touch, Anti-Magic Shell, Horn of Winter, Resilient Grip and the oh-so-essential Corpse Explosion. His frost glyphs are Shifting Presences, Death Coil and Icebound Fortitude, which I thought I'd find useful in some situations. The minor glyphs are the same, apart from Tranquil Grip replacing Resilient Grip.
I wonder if Chilblains is actually meant to be spelled with only one L?
Purgatory is, to my mind, a very cool talent mainly because of the feel of it. It suits the death knight playfeel perfectly. I think it's useful for raid tanking. And because I was bored, I bound various insults to Vlad's Dark Command taunt. It's not common for people to share my sense of humour, but we'll see!
Raleigh, who is a holy paladin, has got a bit less attention post-patch. He did make my jaw drop after doing 20k DPS on a dummy, though. Sadly I don't find protection very interesting at the moment, so I will more than likely make his offspec retribution - again. This is also because holy pretty much lost Exorcism, and I think that spell has the sexiest sound effect in the whole game. That sound is no doubt one of the best things about paladins.
Despite Nica's raiding getting a lot more fun, I still think Vlad is on top of the gameplay chart, bursting 60k DPS on a raid boss with relative ease, and with an item level lower than Nicasia's. This doesn't mean that Nica isn't still my main, and most loved character.
The remaining three Dragon Soul runs in fact seem a bit saddening now that we had a really fun raid last Saturday. It's been a long time since we've had that much fun as a group - at least I felt that was the case. Otherwise, too, I think the recent rough times are over for now. The timing of 5.0.4 couldn't have been better, since the new stuff is really refreshing, and it shows. Thank you, Blizzard, for this patch!
P.S. I'm going to be studying Mon-Thur evenings now and I'm not sure about how much that affects my WoW playing and blogging, but in case I seem a bit inactive, it's most likely because of that.