I found your site the other day while searching for advice on a talent build for my levelling Paladin alt who I'm currently viewing as a tank. My main is a relatively new lvl 70 Hunter. Some things that I could not find on the site, but would love to hear your ideas on are:
1) As a Prot Pally levels, what is a good order to invest the talent points? This is for a bit of solo work and tanking in 5-man instances. Speed of levelling is not a concern of mine as I value becoming a good tank way more than rushing to the end game.
This is a somewhat complicated question. Basically, there are a few key talents when levelling a Paladin: Spiritual Focus in Holy; Holy Shield in Protection; and Seal of Command in Retribution. Your plan should focus around which of these you want to take and when.
Protection really only comes into its own with Holy Shield at 31 points. The lower part of the tree is decent, but Holy Shield is the engine which drives the entire tree. My usual advice is not to bother with Protection until level 40 or 50. You can do well enough with the other trees for tanking purposes at the lower levels.
Spiritual Focus is an amazing talent for solo play as you can easily heal yourself while meleeing. Unfortunately, it costs 10 points in Holy, which will put off getting Holy Shield for another 10 levels. However, you don't need it if someone else will be healing you all the time.
So my usual advice is to go 10 points in Holy for Spiritual Focus, then 11 points in Ret for Seal of Command. Then level as Retribution until level 40 or 50. If you think you can get by without Spiritual Focus, respec to Protection at 40. Otherwise respec at 50 and keep SF.
Other than that the only difference between a Prot levelling build and a Prot end game build is Reckoning. Reckoning is very nice while levelling, but not all that useful at 70. I'd take Reckoning over 1H Specialization while levelling, then switch at 70.
2) Besides simply running instances and performing trial-n-error, do you have any ideas for how I can develop my tanking skills? I grew up as a beast master hunter on my first toon, and tanking is a hugely counter-intuitive concept to me. Ideally, I'd like to hear about things you do in 5-man groups while levelling up, since the full spectrum of threat-generating abilities and talents is not available until you get further and further into the talent trees.
Generally, learn the theory of tanking, especially the rules on how threat works. Take a look at:
This is *the* tanking guide. Although it is aimed at warriors, it is very useful for all tanks. Paladin specific resources include:
After that it's pretty much just keep Holy Shield up all the time, Consecrate when necessary, and Judge Righteousness when you can. Unlike warrior tanking, the actual mechanics of paladin tanking are not that complex.
Any other advice from Protection Paladins?