I haven't really posted anything in a while. Everything seems like the same old thing, like we're just rehashing old arguments from years ago.
Tier 8 looks to be a pretty mediocre set. No big surprise there. It's not as bad as Tier 3/Tier 7 (Redemption), but it's not as good as Tier 2 (Judgement) or Tier 6 (Lightbringer). Suicidal Zebra has pictures. The original concept artwork has a very completely-enclosed, Vorlon Encounter Suit motif. That headpiece serves as the final seal. You can imagine the headpiece coming down and locking in place, completely encasing the paladin in the armor.
This concept didn't transfer that well to the finished armor, oddly enough because the shoulders aren't big enough. So the headpiece lost its meaning, and now just looks like an weird affection. I think the armor would have been better served with a helm that completely enclosed the paladin's head. As well, the female armor entirely exposes the stomach, completely cutting against the point of the concept art.
Ah well, maybe Tier 9 will be the "good" paladin set for this expansion.
I did go poke around on the PTR server tonight. I didn't get a chance to see Hodir, but I went over to the Argent Tournament area and looked around. It looks pretty neat.
The only thing I really dislike is this:
The mount on the left is the Stormwind reward mount. It has the paladin warhorse (level 30 mount) model, but with the paladin charger colours. I think it's too close to the paladin mount. The Stormwind mount should use a different color scheme.
The Gear Manager is simple, but easy to use. It stores entire gearsets (all 16-slots). You can't do partial gearsets like in Outfitter, but it's very easy to set up and use. It's not enabled by default, but enabling it adds an icon in the top right corner of the character pane.
Dual specs look decent. Each spec gets its own glyphs and the bottom left toolbars. The other toolbars are shared between specs. Switching is essentially a five-second cast, but you can't switch in combat or in arenas.
I can't really comment on paladin trees. I think they're in an unfinished state. I built a PvE Retribution build as my second spec. I took all the talents I wanted, and I had 12 talent points left over! That's an awful lot of points for random utility.
So far, 3.1 looks like a pretty good patch.