Looking at the new Divine Shield (reduces damage by 50%) will it still drop aggro or work like a shield wall-like ability? Also will Hand of Protection (reworked blessing of protection) still drop it's target's threat?
Divine Shield still drops aggro. It works the same way it always has. However, Divine Protection is now a Paladin's Shield wall. Divine Protection is the Protection Paladin's 'oh crap' button now, and coupled with the new Lay on Hands, they're pretty set. Protadins are going to be in a really, really good place come Wrath.
As for Hand of Protection, it works exactly like Blessing of Protection did. It doesn't "drop threat" but it does make the mob/boss stop attacking the Protected person for the duration of the buff. They mob will, as always, go back to that person if they're still on top of the threat list 10 seconds later.
Do level 70 toons start off with the max amount of rest XP when we install wrath? Or will rest XP start after the game is installed?
Level 70 characters will not start with Rested XP. Enjoy your purple bar!
All across WoW Insider and in practically every response to an article here, I see some poster complaining about or sniping at Ret Paladins still being OP. Do they run rampant across Northrend? Do people beg to have them in dungeons to actually DPS? Is a Ret Paladin grinding near you a thing to fear or laugh at now?
Ret Paladins are currently very, very strong. They've been tuned down a little from the unholy monstrosities they were before, but they're still pretty strong. Most of the 'fear' was when they were tuned a bit too high and had a few hellish bugs that had them running around critting people for a bazillion damage with judgements. Ret Paladins are more viable than ever, and I am actually considering switching mains from Shadow Priest to Retribution Paladin, though I probably won't ultimately decide until right before launch.
Ret Paladins got hit hard by the Replenishment thing they pushed into last night's beta build, their naturally low mana pools don't benefit very well from the new Judgements of the Wise now, so we'll have to see how that pans out. Besides that, though, Ret Paladins are in a good spot. I don't think you will see people begging for a Ret Paladin for a 5-man dungeon, but they're pretty awesome in them. I don't think they're going to be the joke they used to be. Good Ret Paladins were always good, but they're going to be downright scary now. I love it
Do the player triggered knock backs, such as Shaman's Thunderstorm, effectively work on NPC's? Do they have diminishing returns?
As far as I've seen, they do indeed work on NPCs and I do not believe they have diminishing returns. Most of them are on pretty long cooldowns (Thunderstorm's is 45 seconds), so maybe there's a DR cap you could hit with multiple people using the same spell, but you can't hit it yourself. Either way, I don't think they're on diminishing returns.
Here's a random YouTube video for you so you can see Thunderstorm in action against some NPCs.
That's going to be all from us today, my tasty little lemon drops. We'll be back tomorrow, so remember to post any questions you may have in the Comments section below.