Good afternoon, WoW Insider! I have nothing useful to say in my preface today, because I need to go put my new power supply and video card in my PC so I can actually play WoW again. Man, have you seen some of the newer video cards these days? If I had enough of these things I could build a fort capable of surviving a nuke out of them. This thing is a beast.
A couple questions regarding DK tanking... How much Defense rating am I going to need at level 80 to hit 540 defense skill. How much base defense skill will I have at 80? I'm levelling Unholy with a DPS build. If I throw on a few pieces of +def gear can I safely go tank Nexus or Utgarde Keep at level 72?
You can get a full explanation of Defense for Death Knights in our weekly column Lichborne, specifically the Statistics Primer and the Gearing for Defense editions. Between those two, just about everything you want to know is there. Utgarde Keep and the Nexus should be no problem at all as long as you aren't trying to tank it naked and you pull with care.
Does the damage caused by Retribution Aura tag mobs? I'm leveling my pally alt lately, and I'd like to know whether I NEED to drop a Consecration after charging into a mass of mobs, or whether simply letting them kill themselves while wailing away on me will suffice.
Retribution Aura doesn't tag, and neither do similar things like Thorns. Generally, passive things don't tap since you don't actually do anything. There are a couple of exceptions to that rule, but generally the passive stuff won't fly. You'll need to drop Consecrates to tap, or if you're pulling them around to get a bigger crowd to AOE down, you'll need to drop Consecrates to stop them from leashing as well.
I made my Death Knight a blacksmith, but I can't seem to get the quest line to pick a specialty. Is there some trick to it, am I missing something obvious, or is there something wrong that just happens to be low on the totem for Blizzard?
That's a bug that's fixed in patch 3.0.8, so if you want to specialize you'll need to wait a little bit. We don't have an ETA on the patch, but I bet we'll be seeing it soon.
See what I did there?
Me and my wife will soon finish the levelling process with our mains (mage and druid), so we're going to go back to our alts, a warrior and paladin stuck at level 46. Could anyone give me a pointer as to what spec we should choose for our characters?
Ultimately, we will respec Prot and Holy once we reach Northrend to have an easy time starting dungeon runs, but in the 25 intervening levels, I'm not really sure that this would be the best combo.
I'm a big fan of the tank/healer combo, so Prot and Holy might be exactly what you want. Holy isn't the best Paladin leveling spec ever, but Protection is a great Warrior tree nowadays, even for leveling. Its damage output isn't terribly low, and its survivability is great. Put a healer behind that and you can do anything. I think the synergy between the two would be fun, at least.
You could also go Arms (or Fury) and Ret and be a wrecking crew for awhile. Both would be pretty fun, but personally I'd try the Prot and Holy pair. I bet there are some readers that disagree with me here, and they'll probably say as much in the comments (and they should!) so check out what they have to say, too.