You do a lot, depending on what class you play and how you play it, but that's doesn't really matter. It's all proportional, and the proportions feel much like they do today. What does matter is that you shouldn't take any of those numbers as set in stone. Deathwing might have 858 million HP in a screenshot of him someplace, but that means nothing as to what he'll have when you face him as a raid boss.
"Why is the paladin column 'The Light and How to Swing It' always about holy paladins?"
Holy paladins get their edition on Sundays and retribution/protection paladins get their column on Wednesdays.
"Are the towns in the revamped vanilla zones more lively and believable? I recently trekked an alt from dear old Azeroth to Outland and noticed how there are guards walking around Thrallmar and just NPC's doing stuff in general. It reminded me of how boring most of the towns are before then where nothing interesting is going on."
I've noticed a lot more random NPCs doing things about the cities in Cataclysm. Most of it is just jumping out at me because things are so different, but there is overall a lot more interaction and "busyness" to the world. This isn't a dig on Blizzard's previous design as much as it is just an observation about how MMOs have changed in the near six years WoW has been released. Back in 2005, it was quite normal to see mainly static towns with only a few dynamic elements. Today? Take a look at Dalaran; there's always something going on. Blizzard has grown along with the rest of the industry.
"In the beta can you form a raid on your own? If not, do you think this is something Blizzard is ever going to change? It's such a hassle when wanting to solo old raids."
You cannot form raids by yourself in Cataclysm's beta. I doubt Blizzard will ever change this -- no matter what the level of the raid is, the purpose of the instance is to group with a large number of other people and accomplish a task.
"How do you handle the situation where you find yourself a normal member of a guild where the leader is an outrageously arrogant prick who exploits the guild bank and loot policy in order to make sure that he and his officers are all in best-in-slot gear while the rest of the guild is in whatever they can scrounge up?"
I'd do two things. First, take a day and cool your head. Given your language, you either have a flair for entertaining/dramatic writing (kudos, in that case), or you're angry. Either way, although especially if you're mad, take a day and make sure you're seeing things from everyone's perspective. Don't make a hasty and rash decision. You'll not come out ahead if you do.
Secondly, if after a day of rest and relaxation you still feel this way, just send your guild leader a message saying, "I don't think I'm a good fit here and am going to be on my way." That's all. You can post the same in the forums if you want, but don't go over the reasons you're leaving. You'll just burn bridges with other like-minded individuals who don't want guild drama.
Honestly though, I've seen a lot of egotistical guild leaders. I've been a guild leader before of a high-end raiding guild, and while some level of ego is necessary in order to do the job right and be the public face of the guild, too much of it is very detrimental. When a guild leader can't make that distinction, it's time for most folks to get out.
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