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Don't discount the set bonuses from a tier set if you had one at 80. I did a quick test on a training dummy last night, and found my sustained DPS to actually be about 1000 DPS lower than it was at 80. At first I was confused and disappointed, but then it dawned on me that I no longer have the set bonuses from my T10 set. Also, I've replaced a few off-set pieces with quest rewards (for the stamina) but then didn't bother to enchant them, resulting in a decrease in spell power.
Your DPS will only go down if you were already decked out in epics. If you're just leveling through straight from hitting 80, your DPS will go up.
Whether it's worse or better than it was in WotLK is largely irrelevant, what matters is that it's suitable for the current content To apply this logic in a way that's easy to understand, I imagine you're not having significant difficulties leveling, are you? Because you're in gear suited for what you are doing. At the same time, you are then going to a target dummy and doing something your gear probably isn't suited for doing well, optimal DPS.
TLDR: Before Cata, you were in gear that I assume was suitable for raiding/optimal DPS, so you saw better numbers and the class felt right. You're in leveling gear right now, which is suited for leveling, not optimal target dummy DPS. Get in dungeon/raid gear and you're going to see your DPS be higher than it was in WotLK.
Edited by Illythia on 12/9/2010 9:06 AM PST
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