***Warning: Longish Post***
So, without further ado, here's Chu's plan for the expansion, optimized towards PvP but with some focus towards money making and possible small team raiding (10 mans), especially since the release date is about 2 months out.
Research: Research everything that the Blizzard unpaid volunteer testing team (aka Beta testers) have generated about factions, reputations, professions, quest rewards, 5 man drops, badge rewards and the starting raid (Naxx 10 man).
Much of the preparation work is in this step. It is important to know what faction reputations are need for which classes because reflecting upon the Thrallmar rep grind has me still convulsing at the thought of more Shattered Halls runs. There are some reasonable rep rewards that may be readily available if focus is given towards progressing that faction rep. At the same time, knowing which professions to level/relevel based on their synergy with my character classes is equally important. Trying to level a new profession such as inscription without a bank full of pre-farmed herbs would be prohibitively expensive.
Drop wise, Quest rewards/5 man drops aren't nearly as important, but it is still a task that is of reasonable importance as there are some quest rewards and 5 man drops that are viable long into the future. Look at the Idol of the Emerald Queen if you want a good example. Heroic Badge gear is something more towards long term future planning, however if there is any good PvP gear there (aka PvP Cloaks/trinkets), some effort should be directed towards acquiring a steady income of Heroic Badges. The same applies towards the first 10 man raid. Aside from rep rewards and just plain fun (I can't believe I said that), there may be some good weapons/gear that will fill in the starting Honor/Arena PvP sets.
Honor Grind: It is likely that Blizzard will not do a clean slate wipe of Honor gained through honorable kills/bg objectives, so going into WotLK with less than 75k honor is not an option. At the same time, going into WotLK with less than 100 badges may be permissible, but should be maximized.
Gold/Other Grind: Inflation is an inherent aspect of the upcoming expansion, much like TBC, and the value of gold will drop dramatically. If you can think back to pre-TBC times, grinding 100g felt like a chore and spending 500g for a BWL drop was an enormous expenditure. With the advent of dailies and quest rewards at level 70, gold has been greatly devalued. There are three schools of thought when it comes to using your gold: 1) Spend! 2) Invest! 3) Save! All are viable strategies.
The first seeks to get as much value out of the gold NOW, while it still has value. Proponents of this strategy argue that quest reward and random drops will easily make up the gold supply on the way to 80 and there's no point in saving money when it will have a fraction of its current value in a few months. Buy that Amani War Bear now! Buy those Gigantique bags! Advocates of the Invest strategy recognize that inflation will make their currency worth much less and as such, will invest in commodities such as herbs, profession leveling items, or leveling plate gear (for all those baby DKs). The last group will just Save their entire bankroll for WotLK and use its liquid buying power to obtain items they need quickly.
I plan on using a hybrid of Invest and Save, bringing with me a bank alt full of herbs, a good amount of uncut gems, and enough materials to level alchemy very quickly. The herbs are to both powerlevel Inscription and to sell at a marked up price for those who didn't think ahead. The uncut gems will be to level Jewelcrafting quickly and the alchemy mats will be for my new baby Deathknight. Why alchemy? Well, Blizzard is essentially giving everyone a free moneymaking alt. It shouldn't take too long to level a new DK from 55 to the min level for max alchemy specialization, thus providing me with a means to transmute for a profit every cycle. There are obviously other materials throughout TBC that should be collected for fast leveling (Netherweave Cloth for First Aid, components for Cooking, etc) and those should also be acquired prior to WotLK release.
I also plan on bringing a sizable bankroll to possibly buy world drop recipes off the AH that may be profitable in the long run, however, it is unlikely that these items will be available for purchase until the majority of the server population reaches the high 70's. I am part of the "I Will use the AH to Gouge You" Jewelcrafting 'Union' with a majority of the rare gem cuts and as such, I know the value of rare recipes.
Right before the expansion release, I'm going to also complete, but not turn in, 25 quests. If there are turn ins for other quests that I don't have to pick up, I'll collect those, too and hold on to them. The idea here, naturally, is to turn in all 25 quests as soon as humanly possible the moment I get back into the game after the expansion comes out for a decent jump in XP. While I'm not keen on racing to 80, I don't see any reason not to have a sizeable xp boost (approximately 250k XP) so that I can get ahead of the curve. If I can get to a zone before the masses do, I'll have an easier time finding quest mobs/items, thus making it easier in the long run.
Recruitment: News has leaked that there are going to be 10 man instance bosses that drop PvP gear (while Lake Wintergrasp is under your faction's control). While this doesn't mean a whole helluva lot to your average PvPer, Bliz has also stated previously that they will be focusing more on PvE in this expansion. This means my little PvP group will have to recruit some like minded PvPers who are capable of getting some PvE gear to help with some 10 mans. I'm not entirely estatic about having to PvE, but I think a 10 man focused group can accomplish a lot, while still PvPing a majority of our in-game time.
Leveling Gear: Leveling as a healer is probably one of the most mind numbing experiences possible and while grouping or leveling via instances is preferred/possible, there will be times where I will have to scratch and claw (lolmangle?) my way through some kill quests. As such, acquiring an offset of gear for the purposes to leveling will be very important. I haven't yet decided if this set will be Feral or LazerChicken, as I have average gear for both, but it should be complete and ready to go once we near xpac release.
Purge(?): While prices are still reasonable for many items, with the announcement of WotLK, various prices will start to tumble as people start purging their banks/etc. It's a great time to buy items, as long as you know you can either use them in any of the above preparation steps or turn around and resell later. One example of this the comparison of Greater Eternal Essence prices before and after the expansion. Many people dumped their entire store of GEE's prior to TBC, and yet theyre incredibly expensive right now as anyone who tried powerleveling enchanting will tell you. There is a strong case for saving TBC materials for the horde of baby DKs itching to level their professions. As such, keep an eye out for great deals as people panic and purge. In this case, our long term investment isn't a short term investment gone awry.
Well, that's my list of things to do prior to the expansion. It's not short, but honestly, a little preparation goes a long way when it comes to game play ease, especially if you want to get into activities you find enjoyable as soon as possible.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Planning for WotLK
***Warning: Longish Post***