Tobold's Blog
Monday, August 18, 2008
Preparing for the Wrath

It is still months away, but the Wrath of the Lich King is throwing a long shadow. The closer it gets, the more you have to ask yourself how much time you want to spend on achievements which are rendered obsolete by the expansion, and how much time you want to spend on preparing for the expansion. And if you want to prepare, what could you sensibly do?

I haven't been playing all that much World of Warcraft recently. But I've been logging on occasionally to do things like Shadowcloth and alchemy transmutes, and to put things on the auction house. Or playing short bursts, doing a few daily quests. I've also been cleaning up my inventories, for example selling the metal bars and gems I had stored for jewelcrafting. All that accumulated a lot of gold, and this weekend I had the 5,200 gold for my third epic flying mount together. So now my mage joins my priest and my warrior in having an epic flyer. Not immediately useful on release, but as I'll probably level the mage to 77 before I do the warrior (if ever), I wanted the mage to have that mount. So, cleaning up inventory and buying an epic flying mount are definitely on my list of things to do in preparation for Wrath of the Lich King.

While metals and gems were certainly things I don't foresee needing in WotLK, cloth and herbs are a different story. Death Knights start out with 270 in First Aid, and will need Runecloth and up to train that skill further. And anyone trying the new Inscription profession will need tons of herbs of all levels. I think many people already stored the lowest level herbs in abundance, and most alchemist have stock in Outlands herbs. But the mid-level herbs could suddenly become extremely expensive on the auction house, and gathering those, or buying them for cheap when available, could be a great money-making opportunity. I'm not 100% sure about enchanting supplies, but the new ability to put enchantments on scrolls and sell those could also increase demand a bit there.

As I mentioned in the intro, getting new gear for your level 70 characters might not be the best use of your time right now, as the stuff you'll find in Northrend will quickly replace even your epics. But what about Death Knight twink gear? I wouldn't bother with anything below level 60, as the starting gear for Death Knights is so good that they won't need twink gear for the first 5 levels. But level 60 to 70 blue bind-on-equip plate armor and weapons, for example a [Blade of Misfortune] might well be in demand shortly after the expansion comes out. Death Knights can use one-handed and two-handed axes and swords, as well as polearms. In plate armor they'll be looking for gear with strength, stamina, and critical hit bonuses, like a dps warrior. BoE stuff will be valuable because the classic bind-on-pickup gear from dungeons will be difficult to get for Death Knights; there just won't be any healers in Outlands.

Did I forget anything? How are you preparing for Wrath of the Lich King?
One thing I do in preparation for WotLK is following the list of known new Achievements and try to get as many as possible done on my main character. There are a lot of achievements that can already be finished and will immidiately count as "been there, done that" when the expansion arrives.

Among these are exploring all areas of the map, finishing tons of quests, collecting rare mini pets (the ones that can't be bought from a vendor), getting the various weapon skills to the maximum, and reaching exalted reputation with as many factions as possible.

Of course being in the beta helps a lot with that since you see what already got counted towards your score and where you still have work to do. For example the map exploration achievement showed me that I didn't explore one bit of the Hellfire Peninsula map yet (a tiny floating rock with an alliance quest hub).

Hoarding mats and items that might get more valueable when the wave of deathknights hits Outland doesn't really appeal to me. I might hang on to some stuff for my own deathknight alt with the Inscription profession, but otherwise it is "just gold". The "achiever" in me wants to get things done. :)
I'm preparing for WotlK by ranting about how horrible I think modern MMO raid design is. ;P

Raiding Provides a False, Deceptive Sense of Real Accomplishment

Blogging about Online Gaming and Virtual Worlds:
I'm preparing for WOLTK by pre-ording Warhammer
If there is anything people have learned about WoW, it is don't make the leveling go by quicker then needed as the end games sucks! Therefore, don't save items up, go quest or look for them while leveling.
I'm doing the same thing as Kirana, trying to preemptively unlock some of the achievements. Any gear I try to obtain right now is going to be replaced as soon as the expansion comes out, so that seems a little silly to work towards. But, the achievements will always be there so it seems like something fun to work at.

I also like how a lot of the achievements can be completely on your own (other than the ones for killing raid bosses of course). I am in the military and work very odd hours, rotating through day and night shifts, so I will never really be able to raid on a consistent enough pattern to be in a good raid guild. So, I see achievements as a fun way for me to have more personal "achievements" in the game. It also gives me a visual list to work towards and somewhere to focus my playtime and even see parts of the game I otherwise wouldn't see. For example I've already found a few places on the map I had never been to before, done some new (low level) quests, collected a bunch of mini-pets, mounts, etc. I hope they keep adding a lot more of them!
Gold. First and foremost.

I went blindly into the TBC expansion thinking I could rely on the ginormous amount of 2000G. Boy was I wrong!

I am spending my time right now earning enough gold to where I wont have any problems as I did when TBC hit. I'm hearing rumors that a person should have upwards of 15-20K gold in order to be -fully- prepared for WOTLK.
> I went blindly into the TBC expansion thinking I could rely on the ginormous amount of 2000G. Boy was I wrong!

Wrong how? I went into TBC with less than 100g and I never felt any problem... bought the regular flying mount as soon as I dinged 70 and had gold to spare. Sure it took me time to get the gold for an epic flying mount, but while a nice thing to have it's by no means necessary.

Sure you can save 8k gold for the Dalaran ring but again while nice-to-have, I wouldn't want to grind especially for it.
As for 15k-20k gold required to be "fully prepared", that sounds silly. Prepared for what?
I already stored large amount of nearly everything from boe blues to Primals, Cloth, Herbs. I'm now concentrating on some of the more rare pets like Magical Crawdad. I'm also collecting money. I think I have enough, but if I can get more without much hassle it won't hurt me ^^. Last but not least I try to make sure that all of my twinks have the best possible gear I can get them. A nice Karazhanrun with Twinks is always fun and it might give me an edge in the early levels.
Almost everything you can currently do in WoW will be obsolete come WotLK.

-Rolling an Alt, exp levels 60-70 will be easier come WotLK. OBSOLETE!

-Complete dailys to earn gold. Gold will be more plentiful come WotLK. I'm GUESSING a level 80 quest will net around 20g @ level 80. OBSOLETE!

-Raid for epics, or PvP for epics. OBSOLETE(atleast after a few levels).

So the most efficient thing to do in WoW currently is gather herbs,ore,leather, and anything else you can gather. If you are rolling an alt give him two gathering professions. If you have a level 70 with out professions, give him two gathering professions and level them both to 375. If all your toons are maxed on gathering skills go start gatherings as much as possible on mats level 35 or higher. Don't sell your mats, just keep them in the bank. Mats sell relative the economy and there will be a huge influx of gold come WotLK. Gold you earn now won't be worth as much come WotLK. Sell all your mats a few weeks after WotLK launches and you will be a rich man/woman.
I'm leveling a druid-jewelcrafter atm. It's not really something "in preparation" of WOTLK but it's something I've been meaning to do for quite some time. I think this is the last opportunity for me before Spore, WAR and WOTLK hits the stores. I'll certainly not hit L70/375 but I'm aiming for around L60/350 if possible.

If I get a little bit of time I'll probably gather a little bit of the beginner herbs in preparation for inscription.
I'm preparing for the expansion by enjoying as much of the content out NOW as I can.

Raiding two nights a week and hoping we can see some decent progression before the expansion, so that I can see the different encounters. Learning how to tank on my paladin - even old content feels different when you're approaching it in a different role. And, most important of all, playing with friends.

Although I have to say, I fundamentally disagree every time there are posts saying that there's no point in getting upgrades now, that they'll just get replaced during Wrath. First of all, upgrades you get now will make it easier to level in the expansion. Second, my experience in TBC was totally the opposite of stepping through the door and replacing everything. On my main, I kept some pieces of gear for 5-6 levels and one or two lasted until I was 70.
preston and Tobold are right - anything you want to do in preparation for Wrath revolves around stuff other people want.

Collecting gold, epics, and reputation are not real good preparation for Wrath, aside from any fun factor in the action itself.

It's impossible to predict, but I'd also expect huge demand for herbs of all level and a lot of common enchanting items. People who wisely (?!) saved up the 15-20k gold for Wrath will be enchanting every blue upgrade they get, just because they can. So I'd expect the mats for common "temporary" enchants like fiery to go fast, as well as some of the bigger enchants like spellpower/healing and deathfrost.

Even other skills' mats should go up, since people are more likely to switch crafting skills at expansion time.
How are you preparing for Wrath of the Lich King?

It’s not just Wrath I am preparing for, but also for Warhammer Online. I plan to play both games, but WAR is only a month away. I’m looking into my crystal ball and deciding that between WAR release and Wrath release, I won’t be playing WoW much if at all. So that means that I really only have a month left of playing WoW until I pretty much suspend my WoW account until Wrath. That means that I really only have the next month or so to really prepare for Wrath. I *DO* wish there was more information on the professions since that is really the main way to prepare for the expansion (i.e. make money).

the mid-level herbs could suddenly become extremely expensive on the auction house, and gathering those, or buying them for cheap when available, could be a great money-making opportunity.

I’m a mini-market mogul and I’ll give you my $0.02 on how I predict the herb prices to go in Wrath. As the expansion nears, particularly in the last few weeks, the prices of herbs is going to rise as people buy up herbs in anticipation of the new profession. Prices will actually peak a bit before the expansion releases. After the expansion, herb prices will be crazy high but very plentiful. So after a very short period of stupid prices, the market will collapse because there are so many on the market (because people were hoarding them). The price will actually drop from what it did in the weeks leading up to the expansion by quite a bit. Two to three weeks after expansion release, the price will start to stabilize at roughly (+/- 10%) the pre-expansion peak price.

So… if you are planning to hoard herbs, then here is my advice: Hoard them now and sell them at the pre-expansion peak. Then – post expansion, use your profits to buy up all the surplus as the price drops. Hold onto it for a few weeks, then sell at the more stabilized post-expansion price. I do this something similar to this every patch and make a small fortune every time.

Of course, I wonder if herbs is the right play. It’s certainly the obvious play, but I almost think that Blacksmithing supplies will be the real money maker. The Blacksmith-only “gem sockets” that can be added to existing items will be very popular to the min/maxxers. I’m certainly considering dropping Engineering on my Rogue for them.
cancelled my account sold everything on my toons and gave the gold away to people I know.

Thats how I prepared for WOTLK

It'll have to be good enough to make me want to start with a naked toon before I buy it.
You are wrong about the gear tobold.
The gear reset is not near as drastic as it was in TBC. S2 will see you through most of your leveling.
I am preparing by just having fun when the opportunity presents itself. Ultra-grinds at this point are probably not worth the investment unless you are having fun. If you are a PvPer it is probably a good idea to honor cap and get full tokens.
I dont think wotlk will be worth my time. They destroyed the micro that pallies had with downranking heals and they added some junk AoE heals and are nerfing the burst damage stacking effects left and right, and once all is said and done pallies are still gonna be a clothie/stand in the back healer and never the melee/heals in your face they should be.

The profession changes are nice, Infact I would absolutely love them if I had a lifetime subscription to WoW, but maintaining a subscription just to proc a few extra gold doing menial chores is only fluff. The economy of the game doesnt flux enough for people to take advantage of lower lvl'd proffesions. What does anyone need from a proffesion below 350? That they couldnt just get themselves. Its a failure of implementation for most of the professions.

As for the 70-80 content, Im sure it will be robust and fun and neat and etc for 2 weeks, then turn back into the same monotonous hacksaw grind of enemies in BG's and arenas. When WoW stuffs fluff down your throat for 2 expansions, you perhaps would rather choke on something else.. like play warhammer.

The only Wrath Blizzard got from me: the wrathful cancellation of my WoW account.

It is with a certain amount of bemusement that I watch Blizzard frantically try to fix all the things that have frustrated players for years.

While it's terribly obvious, and I'm sure even Blizzard admits, that they are doing this in order to stay competitive... it annoys me that they couldn't have done it when we needed it, instead of waiting until they were about to lose some market share. The sheer hubris alone makes me want to never give them another penny.

Besides... WAR is nearly here. There is a beta. And I am in it.

And I am way, way happy.
If Season 2 will see you through to level 80 then im not even buying it. Im BT geared and the thought of lvling to 80 without a single upgrade gives me ZERO motivation to play.
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