Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Getting Ready for End Game

One of my co-workers asked me to write something about "what you do between 60 and the end game." He went on to say "I've got the leveling game down, but I'm not sure what lies ahead of me."

And he does have the leveling part down. At least up to mid forties. He's got (at most recent count) 24 alts of various levels. He has also never played old-world end-game. His newbie druid was merely level 20 when Burning Crusade came out. He never had to worry about attunements for Molten Core, Onyxia, Blackwing Lair & Naxxramas. He never spent too much money on raid consumables. He never spent weeks learning a particular encounter. He is a raid noob.

So, let me answer his questions the best I can. There are a couple things that would-be raiders need to keep in mind. There are also a couple of questions you should already have answered.

Questions:

  1. What is my end-game spec? Will I heal or DPS or tank?
  2. What are the five most important stats for my end game build? Can I order these hierarchically?
  3. Am I ready to be away from the "Old World" cities for long stretches? Can I avoid going to the auction house, bank, trainers in the Old World? Do I have an alt that can perform these duties for me?
  4. Have I done some research about what gear I'd like to pick up from various quests, instances, mobs? Someone wrote an awesome guide to having a wish list on their blog and dummy me, I can't find the post. But its out there.
Having answered these questions, it's time to take the plunge into Outland Questing. The thing that is most different, and hardest to understand for a player coming from Azeroth is how important reputation is. Reputation rewards offer recipes, enchants, and gear that are the best pre-raid (and sometimes early raid) choices. At least five of those factions also offer heroic versions of their dungeons. For most of the factions there is an early quest that turns into a repeatable quest. As I mentioned when writing about the Cenarion dudes it's important to do those quests at the exclusion of others from the same faction, until you stop getting reputation for the repeatable one. Some of the factions are more optional, clearly benefiting some class or tradeskill over others. Here's a quick list of factions and the items they accept:

  • Cenarion Expedition - Unidentified Plant Parts
  • Sporeggar - Bog Lord Tendrils, Fertile Spores
  • Lower City - Arakkoa Feathers
  • Kurenai/Mag'har - Ogre Warbeads
  • Consortium - Elekk Tusks, Oshu'gun Crystal Fragment, Ogre Warbeads, Zaxxis Badge, Ethereum Prison Keys
  • Scryers - Firewing Signets, Sunfire Signets, Arcane Tomes
  • Aldors - Mark of Kil'jaeden, Mark of Sargeras, Fel Armament
  • Sha'Tar - Either of the Aldor or Scryer turnins
The next thing to consider is your crafting professions. Everyone should have first aid. And cooking. And probably *ugh* fishing. I'd take the time before heading to Outlands to level cooking and first aid to 300 minimum. Cooking finally makes real sense post 300 giving some of the best food buffs to date.

If you've got a gathering skill, please be 300 skill in it before coming to Outland. That way you can level it as you level from 60-70.

That said, get out there and level. The quests in Outlands are located in a few quest hubs for the most part. Get a bunch, group them as best you can and get out there and do them. Keep an eye out for dungeon quests and do them level appropriate. A nice change from the "Old World" is that most dungeon quests are picked up right outside the dungeon. And there's usually only 2 or 3 for a particular instance.

Here's my guidance on when you can do certain dungeons.

  • Hellfire Ramparts & Blood Furnace - 58-60
  • Slavepens & Underbog - 61-63
  • Auchenai Crypts - 64-66
  • Mana Tombs - 66-67
  • Old Hillsbrad/Durnholde - 67-68
  • Setthek Halls - 68-70
  • Shadow Labyrinth - 70
  • Shattered Halls - 70
  • Steamvaults - 70
  • Black Morass - 70
  • Mechanar, Botanica, Arcatraz - 70
Another thought. When you hit 68, PLEASE go to Karazhan in Deadwind Pass (by Darkshore/Swamp of Sorrows) and do the pre-requisite quests for Karazhan attunement. You'll very quickly get to collecting key fragments from Shadow Labyrinth, Steamvaults & Arcatraz. If you have the quests the first time you go in there, you'll be better off.

During the 60-70 grind you should be saving money for mounts. If you already have your epic ground mount, you're that much ahead. If not, you'll need to buy that. But at 70, you need to have the 900 gold for flying mount & training. All of the Tempest Keep Instances (Mechanar, Botanica, Arcatraz) are locked out unless you can fly up to them. Summoning doesn't work. Which effectively puts a cap on your progress until you can get the mount. See my articles on mounts for more information

1 comment:

Ironshield said...

helpful sound advice! must go... have to go research a wish list and how much rep i need to get it all!