by Tachyon on Wed. 01. December 2010, 23:44
Filed under: Cataclysm, Expansion, PreparationThe Cataclysm expansion is now less than a week away, so it's about time starting the preparations to make the transition as painless as possible. Two years ago, I wrote about Preparing for the Lich King, and my preparation advise is now almost the same as back then:
Preparation Step 1: Take a screenshot of your char
Before you start exchanging your ilvl-277 epics with all sorts of colorful rags and scrap, take a last screenshot of your character in all its glory of the last WotLK days!
That's me, in the gear I used to participate in the last glorious raids of WotLK. I've been wearing the same equipment now for about two months, and as we stopped our progression (still at 11/12 ICC 25 HC, Halion 25 HC still not beaten), I didn't receive any upgrades since then.
Stats (self-buffed with Arcane Brilliance and Molten Armor):
- Gear Score: 6329
- Average Item Level: 274
- Health: 33.1k
- Mana: 34.5k
- Intellect: 2059
- Spirit: 249
- Spellpower: 3591
- Hit: 448 / 17.08%
- Crit: 1135 (+24.72%) / 41.02%
- Haste: 954 / +17.08%
- Mastery: 10.68 (8.00+2.68 )
Preparation Step 2: Maximize your bag space
Get bags as big as possible, and clear them as much as you can. As soon as you enter the new regions, you want to have as much bag space available as you can afford. The next town may be miles away when levelling, so your slots will fill up quickly with all sorts of quest items, loot and vendor trash.
Throw away your PvP stuff, it's of no use as soon as you reach lvl 85. Put any offspec items on the bank, and try to keep no more than a handful of items for nostalgic purpose.
Sell anything you can, it's worth more now than in a week.
Preparation Step 3: Chose a new leveling spec
Mine will, of course, be frost: Mage 0/2/34 Frost Leveling Spec (80)
It's very efficient for short fights, the pet is awesome, the survivability priceless. Plus, it's very mana efficient. Arcane can be fine for levelling as well, now that you can snare from the very first Arcane Blast you cast.
Fire is rather inefficient for soloing, the DoTs have no use when the target dies within seconds. If you intend levelling with instances, Frost and Arcane are good choices for a complimentary group spec. The new instances are though, and fire is likely to mess with crowd control effects, so it's a no-go here as well.
Preparation Step 4: Max your professions
At least on your main, you should have your 2 primary specs and all secondary specs (First Aid, Cooking, Fishing) maxed when Cataclysm launches. Gathering professions maxed on your twinks is of course another benefit.
Preparation Step 5: Plan ahead for the new terrain
From lvl 80-85, Cataclysm offers two entrance zones (of which you should take the one that most appeals to you, for me it's Mount Hyjal) and 3 subsequent zones:
- Mount Hyjal (80 - 82)
Vashj'ir (80 - 82)
Subzones: Kelp'thar Forest, Shimmering Expanse, Abyssal Depths
- Deepholm (82 - 83)
- Uldum (83 - 84)
- Twilight Highlands (84 - 85)
Print out zone maps of the new regions, mark points of interest (villages of your and the opposing faction, and other known quest hubs), that should help you finding your path through the content.
My intention is to focus on questing, and spend no more than a third of the time in instances with my guild mates. Questing helps discovering the new factions, and start getting reputation with them, this is an important step in gearing preparation for when you reach the end game, so better start early on.
Here's a list of the new dungeons, note that you have to have revealed the dungeon entrance before you can queue for the according dungeon in the dungeon finder tool.
The new 5-men high-level dungeons are:
- Abyssal Maw - Throne of the Tides (80-81)
- Blackrock Mountain - Blackrock Caverns (80-81)
- The Skywall - Vortex Pinnacle (82-84)
- Deepholm - Stonecore (82-84)
- Uldum - Lost City of Tol'vir (85)
- Uldum - Halls of Origination (85)
- Grim Batol - Grim Batol (85)
- Westfall - Deadmines (HC, 85)
- Silverpine Forrest - Shadowfang Keep (HC, 85)
Raid-Dungeons (10/25 Raid):
- Blackrock Mountain - Blackwing Descent
- The Skywall - Throne of the Four Winds
- Grim Batol - Bastion of Twilight
- The Firelands
- Caverns of Time - War of the Ancients
Good luck with your preparations, and wish you a splendid start in the new expansion!