Monday, May 3, 2010

Cataclysm plans #1

It's very very early in the development cycle, but enough information has come out on the next expansion, Lich King is dying weekly (so far, only on normal mode), leading me to contemplate the future and start making some plans.

1. Raiding. Yes, PLEASE! Raiding is why I play the game. While there are plenty of fun metagames in Wow, for me the game is primarily about raiding; defeating bosses working as a team with friends/guildies, and increasing my effectiveness at my chosen role.
However, the 'old' pattern of 4 days in 25-mans, and 2 in 10-mans will be a thing of the past (shared lockout), so things will be changing. For now, I plan to raid with my current guild, for sure in my current time slot, and hopefully in 25-mans. My concern is the possibility of one or the other (10 vs 25) raid 'dying,' but I hope it's not so. I suspect many people will raid their main in 25-mans, then 10-mans with their alts. I have neglected most of my other 80 level alts and would have the opportunity to play them more. I'm not certain about this, but I kinda like the idea of having a few nights 'off.' :)

2. Main characters: DUH!!! :) Actually, this is a valid question, as many players do take the time to evaluate their love for their main and consider if they'd prefer to play a different class/role. At this point in the Burning Crusade cycle, I had been raiding on both my warlock and rogue, but was planning to main my rogue (until I got on a DK in the beta, that is). I'm in the position of being able to chose pretty much anything, which is nice. While I don't have 10 characters like some do, I have a tank class in my DK, melee dps in my rogue/DK/shammy, healer in my shammy, caster - shammy/warlock, and I should have ranged dps in my hunter. I could theoretically choose any of them.

BUT NOT TO WORRY! Death Goddess plans to be Death Knight indefinitely. The other characters are fun, and will eventually hit 85, but they will remain side projects/fun diversions.

More significantly I suppose is the tank/dps question. Most of you know by now, though, how much I love dps. I really really love dps up close and personal. While I can tank reasonably well and think it's important to gear and research doing the job when needed, I find I prefer not to. I had to suit up for half of my 10-man raid and the only positive thing I particularly noted about tanking was that on several fights it was much easier for me to raid lead while tanking.

3. Professions: correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it we're getting other goodies, but no new professions. For the purposes of min/maxing raid performance, Jewelcrafting and Blacksmithing have served me well. JC in particular is a wonderful raiding profession. It has given the most attack power equivalence in this expansion, but in addition it provides the most flexibility in maximizing all the necessary stats (hit/expertise/arpen/etc). Utilitywise, a case could be made for engineering, but I doubt I'll go that route. Unless something changes, I'll probably stick with BS/JC in Cataclysm, but with a twist. A couple weeks before the expansion, I'll drop Blacksmithing and level mining to max level. I'll stockpile the materials to re-level BS to max. Then as I level Hinenuitepo I'll brake for yellow dots and hopefully collect enough materials to level both professions from 450-500. Maybe even make a little gold on the side.

4. New stuff. I guess I'm a sucker for those. The Path of Archeology sounds fun and I'll throw myself into as much as possible. Worgen - I'll eventually level one from litter-hood, but at this point I think there's an 85% chance I'll switch to it from my Draenei when Blizzard allows it. I have to admit, Wolverine has been my favorite superhero for a long time, and having claws is just too cool. Flying in Azeroth - absofrickinglutely! Guild leveling? Sounds pretty cool to me, and I'll do my part within the time frames I have available. Any other 'new' things stand out for you?

5. Release plans: I really enjoyed my Lich King experience, so I plan to repeat most of it this time around as well. I'll pre-order a collecter's edition upgrade. Our mall EB has a release party, so I'll go to that. I took my then-8 year old son to the last one.  :)  I may take one or more of my kiddos to this one as well so they can see what a nerd I am! I doubt, however, that you'll catch me in a murloc suit. If I can time it right, I'll take a week off from work to play/level as much as possible (my employer requires 45 days notice so it's a bit dicey). Fortunately my spouse is supportive of using vacation time for said purpose. Last time around I leveled with another DK which was an absolute blast. Leveling with him kept me from being server first DK so I had to settle for alliance first on my server, but it was fun regardless. Who needs sleep? If I time my vacation right, we'll see what happens this time around.

So, I'm starting to get excited about the expansion even though it's a ways off and many things can change between now and then.

What about you? What plans do you have?