Saturday, February 9, 2008

Casual WoW

Do you play WoW less than 2 hours per day?

If so, you are likely a casual WoW player. Many of the casual types are those with families, demanding careers or those who just don't find playing WoW enticing for long periods of time.

The 5000g question on the minds of every casual player is: Can I enjoy the game to the full extent of the 20-hour per week player? I think that the answer to this question is generally "yes". People certainly enjoy the game in different ways. Those playing less than 8 hours a week can level to the cap, run instances, casuals are very effective, healers, tanks or dps, as long as they take hints from other players and maybe troll a blog or two about their class. If any limitations do exist, they include: acquiring reputation and running higher level (25-man) raids. 10-man raids are more difficult, but still doable.

Challenges and Solutions:

Obtain and complete every quest available, with as much rested XP as possible. Quest in areas where frequent stops for drink/food/bandage are necessary or where the mob's name is in Red (most XP per kill). If mobs are dropping like Kleenex in a hurricane, you could probably be gaining more xp (there is a balance of course). Rested XP nets you 2x the XP for every mob you kill. Quests do not award extra XP, based on rested status. Try not to leave an area until all of the quests are complete. Leftover quests are frequently abandoned due to lost items for the quest and the difficulty of traveling back to old areas.

Unless gear is something you REALLY enjoy, don't spend a lot of time shopping for gear while you level, just accept the rewards that come from quests. Gear shopping can consume your playtime and while it can add substantial power to your toon, but keep in mind that the time you spend is substantial to have good gear (don't walk around in whites or greys though).
Forturnately, access to high quality green gear is accomplished by completing quests. After arriving at level 70, or a good twinking level, you will then need to think about more specific gear. There are expectations, based on group role, as to what is needed to perform your role in end-game raids, viscous battlegrounds or heroic dungeons. Research the requirements for your character and look for gear lists. on blogs and the forums. Ask other players for suggestions- hardcore players can usually help.

Your profession should earn some gold and make your character stronger if possible. Here are some very general observations regarding professions for the casual player:
1) Two gathering professions is likely the most lucrative combination, while you are leveling.
2) Objects made with crafting do not sell well and the good recipes for self use can be difficult to find.
3) Enchanting is expensive and probably best left for end game.
4) Engineering can also be expensive and takes up significant bag space, but seems like fun.
5) Alchemy gives access to some reasonable money making opportunities in the form of transmutes, but overall will not be a big moneymaker.

Mounts and Travel:
Mounts speed up game-play considerably and your goal should be to have a mount the second you hit level 40. Gathering gold for any level of mount is very difficult. The last level of mount (patch 2.3) is Epic Flying, which will certainly help you gather gold much quicker, own people in PvP and look very cool, but is not absolutely necessary. All other mounts are (regular, epic and flying). Additionally, some classes and professions have access to travel options that others do not:

1) Druid- hearth to Moonglade
2) Mage- port to major cities
3) Engineers- can port to Gadget, Toshley, Area 52 or Everlook
4) Hunters have Aspect of the Pack
5) Druids have Feral Swiftness
6) Paladins have Crusader Aura
7) Shaman have Ghostwolf

While there are some challenges to being a casual WoW player, most are easily surmountable.