Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cycles and being left behind.

I am very excited that WotLK is coming out. As a player that started only a few weeks before TBC, I missed the flurry of activity that is leveling from 60-70. I plan to be on the scene for the mad fun from level 70-80.

This brings up the topic of what I will call "cycles." I missed the previous cycle of leveling, which means I also missed out on many instances when they were actually popular. I have still yet to get up to heroic gearing, much like my colleague- Surabear. As such, I missed/am missing out on a lot of reputation and on the gear from the rep. In some cases, gear that is necessary for entry into some of the upper content (Alchemist's Stone, Earthwarden, Badge of Tenacity).

Players coming into the game as new players within about 3-4 months of the expansion are likely to experience similar bottlenecks. If an MMO could find a way to reduce the rep costs over time or offer rep as dailies after the initial rep rush has deflated, casual players would have a better shot at arriving geared for endgame. Rep acting as a key to end-game certainly being a subject for a later post. It would certainly keep my interest if I knew I could get some meaningful rep with less than 10 hours per faction. Alternatively, "rested" reputation may be an interesting idea. Pooling rep into guilds and having faction-based guild equipment would also be a nice way to help casual players and give a nidus for guilds to coalesce around.

In the new expansion, casual players already at 70 should have the opportunity to obtain rep in groups easier then in TBC, because grouped-play in regular level instances will be more common that it is now (at least on my server) and if instances are really designed to take about 1 hour, reputation grind time should be reduced.

The expansion effect will once again leave TBC "content" as a relic to be leveled through. I don't find much of the content in WoW to be very interesting, nor the story very compelling, so I hope that leveling XP is reduced and XP granted is increased for TBC content and reduced/increased even more for pre-TBC. How else am I ever going to get my rogue moving toward 70/80?

In order to prepare for high-yield reputation grinding, the casual feral druid should consider where to grind rep mostly based on your Leatherworking status.

1) For non-LWs: To-date there have been very few craftable staves or 2H maces for druids. Obtaining a good tanking weapon has required reputation (with Cen. Exp., which is tough, considering there are no daily quests). Obtaining a good DPS weapon has been even more difficult, and many are available in Karazhan or higher content, PvP, or as a very rare BoE drop. IMO, go for rep that will give you a weapon. If you have to choose, probably choose a tanking weapon.

2) If you are LW- Pick your faction carefully. In TBC, 3 pieces per faction were generally available and were itemized to match DPS melee, DPS cast, heal and tank. Choose early which you will need. That being said, most of the rep required is friendly or honored (when I looked yesterday).

There is a rumor of special BoPs for each profession in WotLK. I will be curious to see what these are for Alch and Herbs, as well as LW. If the Alch/Herbs combo isn't looking exciting and the LW stuff remains rare drops or exalted rep grinds, I may be headed off to engineering school.


SuraBear said...

Hehe, I think you meant my alt, Jasminne. Surania has been done with heroic upgrades for a long time now (all. . . what, I think I used two heroic pieces in total, not counting badge gear?)

I can definitely understand where you're coming from though. Surania is pretty much exalted with all of the TBC factions and has been for a long time, mostly without any effort (I did grind the hell out of Steamvaults when I first hit 70 for my Earthwarden, but the other factions just came in due time). And she levelled SO quickly, mostly because I was able to just tank group after group after group through instances.

Actually, thats the reason why I'm very likely to level up my PALADIN first come expansion time. Tanks are likely to be in high demand again (or still, for that matter), and solo levelling as a prot pally, at least in TBC, really sucks.