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5 11 2008

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Wotlk Preparation Part 4: Leveling Advantage

3 11 2008

This Blog Has Moved to: http://www.warcraftecon.net

In Part 3 of our Wotlk Preparation series, we realized that a huge amount of honor is needed for the new level 80 PVP gear and that you should be trying to hit he honor cap of 75,000. In Part 4 we will find some tactics that will give you an edge on leveling to 80. This can include consumables, gear, and even being the right spec.

Consumables that reduce downtime

Consumables that may reduce downtime

There are many ways to speed up the leveling process and reduce your downtime once you hit Northrend on launch day. Blizzard has already provided us with two starting zones (Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord) to reduce the lag and competition for quest items. Lets take a look at some of the ways to provide you with an advantage on leveling.

  • Play the beta– If you are in the beta, one of the best ways to prepare for leveling is to actually level in the beta. Get yourself acquainted on where everything is located as well as which starting zone you want to go to. Note where the flight paths are, vendors, trainers, quest items, and other points of interest. If your profession has daily quests associated with it, try and get a port up to Dalaran and start doing them. I believe that Jewelcrafting and Cooking at the moment have daily quests. I’ve been doing the cooking daily recently, and now I have a good feel for where to go and what materials to save for them. Quests are one of the best ways to gain experience so at least do some of the starter quests if you don’t want to level all the way to 80. This will get you out of the starting zones and into he next one which will have less players stealing your quest items and mobs. When Wotlk launches, you will be prepared on what to do and where to go in your starting zone.
  • Leveling spec– All classes have certain specs that is the best for leveling or grinding. Find out what your leveling spec is, most of you should have a good idea what that is already. It is usually your DPS or hybrid specs. I have even seen protection specs be very effective at AOE grinding mobs. If you plan to level as a group or run instances full time, than being a healing or tanking spec would be an obvious choice. Elitist Jerks has a thread devoted on leveling specs if you are still unsure which is the optimal one for you.
  • Gear– There are various items that offer lots of spirit, health/mana regeneration, and defensive stats. Equipping these items may help reduce the amount of downtime while killing mobs in Northrend. In both starting areas, I have found that the mobs start at about level 68. They are not hard to kill at all, but after killing a bunch of them for quests, your health and mana will eventually get low. This is where any type of regen item comes in use. You should consider losing a bit of DPS stats in favor of health/mana regen stats. A good example of this would be the [Mark of Defiance]. It gives an offensive stat as well as mana regen. When I used to farm, I used [Darkmoon Card: Heroism] to regen health. For casters, I hope you saved that staff or trinket with a high amount of spirit or MP5 (Mana per 5) like [Nightstaff of the Everliving] from Karazhan. Maybe even throw a spirit enchant if you choose. There may be a point where killing mobs becomes very easy, at that point, just switch back to your full DPS gear since your downtime is almost non existent.
  • Consumables– From my experience, very few people use consumables outside a raid setting. I am one of those people that do. From flasking in a battleground or using food buffs and scrolls for grinding. If it gives you an advantage, than why not? I guess most players excuse would be the money. However here at Warcraft Econ, money shouldn’t be much of a problem, seeing that over 40% of our readers have 10,000 gold or more according to our poll. You may also want to hang on to some of that left over raid consumables for leveling. So choose your favorite battle elixir as well as a guardian elixir that either offers health or mana regen. Some examples would be [Elixir of Major Mageblood] (16 MP5) and [Mighty Troll’s Blood Elixir] (12 HP5). Don’t forget about Health/Mana potions for those clutch moments where you need to stay alive or even just to save time eating or drinking. To save bag room, I had my potions crafted in to [Healing Potion Injector]‘s. As I said before in a previous post, you can turn in your [Spirit Shards] for potions. Make sure you have your class reagents and food on hand as well. In the recent patch, if you haven’t discovered already, includes some new and more powerful food like [Pungent Seal Whey] (9180 Mana). Speaking of food, many of the high level raid food in Burning Crusade offers +20 Spirit as a secondary buff. If you are a mana user, [Blackened Sporefish] is always a good choice for mana regen. For melee, pick any of the offensive foods, since the secondary stat of spirit is what your looking for. Also pick up some temporary weapon enchants like [Superior Mana Oil] or poisons for that extra boost. If you really want to go the extra mile, than all those water breathing/walking potions may come in handy when doing those quests in or near water. Personally I am adding items like [Drums of Restoration] and [Greater Rune of Warding] to the list just because I have them around. Consumables are dropping in price as we get closer to the expansion, so this is a good time to purchase them.
  • Leveling Guides– There are not too many of these floating around the Internet yet, let alone one you don’t have to pay for. However I did find one that has a free step by step guide for the first few zones. At the moment it looks like the author is releasing the full guides on specific days. This will certainly give you a leveling advantage over the average player. The guides will tell you exactly what to do for your quests, as the order to do them in for time efficiency. Your average player will take much more time trying to explore areas or read the quest text on what to do. Whatever information that is not included in any leveling guide can most likely be found on sites like www.wowhead.com

As you can see, there are many ways to give you an extra edge on leveling. Use them to your advantage since you may eventually pull ahead of the pack of levelers. Once you do, the zones you go into will have much less players and thus less competition over quest items and mobs. Also don’t forget the opposing faction will be in the starting areas as well, so moving to a higher level less populated zone is a good thing. Hopefully we will all have some fun with the leveling rush to 80!

In [Part 5] we will attempt to answer the question of how much gold is needed in Wotlk. The amount needed is fairly low, if you just want the basics. As you may know, we at Warcraft Econ want more, from multi-passenger mounts to crazy gold sinks. Stay tuned!





Wotlk Preparation Part 3: Honor and PVP

2 11 2008

This Blog Has Moved to: http://www.warcraftecon.net

In Part 2 of our Wotlk Preparation series, we will discussed liquidating your items, organizing, and freeing up bank slots in preparation for all the new items and mats you will be collecting in Wotlk. In Part 3 we will crunch some numbers to see how much Honor Points you should save up in preparation for the new level 80 PVP gear. There are 3 different sets of PVP gear per season!

  • Savage Gladiator (Good)
    • Blue Quality
    • Item Level 200
    • No Arena Rating Required
  • Hateful Gladiator (Better)
    • Epic Quality
    • Item Level 200
    • 1600-1800 Arena Rating Required
    • No Rating on Accessories, Belt, Boots, etc.
  • Deadly Gladiator (Best)
    • Epic Quality
    • Item Level 213
    • 1800-2200 Arena Rating Required
    • 1600-1800 Arena Rating on Accessories, Belt, Boots, etc.
Deadly Gladiator Accessories

Deadly Gladiator Accessories

As you can see, Blizzard is trying to provide everyone with arena gear by providing 3 sets rather than 1 set with rating requirements like in season 4. With previous season, some of us were able to stock up on honor for all the accessories, belt, boots, bracers, etc. which was about 75,000 (honor cap) total. I had logged on to the beta Build 9155, and noticed that this was no longer possible. The honor cap is still 75,000 but the cost of all the PVP has gone up significantly. We all knew that Blizzard had announced that honor points will not be reset, but all the gear would have their prices increased. You bet that they kept their promise, prices are as high as 62,000 honor for a Deadly Gladiator belt! Even for the full 5 piece set of blue quality Savage Gladiator gear, it costs 50,000+ honor along with 1500 arena points. Now add the cost of all the rings, cloak, belt, bracers, trinkets, and weapons. You are looking at 100,000+ honor for a full set of gear! So the only advice I can give is to hit the honor cap, which is 75,000 honor. I did noticed that on the beta you have the option of purchasing Savage Gladiator gear with either a combination of honor/arena points or just honor points. The honor only option however costs about 60,000 honor per piece of armor. I am not sure if this will change once Wotlk goes live, but that much honor for blue quality gear still seems a bit steep. 

In the current beta build there is no requirement of battleground marks for any gear. So on live you are can turn in your marks for 314 honor, however there is a new and better trade in system on the beta. You may be thinking right now that it will take forever to get all your PVP gear since some items cost almost as much as the honor cap. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to gain honor in Wotlk as well as in increase in honor rewarded. An interesting note here, you are able to do PVE content to get PVP rewards. In the most extreme cases, you can do a 25 man raid for Deadly Gladiator gear which normally requires 1800+ arena ratings. Here are some ways to gain honor that I have found in the current beta build as well as other ways to obtain your PVP gear with out cashing in honor.

New battleground marks trade in rewards

New battleground marks trade in rewards

  • For Great Honor – New mark trade in quest that rewards 930 honor. One from each battleground is needed, excluding marks from Alterec Valley. I recommend saving all your marks for now.
  • Wintergrasp Commendation – Awards 2000 honor, bind on account item. Purchased with 30 [Stone Keeper’s Shards] which are obtained by doing various quests in Wintergrasp and killing instance bosses while your faction is in control of Wintergrasp. Shards are similar to spirit shards in TBC.
  • [Wintergrasp Mark of Honor] – Awards 5000 honor for winning team and 2500 for the losing team in a Wintergrasp battle.
  • [Emblem of Heroism] – Tokens similar to the current Badge of Justice that can be traded in for Savage Gladiator PVP gear. These are obtained through level 80 heroics, heroic daily, and 10 man raids. About 40-60 tokens for one piece of gear.
  • [Emblem of Valor] – Tokens that can be traded in for Deadly Gladiator PVP gear. These are obtained through level 80, 25 man raids only.
  • Wintergrasp PVP Zone – On the beta there are about 100 people on each side during the event, once live, there will be hundreds of people that can be killed for honor. Remember that a player can be killed up to 50 times before no honor is given. Siege vehicles are also used in this zone, which can take out multiple enemies. Daily quests are available which rewards gold and [Stone Keeper’s Shards]. Shards as mentioned before can be traded in for honor, mounts, meta gems, jewelcrafting recipes, enchants, and Heirloom (bind on account) items.
  • Vault of Archavon Raid – Once your faction wins/controls Wintergrasp, a raid instance is unlocked. It is available in 10 and 25 man versions. In the 10 man raid, surprisingly the boss drops Tier 7 (Naxx 10 man set) PVE gear, the PVP gear it drops is unknown at the moment. In the 25 man raid, T7.5 (Naxx 25 man set) and Deadly Gladiator gear drops. Remember Deadly Gladiator is the set that requires 1800-2200 arena ratings.

With all these different ways of obtaining honor and PVP gear, 60,000 honor for an item doesn’t sound as bad now. So get to it, start working towards that honor cap of 75,000!

In [Part 4] we will find some tactics that will give you an edge on leveling to 80. This can include consumables, gear, and even being the right spec. Stay tuned!