Cataclysm’s Fantastic Four

1 February, 2011

Don’t think. FEEL. It’s like a finger-pointing at the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory! — Bruce Lee

With a day off to literally do nothing in-game, I had a little bit of time to reflect on normal mode Tier 11. We still have plenty of farming time on it to go as we progress through heroic mode Tier 11, but we’re done with it.

There have been a lot of Negative Neds and Nancys out there hating on Wow 4.0, but I want to put a different spin on it.

In these past four weeks, there has been a lot of time to explore the newness of Cataclysm and settle into the 4th era of WarCraft. With so much content, some might find it hard to pick out the best parts of the expansion just one month in, but I’m selfish and 99% right, 100% of the time, so let’s have at it!

Let’s see how random we can mark these points

1. Guild Leveling/Perks/Reputation/Achievements

I’m doing this one first because I want to state up front how wrong I was about this featureĀ  (I said 99% right, don’t judge me). Before Cataclysm, guilds were simply an angle-bracketed Ominous Latin Name or Abstract Noun. The only significant source of togetherness was a cropped screenshot after a boss-kill with that same guild name on it.

Now with guild leveling and reputation, all the players in the guild (from officer to friends & family) can contribute to the progression of the guild. Raiders in the guild contribute inside of the instance, but the quests, dungeons, and battlegrounds that the more casual members complete also contribute to the guild experience pool.

Giving a tangible goal to everyone in a guild grants ownership of that goal to every member. The guild rewards are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Most of them are just another pet or mount, but there are others that everyone can benefit from. Gold from looting put into the bank which can then be used for repairs (we have guild repairs turned on for everyone, all the time).

Remote access to the guild bank, experience and reputation boosts, and honor bonuses. If you contribute something, anything, you will reap the rewards.It encourages folks to stick with a guild and build it into something meaningful. The bonuses to reputation/experience given to guild instance groups help build camaraderie through cooperation.

As a friends and family member or retired raider, the fact that guild status was previously only tied to raid progression had you feeling like a passenger. Now you can give something as well, and that can only mean good things.

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11th Hour Speed Leveling Tips: Dispeling Myths

6 December, 2010

Speed Kills – Al Davis

Before we start, that is probably the first and last time I’ll ever quote Al Davis, but it’s apt to the discussion. The hot topic swirling around twitter and the blogosphere is on leveling to 85. Do I go with no sleep? Do I go without food? What zones do I level in? How do I get a realm first?

Speed leveling, or to bring it down a notch, leveling quickly, is not the same as Realm First! leveling. I was able to achieve a double realm first on a relatively high population realm doing nothing crazy. To be fair, my competition wasn’t nearly as steep as it will be tomorrow.

A lot of folks are spitting rumors and talking crazy so I’m going to dispel a few myths about getting back to the leveling cap efficiently to get back to raiding as soon as possible. Your guild leader wants you to get back to cap in a week. What do you do? It seems like a tall order unless you go without sleep and chain chug Red Bull! Again, this isn’t about getting a realm first, just getting the grind done.

  1. It’s too crowded! The first goal of new expansion leveling is getting a level or two and getting out of those starting zones (make sure you finish them, I hope you collecting dailies to turn in). If you can climb out of a starting area early, you’ll run into less and less players. If you’ve taken time off work or don’t have class, take the time and move away from the pack.
  2. A Daily Boost. Collect quests and fill your quest log. You might have already missed out on this, so I hope you’ve already done it. Twenty-five quests is a nice little boost for about 2 minutes of work turning them in.
  3. I need to chain Red Bull to stay awake! The most common whisper I got when I dinged 80 in WotLK was: “Now you can sleep!” What they didn’t know was, over the two and half days it took me to get to the level cap, I slept ~9 hours (which is just slightly below average for me, I’m a 6 hour a night person on a good day).
  4. Can’t shower. How long does it take you to shower? Three hours? Hop in and rinse the morning stink off. It’s a nice wake up call.
  5. Can’t make real food. Trail mix or bust!If you’re worried about something good to eat, make a pot of soup or cook a nice pot roast. You don’t know how to cook? Not my problem. This is one of those times when being able to make some good high volume comfort food comes in handy.
  6. I want to enjoy the leveling experience. If you’re concerned about getting to the cap and want to save time, read the quest text on an alt. Enjoy the scenery and dungeons after you get your main up and ready to go.
  7. What about professions? Unless you have gathering professions (wait I thought you were a raider :P), start them when you’re done leveling. You’ll save travel time and all the time you’ll spend making things and getting materials.

Focusing on questing and only questing will get you to your goal in plenty of time and ahead of most folks. The time you save will pay off and you can start collecting gear from heroics!

Best of luck to everyone on their grind. I’ll see you at 3 + Augh-Server-Down-Time a.m.