Mike Morhaime announced that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is still on track for a 2010 release date. So what do you need to do to prepare for the Cataclysm?
The World of Warcraft will be forever changed when the Cataclysm comes, things we took for granted may soon be gone. Our favorite places forever changed or destroyed, quests and items gone, beloved characters killed. Regardless of whether you buy the expansion or not, Azeroth will be changed - so now is the time to do and see all the things from the old world you can - before they are gone forever.
*Spoiler Alert - skip the quote below if you do not want to see any Cataclysm spoilers*
"Cities like Stormwind and Orgrimmar are being overhauled, and the Forsaken are on the move, Dungeons are changing, Thousand Needles and Taniris are going to be flooded, and a giant fissure will break up the Barrens. These are just some of the anticipated changes - removing quests, items, and making some achievements impossible to get."
So, what should you do before the Cataclysm?
Here are my top 10 things that all players should do before the Cataclysm comes:
1. Complete the achievements Classic Dungeonmaster and Classic Raider.
With dungeons being overhauled, or disappearing completely, now is the perfect time to go back to the old world instances to get the achievements Classic Dungonmaster and Classic Raider. What is needed to complete these achievements is quite simple - run all the old world dungeons and raids - that’s it! Any level 80 character can very easily solo, duo, or quickly run with a small guild group all of the classic dungeons or raids, so there is no reason not to do it. Don’t miss out seeing the beautiful outdoor instance that is Zul’Gurub, or the depths of Molten Core. Not to mention just getting the achievements themselves. It is time to slay all the old world bosses - before they are gone.
2. The Battle for Undercity
In Dragonblight, there are a series of quests that lead up to the Wrathgate cinematic - which includes The Battle for Undercity. This quest line has been considered by some the most epic quest line in the game, however, come Cataclysm, the Battle for Undercity may no longer be a part of it, so you need to get this done while you can. This portion of the story is the heart of this quest line and it immerses you in a pivotal part of the plot, where you find your self right in the middle of incredible events - and it really is something that shouldn't be missed. So if you haven’t done it yet - head out to Dragonblight and get started right away. Experience this epic story for yourself.
3. Explorer and/or Loremaster
Exploring the old world in its entirety is something that everyone really should do, but very few have. There are hidden nooks, corners, and sites that are there solely for beauty, and your enjoyment. With things like hidden statues, structures, landmarks, and even some memorials, it would be a real shame if you missed them. Well, Explorer will help you see all there is to see and get a pretty cool achievement at the same time. Just explore all of the map - and not only will you see all the amazing sites Azeroth has to offer, but you get a great achievement and title (with a little work in Outlands and Northrend).
Loremaster is significantly more daunting - but that much more rewarding if you manage to achieve it. Loremaster requires you to complete basically every quest in the game (not unlike Seeker which asks you to complete 3000 quests). If that sounds impossible, it’s not - though it may seem like it. The Horde have to complete 2,705, and the Alliance have to complete 2,843 to get the Loremaster title, however that does include Outlands and Northrend (like explorer). And as insurmountable as this task seems, it is a fantastic way to explore the old world.
These 2 achievements are often done in tandem as they work so well together
It is highly suspected come Cataclysm, that both of these achievements will disappear, change, or be replaced - leaving those who have completed it with a badge of honour, and special title. Those who haven't completed them may wish that had.
4. Collect Those Rare Pets and Mounts
The fate of our beloved mounts and mini-pets is uncertain when it comes to the expansion. Will the vendors, quests, achievements, NPC’s, or whatever else is required to get all of those rare mounts and pets still be available? We don’t know. Many speculate that at least a few will be gone forever, so if there are any pets/mounts that you have been craving, or thinking about getting for yourself - it’s time. Think how much more impressive your Zulian Tiger or Worg Pup will look in a few months.
5. Clean Up Your Bank, Mats, and Guild Bank
Everyone’s bank (and Guild Bank) seems to fill up with junk items we collect while playing. We stockpile materials and things we might need through the game, but likely never will use. If there is one thing that previous expansions have taught us - the really expensive stuff becomes cheap overnight. Those coveted Primordial Saronite bars will no longer be used. Abyss Crystals, who need them. So, if you want to make some money before the Cataclysm: sell those mats!
There is one exception to the rule of mat selling to be aware of, low level mats. You want to keep as many of those on hand, ether for your new Goblin or Worgen’s trade skills, or to sell them for a ridiculously inflated price to someone else for their new character. A lot of money can be made if you time it right and, if you do it properly, you can come out thousands of gold ahead.
6. Max Out Your Profession
While you're cleaning out all your materials, you should take a close look at your professions. Having a max profession going into a World of Warcraft expansion is another way to make a lot of money. New patterns and recipes are waiting to be learned - and along with the new items you will be able to make comes the new item price. In the first month of a new expansion, people will pay substantially more for your newly crafted items - and the better, newer items you can make - the more gold there is for the taking.
If you get your crafting to 450 before Cataclysm, you can start right away with the new recipes, flooding the market with items priced 10x to 100x times what they are worth. The new mats will also be worth a small fortune, so get your gatherer collecting the new mats and selling your spares right away, because the people that want to level their professions may not be able to gather the mats they need - more gold for you. A new expansion is a sellers market, take advantage of it.
7. Level a Character Through Each of the 'Baby Pools'
Every race has its own unique starting area (AKA baby pool), and they wont all be there after expansion comes out. The stories, jokes and experiences that you get in the baby pools are well worth the time it takes to check them out. It is usually only about 4 - 10 levels, which goes by quite quickly, so you could easily experience all the pools in an afternoon. Try and create a new character of each race so you can see (or re-experience) each baby pool, and maybe even get a glimpse at the story of the all the races of Azeroth.
8. Try the Other Faction
Players are extremely loyal, be it Horde or Alliance - people's dedication runs deep. Some people have never even seen how the other half lives, so why not check it out? I am not suggesting you should level a character to 80 (the current level cap), but perhaps getting to 20 would be fun. I mean, haven’t you ever wondered what its like in Tarren Mill/Southshore from the other perspective? We don’t know how Cataclysm might impact the tense relations between the Horde and Alliance, and we don’t know how quests and stories might change, so check out the other faction before everything changes.
9. Get Your Legendary and Heirloom Items
Something that happens quite regularly, is that legendary items come and go. Seems with every expansion items become no longer available - and Cataclysm will undoubtedly be no exception. Take a look and see some of the old world legendary items that are out there - and try and get one - because chances are it may be gone soon.
Don’t forget about getting heirlooms for your new Goblin or Worgen. Though plenty of people are running heroics and raids for badges right now, that wont be the case after the expansion comes out. If you know you're rolling a new character make sure you have all the heirlooms in place now, while they are easy to get.
10. Find a Spot to Ride Out the Cataclysm
With all these changes coming, all these zones forever being altered, I am sure there are places you are really excited to see change, or even watch as it happens. We all know Blizzard is famous for epic expansion events, so we can only imagine what is in store for us leading up to the Cataclysm. Think of some of your favourite places, and pick a spot to go to, then sit back and enjoy the cataclysmic action. I think there will probably be a fairly epic lead up and transition to the changes, and I have a few spots all picked out to go and watch and enjoy what is going to happen to Azeroth.
No matter what you are planing, or how you are preparing for the change, one thing is certain: the Cataclysm is coming and there is no stopping it. It's only going to happen once, so you might as well enjoy the ride.