Prepare thy bunkers!

Okay, so we know Cataclysm will be going into its Beta phase soon ™ and that somewhere this year the face of Azeroth will change completely. Some places will be changed beyond recognition, some will shift in control from one Faction to another, and a few zones are opened up to us by the massive events for the first time in history.

So, how do we prepare for this, knowing it is coming? And how do we keep ourselves entertained between now and patch day?

Preparations for war

One of the things I learned from the transfer from TBC to Wrath is that it is terribly hard to get anyone to run the older instances. Even now, Naxxramas is mostly abandoned and even Ulduar is a quiet place these days. If there is any item, achievement or quest you want completed from those regions, better start now. Because, once the Cataclysm hit people will have very different things on their minds and getting a group for Ulduar will be as tough as finding a group for Black Temple these days.

Stockpiling or saving up?

Some people prefer to save up on crafting materials from the TBC-Wrath range, knowing that there is a flood of Worgen and Goblins coming up, and they will want to powerlevel their professions. Also, changes in the professions themselves may want to make people reroll, so you could anticipate on that as well.

An other way of thinking is to sell everything you still have, making sure your bank slots are available to the new materials needed in Cataclysm, or the materials to be introduced (if any) to level up Archaeology. If you are one of the early (and few) sellers of such materials, you can expect to make a tidy profit.

Achievements

When you are close to the Loremaster or one of the Dungeon/Hero achievements, you may want to make sure to get it done as soon as you can. Not only will groups going there be more and more rare, there’s a good chance the world will change in such a way that achievements like Loremaster may need a lot more effort than currently.

With the knowledge that a new Goblin/Worgen faction will likely be introduced, and thus also four additional mounts and maybe unique pets, it might be a good idea to stock some cloth to speed up your reputation leveling with them. If you need another faction and few mounts or pets for those achievements, why not prepare now and get it done early?

Rerolling?

Rolling a Worgen or Goblin? You might want to consider spending the (probably useless) Emblems of Triumph you have now for a full set of heirloom gear for those yung’uns. Chest, shoulders, main (maybe offhand) weapon, two trinkets and maybe even a gun (depending on class and how many Stonekeeper’s Shards you have) are waiting for you to swoop them up and mail them over.

This time, BoE blues are also relatively cheap on the AH – you can’t swing a dead fish without hitting some 10gold level 72-80 blue item on the Auction House. If they are on an all-time low and you already know what class your new toon will be, why not grab a few and store them for later? Once the rush to 80 begins for the new Goblins and Worgen, these blues might skyrocket in price again, since supplies dwindle as demand increases. Don’t like your new toon? Sell them on the AH for profit later then.

Fun and games

People get bored between the old expansion and the new, it’s a fact. Once your raid group has cleared normal Lich King, expect to see enthusiasm and attendance dip. Make sure you are finding ways to enjoy your game time, or take an occasional break.

Fishing achievements and quests are a nice relaxed way to gain some minor benefits while chatting with friends, and exploring the world for The Explorer can also nab you some rare creatures and awesome sights to make screenshots of. Make a picture book for yourself, documenting the world as it used to be, so that you can remind yourself from time to time what an awesome time you had.

One of the things I plan to do, being on an RP realm, is to make a storybook on what happens to Natarumah during the changes during Cataclysm and a short while after. If you do as well, link it on your realm forums, and show the RP community that you care.

A year from now, the world, the game and our enjoyment of the game may be completely different from now. But it pays off to prepare yourself with the most positive attitude and look forward to the good things coming. Imbalances, nerfs and bugs are bound to arise, and times will be hard. But if you keep the thought in mind that the game is advancing, I am sure the ride will be much less bumpy.

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