Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Setting Priorities Post-80

I will probably have more commentary to offer on the length of Wrath as an expansion, beyond my little tongue in cheek announcement from yesterday, at some point down the line. That aside, I'm not done with the expansion (yet), and there are some interesting decisions to be made on where to set my priorities. Here's what I'm thinking about the stuff that lies in front of me in the less-than-one-month-old Wrath era.

If only my Mirror images could split up and work on separate goals at once....

Reputation and Daily Quests
I made a deliberate decision while leveling to focus on daily quests as they were available, in order to get a head start on rep rewards. It has paid off to some extent - I'm exalted with the Kalu'ak, a day from revered with Wyrmrest (netting me a head enchant and a new pair of bracers), and close to revered with the Argent Crusade. There are definitely more things to work on here, both rare mounts from certain factions, and gear from others.
Priority: High.
Due to the limits of daily progress, daily quest progress is something you have to set at the top of your priorities. However, juggling too many dailies at once makes your gaming time seem like signing on to do the chores. There's a balance to be struck, leaving time for other things.

Unfinished Quests
Again, due to my focus on dailies, I have a relatively large number of unfinished quests, though some of these go pretty quickly at level 80 with an epic flying mount. I'm doing zones mostly in order, so there are a significant number of gear upgrades waiting for me in the Storm Peaks and Icecrown.
Priority: Low or High.
Finishing out the Borean Tundra for cash and achievement credit isn't that high on my list. Finishing quests that unlock daily quest lines, or contribute rep to factions I'm working on, are a much higher priority. Then again, all of this stuff will still be around tomorrow, and equally difficult (or easier) to accomplish.

Wintergrasp and PVP in general
Wintergrasp will be my main source for the coveted heirloom items - while there are some for PVE, I will probably want to save heroic badges for gear for my main. The other good news is that honor points that I earn while fighting in Wintergrasp are, in principle, good for upgrades for my main. In some ways, the enforced time limit in Wintergrasp is an improvement over regular battlegrounds - you're not going to spend any more than 45 minutes per match, and there's no re-queueing right after it ends, so you don't have the option of repeating it until you get frustrated.
Priority: Medium.
There is a daily quest factor to consider - I typically won't go to Wintergrasp unless I have BOTH the "kill 20 enemies" AND the "win the battle" dailies available, and it can be hard to even find out the battle is going. Additionally, the Season 5 arena/honor gear is not yet available, meaning that many players are wearing old level 70 stuff or non-PVP focused leveling gear. In a month or two, most of the competition may have outgeared me. (Also, playing in PUG's may get less pleasant when the season starts, as players with no interest in PVP swarm the battlegrounds for points toward loot.) That said, I will have to do some PVP next week for the Winter's Veil achievement.

I would definitely like to complete each 5-man dungeon at least once, just to see the sights. The level 80 versions also offer customizable reputation (wear a tabard to direct your rep gains to a specific faction), and there's the possibility of badges/shards if the Alliance holds Wintergrasp and/or I'm attempting Heroics.
Priority: Low.
I'm not worried enough about this to do PUG's at the moment. If my guild is going after something and I'm free, I will probably drop whatever else I'm doing to tag along. Still, there is plenty of time for 5-mans, which may actually get easier as people out-gear them. Also, I'm probably in for some Winter's Veil runs next week anyway.

This one is complicated because I'm considering dropping tailoring for jewelcrafting. I'm definitely working on enchanting - by and large, I've been able to level the profession by enchanting my own gear as I obtained quest upgrades (or non-upgrades that are good for dusting).
Priority: Very Low.
Prices on crafting materials will only drop over time.

I have various alts that I'm considering leveling at some point, notably my 70 Pally, a 58 DK, and a level 20 rogue.
Priority: Very Low.
While there is something to be said for taking time occasionally to burn rested exp, I'm not that worried about it. I'm working towards some heirloom items anyway, so I figure there's no harm in waiting until I have some. The main exception to this is that my wife is on semester break from grad school at the moment, so we might take a bit of time to dust off our old alts.

Misc Achievements and Cold Hard Cash
Just about everything is good for some misc Achievement or cash these days.
Priority: Very Low.
Since these things are everywhere, I'm not really focusing on them at the moment. I suppose that technically the achievements do carry the date they were completed, but I'd rather do things that actually affect gameplay before working on cosmetic stuff.

In some ways, that's a lot of stuff. In other ways, it isn't. We're a month into the expansion and I somehow found time to finish about half of the non-repeatable solo quests while juggling daily quests and leveling. I haven't even unlocked all of the reputations yet, but most of the ones currently in the game can be completed within a month or so. We'll see how long this list looks in mid-January.

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