Been awhile since I've written in here... a couple weeks or so, yep. Been a tad busy in-game, getting raid prepped and all sorts of lovely things like that. I've been wanting to get back to writing in here, but hey, when life keeps you busy, or you keep busy with life, be it real, Azerothian, or what have you, things get pushed back. Either way, I think I'm going to take the time to write up some suggestions on what to do and how to survive in this new world, at some point here in the next few days, but for now... on with the commentary.
Well, I can definitely say at this point, with the exception of archaeology and the 50-60 grind, I have seen most of what can and will be seen by the casual player. As for the deep end of the raiding pool, raiding is a bit on the tough side right now, to be sure.
Just starting out in Cata, it was required you had to do every zone, and just about every quest, to get yourself to 85, but not only that, you've got something else you're leveling - your guild. Right now, most guild should be sitting on Mobile Banking as their newest perk, with the next being Mr. Popularity, yay more rep gains. With the current guild perks that've already been earned along with the new instances you may find yourself grinding to get new gear, leveling has gotten much easier and lets you be a bit more flexible with your alts on where and how you want to level, though your options are still somewhat limited. Without looking over my older posts, I don't recall if I said this, but a 6th zone would have been helpful to be honest. Either way, the leveling process is thankfully less of a grind than it was at the start, especially if you have alts or guildies who can toss you cheap gear or tradeskill supplies to help you get ahead of the curve.
Speaking of professions... holy frig they're painful this time around, so far. I've mostly been focused on Blacksmithing, as nt Paladin is one and the fact I play a lot of plate wearers, but now that I've gotten to the steep end of it, with those BoP, untradable Chaos Orbs and whatnot, I've started to work on my Death Knight's Inscription and my Priest's Jewelcrafting. On another server, I've been trying to work on Leatherworking, something that just seems to get rougher with every expansion to level. I never hit 450 in Wrath, and even at 85, my Shaman's only just gotten to 490 or so, and that was after I took some time and just went skinning and buying leather from the Auction House. With a few stacks of herbs from friends and some ink trading, my DK's Inscrption is up to 500, letting me make use of those wonderful shoulder enchants when needed, and my Priest's JC is somewhere over 475 just from cutting green gems and making a few rings and necks. My next goal is my Druid's Alchemy, which will be a bit easier with him also being an Herbalist. Truegold is becoming a much-needed commodity for my Blacksmithing, so it's a smart thing to get to that point, though it'll be a task and a half, considering, unless I'm mistaken, you need 525.
One definite bonus in this expansion is the money that rolls in. It's not hard to get a big pile of gold, though it also has a profound effect on the economy. if you're on a server where there's a good faction ratio, you won't be completely screwed over. And in the case of quest earnings, I've been able to do things I'd have never done in Wrath, particularly getting a Mechano-Hog, getting 280% flight on a couple of characters, and definitely planning to do so with a couple of others who still need it.
In the end though, to be perfectly honest, in terms of content added for the 80-85 crowd, aside from all the old world changes, there isn't a whole heck of a lot to do, and I've found myself bored at times with the current stuff. I've leveled my alts a bit, with three 85s at this point, though it's been tough to focus sometimes because of the simple fact it can, and will, get monotonous sometimes for folks like myself. If there is one flaw with Cataclysm, this is it - for those who hate to level new characters, they will not see the new old world content, and they won't get to see the new zones, the new lore... all they will see is the new 80-85 content, and they will get bored with things quickly. Of course, if they're motivated enough, they'll level something new and get an eyeful of the new content for 1-60.
My brain's been a bit scattered tonight, so I'm not satisfied with this post, but eh. Soon, I'm gonna post that survival guide and make a few observations... but for now, I'm gonna simply scamper back on out and get to work on that Shaman of mine.