Alright, so, Cataclysm, the expansion where everything you know and do changes so drastically, you may find yourself lost with where to go, what to do, what spec to choose, which factions to get exalted with first, ad nauseum. Well, having leveled three 85s so far and getting ready to do more of them in my spare time, here’s a few handy recommendations, because hey, I did the hard work already. Someone had to.
1. Pick a character you’re going to enjoy raiding with or focusing your time most on. 2 of the three I leveled were because I enjoyed the characters. The third was less fun, but still fun no less, but it was also because I needed a Blacksmith who could do things for the first of those three.
2. Set your Hearth to Orgrimmar, or have an easy way to get back if you forget. Bilgewater Harbor for Kalimdor makes flights back from Hyjal a reality, and the Sandy Beach is your only choice in Vashj’ir.
3. If you can be spec flexible and have the gear, do it. Got a decent tank set and have around 60k buffed? Go ahead and try Blackrock Caverns. Got a decent amount of epics from Icecrown Citadel and could heal Rotface and Festergut decently? Feel free to give it a try early on. You don’t have to, necessarily, but it may cut down on your queue times and you may find yourself better than you expected.
4. Check your add-ons and try new ones out. Personally, my main addons consist of Perl Classic, SexyMap, RatingsBuster, Omen, DBM, Bartender4 and Dominos(depending on my class), Auctioneer(still has bugs with the buffs and right-clicking for whatever reason), Flototem Bar, Itemrack, Identity2, Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text, or MSBT, Gatherer, Ackis Recipe List, and for healing, Grid + Clique. Experiment with what’s out there.
5. When you hit the Twilight Highlands, have a buddy to help you out with the quests. I don’t know what you Alliance folks will have to breeze through with, but doing the Wildhammer quests at 84 is a pain, even as a plate wearer. Doing it as my Shaman was murder, so I’m scared to think of clothies.
6. RESEARCH the different factions to maximize your rewards and get in the habit of dailies. Level 12 and higher guild members will have a much easier time with the 10% Mr. Popularity perk(250 base, 275 with 10%, on average), but even then it’s still annoying. Hyjal has something for everybody and has the caster head enchant, Dragonmaw has your strength head enchant, Earthen Ring has healer and caster gear and the tanking head enchant, Therazane takes a bit to unlock but they’re your shoulder enchant faction, and if you do enough of a certain daily, you’ll get Pebble. What’s Pebble? You’ll find out. There’s also Hellscream’s Reach, and Ramkahen, which has the agility head enchant.
7. This correlates with #2, but be careful when choosing your starting zone. I started in Hyjal. Sure, Vashj’ir is pretty nice and has a bit of lore to it involving the Naga and all, but Hyjal has a lot more lore, a lot more drama, a lot more Ysera, a lot more Hamuul, bear cub tossing and trampoline bouncing, and the best example of when phasing is amazing.
8. Bagspace. This speaks for itself. Heck, make sure your quest log isn’t stuffed.
9. Put on that Bilgewater tabard ‘til you start running things like Halls of Origination, Grim Batol, and Lost City of the Tol’Vir, when you’ll be able to get rep for the Cataclysm factions that matter.
10. Make a Wowhead account, and install the Wowhead Looter. Pet tracking, quest tracking, gear searches, mount tracking, and so on.
11. Chaos Orbs – if you see them on your need/greed, need on them. Crafters who can or will be able to use them will be the only ones able to see them, and they are Bind-on-Pickup, plus they are non-tradable. I was personally scolded by guildies for passing TO them, so yes, just need the things. Sometimes you’ll be the only one.
12. Finally… Uldum. Do the zone. Don’t skip anything. Why? I’m not telling, just do as I say.
I’m sure there are plenty more tips to be listed here, but the simple fact is, trial and error. These are just good things to keep in mind.
And now, bed.