“Prepare yourselves, the bells have tolled!”

It’s finally here. After what feels like endless waiting and anticipation, Cataclysm has hit the servers and that means one thing: time to start working through your to-do lists. I know you all have one, even if it’s just a couple of things you’ve planned in your head, and even if you’re delaying your purchase of the expansion until exams/work/other such annoyances are out of the way – you still have some form of to-do list, right? Are you the one-character player who has a single character waiting to be leveled or will you be splitting your time between multiple alts? Will your first steps into new territory be taken in Hyjal and Vashj’ir or will you begin a brand new adventure in the Lost Isles or Gilneas? They say that the way you spend your first few hours in Cataclysm say a lot about you as a person… well OK, I don’t think ‘they’ really do say that… but it’s still an interesting topic, right?

So if you’re interested in a little insight into the mind behind Caelcraft, read on to see how I’ll be prioritizing my time in Cataclysm.

My main priority is to level two of my level 80 toons to 85 but we’ll get to that shortly. Since I am a man of little willpower I’d be lying to myself if I said I could resist the lure of the character creation screen. Since I was a young lad playing Baldur’s Gate, character creation has been one of my favourite staples of the RPG genre. If a game has a really detailed character creation process I can quite happily spend an hour or more perfecting a character’s stats, traits, appearance and history. It’s like crack to me, and that’s before I try and name them. Oh gods, the amount of time I’ve spent just staring at a new character trying to think of the perfect name! Yes, I know, I’m a massive nerd with my RPGs and it’s not really normal, but I’m OK with it.

Anyway, the point being that I could no more avoid the character creation screen when my account is upgraded than I could dance the Charleston with my legs cut off, so first on my to-do list are the various new characters I will be creating to level later; namely a worgen hunter, a goblin shaman and maybe a worgen warrior too. WoW doesn’t have one of those detailed character creation screens I mentioned though, so I probably won’t need more than 20-30 minutes to make and name a character I’m totally happy with.

After that they’ll sit on the character list looking pretty but untouched while I log onto my gnome warlock, my loyal friend and companion since April 2005, and level the little fellow to 85 via Vashj’ir. I won’t be rushing the leveling experience, even though I’d love to be level 85 ASAP. The first time in a new area is always the one where I pay most attention to the the plots, the scenery and the intricate details, so I have no intention of taking any shortcuts.

At 85 I’ll start gearing him up with dungeon loot and JP gear while leveling my shadow priest to 85 as well (via Hyjal, naturally). Once they’re both level 85 the warlock will be my main focus for most parts of the endgame, but I’ll also dual-spec my priest to Holy and start learning to heal the Cataclysm way. I’ve healed very occasionally throughout TBC and Wrath and really enjoyed it every time, so even if it ends up being incredibly hard I plan to learn it again now. Watch this space to see how well that goes!

Once I’ve settled into level 85 with my main duo the solid to-do list breaks down into a more flexible idea of “things I should do at some point”. It’s standard stuff like levelling my druid and mage, working on my professions, seeing the new 1-60 experiences for Horde and Alliance, earning reputation with the new factions, eventually levelling my many other alts and anything else I can fit in around whatever raids/heroics I manage to get into on my mains.

So thanks for reading! I hope I managed to turn that into an interesting post about my priorities in WoW and what kind of focus you can expect to see here on the blog in the near future. Please do use the comments for feedback (on the writing or my in-game plans) or to talk about your own to-do list whenever you start playing Cataclysm.

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~ by caelcraft on December 7, 2010.

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