WoW Classic raiding front loading efforts and burnout

Welcome to 15 years ago! You were a little bit younger and had a lot going on. You played the original version of World of Warcraft, or this is your very first time trying out the game with the launch of WoW Classic.

A lot of MMO concepts that we were first introduced to back then are now common place. Purple gear is better than blue, which is better than green.

I have fond memories of leveling up in Azeroth with my friends/co-workers at Best Buy. As we were exploring the world we stood outside of Orgrimmar, waiting for the zeppelin.

We all chattered away on Ventrilo when one of my friends excitedly pointed out a Troll Mage standing next to us. “Look at his purples!” he said.

At this point in the game I had no idea what purple gear meant and how much time and effort was involved in obtaining it.

How WoW Classic is different from later iterations

Raiding in World of Warcraft was originally the hardest form of content to complete. Getting 40 people to work together and perform the steps necessary to kill a raid boss was a huge challenge 15 years ago.

Going back to WoW Classic today is much different. Players that have played MMOs know what is expected of them. You have less people deviating from the plan because they know in general that if they follow instructions, the boss will die and loot will drop.

Addons were not the norm back then

For those that don’t know what an addon is: many MMOs such as World of Warcraft allow their game to be modified by player built programs that run inside the game. These are commonly referred to as addons or mods.

I lead my first guild 8 years ago and the player mentality has shifted so much since then. I used to argue with the players that were anti-addon because they felt that the game was more challenging that way. Fast forward to today where raiding times and announcements of key abilities is built into the base game.

Players now are much more comfortable and more likely to use raiding addons. I also thing the average player has been trained to NOT stand in fire which is a good thing for my healer’s mana bar.

Mechanics are much easier

The raiding scene in many games has changed to one of increased challenge. We have more visual ques to tell us that something is going to happen. We have different tasks for different roles beyond just the normal – tank/dps/heal and don’t stand in fire.

In WoW Classic we are taken back to a time when the challenge was more straight forward. There were 1 or 2 main mechanics in a fight and if you stood where you needed to, or ran out when you were the bomb, everything was great!

Why we feel like we need to clear everything, EVERY WEEK

Obtaining power in WoW Classic is much different from current day MMOs. Its slower, there are fewer catch up opportunities, and upgrades can sometimes be rare.

For the hardcore theory crafters, there are many blue dungeon items that are considered to be better than many of the raiding purple items. Of course this is only a small amount of items.

The purple items that drop in the raids are leaps and bounds ahead of blue items that you will get out of dungeons. Not only are the main stats like stamina, intellect, strength and agility far greater, but you also start to see an increase in powerful secondary stats like hit rating, +healing and +damage modifiers.

For this reason guilds will continue to run past raids even after there is new content to run. Currently we clear Blackwing Lair and then go back and do Molten Core. There are a few large upgrades in Molten Core for a lot of our players and its an easy way to quickly gear up our new players.

Front loading vs. Early Burnout

My guild has been discussing ways to keep our players engaged.

Always raiding

As more and more raid content comes out we have the urge to do it all. This is going to be less realistic as time goes on. Once the gates of Ahn’Qiraj are openned we will have a total of 6 different raids to do, 3 of which will reset more often than once a week.

When I first started raiding 15 years ago, it was very common in the guilds that I played in to do the raid content 4 or 5 nights a week. Now, most players do not have the time or desire to play so much. There is a lot of other fun things to do in the game and playing the same raid fights over and over, week after week can get a bit soul sucking.

Also if we are always raiding when are we supposed to prepare for our raids with the recommended consumables?

Preparing for upcoming patches

Earlier this month, my guild decided to launch a campaign to begin gathering the materials needed for opening the gates of Ahn’Qiraj. Ahn’Qiraj is the next big raid patch and requires the entire server to participate in a War Effort which involves gathering materials such as different kinds of bandages and various other trade goods.

If we are able to stock pile at least some of the materials, this will put us in a good position when it comes time for the war effort. Ideally by spending our time now working towards this goal we will save some of our players from getting sick of playing so much, or at least that’s the hope.

Raiding on multiple characters

Since my guild runs 3 different raid teams, we have our schedule set up so that these groups do not overlap. This way if a player has more than one character at max level, they are able to participate in multiple raid teams.

This is an easy way to jump from a 2 night a week raid schedule to 4 nights. There have been the rare player that even attempted to play on all 3 raid teams, which means raiding almost every single night of the week without a break.

I think it’s fun to play a different character occasionally but I also know how easy it is to get tired of playing and want to quit. Once I commit to a team I do my very best to never miss a night of raiding. I don’t want to over extend myself since I am definitely an all or nothing type of player.

For me I want to make sure I’m playing and keeping the long term goals in mind. WoW Classic is a game and should be fun to play, once it starts getting so stressful that you can’t see a way to get back to having fun, this is when you lose players.

How I play MMOs: My cyclical pattern

I’ve been obsessed with MMOs for almost as long as they have been a genre. Over the years I have recognized a pattern in myself.

Short periods of playing LOT – normally 30 to 60 days

The No-life-wish-i-had-a-minifridge-and-also-a-poop-bucket-for-my-computer-desk phase. I play a LOT when a new game is launched or a new expansion is released. I love how active the game is during times of launch and how helpful other players can be when you’re new.

When WoW Classic was released I played about 30 hours per week and that is in addition to my 50 hours spent at work. I can handle these sprints every once in a while and they’re fun!

Normal periods – normally several months at a time

This is the time when I settle into my general routine of playing the raid content and doing 1 or 2 nights a week of play in the game. On non-raid nights I’ll level alts or run dungeons with my guild mates. I would say this type of gaming is normal in my life and kind of my baseline.

IRL Busy, come back later – normally a week or two at a time

I will really scale back my play when I have a lot of things going on in my real life. Sometimes I need to be an adult and take care of things outside of my virtual world.

Most recently, we bought a house and we had to move. I’ve also had to scale back my gaming time when starting a new job or if I get deep into a hobby.

WTF I quit – Once every few years

I completely quit playing the MMO I was into a handful of times. I normally play the first two raid tiers in World of Warcraft and then all my friends stop playing and I quit.

I also quit playing other games, once recruitment dried up – if I was guild leading.

Dealing with Burnout

It is so easy to burn out when you have a strict schedule to adhere to in game. I try my best to allow both myself and the people I play with breaks. This means trying to keep the number of people on our team at a good level so that every once in a while someone can sit out and not lose progress (dkp in our guild).

Taking Breaks

Its ok if every once in a while you take some time away from the game. A best practice is to let your guild know. This is common courtesy and no one wants to be ghosted.

Playing Other Games

A change of virtual scenery can often improve my mood and reignite why I love the genre. I try to play some of the new free games in the Epic store. Or I will start digging into my backlog of games that I bought on steam sales.

Learning to say no

If your guild is requiring an activity that you find unpleasant, don’t just suck it up for the good of the team. You need to put your own enjoyment first. If your goals in game don’t align with those of your guild, maybe it’s time to find a new guild anyway.

How to prepare for WoW Classic Zul’Gurub patch 1.7 (phase 4)

UPDATE: ZUL’GURUB OPENS APRIL 15 AT 3PM PDT you can read more info in this blue post here.

Zul’Gurub will always have a place in my heart. It was were I experienced raiding for the first time and where I got my first purple item. It is my most anticipated patch of WoW Classic and I can’t wait!

I felt a little bit under prepared when BWL was released a couple months ago. So for this patch I’m getting my research down on paper to help those who are interested prepare for an exciting time of killing trolls in the jungle.

Zul’Gurub is scheduled to release sometime in April 2020. So the time to prepare is NOW.

In this post I’ll go over a few things from a planning perspective and a little bit of a guild leadership perspective. I will be covering:

  1. What materials do I need before the patch goes live?
  2. How a guild leader should handle those first bijous and coins
  3. Zandalar Tribe Reputation Grind Calculations
  4. Where is Zul’Gurub the related quests NPCs

Unlike Blackwing Lair, there will be a lot more crafted items introduced in this patch as well as a new reputation with a complex turn in system. I get a little bit deep into the numbers here so feel free to skip ahead if you don’t care about my super fancy napkin math.

1. What materials do I need before the patch goes live?

First you will need to prepare IRL for the upcoming patch. Get plenty of rest the days leading up to the new raid content and be sure to keep your drink fridge well stocked and your poop socks ready.

But seriously folks! We need to talk about getting prepared IN GAME!

If you are a damage focused caster the Bloodvine Garb will be a huge progressive increase for your character. These three pieces give you a total of 35 intellect, 83 spell power, 4% chance to hit with spells and 2% critical strike chance.

This set is an easy way to gear up a caster that is currently under-geared and serves as a good catch up set for moving on to the harder raids. It is arguably many casters best in slot pieces for some time.

Be aware that while anyone can wear this set, you must be a level 300 tailor to get the set bonus. Make sure you level your tailor profession before you get these pieces made to take advantage of the set bonus.

Bloodvine Garb Total Materials

ItemTotalBloodvine BootsBloodvine LeggingsBloodvine Vest
Mooncloth10343
Ironweb Spider Silk8422
Bolt of Runecloth12444
Powerful Mojo844
Bloodvine12345
Enchanted Leather44
Total materials needed for your full Bloodvine Garb set

Herbs to stock pile before ZG comes out

Anytime there are new alchemy items introduced in a patch those first few that can craft the items make a killing in the Auction House. Here are the new recipes set to release. I would recommend grabbing these herbs when you can.

  • Living Action Potion: 2 Icecap, 2 Mountain Silversage, 2 Heart of the Wild
  • Mageblood Potion: 1 Dreamfoil, 2 Plaguebloom
  • Greater Dreamless Sleep: 2 Dreamfoil, 1 Golden Sansam
  • Major Troll’s Blood: 1 Gromsblood, 2 Plaguebloom

2. How a guild leader should handle those first bijous and coins

You will want to focus your efforts for Zandalar Tribe reputation so that you can quickly get some of the new crafted items. Be sure to prioritize these reputation items to your guild officers or other loyal guild members.

Zandalar Tribe Reputation Priorities:

  1. Tailor – Revered
    • Bloodvine Vest – Revered
    • Bloodvine Leggings – Honored
    • Bloodvine Boots – Friendly
  2. Alchemist – Exalted
    • Living Action Potion – Exalted
    • Mageblood Potion – Revered
    • Major Troll’s Blood Potion – Honored
    • Greater Dreamless Sleep – Friendly

Why wouldn’t I prioritize those first few weeks of reputation turn in to the other crafters?

  • Blacksmith – The darksoul set offers some +hit heavy items if you need a crafted set as a melee dps you would be better off using the Devilsaur armor
  • Engineer – While the helm they can make would be a good upgrade for some, this is only one item slot and only engineers can use it.
  • Leatherworker – The Primal Batskin set is a promising set. The reason this profession didn’t get priority is how the materials are obtained. Primal Bat Leather has a 54% drop rate from the bat boss. Each crafted item takes between 8 and 14 leather to make. So there is no need to rush to make this set because you’ll be farming the bat boss for a while.
  • Enchanter – If you thought that weapon oil recipes would go live with ZG because they’re part of the ZG rep vendor, you would be wrong. I know I was. Enchanters get nothing of substance in this patch.

Keep in mind that if you run Zul’Gurub on a regular basis you will eventually get your exalted reputation. If you have the gamer fortitude you can also run additional runs outside your normal raid schedule since the raid resets every 3 days. This will increase your reputation gains even faster.

3. Zandalar Tribe Repuation Grind Calculations

Reputation with the Zandalar Tribe is needed for several items including crafting patterns. Here is some basic napkin math on how to get to your desired reputation level.

First lets look at how many points are needed for each reputation level. All players will start at 0/3000 Neutral.

Neutral to Friendly: 3,000 points 
Friendly to Honored: 6,000 points 
Honored to Revered: 12,000 points 
Revered to Exalted: 21,000 points

A Collection of Heads +200 to +500 reputation

The amount of rep for this quest is not confirmed since there is conflicting information between player submitted comments and wowhead published numbers.

This is the first step on your way to building reputation with the Zandalar Tribe. The quest requires 5 heads off any of the High Priests. The item is not specific to each high priest so you can kill a high priest multiple times over a number of raid resets and complete this quest.

Killing Trash and bosses reputation +2400 to +3000 reputation

Participating in the Zul’Gurub raid will be the primary way for players to gain reputation with the Zandalar Tribe. It will take 7 or 8 completions of the raid to get to Revered reputation which will allow the crafters to pick up all their patterns. All except alchemists who must grind up to exalted for their Living Action Potion recipe.

Luckily (or unluckily for those of us with too much to do and not enough time) Zul’Gurub is on a 3 day reset. This means that you can complete this raid every 3 days. Those 7 or 8 raids could be done in as little as 3 weeks.

You could also get a group together to kill trash and no bosses in order to reset the instance and collect more bijous and coins. Make sure that the leader does not have a saved ID to ZG before attempting this.

Coin and Bijou quests +75 to +125 reputation which is repeatable

If you have the resources to do so, you can turn in coins and Bijou for additional reputation.

What’s a reasonable expectation for grinding this reputation?

It takes a total of 42,000 reputation to get to exalted with any reputation, which is needed for the shoulder enchants. Keep in mind that you will need 15 Zandalar Honor Tokens to get a shoulder enchant so you would end up turning in coins or bijous to get those.

To add to your reputation grind calculation you will need to do a minimum of 375 rep worth of the coin quest turn ins to get your 15 tokens.

Grinding reputation slow and steady or the cheap way

Lets say you plan on doing ZG once a week and were able to clear the raid reliably. If you were able to gain 3,000 reputation per run this means it would take you 14 weeks or a little over 3 months to get to exalted.

Grinding reputation as fast as you can!

If you were to complete ZG every possible time that your lockout is available you could take your 14 runs and get them done in 6 weeks or 1.5 months.

Getting reputation with the full force of a guild or if you are really stinking rich

A general rule for comparing bijou and coin prices: a coin is worth 20% of the value of a bijou. So if a coin cost 10g you should expect a bijou to cost 50g. Of course the prices will fluctuate but keep this math in mind when amassing large number of rep turn in items.

Some quick numbers if you want to get someone to exalted within the first week that ZG is open. Running ZG twice will get you to roughly 3300/6000 friendly reputation, which means you would need to turn in 176 Bijous and 180 coin quest completions (540 coins total).

If you want to get to revered within the first week that ZG is open. Running ZG twice will get you to roughly 3300/6000 friendly reputation, which means you would need to turn in 64 Bijous and 90 coin quest completions (270 coins total).

Here is a google sheet that I created to help you calculate how many rep items to buy. Open this up and create a copy, you will need to have a google or gmail account to save this.

Of course a lot of this speculation depends on the supply of your realm. If you have very few groups running ZG you may have a hard time getting all of these items, even if you have unlimited gold.

Check out these other guides for some more information on the Zandalari Tribe reputation

4. Where is Zul’Gurub and where do I do all of these quests you’ve been talking about?

Before you raid, go get the quest A Collection of Heads. This is also the island that you will do all of the subsequent quests related to ZG

Here is where the entrance to Zul’Gurub is located.

This raid is scheduled to open up for WoW Classic sometime in April 2020.

If you’ve made it this far I want to say thanks! This is what I wanted to do with this Saturday instead of farm Black Lotus XD If there is anything else you want to know more about, please let me know in the comments.

How to decide who gets the raid gear? A look at DKP

Character progression is often central to the reward system for MMORPGs and one of the big reasons that we choose to trudge through the 40-man raids each week in WoW Classic. In most games we see a simplified random roll system where you either indicate that you would like an item or it can be randomly assigned to you. In this 15 year old game that has its hooks in me once again, we have opted to create a more complex system that takes into consideration a players level of dedication to the overall group. This system is complicated further by the fact that we are tracking this all for three separate raid groups all at different phases in progression.

My guild uses a system of DKP which stands for Dragon Kill Points. As a participant in our guild you will earn points which can be used as a currency to buy gear and upgrades for your character. While DKP isn’t the only method that guilds use to distribute gear upgrades, it is a popular method.

Benefits to using a DKP system:

  • Autonomy – the players get to pick their items
  • Transparency – the players know where they stand in relation to those also competing for gear upgrades
  • No Favoritism – since players decide when and how to spend their points they won’t be forced into

Negatives to using a DKP system:

  • Collusion – players can work together to manipulate the system in order to gain more favorable outcomes for themselves
  • Punishing New Players – in some systems the veteran members can get so far ahead in points that they will always get every item before the new players can. Making it so that a new player can go many months without receiving any rewards.

Any loot system should allow for new players to come in and feel like their time is being rewarded. This is why catch up mechanics in loot distribution are so important. There are a couple ways that you can allow newer players to catch up to older players.

Decay

Adding in a percentage based decay to a players total balance of points is one way to allow newer members to catch up. This means that new players will get those items that are not highly sought after. Veteran players will keep their standing in relation to the others provided that they do not spend any of their points. Eventually this allows the veteran player to have first pick of one very impressive item.

DKP Reset or Wipe

When new content is released it is common to take the historical points and bring everyone back down to zero. This is another option to help newer players gain some of the more competitive gear. Some guilds opt for periodic resets of points which encourages players to return at the start of new content, which historically can be when you tend to lose people.

Is it the right system?

There is never a right or wrong system for distributing gear to your players. There will always be the potential for conflict or drama around how loot is being awarded. What works for some guilds may not work for others. It largely depends on the leadership that is in place and how everything functions as a whole.

If DKP is not the system for your guild you can explore other methods of loot distribution:

  • Zerosum DKP – points awarded based on how much is spent
  • Loot Council – Small group decides where items go
  • Suicide Kings – Players are in a priority list, once receiving a piece of gear they go to the bottom of the list
  • Need before greed – often used in pug groups, who ever can use the item and rolls the highest, wins the loot.

There are many systems out there for loot distribution. Keep in mind that you can never please everyone in a large group of players. In any of these systems: Keep it simple and easy to understand, keep it transparent, and spread the wealth.

I know a lot of you out there have experience raiding in large groups. What loot distribution method did your guild use?

New Adventures on Deviate Delight

Blizzard opened up the ability to transfer your characters between WoW Classic servers. This was something that my mega guild decided to jump on. We rolled on the Fairbanks server initially for it’s population and its balance between the factions. We had great hopes for all of the fun PVP elements that makes the game so fun. Dreams of competing for world bosses and grinding out the requirements for the opening of the gates of Ahn’Qiraj were brought further and further out of reach, not because of our lack of ability to achieve these feats but directly because of a horde faction mega guild (bigger than my mega guild) that would camp the world dragon spawn with 80+ people so that they could kill it as soon as it spawned. We just didn’t have the ability to do this and our players wanted to play the game rather than engage in these type of tactics. We discovered that this horde guild also planned to completely cut the alliance out of the ability to farm for the Black Scarab mount by transferring all the materials required to push the event into the next phase via the cross server auction house to alts.

On top of all this new information we had a dwindling alliance population, likely due to the amount of in world pvp there was. During this time I had given up on doing dungeons in Black Rock Mountain since it would take me over an hour of corpse running to get to the entrance. It was frustrating and felt like a large waste of time. Prior to the ability to transfer realms, the alliance population seemed to dwindle as people quit the game or decided to roll on different servers. This made going out in the world even more daunting as there was little to draw attention away from my red name.

My 7th time dying on my way to Black Rock Mountain to help a guildmate in BRD

When you are in a guild as big as mine there is a lot of opinions floating around, when choosing a new realm to play on was no different. I remained largely impartial and wholeheartedly supported the decision that was made. We decided to move to Deviate Delight which is an RPPVP server. I’ve never played on any type of RP server for no other reason than it was not the type of server that my friends played on. I was intrigued by the idea since I spend a lot of time watching twitch streamers that RP in games and play Dungeons and Dragons. A few days before we had planned to move (after our scheduled raid night) me and a friend rolled up some new characters on Deviate Delight. We decided that we were going to RP the best we could even if it felt different and silly. This opened my eyes to a lot of the small details that were put into the world. What was this here? A bloody trail on the ground? We better investigate!

We all transferred about a week ago and I am so happy with the change. Everyone is nice here! I don’t know if its because they are more willing to interact with others instead of playing the game like their own single player themepark or if its because they haven’t been killed so many times to the point of hating the game. What ever it is, there is definitely a different vibe going on. The chat interactions that I see are more delightful and a far cry from the “go to wowhead noob!” that I am accustom to. More than once I’ve had some server veterans welcome me to the server 🙂 Its definitely a pleasant experience so far! I’ve already started a few new characters and look forward to some new memories in Azeroth.

Cali is one of the current leaders for one of Entitled’s three raid groups. For more info about the guild /w Caliphis in game on the Deviate Delight RPPVP server.

My Big @$$ Guild

Last time I wrote in my diary I talked about how I was not the guild leader and loving my low pressure time playing in WoW Classic well my role has changed a bit in the past month and I have been put in charge of one of our 3 raid groups. So I have a good bit more work to do but I’m also not stress or wondering if my guild is going to explode like it has so many times in the past. Since I’m not the head girl I’m still keeping my easy schedule and enjoying myself

I’ve completed some of my goals with my character and also added to my list:

  • Get my priest to level 60
  • Collect all of the dungeon keys – still need my UBRS key
  • Work on my pre-raid best in slot gear – 2 more crafted pieces, 2 DM N pieces
  • Enjoy some of the higher level dungeons
  • Form some new friendships with my guild mates
  • Epic Mount
  • Figure out the nuances of this guild that I find myself an officer in
  • Try not to mess up people’s DKP (good so far)
  • Make some gold so I’m not so dam poor!

My role in the raid group is mainly administrative. I track DKP and collect and distribute loot. I’ve also been streaming on Twitch.tv/Caliphis for our raid nights so that those that are sitting can watch what’s going on. The other officers and group leads are super positive which is a nice change from my typical pessimistic company. Everything is going great in this new chapter so far. I hope it continues 🙂

Not the Guild Leader and Loving it!

I decided well before the release of WoW Classic that I was going to find myself a giant guild and enjoy the social aspects of having a big group of guild-mates to run dungeons and do quests with. I was preparing myself to venture out into the world of finding a guild when one of my friends messaged me about joining their guild. I thought to myself “A guild of several of my friends that I don’t need to take part in leadership!? Amazing” Although there was one draw back, they were planning on rolling on a PVP server. The hubby and I had already decided that we wanted to play on a PVE server this time around and avoid the infuriating deaths from random ganking. While the offer to join my friend’s guild was tempting I politely declined and thought that was the end of it. Aaaaand then they got to my husband. In the end we ended up joining our friends on their PVP server and in their big-ass guild. It was the right decision and I’m happy we(I) got talked into it.

Enjoying a leisurely flight to Ratchet

So I sit here finally writing down the joyful experiences of the past 3 weeks. I have felt personal happiness in my life that I haven’t felt in a while. I have been getting less annoyed by things that would have bothered me a month ago and I’m finding it in myself to just let things slide instead of fixate and obsess on negative energies that were plaguing my home life. I’ve spent a lot of time on my computer and I’m on the cusp of level 50 while I take my time exploring the world, leveling up professions including fishing and cooking. I’m doing all of this without feeling the pressure to lead the charge in leveling in order to get our group going in the raids. I don’t feel the pressure to grind endlessly to get the best gear for myself in order to set a good example for the rest of my team…because they’re not all MINE this time around. I get to be a Soldier instead of a General and I’m really enjoying the lack of expectations for myself and my time.

A lot of my casts make my pigtails whip around in a wild way. Gotta love it!

So what are my goals in the game? I ended up playing my favorite class but on a new to me faction. My dwarf priest has long pigtails for the cool flowy casting animation. She’s a sexy dwarf because that gives me Fear Ward which the min/maxer in my cannot pass up. I’m leveling up with my husband, who I am eternally grateful that he has not left me in the dust and out paced me as we’ve been leveling together. My current goals in the game are:

  • Get my priest to level 60
  • Collect all of the dungeon keys
  • Work on my pre-raid best in slot gear
  • Enjoy some of the higher level dungeons

You will notice that something that ISN’T on my list of goals is to get into the big boy raids. This is the first time that I’m OK with not raiding. I’m not saying that I won’t play in the raids at all but I am currently not committed to a schedule. My first raid that I ever did in my life was Zul’Gurub and that content made me feel like a bad-ass. I will make it point to get into those runs but I anticipate that those groups may be a little bit more casual friendly since they resent every few days instead of once a week. I love the trolls (it was the first race that I played extensively in WoW!) and I can’t wait to soak up the nostalgia.

IRL Prep for WoW Classic

World of Warcraft originally launched in 2004 back when I was in my early 20s and life was a lot less busy. I worked at Best Buy on a varying schedule, I lived in a one bedroom apartment and didn’t have anyone to care for other than myself. I first got into World of Warcraft when all my gamer friends seemed to be playing it. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the performance issues with the MMO that I was playing at the time (SWG) so I figured it was time for a change. Of course, I didn’t have any idea what World of Warcraft was prior to its release. I had played Warcraft II and III, but didn’t follow the up coming titles since I was very much engrossed in the current game that I was playing. Since that time, I have become infatuated with new games and truly believe that the best time to play a MMO is when its new and the vast majority of players are experiencing it for the first time.

World of Warcraft Classic was announced back in 2017 when I was about 2 years into a private server obsession. I had fallen back in love with the prior expansions and was super excited to play the authentic version of Vanilla that all of the private servers had a hard time living up to. While I enjoyed several new MMOs this year I have had my sights set on WoW Classic as my new obsession. The game comes out tomorrow and between a spouse, kid and a house to maintain I have a lot more on my plate than I did 15 years ago. In order to make the most of this launch week I’m working hard to prepare!

Here are my quests for today:

1 Day before WoW Classic Launch here is my Quest list to be completed:

  • Snacks of Stormwind – Grocery Shopping enough food for 10 days
  • Prepare the Royal Kitchen – Clean up the Kitchen
  • The Soiled Garments – Laundry
  • Pies for the Boy King – Cook the following things – Meatballs, Lasagna, Roast Chicken, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Asparagus, Mini Cheese Cakes!
  • The Dwarves be Thirsty – Prepare Lemonade and Iced Tea for the week
  • Muck out the Stables – Clean the Bathrooms

Already Completed Quests:

  • Make Ready for Battle – Clean and organize the computer
  • Sharpen the Swords – Install addons, ensure PC is at top performance
  • Make it sparkle, make it shine! – clean the living room, bedrooms including dusting and floors
  • Update the Official Records – Reserve my character’s names on our server

Ready your battle stations. The day is nearly here!

Should I play a priest in WoW Classic?

I have a long history playing a priest in World of Warcraft. It was the first character that I leveled up to 60 and the character that I first experienced large group raiding on. I’ve often been teased about deciding to play a new class and then going back to play priest. It’s a pattern that I’ve followed for the past several WoW expansions.

Many claim that Priest is the strongest healer in World of Warcraft Classic. As a priest you will have a big variety of spells in your toolkit to help you with many different situations. You have strong single target heals as well as heal over time abilities and a group heal.

As a leveling player:

  • Pro: WANDS! One of my favorite things about playing a priest is that for the first 30 or so levels you will be using your wand as a large part of your damage. Wands are not effected by spell pushback and can often out DPS your mana expensive damage spells
  • Pro: Levitate is a great spell to have in your arsenal since some areas in the world of Azeroth have steep falls.
  • Pro:  Psychic Scream is fear that will send several of your enemies running scared for several seconds and is great to have when you are running the risk of being overwhelmed
  • Con: Psychic Scream a double edged sword. Sometimes you will seriously save your own butt with a well timed fear but you can also send the bad guys running into the arms of their friends….and then the friends come to help. So use with caution!

As a solo player:

  • Pro: A Priest has some great survivability if you are playing on your own. Since you have both damage and healing spells you can top your health up if you get too injured.
  • Pro: Shadow Form will reduce the amount of damage that you take by 15% and can make you a much more solid cloth-wearing-wizard out in the world
  • Con: Mana management can sometimes become an issue, but if you run out you can always use your wand to auto-attack mobs.

Playing with groups:

  • Pro: Groups are very easy to find since you will be one of the most sought after healers in the game.
  • Pro: Fearward [Dwarfs Only] is a buff that you can cast on yourself of friendly players to negate a fear. Fears are prevalent in the game in dungeons, raids and in PVP. When effected by a fear effect you lose control of your character and will run around (sometimes into more angry mobs) until the effect wears off.
  • Pro: You can buff party members with Prayer of Fortitude which will increase your party members health.
  • Con: If you want to be a competitive players in high level dungeons and raids you will most likely be asked to heal. Shadow priests have huge mana issues and are not a great option for most groups

Priest is the first class that comes to mind when I think of healing in WoW. As a priest you will have a large variety of heals and be in a position where you will be asked to join groups. I haven’t 100% decide what class I’ll be rolling in WoW Classic but priest is one of my favorites and a strong contender.

Should I play Mage in WoW Classic?

With August 27th just around the corner you may be asking: What class should I play when the game comes out? Mage is a great choice for many since they bring respectable damage, utility and the ability to teleport everyone to your major cities! Mage has been one of my favorite classes since I created my undead mage back when World of Warcraft first came out. Here are some pros and cons too keep in mind when considering mage.

As a leveling player:

  • Pro: You can conjure your own food and water. In WoW Classic you routinely had to sit and regenerate your health and mana bars before you were able to carrying on fighting creatures. Having the ability to create ‘free’ food and water are huge money and time savers as you level up.
  • Pro: Early leveling slows are great for fighting tough mobs. This enables you to keep some distance between yourself and everything else that is angry with you in the game.
  • Pro: Slow Fall is a great spell to have in your arsenal since some areas in the world of Azeroth have steep falls.
  • Con: you will be moving a lot while fighting. Mages are considered glass cannons and therefore will do high damage but will also take high damage if hit. I’ve found that of all the classes you are the least durable as a mage in general but make up for it with cooldowns like Iceblock and Ice Barrier.

As a solo player:

  • Pro: Great at killing stuff. As a frost mage you have the ability to group up several enemies at once and kill them slowly with your blizzard and cone of cold abilities. You can also spend talent points to increase your slow effects on your enemies and make it even easier to kite (run away from) mobs as you kill them. Here’s a deep frost build that can help you with some solo farming: https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/mage/230001–05350233132351351
  • Pro: Portals are an easy way to make money. If you are available in a major city, you can almost always pick up some easy gold selling portals to other locations. That and you can quickly teleport yourself to difference cities.
  • Pro: great solo utility in spells and can play highly diverse play styles depending on how you spend your talent points.
  • Con: Mana management can sometimes become an issue, but if you run out you can always use your wand to auto-attack mobs.

Playing with groups:

  • Pro: You will probably find it easy to find groups since mages bring good ranged damage and the ability to Polymorph humanoid mobs.
  • Pro: As a mage you can create food and water for your group at no cost to you.
  • Pro: You can buff party members with Arcane Brilliance which will increase mana users intellect and mana pool.
  • Con: If you are the only mage in a large group, creating water for everyone can take up a ton of your time.

You should play mage if you enjoy playing ranged classes with a large variety of abilities. If you enjoy people needing you for things like portals/water/sheeps this will be a great way to fill that people pleasing need. Mages are strong in both PVP and PVE content. If you enjoy having just one main character and spending time in all aspects of game play in WoW Classic, mages are a great choice.

Revisiting WOW Cataclysm

I have many fond memories of the 2010 World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm. It was my last two year of college and the last time that I was able to spend a good amount of time gaming. I was in a great guild that I will play with on and off over the next 9 years. I was part of their raid team for 2 raid releases and had a blast. In 2011 I got to attend Blizzcon and meet up with several of my guildmates as well as dozens of players on our server, Illidan. It may be the rose colored glasses but Cataclysm will always be one of my favorite expansions because of the relationships that I built and those memories of kicking butt.

For the past several months, I’ve been playing on the WOW private server Apollo. Instead of playing one of my tried and true class, I dove into something new to me. I created a Night Elf Druid which is something that I have never done before (I know! It’s a shock to most people when they find out that I’m a girl). I spent my time exploring the zone that had been completely changed due to the wrath of Deathwing and to my delight. I realized that this was my first time leveling in these zones, even though I’ve been playing World of Warcraft intermittently since the game was initially launched. I had the pleasure of floating around a flooded Thousand Needles and got to explore a wonderfully revamped Ungoro Crater along with many more new and improved areas. Experiencing these zones for the first time made WOW seem like a brand new game.

Of course by the time I got to the end of my leveling experience I discovered that I wasn’t really interested in the gear grind and the scheduled raiding that typically goes into endgame raiding on private servers. I spent most of my time farming and leveling up professions and trying to make a bit of money. One of the ways that I measure success in an MMO is how well I can make money in the game. If nothing else, this experience on the private server drove me back to play retail WoW so that I could further explore the early zones and have my progress saved forever on my 15 year old account. If I’m going to be leveling up characters for fun, I might as well be unlocking heritage armor on my allied race characters!

As a final gesture, I split my remaining gold between those folks in my guild that were kind enough to answer my dumb questions and make me feel included. Enjoy the gold! I know that you all will get more use out of it that I will.