Preparing for Cataclysm

With less than a week to the Cataclysm launch, what steps are you taking to prepare yourself for the expansion?  I’ve taken the time to prepare both in-game and out of the game for the expansion.  How does your checklist compare to mine?  Find out after the break.

In-game Prep

Here are some things you can do in-game to make the rush of launch day less hectic:

  1. Set your heathstone to Stormwind – Its going to be the happening place in Cataclsym with access portals to the new zones as well as the starting area to pick up breadcrumb quests to those zones.  It is also the location of the new fishing and cooking dailies you’ll want to do.
  2. Relearn the locations of important NPCS – Stormwind has changed quite a bit and alot of the class/profession trainers are in different areas.  Learn where they are so you can access them without wasting time.
  3. Move your Auction Alt to Shattrah or Dalaran – There will be a lot of lag in Stormwind with a huge influx of people, and there will be a lot of lag in Old World Azeroth in general.  Parking your Auction Alt in another continent, i.e. another world server means quicker logins and less chance of a disconnect when logging in to use the auction house.
  4. Clear out your bank and bags – You’ll be getting lots of new items as you quest through the new zones.  Including lots of materials that you won’t know whether it’s worth keeping.  Is that green axe better than my ICC axe?  It has a higher ilvl, more stats but less secondary stats like hit rating.  When you get to quest rewards you aren’t sure about it will be nice to have the extra space to keep it in.  Clear out the stacks of old Salted Venison and old PVP gear you won’t use at 85.  Make tough decisions about keeping an old vanity set of tier gear or tossing it for more space.  My stategy has been to empty a few bank bags at a time into my main bags and then look at each item and add them back to the bank as I see fit.  This way you don’t gloss over something hidden in your bags and are sure that everything you keep is something you truly want.  Do the same for your personal guild bank.  Sell or toss old materials you will never use and clear out complete tab for the new Cataclysm items.  I like doing this so that all the new items can be consolidated and sorted before being sent to the crafters.
  5. Prepare for leveling your professions again – If you are maxxed out on your crafting professions get ready to learn the next level when you log in so you are not wasting skill points when gathering new material.  If material prices have crashed on your server and its no longer worth selling the excess raw materials, look and see if you can use them after Cataclysm hits to get a few more skillpoints our of orange or yellow WOTLK recipes.  For example, I have stacks of fish for cooking fish feasts to get a few free points of cooking.
  6. Stock up on consumables for leveling – Get a healthy amount of bandages, potions, elixirs and stat foods and stock them on each of your characters.  I have a ton of random stat foods I  stopped using when I switched to fish feasts while raiding.  So I have distributed them to my characters for leveling and will strive to have them Well Fed while leveling.  Another favorite is the ubiquitous Guru’s elixir which I am swimming in with all the fishing dailies I do.  +20 to all stats can’t hurt while leveling.

Out of game Prep

  1. Update your drivers – Make your hardware is up to snuff for launch day.  Update your graphics drivers, mouse drivers and windows updates so you don’t have to fix non-WoW related problems.
  2. Backup WoW – Make a backup of WoW on a portable hard drive.  There are bound to be technical problems for some players and when patching fails, it will be useful to have a backup to restore from and not re-download everything.  It will also be extra peace of mind when you need to wipe your WTF and Cache folders, knowing you can restore an old copy if it didn’t help.
  3. Re-evaluate your addons – Patching always breaks addons, look through your addon list and refine what you need for leveling in the first few weeks.  Do you really need those raid frames or the hello kitty sound pack installed?  The less addons you use, the less there is to potentially break.
  4. Update your addons – Most addons have been updated to account for cataclysm changes and patch 4.03a or later.  If you haven’t logged in since, this is a good time to get in and make sure your UI is up to date.
  5. Prep sustenance – Make sure you have a good supply of snacks (fruits, trail mix) and drinks to last you through long sessions.
  6. Prep your work area – Make sure you have extra batteries for your mouse, a notebook for notes, a browser window with tabs to commonly used sites like Wowhead.com.  An alarm clock so you can manage your time.

Finally all this prep is supposed to reduce stress not add to it, so don’t over think it.  Remember this is content you’ll be playing for over a year so enjoy it!

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