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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Pandaren Preparation Programme :: Part Two



Part Two :: Achieving the Right Frame of Mind

Well done for clearing out your bags, I'm proud of you. Now you're looking leaner, it's time to consider what else we can do to prepare ourselves for the Pandas. As a rule I like to 'draw a line' under each departing Expansion by ensuring I've maxxed out my Reputations with the guys I won't be staring at every day when it arrives. I also like to take the time to check the continual flow of information from beta tests and fan sites to give me an idea of the places that might not actually exist any more come the Expansion... and that's where we're going to start today. It's time to look at Achievements and Reputations.


It happened to ZG and ZA... and look at them now... ^^

At the close of any expansion, stuff inevitably gets messed around. Last time the consequences were significant: loads of places vanished, lots were redesigned, and the entire 1-60 levelling experience underwent a major metamorphosis. This time around (as it currently stands) there's not nearly as much upheaval in the works, but some is inevitable, and this may well impact on a number of achievements. We know for a fact that the following areas are closing down and reopening:

  • Scarlet Monastery is simplified from 4 wings to 2, both in Normal and new Heroic versions.
  • Scholomance is vastly simplified and condensed in both Normal and new Heroic versions
  • Areas used for the new 'Scenarios' may be redesigned. However, if the scenario at Alcaz Island is any indicator, these may well take place in lesser-populated areas.
  • Theramore will undergo a fairly serious remodelling. Trust me, I've seen the renders :P

What this of course means is items/patterns/mogging gear may randomly vanish for ever, never to be seen again. Certain achievements may not be possible to complete (Well Read is my major flag on this front looking at both SM and Scholo, considering the number of books in both instances currently.) In terms of Theramore itself it is still not clear what will happen to the quest hub, or whether it will be updated to reflect the changes that will result, so my advice to anyone who wants to see these places as they are now, or run them on alts, is to do it soon.

Even if you're attempting to avoid panda spoilers, I'd suggest keeping an eye out for any potential changes to the Old World, and to bear in mind what effect this might have on achievements post-Expansion. The best thing you can do is be prepared.


Money is pointless if you don't have the Reputation...

Reputation is a huge subject, and I'm not here to go into details... needless to say there are guides scattered across the Interwebs on every Faction out there and how to max them. I'm not about to suggest a massive grind to fill every waking moment until the Expansion hits. I'm here to ask you questions related to your reputation. The main one is this: would you like to make some money?


Here is a toon that can make money from reputations. Let me tell you why!

A fact that comes as constant amazement to many people when I tell them is that questing at max level is very profitable. XP is converted to gold, quest rewards can be vended for gold (unless you're an Enchanter of course, then it's DE all the way) and everything you pick up whilst questing has a monetary value. I can see looking at my Druid Alt's reputation pane above that she's got a bunch of quests to do in Vashj'ir, that she's hardly touched Deepholm (not even found the Therazane quests) and that the Twilight Highlands are a total mystery to her. At the risk of sounding like a badly-produced advert, THAT'S LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF GOLDS YOU COULD BE EARNING! Even if you never step foot in a Cataclysm Heroic again before the Expansion to max out your rep, you can do an awful lot worse than complete the Loremaster of Cataclysm achievement and watch those golds roll in...

If you do one Achievement before the Pandas, make it this one. Your cashflow will love you.

There's one added benefit to completing these quests, which we will cover in greater detail in an upcoming part of the Guide, and that's holding onto certain ones so you can hand them in once the Expansion begins for an XP boost. For now, get yourself up to SM or to Scholo one last time and remind yourself of what they looked like BEFORE the Extreme Makeover team moved in... :D

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