This is a work in progress, I will be adding to it and amending it, so keep checking back. As I go through WOTLK Beta and read up on it, I will be making notes of things one can do to prepare for the expansion. The Beta is a moveable feast, so many of these may get deleted (especially some of the achievements or profession ideas), but I will try to only list things that look pretty likely.
Much of this is based around the new Achievements System. There are hundreds of achievements, each awarding points. Your achievement window shows how many points you have achieved over all. This adds another facet (grind/time sink, or enjoyable aspect your choice) to the game. There is no news yet on the rewards for amassing a large number of achievements and high number of achievement points. It may be that there are no rewards at all except for the kudos of the achievement, and a rank on a database somewhere. Or, or there may be small cosmetic rewards, like the pet skunk that has been announced as a rewards for collecting 50 vanity pets. But I would guess there are going to be some tempting rewards, because this could be a big sink of time and money, keeping people in game, and playing the game for longer, particularly those who cannot access raid content, and I would guess Blizzard are going to want to encourage people to invest in their achievements. Many of the achievements will be awarded retroactively, so you can do them before WOTLK hits. I advise you to do this – who is going to want to go around exploring the old world, when there is fun to be had and leveling to be done in Northrend?
- Money – you will need some – stable slots, next step of trade skills, etc. I spent several hundred gold on these things in a matter of minutes.
- World event – Blizzard have hinted that there will be a world event, heralding the expansion, as there was with BC. At present the war supplies collectors are in Iron Forge on the Beta, collecting bandages, leather, etc. and rewarding you with commendations that can be exchanged for faction rep. In Stormwind there is a quest giver sending you to see these guys, who talks about AQ and the Scourge. There is Scourge is Northrend, so they may be revisiting the scourge invasions, which happened before BC, or this could be a place holder for another event. Anyway, it will be worth doing these handins for the rep, as one of the Achievements in the new Achievements System is to get to exhalted for all of the 5 old world capital cities. The items they are collecting for the war effort are:
Edit: It looks like this is what they call a ‘legacy item’ and might not go live in WOTLK. The war effort collectors are still in IF as of 10/1/08 (patch 900 and something), but they still have the same text about AQ, that was there for the opening of the gates of the AQ instances.
- Linen, silk and runecloth bandages
- light, medium and thick leather
- copper, iron and thorium bars
- Rainbow fin albacore, yellowtail tuna, and roast raptor
- Stranglekelp, purple lotus and arthas’ tears
- Herbs – it looks as if the new profession, inscription will be linked to herbalism. Inscribers will need low level herbs like Peacebloom for their early recipes. If you intend to be an inscriber yourself, or if you would like to make some money off people power leveling inscription, horde your weeds. It’s actually unclear whether they expect everyone to go back to the low level areas to pick Peacebloom, or if there will be a vendor somewhere selling it. I certainly haven’t seen any in Northrend (and I’m a herbalist). I would think it’s worth hoarding.
- Achievements – the following look set to be achievements. You can do some these before WOTLK hits:
- Explore all of your map: – if you use cartographer, there is an option for shading the unexplored portions of your map a different color, this can be very useful when going around trying to find parts your haven’t yet visited.
- Max out your profession skills – if you are interested in professions you are will want to do this for WOTLK anyway, it’s not something you would do just for an achievement
- Max out all your weapon skills, including unarmed combat.
- Get exhalted with the 5 major cities
- Get exhalted with as many other factions as you can.
- Collect tabards and vanity pets (bag space permitting.)
- Participate in all the world events (brewefest etc.) between now and WOTLK
- Do instances, kill bosses
- Collect mini pets. Although remember, these won’t take up any bank/bag slots in the expansion, so don’t buy up all the easy to attain ones unless you have the space to store them.
- Collect keys – here is the list of keys
- Read books – here is the list of books page 1 and page 2
- Get the recipe for delicious chocolate cake – this is a cooking achievement. The recipe only comes as a rare drop from the level 70 daily cooking quest. I do these fairly regularly on my two level 70’s, but only Soupdragon has the recipe so far.
Things it doesn’t look as if you will need:
- Frostweave is the new cloth for first aid and tailors. So if you are maxed out, you should be able to move on to frostweave, so no need to horde netherweave.