Thanks to a combination of a new expansion, a shift in my social life, a change in my work hours, and the fact that it's too cold to be outside for the next several months, my WoW nerd-level is increasing. Rapidly. With the release of Cataclysm I have committed myself to stepping up my game. No more clicking the quest accept button instantly and then using quest helper add-ons to tell me what to do. No more asking about every possible upgrade in guild chat so someone else can tell me what I need. No more tabbing out to wowhead to figure out where zones or NPC's are. Okay, that last one wasn't really a big issue, but still. My point is, no more half-assed casual play.
I've been playing for nearly 3 years and it's about time I stop wandering around like a noob.
Please allow me to make a small interjection here. I am serious about what I have said above, but let me clarify that this does not mean I am becoming a hardcore raider. I do plan on gearing myself better and actually studying fights for a change so that I can be a raider who will benefit my guild. But I cannot at this point committ to raiding every Friday, Saturday, Monday & Wednesday (or whatever). I mean, for one thing, it will eventually be summer again and the drive-in will be open. Also, I like to leave my house at least several times a week. That is all.
I plan on grinding rep for the proper rewards... and the fun ones. I plan on reading each quest and trying to learn the story, to immerse myself a little bit more in the lore of the game. Because really, who would play this for years and years and years if there wasn't actually a progressing and interesting story? The lore is a big reason this game has grown and I finally plan to pay it some respect. I plan on learning dungeons and raids. I will become more knowledgeable of my professions and know what I need and why (as opposed to stumbling around zones saying "ooh look, a sparkly flower"). I will understand the talent trees and actually place points there based on my understanding and not by looking up guildmates of similar class on the WoW armory to simply copy theirs. I will have the proper glyphs, enchants and gems. Oh man, just talking like this is getting me all pumped up. Woo hoo, I am so excited to be at this stage. (image via www.ackadia.com)
With the expansion being so new, I have no in-game proof of my new committment as of yet. I'm only about 75% of the way to level 81. I have only picked up a few nodes of cinderbloom and stormvine with my herbalism. I have done nothing with alchemy. I have fished up some Mountain Trout, but have done nothing with cooking. I will be doing archaeology, but have not yet looked up the trainer. I'm off to a bit of a slow start compared to others. However, keep in mind that I have only played any Cata content for about 2 1/2 hours. That is because I did not get it installed until Wednesday and even after it was installed, I spent my time Wednesday night still questing in Northrend. Icecrown, to be specific. Although I should have had it done months and months ago, I was determined to finish Northrend Loremaster. After I got Cata installed, I only had 14 IceCrown quests to complete to get the achievement. I made myself do it. Just part of my new dedication to the game. I had to go to work on Wednesday night with 4 quests left to do in Icecrown. When I got home Thursday morning, I sat down and completed them. This meant that I could now begin playing Cataclysm. After bed, of course. So Thursday night after bowling and before work, I went to Mt. Hyjal. I felt drawn to choose it over Vash'jir because of the Cenarion connection. A druid's gotta do what feels natural after all.
What you can see to measure the extent of my nerdiness is my life outside of the game. I'm not saying spending money makes me committed, but in the past month or so I have purchased several things to help myself become more immersed in the game. One of these things was the novel 'Warcraft: War of the Ancients Trilogy'. It should help me learn the back story of who and why. It should also just be a fun read and I hope I enjoy it enough to want to read more of the Warcraft books. When it came time to purchase Cataclysm itself, I felt a strong desire to not only buy a physical copy (as opposed to the quick and easy digital download) but to buy the Collector's Edition. I will admit the mouse pad, art book, soundtrack cd, deck of trading cards, behind the scenes dvd, and the in-game pet were a nice bonus to this decision, but I just wanted the Collector's Edition simply because it was special. Not rare exactly, but limited to an extent. I also bought the BradyGames Signature Series Guide for Cataclysm. Again, as a way of having the resources in front of me to actually learn what the hell I was doing instead of just googling shit at the last minute or asking for help in guild chat. The guide is wonderful. It is NOT a step-by-step walkthrough of questing. It IS a wealth of information about the new zones, the changes that have been made to classes, professions, dungeons, etc. It lists factions available to grind rep with and what their rewards are at each level of rep you gain. It's amazing. It's so amazing, I bought one for my best WoW mate. (image via www.Merecal.com)
I have been taking the guide to work and reading through it on breaks. I have learned some interesting things that you may or may not already know. I'm going to share a brief list of changes that have been made that I hadn't heard about yet. Then, after the list, I will promptly end this giant wall of text (I do apologize for said giant wall of text) and bid you all a cheese fondue!
Some cool changes in Cata I hadn't yet heard about:
- you are immediately proficient with any weapon you are allowed to use... no more skilling them up by type
- there are no longer ranks applied to spells and abilities... as you gain levels these will automagically improve themselves for you
- the new secondary profession, archaeology, does not have you competing with other players for items (unlike herbing, fishing, mining, etc. where someone can get it before you do)... each thing you are required to seek is only tied to your specific character
- one of the guild perks is "cash flow" which generates an extra 5% of money from an enemy you kill and deposits it directly into your guild bank. This is so awesome to me.
- there has been a change to the minimap which allows you to see a skull icon at the location where you can find a specific, named enemy you have been told to kill for a quest. Also, when you target that enemy, a yellow exclamation will appear on his portrait.