Friday Five: Five Ways to Make the Most of the Start of the Expansion

Snakedriver, leader of the Pandaria Shadow Fan Brigade!

Many months and blog posts ago, I was in the habit of doing pretty regular Friday Fives…posts with 5 common factors or thoughts pertaining to my adventures in the World of Warcraft. I’m bringing back that tradition today, with five ways to make the most of the start of the expansion.

  1. Finish every zone of new content. Now, this doesn’t have to be on one character mind you. Because presumably you are interested in hitting 90 and having your heroic ilvl gear and unlocking dailies and the like, and probably don’t want to hit 90 while still in the Wilds. I’m personally trying to pick different zones to complete on the characters I am leveling right now fro some variety.
  2. Don’t feel obligated to do all the dailies. Just because your profession has a daily doesn’t mean you have to bankrupt yourself every day to do it. Ditto for the level 90 dailies. Yes, you want perks from the various factions. But you shouldn’t take 40 dailies and then bemoan the grind of dailies. Show some restraint! Focus on the faction that is most important to your end game goals and set a reasonable/tolerable number of dailies to keep moving towards your goals.
  3. Stop and queue for the leveling dungeons as you go. Not only is it more fun to learn the boss mechanics at the regular mode level, you can earn yourself some shiny ilvl 435 and ilvl 450 gear, to get you closer to the heroics ilvl requirement. I’m only level 88 and have ilvl 420 so far as a result of my dungeon queuing. And as a bonus, these dungeons have quests with some solid XP, and gear rewards that will make your leveling that much less painful.
  4. …But queue for dungeons with your guildies and your Battletag friends in tow. Yes, it’s easy to just hop into LFD solo, but chances are you know plenty of other folks who want to get in on that as well. So why not use that as an opportunity to get to know one of your guildies or one of your Battletag friends a little better? It’s a lot more fun trying out a new dungeon with a buddy at your side.
  5. Give yourself permission to try something new. I’ve seen a number of folks who poo-poo’d the Battle Pets minigame as “Pokewow” who have come clean with their new obsession with pet battles. But they wouldn’t have known how much fun they had with it if they hadn’t given it a try. Give yourself permission to try out a new spec, or a new profession, or a new aspect of game play. You just might find something that you love doing in game.

What are *your* tips for making the most of the start of the expansion? Share ’em in the comments!

P.S. Comments are screened and TypePad doesn’t seem to notify submitters of that but rest assured I receive them and approve them.

Friday Five: Five Things for Which I am Thankful

I wasn't going to do a Friday Five today.

Honestly, it will be hard enough to go in to work given how many folks were personally impacted by the events that took place early in the morning 8 Septembers ago. It was a turning point for me as it was for so many others. BUt it is not a topic for this blog.

Since this day does give pause for much reflection, I decided to share five things related to WoW that I am personally grateful for right now:

  1. My guild. They're not all perfect and I could sometimes happily virtually strangle a few of them, but this is, overall, the best fit I've had in a guild. The day-to-day Pirate officers and raid leaders are thoughtful and open to feedback and are looking out for the best interests of the guild at large.
  2. My ladies. While I am at work, I have you on twitter to give me a smile or two (or a scoop on the latest data mined vanity pets). And in game I have your ribald comments, your more than competent playing backing me up in our many adventures, and your encouragement when leveling my alt hits a plateau of never ending quest-induced tunnel vision. Special shout outs to Sawyer, Tryn, and Norm. You ladies are the bestest.
  3. My ISP. I used to suffer through with a national DSL provider whose service "mysteriously" took a nose dive every night by 9:00. I had 2 fps in 25-man raids and a migraine whenever I called to complain about it and their offshore support would tell me it was definitely my old modem causing the nightly slowdowns but they could sell me a new router for only $100…I now am a Speakeasy customer. Yes, it's a lot more expensive. But it's also reliable and you get to talk to a company employee who seems to genuinely want to help you if you have a question or issue.
  4. My iMac. For three years, I played WoW on the very last PowerBook PowerBook. But when I saw that WotLK's specs did not seem to be 3-year-old laptop friendly, I took the plunge and upgraded to an iMac and have been astounded by the beautiful screenshots I am able to take thanks to having all my graphics settings cranked up, and the high FPS even while AOEing in a 25-man raid. It has improved my gameplay — and my posture– immensely.
  5. My SO. I would not have started playing WoW if it were not for watching him raid ZG when it first came out. And without his ongoing support and partnership, it wouldn't be nearly as fun as it has been. I can't think of any other regular activity that has kept me engaged for almost four years. When I decided to swap to the horde, he leveled up a new toon to play with me, and quickly became a pro at it. His tenacity, and his willingness to partake in the WoW math side game have helped make him the great player he is today– and have rubbed off on me alittle bit too. Much love to you, Guld.

Happy Friday. Give someone you love a hug.