Friday, September 4, 2009

Countdown is Officially On

We finally have reached week 5 of the Call of the Crusade raid, which means Anub'Arak has joined the fray once more and is dropping like the bug he is. Although many guilds such as my own are not quite done with this Tier 9 raid or even Yogg-Saron back in Ulduar, there's no denying that we are now finally counting down to Patch 3.3 and Icecrown Citadel. It appears we will have some time to gear up and digest the current content, as the 5-year anniversary event with the updated Onyxia raid will be a sub-patch before 3.3 and the anniversary is not for another 3 months. So this appears to be a great time to enjoy what you want in the game before another weekly raiding-fest in Icecrown.

As it turns out, we now know that the world of Azeroth will be absolutely torn asunder by the return of Deathwing. If the trailer for Cataclysm from Blizzcon is to be believed, we will be coming hot off the heels of battling Arthas in Northrend when the world changes forever. Now the changes to update leveling zones and allow flight in lower Azeroth will be very nice changes, this means the old world as we know it is going away. There will inevitably be dungeons (Onyxia), achievements, and quests that will be lost forever with these changes but you have to give up some things to gain something better in this case. For someone just entering the game a little under a year ago, I'm just now seeing the old world on Horde-side and even my achievement-hunting main is far from Loremaster and other old-world achievements. However, I will have nostalgia for zones like Westfall if they change much because that's where the game truly captured my solid interest. Now is the time to start experiencing the old world as it is if you have any desire to see that content.

Thus, many bloggers and even commenters on today are discussing so-called bucket lists for Cataclysm. I have notebook pages from various points along my 11 months in the game where I put together plans for my toons or my team of toons. It's been really fun to look back on things like my initial tries at figuring out shadow priest DPS rotations and Death Knight tanking abilities in the three viable talent trees. So while it may be something that's a bit in vogue just now, I believe it is a good time to see what the AE Team would like to have accomplished before Cataclysm comes out.

1. Arielae, Biancae, Clarissae at 80 - Pretty self-explanatory, I'd really like to have all my team ready for the next steps together in Cataclysm. It took me quite a few months to find out I prefer the healing role over all else, and these four classes give me a little bit of everything on the side as well (tanking with paladin and druid, DPS with priest and shaman). I will eventually experience the new questing content on my achievement-hunter Ekat, and there's no reason to stagnate for a year to wait.

2. Achievement Hunting in Dungeons - I've got a lot of content I've never seen, especially in Outland. Dungeons are the top-line content in the game and one thing Blizzard takes great care to get right. I'm thinking of not only seeing all the Outland dungeons, but also getting high-powered groups together to take on Sunwell Plateau and Sartharion+3 drakes. There's a lot to do and it does not necessarily require full blocks of time to raid, so onward with the hunt!

3. Achievement Hunting in Old World - There are achievements and titles like Loremaster and Seeker that may change radically and/or become feats of strength as entire quest chains go away forever. Perhaps even some of the rep grind achievements will go away. Now I'm not one for reputation grinding or repeatable content, but the Loremaster content is stuff I have never seen and may never see again. This may just be the extra impetus I need to go see WoW in all its glory. After all, I entered the game to experience it all and see how they made it so popular. So I think Loremaster and related things make the list.

4. Get into more PvP activities - This is for Ekat to gain more achievements as well as leveling purposes. PvP may not be the quickest way to level, but it is something different from kill 10 boars. I'd also like to perhaps get an arena team together and see how that realm of the game works. I'll have to find someone patient, but I think there are people in The Illuminati that would put up with me.

That's more than I could ever hope to do before next fall or whenever Cataclysm comes out. One thing on the top of my goal list is get a 310% mount from the seasonal achievements, which I should get at Hallow's End. That's not really a Cataclysm bucket list thing, but it is on top of my agenda other than these things listed. What's on your Cataclysm bucket list? If you have not thought about it, now is as good a time as ever.

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