In only a few short weeks, we will begin the charge to Pandaria and to level 90, but before September 25 arrives, we even begin preparations for the big day.
We need to consider many things for our characters and our computing hardware. Many of these tasks are quick and simple housekeeping type of things that if we weren't so busy we would keep on top of all the time but always find some excuse to put them off. But now there is precious little time remaining, we can procrastinate no more, the time for action is upon us!
- Auction: log onto you characters and move to you nearest bank. Open all your bags (shift+B) and sort through all your items. If it is not soulbound, consider putting it on the auction house. It is worth more now than it will be in 4 weeks and if you find you need it just buy it again.
- Vendor: Staying in your bank, sift through your bag and bank slots and look at all the soulbound items you have. If you're like me you'll have a collection of memory items, armor, weapons, 1st epics etc. now I'm not proposing you vendor these items but you should set aside one bag slot and fill it with your memory items. Any other items vendor them. You will never use them, they will be at least 1 expansion out of date in a few weeks anyway and you need gold more than junk in your bank. You'll be pleasantly surprised how much gold you'll get from this part.
- Delete or Complete: You'll still most likely have some stuff left in your bags and bank slots. Many will be quest items. Now is a great time to complete the quest and get rid of the junk. If you can't be bothered to complete the quest abandon the quest and delete the item, sometimes the item vanishes when you abandon quests if yours didn't delete it.
- Professions: Get all your professions to maximum level if you haven't already. Many people and guild banks will be emptying bank slots and trying to make sure they get the best price for it but mainly focused on not getting left with worthless junk. This means you get to level your professions at their expense. If you goods can be disenchanted and they do not sell quickly get an enchanter to disenchant them for you (offer a tip they'll hopefully refuse it but will thank you either way). Come Cataclysm you'll then be able to level your professions from day 1.
- Get Guilded: You need to be in one and now is a good time as many guilds have been bleeding members to the Diablo, the summer boss and the end of expansion boss, they need you and you need them, make sure they are level 25 and you'll get the benefits of all the perks and the XP boosts to boot. Being in a guild also gives you access to people to level with which makes the whole process faster and more fun.
- Addons: Over the course of the expansion you will probably have acquired addons for many things. Review these addons and determine if they are really needed. If you're really brave you could just ignore this part and on Panda release day simply delete your Warcraft install and start from fresh. This will most likely give a a performance increase so its a worthwhile task. Although you may need to spend some levelling time setting up your essential addons.
- Levelling Build: Consider making one of your specs a levelling build. This is not a viable max DPS raid build but rather one that helps you level faster by minimising incoming damge, maximising outgoing burst damage and minimising recovery times between fights. A mage frost build is a good example of this.
- Food and Drugs: Make a supply of buff foods and potions that will help speed your kill rate and minimise downtime. If your cooking isn't upto the challenge maybe now is the time to speed level it. Its not too difficult. Sadly, Pilgrim's Bounty is post Pandacraft launch so you'll have to tough it out old skool.
- Pre-Order World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria: You wouldn't want to miss out because your store sold out now would you?
- Your PC needs to be ready: make sure your anti-virus is updated and a full scan run before you install the Cataclysm client. If you don't have an upto date anti-virus you should download one of the free ones, they are as good as the bought ones at protecting your system although you may lose small features (like multiple scheduled scanning options). AVG from Grisoft and Avast! from Avast come highly recommended.The Mists client is a monster install, make sure that you have free space on your hard drive to actually intall it. The beta client took up 30Gb so allow 40Gb on your install partition to be safe. You may well need to do some housekeeping to free up this space or maybe it is time for that new HDD you've been promising yourself.Defragment your HDD after all the housekeeping you'll have performed in 2) above it will need it.Relax: If you've made it this far you're ready to go. Sit back and enjoy life in the knowledge that the biggest obstacle between you and level 90 is now getting your pre-ordered game from store to your computer.