We’ll kick things off by clearing up some rumors or important questions left unanswered in Part 1 & 2. First, it looks like rested XP will be wiped on release (thanks Calianna for this);
Rested experience will be reset at launch. You will start at 0 rested.
Lead World Designer
In part 2, some readers had pointed out that daily quests may no longer provide XP once Cataclysm hits. Blizzard recently smashed this rumor in an interview with BestBuy:
Regarding 25 daily quests to turn in when the expansion goes live, this is something players have been able to do for the last 2 expansions and we aren't talking about changing it now.
Remember, launch is actually on Monday, at the stroke of midnight, so make sure to book Tuesday off! Launch will occur simultaneously across the US at 12am Pacific, or 3am Eastern. Don’t get your time zones mixed up!
Furthermore, it was brought to my attention that grinding instances might be the fastest way to 85. There were reports that instances were granting 600k XP per run (15-20 minute runs), which would be far more efficient than questing. Dungeon XP has since been nerfed, and apparently (this is all hearsay) dungeon grinding is still slightly faster. I haven't done any dungeons myself, but let me tell you this: if you want to rely on 4 other people to be simultaneously available and dependable for 20+ hours, be my guest. In dungeons, you're only as fast as your slowest member, and wipes will cause serious setbacks (hint: you will wipe). Besides, I haven't seen any conclusive evidence that dungeons are faster, only some skewed math in the general forums.
Hope that clears a few things up!
With the shattering occurring on the 22nd, it became evident to me that beta testing could very well end on this day, leaving me with only a few days to re-run 80-85. My results the second time were MUCH better, there was no exploring, note-taking, or wasted time associated to looking up quests and running in circles. Now, it looks like I really need to re-think my schedule – as I might be able to complete this in 1 sitting without even resorting to caffeine. If everything goes to plan, I think 80-85 in well under 20 hours is achievable (a longshot from 38 hours, isn’t it).
Moving forward, I’m amazed by the simplicity of Cataclysm’s new quests. In WotLK, having beta experience was a huge advantage for anyone racing to realm first, but not so much in Cataclysm. Looks like Blizzard is going through a questing philosophy change and leaving behind the old pain in the arse quest design. Maybe they finally get that we hate vehicle quests. That’s right – you aren’t required to complete annoying quests (a la Dragonblight) from 80 to 85. The entire process is a point, kill, run and fetch, save a few quests that I will guide you through. In essence, a beta invite isn’t required anymore for realm first 85 (but is still an advantage), so long as you know how to complete the few annoying quests, you’re more-less ready.
You might want to print off the following quest notes and have them sit on your desk if you’re attempting realm first.
This zone features some vertically staggered areas, so it can be a pain finding the next objective, depending where you’re standing. If you find yourself directly on top of an objective, and cannot locate it, try flying up to a ledge above (there is also a ship flying around like the Skybreaker and Ogrim's Hammer).
To get to Deepholm, follow the breadcrumb quest and take the portal located in north-east Stormwind (horde likely have a very similar procedure). You’ll be tasked with saving the world or whatever, and you must rebuild the “world pillar” as it has been sabotaged by a bunch of bad guys. As you can tell, I’m not really big into lore, but you still get quest tips for this zone:
- [quest lang=cata]Quicksilver Submersion[/quest]: You must first loot the crate, use it out of range of the ogres and sneak up while under water.
- [quest lang=cata]Sealing the Way[/quest]: you must kill all surrounding mobs and use the quest item on the NPC once he is out of combat.
- [quest lang=cata]Sprout No More[/quest]: Simply right click a nearby golem to "obtain a war golem".
- [quest lang=cata]Rescue the Stonefather... And Flint[/quest]: The NPC you must free is on the SECOND level of the zone. Fly up to the ledge overhead!
- [quest lang=cata]Fungal Fury[/quest]: stand against a rock - some of the mushrooms knock you back FAR away.
What can I say – this zone looks amazing. Uldum is easily the most beautiful zone in the game… not to mention it features the return of Harrison Jones! Uldum is similar to Zul’Drak, in that you’re sent around to “check in” with various NPC and tasked with completing errands for them.
Questing here isn’t linear, and bread-crumb quests often branch off, but I found the leveling experience in Uldum quite smooth anyway. You’ll have a blast questing here – it’s quite a shame that so many of us will be blaze through the zone without first exploring it. Getting to Uldum is a matter of flying to Tanaris, so you need to be prepared in this respect. There is no portal from Stormwind – you need to travel the long way. Engineers can port directly to Gadgetzan, and if you have a means to get to Dalaran, there should still be a port to Caverns of Time allowing you to reach Tanaris quickly.
- [quest lang=cata]The High Priest's Vote[/quest]: High Priest Amet is INSIDE the dam, you must go to the end of the dam itself and follow the steps down.
- [quest lang=cata]Salhet the Tactician[/quest]: No need to save your abilities here, just mash them as they come up to finish the quest faster.
- [quest lang=cata]The Pit of Scales[/quest]: you must make the elite mob run over the purple eggs to buy yourself time (heal up and or kite).
- Also remember, when you go to Khartut's tomb, make sure to slay a hyena, as it triggers a quest (same for the scarabs inside the tomb). [quest lang=cata]Do the World a Favor[/quest] / [quest lang=cata]Just a Fancy Cockroach[/quest]
Unfortunately Blizzard ended the beta JUST before I was about to go through my final pass here. I’m going mostly from memory, so no guarantees about these quests. I’d appreciate anyone chipping in here, as I’m afraid this list may be incomplete;
- [quest lang=cata]Devoured[/quest]: You're supposed to die on this one!
- [quest lang=cata]Distract Them for Me[/quest]: Bugged as of early November - but can still be completed. You'll need to solo the mobs by yourself, since the NPC has not yet been scripted to help you as intended.
- [quest lang=cata]Finding Beak[/quest]: I had to walk around extensively to trigger the eastern Dunwald objective.
- [quest lang=cata]If The Key Fits[/quest]: Drop this quest if you aren't given 4 NPC to assist you. I've seen this bug a 1/3 times.
As you probably know, much has changed since Part 1. I will be re-writing all three parts and posting a fully reviewed guide for your perusal (perhaps partially in a FAQ format). We’ll examine final adjusted logistics, scheduling and preparations in light of these developments. Hopefully this will provide a more definite and less fragmented picture of what needs to be done if you're gunning for realm first 85.
And that's it for today! Sterling beaming out!