Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Leveling Game and What it Costs

Larisa is asking how much gold she should have to be raid ready in Cataclysm after she tops off her levels.

I asked her what she thought she was going to need that would require more than the gold she might get from leveling. I pointed out that in Lich King, "raid ready" means having a mix of 5-man blues and some leveling greens. By the time you cap out at level 70 you should have plenty of gold for gemming your first epics, even after dropping 1k on cold weather flying and another 1k for duel speccing.

My own experiences are proof of the matter. I entered Northrend with a little over 1k and spent it on dps gear (I only had Karazhan tanking epics and I wanted to kill stuff faster while leveling) and my toon is currently at level 79 with over 1k even after buying cold weather flying on schedule. I have not sold anything on the auction house and have not run any 5-mans. I am currently gathering champion seals to get an epic two-hander or two. I might go duel spec, but I might not. I get to make that decision any time I want though just because of the quest gold I've made (and selling stuff to vendors). I have a bank full of northrend ore and frostweave and I should be able to make a small fortune off of those even if I wait until the prices bottom out after the expansion drops. I have not touched my blacksmithing since I capped it in Burning Crusade, not sure what to do with it, so I'm holding the ore for now.

Point is, I've done nothing to get gold, but have made over 2k. I have plenty of gold to make if I sell some of the northrend items I've gathered just from killing and mining. I have epic weapons waiting for me at the argent tournament that only require time played, and no gold at all.

So, again, what do we need the gold for if we only want to be raid ready?

If Blizzard makes the first Cataclysm raid casual friendly again, our 5-man blues and leveling greens will be enough to get in. Gems are nice to have but are mostly wasted on anything that is not epic, unless you are like me and intend to wear some of your gear forever. For instance, the dps gems that I bought at level 71 are still giving me love because I have not changed any of my gemmed gear yet. I have had some greens that would have been nice upgrades to my epics and blues, but the gems made the difference.

The only thing to worry about at this point is what Blizzard intends to do about travel. If we have to pay for travel in Azeroth (rather than just exotic fluff mounts) then we may have to mind our coins. Otherwise, there is nothing to stress over.

Frankly, unless you are collecting in-game vanity items or absolutely must have best-in-slot items (even though they are only somewhat better than the standard fare), then more than 5k gold is more than one player can reasonably spend.


LarĂ­sa said...

I hope you're right!
I really don't want to spend any more time at AH than necessary. I remember the 5 k flying mount was insanely lot of money at that time. But on the other hand they've changed the philosophy about a lot of stuff in the game, making it less of a grind. Maybe that goes for the need of gold as well and the new flying cost might be reasonable.

hound said...

The great thing about that 5k mount was that it was just fluff. We felt we had to have it, but the lack of epic flying did not hinder our raiding readiness.

I suspect the same will hold true in Cataclysm if travel is to have any cost at all.


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