It’s really happening isn’t it? Walords of Draenor is launching this Thursday at midnight Pacific. Blizzard posted their list of launch times for some of the most common time zones.
Since I’m in the Eastern time zone, this translates to 3:00 am for me. Once upon a time I might have stayed up late to cross through the portal as soon as dwarvenly possible, but this is my fifth rodeo, and I’m old, need sleep, and have to go to work the next that day. Oh, and before you ask, taking a sick day is not an option this time around.
I do have plans though. Unfortunately some of them are the real life kind that will separate me from keyboard and game for the better part of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
I considered loading the game on my laptop and squeezing in some game time, but have decided against that. I’ve waited a long time for the expansion, and to rush through it on a system that has a smaller screen, lower graphics settings, worse sound, and crappy hotel internet will only diminish the whole experience.
Raiding doesn’t begin until early December. The WoW anniversary events last until the beginning of 2015. Not being able to play for two days isn’t going to hurt, and even it does, I’ll have lots of free alcohol to dull the pain. Never mind about the days I won’t be playing, let’s talk about Thursday, and when I get back.
I plan to go to bed a little early on Wednesday and then get up around 5:00 am and hit it for a couple of hours before heading into work. I know the Tanaan Jungle like the back of my hand now, and should plow through that in short order.
I’ll have my garrison up an running by sunrise, and then I hope to clear Shadowmoon Valley before immersing myself in the real world on Friday.
For my leveling spec I’m going as Beast Mastery. No strategic reason here, it’s always been my favorite spec, and gives me access to largest variety of pets. I’m leaning towards Loque’Nahak as my leveling pet. The other pet I’m considering leveling with is my Shrine Elk. These are the stags that look like Druids. Both choices are based purely on fun and not buffs they offer.
I plan to carry no more than two active pets. The Tanaan Jungle starting area, which is phased, has all the flavors of Toucans, and a River Beast that you can tame. It’s a great place to get your hands on some new pets right out of the gate.
Since I’m alliance, I’ll be questing in Shadowmoon Valley which means I’ll be getting a new Sporebat, River Beast, Ravager, and possibly a Talbuk. All of these having the new Draenor skins. If you’re Horde there are plenty of new beasts in Frostfire Ridge for you tame.
One other thing I’ll do right away is start the Gara quest. I won’t finish it until I hit level 100, but at least by starting it, I’ll be able to collect the items I need by leveling and without having to go too much out of my way. Frostfire Ridge is the only zone not on the Alliance journey.
If you’re Horde you may want to consider hopping over to Shadowmoon Valley to start the quest, but not a big deal if you wait to do the whole thing at level 100. If you follow a guide, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to get Gara.
If you don’t have an Azure Water Strider mount, then I recommend keeping a Water Strider pet handy as there are a few areas where walking on water is helpful. Remember though, that Water Strider pets are exotic and require Beast Mastery.
As far as additional mounts that I’ll be riding, I’m undecided. I will say this, I only plan to ride around on ground mounts, or flying mounts that look more like ground mounts. Flying mounts such as Cloud Serpents, the Iron Sky Reaver, or dragons don’t look good on the ground. Besides, other than the Timeless Isle I seldom use my grounds mounts so it’s nice to break them out.
For my armor set I am going with the Gronnstalker’s set, only I’m using the Boneweaver Girdle and Quickstrider Moccasins for belt and boots because they’re a better match than the set pieces. For the head slot I’m using the Steamworker’s Goggles.
Regarding the heirloom weapon, I only ever got the Heroic version of Hellscream’s Warbow so I’ll have to wait until level 94 before it overtakes my Mythic-Warforged Kor’Kron Hand Cannon. It should be noted that as you get higher up in level the differences between the Heroic and Mythic Warbow become much smaller. From about level 96 to 98 there is only a four item level difference, and by level 99 they’re virtually the same, and at level 100 they’re identical.
As far as my Garrison plans go, I’m still figuring out what buildings I want. I suspect this will be a dynamic thing where I swap out buildings as my needs change. My first incarnation will focus around gaining followers, making gold, and supporting my crafting professions which are Leatherworking and Engineering.
As my Garrison progresses, and I begin to level up alts and establish their Garrisons, my setup will change. If you’re looking for some Hunter-centric options for Garrisons you should read this post by the Grumpy Elf. Additional Garrison resource that I recommend are,
- Collected Warlords Garrison & Profession Guides – The Grumpy Elf
- To Build a Home – Alt:ernative Chat
Raiding doesn’t start until December 2nd. So once I get to level 100 I’ll focus much of my time gearing up Darkbrew to raid. If that starts to happen quickly, I’ll then begin leveling my alts and establishing their Garrisons.
For now I’m just playing the waiting game. My gear is upgraded and transmogged, and my stable has room for new companions.
On a side note, my real-life plans have me going to New York on Friday. If Grommash is still hanging around Times Square, I’ll be sure to say hello with my stubby dwarf fists.