- Introduction to Cataclysm Pre-Patch
- Original Pre-Patch Structure
- Currency Conversion in Pre-Patch
- Leveling Advantages in Pre-Cataclysm
- Preservation of Classic Content
- Final Thoughts on Pre-Cataclysm Preparation
- Introduction to Cataclysm Pre-Patch
Alright, folks, and welcome back. Like with any expansion, we will get a pre-patch for Cataclysm.
Introduction to Cataclysm Pre-Patch
As with most of Classic up to this point, it will be fairly true to the original with a few tweaks, namely getting the Big Shiny a couple of weeks before the expansion actually launches. This time, it’s the Goblin and Worgen races. As such, I thought it would be worth going over a few things that you can do right now in Wrath in preparation for the arrival of the pre-patch itself, as that is when we get all the really big alterations and updates to the game before being set loose on the new content.
Original Pre-Patch Structure
Before we start and get into the neater things, it’s worth mentioning that the original pre-patch for Cataclysm lasted 56 days and came in two parts. The systems patch, where features like reforging, new talents, class balancing, stacks, and pretty much every system in the game that got tweaked, came first. The second half came some weeks later and was where the Sundering Act actually happened in-game, and the world was forever changed by it. Because of this, some things were just drawn out and happened in stages, and not every change to things like dungeons and whatnot happened at once, and you had more time to muck about and finish up farming those things that just weren’t dropping for you.
Duration and Changes of Pre-Patch
The thing is, though, despite Blizzard saying they want us to have enough time to enjoy and partake in the pre-patch for classic expansions past, they have definitely favored much shorter ones in recent times, 2 to 3 weeks usually. So, I highly doubt we’ll see a Cataclysm pre-patch as long as the original, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the systems and follow-up patch are just rolled into one this time around.
The reason I bring this up is because for some things, particularly the new currencies, there may not be a grace period for things like going over cap like there was originally. So, I’m just giving you fair warning; it’s likely that any excess currency you have, uh, that goes over things like justice and honor and what have you, will just be immediately converted to gold. It may not, but it’s likely this time.
Gearing Up for the Pre-Patch
So, speaking of badges, go and get them, as many as you can, because come the pre-patch, they will be converted in one form or another. Frost and Triumph will be converted into justice points, the new lesser PvE currency that you will use to initially purchase dungeon blue equivalent items at max level. All other forms of Wrath.
Currency Conversion in Pre-Patch
Badges will be converted into gold at a rate of 5.5 gold per emblem, so either way, you’ll be getting something out of them once the conversion hits. The same goes for honor and other PvP currencies; they’ll all be converted into a new and improved form of Honor once the pre-patch hits. If you want to know a bit more about the changes to currencies going into Cataclysm, I covered it all there in a bit more depth.
Badge Rewards in Wrath
One thing to know if you haven’t been playing Wrath up to this point is that currently, every piece of PvE content will reward you with Badges of Triumph, with the exception of the daily dungeon, weekly raid boss, ICC, and ToV in VoA, which all reward Frost badges. This is because as the expansion went on, Blizzard updated older content to reward more valuable currencies. Now, there’s no issue with that whatsoever, but what it does mean is that Heroism, Valor, and Conquest badges became increasingly more rare because they no longer drop.
Strategies for Badge Conversion
So, if your goal is to make money off of the badge conversion come Cataclysm, you will need to convert your Triumph and Frost badges into the lesser versions. That will be the choice you have to make. But if you can work out exactly how many of the higher badges you will need to reach Justice cap come the pre-patch, you could just downgrade any excess for some easy gold. It’s also fairly possible that the new currencies introduced for Wrath Classic, Cenarion Essences, and Defiler’s Scourge Stones may also undergo a similar conversion, but that has yet to be confirmed and is simply a theory.
Leveling Up for Cataclysm
And then you’ve got alts, or simply leveling a character for Cataclysm. Everyone says this every expansion, but it is especially true now because we have Joyous Journeys, which has been available for a long time and will continue up until Cataclysm, possibly even into the pre-patch. This offers a 50% increase to experience gains, a significant boost that will help you level much quicker.
If you’ve got an alt you want to level or a character you want to prepare as your Cataclysm main, now is the time to do it. Pairing this with heirlooms can result in around 70% increased XP gains, making the leveling process even faster.
Moreover, with the RDF (Random Dungeon Finder), leveling in Classic is faster than it has ever been. Regardless of personal opinions on this matter, the fact remains that this is an opportune time to level up a character for Cataclysm.
Leveling Advantages in Pre-Cataclysm
If you don’t like leveling, that’s a significant bonus, and it lasts right up until you hit Level 80, so there’s no cutoff point. However, Blizzard has mentioned in an interview that we’ll likely see an increase to XP gains in Outland and Northrend once Cataclysm hits. Joyous Journeys is likely to reappear throughout the expansion on a regular basis, probably much like it has through Wrath near the end of a patch, so people can get up to speed a bit faster.
Exploring the Old World Before Cataclysm
If you want one last run through the old world before it gets its facelift, this is your chance. It won’t be long before it’s gone. Of course, there are era servers and features like seasons and hardcore, so it’s not completely gone as was the case back in the day. But that does assume you play those versions of the game. If you don’t and you really like the old world, this is a fine time for a leisurely stroll down memory lane. Or, if you’ve always played one faction but never really seen how the other side does things, again, give it a go before it’s too late. You might discover some new favorite areas, only to have those areas undergo significant changes a few weeks later.
Soon-to-Be Removed Content
Then we have content that will soon be removed, be that achievements, mounts, items, etc. A number of Wrath-related accolades will be moving to the Feat of Strength category for various reasons. Achievements like “Did Somebody Order a Knuckle Sandwich?” and “Master of Arms” will no longer be obtainable due to the retirement of weapon skills as a system in Cataclysm. Alongside that, you have Wrath-related achievements and mounts like “The Undying” or “Immortal,” or the ToGC mounts, both 10 and 25. To acquire them, you either need to complete a full heroic run or, in the case of the White Warhorse, an immortality run, which even in modern times is still challenging.
Vanilla Content and Loot Changes
There are also items like the Chromatic Sword, a unique drop from a rare in Stranglethorn, that will no longer be available in Cataclysm. The rare in question will still exist, but his loot table is overhauled, and the sword removed. It’s a simple sword, but it is undoubtedly cool, and I’m actually farming it myself, sadly with no luck as of yet.
However, this could go for a number of Vanilla instances as well, because with the overhaul we’ll see with Cataclysm, the loot tables will also be revamped. So, if there is a particular Vanilla item you want for transmog once that becomes a thing, chop-chop.
Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman are also affected by this, as they are the subject of the first phase and are its primary source of content. The reason I’m singling them out is that when Blizzard introduced the Wrath version of Onyxia, they put an NPC outside of the raid that allowed players to go back and complete the level 60 version. Now, this NPC may not survive Deathwing’s arrival and may also be removed.
Preservation of Classic Content
I think it’s a fair possibility that a similar NPC may be implemented, allowing players to partake in the original version of these troll dungeons in order to go back and pick up the shinies within, such as the tiger and raptor mounts. Now again, this isn’t confirmed; it’s just something I feel may be possible and something Blizzard might do given their track record thus far. And there’s just a whole host of other things, like the class weapons from Molten Core.
Preparing Professions Pre-Patch
Next is just to get your professions done, be that on your main or alts or whatever. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: they are worthwhile.
And at the end of the day, who wants to spend their pre-patch running around gathering herbs when they could be experimenting with new specs, punting goblins, or just calling every worgen that runs past a furry? There will be much more interesting things available in the pre-patch, so don’t ruin the fun by waddling through the Wetlands looking for an iron ore node when your pals are doing silly things to the Lich King and Co.
The Value of Professions
Again, I just cannot understate the power of professions, whether it be for financial gain or simply so you are self-sufficient and can make all the things you need for your day-to-day gameplay. But they are still time-consuming and, in some cases, hideously expensive to level, so the sooner you get it done, the better off you’ll be.
And given we are in the coasting period of Wrath at the moment, with most people just raid logging, you might as well. There are also a load of profession recipes that will be removed from the game, so if you are a collector and like to have everything you possibly can, your time is becoming increasingly limited.
Final Thoughts on Pre-Cataclysm Preparation
I mentioned, and it will give you all the details. When I say they’re being removed, that is to say they will no longer be obtainable. Those who already have them learned will still, in the majority of cases, have them, and as such, have access to increasingly rare transmog and other such things. And speaking of transmog, I’d honestly recommend getting on that as soon as you can, particularly for Wrath content. As mentioned repeatedly throughout this article, there are many items that will be going away with the Cataclysm. So, if there’s something you specifically want, go and get it.
Chasing Wrath of the Lich King Content
But as far as tier sets and weapons and what have you from Wrath content are concerned, I mean, you’re playing Wrath. If you want the Ulduar tier, go look for, or even start your own Ulduar run. Obviously, there’s no guarantee the item will drop, and if it does, if you’ll even win it. But at the end of the day, that content is going to be far more attractive when it is the literal endgame. So, crack on.
Managing Inventory for Transmog
And the banks on several of my characters are just starting to overflow a bit. My Shaman and Paladin, in particular, have armor sets and just general bits and pieces going through Vanilla, TBC, and now Wrath in preparation for the transmog system. And the good thing is, this is not permanent. We know we are getting the new and improved wardrobe-style transmog system. So, unlike original Cataclysm, you won’t have to have the item in question in a bag or your bank or void storage or whatnot. If you can use it, it gets added to the Wardrobe, and then you can wear the actual item, which is far more friendly.
The Modern Wardrobe System
And since the modern wardrobe system is an account-wide feature, you can farm an item on multiple characters, and as long as one of them gets it, assuming they could reasonably equip the item, you’ve got it for all. So, no need to rearm the same piece over and over for multiple alts.Anyway, that’s me for today. If you’ve got any suggestions as to what you think would be worth doing in preparation for the Cataclysm pre-patch.
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