We begin where we left off in part one of our article that focused on the overall idea of tying up loose ends and one of our three categories: leveling. In this part, we look at the tangibles and intangible categories and how we tie all of this together in our estimated timeline.
Next, let’s look at in-game tangible items. For everyone, this category is going to be different. These items can include PvP gear, Tiered gear, mounts, pets, trade skill items, etc. If you have more than one toon at level 80, this can even get further complicated as you try to meet your needs for each character. The best way I can describe this process is using my toons as an example.
The Rogue. He’s been my longest played toon and has been with me since the beginning. As far as gear goes, he’s “ok”. What tangible items does he need though to go into Cataclysm? Or more truthfully, what items do I want him to have? The answer to this is simple: mounts. Currently he has 25 mounts, but I am after 50. Many of these will become available as I work on faction (next section of the article), but some is going to cost both faction and gold. Luckily I have the faction already. The main mounts I want for the Rogue though are: Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth (for the vendors), the Red Rake from Wyrmcrest and the Chopper. In the end, since I already have the faction, I just need the gold: a lot of it. I also would like for him to have the Sea Turtle for the prestige factor.
The Priest. She’s almost 80 but going forward once she is, I want her to have some decent gear of at least Uldar standard. In addition I want her to have the epic Flying Carpet mount. Not a lot to ask for.
The Death Knight. He isn’t 80 yet but will be soon enough. For him, I definitely want some gear and also the WotLK faction mounts like the Red Drake and an Ice Mammoth and just because of attitude a Chopper.
So, now that I have defined items I want for these toons, I have to do a couple of things. I have to weigh them with the other goals I have for these toons and while on these particular toons I need to work toward these goals ASAP. The reason being for me, is that I know I have a couple of toons left to level up that will take time, some intangible things I need to do for them and need them in a position to help my guild and my other alts. Notice I didn’t list anything for my Hunter – it will be enough to just to get him to level 80.
What do I mean by in-game intangible goals? Again, to use my own toons as examples, these are goals that are not directly tied to items per se, or to leveling. Again, I leave my Hunter out as it will be enough to just to get him to 80.
The Rogue, Priest and Death Knight: I want all of them to be maxed out in their professions including secondary professions. This will cost some gold, some time grinding away for mats and, of course, time. Fishing is a time-sink for example.
Titles: these come with achievements, and I would like to collect a variety of them for the different toons. For example I would like to have the Priest get the Loremaster achievement.
Tournament: I would like for at least the Rogue and the Priest to max out the reputation and items from the tournament.
For you, these intangibles might be different. Perhaps you’re working on the achievement for completing all the holidays, or you want to max out reputation, become an Explorer, or earn the Loremaster title yourself. These are your intangibles.
Putting It All Together
So, I have my three categories of goals, a rough timeline on how many of my alts I can feasibly level in the next six months and an idea of what tangible and intangible items and goals I want to achieve for my three toons.
Since I don’t want to play under the gun on too stiff of a schedule, I’m just going to put out the ideal playing scenario I will work toward:
While on the Rogue, I need him to earn gold for his own goals but to assist with the other toons as well. In addition (more on this in another article) I want him to do emblem runs to get heirloom items. He also needs to work on getting all of his professions to 450 and still make his weekly commitments for raiding.
While on the Priest, I need to get her that to 80 and max out her professions. I also need her to focus only on the couple of goals I have for her. Since I also need to gear her up, she needs to be available for the occasional raid or heroic dungeon.
While on the Death Knight, I need him to focus on making some gold for his stuff and work on his professions. And finally on my Hunter I need him to level.
Here is where time management comes in. You’ll have to do your own math for your own uses:
I figure it will take about eight more days playing time to get the Hunter to 80. I’ll have the Priest to 80 in a couple of days and the DK to 80 within a couple of weeks playing. I play about 25 hours a week – missing that by some or a lot depending on how busy my week is. That’s about two and half hours a day during the week and five to six hours a day on the weekend. Yes, I have a job, a wife, a business, two dogs, mountain bike regularly; watch my television shows on TiVo, host dinner parties on occasion, go to church, write both articles and fiction all the time, and even play some Rock Band.
I want my level 80s (considering them the Rogue, Priest and Death Knight) to bring in 1K gold a piece each week. I make gold slow, so that’s about four hours per toon. This is done mostly through dailies, which also increases faction. The four hours also includes heroic runs. So there is 12 hours a week. I raid about five hours a week, which leaves eight hours I can dedicate to leveling, first as my Priest and DK and then my Hunter. That’s 192 hours over the next six months I can dedicate to leveling. I know that’s not enough to safely level all my toons, so I know about four months in I need to step back from at least one of my level 80s grinding out gold, which should give me just about the right amount of time.
With this figured out now, I know I can meet my goals of getting alts leveled. We’ll look at alt leveling strategies in the next article. I know that I have five hours each week I can spend raiding – not very much but enough to sufficiently keep up with progression, especially with heroic emblem runs that are already considered in my time. With bringing in 3K gold a week, that’s 12K gold a month. That takes care of dual specs and epic flying for the Priest and Death Knight in just one month. Leaving me three more months of concentrated cash flow = 36K and two months of abbreviated cash flow = another 16K. So my goal at the end of six months is everyone is dual spec’d, has epic flying and I have 42K that I can use toward mounts. Technically speaking, one of two things is going to happen: Either I need to bring in a little more gold in order to make these goals or I need to figure out who is going to lose a mount or two.
The intangibles are worked on while making gold and running around the game, and so I am okay with the pace of these and if by chance they don’t get done, for me they’re not as high of a priority to begin with.
Your mileage is going to vary of course, but I would start to consider your options now on how you want to progress once Cataclysm comes out. By planning and working toward these goals now, you have the real chance of meeting all of them by the time the expansion comes out. And if it is longer than six months? Well, by then we’ll hopefully have an official release date. Personally I am hoping it is long enough for me to level my Warlock or Shaman to 80 in time.
Next time, we’re going to discuss alt leveling strategies so that we can maximize our time leveling our alts.