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Warlords of Draenor Beta

Warlords of Draenor Beta
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I will try to make this useful but not too descriptive so that it won't spoil your experience if you get into the beta or when WoD goes live on November 13th. Note that some aspects of the Beta are in flux (notably professions and raids) so some changes are likely to occur.

First about the Beta itself:
Hopefully you will get an invite from Blizzard so you can join in the fun. Beware of phishing scams, however. If you receive an email invite, I wouldn't click on any links in the email, but rather, go directly to battle.net, click on the Account tab and see if you have a new Warlords of Draenor public test realm account. If so, click on that and start by downloading the game client.

Once you've installed the beta, the opening screen will allow you to create a level 90 template character or you can copy one of your existing level 90 characters from the live realm. The template characters are supplied with item level 500 gear and weapons as well as 600 alchemy and 600 mining or 600 herbalism.

The new copy process for existing characters is nice and fast, however the copy process currently doesn't copy your macros, your key binds or your equipment manager sets. I don't know of any way to recover the equipment sets other than by recreating them.

For the macros, you can navigate to Program Files/World of Warcraft/WTF/Account/<acct name> and copy the macros-cache.txt file and paste it into the equivalent folder in the World of Warcraft Beta directory. That will copy over your general macros. For each character that you copy over that has character-specific macros, you will need to pick up the macros-cache.txt file from the corresponding character folder and copy that over to the corresponding Beta folder.

For key binds, the process is the same except the files are called bindings-cache.wtf. There will be one file in the <acct name> folder plus one file for each character that has character-specific key binds in the character folder.

To get started in the Beta you will need to go through the training zones. You can speak to the huge Archmage Khadgar in the SW Trade District who will transfer you to the Dark Portal starting zone. Once you complete a few quests there you will head next to the Tanaan Jungle: Introductory Zone.

The mobs in the starting zone of the Tanaan Jungle are level 90 non-elites. The gear that's awarded from completing quests is 505-510 blues.

After completing the quests in the Tanaan Jungle, you will be transported to the Alliance starting zone, Shadowmoon Valley.

Afterwards you can return to Shadowmoon Valley from Stormwind through a small version of the Dark Portal in Stormwind on the Eastern Earthshrine near the Cata portals.

Changes occurring in the 6.0.2 pre-patch:
  • Probably one of the first things you'll notice is that there are a number of holes in your Action Bars. This is a result of Ability Pruning. Be sure to view the complete Patch notes to see what Blizzard has done to your favorite character.
  • The stat squish has been implemented, so no more 200k dps or 1 million health for tanks.

    Example (my fury warrior):
    MoPWoDSquish Factor

  • Hit and expertise have been removed as well as reforging. Reforged items will have reverted back to their original stats.

  • Professions no longer grant combat perks like toughness from mining, master of anatomy from skinning, lifeblood from herbalism, etc.

  • Valor and Justice Points will no longer be useable when the 6.0.2 pre-patch arrives on October 14th. After that you will be able to upgrade your MoP gear using Lesser Charms of Good Fortune and Heirloom gear will (eventually) be purchasable for gold. Honor and Conquest Points will remain and will continue to be used to acquire PvP gear.

  • For 100 gold you can activate the "Reagent Bank" tab in your bank that provides a lot of storage for crafting materials. The stack size for crafting materials is increasing from 20 to 200. You will also be able to make items in your crafting book directly from the materials stored in your bank.

New Features:
  • Garrisons are a major new feature in Warlords of Draenor. See Take charge of your garrison on battle.net and the Garrison Calculator on wowhead. A lot of the quests in the Shadowmoon Valley are about building your garrison and acquiring garrison resources including followers. Garrison Resources are a new currency in the game. You will use them to send your followers on missions and to add new buildings to your Garrison. You acquire garrison resources as quest awards, killing rares and occasionally as rewards for completing missions. Also if you choose to build a lumber mill at your garrison, you gain the ability to find and harvest timber which you can turn in for garrison resources. Alternatively if you build a Trading Post, you can exchange things like herbs for garrison resources and you can trade garrison resources for varioius mats.

    Level 1 Outpost

    Level 2 Fort

    Level 3 Garrison

  • You will see various "bonus objectives" on your map. The quest objectives will pop up when you enter the area. It's not necessary to complete them to get the quest achievement for that zone, but they do award a nice amount of XP points and some gold.

  • In each zone you can pick up a buff or a perk that's only good for that zone. For example in Shadowmoon Valley it's Call to Arms.

  • When you turn in a quest that awards gear, there's a small chance that the gear that you receive will get a random upgrade of 10 or 20 levels.

  • New secondary stats have been added: Bonus Armor, Multistrike and Versility. See Secondary Stat Attunements for recommendations based on your class and specialization.
Progress Through Draenor:
  • Shadowmoon Valley (90-91)

    In Shadowmoon Valley the mobs are level 90-91 non-elites. There are a few bosses (from the wanted posters) that are level 92-94 elites and you are supposed to need a group of 3 to down them. There are also some rares that are level 91 elite. The rares drop a small amount of garrison resources and usually a piece of gear. The gear that drops from quests is 510-526 greens or blues. There are seven major quest chains in SMV (if you get lost see the Shadowmoon Valley Storyline). Note that, if you complete all of the quest chains in a zone, you can purchase a treasure map for that zone which is sold by the vendor next to the Archaeology trainer in Stormshield. Beware of Anchorite's Rise in the far south where there are some level 100 elementals and 98 and 100 elites. To the west of your garrison there's a region called Gul'var with some level 94 non-elites. Once you reach level 94 you can pick up a quest at your garrison that will direct you there.

  • Gorgrond (level 92-93)

    The mobs in Gorgrond are 92-93 non-elites. The gear that drops from quests is 522-543 greens or blues. An early quest in Gorgrond will give you the opportunity to build an Outpost for your garrison. The building choices are either a Lumber Mill or a Sparring Arena. The building you choose for your outpost will affect your questing experience in Gorgrond and provide different followers. The choice that you make does not affect which buildings you can build at your main garrison.

  • Talador (level 94-95)

    Once you reach level 94 you can pick up a quest at your garrison that will direct you to Talador. The mobs in Talador are level 94-95 non-elites. The gear that drops from quests is 540-570 greens or blues. Your outpost in Talador will let you choose between building a Mage Tower or Dwarven Bunker.

  • Spires of Arak (level 96-97)

  • Once you reach level 96 you can pick up a quest at your garrison that will direct you to the Spires of Arak. The mobs are level 96-97 non-elites. The gear that drops from quests is 568-593 greens or blues. Your outpost in the Spires of Arak will be a choice between a Stoktron Brewery or a Smuggler's Den.

  • Nagrand (level 98-100)

  • Once you reach 98 you can pick up a quest at your garrison that will direct you to Nagrand. The mobs are level 98-100 non-elites. The gear that drops from quests is 590-610 greens or blues. For your outpost at Telaari Station you can construct either a Rangari Corral or a Telaari Tankworks.

  • Ashran (level 91-100)

  • Ashran is an island off the northeast coast of Draenor which is dedicated to PvP. The Alliance base there, Stormshield, is effectively the Alliance city in Draenor. There's an Inn, bank, auction house and profession trainers (but they don't offer any training beyond level 600 at this point).

  • Level 91 - You can pick up a quest at your garrison to travel to Stormshield, the Alliance base in Ashran.
  • Level 91-92 - There's a Book of Garrison Blueprints that drops from the garrison quest "Bigger is Better". This will teach you all the level 1 Garrison blueprints.
  • Level 92 - When you upgrade your Town Hall to level 2 a quest will be available to open your mine. If you get a quest drop of an Outpost Building Assembly Notes (the first of which is from "Strike While the Iron is Hot" in Gorgrond), you can turn this in to Kinkade Jakobs near the flight point in Ashran for a level 2 blueprint.
  • Level 94 - The fishing shack opens.
  • Level 95 - The vendor next to the Architects Table in your garrison will offer level 2 plans for gold.
  • Level 96 - A quest is available to open up your Herb Garden. The blueprint vendor in Ashran will have more level 2 plans available, some of them requre a Compreshensive Output Construction Guide which is also a quest drop.
  • Level 98 - The Menagerie opens.
  • Level 100 - You can upgrade your Town Hall (and hence your garrison) to level 3. Level 3 plans are available from the vendor in your garrison for gold, however many of them are linked to achievements. The achievements are account-wide, but not the plans; each character will have to purchase the plans for about 1000 gold each.

Professions in the Warlords of Draenor:
One major change with professions in Draenor is that the patterns and recipes require materials from multiple professions. Here's a table that shows the materials and the primary professions that use them. That's not as bad as it looks since everyone can have a mine, herb garden and fishing shack at their garrison and those particular plots can't be used for anything else. And even non-miners and non-herbalists will be able to acquire those materials from within their garrisons. A quest to open the mine is available at level 92; the herb garden at level 96.

If you are at the MoP max profession level of 600, you can still mine, fish, collect herbs, etc., in Draenor but it won't advance your skill level since you're capped. To increase your maximum skill level to 700, you need to find a scroll like "A treatise on Mining in Draenor" which was a drop from a mining deposit. Once you use the scroll, each mineral deposit that you mine will increase your skill by one point (up to about 656). The two ores to be found in Draenor are True Iron Ore and Blackrock Ore. Both are plentiful but neither can be smelted nor prospected for gems. They can both be used in Alchemy and other professions. As your skill in mining improves from 600 to 700 the yield that you get from each ore deposit will increase from 1 to 2-4. This is true for herbalism as well.

There's also a "Fishing Guide to Draenor" that will boost your maximum fishing level to 700 and a "Guide to Skinning in Draenor" that will boost your maximum skinning level to 700. Both of these are random drops from mobs.

For Alchemists, there's a scroll "A Treatise on the Alchemy of Draenor" which was a quest reward from "Shocking Assistance" given by Telos. In addition to raising your max level to 700, this will lead to getting plans for your Alchemy lab.

Other references:
Wowhead has information on professions based on Alpha testing and datamining.

For Fishing, you can't beat El's Extreme Anglin'.

Another major change to professions in Draenor is that you can craft level 640 gear starting at level 1. It's likely that this change was put in for boosted characters so that they wouldn't have to visit the old zones in order to level a profession (boosted characters are given two level 1 professions). So if you ever wanted to switch professions, now is the time to do it. You might consider giving up mining or herbalism, especially if you have multiple toons since each character will be able to have a mine and a herb garden. Note also that you can build professional buildings in your garrison without learning the profession. The problem is that you won't have access to the full range of patterns. For example, the NPC in the Engineering Works can help you to make the 630 gun, but not the helms nor the upgrades for them.

Nitty Details about Crafting Gear:
  • The three main crafting professions (Blacksmithing, Leatherworking and Tailoring) can make a variety of BoE item level 640 gear and, in addition, Blacksmiths can make level 630 BoE melee weapons. Three other crafting professions (Engineering, Inscription and Jewelcrafting) can make a limited subset of gear/weapons. In particular: Engineers can make cloth, leather, mail and plate helms and, while these are BoE, they require 600 Engineering to equip them. Engineers can also make a level 630 BoE gun. Scribes can make level 630 BoE wands, staffs and off-hand weapons. Jewelcrafters can make a variety of level 640 BoE rings and neck pieces.
  • Leatherworkers and Tailors are able to make level 640 BoE capes.
  • You may only equip 3 pieces of crafted gear or weapons at any one time (with two exceptions which may be "fixed" before WoD goes live: the gun (Shrediron's Shredder) made by Engineers is not a part of the "Warlords Crafted" set, neither is the Scribe's off-hand weapon - Shadowtome). The other piece of gear which is not part of the Warlords Crafted set is the cape.
  • Before you can make any of the gear, you will need to learn a "secret" (e.g., The Secret of Draenor Blacksmithing) and then buy the recipe using one of the secrets. The secrets can be learned one per day and require a small amount of raw material (e.g., 5x True Iron Ore for Blacksmithing).
  • The crafted gear comes in three stages: stage 1 is level 630 weapons and level 640 gear which can be equipped at level 91. Stage 2 is level 640 weapons and level 655 gear which can be equipped at level 95 and stage 3 is level 655 weapons and level 665 gear which can be equipped at level 99.
  • Stage 1 gear generally requires 100x "crafting reagent" (e.g., 100x Truesteel Ingots for Blacksmithing). There are two means of creating the crafting reagents: you can make 4 per day (increasing to 10 per day at 700) using a recipe in your crafting book under Reagents and Research. This generally requires a medium amount of raw materials, for example: 20x True Iron Ore + 10x Blackrock Ore for Blacksmiths. The second method (assuming you have the appropriate professional building in your garrison) is to submit work orders. Each work order requires a small amount of raw materials (5x True Iron Ore for Blacksmiths) and they produce 1 per order (or 1-2 if you have a follower assigned to your building). Each work order takes 4 hours to complete. Depending upon the level of your professional building you can have from 7 to 26 work orders outstanding. In addition to the crafting reagent you may also receive a small number of Sorcerous Air, Earth, Fire or Water which are necessary for upgrading the gear beyond stage 1.
  • The gear and weapons that you produce may not have the appropriate secondary stats for your class and spec. For 1 secret you can learn the spell to reroll the secondary stats on a piece of gear in the hope of getting secondary stats which are more appropriate. Blacksmiths will need either the Truesteel Reshaper or the Truesteel Grinder. These "tokens" can be traded or sold at the Auction House.
  • For 5 Secrets each you can buy the recipes to upgrade the gear and weapons to stage 2 and to stage 3. These recipes produce various "tokens" which can be applied to existing gear. In general these recipes require 150x crafting reagents for stage 2 and 200x crafting reagents for stage 3 plus varying amounts of Sorcerous Air, Earth, Fire or Water plus 15x Savage Blood.
  • Sorcerous Air, Earth, Fire and Water and the Savage Blood can be traded or sold on the Auction House but not the crafting reagents.
  • Savage Blood is going to be quite scarce as the primary way to acquire it is through trapping level 100 elite creatures in Nagrand. In addition it requires having a level 3 Barn in your garrison so that you can get the appropriate trap and to submit work orders to skin the beasts that you trap. Like the crafting professions, each work order takes 4 hours to complete so you can only process six per day and the drop rate for Savage Blood is somewhere between 15-20%.

Gritty Details about Professions:
  • The gathering professions are essentially redundant/obsolete in WoD. Each of your characters can have a mine in the garrison at level 92 and it only takes 3 to 4 hours to level from 90 to 92, build your level 2 garrison and open up your mine. At that point, provided that you have multiple characters, you should start producing enough ore to keep a Blacksmith, Jewelcrafter and/or Engineer supplied. Herbalism becomes redundant at level 96 when you can open up the Herb Garden in your garrison. If you have an Alchemist you may want to keep Herbalism, at least at the start, so that you can pick Frostweed in Shadowmoon Valley. Skinning becomes redundant at level 100 if you have a Barn and you start trapping elite animals for Savage Blood. For example, if you trap the Ironhide Bulls in Nagrand, they yield 15-22x Raw Beast Hides per work order (15 no follower, 22 level 100 follower) which should keep a Leatherworker supplied.
  • Note that if you choose to build a Trading Post in your garrison, you can swap garrison resources for many different crafting materials (just not Savage Blood). In addition, one of the NPCs in the Trading Post will accept a different crafting material each day for work orders in return for garrison resources. As you might expect, the exchange rate is not favorable.
  • Alchemy. Alchemists can make a Draenic Philosopher's Stone (level 620 trinket) which they can equip at level 91 if they are at Alchemy level 500 or better. They can also make various potions and elixirs using ingredients from fishing, such as the Draenic Rejuvenation Potion (this also requires 500 Alchemy to use). Note that a pure Healing Tonic is actually learned from First Aid. Alchemists can make two levels of flasks such as the Draenic Strength Flask and the Greater Draenic Strength Flask. They are also able to make various potions such as the Draenic Strength Potion.
  • Enchanting. Enchanters can produce two different levels of enchants for the cloak, neck and the rings such as Breath of Haste and Gift of Haste. There are also 6 different enchants for weapons such as Mark of the Frostwolf. The problem with Enchanting at this point is that the raw materials, Draenic Dust and Luminous Shards are hard to come by. You will get some as you disenchant the gear that drops from quests as you level up but the only other source is DE'ing random green gear that drops or buying the Draenic Dust at the Trading Post.
  • Inscription. Scribes can make various new glyphs and a Darkmoon Card of Draenor. Completing one of the card sets can lead to a quest reward of a 640 level trinket such as the Skull of War. The crafting reagent for Inscription is War Paint which is made from Cerulean Pigment which, in turn, is made by milling herbs. There should be plenty of herbs to mill as the only herb in high demand is Frostweed which is needed by Alchemists.
  • Jewelcrafting. In addition to the neck pieces and rings mentioned above, Jewelcrafters can make two different levels of gems such as a Multistrke Taladite and a Greater Multistrike Taladite. The problem with Jewelcrafting at this point is that there is a lack of gear that have gem sockets. I've heard that the gear that drops in raids has a random chance of having a gem socket, but so far I've only seen one prismatic socket on a tier head piece.
  • Leatherworking. Leatherworkers can make 36 slot bags for Leatherworking, Inscription and Mining. Note that these and other specialty bags are essentially useless now since the stack size for mats is now 200 and you can have the Reagents Bank tab in your bank. The exception to this is probably the engineer's 36 slot Lure Master Tackle Box since there are 8 different types of fish, each in 4 different sizes including bait.
  • Tailoring. Tailors can make a 30 slot Hexweave Bag but it's only two more slots than the Royal Satchel and a lot more expensive to make. The primary raw material for Tailoring is Sumptuous Fur which tends to be relatively scarce. So unless you have a hunter and/or a barn, you may need a Trading Post to keep you supplied.

Some Not So Obvious Details About Followers:
  • Followers gain experience when you send them on missions. Once they reach level 100, they can still benefit from XP as they go from Uncommon to Rare to Epic (green, blue & purple circles around their portrait).
  • A follower with a skill such as Leatherworking can be assigned to your Tannery once your professional building reaches level 2. The follower will help to increase the reagents produced by your work orders. You can improve most follower's output by leveling them to 100.
  • Visit your followers while they are assigned to a building and they will sometimes have things to offer you.
  • You can assign a follower to a building just before picking up your work orders or running through the mine. After that the follower can be released from the building and sent on missions. The one exception to this seems to be the Herb Garden. The follower needs to be there longer if you are selecting which herbs to plant.
  • If you have a level 2 or higher Inn at your garrison, you can recruit followers with specific skills like Leatherworking once per week.
  • If you increase your Barracks to level 3, the maximum number of followers you can have increases from 20 to 25.
  • If you do all of the quests in all of the zones, you can expect to pick up about 17 followers.
  • If you have a level 2 or higher Salvage Yard, you will sometimes receive follower tokens in the salvage that can increase a follower's item or weapon level.
  • If you assign a follower to a mission that is more two levels above them, the follower won't gain XP even if the mission is successful.
  • For a detailed guide to followers, see the wowhead article.

Known bugs - These weren't fixed at the end of the Beta so they may still be a problem:
  • When I copied my characters over they all had from 27-31% XP towards level 91. I would have expected some spill over from the last quest or whatever I completed at level 89, but nothing like 160k XP.
  • There is an event on the hill near the Embaari Village in Shadowmoon Valley which is designed to get you Artificer Romuul as a follower. Sometimes, at the completion of the event, he doesn't offer you the quest to make him a follower. The work-around for this is to run away a bit and come back to him. Also watch out for high-level Horde players in the area. A few of them in the Beta made it a sport of killing Romuul before you could complete the event and get the quest.
  • At the completion of the quest, A Matter of Life and Death, in Bloodthorn Cave in Shadowmoon Valley you were supposed to get Roona as a follower. It hasn't worked that way for quite a while but maybe they will fix it.
  • Blacksmithing: the mats required to make the Truesteel Grinder are 10 times what they should be as compared to other tokens that allow you to re-roll the specs on gear or weapons.
  • The implementation of the Warlords Crafted Set is still somewhat inconsistent. The last I read the crafted capes may be added to the set, but I don't know if they will add the Engineer's gun or the Scribe's off-hand weapon. I'm hoping that they might remove all of the weapons from the crafted set, because dual-wield classes are going to be at a disadvantage, perhaps using up two slots in the set versus one for single-wield. Frost DKs, for example, will almost be forced to switch to using a 2h weapon in my opinion.
  • Proving Grounds (silver medal required to queue for random heroic dungeons) may not be properly tuned yet. In looking at the forums, tanks and healers weren't having much trouble, but dps classes were. It could just be me, but I couldn't complete the Bronze challenge on my hunter because I couldn't generate enough AoE damage (and this was with a 648 item level). My rogue did better but I still couldn't complete the Silver challenge. So hopefully things will be tuned better when this goes live.

Normal Dungeons:
  • Auchindoun - The trash is level 95 & 96 elites and the bosses are 97 elites. Everyone is changed to level 95 and item level 550 for testing purposes. Gear that drops from the bosses is 570 blues.
  • Bloodmaul Slag Mines - The trash is 91 elites and the bosses are 92 elites. Everyone's gear is scaled down to 500 for testing purposes. Gear that drops is 530 blues.
  • Grimrail Depot - The trash is 100 and 101 elites. Gear that drops is 615 blues.
  • Iron Docks - Gear that drops is 530 blues.
  • Shadowmoon Burial Ground - The trash is 100 elites. Everyone's gear is scaled to 600 for testing purposes. Gear that drops is 615 blues.
  • Skyreach - The trash is 97-99 elites. Everyone's gear is scaled to 570 for testing purposes. Gear that drops is 600 blues.
  • The Everbloom - The trash is 100-102 elites. Gear that drops is 615 blues.
  • Upper Blackrock Spire - The trash is 100 & 101 elites. The bosses are ?. Everyone's gear is scaled to 600 for testing purposes. The gear that drops is 615 blues.
  • For a detailed guide to followers, see the wowhead article.

Heroic Dungeons:

Note that in order to queue for a random Heroic Dungeon you will need a Silver Proving Grounds Medal for each role that you wish to queue for. The quest for this is available in your garrison once you reach level 100. Gear that drops from Heroic Dungeons is 630 blues.
  • Highmaul - LFRs: Walled City, Arcane Sanctum, and Imperator's Rise. Gear drops: LFR 640, Normal 655, Heroic 670 and Mythic 685. The current release schedule is December 2nd for Normal and Heroic, December 9th for Mythic and LFR.
  • Blackrock Foundry - LFRs: The Slagworks (Oregorger, Grull, Blast Furnace), The Black Forge (Hans'gar & Franzok, Ka'graz, and Kromog), Iron Assembly and Blackhand's Crucible. Gear drops: LFR 650, Normal 665, Heroic 680 and Mythic 695. This will likely be released about the end of the year.

Raid Supplies:
World Bosses:
  • Drov the Ruiner - Gear drops 650.
  • Tarlna the Ageless - Gear drops 650.
  • Rukhmar - Gear drops 665.

Legendary Quest Chain:

There's a new Legendary Quest Chain which leads eventually to an item level 710 ring. Once you reach 98, there will be a quest available in your garrison to get you started. See the Wowhead article.

Old Currencies:
  • Going away or no longer very useful: Valor Points, Justice Points, Motes of Harmony, Spirits of Harmony, Warforged Seals, Ironpaw Tokens, Elder and Lesser Charms of Good Fortune and Timeless Coins.

New Currencies:
  • Apexis Crystals - similar to Valor Points in that they can be exchanged for mounts and level 615 trinkets with the faction vendors located in the Town Hall in Stormshield. There are also vendors on Stormshield (around 49,61) that sell gear for Apexis Crystals (630 gear for 3k-5k, 645 for 9-11.5k + your 630 piece and 655 for 14.5-20k + your 645 piece). To earn Apexis Crystals you can choose between two daily quests in your garrison that award 800-1000. You will also earn small amounts from completing work orders in your garrison.
  • Garrison Resources - primarily used to upgrade your garrison and to send followers on missions. As mentioned earlier, garrison resources are earned as quest awards, killing rares and as mission awards. I'm not sure if it will make it into the live game, but there is also a Garrison Cache near your Town Hall that accumulates garrison resources at 1 resource every 10 minutes of clock time, or 144 per day up to a maximum of 500.
  • Seal of Tempered Fate - similar to Warforged Seals as they can be used to roll for gear in Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry. There's a vendor, Fate-Twister Seress, at the southern-most point in Stormshield that will sell three of these per week for Apexis Crystals (1000,2000,?), Garrison Resources (300,600,1200), Honor Points (500,1000,2000) or Gold (500,1000,2000). The numbers in parentheses are for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd seals bought with the same currency.
  • Primal Spirits - similar to Spirits of Harmony, these can be turned in to a vendor in your garrison for crafting materials; specifically 10 for 1 crafting reagent, 25 for 1 Sorcerous Air, etc., and 50 for 1 Savage Blood. The spirits drop mainly from mining carts and deposits and sometimes from your herb garden.

Recommendations before you start:
  • Before Patch 6.0 goes live on October 14th, spend your Valor Points for any remaining Valor Upgrades that you need. After the patch goes live you will still be able upgrade MoP gear using Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. Valor Points and Justice Points may get converted to gold as there will be nothing to spend them on nor any way to earn any more. Heirloom gear will eventually be sold for gold. See also Preparing for 6.0 as some mounts and achievements are disappearing.
  • After Patch 6.0 goes live, plan on raiding SoO to defeat Garrosh on at least Normal (the old Flexible) difficulty. There's a guaranteed drop of his BoA Heirloom Weapons and these will scale as you level from 90 to 100 in WoD. The weapons will no longer drop after Warlords is released on November 13th. The cap on Warforged Seals has been raised to 20, so load up on them and use them at every opportunity.
  • At some point before the expansion goes live, use/auction/vendor your old mats. In some cases they might help you to level your profession but, without profession trainers, you'll need to find the appropriate scroll first and it's probably not worth hanging onto them.
  • Clean out your bags. About all that you will need is some food, flasks, healing potions, hearthstone, items needed for your professions like Alchemist stone, thermal anvil, etc., and (maybe) some bandages. The rest of the stuff in your bags is pretty much useless. The MoP food, potions, etc., seem to be just as good as what drops in WoD at least up to level 94.
  • An Azure Water Strider can be useful in Shadowmoon Valley and elsewhere (since you won't be able to fly until maybe 6.1) but they cost 4000 gold and they require exalted status with the Anglers.
  • Use the Garrison Calculator to figure out which buildings you want in your level 3 garrison and then prioritize the order in which to build them as you level your garrison. For example, if you have a crafting profession you probably want to build a Forge or a Tailoring Emporium first so that you can start crafting the reagents needed to make the new gear.
  • If you are considering switching professions, do so on day 1. I.e., drop your current profession and visit a trainer in Stormwind to pick up level 1 of the new profession before going to Draenor. The scrolls that drop from quests in Shadowmoon Valley are matched to your current professions and you can't redo the quests.

Ready, Get Set, GO!

Before the expansion goes live, you will probably want to set your Hearthstone to an Inn in Stormwind (note that when you build your garrison, you will be given a separate hearthstone that can return you to your garrison). This is useful because the starting quest that you receive when you first log on on November 13th will have you meet up with Archmage Khadgar at the Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands so you will need to go through the portal in the SW Mage Tower. Also you will have little or no reason to go back to Pandaria (yes, your crops will wither and your farm will get overgrown with weeds) but you may need to go back to SW to get to the bank or auction house as you will need to reach 91 before you can go to Stormshield.

Blizzard has stated that there shouldn't be any patches necessary on 11/13 and that the expansion will open at midnight PST. Are you ready for that? Do you want to be the first person in the guild to reach level 100?

WoD leveling versus MoP
Questing in Mists of Pandaria was about gaining XP and moving on to the next zone as soon as you leveled up and the quests were open to you. Along the way you gained useable gear from quests and drops but there was always better gear over the horizon in the next zone. Later on gaining rep with the various factions became important along with earning JP and VP so you could purchase gear from the faction quartermasters.

With Warlords of Draenor, the leveling process has changed since the game is now centered around your garrison. Yes, you could skip a lot of the quests and run from zone to zone in a rush to get to level 100, but your garrison and your professions would suffer, so I don't recommend it (besides they are dropping the Realm First Achievements). As mentioned earlier, a lot of the Shadowmoon Valley quests (and quests in other zones) are about obtaining garrison resources and followers for the garrison missions as well as the scrolls you will need to advance your professions. You will need the garrison resources to add buildings within your garrison and to upgrade the garrison itself. Currently it requires 2000 garrison resources and 5000 gold to upgrade your garrison from level 2 to level 3 (by comparison, killing a rare might yield 12-29 garrison resources).

I think there are four new factions in WoD but I haven't seen any daily quests for them. There are quartermasters for the Council of Exarchs, the Arakkoa Outcasts and the Steamwheedle Preservation Society in the Town Hall in Stormshield, but they don't offer much for sale. If you build a level 2 trading post, there's a quartermaster there for the Sha'tari Defense. She offers mainly level 600 transmog gear. So that part of the game is different as well, although there may be changes coming in a later patch. With JP and VP going away, I'm not sure what incentive there will be to run the dungeons aside from getting gear or maybe for gold as I heard they are planning to increase the dungeon gold awards.

About the Gear...
I originally thought that this would be more like MoP in that you would be replacing your gear on day one of the expansion. But that's not going to be the case with WoD largely because of the free character boost to level 90 that Blizzard is offering to anyone who pre-purchases the expansion. The stated purpose of the character boost is so that new players would be able to join their friends and start off together playing the expansion. The character boost isn't available for testing on the Beta but, on the PTR, the boosted characters are still getting level 483 gear.

It appears that things are tuned so that anyone with level 483 gear or higher can progress through the starting zones and slowly acquire pieces of gear in the range of 505 to 526. A boosted character can expect to leave Shadowmoon Valley with a 515 gear level. And, if you do all of the quests in all of the zones, you can expect to finish Nagrand with a 600 gear level.

So, if you are well geared, say 560+, you will probably need to get to the Spires of Arak before any quest gear is useful to you. (And, as you might expect, the fights won't be very challenging until you get there either). Most of the normal dungeons will also help you to gear up (see above).

The crafting professions (see above) can also help you to gear up, but it will take a while to acquire the plans and the materials required.

See the visual gearing guide from Reddit and Wowhead's new guide on Gearing Up.

So keep working on your legendary cape and warforged gear since WoD is still a little ways off and your gear should last you for a while even when the expansion does arrive. Note: Blizzard has announced that the legendary cloak quest line will be removed from the game and that the cloak will NOT be attainable after Warlords is released on November 13th.

It's getting closer & we keep hearing good things


Thanks for the post! However I notice you're the last poster but can't tell where the edits have been made. I'll just read it again right before patch day anyway.
Quote by Primevalus
Thanks for the post! However I notice you're the last poster but can't tell where the edits have been made. I'll just read it again right before patch day anyway.

I'm constantly changing it so that make sense. Mostly I'm working on Professions at the moment.

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