This post was published long before the Mists of Pandara Expansion.
The tips and techniques explained here may be outdated.

Golden Ticket

Charlie’s Golden TicketIn the broadest sense, I play Wow because it’s better than watching TV. When I started playing Wow I stopped watching TV (except for “Lost” and “BSG”). It was almost a one-for-one trade. Wow has the benefit of at least being a bit more social. Though I’m now out of my depth when the discussion at work turns to “did you see what happened on {XXX show I don’t watch}”. Overall I’m fine with that.

If you narrow the sense.. I play WoW for different reasons depending on the state of the toon. When I’m leveling a toon, I’m playing that toon to get to 70. I have no twinks.. and really don’t PVP so I don’t see any reason to have any twinks.. so as I’m moving toons up in levels I don’t see the use to run any instance repeatedly for special gear. I’ll run the instances at appropriate levels.. and if I get good drops I’ll be happy.. but I’m not running the instance for the drop. Usually I’m running the instance to get a feel for the roll of this toon in 5-man groups. Regardless of what loot drops, I’ll probably be leveled past it in 2-3 days so in the end it doesn’t really matter. Seventy is the goal.

Once I achieve 70 I have to find a new goal for this toon. This can be reputation based (“I want to be exalted with everyone”) or item based (“I want to own every single non-combat pet”) or gear based (“I want the best pre-raid gear”) or based on something else. On my 70s I’ve always gone with gear based.

As my toon nears 70 suddenly I’m all about the gear. I’m obsessively making up gear lists(Protection Paladin, Holy Paladin, Affliction Lock) to find the best gear for this toon from questing, crafting, 5-mans, and (somewhat) heroics and heroic badges. It becomes all about the gear. Even though you may have to pug some of the 5-mans, I see the “pre-raid gear acquisition” as a continuation of the solo game. You can find pugs for Shadow Labs. Not-so-much for 10-, 25-mans.

After you have everything from questing, crafting and 5-mans.. the next step is 10-mans. Karazhan specifically. This is where it starts to get sticky. There really aren’t any pugs for Kara.. and even if there were.. if you pug Kara on Tuesday and the guild decides to run Kara on Wednesday you’re not going to be able to run with the guild. I like running with the guild more than I like running with pugs.. but sometimes the guild doesn’t want to go where I want to go. So you’re stuck.. waiting for guild groups.

The bigger question.. is “Why are you getting this gear?”

I’m getting the gear so that I can move on to bigger better raid instances. I want to see new content. I want to be able to say that -yes- I’ve been part of a group that killed Lady Vashj. In order to do that I need the magic golden ticket. That ticket is gear. If I get the right gear I get to go onto the next content. My stats will be good enough to help the group to possibly succeed.

But not only do I need that ticket, I need everyone else in my group to have that ticket. So even though Tatia already has all her gear out of Kara, Tatia will keep running Kara until everyone has their gear.

Some sites/blogs today mention WoTLK-fatigue. There seem to be a lot of people who have decided to take time off between now and the release of WoTLK since there’s no more new content scheduled.. and all their gear is going to be replaced anyway.

I can understand that attitude if you’re gathering the gear for the sake of the gear or if you’re farming the new 25-man Sunwell instance. If I wanted to be able to say “I am the only {insert class here} on this server with UberDaggerOfPWNAGE” then yeah.. WoTLK is going to suck for you. But for me.. not so much.

I’m here for the challenge of the content.. and if I -ever- want to see the inside of SSC then I need to do it -now- before WoTLK comes out. When the expansion comes SSC will be the same ghost town that UBRS/LBRS is now. I’ve been to UBRS.. we did it with a group of mostly 70s. It was interesting.. but not nearly as exciting as visiting Gruul’s for the first time. In UBRS we were so overpowered it took away the excitement. I want to see the current raid content with the excitement that comes from actually being challenged.

I’m aware that level 71/72 will probably bring greens that will replace my current purples. It doesn’t matter in that if the level cap was lifted my focus would return to leveling and would not be focused on gear. When WoTLK comes out.. my focus changes from “get best gear so I can raid bigger stuff” to “get to level 80″. Once I get to 80 I’ll no longer be interested in raiding the 70 content. So my ONLY chance to see SSC/BT/MH is to get the gear and the groups NOW.

The first hurdle in that is getting the 10-man gear. For Tatia, that hurdle is checked off my list. Tatia has almost everything she needs out of Karazhan. She really should move on to ZA.. but unfortunately there are a lot of people in my guild who aren’t done with Kara.

My guild, West Kindgom, has a second hurdle to get past with raiding. We don’t actually have enough players to field our own group into the 25-man content. We can reliably field 12-13 players. This means that all of our progress is dependent on grouping with another guild, Shadow Warlords, for a joint raid. This also means that we’re only fielding a 25-man raid once a week which makes for pitifully slow progress.

So.. instead of focusing all my time/energy on Tatia to get her through all the raid content.. instead I’m splitting my focus.. and gearing up an alt. Believe me, if we were doing the upper-end raiding more than once a week I’d be focusing on Tatia.. but we just aren’t doing it. So I play Lilac.. who still needs 5-mans gear.. and who is able to use a lot of the drops in Kara.

It also kinda helps that DPSing is fun.. and totally different from healing. Just a little.

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5 comments to Golden Ticket

  • Gamermommy

    Very well thought out post. I too am in the same boat. I have to have somewhat of a goal in mind when a toon reaches level 70 or I just get stuck.

  • Arntor

    Meh. If you’re into the whole PVE thing, that’s fine. I used to be like that…untill my numbers grew bigger and bigger on people running around. Not to mention, much funnier moments. I’m switching to Warhammer because it will focus more on PVP. I don’t have to worry about all my efforts put into having two 70′s being for nothing because it’s PVP gear. It’s all about having fun and paying for work just isn’t me. I guess I just don’t see the worth in doing all that work just to see another instance that I’ll have to base my life around farming.

  • Nibuca

    I have several problems with PVP. First, I suck at it. I take the deaths personally and find the whole experience very frustrating. Beyond that.. I suppose it’s all about how you measure progression. Whether you’re getting the best gear PVE or best PVP you still need the “golden ticket” in order to be able to get that gear.

    If you bought the new blue PVP stuff you can get from faction vendors you can’t automatically expect to be 2100 rated Arena.

    The biggest benefit of PVP is that it’s almost a solo activity. Even when you’re doing 5×5 arena.. you’re only depending on 4 other people. In PVE you’re depending on 24 people.. and that’s alot of hidden drama.

  • ****

    pve owns
    pvp i’m sick at but i find it extremly boaring after awhile :(
    so go pve :D

  • Redneckizm

    Very well spoken and crafted blog!

    I completely agree, That’s one of the things that makes WoW so incredible, regardless of your age/competence/skill level, everybody has the oppurtunity to formulate and pursue thier own “Golden Ticket”. I have 70+ Days played as a Hunter and want to believe that i’m “Decent”. Throughout my WoW career I had many “Golden Tickets” that I pursued and with each completion you get a sense of satisfaction. I PvP’d my way to my full S1 set and over 11K kills. I originally had the “Welfare Epic” title instead of S1 which brings me to another rant.. the term “Welfare” means it was given to you with no effort… i’m sorry to offend the Bots and AFKlowns out there but I actually “Worked” for my S1 Gear!

    I had fulfilled that “Golden Ticket” and started toward raiding. I researched the Armory and set out a “Gear Oriented” list of what I felt I needed. By the time I stepped foot into Kara I was in full “Instance Blues” with a few epics thrown in. In my own mind, I needed to be the very best possible and was not going to make a fool of myself by showing up undergeared. I pug’d my way to getting keyed and then I pug’d with a progression raiding guild a couple times and then left my PvP guild behind… That opened up a whole new WoW.

    Getting to level 70 is only 1/2 the Battle, then the game gets “Serious”. It’s very “Eye Opening” to farm Kara and Gruul for weeks on end just to walk into TK your very 1st time and instantly wipe on the 1st 6-pull in the door! I share the goals of many others in WoW, before WotLK expansion, I want to fire an arrow at Illidan! I would like to see him fall but at least want to shoot at him a few times! Someday I will go into BT like we do ZG/UBRS now and full clear in 2hrs while goofing off but I want the “Experience” of doing it at level 70, not epic PvE geared lvl 80.