It is time, my friends, to consider what is yet to be done.
I know the drill for a lot of people when Warcraft officially announces a new expansion: time to go do something else instead. It is almost the concession by certain players that the game will eat so much of your time whilst current and relevant that you need to go take care of business elsewhere to make sure you’re ready when that happens. Also, there’s probably a nod to the amount of guilt generated by playing something that obsessively at launch, but that could just be me. Whatever the reason, Blizzard have acknowledged they know many people simply don’t do anything of real note in the hinterlands between expansions. If a player’s focus is raiding and they’ve cleared all the content? It makes logical sense, after all.
However, there are always the exceptions.
There are those like me, for whom these moments where everything is old are the only real opportunities to Get Stuff Dun. The spaces between big launches are for the vital business of catching up on stuff you missed when it was current, things you’ve still not finished from the last expansion. Plus there’s the never-ending revolving door of professions you can use to make gold, instances farmable for cash, and the list just keeps going on. I’ll sit down with a cuppa and a packet of Jaffa Cakes, get a pad and pencil, and begin a Bucket List. All those things to do whilst I wait for Blizzard to build my expansion: they may have had the idea of Legion for years, but the attempts to make things better and all those class questlines for Artifact weapons certainly haven’t been prepared ahead of time.
So while you make and build and polish? I’m gonna take out the trash.
Welcome, my friends, to the place where Bucket List-ing has become a legitimate play-style.
If you really want to learn what I’m about as a Warcraft player, and understand the World without Raiding that many people in Azeroth call their home, then the Bucket List is front and center to that process. There is just so much stuff in game that can be done, in one form or another, that those of you with only one character or those only interested in raiding may have never touched. I’m not just talking about dungeons or vanity pets either: if you didn’t complete anything when it was released, there’s a better than average chance it has achievements tied to it. That part of the game, since it was introduced in Wrath of the Lich King, has been what many have striven to ‘complete’ since then, mostly because it is one of the few aspects of this entire process that can be finished. To do so is a level of dedication and commitment that has only been attained by very few.
As you can see, competition is fierce and continuous, and goes to prove that anything in Warcraft can conceivably be viewed as a contest. For those of us with far more limited time on their hands and the understanding that Mythic content is only something we’ll get to when it becomes legacy, the goals are rather less lofty, but they still matter. Let’s go through some of the more popular pursuits for those of you looking to complete those achievements on your personal Bucket Lists.
The introduction of the Toybox feature in Warlords of Draenor gave players something new to covet, along with the Battle Pets and the Mounts (248/250 here for the achievement ceiling that Blizzard raised to 300 with 6.2.2). There’s also a couple of massive undertakings for the more committed among you: Going to Need a Bigger Bag still haunts me from Mists of Pandaria, and collecting every item from the Timeless Isle was enough to break some people’s love of collecting in game for good. The Music Player that we saw introduced for the Garrison has an achievement to gather 20 Music Rolls that will take you across Azeroth and beyond and is worth some time to go and look at. However, my favorite collecting activities involve destroying the rare spawns that you’ll find in the Bonus Objective areas across Draenor. These are still moderately challenging, many have vanity pets as low percentage drops and require time, dedication, and occasionally some help from your friends. If you have the patience, using Blizzard’s Group Finder tools make these an absolute doddle. If you don’t collect the pets? The Auction House is the place to go, because many of these are very highly sought after indeed.
It may be in the doldrums in Ashran, but this weekend’s PvP World Championship Qualifiers show that people are still very interested in beating each other’s avatars to a pulp in a compelling and entertaining fashion. There’s an absolute metric shedload of achievements tied to battlegrounds, and if you’re the kind of person who likes to play in a group, this could be your way to while away some time before Legion. If my 14 year old is any indicator, low level PvP has never been more fun, especially in Arenas. It’s also the last chance you’ll have to experience the game as is with the entire system undergoing an overhaul. That could conceivably mean that some of these achievements may cease to exist, but we have no firm confirmation of this as yet. Don’t forget that if you’re a mount collector, there’s a number of these purchasable only with PvP currencies, so even if it’s the most casual of competition, the rewards should still have some significance to you. Whatever happens, it is still possible to have fun in battlegrounds. Give them a go, you might surprise yourself at the outcome.
Azeroth is HUGE, and when you factor in Northrend, Outland and Draenor into the equation…? Massive. Hallow’s End is coming up soon, and along with Pilgrim’s Bounty and Brewfest, presents players with a number of opportunities to not only explore the old world, but to make some cash and achievements along the way. It used to be that these festivals were all the same, year in and year out, but Blizzard finally got the memo about updating them and now there’s a ton of new items scheduled to appear in the coming months. Most importantly of all? Your garrison will be able to be decorated with appropriately themed seasonal decorations. So even if you now only fly there after a hard day trivializing content elsewhere, you can at least make the place look good. One has to wonder what would have happened to the popularity of that feature had Blizzard introduced that ability sooner, but that’s a conversation for another post.
Unless you really have been here since vanilla, there’s likely to be some Legacy Content in the mix that a) you’ve not had the chance to complete and b) you could knock off on your own, or at least twist a mate’s arm to go do with you in an evening. Many of the old instances also have mount and pet drops retroactively associated with them, and if you do Pandaren content it can still present a brisk challenge to your abilities. Because, let’s face facts here, everybody needs the chance to practice once in a while, and the process of beating bosses that normally would have taken 10 or 25 people is actually quite entertaining in its own right. Also, this is proven to be one of the best methods of making gold, even on a server with a non-existent auction house ‘market.’ Remember kids, if it’s not nailed down, you can sell it, and that’s still gold in the end.
Yes, it comes down to this: you can (and I do) take all that pottering and faffing and fashion it into a proper attempt to hit the gold cap. It’s never been easier to turn up gold not simply from current content (garrisons are actually useful for something, WHO KNEW) but from the business of taking legacy content and exploiting it for all it’s worth. Oh, and if someone like The Gold Queen can pile millions upon millions in this game simply by taking a bit of time to understand the marketplace, you can too. It’s not hard. This process, like anything else in Warcraft, just takes some thought and application. You’ll be amazed at what you can produce when you put your mind to it. I’ve watched people this expansion reach the gold cap simply by playing the game without any extra effort involved. It is completely doable. Plus with the introduction of flying into the equation? MONEY FOR OLD ROPE.
So, there you have it: Five Things to do In Warcraft While 6.2.2 is Current. None of these activities actively involve the current content either, which is so chock full of possibilities you should have something to occupy you for at least an hour per week before we start getting hints of that all important pre-expansion event. I’d expect to hear that after we’ve piled through this weekend’s Heroes bash in Vegas, once that Overwatch news that is floating around is properly announced, and probably once all the Starcraft 2 beta invites go out. But you guys know what it’s like between expansions by now anyway. Having no news is hardly the end of all things.
It’s just an excuse to get organized in time for what comes next.Related: Column, MMORPG, World of Warcraft, WoW Wednesday