Updated Mon, Jun 27, 2011 by Messiah
After a long wait for substantial new content, it arrives with World of Warcraft Patch 4.2, Rage of the Firelands. How do you get ready for this patch that introduces brand new raid content though? Glad you asked, because that is exactly what this guide is all about. Even if you do not raid, there is a lot that can be done to get ready for a new raid patch to either improve your character or to make some quick gold.
An item of primary importance for any patch is stocking up on consumables. Since there is new content to explore it will mean huge numbers of players getting back into the swing of things and raiding again. This means that anything used to boost your abilities or survivability in raids will once again be in high demand.
Therefore I suggest picking up stacks of flasks, potions, and food before each and every patch hits. If you can pick it up a week or more before the patch, even better, but even the day or two before will save you some gold. Traditionally, if a flask goes for 25 gold normally, for a week or so after the patch it will go for 50 to 100 gold. More expensive flasks prices escalate at about the same rate going for two or more times their normal cost.
While potions and food goes up in cost as well, it doesn’t seem to inflate to the same degree, or at least not on my server, but it still goes up in cost. Make sure you have enough on hand to last for the first few weeks of raiding after a patch.
Something that many people forget about when talking consumables is item consumables, meaning gems and enchants. While you use fewer of these types of consumables they tend to cost significantly more to obtain.
It is not uncommon for gems to inflate to five times their normal cost for a few weeks after a major content patch that introduces many new pieces of gear. This is especially true when new PvP seasons start as players start replacing huge amounts of gear and the rule of supply and demand starts kicking in.
Item enchants, especially the expensive ones, also go up in price drastically. I find it best to have a set of enchants ready to go before the patch is launched so that I don’t have to pay the over inflated prices for any gear that I get. The enchants that seem to be the most volatile in price around this time appear to be the leg enchants that tailors and leatherworkers can create. Weapon enchants are always expensive, but since most weapons drop from bosses later in raids, they are generally not replaced as quickly from early bosses. This is not always true, but seems to be the case.
As you can see from the above two items, a big part of getting ready for a new patch is about saving gold. The inverse though can also apply, in that it can be a great time to make gold!
Knowing that may consumables will go up drastically in price, it is a great time to make a whole bunch of flasks, potions, food, gems, and enchants for sale. Pick up all the materials before the patch is released, and watch for what jumps in price on patch day. Create a bunch, list them for a bit under going rate, and make a fast profit.
Even if you don’t have an Alchemist, Jewelcrafter, or Enchanter, you can still make huge amounts of gold around a patch. Simply buy as many of the items that should go up in value a few days or weeks before the patch when the price is low, and then sell them the day or week after the patch for huge profit margins.
For many raiders, you have started to over gear content and either played around with a spec, or tuned it for your gear. Now that you are going into more difficult content and since some abilities are changing it might be time to look at and tune your talent spec. Even if nothing has changed for your class and spec, it is always worth looking at it and reviewing every once in a while.
Also with a new tier of raid gear opening up, this might be the time to change your spec entirely. Maybe you DPS’ed the last tier of content and want to try your hand and healing or tanking. Depending on your guild or group makeup and requirements, now might be the perfect time to start looking at that. I know that by pure dumb luck some players and characters end up with better off sets than main sets just due to random drops. Now might be the time to make use of those if you are looking for a change.
You know you're geared for the old content, but what is your gear really like? It’s time to go over your old gear and review it. Make a list of your best and worst pieces, and what slots are priority based on new gear availability. It is probably also time to review all your gems, enchants, and reforging to make sure it is set up correctly.
If you’re in a guild that uses DKP or any other loot distribution system other than random, then having a gear plan is essential. Make a list of the pieces you are looking for and rank them in order of importance or amount of upgraded stats they provide. Make sure your guild knows what you are looking for, and it will help ensure that you get it as soon as possible in the order that helps you the most. Even if your guild doesn’t have a loot distribution system, it still helps to plan what you need so you can cross of pieces as you get them.
Next up, make sure you do some basic research on the new bosses. Try to learn the basic abilities they have, positioning requirements, movement requirements, and more. While not everything will be known for certain until the bosses are seen in person on the live servers, learn what you can beforehand, it will make the fights much easier the first time.
Sure there will be some surprises, but everyone in the group knowing the basics up front will save a lot of time explaining on night one.
Last but not least if you are in a guild that has lost a few players over time, or need to replace a few that just don’t quite pull their own weight, now is the time. Fill those last slots and grab a few spares as well so that you are ready to raid the new content. Make sure you have spares that can fill key roles in the group as we all know “life happens” and sure enough something will come up one raid night and you will be short of a tank or healer.
The best way I have found to deal with that is have another raid member that is always there as DPS have a heal or tank off-spec and set, then have spare DPS sitting by. This means that your key full time raiders that know the fights already, can fill in key roles as required and will need less hand holding though them, as they already know the basics from another perspective.
If you are not in a raiding guild, or in one but don’t have a full-time spot, or are in one that just won’t be able to raid the new content just yet, now is also the time to find one that can. While moving between guilds is now a more daunting prospect due to the guild level system, it can still be worth it if you will never get a chance to raid in your current guild.
These are just a few of the things to be done to get ready for Patch 4.2. More important than any single thing though is taking the time to think about it as a whole. Take patches as a time to look at your involvement in the game overall. Are you happy where you are? Are you happy doing what you are doing? Have you paid attention to your talents and gear? A self review every once in a while is a great thing.