Cata is imminent! It will be here in hours! So what does that mean for you today? Here are a few key points to be sure you have yourself ready for Cata!

1. Learn to love Stormwind and Orgrimmar; they are your new hubs to the new zones.

2. Train at the Flight Master and get your license! (Trainers are available right next to the Stormwind/Orgrimmar flight paths)

3. Decide if you want to Quest or Dungeon Grind. From my experience in Beta, I feel questing is your best bet… just for the quest rewards. You’ll be upgrading pretty quickly out of even your 277 HM ICC gear (even faster than dungeon blues)– Stamina Gains will be extremely important! Some of these quest mobs hit HARD.

4. If you are using WOTLK dailies (Current Daily Cap is 25) to kick start your XP, and you have the Cata cooking/fishing dailies completed, remember to train your next level of cooking/fishing so you also get the +1 skillpoint in addition to your Chef’s Award and Bag of Shiny Things. (Remember you cap at 10 Chef’s Awards).

5. Discover the Black Rock Caverns entrance! You won’t be able to queue for Cataclysm LFD right at 80 unless you discover it! (and who really wants to go all the way out to Thorium Point  after launch when you could be in leveling?)

6. Use up your flask stocks, every bit of spellpower helps and your old ones will be worthless at 85! Use them up! Clear out guild banks, too!

7. Healing Potions (yes, even WOTLK ones). The easiest way to slow down your leveling momentum is to die.

8. Figure out if you want to level as Shadow, Disc, or Holy and plan your spec– I might be a bit of sadist, but I am not leveling Holy/Disc— Shadow baby, but I’ll keep my 2nd Spec as Holy for any dungeons I do.

Hyjal or Vashj’ir

Now comes your first real “choice” in Cata: Hyjal or Vashj’ir?  Hyjal is very lore heavy… and quite frankly, a beautiful zone. If you are a fan of the Hyjal/Emerald Dream/Stormrage lore– don’t miss this one. Vashj’ir is (for the most part) entirely an underwater zone. Don’t worry in your first dozen of quests, you’ll get a Seahorse mount which will make your transportation easier! (and seahorse “flight” paths).

For the most part it is very easy to get to the new zones, just find the big Bulletin Boards in Org/Stormwind… grab the quest for the Zone you want, and follow it. Personally, I enjoyed Hyjal more just for the lore… but Vashj’ir has some killer quest lines. (several of which you get transformed into a rather kick-ass Naga)


Do not forget to leave your faction’s cities without training your professions! Nothign says frustrating as missing out on skillpoints, or picking up a RNG Drop Recipe that you can’t use. Protip: If there is a Profession Recipe you are going to want… remember many of them are random drops off mobs. (eg. Jeweled Serpent )

The Auction House:

If you are a bit obsessive like myself, and HATE seeing your professions not capped… consider getting ONE month of the Mobile AH for your Mobile Armory. In the US it is $2.99/month and it will give you access to the Auction House, allowing you to snatch up those low priced profession mats that you might want/need during your downtime from the game. (At work, in line at the grocery store getting Hot Pockets and Red Bull, at a red light in the car, at your grandmother’s funeral… ) I kid… sort of.


Get the Curse Client . No really… do it. Since 4.0.X most of the mods we all use have been updated and are running smoothly, however, there will likely be many updates as people start raiding the new dungeons/raids. I really have found the Curse Client the easiest way to keep all my mods updated. (and if you have a Premium Account, synched across multiple computers!).

Most importantly:

Have fun! Enjoy the Cata experience! I had a BLAST in the beta and loved leveling to 85. Hop on your guild’s Vent/Mumble and have fun with your guildmates!

Side Note:  folks who might have been using my Power Aura (or have one themselves) for “lack of” Inner Fire, you’ll need to edit it slightly to trigger when you don’t have Inner Fire Or Inner Will (at L83)up by just having it Trigger by the absence of a buff starting with “Inner”.