Life starts at 85 - WoW Magazine

New Player Help and Guides
Now that your character is 85, what next? World of Warcraft Official Magazine is looking for tips to pass on to newer players who have reached the level cap. We'll originally be concentrating on gaining reputation and improving gear, but any advice is welcome!

If chosen your name and text could appear in a future issue of the Official World of Warcraft Magazine.
From a PvE perspective...

In terms of gaining reputation and improving gear, finish the Twilight Highlands zone to completion! You'll wind up with some nice blue ilevel 333 rewards, solid Wildhammer Clan rep, unlocked lucrative dailies, and good material farming zones.

After that, start doing the Tol Barad dailies as soon as possible! You'll be swimming in gold and the reputation builds up quickly.

During this time, scout out the faction that is most beneficial to your class/spec, grab their tabard, and start running those dungeons...Grim Batol, Halls of Origination and The Lost City of the Tol'Vir will get you geared up.

Also, if you need a break from dungeoning and Tol Barad, consider going back and carving through both the Uldum and Deepholm zones. Uldum will net you some nice ilevel 325 rewards and Deepholm will get you set up with the Therazane faction, for your key shoulder enchant.
> Wrap up your quests in the major zones so you can get as much quested reputation with the various factions as possible. Questing for an hour beats doing dailies for a week! As an added bonus, the final rewards in zones like Uldum and Twilight Highlands are pretty sweet and you'll make a ton of gold that you can put towards your gear.

> When you meet the factions, grab their tabards. You can switch them out as you please, but at least pick them up and wear one at all times. Some of them are stylish.

> There are a few sources of gear when you first hit the level cap.
>> The easiest to do is probably reputation rewards because you can do it solo.
>> Run normal dungeons every day to build up justice points for gear if you want to do PvE (raiding). Once you get geared and know how to play better, run heroics.
>> Run battlegrounds regularly to build up honor points for gear if you want to do PvP (rated BG's, arenas).
>> Crafted gear might be expensive, but if you have a large nest egg or befriend a crafter then it's a good place to start.

> Look up the appropriate stats for your class so you have a general idea of what you're trying to gain. A hunter in full epics is great...but if it's caster mail then he might as well be naked.

> Now is the time to primp and polish your gear with gems and enchants. If you're wearing blues or greens, you don't have to go all out and sell your horse for epic gems, but something shiny in that socket is better than nothing. The same applies to enchants. Save your horse and start out with the cheaper enchants.

> If you don't have glyphs, get some. They actually matter. The class forums are a good source of guidance for specific roles and specs.
If you have just turned 85, the foremost thing you must do is find a large guild. Guild perks will help you in the end.
Pick up All the reputation Tabards.

Mount Hyjal
Earthen Ring
Therazane
Dragonmaw Port

The next thing you need to do is obtain some gold. Doing the daily quests in the 85 only zone, Tol Barad, will get you 160- 250g a day. It will also get you Trinkets (Item Level 359, or a 346 Weapon) from the Accommodation's. You must also attend Tol Barad as much as you can (400 Honor Points or more!!)

Do that, and run Heroic Dungeons every day for Reputation and Gear, once exalted with all of the reputation factions, grab the epic items that they have for rewards.

Buy the 359 Trinket off Tol Barad Commendation's and then the Weapon.

Overall just have fun and take tips from everyone!!
If you have just turned 85, the foremost thing you must do is find a large guild. Guild perks will help you in the end.
Pick up All the reputation Tabards.

Mount Hyjal
Earthen Ring
Therazane
Dragonmaw Port

You forgot the Ramkahen in Uldum, and encouraging people to join guilds just because of the perks? That's a terrible idea. Join a guild because you want to be there and contribute to it, not just to mooch off the perks that they've already earned.
One question I see quite a bit on the new player forums (there's been one recently actually) has to do with Proper Target Acquisition while in a Dungeon or Raid group.....In otherwords; "How do I know which monster I should be attacking?" Or "How do I know which monster the Tank is attacking so I don't pull threat?"

-Making a Target Macro to assist the tank (or focus target) using the "/assist" command.

-Setting the Tank (or lead DPS) to be your Focus Target and assisting them.

-What to do in the event that you accidentally pull a monster off of the tank.
(NEVER run AWAY......always run TO the tank so he doesn't have to chase you all over the zone trying to taunt the monster off of you.

Make sure to do normal Cataclysm dungeons to gear up...Heroics are scary!
Consider yourself a noob. Seriously. A lot of things you were getting away with before (inefficient rotations, non-optimized talent trees, random glyph choices, etc.) often won't cut it anymore. Prepare to do some reading up on your class and learn, learn, learn!
Even though many veterans feel that the classes have been simplified it can be quite confusing for some newer players. Researching your class on the official forums or other fan sites dedicated to your class offers a ton of free experience that other players before you have learned the hard way. It gives you good ideas on what are the most common specs, where to get the best gear, which reps are important to grind, and other tidbits of info that will make learning your class much less frustrating than your own trial and error.
After hitting level 85 make sure to finish or level at least 1 gathering profession. Scout out a way to make gold. Gold makes this game a lot easier.

After you have some gold reserves or you have basic idea how you are going to obtain gold, make sure you understand what your role in the game is, if you do not know yet. After that starts the gearing process. This is where gold will make things easier and understanding your role will make things easier even further.

Good way to gear up is by questing. This will also yield gold. At the same time queue for RDF for normal modes. Make sure to have reputation tabard on. This is under assumption that you play a damage dealing spec. If you are a tank, you will have no down time and you can pick and choose when to run an instance.

Last thing, take it easy and have fun.
1) finish twilight highlands. do every last quest there, you can get some nice 333 starting gear from quest rewards.

2) take a look at what you can get from the various factions and get started grinding rep. use wowhead or atlasloot or a helpful guild member to see what's available to you. get some tabards and wear them while running regulars for other gear. that way, you're always making progress towards better items, even if you don't win any rolls or your items don't drop.

3) if you plan on raiding or just running heroics, work on replacing any PvP gear you might have (the stuff with resil on it) with PvE gear. yeah, the item levels aren't as high but your group members will thank you for it when you do instances

4) take some time to learn about your chosen spec. read up on the rotations, and find out which stats are most important. once you have done this, apply it. you will be surprised how much of a difference this makes.

5) enchant, gem, and reforge your gear. this makes a huge difference in PvE and is totally worth it. even if you're using green gems in your 333 items, it still helps. enchants can be had for relatively cheap as well. do dailies if you need gold to pay for these things. I recently enchanted, gemmed, and reforged my ret set on this paladin and gained around 2k dps. it matters that much.
When you hit level 85 I recommend finishing the quests in every Cataclysm zone. Not only will you earn more gold, but you will also obtain some great item level 333 gear to begin running instances in.

Always be sure to run the Cataclysm dungeons on normal to get your gear to all item level 333 if possible before deciding to run any heroics. Be sure to as well before running a heroic to watch any boss videos online as these can help you better understand the battles within the instances.

Note to also do dailies frequently for reputation with the many factions in Cataclysm. These will help you get to exalted to many factions that have great epics you can buy for your character to use as you gear up to raid if you wish to do-so!
My suggestion is to do dailies while getting professions up. If you have a gathering profession, you can kill two birds with one stone by gathering while questing to get better rewards from rep and your professions. This will give you a huge head start before setting foot into heroics. I had two epic alch trinkets on my shaman at level 83. Once he dinged 85 I could pull up to 10k dps as enhance spec on a dummy. Getting those professions and reps up gives you a huge advantage from the get-go.
Try to level up your professions asap. All of them give various useful perks that will benefit you in PvP, PvE, and financially.
You can start running normal dungeons but don't stop questing. Rep and quest rewards are great alternatives to a dungeon drop you may or may not ever get. Do CoC in Twilight Highlands if you haven't already at level 84.

But most importantly, don't try to skip any gear steps. For PvE, get your normal dungeon 333 gear before doing Heroics. Get your Heroic 346 gear before doing any Raids. For PvP, get your normal BG honor gear (full set) before doing arenas or rated BGs.

Skipping any gear steps will only bring you aggravation to yourself and people you play with.
Learn to use interrupts, situational slows, offensive and defensive cooldowns, spot healing, kiting, crowd control, stuns at opportune times, and the like. You may not have had much use for secondary skills on the way up, but learning everything your class can do will make you a better player and a better group member.

Situational awareness is a huge thing in both PvE and PvP. Target selection and not standing in the fire are huge, as well as being aware of add spawns, threat, and incoming abilities via pattern recognition, animations, enemy cast bars or emotes.

Healing has changed in a big way. Players giving healing a try for the first time - or the first time since Wrath - will want to take a close look at their spells. Mana efficiency is hugely important now, especially while getting geared up - you need to squeeze every last drop of healing out of your mana pool.

(edited to be blurbable)

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