**This post contains some spoilers – be warned**
I see a lot of talk about the next patch going live Tuesday, so I wanted to offer a few words of wisdom given that I’ve been here before… Some are general and some are quite specific.
1. Don’t be heartbroken if the patch doesn’t drop. I’ve seen “the date” of patches come and go without them dropping before. People get all up in the air and make plans and then are devastated when it doesn’t drop. If it drops, it drops. If they hold off another week or two – they’ll do that.
2. After the patch, plan to have to relearn to play your character[s]. Don’t expect they’ll be the same. Some of them will be broken, some will be OP, some will be less than they were before though not broken entirely. Don’t compare yourself to “Mr. IHappentobeOP now”. Focus on yourself and get help from your guildies and fellows of the class.
3. From the time this patch drops until at least 2 months after Cataclysm [whenever it hits - I know Dec 7 is "the date" but well... it's been postponed before], expect chaos. You will have people changing mains, changing roles, changing teams, even changing guilds. Even the most stable guilds will have some shake ups – you may lose tanks or healers, gain them, and dps may move abouts. It’s going to take some adjustment for people to figure out if they like the “new” them – whatever class they happen to be.
4. Expect your Guild and Raid leaders to be under some frustration/stress. If you still have raids going as we do, it may make previously easy content undoable/harder. It could make everything easier. Either way, there is going to be some stress placed upon your leaders. Support them, ask questions, offer help where you can. Don’t be surprised if the patch kills raiding for a week or two. Don’t be surprised if it propels it forward :P
5. Anything can happen. Servers could be down extra… I still remember the rolling crashes every time WG finished and the ensuing downtime. Could it all be smooth? Yup! It totally could, or it could be completely insane.
6. If you decide to swap mains at this chaotic time, go to the proper raid leader to discuss it with them. Swapping toons/roles may require some team swapping and may not happen immediately. There may also not be room for more of the role you want [currently our guild is way full on tanks] so you may have to work on a different spec on that toon. Or there may be a shortage of what you’re currently playing, or group make up may not allow for you to swap [ie - not enough ranged dps/heals/etc]. Work WITH your raid leaders on this. Saying “I’m going to be [insertwhateverhere] on this toon now or else” isn’t productive for anyone. The reality is that raids need certain roles filled adequately or the raid can’t run. If your raid leaders know you’re interested in swapping, however, they can match you with someone swapping the opposite way – or at the least work in that direction [actually declaring this intent to swap mains is important - otherwise, raid leaders can only formulate guesses]. It’s also entirely possible that the role you’re interested in filling is one the raid leaders need and they’ll ask you to swap immediately :P Trust me, both happen.
My recommendations in preparing for the next patch:
1. Buy Heirlooms now. They have raised the price to match level 85 levels [which, since these heirlooms don't scale past 80, boggles my mind just a bit]. Instead of being 450 ish like the t10 gear, they are now going to be in the neighborhood of 2700ish.
2. If you are looking to buy gems from the honor QM, do it now. He will no longer sell the gems in the next patch. However, word is they are removing the Alchemy CD.
3. Sell that stuff you’ve been hoarding soon. A lot of it will dip in value come Cataclysm. Some of it may increase but when Cataclysm hits, there’s going to be less call for a lot of the extensive mats for gear and for the gear itself. That said, if you’re gearing up an alt – be watching for some sweet deals.
4. Go do Northrend Loremaster and make some gold. :P Just a suggestion, mind you. But Northrend won’t be changing with this patch and it’s something perfect to do in the interim.
5. Be ready for anything.