It's been a crazy few months for me in the real world, but one of the readers here 70TW emailed me 2 weeks ago, and it reminded me to come back here. Since about June, I've barely had time to step foot into WoW. I spent most of the time working and going out with friends. The last year I literally bummed around & spent the entire year in Azeroth. I decided to make a fresh start on an economics masters, and do it in Scotland (a pretty big move for a life long Londoner). I'm definitely trying to get more disciplined, and do everything in moderation (studying, playing WoW, watching films, or whatever else I'm into). Finally moving out of home has been an interesting experience!
Being out of work does mean I can start playing WoW again, and I'm definitely coming back to some big, exciting changes. In that spirit, I'm gonna be changing up the blog a little. I will still be focusing on the economy, but I'll probably go off topic a lot more as well and talk about other in-game interests of mine. Just before I stopped playing, my guild (which I had founded and was GM for a year) fell apart because most of us were quitting the game. I've always been a solo player, but my game has focused around chatting to my friends. Most of my brief play sessions during the summer were pretty lonely, so it was really nice to see some of my friends back when I started playing again this week.
The new achievements system is something that really satisfies the otherwise forgotten player; the solo player. Blizzard has done a lot to accommodate PvP'ers and Raiders, but for people who don't have time or interest in that aspect of the game, achievements are really a nice way to play. Like most solo players, most of my playtime was taken up by reputation grinding, collecting random stuff or just exploring; the new system will be able to track all of these things. On WoWInsider they already interviewed a new Achievements based guild, which is a nice change to the PvP or PvE guilds we usually see in the game. As a social guild we really struggled to keep members who wanted to move on to raiding. Most mentioned that they'd never had more fun in the game than whilst in our guild, just there was a lack of organised activity. The fact that a social guild can now organise events around a cohesive system adds significantly to the game for players like me.
I've already started working towards some of the achievements. I've always been a bit of a pet collector, and there is a new pet promised for anyone who manages to collect 50. So far I've managed to snag about 45 or so (I'm not sure which of them will be considered pets or not). The last few might be a bit challenging to get, or just very expensive. Having said that, I was sad enough to pay $60 for the Bananas monkey pet from the trading card game. I have a bit of an obsession with monkeys and have always wanted this pet.
I'm also going to try getting the Collect 50 Mounts achievement, which will reward you with a new mount. My main has 15 factions exalted, so I have access to a large variety already. It will be pretty tough to get to 50 though, especially because of the costs involved. I doubted anything would cost as much as the 8,000g I paid for my Amani war bear, but I'm hearing the 3 passenger Mammoth mount will set me back 20,000g. Certainly my previous inflation estimates were way off the mark, and for anyone who wants everything in Wrath of the Lich King, I'm thinking 50,000g is the minimum you'll need; 20K for the most expensive mount, 1k for Winter flying, 8K for Dalaran teleportation ring. The figures will soon add up to a huge total, and that's before considering the cost of rep items (I'd rather buy rep than grind it). Luckily daily quests will offer as much as 30g. I don't think getting 1000g a day will be that big a deal once you hit level 80.
Looks like us traders have a lot of work to do! I'm off to get my October consortium gems!