My next few posts are going to be focused on a recurring theme: the upcoming expansion. Personally, I don’t think we’re going to see a release until the end of the year, possibly even January next year. That’s because they just recently went to Alpha, so I would estimate Beta starting in Aug/Sept and release following 3-5 months after that. Nonetheless, I find myself thinking about Lich King quite a bit because it’s looming on the horizon. It doesn’t help that they released a slew of new tidbits this past week and I’m sure we’ll see more as we get closer to the Beta.
Where does SSO fit into my WotLK thoughts? Well they gave us a lot of new goodies that require significantly less effort than previous items of similar value. The SSO sells lots of very nice blue weapons at Revered that look to rival most blue dungeon drops. The epic items at Exalted are comparable to Kara+ gear, versus other epic faction rewards which are generally entry level epics. And more than any other faction, SSO is insanely easy to grind with 20+ daily quests – you don’t even have to set foot in a dungeon if you don’t want to. For those folks who haven’t done lots of dungeons and aren’t raiding, SSO is probably the place to be for easy upgrades.
Some of you may not have picked up on this if you already have one, but it’s also probably the place to be for epic mount money. Doing all 25 of your daily quests could easily raise your epic mount money in less than a month, pretty nice when you consider you’ll also unlock an epic necklace with the same exact effort, and for some classes an additional epic item (tanks/pallies/alchemists). Most classes could probably purchase a second necklace for their off-spec, I know my prot warrior did :)
All this easy loot leads me to speculate that unlike the last expansion, Blizzard is paving a gear path to WotLK. They are putting blues and even an epic or two in the hands of pretty much anyone. Another recent addition was the blue PVP gear sold by faction vendors. Practically anyone can get to Honored with the various faction vendors and unlock this gear, which means they have easy access to blue items that can fill any gaps in their current gear. Between all the various factions and blue quest rewards, I wouldn’t be surprised if the average player was able to fully equip themselves in blue gear with minimal effort outside of completing quests.
From which I conclude that Blizzard is likely tuning the new WotLK quests to folks wearing blue quest/rep reward gear. If I’m right, those of you still running around in greens better start gearing up :)