I know, I know. Last week I presented you with Part 1 of my examination of guild alliances, and my readers are probably wondering what the heck happened to Part 2. It's coming next week, I promise! (In fact, it's already written.) But since we were unexpectedly flooded with so much great information about 2.3, I thought I'd make this column a bit more timely and put Dark pacts, Part 2 on hold. The next major content patch has some interesting additions and changes that will affect many aspects of the game, but there are a few that officers should be thinking about now. Let's take a look.
I've already talked about preparing for Zul'Aman and guild banks in a previous column, so let's look at some of the more specific changes 2.3 is bringing us.
Faster 20-60 Leveling: Does your guild suffer from a serious lack of a certain class? 2.3 will make Azeroth-side leveling a lot faster by rewarding more experience per quest and requiring less experience per level. Soon it will be the perfect time for your members to grind up a few alts of the classes you desperately need. Why not make a contest out of it and reward the person who makes it to 60 fastest?
Repair Bots: Is that the sound of hell freezing over? Blizzard has announced some engineering love, including an updated repair bot schematic that will not only repair your armor but sell all kinds of necessities such as ammo, reagents, and potions. If you're in a raiding guild, you probably have a lot of min/max-type players, and most min/max'ers -- with relatively few exceptions -- all dropped engineering long, long ago. So it may be worth it to help one of your members power-level engineering before the patch hits. That way you'll have access to this handy little robot during longer raids like Karazhan and the Black Temple. The new flying mount schematics should sweeten the deal for whomever has to make the sacrifice and drop a "real" profession.
Enhancement Shamans, Elemental Shamans, and Retribution Paladins: It remains to be seen whether the buffs will be enough to make these "off-specs" more desirable in raid situations. The already-announced improvements certainly sound like Blizzard is on the right track here. Once the 2.3 PTR goes live, get your class leaders on the test server so they can offer their opinions. If these specs offer solid utility, you'll need to decide who's going to make the switch and start gearing them up appropriately.
Fear Ward: Allow me to put on my Horde-bias hat for a minute. It's true: We're finally getting Fear Ward. But just like Blizzard nerfed paladins not long after the Horde finally got access to their sweet, sweet buffs and unparalleled single-target heals, we're getting a Fear Ward that's only a shadow of its former self. Just how overpowered was Alliance raiding in classic WoW? Exclusively Horde players will never know, but the playing field has finally been leveled, at least as far as PvE goes -- not that the Horde really needs it these days. Anyway, this is just a heads-up that all priests will have this spell, so adjust your Nightbane strat accordingly (or don't, since the cooldown is way too long).
Sorry about that, Alliance players. At least you're getting a solid PvP racial in its place, right?
+Damage Bonuses on Healing Gear: Do you know any healers who quit the game or permanently rerolled because they couldn't accomplish anything on their own without respec'ing? Send them a quick hello and let them know their raiding gear won't be useless outside of an instance anymore! Maybe you can entice them back to healing or back into the game.
Ritual of Refreshment: Now that mages will no longer have to chain-cast their food and water spells for 10 minutes before every run, let's show them we appreciate all their past efforts by paying the training costs for the new spell. Thanks, mages -- and congrats!
I'm sure there will be even more exciting changes and additions announced for 2.3 in the near future. Keep an eye out for things your guild can take advantage of soon -- and start planning for them today.
Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!