Those of us who are playtime-challenged usually have more time to play on the weekend than we do during the week, so I will tend to favor weekend activities in this column. This weekend has a lot of fun stuff for the various types of casual player.
Are you into farming mobs for drops or leveling your Blacksmithing, Leatherworking or Engineering? Then you'll be happy to know that the Darkmoon Faire is still in Terokkar Forest until Monday. Last week, we talked about what to gather to exchange at the Faire for tickets. If you want the full list, WoWWiki has all the info you need. Of course, the Darkmoon Faire isn't all about the bling bling. You can also shoot yourself out of a cannon or chase a kid around so that he can sell you pet frogs. And there's beer. But if the bling bling is really what you're after, you can also collect the Darkmoon Decks and turn them in for some serious purplez, but I haven't found that too easy as a casual player.
Is PVP your thing? Then you probably already know that this weekend's Call to Arms is Arathi Basin. There will be increased honor and rep from Friday (or midnight Thursday) until Patch 2.3 is delivered or Tuesday morning, which ever comes first. And because everyone likes free bonuses, there will be more players in Arathi Basin, meaning shorter queues for those who have queues.
Arathi Basin is great for those players who have alts (or mains) of 20 and higher -- though I don't recommend it before level 25 or so. There are 15 people per side and it can't go on forever like Warsong Gulch can because the points tick away as long as there are objectives owned and the game ends at 2000. Going up against premades can be pretty brutal, but 5 caps are over quickly and at least you get the mark. On the other hand, I've been in many PuG Arathi Basins that have done well, even against premades, if there is minimum defense and good communication. With a marauding offense and 2 people at each flag, you can keep enough objectives to win pretty easily as long as everyone tells the Battleground channel when they see approaching enemies.
Another benefit to the casual player is the fact that there are available quests for Arathi Basin. You do have to travel out to the Arathi Highlands in order to pick the quests up, but if you are level 25 or over, you can get experience and build up reputation in order to get AB specific loot. Head over to Hammerfall if you are Horde or Refuge Pointe if you are Alliance and chat with the quest givers outside of the battleground portal. WoWWiki has a nice breakdown of Arathi Basin and its rewards here.
With patch 2.3 coming next week, we casuals have a lot to look forward to. Leveling up will be quicker and easier with less experience required for each level and the nerfing of old world instances and their bosses. There are also more daily quests being implemented which are great for us. We'll have cooking daily quests for those of us who have maxed out our cooking. (If you haven't, try to get that done this weekend.) Also, the PVP daily quests will be available to players as soon as they are eligible to enter battlegrounds. This means that anyone who has a level 10 character will still be able to participate -- at least for the WSG daily quests.
If you are a crafter or play the AH, I recommend taking a look at John's guide to pre-patch farming. You may want to farm and hoard the items he has listed until after the patch in order to play with the new recipes or make huge profits selling to other people who want to play with the new recipes.
Personally, I'm torn about this weekend. Do I want to play at the Faire or in AB? Do I want to prepare for the patch? Or do I want to just play another game or two or three and just come back to WoW after the patch hits? What are you going to do?
Robin Torres plays World of Warcraft but is not entirely faithful to it.