You are right that I do tend to stress being casual at level 70 and that just isn't the case for many casual players. A lot of time-constrained players are stopping to smell the roses and taking their time to the endgame. After all, it's all about fun.
Unfortunately, the short answer to your question is no, you're not missing something. Instances are the best way to gear up throughout the game, starting from about level 20. But here are some tips for improving your gear without too much time expenditure:
- Crafting: Crafting the gear yourself is often the best way to stay reasonably up to date. If you haven't taken up Leatherworking (or whatever is appropriate for your class), there is usually a guildie who would love to have a grinding victim, er, recipient.
- AH: Yes, there's a lot of mediocre gear for high prices on the AH, but there is also a lot of mediocre to good gear for cheap prices there, too. I highly recommend putting Auctioneer on a bank alt (you don't want such a memory hog on any of the characters you actually play) and checking daily for good deals. The latest version of Auctioneer will mark good deals in blue or green text, making them easy to find. Crafters will often try to make extra cash by trying to sell their grinding results for rockbottom prices on the AH. Though, they will also try to gouge you, so checking daily and being a smart shopper is the best move.
- Quick Run Throughs: I'm not a huge fan of getting a friend and/or guildie to run you through an instance, because it generally isn't fun for either of you. But it doesn't take very long either. I know this is selfish, but if you want it to be the most efficient for you, don't send out a general invite for others to join you for the run through. Unless your groupmates are not going to want any of the same gear drops as you, you'll waste time having to compete for the only reason you are being run through.
- Quests: You are questing and not just grinding mobs, right? Quests are the fastest way to level and the rewards are often very nice gear upgrades. Though they will not supply all of the required upgrades you need.
- It's not that important: Though new gear is definitely more fun and it does help, it isn't required for leveling up to 60. I really wouldn't stress it too much if the above tips still don't have you completely upgraded.
When you get to 58, run, don't walk to the Dark Portal
. In Outland, Green truly is the new Purple
. You will replace all of your gear so fast, you will have a hard time deciding which shiny new green you should wear. The drops and quest rewards in Outland are both powerful and plentiful. I wouldn't spend a dime on gear once you are 55 for this reason. It just isn't going to last you past your first few forays into the Burning Crusade
By the way, while you are leveling up, this is the perfect time to be adding to your Casual playmates list
. Once you get to 70, gear really does make a difference and you are going to want to have a way to get groups together quickly, if you don't want to go the PvP Welfare Epic
Thanks for the email, Paul!
In other news, it's Arathi Basin
for the Call to Arms
this weekend. Maybe if you're lucky (?), you will have a dreadfully boring but quick match against one of those Lose on Purpose teams.
And next Thursday, Children's Week
begins. Keep an eye out for an It came from the Blog
event during that time.
WoW, Casually is a column for those of us who are playtime-challenged and proud Welfare Epic wearers. If you have questions or tips about how to get the most out of your limited playtime, please send them to Robin.Torres AT weblogsinc DOT com for a possible future column.