It's a little early to get nervous about not being prepared for the upcoming expansion, but it's never too early to start the preparations. If you start ahead of time, you'll never even need to worry about it coming down to crunchtime. Plus, if you finish getting ready ahead of time, you can take those last few weeks before Wrath nice and easy. Something I noticed a lot as we neared The Burning Crusade, everyone and their mother spent eight hours a day in battlegrounds that final month before the expansion, and by the time we could go through the Dark Portal most of them were burned out on playing WoW.
The absolute number one thing we can be sure you'll need in Wrath is gold. It doesn't matter what they do to your gear or your class, gold will be needed. Even if gold won't be worth as much as it is right now, you'll need it. You can be sure of that. Heck, even if you don't need gold for anything at all in Wrath by some miracle, it's cool, don't worry. 10,000g can buy you roughly 6,666,666 bottles of Moonglow when the Lunar Festival comes around. Think about that, man. Moonglow is awesome.
...Hm, I hope that math is right.
Anyway, back to the topic. Gold is the surest bet when getting ready for Wrath of the Lich King. You will need it. It's that simple. To avoid burnout, I really don't recommend grinding gold day in and day out. You don't really need a bed of money to sleep on, just a simple buffer. If Wrath is like BC, you'll make a lot of money leveling, but not enough to buy whatever massive goldsink is at the top level. Don't grind too hard, because you probably won't have to, and it'll likely make it feel like a chore if you do too much. Find a very quick, very simple task you can do on a daily basis.
What I've decided to do is find five daily quests that I can tolerate, and do them every day that I have WoW time. I chose five quests from Quel'Danas. They are:
- The Battle Must Go On
- The Air Strikes Must Continue
- Keeping the Enemy at Bay
- Further Conversions
- Arm the Wards
Resto Shaman have it a little better than say, Resto Druids for soloing, but it won't take anybody more than thirty minutes to do these five quests. Tanks and healers can both do these quests fairly easily. The mobs at the portal are the most dangerous ones out of what you'll face, but if you play it safe you should never, ever die.
Let's give Wrath an arbitrary release date. Let's say... late November. By late November, you'll have made over 5,000g if you do five dailies each day. That's pretty nice padding! Of course, you probably won't do these every day. That's fine! You'll get plenty of drops to vendor and AH to make up for it. My Arcane Tome will sell for 20g on my server, and the couple of greys that dropped probably make up another 5g, plus the myriad of random other things. You'll probably do other things between now and Wrath also, like dungeon runs or utilizing your gathering profession for some reason. That's all more gold on top of the buffer you're building yourself.
All told, that's pretty good for someone barely geared and not specced for DPS whatsoever. No need to blow gold on respecs every few days. You can do this even if you're stuck Resto/Holy/Protection for your guild or raid group. Respeccing to do ten dailies as Retribution rather than five as Holy is pretty much halving your efficiency. Not worth it at all, unless you only need to respec once every few weeks.
It's true that this will take longer on a PvP server, and you might even need to find a different 5 quests entirely. Say, in Ogri'la, Nagrand and Skettis. The same thing applies, though. Pick 5 quests you can do easily and effortlessly. Something you could do while dinner is heating up in the oven/microwave. Remember, the goal is not to be swimming in money at the end of the day. It's to slowly build up your stores so you're ready and not burnt out by the time Wrath hits.
Obviously, this isn't the only way to earn money. You don't need to do daily quests at all. Be creative, look at what you have available to you. Gathering skills are incredible income, especially Herbalism. Log on for 30 minutes a day and farm Terocone or Nightmare Vine. If you're feeling adventurous, level 70 characters can waltz through Slave Pens quite easily picking the Ancient Lichen nodes in the first part of the dungeon. Two or three instance resets will get you a stack of Lichen, which probably goes for anywhere from 40g to 70g on the auction house, depending on how raiding heavy your server is, and that takes almost no time at all as long as you're cautious.
We'll stop here and take this thing one step at a time. Getting the entire information dump of what you should do before the expansion can be a little intimidating, especially if you're a very casual player. I'll have more for you next week, when we talk about planning your talent specs.