Friday, September 24, 2010

Setting Early Goals

Zuggy over at ZugGaming has invited myself and other bloggers to participate in a blogging carnival.  This carnival will be on October 2nd, the same day as the blogging carnival at JMTC.  We should all break some traffic records on that day.  Zuggy is also author of the popular Dominate WoW Gold Guide, which is well worth a read.

Setting Goals
Every player, whether old or new, should always be setting goals.  Setting goals will help to keep you focused and on track.  There is also a feeling of accomplishment once you reach one of these goals.  As one goal is reached, another goal should be set for a new objective.  Here is my take on what a brand new player should do to set and reach those goals.

Early Goals
From very early on you are exploring and learning, unaware of the world you have entered.  This is very similar to our first stages of infancy in real life, but unlike real life, no one is assigned to help us, care for us, or  watch out for us.  As you begin to explore, you begin to learn.  You get the feel of game mechanics, you learn where your trainers are, you learn what major city is near you, you learn where the flight paths are and where they connect.  Early on  you goals are just to level, learn your abilities, learn to battle, and learn where the inn is to log out.

Next Goals
Now you shift your focus to leveling, and gathering copper, silver, and gold.  Everything costs money, but your main expense should just be on training your skills as you level.  Never buy gear at low levels, you can quest just fine with what you find by looting monsters and completing quests.  You should be setting a new set of goals now.  The first goals you should set are for saving enough money to buy 4 larger bags, preferably netherweave bags from a tailor or the auction house in a major city.  How will you afford these bags which go for anywhere from 8-12g each?

As a new character you have a wide variety of options when it comes to training professions.  You can only have 2 major professions.  At low levels you should ignore the crafting professions as these cost money.  You want professions that will make you money.  I recommend picking up Mining and Skinning as your first two professions.  Herbalism is another option, but the ores you mine and bars you smelt are used by the most other professions.  The hides and skins from skinning are also used by multiple professions.  Mining Nodes and Herbalism plants and herbs both show up on your mini-map, but you can only see one kind at a time.  Thats why I recommend Skinning as your second option.  You will be able to post every item you mine or skin onto the auction house to make good amounts of cash as you are leveling up.  You can worry about other professions once you understand the game more and are much higher level.  You can always switch professions later, so you are not stuck with what you originally chose.  So choose the money making gathering professions as gold will be needed to meet your next set of goals.

Your next set of goals is to reach level 20 and be able to purchase riding skill and a mount so that everything becomes much easier.  All the skins, ores, and bars that you collect and sell, while only spending gold on training your skills up, will earn you the gold you need to get your very first mount and riding skill.  Once you obtain a mount your new goal should mainly be to level up and continue to learn your character.  Then once you are higher level and have plenty of funds, you can think about change professions.  I highly recommend keeping both of your gathering skills until you hit the level cap, and then switch them out one at a time for a crafting profession that suits your liking.

So remember to set a goal to lead you into the right direction.  A brief summary of your early set of goals would be:

  1. Gain levels, experience, and new skills.
  2. Find the closest major city.
  3. Choose 2 gathering professions.
  4. Gather, level, and sell materials on the auction house.
  5. Buy 4 netherweave bags.
  6. Get to level 20 and purchase a mount and riding skill.
Image borrowed from


  1. With respect to the two gathering professions, I couldn't agree more with mining. As for skinning, it's a bit of a toss up. You'd have to intentionally seek out areas with beasts to keep your cashflow steady and to keep your skills up. Herbalism requires tracking, but if you're fine with tapping a macro from time to time, then you're probably better off with that. You'll find more herbs/veins than you will beasts in the long run.

    /castsequence Find Herbs, Find Minerals

    The first time you use it in a given game session, you may have to press it twice to get it to switch to mining. For whatever reason, it'll try to track herbs twice in a row, and then it'll work properly.

  2. I agree with Anon, but as this is geared towards the "Help A Noob Day", I wanted to leave macro scripting out of it. It is very easy to level just in skinnable rich mob areas these days. And coupled with the fact you can just follow behind a non-skinner and take all his kills to skin, its a pretty easy source of income.

  3. Hey Cold,

    Great post, man...I love the idea. I wish someone had showed me something like this when I first started playing.

    It seems really basic, but just understanding the basic path of progression really is an important step for a lot of new players.

    As a kind of extension to this I was thinking about maybe doing a more complete list of the major goals / milestones for say levels 1-40. What do you think?

  4. Hardest part for me was reaching the 10k gold goal...once that was reached, progressing to 25, 50, 214 and now 300+ k gold was a simple matter of goal setting and perseverance!

  5. Love it, Cold! You're on the ball with this one. No matter what you're doing, goals are a great way to increase your productivity.

    I think this post will definitely be a good guide to defining WoW related goals. From that, I could easily see people being able to implement your same system and take it into whatever part of the game they are focusing on, once they hit the level cap. Be it PvP, PvE, Achievement Gathering, Gold Making, etc. This list is a one stop shop to being a better player.

  6. People who think that gaming (especially WoW) has no value should have a look at this article. There's much in WoW that has real-world applications.

    And I would add that I find the auction house extremely interesting as a running model for a financial exchange. I really hope that Blizzard continues to develop the economics side of the game. Don't make it easier, make it more realistic. I'd like to see:

    1) Guilds trading as shares on a WoW stock exchange. Guilds should be available for short as well as long positions. "Auction House" would be changed to "Mercantile Exchange" or something similar.

    2) futures trading for agricultural (herb futures), metals, meats, and softs (wool, silk, etc).

    3) Foreign exchange trading (horde and alliance should have different currencies, various other factions could have their own tradable currencies as well).

  7. Superb post I wish I had a fraction of this information to hand when I started WOW.

    Just to add if you go mining sell the ore rather than smelting as the deposit is less. Just check that ore is selling on your server well enough to do this first.

  8. I like that you've come up with a list of early goals for new characters to focus on! I hadn't really thought of my WoW playing in terms of goals, but I guess that's the whole reason I log on, to work toward whatever in game goal I've set for myself. If I didn't have any in game goals, I probably wouldn't even play anymore, lol. Awesome post! :)


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