Preparing for Wrath of the Lich King Classic has the same to-do list for all players. Whether you are returning to WoW Classic to prepare for WotLK Classic. Or you’ve been in Outland since the first day and are currently running Sunwell Plateau. The only difference will be how much of the list you have to do and how comfortable you are spending time on optional goals. This WotLK Classic prep guide will go over the things everyone should get done and the optional extras worth considering.
These are the best, most efficient use of your time goals to aim for when doing your own WotLK Classic prep. Nothing here (or in this entire post) is required in order to play and enjoy WotLK. But these things will make your time in WotLK Classic proper a better experience. As with doing any sort of prep, it is about spending time now (which you value less) in exchange for saving time later (which you value more). Plus it helps keep up your personal hype for the new expansion and content.
Check Your Server’s Population Status
The population and faction balance of your old WoW Classic server may have changed while you were away. And you want to avoid investing time and effort for WotLK Classic prep on a server you’ll be unhappy with for group content and in-game economy.
First, check your server’s status at Ironforge.pro. Most players will want to be on a server at or near 10,000 or more. For US TBC Classic servers the cutoff is after Atiesh, with the next server only breaking 5000. Larger servers will have more competition for resources and the mega servers will have queues during the early days of WotLK Classic. But they will also weather the inevitable rise and then fall of players after the initial rush to Northrend. The original WotLK saw the highest number of WoW players, but it also saw the start of subscription declines, too. Smaller servers have a harder time forming dungeon and heroic groups, have fewer raiding guilds, and the auction house economy is wonky.
As important as the population is the faction balance. For PvE servers, you want to play on the dominant faction (large servers with balanced factions are also fine). For PvP servers, you probably want to see more balance (good luck).
If your current server doesn’t have a good population or faction balance then consider the costs of staying versus transferring a character or just starting from scratch elsewhere. On the bright side coming back to WoW Classic for WotLK a few months in advance is a great time to reroll and start over.
Pick Your WotLK Classic Main Character & Get To Level 70
An obvious point, but critical to saving time before Northrend becomes available. And very critical if you don’t have any level 70 characters already. Having a level capped character will make earning gold and going through the other prep steps much easier.
If you’re planning to play a death knight as your main WotLK Classic character you should still prep by getting a character to at least level 55. That does not have to be on the same server you plan to roll the death knight. Having a non-death knight at level 70 is still very helpful for any prep goals you take on.
Upgrade Your Bags
If you’re still using WoW Classic bags you should look into getting upgrades. A minimum of four newer, larger bags for your main character. And optionally up to seven additional bag upgrades for your bank bag slots.
- The cheapest Outland bag.
- No bigger than Mooncloth Bags, which you may already have.
- Usually best for filling in bank bag slots cheaply.
- Likely the best value bag upgrade for fresh level 70s
- Should be your minimum bag size on your Northrend bound character
- The premium crafted Outland bag if you have extra gold to spend and value lots of bag space
- This will be replaced with what will become a much cheaper version after WotLK launches, so if tight on gold hold off on this upgrade.
If you didn’t buy all seven bank bag slots you should also do that now. The total cost is lower than it was during WoW Classic.
Get a Fast Ground Mount & Normal Flying Mount
A fast ground mount will really speed up leveling via quests in both Outland now and Northrend later. And a normal flying mount is required to access some level 70 content in Outland and will be required for the Storm Peaks and Icecrown zones in Northrend. You should have both when WotLK starts. The question is do you buy now or later?
New Mount Discounts in WotLK Classic
Mount access and prices change drastically in WotLK and we’ll likely see these changes in place during the pre-patch. So depending on how much time you’ll be playing before the pre-patch you may want to consider holding off on upgrading your mount.
TBC Classic Costs:
- Fast Ground Mount = 690 gold
- Normal Flying Mount = 900 gold
- Fast Flying Mount = 5100 gold
WotLK Classic Costs:
- Fast Ground Mount = 60 gold
- Normal Flying Mount = 300 gold
- Fast Flying Mount = 5100 gold
These prices don’t take into account faction discounts and most mounts will cost even less for most players. New flying mount trainers and vendors will be added to Honor Hold and Thrallmar. The new trainers are associated with Stormwind and Orgrimmar, taking advantage of those discounts. The new vendors are associated with Honor Hold and Thrallmar, again taking advantage of their discounts. The previous flying mount NPCs in Shadowmoon Valley will not have these discounts available.
Normal flying mounts will also see a speed boost come WotLK Classic. They go from 60% speed in the air to 150% speed in the air. So a flying mount (while flying) will outrun a fast ground mount. This takes off the pressure to save up and spend gold on the fast flying mount, also that is still a nice upgrade to shoot for.
Faction discounts in TBC and WotLK Classic:
- Friendly = 5% off
- Honored = 10% off
- Revered = 15% off
- Exalted = 20% off
Should You Wait for the Discounts?
A character leveling up to 70 now should get their fast ground mount. It is a huge quality of life upgrade for the entire leveling process.
If you have no plans to run level 70 content requiring a flying mount then you can hold off. This will limit what you can do, but if you mainly plan to hit level 70 and unsub until WotLK Classic then this will save you some gold. The normal flying mount will also feel better after the changes.
Free Flying Mount in Northrend?!
There is a way to get a completely free flying mount in Northrend. But there are restrictions, making it a viable option for a herb or mining alt, but not your main character.
- Equivalent to a normal flying mount, going 150% speed in the air.
- Requires NO riding training.
- Is an item that takes up a bag slot. Does not go into the new mount tab. Does not count toward any mount achievements.
- Only works in Sholazar Basin, Storm Peaks, and Icecrown.
So yes, there is a free mount that is as good as a normal flying mount and requires zero training. But the three-zone limit is what kills it for any character you plan to play full time. Buy your regular training and mount and keep this tip for any herb or mining alts you want later.
Farm Gold – The Ultimate WotLK Classic Prep
The single most helpful resource for WotLK Classic prep is gold. A modest amount gets you past the initial gold sinks in Outland and Northrend. More gold opens up more quality of life upgrades.
How Much Gold Do I Need?
Here are the most likely gold expenses you’ll have in a WotLK Classic prep mode without trying to get into Outland raiding.
Imbued Netherweave Bags = ~35 gold each
Bank Slots = 112 gold (assuming you’re buying all 7 slots)
Flying = 900 gold now, 300 gold later
Dual Spec = 1000 gold
Epic Flying = 5100 gold
Cold Weather Flying = 1000 gold
- Trainable at level 77 and needed for Storm Peaks and Icecrown zones
- You’ll earn the gold needed while leveling in Northrend
Ring of the Kirin Tor = 8500 gold
- A good pre-raid item
- Can buy upgrades during new content phases
- Free hearth to Dalaran for the entirety of WotLK
Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth = 20,000g
- 16,000 gold if you buy at Exalted, but that will be after you’re level 70 and have missed much of this mount’s potential usefulness
You don’t need all the gold for all the things you want in WotLK before the new expansion launches. There will be more gold earning potential in Northrend than we have in Outland, making gold farming easier later on. Focus on your more immediate needs and then earn/save as you can without stressing over your eventual grand total.
How To Farm Gold?
If you’re an established level 70 you likely have ways to make gold already. You can put more time into those, or look into other gold farming techniques.
Fresh level 70s should start with doing as many daily quests per day as possible (up to 25 per day). My recommended dailies are:
- 12 Shattered Sun Offensive dailies
- 8 Netherwing dailies
- 5 Skyguard & Ogri’la dailies
That will net you ~400 gold per day in gold rewards alone, more after selling the loot you acquired as well. The SSO dailies are easy to get into, take the portal in Shattrath to the Isle of Quel’Danas and get going. The Netherwing and Ogr’ila dailies both require a quest chain to be completed first, which includes group quests.
All fresh level 70s should also continue doing any regular quests they haven’t completed. Quests give extra gold over XP at level cap, so finishing up quests in Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley will net you a decent amount.
Skill Up Your Professions to 350+
While choosing your WotLK Classic main character and spec you should also pick their professions. Once you’ve settled on that you should try to get them skilled up to at least 350 to better prep for WotLK Classic. TBC Classic Phase 5 is seeing some of the cheapest Outland material prices ever. More players are collecting stuff while doing daily quests or leveling alts, and fewer players are skilling up brand new professions. Now is a good time to buy mats for getting your own professions prepped for WotLK Classic.
Whatever main professions you choose you should check out this online tool to see what items to collect and store. It also helps with cooking and first aid.
- Select your server and faction in the upper right.
- Click on your profession and you’ll get a list of recommended recipes for each skill level.
- Go through recipe options, paying attention to total cost and how you learn the recipe before you decide what mats to buy.
- Buy vendor recipes as needed.
You do not need to go all the way to 375 when skilling up unless you need that right now. All WotLK Classic professions will only require up to 350 to get started with the new professional level and early recipes. In most cases, it will be far cheaper to buy mats for early WotLK recipes a week or two after the expansion launches than it is to skill up to 375 right now.
Prepping WotLK Classic Professional Alts
If you’re wanting to set up some professional alts (enchanter for disenchanting, alchemist for transmuting, etc) keep these level requirements in mind:
- Level 65 and a 350 skill level are required for WotLK Classic training
- Level 68 is required for specializations (still tied to Outland quests)
Gearing Up Isn’t Important for WotLK Classic Prep
If your intent during TBC Classic is to prep for WotLK Classic and not get into Outland raids for the sake of raiding, then you shouldn’t worry about gearing up your future WotLK Classic character. The amount of time you’d spend now isn’t worth it, given how quickly you’ll see some good quest and dungeon rewards in Northrend.
2H Weapon Example
Let’s look at various 2H weapons to give an example of how long different TBC Classic weapons last into WotLK Classic.
|Crimson Will||110.1||88 Attack Power|
|Borean Tundra Quest (level 69)|
|Hammer of the Naaru||119.86||44 Strength|
3 gem slots
|Captain Carver's Persuader||123.7||29 Strength|
40 Crit Rating
46 Haste Rating
|World Drop (level 73)|
|Ingvar's Monolithic Cleaver||129.7||56 Strength|
70 Hit Rating
|Utgarde Keep (level 69)|
|Honed Cobalt Cleaver||132.5||154 Attack Power|
51 Haste Rating
|Crafted (level 73)|
|Icier Barbed Spear||145.3||62 Agility|
88 Attack Power
61 Crit Rating
|Amphitheater of Anguish reward (level 75)|
|Apolyon, the Soul-Render||148.68||126 Attack Power|
42 Crit Rating
32 Haste Rating
3 gem slots
|Hammer of Grief||169.2||156 Attack Power|
77 Crit Rating
|Halls of Stone, Heroic|
89 Haste Rating
45 Hit Rating
If you’re a Sunwell Plateau raider you could get Apolyon, the Soul-Render. That lasts you until heroic dungeons in WotLK Classic. Though a level 75 group quest reward comes very close and will be a lot more accessible to players.
If you’re a newer level 70 then look at Hammer of the Naaru, a solid two-hander out of Gruul’s Lair (a pug-friendly raid). A dungeon drop accessible as soon as WotLK Classic launches is close to the same damage output (more DPS, weaker stats). By level 73 you can confidently replace it with either a world drop or a crafted weapon, neither requiring luck if you have enough gold for the auction house or mats.
The time and effort spent going from a level 70 in quest greens to winning a weapon in Gruul’s Lair will be more than the same quest greens level 70 getting to level 73 with a slightly weaker quest reward weapon. Run Outland raids if you want to run Outland raids. But no one should feel they need to do so in order to have a smooth leveling path through Northrend.
Sunwell Plateau Epics Are the Exception, To a Point
If you’re running Sunwell Plateau right now that gear does last a good while into Northrend. A few pieces will even beat pre-raid BiS from Northrend sources. But for the most part don’t expect them to last beyond the first heroic dungeons, if that far. During the original WotLK, Sunwell epics weren’t as relevant to early raiding as Naxxramas epics were going into TBC. The same will be true for the Classic version.
But I Want To Gear Up!
If you really want to gear up here are the basic paths you should take as a fresh level 70.
- Visit SeventyUpgrades.com, create an account, and set up your character. It is an easy-to-use resource for identifying gear upgrades. The equivalency point system it uses isn’t perfect for all classes and specs, but it is good enough for getting through old Outland content.
- Run high-level dungeons for any potential upgrades:
- Steam Vaults
- Shadow Labs
- Magisters’ Terrace
- Skip heroics and get into Karazhan, Gruul, and Magtheridon raids once you are in a lot more blues than greens. Get epics into as many slots as possible.
- After you have more epics than not you can look at going into Zul’Aman. There are some really powerful upgrades in there.
- Once you are in all (or mostly) epics start looking for SSC and TK raids. These are more accessible to newer players now, but maybe less popular within your realm.
Black Temple and Mount Hyjal would be next, but those are close to current content with a lot more restrictions to joining both guild and pug raids. Sunwell Plateau will only be accessible with a supporting raid (you need to bring a class and spec they desperately need) or with a GDKP pug if you have a lot of gold to spend.
Find a Guild
This is a tricky step and I wouldn’t hesitate to wait until WotLK is underway if you feel that is the best course of action for yourself. A good guild today is not guaranteed to remain so once WotLK Classic raiding begins. Most guilds today are also recruiting for their needs today. If you’re not interested in raiding then many of them won’t be that interested in you.
You have a few options:
- Join a leveling/social-focused guild. They shouldn’t require you to gear up for raids and it puts you in content with other players. You’ll have a guild to level with during Northrend and maybe a raid team will develop.
- Join a raiding guild as a non-raiding member. You’ll need to be clear on your plans and goals here, but some raiding guilds will look at the future and are happy to have extra members in case they need more later on. That said unless they say they’ll guarantee you a raiding slot later you can’t assume you’ll get one. For many established guilds current active raiders will get top priority.
- Wait until WotLK Classic starts and look for a new guild as you’re leveling up. If you find one within the first week you won’t miss having others for dungeons and heroics and you could get onto the initial raid runs.
Plenty of guilds will be recruiting during the initial weeks of WotLK Classic and the gearing between potential raiders will be much more even. Some guilds may also hold off on WotLK Classic recruitment until after the expansion starts and they have a better idea of what classes and specs their current members plan to play.