Gold-Making or Lore - Which To Do First in Mists?

Over the last few months I've given a lot of thought to the question of how exactly I wanted to start off my Mists of Pandaria experience. While it may seem a trivial thing to some, I really wanted to start this expansion right.

While I may be best known for my gold-making endeavors believe it or not I actually do more in World of Warcraft than make gold. Read on past the jump for my thoughts on the decision of whether to focus on gold-making or exploring the lore of Mists of Pandaria first.

Fjord Explorer

I know it may seem like a silly thing but I really want to experience Mists of Pandaria in a different way then I did Cataclysm. Mists of Pandaria offers something I thing we've all been missing in World of Warcraft for quite some some: Exploration.

I remember stepping through the Dark Portal when I first hit level 58 and finding a whole new world I had never experienced before.

While many people like to emphasis the "Massively" in Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game pertains to the "Multiplayer" aspect of an MMORPG, the "Massively" part could also pertain to the world itself.

Indeed World of Warcraft has offered us one of the largest online worlds available for us to seemlessly explore. Unfortunately, whether is was the teleporting everywhere or the proximity to older more familiar zones, I never got the sense of wonder and exploration in the Cataclysm expansion. It was sorely missed.

What I'm really craving is an immersive exploration experience.

Time is Money

So that brings us to my dilemma. I know for a fact that I would maximize my gold-making potential in the firstweek of the expansion by focusing all of my efforts on gold-making.

For me that would likely mean pushing my mining/herbalist Death Knight to level 90 as quickly as possible in order to obtain the ability to fly in Mists of Pandaria thus setting myself up with a proper supply line to feed the rest of my alt's profession leveling.

That seems like the sensible thing to do. The prudent thing to do. The "gold-maker" thing to do.

There's only one problem with that. It would spoil the story for any type of future lore-focused leveling experience.

Story Time

Even if I didn't read any of the quest text while I was leveling a gatherer I would still invariably glean key points of lore simply by the physical aspects of doing the quests. Leveling through dungeons wouldn't be any better as I'd likely pick up lore simply through osmosis.

I read a post that stated at one point the lore of Mists of Pandaria involved players being part of the ship wrecks that are featured in the Mists of Pandaria trailer. I loved that idea.

The writer suggested that players try a fully-immersive Mists of Pandaria leveling experience by staying in the Mists of Pandaria zones all the way up to level 90. Never leaving. Never teleporting to Stormwind or Orgimmar. To try to maintain the immersion that you are a shipwrecked survivor and you're not going anywhere for a while.

That is my other option: To embrace that immersion completely. To focus on every new area. To read every quest and to really try to enjoy the experience and get lost in the leveling and exploration experience, at least once.

I'd like very much to do that. Id like to do that on my Hunter. I love the thought of him fighting his way through this strange new land. I like the idea that he has no contact with my other alts. That he is cut off until he can find a way to return.

I love the idea of not even allowing myself to use mailboxes (due to the fact that frankly there is not mail service to the Mists of Pandaria areas).

But I'm torn.

The Dilemma

The dilemma is this: Focus on gold-making and potentially spoil what could be a fantastic lore-centered leveling experience or shut out the world (and potential profits) and have a great story/lore experience at the expense of gold-making at the beginning of Mists of Pandaria.

I know. I know. First world problems, right?

But the fact that I've been thinking so much about is really just goes to show how much I care about both aspects of my World of Warcraft play experience. I love making gold. I love teaching others to make gold. I also love playing World of Warcraft to experience World of Warcraft.

The Solution

So what will I ultimately end up doing for the first week or so of Mists of Pandaria? Will I put my head down and enjoy the lore at least once through, eschewing potential profits in the process?

Or will I give into my gold-making tendencies and focus on earnomg gold while I can the first week of the expansion at the expense of the lore?

That is a very good question and one I'll likely continue to ponder over until the Mists of Pandaria launch.

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  1. I will do what I always do - Level one character through "properly" before I retire back to just logging into Stormwind to post stuff, or farm one area.

    Anything I gather will make a good penny, and actual questing to level has a decent return in gold as well (In cata it was like 2k a zone in gold rewards). I try not to buy ANYTHING that first week, because you will blow 100k and have like 20 skill points to show for it or a piece of armor you'll replace in a week if you aren't careful.

    1. The note about not buying anything is a good tip and one I'll likely take to heart. I remember blowing 20k on leveling LW the first week of Cata. Never again.

  2. Great post and topic. Interesting. My mind is wandering in an extremely similar way. Reading the quest descriptions will never work for me. I tried it with Death Knights the first time around but after a short while I couldn't stick to it.

    Rushing has been my way of doing things whether it's gameplay or gold related. This time around it feels different. This expansion feels a lot like BC in many ways and I didn't even spend many months playing in Vanilla. Why does rushing feel less important? Well, it's just a matter of time before Mists falls into darkness and the lull hits. The grind is the same, but experiencing the things that are different, and doing it with friends, that's all that really counts. And that was the reason I loved BC.

    My plan is simple; Focus on gaming like I once did and do the gold making bit whenever I feel like it. The thought of leveling a character (my Death Knight) just to make a lot more gold kills everything that I should've learned during Cataclysm. It's no easy thing to leave old golden habits behind, but there's only 4 toons worth leveling from the go and the 2 that really matter to me are the Hunter and the Warrior (lovely new SoR class). The Warlock is always fun and they say that the Affliction playstyle still is intact. Dots is all I ever wanted from that class although Demonology might be fun with all the changes to the pets.

    Making gold won't be harder, so even if I "lose out" on the gold side I should gain so much more gameplay wise. In Mists i'll rejoice in doing PvE with my guildies once again. And hopefully i'll even get into some semi serious PvPing just to switch up the gaming grinds as well. If a faction has boring dailies I won't do them. And unless a reward really feels rewarding i'll minimize the time of boredom. And if all else fails, the Gold will always be there, waiting to be had.

    Cheers, Jim

    1. Agreed. There is no rush because Mists is what we'll be playing for the next few years.

      Also I thought about your WoW or Gold blog a few times while writing the title to this article.

  3. I've found myself wondering the same this time around, kind of. Usually with each expansion my first priority is to get to Max level and gear up my main as soon as possible to start raiding. I don't have any intention of raiding in Mists at least not for the first while anyway so I'm at a bit of a loss for what non raiders actually do in the beginning? I know I'll level my Priest first because she's my main and the love of my account - I'm maybe just a terrible gold maker but for me gold doesn't even come into it for me it's all about exploring the new content and getting her to 90 before I even think about gold.

    You're in a different position though, you write a blog about gold making lots of people will be looking to you for advice at the start and of course throughout MoP.

    1. True. That said, I'll be making gold for the whole expansion. I only really have one chance to see the lore with new eyes.

  4. Loved the topic! I've wondered so myself too. To me this dillema is like working on new year's eve or not. On one side, you could make a weeks worth of gold in just one night. But on the other side, missing out on a great party...not to mention the pics you see from everyone on the next day. The question you should ask yourself, my friend is this. Do I deserve an expensive new year's eve. And yes you do! 'Couse it's not like it's happeining every month.
    So go out there, have fun. And don't forget to post party pictures with weird comments!

    1. What an insightful analogy. It makes things much more clear. Thank you.

  5. I have thought this over many times... and i love the lore. But as you said, power leveling a gatherer to make gold can ruin the lore through "osmosis". I've always loved reading every word of.. well everything lol. I began world of warcraft about mid-icc, and i can remember leveling through stranglethorn more than any other area... it had the most impact on me because it wasnt just.. Oh? He needs some random item go get it" it was the first place to have a story, particularly the Nessingwary Crew.
    So what am i gunna do? Not Sure...
    I would love to make a killing that would last me through MoP... But i know that once i get my JC lvled I will rake in alot... 10k a day in cata isnt half bad lol.
    But I think i will lvl my raiding(Scribe/Tailor) priest first.. which is going to be very frustrating.. im horrible at shadow..(I play Holy), and having a story behind what i am doing, just might help ease my anger at the spec lol. And on the Plus side.. Any Spirits i get can be put towards the fancy staff that i get, and beyond that, ill turn them into Ores from the vendor and send them to my JC.

  6. I had the same issue. I decided to power level my farmer druid from launch to 90 asap to get ahead in the mining/herbalism business. Then I'll take the slow route with my hunter (main), enjoying the quests, scenery, factions, professions, etc (while taking time to farm with my druid in between). After that, I'll start working on all my other professions and then on leveling the alts themselves.

  7. OMG Same boat.

    My main is a mage that has no gathering and the one toon I really _want_ to level.

    My gatherer is a mining/herb DK that I'm considering leveling just so I have the gold to "smooth" the path for my mage.

    I just...I don't know! So torn! I will probably go with mage because frankly, you can ALWAYS make gold, but you can't make up for that first time experience of a new content ever again. So...yeah I think I've just made up my mind. If I miss out on 100k because I didn't mine enough, I can make up for that later. But if I miss out on the new content, because I plowed through it for the gold, I can't make up for that. So I am leveling mage. :-)

    /stream of consciousness

    1. Yes. Ultimately I chose to do lore first slowly on my hunter. My gold-makers can play around in any area I've already quested in. Seems to have worked out so far. Hit 86 today. In no hurry.

  8. I have enough gold to last, plus I can always make more. I really don't plan on spending much except for the 120k gold yak. I'm going to do whole "lore" thing and have fun.