It seems they've both settled for instancing. The one group will also turn in a full set of dailies first thing when Cataclysm is launched, while the other intends on getting started with the instances as soon as possible. My friend plays a DK and intends to be server first dk, at least (he's aiming at server first 85 of course). The other group also has a dk, so there is alot at stake here. Honor! Epeen! So these people have some 24ish hours of power-gaming to look forward to, before they'll even begin to discuss a nap-break. And when discussing with my friend I found out that preparing is no simple business.
First of all we have the game related issues. Turning in dailies or not is one of them, and I am intrigued that the groups have chosen different paths since it will give a great opportunity to compare. On the one hand we're looking at some 500k exp in a matter of minutes. On the other hand we've got instance mobs in Cataclysm that by themselves give some 1/3 of a Northrend daily. So which will be better? Getting started with the instancing asap or boost your start with some turn-ins? Personally I believe the turn-ins are better. Earlier experiences tell me that the beginning of each expansion is erratic and unstable, at best. There might be unforseen factors to attend to before you can start instancing. Talent point reset? Addons that need to be fixed? Probably, and alot other as well. All this can be done while turning in dailies, while a group that is ready to go fighting at once would have to pause and fix this. Also, we're talking some really easy exp. I did some easy maths and you'd have to kill instance-mob at a pretty high rate to come close, even when counting travel times. Considering what we've heard so far about Cataclysm instances being considerably more difficult, I wouldn't count on anyone getting up to such a high rate first thing. Nonetheless, Blizzard have taken steps to ensure a smooth crossover from Wrath to Cataclysm so we might see the first expansion without much downtimes and other issues. And maybe the rumors about instances being alot tougher proves to be somewhat exaggerated, especially when we're talking about players dished out in 25man ICC hc gear. So there is definitely no easy way to tell which will turn out better, and this makes it all the more interesting of course.
Each group has also started one forum thread discussing these issues. There they have listed the participants and requirements to be able to join. Basically they intend to come prepared for each instance like if it had been a progress raid, which means fully flasked, buffed and with the proper food. Nothing is left to chance.
Everyone has of course decided to buy the downloadable version of Cataclysm. It is without a doubt the most secure way to get your copy in due time for the launch, and it's fast and easy with the installation compared to the other choices (buying online and buying in a store).
Other preparations include;
- Coming with empty bags and fully repaired
- Be aware of all and any changes that might come to your class when cataclysm is launched
- Discover the entrance to BRC (apparently this is necessary to be able to join the queue for it)
- Optimizing the character for instancing, not raiding
- Bringing enchants and gems ready to set on new gear that one might acquire in the instances
- Make sure no one will bother you irl. Tell friends, family, better half that you'll be unavailable for a couple of days.
There is a careful schedule planned from the exact moment the launch is off. One group will as mentioned spend the first 10 minutes turning in dailies, and at exactly 00.10 they'll start queueing for instances. There must also be time to learn Flightmaster's License and to buy JP gear within those 10 minutes, so you'll obviously have to know exactly what to buy beforehand.
My friend also discussed food. What will keep him awake and fit for fight the longest without it turning into torture towards the end (aka the nap)? Apparently he didn't want to drink energy drinks, and he also intended to avoid snacks of any kind since he had read somewhere that sugar and fat will make one drowsy faster. Instead he was going to buy caffeine pills and drink water. And the food? He was pondering between carbon hydrates and protein. I told him that the body usually needed alot of energy and time to digest meat like steaks. If he wanted something that wouldn't make him sleepy he should probably go for something vegetarian. My friend isn't too fond of green food (afaik) so we'll see where he ends up in this decision.
It's interesting to see how he, and the others as well I am assuming, are preparing for this like it was a trecking trip to the far reaches of the Himalayas. In a way it will be. They intend to push their bodies to the limit, all the while having to keep their minds active and agile. Imo this isn't any less cool than if they really were taking a trecking hike to the Himalays (ok, that would be a little tougher. No toilet!). It will take careful planning, dedication and hard work to reach that goal. This is definitely no small commitment they're making. I just hope they'll have time for some fun too.