Out of Game:
1) Your PC needs to be ready, make sure your anti-virus is updated and a full scan run before you install the Cataclysm client. If you don’t have an upto date anti-virus you should download one of the free ones, they are as good as the bought ones at protecting your system although you may lose small features (like multiple scheduled scanning options). AVG from Grisoft and Avast! from Avast come highly recommended.
2) The Cataclysm client is a monster install, make sure that you have free space on your hard drive to actually intall it. The beta client took up 30Gb so allow 40Gb on your install partition to be safe. You may well need to do some housekeeping to free up this space or maybe it is time for that new HDD you’ve been promising yourself.
3) Defragment your HDD after all the housekeeping you’ll have performed in 2) above it will need it.
4) If you’e planning an extended gaming session on December 7th you should prepare yourself some food and drink ahead of time. Doing this will prevent you from grabbing fast easy solutions to your hunger/thirst.
5) Tidy your desk/gaming area – it will make you feel more comfortable and put you in the best mental state to power level.
7) Get a guild – Cataclysm is heavily focused on guilds and the perks that guilds can bring are really worthwhile. If you’re not in a guild you should find a good active guild that meets your style of play, time you play and general attitude. A mature player focused on PVE raiding who likes to chill after a hard day of work will not find a good home in a PVP focused guild run by a 12 year old Timmy Power gamer type.
8) Gather up some friends to play with on the first few days. Grab some guildies to level with and set aside some time together for questing, dungeon running and generally having a fun time on Ventrilo/Teamspeak while doing so will make that 1st day very productive and memorable for the right reasons.
9) This is a big step so I’ll apologise in advance, but we need XP and we’ll want it fast. You can get a headstart by completing quests now but not handing them in until December 7th. Ideally, these should be preferably from a central hub – the Argent Tournament is a good spot as there are many quests in 2 hubs not very far apart and a total of 10 quests 4 Aspirant/Valiant (or for 4 Crusader if you have completed all the faction specific ones) 4 Champion ones and 2 Silver Covenant/Sunreaver. These quests give 22,050 XP currently so after completing them on December 6th do not hand them in and when you log off that night make sure you log off in the tournament grounds and within 2 minutes of logging in you should be able to gain a healthy 220,500 xp.
A tidy sum towards level 81, but why stop there. The Dalaran cooking and fishing dailies should also give similar XP gains and if you have quests in Icecrown and Storm Peaks to complete they also are worth doing as they are close to Dalaran. If you can get 25 quests completed you’ll have almost 500,000xp towards the 1.7 million you need. However, things may change on the switch over so the XP may be reduced.