On Tuesday the 7th of December the 3rd WoW expansion - Cataclysm - launches. There are all kinds of things associated with a new expansion like new zones to explore, new dungeons to clear out and new quests to do. One of the more important things to the hardcore maniacs is the new feats of strength. In particular there are feats of strength for being the first paladin to level 85 and being the first to level any given profession to 525. Being as I never got any of these feats of strength when the last expansion launched I have decided I am going to get 3 of them for Cataclysm. This is not easy.
The thing is that being the first paladin to level 85 basically requires you to login at 3:01 in the morning when the servers first come up and play continually (and frantically!) until you hit 85. From my time on the beta test realms I think I should be able to do it in about 15 hours of playtime which means that I can most likely be done by Tuesday evening if I just wake up in the middle of the night and play right through. I have a full set of 25 daily quests ready to cash in and hearthstones set to the appropriate hubs. I will login at 3:01 and have all 25 cashed by about 3:05, then I head out and start questing immediately in Mount Hyjal. When I hit 82 (which I should do faster than basically everyone due to my timing and daily quest preparation) I immediately stop and go to Deephome, which requires level 82 to enter. The idea there is to get ahead of the pack of people so it will be easier to complete quests since no one else should be around. Theoretically I finish Deephome and then go to Twilight Highlands where I finish off my run to 85. Levelling with a zillion other people around is always a mess and things take a long time but hopefully I can get ahead of the mob and stay there. There isn't much finesse involved here, just raw playtime and focus.
The other goals I have are to get the Jewelcrafting and Alchemy feats of strength. Alchemy is possible extremely quickly and only requires a bunch of materials, basically the limiting factor is just having enough cash to buy all the herbs and gems you require. I have an enormous amount of cash but at 3:01 nobody will have any herbs or gems at all - no amount of money will solve that. I will need to wait a few hours for them to get picked and mined and then run around advertising that I want to buy them for outrageous sums. Some people of course will refuse at any price since they want them for their own professions but I figure most people just need to be offered a big enough pile of money. Alchemy should be fairly cheap to level - at 250g per stack of herbs/ore it would only cost 5000g or so. Jewelcrafting is another beast entirely. I figure I will have to spend 80,000g to level jewelcrafting to max at 250g/stack, a truly substantial number, particularly considering that stacks might go a lot higher than that. Fortunately to level Alchemy I need to make Shadowspirit Diamonds, and to level Jewelcrafting I need to cut Shadowspirit Diamonds, so I can just feed myself the materials I need. Also Shadowspirit Diamonds are absolutely necessary for high end raiding so I can certainly sell them on the auction house and try to recoup my costs. The question is whether or not I can convince someone to pay 900g for one gem, which is what I will be paying to make it approximately. Seems... a bit steep.