After a single week, he's already successfully main-tanked the first four bosses of Icecrown Citadel. Not bad at all.
At the time of writing, his gearscore is 4700, with another jump expected quite shortly (replacing blue 200 and 219 rings with 245 and 251 Rings). Gearscore absolutely sucks, but it remains the simplest way to articulate how geared a character is.
The playstyle is quite enjoyable aside from the RSI-inducing Heroic Strike/Cleave mashfest. I'm very glad to hear that these abilities will be changed in 4.0. All in all, I can say with sincere confidence that Hardcode is very likely to be my main in Cataclysm.
Which brings me to the purpose of this post; Character progression. My approach to Hardcode's progression is a list of "things to do before Cataclysm", which I'd like to share with you.
Stuff to do before Cataclysm
- Choose and max-level two professions
- Set up my bank (20-slot bags everywhere, trade bags where appropriate)
- Achieve Exalted reputation with all Horde factions (via Argent Tournament)
- Achieve Exalted reputation with Netherwing faction
- Obtain the Reins of the Raven Lord
- Obtain an Argent Squire Bank
- Obtain a 310% flying mount (most likely Iron-bound Proto-drake)
- Get the explorer achievements
- Get all Azeroth and Burning Crusade Raid & Dungeon achievements
- Get Keymaster achievement
- Amass significant wealth (50,000 gold is my target)
I've still made no progress on selecting professions for cataclysm. It looks as though I'll be roped in to Mining/Blacksmithing as no other guild member plans to take a Blacksmith into Cataclysm. This leaves a gap as we only have one Jewelcrafter and he's focusing on caster gems. In a perfect world, I'd opt for Blacksmithing/Jewelcrafting so as to maximize both my personal and guild benefits, but it would be far too expensive to maintain.
Obligatory Questions to the Readers
What are your plans pre-cataclysm? What professions would you suggest?