WoW completionist guide: How to start collecting in 2021?

There are so many things in WoW that can (and should be, right?) collected, that it’s hard to get yourself started on that journey in a good way. It seems like there’s something valuable around every corner, but in reality, the amount of time you could waste searching for the next thing to go for can be infuriating. In this post, I’ll give you some quick tips and tools to use if you’d like to start expanding your collection these days – or if you’ve been doing it not as efficiently in the past and are looking for some guidance.

Shadowlands has so many new things to collect – getting organized feels like a must these days!

How to get all the things? Get All The Things.

When it comes to collecting, there are many layers you can take into consideration when you’re trying to get into it, and apart from the in-game achievements menu, the perfect tool for you is the All The Things addon. Now, this can be a dangerous little thing to play around with if you’re going with the attitude of someone who’s trying to collect everything on every type of character and on every faction.

Before you begin exploring All The Things, it’s good to set your goals in advance. Are you a single-person character trying to get everything you can for your main? Do you have a single alt who you’d like to groom to share the burden with your other characters? Or you’re the kind of person who’s got multiple characters on both Alliance and Horde, farming all the cloth, leather, mail and plate you can get your hands on? Whatever the case may be, All The Things has the right settings for you. 

All The Things: General menu

The General settings tab is the most important one for you, and depending on whether you’re collecting appearances regardless of where they came from, or you want to have the actual all items that could ever drop for you, you can either select the Unique mode, or the Completionist mode. I personally don’t find it satisfying to collect items that I already got the appearance of from another source, so I go for Unique, but it’s entirely up to you. Also, you can select to only care about your main, which will only ever show you stuff obtainable by your character, but if you select the Account Mode, you’ll see everything that can be obtained regardless of whether you can actually wear it. I personally can’t stand seeing how much I still don’t have on the characters that wear plate and mail, so I go for the main one (and keep promising myself I’ll find more time to complete stuff when I’m, I don’t know, old and retired or something in between).

Sending…
Awesome! Your checklist is on your way to your Inbox. Go check it out!

The next part of General will allow you to select which particular items you want to track, and the more you select, the more stuff you’ll need to collect in order to get to a 100% in a certain area, so you can kind of control the amount of collecting you wanna do, and that’s the beauty of it. In the image above, you can see mine, and I simply refuse to track any more of this stuff as my time schedule cannot handle that!

The other tabs will walk you through some details on the filters, the unobtainable items, how you want to see All The Things when you’re in WoW, and all the stuff I won’t be getting into at this point. Big shoutout to Crieve, who created this beautiful rabbit hole, and apparently there’s going to be a website for comparing the Collections soon, so if you’re watching this, I’ll be seeing you there!

Dataforazeroth.com – a place for you to satisfy your completionist urges.

There’s another useful tool if you’d like to expand your collection and get super organized, and that’s the website called dataforazeroth.com. There are many, many websites that show you which items you can still collect, but I prefer this one, as you can filter your collection in many different ways, like achievements, mounts, pets, titles or whatever it is that you want to collect, and then for every one of those, you can choose one or multiple sources, factions, expansions and so much more. Therefore, if you’re in the mood for a particular expansion and you wanna do reputation grinds for the mounts you haven’t collected (or something completely different!), you can do all that in just a few clicks. It’s very simple and handy, and you can refresh your character’s stats after every fruitful loot to feel better about it.

There’s also a cute little feature on the website called Gold Calculator, that can show you how much gold you can earn with your amount of characters, helps you set some goals, and gives you the list of things to do that will award you with a juicy amount of gold on a daily or weekly basis, so if you’re collecting gold for something expensive, this may be of interest to you.

Covenant-specific rewards – and how to get them all

Now, I’d like to talk about something specific for Shadowlands, as that’s where we are now, and so many people who want to collect stuff are worried about doing it in all four covenants. Now, from what I’ve figured, even though this is supposed to be an alt-friendly expansion, it has recently become less alt-friendly and has made me want to get all the covenant-related stuff on only one character.

The reason for this is because the achievement that boosts your anima intake once you’ve raised your buildings to level 3 is not account-wide, and your other characters will not benefit from it even if you have level 3 buildings unlocked on your main. If your situation allows it (and by that, I mean if it doesn’t affect you or the people you play with), I suggest collecting everything in one covenant and then switching to the next one. However, if you care about collecting stuff that’s of more than one type (for example, cloth only), and you have more characters to do it with, then it’s okay to go with different ones. I honestly hope Blizzard will revert the decision about this achievement staying character-based, and that we’ll at some point be eligible for the anima bonuses on our alts as well.

Covenant Sanctum buildings – do you even need them?

When it comes to whether you really need those buildings if you’re a collector, I’d say yes, it’s important to finish your covenant sanctum buildings, at least to level 3 so that you can get more anima from world quests and missions and be able to get all the covenant-related stuff easily.

I’d even say getting your special covenant feature to level 5 is a good idea, as the highest level of it comes with additional rewards you can’t get in any other way. Forgetting all about the buildings and just getting enough anima to buy what’s in your covenant may seem like an easier way out, but it really isn’t, as more covenant stuff is inevitably going to get added into Shadowlands, and every time that happens, you’ll need to do more world quests for a miserable amount of anima, just to catch up.

After biting the bullet and getting them all to level 3, I can honestly say this is well worth it, as I get thousands and thousands of anima daily just from the world quests, and that doesn’t even take all the raiding, keys, rares and missions into consideration. That’s the right long-term way to do it, and even if you switch away from the covenant and come back at some point, you’ll still be able to reap the benefits of a well-established covenant sanctum in order to finish collecting, and it’s a lot easier to do than it really seems. Now, for me, the most important part on this journey was finding myself a questing buddy whose goal was to be efficient and quick about it, and believe me, it’s the game-changer in the equation on whether you should be doing these or not, so if you can, group up.

Better Wardrobe and Transmog – so you can actually see what’s in your stash.

If you’re a transmog collector, there’s nothing better for you than the Better Wardrobe and Transmog addon. It will help you gain much more insight into what you have, including all the extra sets that are not listed by sets in the actual game Set menu. (Weird, I know.)

This addon has my all-time favorite button too, and it allows you to randomize your transmog in all your slots when you’re at the transmog vendor. Some people go fishing or camp mounts while watching Netflix, and yeah I do that, too, but most of the time, I go there, press that button over and over, and actually feel kinda good about all the things I got and forgot about. You’ll love it!

The collector’s attitude – how do you stay patient?

Finally, when it comes to collecting and your overall attitude towards it, I think goal setting is the most important thing to consider. Don’t just dive into this with a “let’s get 10% on my All The Things overall today” as that will not happen, and it can lead to some massive disappointment, as so many things are not up to you – like when a certain mount is going to drop for you, for example.

Pick a few mounts, pets, or achievements to go for, and stick to it until you’re done with it, and ready to take more load in your gametime. There’s always something to work towards, and if the addons and websites don’t feel appealing to you, there are many pet, mount and toy guides on this very blog that you can breeze through and see if anything tickles your imagination..

That’s pretty much it when it comes to starting off your collector’s journey. If you have any questions or tips of your own, drop them in the comments, and if you’re more of a visual type, and you don’t mind getting easy wins in WoW, you can check out all of this in my video – and subscribe for more awesome WoW stuff!

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