15 September 2010


Steamwheedle is done!!! I realize that I still have lots of pain in store for Ravenholdt and DMF, but I can hardly describe the sense of elation at never having to run Dire Maul for keys again. My methods up to this point took a meandering path. After finishing with Bloodsail, I began running DM for keys and librams. However, I had abysmal luck with key drops and hadn`t yet begun to appreciate even the measly 75 rep that Ogre Suits netted me. Simultaneously, I was watching the AH and grabbing up Pristine Black Diamonds and librams. Many of my PBDs came from my old east coast server and were from 50-100g. I`m not sure what they go for now over there, but on my new server they are around 400g. So I ended up getting most of my Shendralar rep items from the AH. When I hit Exalted with them I looked again at the Insane handbook. I no longer needed the rare diamonds or librams, and what`s more the hourly pirate rates were supposed to be better. So I moved out to Ratchet and the killing spree began.

It really didn`t seem so bad at the time. In my moonkin spec I could put Insect Swarm on everything in range (even behind me!) and was able to make excellent time running across the top of the pirate hangout, down the slope nearish to Northwatch Hold, and then running back towards Ratchet. It was quick, painless, and dull enough that I could zone out chatting in guild or singing showtunes or what-have-you. Doing this brought me out of Hated (with Ratchet) a very important milestone. The Hated block is the longest consecutive rep section and it was incredibly discouraging to see it creep towards Hostile at a snail`s pace. So, I think just for sheer peace of mind, switching to pirates was not such a bad idea. I stayed there until I maxed out my Ratchet gains at 99% Honored.

Feeling confident, I went to Tanaris next. The mobs are still easy enough to kill with one dot (by this time I had made my OS feral for old world soloing and was moonfiring in Resto). Because they drop mageweave in Tanaris, I started looting sporadically and ended up with a very nice stash for leveling 1st aid on my Cata alt. At first I was chugging the Volatile Rum to make bag space, but started sending it to my bank alt when I could. When it sells I can usually get about 5g per rum. The Tanaris pirates are less plentiful and have a slower respawn rate. I think for my purposes this wasn`t necessarily a bad choice in grinding location, but it did have some downtime and more frequent lowbie competition (although I always invite hordies to help).

Friendly with Everlook!
When I hit 99% Honored with Gadgetzan, I moved to STV and started in on the Venture Co. population. This was a huge mistake. They are few in number, have a long respawn rate, and don`t drop much of anything. I made slow progress out here until my partner in insanity asked me about my progress. When I confessed my frustration, he told me that he had gone entirely from Hated to Exalted solely through DM runs. Reluctantly I allowed myself to be talked back into DM. This was an excellent idea.

I amassed rune thread, bolts of runecloth, and rugged leather for tannin turnins and returned to the dreadful Kingdom of the Ogres. Luckily, the first few runs back were 1 or 2 key runs and served as positive reinforcement when the trend turned to 0 or 1 key runs. In my case, it seemed to be about 5 good runs followed by 5 disappointing ones. However, I could always turn in tannin, was getting tons of librams to send my friend, and was making a respectable profit thanks to my Argent Gruntling, Jeeves, and extra repairbots. My mailbox helped with librams as well.

For a long time Guard Slip`kik was my BFF for keys. Whether I had Freed Knot or not, Guard Slip`kik would come lumbering around the corner and Bam! A key.

Aside from him, I had good luck with the warlocks and brutes nearby, and occasionally with the locks near the tannin upstairs or the Gordok Bushwacker himself. The first and second bosses were consistently stingy. I had more luck with the trash near the first boss (I pull the entire courtyard).

Last night, with just a tiny sliver of rep left to go, I used up all my keys and tannin and found myself with only 400 rep to go. For old time`s sake I went to Ratchet and killed everything in sight until...

The Goblins love me!!

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