I’ve started Insane in the Membrane. But I’m not entirely committed to finishing it. I probably won’t actually say “I’m doing Insane in the Membrane” until I’m about 95% through the requirements.
I reserve the right to decide, at any moment as I work through/research the requirements, that nobody in their right mind would do that. (Whatever that might be – Pick Pocketing 10 thousand mobs, or creating hundreds and hundreds of expensive Darkmoon cards, or running Dire Maul countless times, or ruining their Booty Bay reputation etc). But I guess that’s the entire point – you can’t be sane when you approach these reputation grinds.
But these crazy Insane in the Membrane rep grinds might entertain me during the pre-Cataclysm lull. Even though most guides – and the Achievement itself – start with the Bloodsail Buccaneers, I decided to start with Ravenholdt.
I’ve always liked Ravenholdt. My first character was a Rogue and I still remember the first time I traveled out to Hillsbrad Foothills and combed the mountains looking for the path up to Ravenholdt Manor. I got past the Master of Beatings and thoroughly enjoyed the quest to do so. Then I headed down to Durnholde and killed the Syndicate for well over an hour, returning time and time again because the Ravenholdt guards just kept asking for more Syndicate Emblems.
Yep. My first repeatable quest. After a couple hours I think I scrolled down through my quest log and started to question if there was any benefit to completing the quest. No XP. Just reputation with Ravenholdt. I abandoned the quest, secretly worried that perhaps I’d made the wrong decision. I mean, I was a Rogue maybe Ravenholdt reputation was important.
I haven’t been back to Durnholde Keep – well present day – since then. I don’t think I’ve ever had a quest that takes me there as any other Alliance character. And not only am I going back, but I’m going back again for Ravenholdt. And in order to reach Exalted as Cassandri I’ll be counting on my long forgotten Rogue to help me get there.
The way to Exalted Ravenholdt comes in two easy steps:
1. Kill Syndicate (the group that have taken over the ruins of Durnholde Keep are ideal) until you’ve maxed out Honored ie you’re 1 point away from Revered. Can be completed by any character, any class. Each Syndicate kill grants +5 reputation.
2. Hand in lots of Heavy Junkboxes. These are found by Pick Pocket-ing level 50-60 mobs. You cannot buy or sell them on Auction House. So you’ll need a Rogue.
I really have no excuse not to try this achievement – I have a level 80 Rogue with nothing else to do. My plan is to Pick Pocket until my bags are filled with Heavy Junkboxes – each will take up one bag space, head for a mailbox and send them to Cassandri (my Priest who is earning reputation). I will not open these mail messages, rather I’ll return them just before 30 days are up. Hopefully I can continue to Return the mail messages between the two characters indefinitely until I have enough.
Did I mention that, all up, you need about 1400 Heavy Lockboxes to go from Revered to Exalted?
Killing the Syndicate (til almost Revered)
Anyway, the first step is the easy bit. I flew to South Shore the other night, after raid ended, to scope out Durnholde. I fell down into the lowest level of the camps and started DoTing the mobs. A few minutes later, about the time I realised that I was wasting too much mana to regenerate it solely using Dispersion, I was slaughtered by a level 80 Orc Rogue. Huh.
I ran back and retrieved my body. I started looking for a way out, a way up. I was killed swiftly yet again. The next time I ran back, I waited until the Rogue was occupied elsewhere and quickly ran behind one of the buildings and logged off. Those 20 seconds were agony.
The next day I came back around lunchtime. And spent the first couple minutes finding a way out. I had the place to myself and figured out a nice route to kill as many Syndicate as I possibly could as quickly as possible. The re-spawn rate is just so damn good here. Even though each kill is only worth 5 reputation a caster, like myself, can easily pick off five or six mobs at once and then have several of those mobs respawn before you’ve moved at all. I quit when I was neatly into Friendly.
I came back twice more and grinded mobs for 30 minute stints. I left when level 80 Horde showed up – which they inevitably did after about 30 minutes. I spotted a couple Rogues and a Hunter all working on this achievement.
Then yesterday I logged back in over lunch, intending to grind out another 2000 rep or so and discovered that a Gnome Rogue was working his way around the place. We partied up and raked in double the reputation. He took care of the lowest level mobs – arguably the best spot to grind because the mobs are closest together here – and I took the upper level ruins. I figured, since I didn’t need to move as far, I could clear the upper floor quicker than he could.
Did I mention that it’s not worth looting anything that you kill in this place? This is the kind of rep grind that I like!
Things were going so well I surpassed my goal for the day (2000 rep) and just kept going. It was pure chance that I spotted the Hunter coming into the Keep just as I was clearing the Syndicate on the entry bridge. Having learned the lay of the land from previous Horde (especially that Orc Rogue on Day 1) I immediately switched into aggressive, kill-on-sight mode. Full DoTs, Mind Flay, Psychic Scream the works… except, well the Hunter was dead before I really got started.
It turned out that they were only level 75. I felt a bit guilty. I strongly believe that high level characters shouldn’t pick on lower level characters. Most especially when they’re trying to level and you’re in their territory. But why on earth would a level 75 Hunter come to Durnholde Keep?
I asked my Rep buddy Rogue that exact same question. He couldn’t give me an answer but his solution to the situation was simple:
If he gets in your way kill him.
I was also a bit dissapointed in myself for my knee-jerk kill it! reaction. Part of the unpleasantness of living on a PVP server is that some players believe that it’s okay to grief other players simply because other players griefed them when they were leveling.
Without intending to, I’d reacted to the level 75 Hunter as though they were the same Orc Rogue who killed me repeated on Day 1. Even though I know that they are not the same person, and just because the Orc Rogue had offered me violence, not mercy, didn’t mean that this Hunter would behave the same way.
To make a long story short, I kept on grinding rep, but I couldn’t seem to communicate with the Hunter that I was no longer out for his blood. He returned several times, and attacked me the moment he was at full health with his pet by his side. I tried to make it clear that I wouldn’t attack him again by running past him while he ate/regained his health. But perhaps I wasn’t clear. After the third or fourth kill I decided that perhaps I should just kill his pet and heal myself and wait until he got the message.
Is there some etiquette I’m missing here? The first attack (by me) was meant as a warning. Perhaps I should have stopped to type /shoo.
While I dithered, completely distracted, the Hunter returned from Spirit Form, mounted up, and left Durnholde Keep. And I was left feeling a bit like a bully.
Throughout the afternoon my friendly Rogue and I were met by many more Horde players: all level 20 to 30. A group of three came in, spotted the Gnome Rogue and promptly left. A Blood Elf came in not long afterward, followed the path of dead bodies up to me, and – right about the time I realised they didn’t move quite like the Syndicate usually do – they turned around and fled.
And, just as I was about to max out Honored a baby Undead Rogue came into the ruins and nearly walked right into me. Determined to prove that I wasn’t there to make his life hell, I immediately tabbed over and killed the mobs attacking him. Then ran past him and kept going. Killing everything except an enemy player sends a pretty clear signal, wouldn’t you say?
I stuck around a little longer to help my Gnome Rogue friend, who was a couple thousand reputation behind me, finish their rep grind. And not once, in all that time, did I see one leveling Alliance player. Does nobody roll Alliance anymore? Or is it only Horde questing in Durnholde Keep?
A lot of the guides that I’ve flicked through have recommended trawling the Scarlet Crusade elites in Tyr’s Hand for Heavy Junkboxes. Fortunately for me, Chriara has been living in the Eastern Plaguelands for most of this year. I rode down to Tyr’s Hand and spent the better part of an hour stealthed. There’s something quite soothing and wonderful about staying in stealth purely to steal.
But I wasn’t the only Rogue hanging around. Occasionally I came across the odd dead member of the Scarlet Crusade – a mob who made the mistake of standing right in the middle of a very narrow doorway perhaps. I also got the “Your target has already had its pockets picked.” warning message at unexpected times.
I looted about 15 or 20 Junkboxes by the time I had picked every pocket. Unfortunately you can only pick the pockets of each mob spawn once. Usually this isn’t a problem – you just kill them. But for this “quest” I didn’t want to waste time killing stuff, I just wanted their Junkboxes.
A comment on Wowhead also suggested that Lower and Upper Blackrock Spire were prime locations to find Junkboxes on mobs. So I flew down and gave that a go too.
One stealth “clear” of Lower Blackrock Spire nearly filled my inventory with Junkboxes. I was thrilled.
I backtracked and tried out Upper Blackrock Spire next. The taking was not so good. In fact I had to do a lot of killing – I had to kill all the rooms to open the door to the first boss, kill the first boss to open the door into the Rookery, and then complete the Rend arena event (which, incidentally, bugs out if you enter the room in Stealth). I did get quite a few Junkboxes, but I just wasted too much time in order to get them.
I did a quick dungeon reset and pick pocketed the first half of Lower Blackrock Spire again, hearth-ing back to Light’s Hope as I reached the spider section. And everyone knows that spiders don’t have pockets.
My first set of Junkboxes (I estimate about 70) are in the mail. I have many many more to go.
I have two new goals:
1. Find the closest flight path with a mail box near Blackrock Mountain. I think this might actually be Ironforge because neither Morgan’s Vigil or Thorim Point have mailboxes. Perhaps Lakeshire?
Chriara will live there for some time.
2. Check to find out if there’s anything else I should be farming while I’m in Blackrock Spire. I think I might need Pristine Black Diamonds later on. I inadvertently looted some in Upper Blackrock Spire.
There’s nothing worse that thinking that you’ve finished a long, boring grind only to find you have to go back to the exact same area later for something you could have picked up the first time!
3. Equip the Glyph of Pick Pocket