HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest


Durnholde Keep - Occupied by the Syndicate

The mob directly in front of me likes to respawn in the air occasionally. LOL

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?

Pick Pocketing

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

27 Responses to “Ravenholdt”

  1. RadesNo Gravatar says

    Good luck on the grind! One thing though – you can only “Return” a mail once. So if you mail your boxes to an alt, you can let it sit in their mailbox for 30 days and then return it (or if you do nothing it will return automatically). But then the returned mail will expire after another 30 days, so just empty your bags and collect each mail’s 12 boxes and mail them to your alt, starting the process over. Takes a bit of time but the pseudo-storage is worth it. :)
    .-= Rades’s last blog: Some nice Children’s Week karma! =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Yep I’ll have to do that. There’s just no way that I can store all those Junkboxes otherwise!

  2. RedbeardNo Gravatar says

    To echo a pug I was recently in…


    Seriously, go for it. That way I can say that I actually know somebody who is insane. ;-)

    Yeah, for Horde, you have to go go Badlands for the closest mailbox to Blackrock. Swamp of Sorrows is the next closest, but about 3-4 mins farther away by flightpath from Thorium Point.
    .-= Redbeard’s last blog: PVP Changes in Cataclysm =-.

    • RedbeardNo Gravatar says

      Oh, and you were wondering about the PvP in Durnholde?

      I can guarantee you that as soon as you showed up in Hillsbrad and were sighted in the vicinity of Durnholde that an alert went out over Gen Chat. There’s about a half dozen quests that take a mid 20′s Horde character to Durnholde, and about a dozen that have you bypass it heading for other locations south and west. Most likely several mid 20s through mid 30s Horde characters saw your ‘??’ for level and sent out pleas for protection. The L75 Hunter that showed up probably came in response to one of those calls and probably expected a mid 40′s character loitering around, not an L80.

      If you are leveling as Horde, Hillsbrad and Tarren Mill are Ground Zero for being ganked, even more than Stranglethorn. The Hillsbrad quests for Horde are low-20′s through mid-30′s, while Alliance is just starting in the mid-30′s. That huge level difference –plus the proximity to Alterac and the higher level stuff there– means that Hillsbrad gets flooded regularly with Alliance gankers. I’m actually planning on moving my L25 BE Priest off of the PvP server he started on because I’ve grown tired of being one shotted when I leave the Tarren Mill Inn. (Imagine L80 Hordies running amok in the Wetlands, and you’ve got the idea. Now that I think about it, that’s kind of likely, given that the safest way to pick up the Horde flight path from the Badlands is to run from Arathi south all the way through to the Badlands.)
      .-= Redbeard’s last blog: PVP Changes in Cataclysm =-.

  3. FuubaarNo Gravatar says

    I had a similar thought to start with ravenholdt. I ended up grinding to friendly in one sitting. My only concern I have right now is that I don’t have a rogue to gring for junk boxes. Can people buy them from other players instead? I know that you can’t sell them on the ah but people still might have a few that could save me from leveling a rogue.
    <3 fuu

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Even if you advertised non stop in Trade Channel I just don’t think you’d be able to buy enough of them off leveling players (these are pick pocketed from level 55ish mobs).

      Most guides recommend leveling a Rogue to do this if you haven’t got one already. Perhaps you could ask around – there might be someone in your guild who might give you access to their character/account.

  4. BriNo Gravatar says

    For portable mail service, you can either grind Engineering up to 425 for the MOLL-E portable mailbox ( ) or get the Argent Pony Bridle for your Argent Squire from the Tournament ( ) for an extra 150 seals . Might be worth it in the long run, not sure.
    .-= Bri’s last blog: Silent No More =-.

  5. Zafil - SentinelsNo Gravatar says

    Just to warn you, around a patch day you want to try to get those junk boxes out of mailbox limbo. A few times in the past they’ve had major mail issues with a patch, including one where they lost *all* mail and never did get it all restored.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Oh my. Perhaps I’ll go and do a massive hand in before the next patch. I don’t have enough bank slots open – even across all my characters – to store that many items.

  6. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    Usually I find that a /wave is enough to tell horde to not be afraid of me.

    If they are killing mobs I need etc I usually /shoo them first, but it doesn’t always work, for some even killing them a few times (after repeated /shoo s) often doesn’t discourage them :(

    Good luck on the grinding though, I’ve been too scared of the insane grind to commit to it myself, even though I’m usually a huge achievement whore. It’s just too….. insane…. lol

    Maybe I’ll come grind with you on some of it though towards the end of Wrath

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Some of the grind is definitely best done alone (Junkboxes for certain, the Dire Maul quests too I imagine) but the killing side of things are definately much easier to do in a group!

      I’m thinking about leaving Bloodsail Buccaneers til last. If I can convince a few other people to take over Booty Bay at the same time I do I think it will be much easier, and more enjoyable too.

  7. LBRS is the way to go. Start at the start and work your way down and up, then jump back down to the ogre area and you’re closeish to the entrance. By then the boxes at the start have probably respawned, so you can pick your way out too.

    I also used glyph of pick lock. Turn off auto-loot and as you run to the mailbox, spam lockpicking on all the boxes and open them. Just don’t take everything out and it’s fine. It sounds like a waste of time, but you are doing the worst grind ever so that’s a lost cause, and I am not unhappy with my teebu’s blazing longsword! And the alcor’z sunrazor. That’s what happens when you loot 1440 lockboxes.

    I even used a non-normal build so I could get stealth runspeed and normal runspeed, which stack (since the stealth one isn’t a speed boost, it’s a reduction to the speed decrease). Definitely was worth it.

    If I did it over again, I’d do Bloodsail, then pirates outside Ratchet until that stops, then DM until you have all the books, since the goblin in there has decent quests to free him and make ogre suits. I didn’t use that order and ended with way more rep than I needed.

    Good luck! And uh, despite the title, do try to preserve your sanity in the process.

    @Fuubar: You can buy them, if there’s anyone selling. People tend to farm boxes for themselves rather than to sell.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I thought you couldn’t open the boxes and still hand them in for the quest?

      • You can open them. As long as you leave something inside, the box will remain. I tended to leave the poisons because they have the lowest vendor value.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      BTW I took your advice and swapped to a Multilate/Subtlety build that gives me:

      3/3 Master of Deception (improved Stealth)
      3/3 Camouflage (speed increase while Stealthed)
      2/2 Elusiveness (Vanish is handy incase you stand in a fire or something)
      1/1 Preparation (reset Sprint cooldown – not as handy as I first thought it would be)

      2/2 Fleet Footed (general movement speed increase)

      As long as I don’t have to kill anything I’m good.

  8. WindsoarNo Gravatar says

    I remember that original feeling of *omg, I’m a rogue, I must make these guys like me* only to find out… they don’t really care. I was a bit disappointed until I realized no other class had a secret organization.
    .-= Windsoar’s last blog: What’s With Gender? =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Me too. I thought Ravenholdt Manor was going to be my home away from home or something.

  9. ShivaNo Gravatar says

    Couple of things, tips and tricks and what not.

    My favorite method to communicate to low level hordies that I am not there to kill them is to mind control them and then buff/heal them. It’s somewhat tedious though, because you can only do 1 buff per a mind control. And the only heal which will work is Renew.

    Also, when I did the grind I opted to just holy nova spam, was better for my mana. Occasionally I’d shadow word death something. Oh how I miss thee rank 1 Shadow Word: Pain. I am not sure if you know this or not; and I don’t want to come off sounding like an arrogant jerk, but Hymn of Hope helps with Dispersion too, alas still an 8 minute cooldown, so only 1 in every 4 Dispersions or so.

    As far as Lockboxes, my favorite place is BRD. Remember that Dark Iron I mentioned in another most? Just head straight to the Dark Iron Highway, cut up through to Bael’gar, then sprint down back to where you entered the Dark Iron Highway, continue working in the other direction towards Incendius. Incendius himself is a perk, he drops the Ace of Elementals which is very handy for Darkmoon Rep; plus it still vendors for a lot. You can continue pick pocking the mobs from where Fineous patrols leading up to the vault.

    This area is a bit of a cross-roads though, the mob level here are a bit lower so you _sometimes_ (in my experience, roughly 10% of total lockboxes) get the wrong lockbox — so you can either jump back down and exit the way you came or keep on picking boxes all the way back to the arena seating.

    The formerly-rare spawn Pyromancer near the arena seating also has a chance to drop a valuable enchanting recipe — boe. The arena seating is a huge concentration of mobs as well. You can exit out of the seating, open the gate to the inn and use the inn for a vendor.

    Lots and lots of mobs to pickpocket from here, just don’t pickpocket the tunnels near the entrance. Those are the wrong boxes.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I hadn’t thought about that section of BRD – I think I just assumed that the mobs would be too low level for the junkboxes that I need.

      Going to be hard to beat the LBRS route, though. I’ve got it nailed and end up back at the start just as the mobs “respawn” their pockets for the next round.

  10. JaediaNo Gravatar says

    This is a really nice guide for the Ravenholdt grind! I’m half tempted to give it a go myself though my revered with all Goblin factions puts me off going for the Insane (2 months of parrot farming – pfft), but I can do the rest easy enough. Good luck getting the rest, and what about Thorium Point, is there a mailbox there?
    .-= Jaedia’s last blog: How To Avoid Being Ganked =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      If there’s a mailbox at Thorim Point, I can’t find it :) I’m Revered with all the Booty Bay lot – Rachet, Everlook etc – which is why I don’t want to start with Bloodsail rep. When I’m more invested in the achievement perhaps I won’t care so much about undoing all my previous hard work!

      • JaediaNo Gravatar says

        I’m wondering the same thing about Bloodsail, maybe if I do all of the others I won’t mind so much!
        .-= Jaedia’s last blog: How To Avoid Being Ganked =-.

      • ShivaNo Gravatar says

        Not sure if you’re aware or not, but the FoS was changed in one of the 3.x patches. You do not need to simultaneously be exalted with Steamwheedle and Honored with Bloodsail, post 3.3 you just need to be exalted at one point and honored at another point.

  11. ManbearcatNo Gravatar says

    You won’t need to leave the bloodsail grind long. You should probably get it out of the way earlyish due to the need to gring the cartel rep up afterwards anyway. I know I’d be keen to help takeover booty bay as it’s an achievement I want myself :)

  12. ManbearcatNo Gravatar says

    Actually. You may want to double check the cartel and bloodsail buccaneer sections of the achivement. I remember reading on wowhead that you can get the exalted cartel rep and then do the bloodsail stuff afterwards and have it all count. Might be wrong but warrants some time investigating.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Now that is something I need to be sure about. I’m Exalted with Booty Bay at the moment and Revered with the rest of the bunch.

      So far Papanasty, Dragorius, you and I are all keen to take over Booty Bay. Guild event inc?

  13. NatarumahNo Gravatar says

    Also, be sure that any quests you wanted to do for the Goblins are done. Obviously, if you want to go for Loremaster (if you haven’t already) then you wouldn’t want to be left without those quests.

    Second, the reason I am saying this is that the quests with the mechanical chicken in Tanaris, Feralas and Hinterlands need to be turned in at Booty Bay, and only after you turned in all three do you get the chicken. So if you need that pet, get it out of the way as well.

    Third, for the Booty Bay rep grinding, you can kill the pirates in Tanaris without a problem. Once you are in good again, you can also keep turning in Wastewander Water Pouches.

    Another nice thing is that Venture Bay (with all the PvP quests) is also a great place for killing the Venture Co Stragglers to make sure it is safe to get into Goblin cities again.
    .-= Natarumah’s last blog: Into the shadows: Preparing for the show =-.

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