HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

And the Gamble Pays Off

Bloodsail-Admiral-hand-in with reputation panels

Who said you have to start with Bloodsail Buccaneers?

There’s one complicated, you could say contradictory, requirement to earning Insane in the Membrane: You must reach Exalted with the Steamwheedle Cartel (the Goblins who hang out in Booty Bay, Ratchet, Everlook and Gadgetzan) but you must also reach Honored with Bloodsail Buccaneers.

The goblins at Booty Bay are the sworn enemies of the Bloodsail Buccaneers. Killing members of the Bloodsail Buccaneers will increase reputation with the Steamwheedle… but get you no closer to completing Insane in the Membrane as you wreck your Bloodsail Buccaneers rep.

Most of the guides suggest the following plan of attack: gaining Bloodsail reputation (which you can only do by killing) and then repairing your (now Hated) Steamwheedle reputation all the way back to where you initially were, and then on to Exalted through a repeatable quest that doesn’t harm your Bloodsail rep. The quest forces you to run Dire Maul: North over and over again – hoping that you’ll be able to find a key and Free Knot! once every run for 350 reputation (385 for Humans).

Then there’s a second school of thought: The achievement never states that you must gain both Exalted Steamwheedle Cartel and Honored Bloodsail Buccaneers at the same point in time.

From WowWiki:

No clear consensus has yet been reached on whether or not you must be simultaneously exalted with the Steamwheedle Cartel and honored with the Bloodsail Buccaneers. Responses from Blizzard Representatives have been mixed.

Players can grind to exalted with Steamwheedle Cartel before attempting Bloodsail Buccaneers, if they wish. However, it does not appear guaranteed the achievement will be earned this way.

Unfortunately I found more proof that you did need to meet all the criteria simultaneously than proof to the contrary.


You find three GM responses here, here and here that say you don’t need them at the same time. There’s also a blue post here saying the same thing… [But]… Kambiae of the Spirestone Server recorded this video on live in which despite having had all the reps at different times no achievement was awarded.

Curiosity got the better of me. Or, more likely, I just didn’t want to damage four reputations at the start of the Insane in the Membrane grind. Or spend the start of the grind in a world PVP hot spot.

And regardless of whether you need the reputations simultaneously or not, I would post my finding here on the blog. So here goes:

  1. I reached Exalted Ravenholdt first
  2. Then ran Dire Maul: North, completing Free Knot!, until I reached Exalted Booty Bay and kept running Dire Maul: North until I also had Exalted Ratchet, Exalted Everlook and Exalted Gadgetzan
  3. Bought the last few items (Librams, Diamonds) and farmed the easy stuff (Blood of Heroes, Skin of Shadow, Frayed Abomination Stitching) to hand in and complete Exalted Shendralar
  4. Spent one evening with a friend in Booty Bay until we both became Admirals AKA reached Honoured with the Bloodsail Buccaneers. By now I was well and truly Hated by all the goblins.
  5. Cried about the herb market
  6. Handed in my last deck to reach Exalted Darkmoon Faire

And was awarded the achievement Insane in the Membrane even though I am currently Hated by four of the required factions. That’s right: Hated Booty Bay, Ratchet, Everlook and Gadgetzan. You can Armory me if you don’t believe me.

If I had gambled and lost, I would be back in Dire Maul: North now. With hundreds of extra Dire Maul clears still to complete searching for that stupid key in order to Free Knot!

I ran Dire Maul: North about 50 times to get my worst Steamwheedle faction up from Revered to Exalted. And each run took me about 20-30 minutes. Going from Hated to Exalted would be a bitch. Can you imagine how much time I’ve saved?

Achievements are funny things. Originally I just figured that I would check the status of the Achievement when I lost Exalted with the first Steamwheedle faction. If it remained green and checked off – I was going to be okay. After all, I reasoned, that’s how people used to fake the Epic and Superior achievements with just 1 excellent trinket and ring. You could move it into the second ring/trinket slot and keep the first ring slot still checked off as complete.

This would be possible except that Insane in the Membrane is a Feat of Strength. You can’t browse to it and track your progress using the Achievement panel.

I had another bad moment when I did lose Exalted Steamwheedle. Reaching Exalted Steamwheedle and Shendralar during those Dire Maul runs had pushed me all the way up to 39/40 Exalted Reputations: just one away from Cassandri the Exalted. If the Exalted and the Insane achievements behaved in the same fashion – and indeed they are worded the same – the Exalted wouldn’t require me to earn 40 Exalted reputations simultaneously either.

Unfortunately it turns out that The Exalted achievement does require you to have 40 Exalted reputations simultaneously. Earning Honored Bloodsail Buccaneers and losing Exalted Booty Bay, Exalted Ratchet, Exalted Everlook and Exalted Gadgetzan dropped me back to 36/40 on that progress bar.

This seemed like a bad omen for my Insane in the Membrane plan.

Thank god these two achievements don’t work in the same way.

I may not be welcome in Booty Bay anymore. I may be way off The Exalted. But it’s all worth it if I never have to solo run Dire Maul again.

17 Responses to “And the Gamble Pays Off”

  1. You are now officially crazy.

    Cynwise of Stormwind’s last post: The Battleground Scoreboard

  2. RedbeardNo Gravatar says

    Cassandri, I am seriously in awe.


    And the best part? That you did it before Blizz came out with any more insane things to add to the achievement along with the Cat drop.
    Redbeard’s last post: Predicting Cataclysms Release Date

  3. KurnNo Gravatar says

    Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. :) I’m not quite as insane as, well, you. ;) But this is great to know. I applaud your courageous gamble! Grats. :)
    Kurn’s last post: Beta Screenshots

  4. BeruthielNo Gravatar says

    Grats!!!! :)

  5. SaateNo Gravatar says

    Huge congrats on the title! :) It’s pretty amusing how many confused souls run into that ‘same time or not?’ question and never understand why there’s confusion surrounding it.

    Flick me an email with a screenshot and I’ll throw it into the Hall of Fame too :)

  6. pndrevNo Gravatar says

    Excellent find, although I value access to Booty Bay too much. Then again, I may not be insane enough to attempt this achievement anyway. ;)
    pndrev’s last post: Swamp of Sorrows – Renders hidden pass revealed

  7. VixsinNo Gravatar says

    Congrats! If there’s one title that represents sheer determination and focus, it’s “the Insane”. My hat is off to you, Cass!
    Vixsin’s last post: Just in Time vs Just in Case Healing

  8. RebeccaNo Gravatar says

    Congrats! Impressive, and also really useful to have these notes all in one place for this achievement. Hm….. ;)
    Rebecca’s last post: The Mental Shaman- Sexism in WoW – What’s The Problem

  9. CalsongNo Gravatar says

    You know, I wasn’t willing to risk this. You certainly have a bit more gusto than I.

    I didn’t do the “Free Knot” quest more than a half a dozen time. I mostly killed pirates outside Ratchet and then in Tanaris. Its faster and more consistent.

    That said, congratulations and welcome to the ranks of the truly Insane! Worst part of this achievement: you’ll never want to rock a different title.

  10. AneaNo Gravatar says


    I would never dream of attempting Insane in the Membrane – waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much. Lus and I got Bloodsail Admiral and I still haven’t repaired my Steamwheedle rep, haha. I’m glad that your gamble paid off!
    Anea’s last post: Anea the Undecided

  11. XeppeNo Gravatar says

    Wow, gratz! I still don’t know why people do this stuff (doesn’t add any stats to your gear) but I am still super impressed with the sheer determination and effort involved.
    Xeppe’s last post: Not making Gold

  12. JaediaNo Gravatar says

    *late to the comment party*
    Wow, definitely glad I got my 40 exalteds before starting the Insane then.. Pretty much got every exalted that isn’t for the Insane or Hydraxion Waterlords/Brood of Nozdormu.

    And the point in this comment: CONGRATS! Huuge thank you for testing and sharing with us about the Bloodsail/Goblin rep blur, I was well prepared to lose my well into revered Goblin rep and then have to farm it all the way back again. I’ll probably farm back to neutral/friendly, but that’s going to save a lot of time and for that I love you a little bit :p Grats on the Insane!
    Jaedia’s last post: The Rogue Finally Made It

  13. AloixNo Gravatar says

    Extremely late comment! gReader lost a ton of my subs a while back and I’m slowly re-finding/adding them.
    Anyway, yeah. I’m working on The Insane, and was really concerned about the simultaneous thing as well. After much fretting and searching, I did find enough confirmation on the official forums, to ensure I was safe to not worry.
    I DID do the Bloodsail first, mainly because I knew I’d be working on Loremaster as well, and I didn’t want to worry about Steamwheedle quests, and, as you point out, I’m gradually working towards The Exalted.
    I did the cloth turn-ins to repair my Steamwheedle reps, which helped a lot. I’m going to save any other grindy stuff for them until after I complete the Azeroth part of Loremaster.

  14. MichaelNo Gravatar says

    According to the list, you only did about 60 or so DM runs for steamwheedle rep. how is that even possible? you need 200+ runs to be exalted. Maybe it’s a misprint? Let me know, and grats!

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Nope I did about 50-60 runs of Dire Maul. I was Revered with all four of the Steamwheedle Cartel factions when I started the Insane and started doing Free Knot! to go from Revered -> Exalted.

      I ruined my Steamwheedle Cartel rep after I reached Exalted. It still counted towards the title.

  15. RholmNo Gravatar says

    Grats on your insanity, Cassandri!

    It is a very nice achievement. You are correct about not needing Steamwheedle/Bloodsail Bucaneers respectively exalted and honored all at once.
    There is an easy in game command to make sure you are doing everything correctly during the grind:
    /script AddTrackedAchievement(2336)

    I’m almost done with my third “Insane” now (more or less 1-2 weeks of work) then I’m off to get a fourth.

    Beruthiel posted a little “guide” on her blog that I made a while ago. Not exactly a guide, but it can come handy if one of you ever decide to be… insane!

  16. CitadelNo Gravatar says

    Congrats Cass! Thats what I call a Feat of Strength!

    But then, I *always* knew you were insane ;)


  1. [...] to Cassandri at HoTs and DoTs her character is now officially Insane. She’s achieved the lesser-known feat of strength Insane In The Membrane which gets you the [...]

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