Today has been full of community news:
- Pilgrim’s Bounty is coming up (Nov 20-27) and with it you will have a chance to level up cooking on all your alts from 1-400 for almost no cost. Furthermore you’ll be able to get a +10% reputation earned buff which will make any Insane in the Membrane grind that much easier.
- The blues explain the Loremaster achievement changes in 4.0.3a – Basically, if you’re almost there, you’ll wanna finish NOW and not after the patch.
- Two interview videos with WoW developers were unlocked on the Darkmoon Faire mini-site that Blizzard opened up the other day. The Alliance, being as it is the better, more sophisticated and generally more sexy faction in the game, were of course the first to unlock a video.
- Basiok let us know that the following raid lockouts will be wiped so if you’re keeping a lockout in Ulduar to do Yogg+1 sometime soon for example, now is the time to do it. Here’s the complete list: Onyxia’s Lair, Naxxramas, Ulduar, Obsidian Sanctum, Eye of Eternity, Vault of Archavon, Trial of the Crusader.
- You Yank it, You Tank it writes a checklist for you to go through to make sure you’re ready for the shattering. She recommends you to set your hearth to a more suitable location than Dalaran and I agree. However, you might not have to. There was a mini-patch applied to the PTR today where the only noticeable change was that everyone’s hearth was reset to their hometown.
But neither of these things is what I wanna talk about today. I have something much more interesting in store and since you read the title you can probably guess what it is.
Dire Maul makes no one happy
So I went into Dire Maul to see if the Gordok Shackle key was still dropping and unfortunately I couldn’t get any to drop after five full runs. Now, I could just have been incredibly unlucky but on the live realms I usually get 1-3 keys per full run so to me it was pretty clear that the key and it’s quest had been removed.
While in Dire Maul I discovered something else interesting however. Remember the Gilneas tabard I mentioned the other day? Well, turns out it actually does work, in Dire Maul at least. I was earning 3 reputation per mob (same for bosses).
… and neither does Shattrath
I decided to try it again in a Wrath of the Lich King heroic and there I still wasn’t earning any reputation. Same thing for normal mode. After that I headed off to Outland to try out those dungeons.
So, just a reminder, there are no portals in Dalaran anymore. So first I fly from the middle of Northrend over to the shore, take a boat and then fly some more. Then I take a portal from Stormwind over to Blasted Lands and pass through the gates to Outland.
Once there I try the tabard out in a dungeon in heroic difficulty and normal difficulty without any repuation being rewarded, so that’s out as well. Now I have to head back to Azeroth, so naturally I go to Shattrath…
…. where there were no portals anymore, Doh! How do I get out of Outland again? Ah yes, right. Back through the portal, fly from Blasted Lands… etc.
Tabard of reputation grinding joy
All of the new lvl 1-60 dungeons however, are working fine for earning Gilneas reputation. You get 3 reputation per mob regardless of the level (some non-elite mobs earn you 1 reputation) and bosses reward 60 reputation. So the bosses in Dire Maul must be bugged or something since they just reward 3 reputation each, like a normal mob.
So now, the question is: where is the best place to grind Gilneas from neutral to exalted?
- Deadmines – Just under 700 reputation for a full clear, doesn’t take too long since all the mobs are oneshot at lvl 80 and it’s very easy to navigate due to it’s streamlined design. Once you exit you get ported out, just by the entrance so you can get back in quickly.
- Stockades – 584 reputation for a full clear and it was done in just a few minutes, less than half of the Deadmines run. Once you’re done you can quickly pop out and back in again. Also, you don’t need to travel to get here, Stockades is already where home is; Stormwind! making this rep-grind very convenient.
- Stratholme (Undead side) – About 660 reputation for a full clear on the undead side. This took quite a bit longer than the other two options since the mobs are higher level and thus take longer to kill. But there’s a big benefit for going Stratholme, you get a chance at the Deathcharger mount dropping off the last boss.
I haven’t tried any others than these yet. Well, except for Dire Maul that is and no, don’t go for Dire Maul. It’s big, slow, the mobs are all spread out and high level and you’re not even getting Steamwheedle reputation anymore. Stay away.
While Stockades is definitely the quickest, easiest and generally most convenient way to grind your reputation up… it’s also the least rewarding and you will very likely hit the “five instances per hour”-cap and spend some time afk. If you go for Stratholme on the other hand, you’ll be gaining reputation while earning gold (from all the runecloth and rare drops from the mobs) and if you’re very lucky… you’ll walk away with a mount.
Update (2010/11/25): This tabard now works in Northrend dungeons on heroic difficulty (and should work in normal difficulty, doesn’t on my realm though). In these dungeons you will gain 15 reputation per mob and 300 per boss, making it the best possible option for grinding Gilneas reputation.