Sunday, August 9, 2009

Honoring Grinding for the Level 50-59 or 60 Post 3.2

Updated 8/18/09 - Additions in bold.

Even as I was trying to come up with a title for this post I thought it was retarded. This is a really obscure bit of info for a really obscure set of people, but seeing as I was caught in the twink dragnet for my not-really-twink, I figure there may be someone out there who will find this useful.

Post 3.2 has separated out the career twinks from the regular folk just passing through by putting people who turn their experience gain off into separate battleground queues. Regular folk will gain experience and thus be able to level up through battlegrounds alone. Twinks will never fear that they will level up under any circumstance.

In theory this is a win-win situation. The twinks who crave fights of skill where gear is not a factor (because all twinks are geared more or less the same) will only fight each other and the regular folk won't get two-shotted.

The problem lies with fact that the twink population is not all that high at any given moment. While lower brackets such as 10-19 and 20-29 generally have enough twinks playing that WSG and AB matches still happen, the higher, less popular, brackets from 40-49 and above don't have enough people who've stopped experience gain to actually have a match. When my 50-59 matches were going I generally wouldn't see more than five or six twinks, tops, and that's counting Alliance and Horde together. It's not enough to get a match going.

Also caught with the twinks are people who would like to take a break from leveling and just PvP a bit (and maybe pick up some gear). When I was leveling my paladin I actually parked in AV for a while and picked up two pieces of level 60 PvP gear. I never considered myself a twink. Not even close. I was just playing games for fun.

Now that's no longer possible. I doubt anyone will get more than one piece of Warlord/Marshal gear (if they're lucky) without turning leveling off. I'm pretty sure I'm no longer in a position to do so through battlegrounds without leveling, but I'm a determined person, and I'm missing one last piece of Warlord gear. If I can't get the honor through BGs, I'd find another way. I am the person who got the Horde Bros Before Ho Ho Hos achievement without the ability to fly. Once I set my mind to something I can be notoriously stubborn.

So for those who turned off XP at 59 or 60 and still want some honor, here's what you need to do.

Go to Silithus and pick up Report to General Kirika from an orc in Cenarion Hold. He's right by the flight master when you come in. That quest sends you to the Horde base in Silithus. If you're Alliance you'll get a similar quest to go to Marshal Bluewall.

When you report to General Kirika, she'll give you Scouring the Desert, which has you collecting Silithyst from geysers scattered around Silithus. Remember saying "LOL, we're fighting over sand" back when this feature was introduced? Well, this sand is free honor now.

After you do the first turn-in you can continue to grab any geyser you see and do the turn-in. There is no repeatable quest for it. You just grab and go.

If you're on a PvE server grabbing Silithyst will flag you, but fortunately Silithus is all but abandoned these days. The chances of getting ganked are extremely low, and if you're in it for the honor you probably have some gear to back you up.

How is the honor gain compared to BGs? It's a hell of a lot less exciting, but it's comparable to a 50-50 win rate without factoring any bonus honor from doing the PvP daily. If you normally win, the honor gain will be lower. On the other hand, if you're trapped in 40 vs. 18 AV, farming Silithyst geysers is actually better.

It'll feel a little slow at first while you get used to the geyser spawn points, but once you know them it only takes a couple minutes or so to run back and forth between a geyser and the Horde camp. Each turn in is worth 19 honor, which works out to about 450 honor per hour if you assume two and half minutes per turn-in. It's not great stuff, but surprisingly decent. With practice and better knowledge of spawn points I was able to bring that down below two minutes a turn-in, making for just over 600 honor an hour.

I would not advocate doing this for the entire Warlord/Marshal set, but if for some reason you just have to have it at level 59/60 this is a viable way to get that last bit of honor. I got over a thousand honor last night as I listened to music and just ran back and forth across Silithus.

There's a particular circuit I liked to run as Horde. I'd run the blue route in general, but would loop in the red multiple times. I found the spawn rate there is really good. Only once I could no longer find any in the red I would return to the blue route until I hit red again, at which point I'd repeat.

This image is from Wowhead and the pins mark the known spawn points for the geysers. I've found out that the running the red circuit is all your really need to do (as Horde). There's really no reason to go anywhere else. I used to think that all the silithyst spawn points on the map were tied together, but I think they're actually arranged in clusters. The circuit highlighted in red (plus a node or two to the southwest) are all in the same cluster, so if one node is collected, another one immediately spawns.

I've actually seen it where I will grab a node and before my very eyes I'd see the new one spawn in. I ended up turning my camera every which way as I ran back to turn in the silithyst so I could look for the next spawn. If I was lucky, the new one would spawn where I could see it and I'd be able to go directly to it for my next pick-up.

This made gathering so much faster. You just need to be aware of where all the local spawn points are (it's the ones to the southwest of the red that tricked me earlier) and you won't have to run all over the map anymore.

For some reason I would very rarely see two "new" nodes up while running back to make a turn-in, and I'm not sure how that happened. It's possible there are always two nodes up in a cluster and I just don't normally see them because I'm always picking up whatever I find, but in any case, they don't change the minimum of one I've always found in that general area. I did over 50 turn-ins without heading anywhere else.

When you grab the silithyst it puts a debuff on you that makes you move about 75% speed. Travel form form and Dash will not speed you up. Mounting makes you drop the silithyst. But if you stay relatively close to your factor base it's not a bad run.

There is also a world PvP quest in Eastern Plaguelands that gives 19 honor per tower capture, but it takes about five minutes to solo capture each tower, and that doesn't include travel time between towers so it's horribly inefficient (and you also have to rely on Alliance to have captured the towers).

On the forums there's a lot of talk about getting twink-only battlegroups so the entire twink population of WoW can be consolodated into one battlegroup, but I think the logistics behind that would probably be horrendous. Blizzard has at least four different server clusters and they aren't physically located anywhere near each other.

Other people are saying that they just need to be patient and wait for people to get bored of the new content on their mains and come back to twinking.

Finally, there's a comment from a GM that was copied over at Twink Info that says Blizzard is monitoring the situation and is waiting for things to settle down before they make any decisions.

I don't think I'm gonna hold my breath. I never meant to make 59 my feral's permanent home. I just like playing her for PvP and I wanted to get my Warlord set. Once I get my last piece I think I'll turn experience back on, maybe level my way to 61 via PvP so I get one level of being in Warlord gear in AV (assuming Horde isn't still outnumbered) and then hit up Outland.

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