If you’ve taken any time in the last week or so to see the Hand Me Down posts that I put out there you’ve probably seen me mention the change to the Enchant Cloak – Stealth enchant. As someone who likes to make twinks for PvP and who uses gear like those I mention in the HMD posts, this change was significant enough to send me out for a reputation grind.
The faction in question is the Cenarion Expedition, located primarily in Zangarmarsh. The first thing I did was check with both of my enchanters to see if either of them had any reputation to go off of because I knew I would end up doing it on both of them (one of each faction), and I wanted to do it on the closer one first. After that I took a stroll around the internet to find out what I could, and then I asked for advice on Twitter.
I managed to hit Exalted with my Human Mage last night and hope to get my Blood Elf Paladin through it before Cataclysm launches.
There are a few things you should look at doing before you start on this rep grind. The first is that there are four items that you can turn in with repeatable quests for reputation. The first can only be used until you’re Honored, and the other three can be used up to Exalted.
There are two things you can do early on to help maximize your reputation gain. First, don’t do any quests for the faction until you’re at least honored. There are some quests you get from the small camp in western Hellfire Peninsula as well as some in northern Terrokar Forrest (there are green moths around there), and a small few in other zones in Outlands as well. There are also a few quests in mid-eastern Borean Tundra in Northrend.
If you’ve already done some, or even all of those quests then it’s not too big of a deal, you just can’t maximize your rep gains.
The second thing you can do to maximize your reputation is to farm, or buy, the Unidentified Plant Parts before you get started. This is the first repeatable reputation item; the one that can only be used until Honored.
If you’re building your rep with a high level character then it’s likely easier for you to just buy all that you need from the AH so that you can skip farming the lowest of the Coilfang Reservoir instances. If you can’t buy enough, or farm enough via Herbalism or killing mobs around Zangarmarsh, then you probably want to go ahead and farm the Underbog and Slave Pens instances both for the reputation from killing the mobs inside as well as their chance to drop the Unidentified Plant parts.
But the more plant parts you can turn in, the more chances you have for another repeatable rep turning that’s only available from tuning in those parts. Once you get to Honored you can’t turn them in anymore so you’ll loose the opportunity to find them.
Another thing you can do to prepare before hand is to keep an eye out on the Auction House for Coilfang Armaments. These are used in a repeatable quest that gives 75 Rep for each turn in. You’ll find roughly 15-20 of them on a full clear of the Steamvault instance, and it’s one of the easier ways to get to Exalted. I found them on the AH from 8g-22g, with most of them being around 15g (until people noticed I was buying them and then tripled the cost).
Neutral to Honored
If you’re going for the fast route, then turning in your Unidentified Plant Parts is the first order of business. The initial quest, Plants of Zangarmarsh, requires 10 of the plant parts in order to make it repeatable, so go ahead and do it for 250 Rep. You can then turn in 10 more plant parts at a time with the repeatable version of the quest, Identify Plant Parts, which also rewards 250 Rep each time and rewards you with a Package of Identified Plants.
The Package of Identified Plants is where you can find the Uncatalogued Species. It’s a rare drop from the package, but it also starts a repeatable quest chain that lets you turn in Uncatalogued Species for 500 Rep each. These can be used all the way to Exalted, so you want to hang onto them until you’re at least Honored. You’ll also get plenty of trash items from the package as well as a few that act like regular food and some that are buff foods. They aren’t bad if you’re doing it at level, but otherwise it’s all just vendor trash.
If you want to farm the Unidentified Plant Parts then you can either do so farming the Underbog and Slave Pens instances to get them from mob drops while also increasing your rep from killing the Nagas inside, or if you’re an Herbalist you can farm the Bog Lords (and other mobs that look just like them) in south-west and north-east Zangarmarsh or in the cave in south-east Zangarmarsh which will allow you to farm their corpses for additional chances for the plant parts while also giving you reputation with Sporeggar (not all of the mobs like this give Sporeggar rep, but the majority of them do).
I recently started a Death Knight on the server that I started with first and leveled him with Herbalism and Inscription. While making my rounds in Zangarmarsh farming herbs I also killed the Bog Lords and similar mobs so that I could farm the corpses for additional herbs. The actual herbs I milled for his inks, but the Unidentified Plant Parts were sent to my Paladin for his rep and the trash of course was vendored making it both worthwhile and profitable all at the same time.
If you’re out of plant parts and still haven’t reached Honored then you can either farm Slave Pens and Underbog, killing the Nagas for reputation, or you can go ahead and do some of the quests that you haven’t done yet.
Honored to Revered
Once you reach honored most of the mobs in Slave Pens and Underbog no longer give any reputation and you can no longer turn in the Unidentified Plant Parts. From here on it’s all quests, the three remaining repeatable item turn-ins, and the Steamvault instance.
I did the Outlands quests and Steamvault runs to get from Honored to revered and saved my Northrend quests for the next stretch. It doesn’t matter which order you do them in though as all of the remaining options are available from Honored to Exalted.
If you managed to find some of the Uncatalogued Species from turning in your plant parts then this is where you turn them in. They give 500 Rep a piece, which is the single-highest boost you’ll see from here on. Turn them all in and then start your quests and dungeon runs.
The most efficient rep grind from here on is to run the Steamvault instance which requires level 67+ to enter. It’s not a raid, but it does have a heroic version if you choose to run it over the normal. The normal version of the instance gives about 1500 Rep for a full clear. The Naga mobs inside also have a chance to drop Coilfang Armaments and an item that starts a quest called
Orders from Lady Vashj. The quest sends you back to the camp in Zangarmarsh where you’re rewarded with 500 Rep for turning it in, and doing so opens up the repeatable quest to turn in the Coilfang Armaments for 75 Rep each.
From here on the most efficient method of getting the rep is to run Steamvault to get rep from the kills and then turning in all of the armaments that you find as well. You can continue on with the normal version all the way to Exalted, which is what I suggest if you’re doing this solo. If you have a few friends that are doing it with you then you can also purchase the Reservoir Key once you’ve reached Honored which will allow you to run the heroic version. You get more rep per kill on heroic, but you’ll most likely get more rep per hour just running the normal version over and over.
There’s one other repeatable quest I haven’t mentioned yet, and it’s called Can’t Get Ear-nough…. It requires you to turn in 15 Nesingwary Lackey Ears which you’ll find in Borean Tundra. There are several other quests you can pick up from the same spot that also reward you with reputation so be sure you’ve done all of those as well.
There are two places in particular that I found especially good for farming the ears. First is a little ways north and slightly west of where you pick up the quest; there’s a quest mob called the Minion of Kaw. These little suckers have a near-instant respawn time and they’re all located very close to each other. They don’t have the best drop rate, but their respawn makes them a very nice target to farm the ears.
The other mob I suggest is found directly south of the quest giver, across the plains where the stealthed guys are attacking the elks, there’s a little coastal area full of Northsea Thugs. These mobs have a similar respawn rate to the Minions of Kaw, but are a little more spread out. However, both the north and south end of their spawning zone have triggers to spawn more mobs once you’ve killed all of the mobs in the area. So the more you kill them, the more you force them to spawn. If you find that all of them are dead where you’re at, just go to the other end and you’ll find more of them. In many cases you’ll kill one and cause three more to spawn right where you’re at and killing those will spawn yet more of them.
Revered to Exalted
Once you’ve reached Revered it’s time to pull out all of the stops and finish up everything you can. If you have any quests left that you haven’t done yet you want to make sure you do those now. You’ll also want to continue trading in Coilfang Armaments and chain Steamvaults runs when you have the time. Basically you’re going to keep on doing what you’ve been doing, just make sure you finish up any quests that you’ve skipped along the way.
Once all of the quests are done it’s time to chain Steamvault runs until the very end. If you finish a run and have just a small amount of rep left to get then you can either return to the camp to turn in your Armaments to finish it off, or you can do what I did and just queue for another run and then sell all of your armaments on the AH to get back some of the gold you might have spent buying them yourself.
Having completed it on one of the two toons that I’ve doing it on, I have to say that this rep grind really wasn’t all that bad. It wasn’t especially hard and it really didn’t take me that long overall, either. I did purchase quite a few armaments along the way which probably saved me about a dozen runs through Steamvaults.
The toon I’ve completed it with had skipped almost all of the CE quests during his leveling, so being able to do his quests after he hit Revered really helped that final stretch fly by quickly. The toon that’s still working on it had done almost all of his quests while he was leveling, so the Northrend quests are all he has left to help him along. He’s spent almost twice as much gold on Armaments and he’s still 9 runs away from being Exalted (not counting the armaments he gets during those runs).
I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting the second toon to Exalted before Cataclysm comes out next week, though it is does take quite a bit longer to run Steamvault on my green-geared Ret Paladin than it did my ICC-geared Frost Mage. Of course, the Frost Mage can do 70-80k damage in 3 seconds where the Paladin takes about 5 minutes to do that.
So I now have my Cloak – Stealth enchant on one of the two servers that I spend the most time on and am closing in fast on the second. There are also several other recipes that you can get for other professions. I went ahead and bought all of the Alchemy recipes since my Mage also happens to be an alchemist, but I seriously doubt that I’ll ever make a single item from them. They’re available and I’ve got the gold, so I might as well add them to my collection, right?
There’s also a hippogryph mount that you can get when you become exalted. It costs 2,000g if you’re neutral, and 1,600g if you’re Exalted, but you can’t buy the thing until you’re exalted anyway so it costs 1,600g. I don’t like the look of the mount so I haven’t bought it yet and don’t really plan to either. I’m still considering it to a very small degree, but chances are very slim.
I’ve got hundreds of spears, and dozens of strings of ears. But of the druids I steer clear, for my ears can’t stand to hear, the millions of exultant cheers.