The next Ren-novation

| April 28, 2009 | 2 Replies

I didn’t make up the term “Ren-novation”. I credit/blame Christy from Analog Hole Gaming. But it’s a good way to describe my fascination with stupid experiments.

UrsallaMeet Ursalla.

Ursalla is an orc shaman who is currently level 3. Her goal in life is to get as many achievements as she can get at the lowest possible levels, with a few parameters. We are currently in the season of Noblegarden, so lately she has been working primarily on the Noblegarden quests. My plan is to get her “the Noble” title as early as humanly (well, in her case, orcly) possible, while trying to conform to a number of internal rules:

I will not do achievements that are simply a matter of spending money. No “My Sack is Gigantique”, no buying seven bank slots, no buying pets for inflated prices off the auction house.

I will accept some help from my main (80 orc rogue) in terms of keeping her funded, sending her pets from places she can’t easily go or couldn’t acquire at her level (such as the pet vendor in Netherstorm, or non-BoP pets from the Oracle egg).

I will accept some occasional and limited help in the form of ports and summons. I accepted one port to Dalaran, so I can get to Shattrath and the major Horde cities easily. I will accept an occasional warlock summons if it would minimize my exploration experience, but NOT as a method for finishing an achievement. For example, I did accept a warlock summons to the hot springs in Un’goro, not because I am incapable of deathing my way across, but because I wanted to take out a chunk of exploration experience from Tanaris. However, I will walk (well, death-flop) my way from the hot springs to Silithus to finish a Noblegarden achievement there. I will not use a warlock summon to get somewhere I could only get with a flying mount, for example.

I also do not want to have a higher level clear paths for me. If I die, I die. I just won’t bother wearing anything that requires repairs.

The dreaded gatesOne of the challenges of this experiment is limiting experience gain. I want to level as slowly as possible because the point is to finish as many achievements as I can at the lowest levels possible. Exploration experience, then, is a real danger, but at the same time I want to do as much of it on my own as I can. The Noblegarden achievement set required traveling to Badlands, Tanaris, Desolace, Silithus, and Thousand Needles.

Ursalla walked from Undercity to Badlands. Well, perhaps “walked” is too generous a term; she death-flopped much of the way. As my friend Bean puts it, there is a difference between death-flopping and death-hopping.

Death-flopping means that when you die, you run to your body, move out to the furthest possible point where you can rez that goes in the direction you want to go, and then rez. Sometimes you get aggro immediately, and I have counted that in this case, you generally get 11-12 steps before you’re brutally murdered in the average 20-30 zone. Curiously, I had to death-flop nearly 20 times to get across Hillsbrad, but only twice crossing Arathi, a higher zone.

Death-hopping is advancing by making it to the next area where you get into a graveyard that advances you along your path. Ursalla did almost no death-hopping for one reason: she was trying to minimize discovery experience.

But travelling through these areas means that you die. You die a LOT. The pink dress and bunny ears have no durability — not much protection either, but it doesn’t really matter.

I have found that, if you are of a level that’s considerably lower than what the zone is rated for, you have to get further into a zone area to discover it than if you were of an appropriate level. If you stick to the roads, you can get little to no discovery experience at all. I didn’t hit any discovery experience from Undercity until I was halfway through Hillsbrad. Unfortunately, most graveyards are located in the middle of discovery-ripe areas, such as right in Hillsbrad village, inside Tarren Mill, etc. So in cases where I felt that I might discover something by rezzing in a graveyard, I still ran to my body to retrieve it, even if that meant running back a considerable distance.

Sticking to the roads, making no detours for flight points, and being careful about not rezzing in graveyards if I thought it would mean an area discovery minimized my discovery experience. However, it could not be avoided entirely. By the time I had run from Undercity to the Badlands and planted my flower JUST inside the zone, I had gotten just over 400 experience by discovery, and dinged from level 2 to level 3. Similarly, my run from Thunder Bluff to Thousand Needles and Tanaris was similarly uneventful from a discovery standpoint; I managed to limit discovery to just five areas: Bloodhoof Village, Camp Taurajo, the Great Lift, Freewind Post, and the Shimmering Flats.

As I write this blog post, she has completed several achievements: Shave and a Haircut (free at level 1), Represent (bought a guild tabard), Second That Emotion (the emotion foods are edible at level 1), Can I Keep Him (1 pet), and the following Noblegarden achievements: Found One, Chocolate Lover (still needs to eat 40 more for Chocoholic), Shake Your Bunny-Maker, Hard Boiled, Spring Fling, Noble Garden, and Blushing Bride. She will finish Desert Rose and Chocholic later today after the servers have come back. My hope and plan is that she will still be level 3 when she gets “The Noble” title.

She is well on her way toward finishing A Simple Re-quest (complete the same daily quest on 5 consecutive days; the Spring Gather daily is doable at her level), Plenty of Pets (10 is easily doable), It’s Always Happy Hour Somewhere (she’s drunk 15/25 drinks — amazing the amount of booze buyable in Dalaran that is drinkable at level 1) and Tastes Like Chicken (she’s eaten almost half of the 50 foods needed at level 1; having a toon with every cooking recipe except for the chimerok chops and the new recipes that will be introduced next Thanksgiving helps a lot). At 5 she will start on profession-related achievements such as fishing up 2000 fish, etc.  She also wants to /love critters, even if that means death-flopping her way across Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord, and finding as many books to read as she can.

There’s a surprising number of achievements that ARE possible at low levels. You just need a lot of patience, and a high tolerance for retrieving your body.

Category: Blizzard, Festivals, Gameplay

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  1. Renata says:

    And yes, at 7:00 this evening, I made “the Noble” at level 3.

  2. Vargg (Ars Praelium of Firetree) says:

    Hell yeah way to go Renn! Btw I have been listening to the show since episode 76, and I really enjoy it. I listen too it while I’m doing ordering at work, and it really helps to pass the time while I’m counting…. multi-tasking ftw. So regarding the most recent episode (#81), I was wondering if there was a list on your site of the mods you discussed, I will start looking after I’m done typing, but just wondering if you would be able to post that kind of thing, thanks having for a having another great podcast! Can’t wait until next week!

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