Update: This guide may be out of date. Please see the permanent guide at the top of the page for the latest information and discussions.
Deathwing has shattered Azeroth and the World of Warcraft is reeling from the Cataclysm. Those of you attempting to earn the Insane in the Membrane Feat of Strength have noticed changes as well. At first it seemed as if the feat may have gotten easier; however as you got into it you realized that just might not be the case. Today I’m going to explain major changes to farming the four goblin reputations and how you can grind these easily now.
As you’ve probably noticed, the Shattering has remade Azeroth forever, and with respect to Insane in the Membrane, while the Shen’dralar reputation requirement has been removed, most of the rest of the requirements have been made harder to compensate. Primarily this was done by removing mobs which were required. (As an aside, this also includes Ravenholdt; there are almost no Syndicate mobs left, and it’s now more effective to turn in Heavy Junkboxes from neutral to exalted.)
If you’re just starting Insane in the Membrane, the first reputation you want to get is Bloodsail Buccaneers Honored. The only way to do this is to kill NPCs in Booty Bay. Unfortunately they’ve all leveled up before you; a typical Booty Bay Bruiser is now level 85 with 464940 health and hits like an asteroid. You will absolutely require a group to grind these before you reach level 85. A five-man group of geared tank, DPS and healer should be sufficient, albeit slow. Bring more DPS if you can. Update 2011 March 22: See the new Bloodsail Buccaneers guide for a way to solo grind this reputation.
Once you’ve gotten Bloodsail Buccaneers out of the way, abandon all hope of keeping that reputation; the grind back to exalted with Booty Bay is difficult enough already, and doing it without turning and killing Bloodsail pirates is truly nuts. You’ll see why as I get into the details.
The first thing to do, then, is to get your goblin reputations back to Neutral; the easy way to do this is with cloth turn-ins, which are unchanged for all four towns. Buy whichever cloth you can get cheapest, go turn it in, and repeat until all four towns are at least Neutral.
Update 2011 March 27: Someone complained in comments that the cloth turn-ins were no longer available. This is, of course, not the case; I suspect my commenter simply confused the removal of the cloth turn-ins for the Alliance and Horde home cities. Since I just did all of the cloth turn-ins again a few days ago and took screenshots, I invite you to see for yourself.
After Neutral, you will be able to do a few new quests in Ratchet, Tanaris and Everlook as well as a couple of quests which have been reset. Do these next. Then go to Booty Bay, where the entire Bloodsail Buccaneers quest line, as well as some other short quest lines, have been reset and are available for play. Do every quest with objectives in the Cape of Stranglethorn zone. In Booty Bay you will find that this involves a greatly expanded Bloodsail Buccaneers quest line, where you will actually infiltrate the pirates to disrupt their pending attack on Booty Bay. This quest line is well worth playing; on the epic scale it comes pretty close to other epic lines such as Veteran of the Wrathgate/Battle for the Undercity and you won’t want to miss the ending.
There is also a new Steamwheedle Cartel quest hub in the Badlands, Fuselight, comprised largely of goblins displaced by the flooding of the Mirage Raceway in the Shimmering Flats. While there’s less than 1000 rep to be had here, it’s still worth a visit just to see the remade zone and punch Deathwing in the face! The first quest in this line is Fuselight, Ho! which takes you from Eastern Plaguelands to Fuselight-by-the-Sea. It can be skipped for the next quest, To Fuselight Proper, which actually does grant reputation. Quests in this line grant equal reputation with all four goblin towns. Fuselight is a bit hard to find at first, so if you’re going there for the first time it’s worth getting the ride from Light’s Hope Chapel.
There’s no further need to go to Dire Maul; Knot Thimblejack no longer grants Steamwheedle Cartel reputation and no longer has a quest to free him. However, you can make a brief visit to Feralas and talk to Zorbin Fandazzle, the fool goblin still trying to set up shop in the middle of nowhere. He has been forced up the hill by the night elves taking over the beach due to the ongoing Battle for Feathermoon. He’s now at the top of the hill beside the path leading north to Desolace. He has two quests, Still With The Zapped Giants and Even More Fuel for the Zapping. Each grants 350 reputation with all four goblin factions (no loss to Bloodsail) but neither is repeatable. Horde players may have trouble getting down to the beach to complete the quest objectives without drawing the attention of Feathermoon Stronghold guards.
After quests, the path to Exalted is grinding pirates and more grinding pirates. The two main areas in which you will want to grind are:
Lost Rigger Cove, Tanaris: The Southsea pirates have moved a bit further south after the partial flooding of Tanaris. When you go to Lost Rigger Cove, you’ll see Alliance gnomes and Horde goblins battling the pirates at what used to be the pirates’ stronghold here. Pass through the battle and head south along a short path until you reach a second encampment with two docked ships at the beach. This is where you will want to grind. The mobs here grant 5 rep with Gadgetzan up to Revered and 2.5 spillover rep with the other towns all the way through Exalted. These mobs have a very fast respawn time and you will never have to move very far to find a group to kill.
Wild Shore, Cape of Stranglethorn: To get your Booty Bay reputation back in any reasonable amount of time, you’re going to have to kill Bloodsail Buccaneers. Fortunately there are a lot of them in this area. Circle this area counterclockwise, clearing out the camps on the shore, then hopping onto each ship and clearing every deck. The mobs here grant 5 rep with Booty Bay up to Revered and 2.5 spillover rep with the other towns all the way through Exalted. About half a dozen of them grant 25 Booty Bay rep and 12.5 spillover rep, making this go even faster. When you get back to shore after clearing all the ships, you will probably need to wait one or two minutes for all the mobs to respawn. As you’ll have noticed, this is also a large quest hub, so waiting a moment will let other people complete their quest lines and they’ll have less reason to hate you — or get on their level 85 mains and gank you.
There are other groups of mobs you can kill for reputation.
In Northern Barrens, the pirates here have been all but wiped out by an Alliance advance from Northwatch Hold. The few remaining pirates are out on Fray Island and have a comparatively long respawn time. These grant 5 reputation with Ratchet up to Revered and 2.5 spillover reputation through Exalted. The respawn time on these mobs is subject to the new dynamic respawn timing, where mobs respawn faster when more players are in the area, so farming reputation here is semi-viable, especially for low-level players.
A few Wastewander mobs remain in southern Tanaris; these grant 5 reputation with Gadgetzan up to Friendly and 2.5 spillover rep through Exalted. There are so few of them and they respawn slowly enough that you’ll just go to Lost Rigger Cove.
If you’re completely out of your mind and want to keep your Bloodsail Buccaneers rep, you’ll have to grind Venture Co. mobs in Northern Stranglethorn. These grant 5 reputation with Booty Bay up to Revered and 2.5 spillover rep through Exalted, but do not decrease your Bloodsail Buccaneers rep. However, there are relatively few of them and they are very spread out, so this grind will be painfully slow.
I just completed all four goblin reputations this weekend; only Darkmoon Faire and Ravenholdt remain for me. Technically the Faire is done; I have all the decks I need, but I haven’t been to the Faire yet to turn them in. Here’s hoping this helps you get your reputations up a bit faster.