This “grind” was over four months of real time, though nearly half of that was waiting for the next Darkmoon Faire to get the easy reputation that it has begun offering since Patch 4.3. Having done this grind so many times now, it does seem easy overall to me. I can probably bang out a few more without really breaking a sweat. There’s also no denying that it has become easier since the release of Cataclysm.
The question is, though, is it too easy?
Occasionally I see complaints on the WoW forums from people who got the title long ago and now want it made unobtainable because it’s easier now than it was then. I even saw the same thing this week from someone who was still working toward Insane!
Before we answer that, let’s review what Insane takes now compared to what used to be required.
Honored with Bloodsail Buccaneers: Discounting one annoying bug, this actually got easier. Intentionally. For most people, anyway. Blizzard provided a clear path for players to grind Bloodsail rep in the Brashtide invasion event by ensuring that none of the quests involved in that phase decrease Bloodsail reputation. And with Cataclysm virtually the entire zone’s quests were reset, making the phase accessible to veteran players as well as new characters. If you were unlucky enough to have completed this event, you can still grind low level mobs elsewhere for Bloodsail reputation.
Exalted with the Steamwheedle Cartel: It’s almost not worth mentioning this. Just turn in some cloth and go kill a few pirates in Tanaris and boom, you’re exalted. No more months-long camping trips to Dire Maul. No more repeating an annoying quest that only granted 25 reputation.
Exalted with Ravenholdt: The mechanics of this are virtually unchanged. But with the addition of an extremely good junkbox farming spot, this doesn’t suck nearly as much as it once seemed to.
Exalted with Darkmoon Faire: Forget making expensive decks to turn in for trinkets you’ll have to hope you can sell to make your money back. You can Whack-a-Gnoll your way to exalted in 3-4 months. Long-term this is going to put upward pressure on the price of Darkmoon Faire trinkets, as Insane grinders were a significant source of these trinkets. But not many of them will miss that part of the grind.
Exalted with Shen’dralar: This was the hard one. Removed from Cataclysm for strictly lore-related reasons, and not simply to nerf the grind, this involved lengthy trips to the Plaguelands, Dire Maul and the Auction House searching for elusive BoP materials and expensive diamonds which would grant a paltry amount of reputation when turned in. The only bright side to this portion of the grind was the small chance to get the Baron’s mount. Which most of us never did.
So is it too easy now? After four of them, it’s certainly easy for me. I think I can get it to seven before Mists of Pandaria is released. Stay tuned.
For those of you who haven’t finished your first one yet, you’ve probably discovered the terrible truth about this Feat and title: It requires you to actually be nuts. Just describing the grinds, or even following my guides for them, doesn’t give you the complete picture.
Even after all the nerfs, completing even one Insane grind requires an amazing amount of persistence and dedication to task. It may be easier, but it is by no means easy. After you;ve whacked thousands of Hoggers, taken hundreds of cannon trips, and killed pirates beyond counting, you still have to pickpocket tens of thousands of orcs. It doesn;t sound bad, but it can wear you down over time, grinding your soul into a fine powder that the breeze picks up and blows away. Then you will be one of the many who tried and failed, even post-nerfs.
It;s not a title for everyone. Few will ever attempt it, and not all of those will succeed. It;s not yet “too easy” — and it won’t be unless players can get it without the lengthy mental grind.
So, congratulations to me for being far crazier than you could ever hope (or fear) to be. Here’s to number 4, and many more to come.