Sometimes in the pursuit of beauty, humans become blind to the agonies of their craft. And sometimes World of Warcraft players do really stupid shit for almost no reason. This story is closer to the latter. This is the story of Waldup the Worgen, the most unlikely of bank alts.
At the end of February, I finally earned the
Before my longboi I was parked in Booty Bay which, in my opinion, is probably the best hub for auction alts. There’s a bank, a guild bank, an auction house, and a mailbox all within strafing distance of each other, and a vendor a short walk away. The major downside is it isn’t a resting zone, which means every single time you want to change toons there’s a 20-second wait. Yawn. I had a dinosaur now, I could do better.
I moved to outside the bank in Darnassus, which is definitely a good hub. There’s a mailbox, there’s both banks, you’re in a rested zone. If you have the brutosaur, I strongly recommend this spot. But… it was lacking something. Darnassus. Darnassus. I killed spiders outside Darnassus in 2006. There’s no mystique to Darnassus, no uniqueness. We can do better.
I realised that all I really needed was a mailbox and a convenient rest zone, and that opened up my potential roosts to almost anywhere my little alt could rest their head. For a minute I was in Dun Morogh for nostalgia factor, but when that wore off I got a friend to fly me over to Twilight Highlands, where the baby griffons roam. This was the life. ..There was a mailbox, a convenient resting zone, and a great soundtrack. I was often the only person in the zone, and the views were fantastic. And I could pet the baby griffons.
But then I got enough liquid gold again to start flipping materials, and with 200 000 tidespray linen in my mailbox and bags, I was beginning to realise that 5 minutes of bank access every hour really wasn’t cutting it. I needed a banker, and the search was on again.
It was hard to get excited about the locations presented on the list of in-game bankers.
Darnassus, Ironforge, Stormwind, Exodar? Phtth. Boring. Blasé blasé.
Shattrath, Dalaran? Good options, for sure, but I’d need to twist one of my level 60/80+ toons into a bank alt, and I didn’t have a great candidate for that at the time.
Booty Bay, Gadgetzan, Ratchet, Winterspring? The best candidates yet for sure, but awkward rest zones and mediocre visuals made them imperfect.
It seemed my search was doomed, until one innocuous NPC caught my eye.
Mary Oxworth, a <Banker> so useless and unknown that the top google results for her are 5 NPC database links and 1 piece of Genn Greymane/Darius Crowley erotic AU fan fiction. You see, Mary is a banker in the Worgen starting zone, but she only exists in two instances. The first is for a period of about five quests after you’ve been worgen-ed but before the Cataclysm happens, and the second is a little later on in a different city in Gilneas.
She was my lighthouse.
I flew my bank alt to both her locations but no dice, she was phased out of existence. Not to be dissuaded, I made a new worgen toon. This is the origin of that fair wolf-man, Waldup. Doomed to the Worgen’s curse, and also doomed to a bunch of other really stupid curses he didn’t sign up for.
Getting Waldup out of Gilneas City and to Duskhaven, to Mary Oxworth, was simple enough. The problems thereafter began immediately. You see, the quests in the Worgen starting zone get you to around level 5, and then the Cataclysm happens and Ms. Oxworth makes a break for higher ground. We can’t have that. To give you an idea of how poorly I planned this entire escapade out, I forgot that I wouldn’t be able to actually mount the brutosaur until I got mount training at level 20. Oops.
Not to worry, I’m sure I can leave the Worgen starting zone in this phase and come back to it when I’m the right level. No dice once again. The instance is blocked in with invisible walls, and although you can glitch out and free yourself, or get a warlock summon, I was worried that phasing shenanigans would infringe upon my ability to return to my One True Love, Ms. Oxworth.
Instead, I developed a new plan.
At first I thought I would DoubleAgent this, picking up herbalism and mining in an attempt to earn xp. While you could definitely do that, the instance in this case is very small, and the nodes are scarce. That wasn’t going to cut it.
I began to farm Forsaken Footsoldiers. Blessedly, I soon realised that Gilneas had been updated with the new level-scaling, and they levelled up with me. I ran in a circle through the fields of Duskhaven, picking flowers and mining veins and killing Forsaken Footsoldiers.
I reached level 6. And then level 7.
I earned my Imp. I earned my specialisation. Shadow Bolt became Incinerate. I had killed so many goddam Footsoldiers. I earned my first talent point.
At level 15 I thought I would finally be free, finally able to random-queue into dungeons and level myself that way.
I knew what I had to do. At this point my Routes addon was freaking out, totally unable to discern what zone I was even in, and WoW’s in-game statistics broke as well. The Forsaken Footsoldiers were still earning me experience but the game was no longer iterating my ‘total kills that grant experience of honor’ stat.
I continued on. Killing, killing, picking, mining, killing. I began to feel bad for them. Then I killed some more.
When I mined that last copper node, when I hit level 20, I had killed somewhere just upwards of 1400 Forsaken Footsoldiers over the course of 8 hours of cumulative /played.
Waldup the Worgen finally stood proud, mounted on his Brutosaur…
… and at long last reunited with his raison d'être.
Can I recommend this path? Absolutely not. To be blunt, it’s not even a better commercial hub than Darnassus, and probably isn’t better than Booty Bay. Do I regret doing it? Absolutely not. I think I’m one of the only players in the game whose retail bank-alt exists canonically preceding the Cataclysm. A core joy of the game is self-direction, and grinding is the ultimate-self directed activity, particularly when it works towards an otherwise non-incentivised goal. To put it flatly, I had fun doing this. It was fun.
Lastly, to those against whom I competed on the auction house over the past months, take rest. The reign of Gnimrod the Gnome Hunter, terror of economics, is over. Long live Waldup, the Far Too Long.
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