I think I started working on Burning Crusade factions at some point after we had mostly wrapped up Wrath of the Lich King but before I had beaten the Argent Tournament to death. It was a transitional age, where achievements were still somewhat new, mounts no longer took up bag slots, and collecting one of each seemed to be encouraged. The hunt for mounts began.
The first stop for me was Nagrand. I do not really remember why at this point… it might have been to harvest netherweave for Ula… but I wanted to get the Talbuk mounts that the Kurenai will sell you when you hit exalted. The Kurenai faction grind is pretty manageable, something I was reminded of with my latest look into Nagrand. Slaughtering ogres for netherweave also gets you war beads that you can turn in for a faction bump, plus every ogre is worth a few points of faction with the Kureani. I was on a talbuk mount in no time… just about five years back. (See, this is why I blog, because I’d never remember when I did this otherwise.)
That also got me to the 10 mount achievement and made me think about getting more mounts.
From there I went on to the Argent Tournament. That was the easiest way to get to exalted with the alliance city factions and there were a number of special mounts to be had, including my long time favorite, the Silver Covenant Hippogryph. I spend a lot of time on dailies at the Argent Tournament and in other parts of Northrend. I even made the chopper. Eventually Northrend began to peter out and I looked back to Outland for more mounts. I even made a start with the Netherwing and the Sha’tari Skyguard, but by the time I was working on those Cataclysm was just around the corner.
And after Cataclysm, well… there was the long break from World of Warcraft.
My daughter an I returned to Azeroth last summer, and with the Warlords of Draenor announcement, the full instance group team was back in the game and working our way through the content by basically picking up where we left off with our group in Wrath of the Lich King. A return to form and good times.
And I got myself invested back in the game and started doing all the little side activities, including hunting for mounts again. That got me back to Outland again where, after some fumbling about, I was finally able to pick up where I left off and finish the Netherwing faction and pick up the netherdrake mounts.
And once I finished that I turned my eye to the Sha’tari Skyguard and their nether ray mounts. I started in on that and then… stopped. I went looking for other things to do. I started on the quest for the Loremaster achievement. It wasn’t that the faction grind for the Skyguard was difficult. It is actually pretty doable, as you are not as dependent on daily quests as with the Netherwing and if you can buckle down and just hang around Skettis for a day, you can plow through it. (Earl did that. He is an iron man on grinds.) I just had other things I wanted to do.
Eventually though, as the summer passed, I started looking at where I stood and what I wanted to get done before Warlords of Draenor launched… or even before the 6.0 patch dropped… and saw the Sha’tari Skyguard sitting at revered on my faction list and said, “Time to wrap this up!” So I headed out to Skettis in the corner of Terokkar Forest and buckled down to work through the 10K faction I was shy of exalted.
And while progress seemed like it should be slow… you get a big 12 faction points for popping Arakoaa… but with the little quests and the drops you can turn in adding up, it ended up going by pretty quickly. And it is a pretty good low attention task, so you can listen to a podcast or an audio book while you work through it. So, before long I hit the mark, made it to exalted, and the achievement was mine.
Two achievements down with that, as it was also my 35th exalted, which is about 34 more than I would have told you I expected to get back in vanilla WoW. And then, of course, I had to go buy the five nether ray mounts (bumping my mount total to 138), the nether ray fry pet, and the tabard that are all unlocked with exalted status. I think the red nether ray is my favorite. It stands out amongst pack.
Another item to check off my list. And this might even count as a Bragtoberfest item as well… I think. It is an achievement and all.
And now, with the 6.0 patch looming, I am wondering what I should work on next. At some point I want to get a set of battle pets up to level 25 so I can finish up catching all the ones in the wild. I am past the 250 mark for pets caught, but my top three pets are only level 21 at this point and I haven’t even started on Northrend, Cataclysm, or Pandaria, and it might be nice to wrap up there before all the new zones roll in with Warlords of Draenor.