World Of Warcraft‘s best story doesn’t concern old gods, banshee queens or gruff orc heroes. Rather, it involves one panda’s stubborn determination to drop the “War” from “Warcraft”. Having not once picked up a sword, left the starting zone or even pledged allegiance to the Alliance or Horde, WoW player DoubleAgent has now hit the Shadowlands level cap doing nought but pick flowers for eighteen days straight.
We first caught DoubleAgent in the act all the way back in 2014, after he’d hit the Mists Of Pandaria cap of 90. Now, PC Gamer report he’s hit Shadowlands’ revised cap of 60 just over two weeks after release.
— Neutralagent (@NeutralAgent) December 11, 2020
Arriving back in 2012, the Pandaren are a unique race in WoW insofar as, for the first 10 levels, they aren’t attached to either of the game’s factions. Now, monsters stop giving XP once you’re a good few levels above theirs, but the Wandering Isle starting zone also contains mining and gathering nodes – nodes that, while delivering pathetic amounts of XP, can still be used to inch your way up the levelling track.
So, for every expansion since Pandaria, DoubleAgent has come out of hibernation to hit the renewed levelling cap. His first trek from 1 to 90 took a whopping 173 days of playtime. Last expansion’s climb from 110 to 120 took 77 days. But thanks to Shadowlands’ level squish bringing the cap back down to 60 (and other changes to the rate of levelling), getting to the top this time ’round only took a mere 18 days.
It can’t be stressed enough how tedious this process is, mind. DoubleAgent basically does loops of the Island’s gathering nodes, over and over and over again, receiving a truly minuscule amount of XP each time. But then, as he noted all the way back in that first post, it does sound like a chill way to while away the hours to a podcast or TV show.
It’s no less tedious than flying to the centre of the galaxy in Elite: Dangerous, I reckon – and getting to be the highest level, truly neutral player in all of Warcraft is as good a reward as any other.