With my objectives of gaining the Argent Dawn Commission at 50 and Ice Barbed Spear at 51 completed, I wondered what I should do to get myself to level 52. As an unguilded Hunter with some pieces of gear being several levels old, grinding in Azshara seemed like a natural fit. (Nĭ huì shuō zhōng wén ma?) But who to kill, what to kill... There's a lot of animals around to skin, but for now my leatherworking's in pretty good shape. Decisions, decisions...
When suddenly it struck me. The Timbermaw. The Timbermaw, who attack outsiders without provocation. The Timbermaw, insular scum who would cull Azeroth's population of anyone foolish enough to try walking through their precious little tunnel without first kowtowing to their tribe. The Timbermaw, "gentle, ursine children of the forest," who deign to share their secrets of craftmanship only with those who prove themselves to be relentlessly dedicated to their genocidal pogroms against other Furbolg tribes.
I was glowing with satisfaction when my reputation dropped to Hated.
In character, yes, I have a real beef with the Timbermaw. In actuality, my frustrations are born of the mechanics of reputation grinding in pre-BC content. Rep grinding was never a thrill. And with the level cap raised to 70, there is no way for a player to reach exalted status with any pre-BC faction in a timely manner. For example, I would love to earn an Earthstrike trinket, meaning I need to reach Exalted with the Cenarion Circle. I don't see any way to do that without spending so much time in Silithus that I level past Hellfire Peninsula without ever having been there. Is it really worth the time to do that, when I can drop into Outland and pick up Bladefist's Breadth at level 58?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the release of the Burning Crusade has made some old territory ridiculously easy, opening avenues that were previously quite exclusive. Lord Incendius, for example, can be farmed for the Ace of Elementals by practically any level 70. It takes maybe six minutes to reach and kill him, then exit and reset the instance. Consequently the price of building an Elementals deck has been drastically lowered. I watched the auction house for several levels, collecting each card as it became available at a bargain price, and completed my own deck for 58 gold. So come the next Faire, I'll be redeeming my deck for the Darkmoon Card: Maelstrom, which has a chance on hit to deal 200-300 Nature damage. Not bad, not bad at all. And certainly a lot easier than grinding Cenarion Circle rep!