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Things You Thought You'd Never Do: Returning to Northrend for Gold

by: Zachary P. ; edited by: Benjamin Sell ; updated: 4/18/2012 • Leave a comment

Why would anyone want to return to Northrend, after years of being forced to stay there? For gold! Often overlooked daily quests in Northrend are faster than many Cataclysm dailies and also provide more gold, as well as BoE vanity pets which sell for quite a bit. This guide explains all the details.

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    Tol Who? Firewhats?

    Unlike many other guides you may have read, this World of Warcraft daily quest gold guide is unique in that it is written for people who have upgraded their account to Cataclysm, yet it does not use Cataclysm level dailies to make money!

    While there is no doubt that Cataclysm dailies will get you guild reputation, equipment, faction reputations, and money, there are significant downsides associated with with farming them for gold. The focus of this guide is to make as much gold as possible in as little time played as possible using dailies, so please keep this in mind if you want to write a reply pointing out that old content will not get you new equipment.

    -- They can be slow.

    Level 85 daily creatures have a lot of health. Most likely, if you’re strapped for cash, you’re either a fresh 85 or are still in the process of upgrading your gear. For many people, single-pulling numerous mobs with 75k or more health is simply annoying. Multi-pulling them is a bit faster, but then one runs the risk of pulling too much and dying, particularly when dealing with mid-fight respawns.

    -- They can be crowded.

    No doubt, killing a handful of non-elite mobs is not a particularly challenging task. However, if you’re in a hurry, it’s annoying to have to deal with a queue. When playing on a high population server, or during peak hours, one will often have to wait in line for their turn to kill things due to fierce competition. Of course, the respawns are quick, but this can lead to other problems. For example...

    -- #%$!! Leave me alone! I’m trying to leave!

    After a frustrating session of camping mobs in order to kill them, it adds insult to injury when one is suddenly jumped by an endless stream of respawns the moment one tries to leave. Unfortunately, due to the above two problems, this happens surprisingly often. Lots of players mean lots of respawns, and these respawns often come in spurts rather than heavy trickles. Killing superfluous takes can rob you of valuable time.

    Anyone who recognizes this knows exactly how tedious some Cataclysm dailies can get.   --They can be tedious.

    Minigames which were fun originally can become progressively less fun with repetition. Let's also be honest, here -- some of the minigames weren't all that fun to begin with, either.

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    “Lol Northrend u r a Nub bcuz Northrend is OLD!"

    Old content can be significantly more rewarding than you think. There are numerous reasons to consider adding older content to your daily rotation for extra gold! This article will focus on the Argent Tournament in Icecrown, which has the following distinct advantages:

    --It’s very quick.

    With practice, the entire set of quests can be done in about 10-20 minutes. Unlike Cataclysm daily hubs, flying is possible within Northrend, and once one has progressed far enough in the Tournament, relatively minimal travel is required.

    --Most fights are instant.

    Due to the massive power gap between level 80 and 85 players, formerly challenging fights in Icecrown are all but instantaneous now. Quests to kill single elite mobs are no harder than killing a single non-elite Cataclysm mob, and quests to kill large groups of normal mobs are usually resolved in just one or two area of effect attacks.

    Example of a vanity pet and mount unique to the Argent Tournament.   --The vanity items are much more rare now, and thus much more expensive.

    During the Lich King expansion, one of the big draws of the Argent Tournament was that it offered many unique mounts and vanity pets. The mounts all bind when picked up, however it is possible to sell the vanity pets on the auction house. Since most people are too lazy to return to Northrend, the price of these pets has skyrocketed since Cataclysm. What used to cost under a hundred gold can now cost over a thousand, depending on your realm’s economy. Selling the pets cross-faction, while very tricky, can increase the price to several thousand gold each!

    Regardless of the inflated price, note that Blizzard raised has made it possible to get marks to buy these items faster than they were before. That means these pets are more valuable and also easier to obtain.

    --Several of the quests give more gold per turn in than Cataclysm quests.

    As I detail below, the Tournament has several phases to it. The highest level quests within the tournament reward an extra 10 gold each -- which means that, in addition to being faster than most Cataclysm dailies, they give more money too!

    Now that you know why this World of Warcraft daily quest gold guide encourages revisiting Northrend, see page 2 for an outline of how the quest hub works and other tips!

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    Where to Begin: Aspirant

    Argent Tournament Site Map   The Argent Tournament is located in the northeastern corner of Icecrown, Northrend. Until you have established yourself and have a quick way of getting here, simply travelling to the location will likely take longer than the quests themselves. Luckily, there are a few workarounds for this at the end of the guide!

    The Tournament itself is divided into four stages, with each stage having its own collection of quests and rewards. However, you can usually be in more than one stage at a time.

    This is the first stage, and is the fastest. Simply speak to Justicar Mariel Trueheart, a questgiver found in the western end of the Tournament Grounds. He will give you a quest to speak to another questgiver, this one in your faction’s main tent. These tents are located in the northeast part of the area for alliance and the southeast part for the horde!

    Once you’ve turned this quest in, you will be an Aspirant. Ta-da! This opens up the first three dailies, which essentially teach you how to perform mounted combat. For this quest, you need to speak to several NPCs who will explain the mechanics of mounted combat (be sure to read what they have to say!) and use your skills appropriately on special target dummy mobs. Be sure you are wielding the lance provided to you for these quests, and riding an appropriate mount (IE one of the ones outside your faction’s tent, not one of your normal mounts!).

    After several days of this, you move on to the next stage of the tournament.

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    Stage 2: Valiant

    After completing the Aspirant step of the Tournament (see above), you are now a Valiant. This disables all the old Aspirant quests entirely, and unlocks a new set of dailies to do. Most of these quests are simple and self explanatory, although two of them are slightly more complex:

    In the quest At The Enemy’s Gates, you are required to put your earlier practice with mounted combat to use fighting the Scourge near Icecrown Citadel. Keep the following things in mind:

    1) Doing this while mounted makes it easier. Equip a lance and mount one of the horses in the Argent camp near the quest mobs.

    2) Avoid the Boneguard Commanders -- they hurt, and you are not required to kill them yet!

    3) You can kill the non-mounted skeletons by simply running them over.

    For the quests "A Blade Fit for a Champion," "A Worthy Weapon," and "The Edge of Winter," you will need to leave Icecrown. The quest descriptions all faithfully tell you where to go and what to do, but the general outline is that you need to go to one zone, collect an item, go to another zone and use it, then return to Icecrown to complete the quest. These are by far the most time consuming of any quests in the Tournament due to the travel involved, and they will roughly double your total time spent doing the quests. Consider travelling via flight-path while afk!

    Once you have collected 25 Valiant Seals (5 days of doing each quest once), you may move on to the next step. However, you may also repeat the Valiant quests with another race! Consider doing this, as it helps unlock both the vanity pets and future quests later.

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    Stage 3: Champion

    Now that you are a Champion, you have a new set of daily quests to do. This is what you have been waiting for! The Champion quests allow you to earn Champion’s Marks, which are used to purchase the vanity pets and mounts. They also allow you to select the “Champion’s Purse" quest reward, which provides you with bonus gold and bonus marks for each quest turned in. Hooray!

    These quests are very similar to the Valiant quests, and you may continue the Valiant quests while a Champion. Doing so is recommended, particularly since both sets of quests overlap heavily, and you can get credit for doing the Valiant set with minimal additional effort. Thankfully, there is no Champion equivalent of the three weapon quests that Valiants must put up with.

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    Step 3.5: Champion Harder

    While becoming a Champion is the main focus of the Tournament, note that there are still more quests you can unlock. After spending a while doing these dailies, you will eventually become exalted with either The Silver Covenant (for alliance) or The Sunreavers (for horde). Once exalted, you may undertake three additional dailies per day. These dailies do give Champion’s Marks, although they do not give bonus gold and they tend to be a bit slower. None of the quests are tricky or complicated.

    Additionally, once you have finished the Valiant cycle for all five faction races represented in the tournament, you are permanently done with the Valiant quests. Hooray! As a reward, you may now use the Argent Tournament quartermaster, and you may undertake three additional Champion quests per day. These quests also do not provide bonus gold, but they are usually very fast and simple.

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    Tips and Tricks: Champion with a Vengeance

    As I said earlier in the guide, you will probably spend more time going to the Argent Tournament than you actually do at the Tournament. This is annoying, but can be alleviated in many ways:

    1) The Tournament grounds are near Dalaran, which once again has a portal to Stormwind and Orgrimmar. Consider making it your hearthstone location temporarily, and using its portals for quick access to your faction’s capital.

    2) Do these quests on a less-active alt, one whom you can afford to leave parked in Icecrown indefinitely. After all, you’re doing this for gold, and gold can be mailed to your main character!

    3) Complete all the Valiant quests for all races. This will allow you to use the Tournament quartermaster, who sells a tabard which can teleport you to the Tournament grounds instantly.

    One /who mage later, a quick /w explaining that you know their secret, and you'll have one of these babies!   4) Befriend a mage, and then hit them up for portals to Dalaran. Every single day. No, they won’t get sick of you asking! It’s a well known fact that the only reason anyone makes a mage, ever, is so they can be a taxi service to other players. Really! You can tell them I said that. Once they know their secret is out, they’ll probably tip you for giving you portals.

    (Alternatively, do the quests on your own mage alt if you have one.)

    If this guide on World of Warcraft gold farming via old content has helped you out, be sure to check out our extensive tutorial on WoW archaeology, part of a complete series!

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    References

    All references and screenshots from World of Warcraft.

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