Guides – Steamwheedle Cartel
What is the Steamwheedle Cartel?
The Steamwheedle Cartel is a neutral goblin organization that controls several cities and towns around the world. The goblins have realized that the greatest profits to be had are in maintaining neutrality in the conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. As a result their services are always available to the highest bidder and they employ anyone, regardless of their affiliation, as long as there’s profit in it.
Their four major cities are [Booty Bay], [Everlook], [Gadgetzan] and [Ratchet]. Each city has its own seperate reputation bar, so one of the cool things about this grind is that you actually gain four exalted reputations at the same time.
Insane in the Membrane – Reps all needed at the same time?
A hot topic since this achievement was announced has been whether you need to have Bloodsail Honored reputation at the same time as Steamwheedle Exalted reputation. People often make the mistake of petitioning a GM and asking the question. The GM responds with their assumption and the player treats it as a straight confirmation – hilarious forum arguments ensue!
You find three GM responses here, here and here that say you don’t need them at the same time. There’s also a blue post here saying the same thing. You’ll note that in the GM responses they also say its impossible to have the reps at the same time and that the blue post starts with ‘My understanding of this is…’ which supports the fact that none of them are authorities on the mechanics of reputation and achievements.
Kambiae of the Spirestone Server recorded this video on live in which despite having had all the reps at different times no achievement was awarded. My advice to you is that while you probably don’t need the reps at the same time you should still go to the extra effort of keeping your bloodsail rep. Why risk it?
There are two efficient ways for players to raise reputation with the Steamwheedle Cartel. The first method is for players to simply kill low level pirates near Gadgetzan and Ratchet for 5 reputation per kill all the way to Exalted. The second method involves completing the repeatable [Free Knot!] quest in Dire Maul for 350 reputation per completion.
Here’s a table that shows a very simplified version of the positives and negatives for each of the methods:
Method 1 – Killing Pirates for Rep (Yarrrr!)
The first time I did the steamwheedle exalted grind (yeah I’ve done it twice! :S) I had heard of this method but, after seeing how pitiful the rep gains were per mob, I thought you’d have to be crazy to grind that long. It wasnt until I redid my Bloodsail Buccaneers rep with a group of friends that I really became aware of how fast this method could be.
While everyone is grouped up together one person runs around kill the mobs. Everyone else can put that person on /follow and they’ll still get every single rep gain. That’s why this method is superior when you have a group of people doing it – you can all take turns doing half an hour of killing each while everyone else takes breaks or chats away.
Here’s a video of my group doing it – very easy!
Living it up in Dire Maul
Ahhh Dire Maul, my sweet sweet Dire Maul – for some reason I haven’t yet been able to put my finger on exactly why I love doing Dire Maul runs. Almost without fail the place rewards me for spending time there. If you’re after something extra with your rep I can’t recommend this place enough. It’s slower rep per hour than farming Ratchet pirates but you’ll come out with a slew of [Runecloth], [Shen'dralar Librams], Greens (ie [Greater Eternal Essence] for us enchanters!) and if you’re lucky the occasional [Orb of Deception] and maybe even a [Foror's Compendium of Dragonslaying].
You can actually pull out slightly more rep per hour by doing [The Gordok Ogre Suit] quest. This repeatable quest is given out by that same goblin you free, Knot Thimblejack, nearly all the materials needed for the quest you can also find within the instance too:
- [Bolt of Runecloth] x 4 – You’ll get massive amounts of runecloth in your runs, just need to harrass a tailor to turn them into bolts for you :)
- [Rugged Leather] x 8 – This can be skinned from the dogs within the instance, and is regularly found within Knot Thimblejack’s Cache each time after you free knot.
- [Rune Thread] x 2 – This is sold by vendors in most major cities. It’s also sold by the vendors on a [Traveler's Tundra Mammoth] too – another great reason to invest! :p
- [Ogre Tannin] x 1 – You get one of these per instance guaranteed from the Ogre Tannin Basket. Looting this is what spawns the Gordok Bushwhacker who also has a good chance of dropping the shackle key. You will occasionally also get 1-2 more of these in Knot’s cache too.
This method is great when you’re not in a hurry to get to exalted and when you’ve got a few other reputations planned out. You can use these runs as a platform to get more alliance exalteds with the Runecloth, Shen’dralar exalted with the librams, and even the gold earned to get exalted with Darkmoon Faire.
Here’s a short video I put together that shows the pulls I used to maximise speed/drops from the guards and trash:
Some tips for your runs:
- Doing the big multi-mob pulls in here is still a risk for cloth-wearers, so try to work out early on if its going to be worth it for you doing the runs.
- Try to always start the instance with a key. That way you run straight to knot, free him, then work your way backwards out of the instance killing as you go. If you dont get a key off the Bushwhacker or Guard Slip’kik pulls then you can kill more trash as you make your way out thus maximising chances.
- If you’re an enchanter, kill [Stomper Kreeg] (the drunk) because he often drops a green that disenchant’s into [Greater Eternal Essences].
- If you need downtime for any reason, do it outside of the instance so you’re closer to the arena if the rare pops.
Links and other resources
You know there’s not really a lot of resources that you really need for this grind. The methods are both pretty simple, you can checkout my videos on doing both and if there’s additional information in the wowhead comments sections. I found another youtube video here that covers free knot runs and would be a good supplement to your preparation.
I’m keen for these guides to remain living, breathing, up-to-date things so please don’t hesitate in contacting me through the comments section below to let me know if there’s any old, missing or just plain wrong information!