Wintergrasp mining risks and rewards

22nd May 2009 – 5.17 pm

Wintergrasp is not just a zone for a regular PvP battle, it persists outside of the battle times. It isn't quite an 80th level zone in its own right, as there is no standard quest hub or paths in to the area, but there are NPC mobs extant outside of the PvP battle times as well as node spawns for gathered crafting materials. With the mobs offering crystallised elements as drops and high-level materials able to be gathered Wintergrasp offers potentially lucrative returns for time spent in the region. However, it remains a contested zone even outside of the battle, so the rewards are balanced by the perpetual risk of PvP combat.

Despite not being terribly fond of permanently being flagged for PvP the amount of saronite and titanium available in Wintergrasp, as well as elementals for the crystallised materials, is an attractive lure and I often find myself spending some time running around the region looking for ore. I also occasionally find trouble and do my best to defeat my assailant or flee to safety, but I understand the risks of being in the contested zone and accept the occasional ganking. After all, I can leave the zone at any time if I find it to be aggravating. It is all about choice, and a player's presence in Wintergrasp is a clear indication of accepting the risks of being flagged for PvP combat.

There is a positive aspect to mining in Wintergrasp beyond the quality of ore available, and it is related to being PvP. Should a member of the opposite faction be attempting to gather ore they can be interrupted and prevented from mining the node by fighting them. It may seem a little petty to fight over mineral nodes but in PvP it is often the case that might makes right. I rarely attack anyone on sight in Wintergrasp outside of the regular battle, but should a member of the Horde be found mining I would often try to get the ore for myself. If I think I can defeat or scare off my opponent I will stake a claim in the node's minerals, otherwise I will let them be.

For example, I have been seeing quite a lot of a troll hunter called Lunroz, enough to remember his name, who is often found mining from the plentiful nodes in Wintergrasp. When I first entered Wintergrasp I was only 76th level and was quite happy to let this 70th level hunter know that I was there for the ore as well, mostly by mining over his still-warm corpse. But time moves on and I soon find myself at the level cap. With Lunroz progressing more slowly he no longer presents me with an HK and I find myself not wanting to be an oaf and causing him frustration for no reason other than my character is stronger. Luckily, I have other means to dissuade him from mining veins I am claiming.

My death knight's death grip can pull someone away from nodes, handily interrupting any mining as well if needs be, and chains of ice can root a character in place. Both methods allow me to mine some ore using non-violent means and use an emote to say 'no', before the hunter is released back in to the wild, hopefully relaying the message that I am there for the ore and not to make his gaming time a misery. However, it doesn't seem to work, as Lunroz then follows me down to the central bridge and tries to mine from the same node as me. With a tinge of regret I tell him 'no' again, this time using my titansteel mace. But we are in a PvP zone, both of us are free to leave at any time, and I am staying true to my ideal of not attacking him where I would otherwise not gain.

Everyone progresses eventually and in a recent expedition in to Wintergrasp I notice that Lunroz is now 72nd level. This is unfortunate for him as my first thought on seeing the green number appear in his name plate was that he is again an HK for me. Not only do HKs gain me honour but in Wintergrasp they will also count towards the 'No Mercy for the Merciless' quest. Of course, I realise my continued attacks on this fellow are potentially building up a huge karma debt for when he attains high enough level to beat the daylights out of me, but when that day comes I'll accept my comeuppance as part of the natural order in PvP. Or maybe I'll hide in PvE zones. Either way, I only hope Lunroz realises it is nothing personal.

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