World of Warcraft's foremost conscientious objector has done it again. Without hurting a fly, and without ever leaving the Wandering Isle starting zone (meant for level 10 players and below), the pandaren known as Doubleagent has managed to hit the MMO's max level of 70. All it took was dedication, effort, and the ability to endure mind-numbing repetition for thousands of hours.
World First Dragonflight Neutral Level 70 @ The Wandering Isle! @WarcraftDevs @BlizzardCS #Shadowlands #Warcraft #ForTheNeutralFor those curious /played currently at 212 days 22 hours pic.twitter.com/QK8EKQMV8mDecember 11, 2022
Here's how he does it: While other players are off amassing power by violence, climbing to new levels through dungeons, PvP, and other dark and bloody deeds, Doubleagent is doing laps of the Wandering Isle. He can't leave the Isle, because doing so would compel him to violate his sacred neutrality and pick a side between Alliance and Horde, so he stays, mining rocks, picking flowers, and… well, no, actually that's it.
For hours and hours, days and days, months and months, he runs circuits of the newbie zone clicking on resources as they respawn, growing imperceptibly stronger on the miserly crumbs of XP they drop. Then, well, rinse and repeat for however long it takes, until he hits the level cap without any blood on his hands at all.
To put that into perspective, hitting the level cap in WoW requires millions of XP. Doubleagent usually earns 50 XP per rock mined and flower picked, and has to walk laboriously between every single one. Repetitive doesn't even begin to describe it.
If you're curious, the thing that tipped him over to level 70 was a small bundle of peaceblooms, which seems apt. You can witness the magical moment yourself on Doubleagent's YouTube channel (opens in new tab). Heck, you could even sit down and relive the magic of the entire 2-hour stream, but be warned: It's exactly what you think it is.
Doubleagent has form for this kind of thing. He last graced our pages in 2020, when he hit the old level cap of 60 (opens in new tab) in a 17-day flurry of mining and flower-gathering, but he's been at it for far longer than that. When he sat down to chat with PCG (opens in new tab) all the way back in 2016, he'd already been living the ultra-centrist panda life for thousands of hours. He's now played for around 213 days.
I'd love to offer you some galaxy-brain take about what this means. Perhaps something about our capacity as players to carve out unexpected gameplay niches in the games we love, or how this points the way to a world where games are less goshdarn violent. But, to be honest, I think it's mostly a testament to the most human trait of all: Being intensely, weirdly stubborn about something totally unnecessary. Godspeed, Doubleagent, here's to the next 213 days.