WTF Gaming is a weekly series that takes a look at the the most interesting and insane things that happen when people play video games.
In World of Warcraft, the Alliance and the Horde will forever be locked in conflict, as plot reasons and copious amounts of PVP will prevent either side from gaining a large advantage over the other. Plus, Greymane's forces hold this Warden tower. Part of the fun in WoW is choosing that faction, as it will define your chosen experience throughout your time with the game. And arguing with the opposing faction's players over the Internet about which one is better is a great way to pass the time.
While most races can only join one faction, Pandaren characters are presented with a choice. After completing their initial starting zone, The Wandering Isle, Pandaren must choose to join either the Alliance or the Horde and journey off the the larger continents of Azeroth and beyond. Most players will finish all of the quests on The Wandering Isle at around Level 10, and with the subsequent lack of content in the zone, most players will head off to war.
But Doubleagent isn't a typical player.
Doubleagent is a Restoration Shaman that is not like other Pandaren characters. Instead of joining the Alliance or Horde, Doubleagent firmly believes in neutrality, and has subsequently not left the starting zone since his character was originally created. But that doesn't mean that he has stopped playing the game.
Rather, Doubleagent has achieved what many have thought was impossible: He reached WoW's max level, Level 110, without leaving the starting area. But because he stayed in the starting area, Doubleagent lacked the quests, dungeons and strong monsters which he could use to rapidly level. Instead, Doubleagent had to resort to a more peaceful, tedious path to accomplish his goal.
He picked flowers and mined rocks. Over and over and over again.
Doubleagent has continually reached the level cap ever since the launch of Mists of Pandaria, taking a total of 173.5 days in playing time to reach the first level cap of 90 in 2014. The difficulty lies not in the challenge itself, which amounts to right clicking an object every few seconds, but in tolerating thousands of hours of doing nothing but picking herbs and hitting rocks.
Considering that these resources give out less than 50 experience points each time they are collected, and the amount of experience needed to reach 110 numbers well into the tens of millions, and you can see that this takes a lot of time. Below, you can see the normal route that Doubleagent follows to acquire as many nodes as possible in the shortest amount of time.
But it is in this commitment to playing the game in such a bizarre way that Doubleagent has become a famous figure in the WoW community. With each new expansion, players begin to track and comment on Doubleagent's progress towards the next level cap. Though the work is tedious, the sheer fact that someone is playing WoW as a neutral character has resulted in many people following along with his journey because it is so novel.
When Doubleagent finally reached 110, there was little excitement or fanfare from his player, Johnnie. He checks out a new quest that every player who reaches 110 receives, stands still for a few moments, and then proceeds to go back to mining more ore and picking more herbs.
Doubleagent's quest has not gone unnoticed by Blizzard. When the newest expansion, Legion, launched in August last year, an NPC by the name of Venerable Shaman was added to the Monk class hall. Much like Doubleagent, the Venerable Shaman will run around mining copper ore and picking a few herbs. It's a fitting tribute for the one and only player to remain neutral in Azeroth, and we shall see if he too will continue to farm when the level cap inevitably rises once again.
5 Pandarens out of 10
Five Pandarens support Doubleagent's neutral path because he is a paragon of the Pandaren desire to strive for balance in all things. The other five are too busy running Mythic Maw of Souls for Artifact Power to notice.
Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.