World of Warcraft’s most conscientious objector has done it again: without even stepping out of Wandering Isle’s starting zone (for players below level 10), Pandaren, better known as Double agent, has reached the MMO’s maximum level of He reached 70. All it takes is dedication, hard work, and the ability to endure thousands of hours of mind-numbing repetition.
Here’s how it works. While other players are building up their strength through violence and climbing to new levels through dungeons, PvP, and other dark and bloody acts, the double agent is doing laps around the Wandering Isle. If you leave the Isle, you break the sacred neutrality and side with the Alliance and the Horde, and you go straight to mining rocks and picking flowers …… No, actually, that’s all there is to it.
For hours, days, and months, he circles the beginner zone, clicking on resources that respawn, getting a little bit stronger with the shabby bits of XP they drop. Then he repeats the process over and over again until he reaches the level cap without blood or tears.
World First Dragonflight Neutral Level 70 @ The Wandering Isle! @WarcraftDevs @BlizzardCS— Neutralagent (@NeutralAgent) December 11, 2022
#Shadowlands #Warcraft #ForTheNeutral
For those curious /played currently at 212 days 22 hours pic.twitter.com/QK8EKQMV8m
It takes millions of XP to reach the level cap in WoW. Double Agents usually earn 50 XP for every rock they mine and flower they pick, and they have to walk painstakingly through every one of them. The repetition of this process is very hard to describe.
Incidentally, it was a bunch of little peace blooms that got him to level 70, and you can watch the magical moment on Doubleagent’s YouTube channel; you can also sit back and enjoy the two-hour stream, but be warned: you’re not going to get the full experience. But beware: it’s exactly what you think it is.
Double Agents has a form for this sort of thing. He last graced these pages in 2020, when he hit the old level cap of 60 in 17 days of mining and flower collecting, but he’s been at it much longer than that: when interviewed by PCG in 2016, he had already put in thousands of hours of hyper-centric panda life. He has now been playing for about 213 days.
I would like to offer an intergalactic brainstorm of what this means about our ability to carve out unexpected gameplay niches in the games we love or that the games point the way to a less violent world. But honestly, I think this is a testament to that most human of traits: an intense, strange stubbornness toward the utterly unnecessary. Godspeed, the double agent; here’s to the next 213 days.