I took the road leading into Northshire and thought about what Waylan had said, especially about my skills as an engineer not being worth very much to the folks around here. How could that be? I could make rockets shoot out of my gloves… which I wasn’t wearing anymore. I could make bombs and teleporters and helicopters. Why wouldn’t people pay me for such things?
The road was very familiar as the Abbey came into sight. My family’s stead is in this valley, off on the northern side near the mountains, though I didn’t think I needed to try to sneak in a visit. I’d seen my parents a few weeks ago, and wasn’t quite up to answering questions about my altered condition. Instead I headed inside the Abbey to speak with Deputy Willem about getting some work. He pointed me in the direction of a diseased wolfpack, while Marshal McBride asked me to do something about the kobolds, and hey, I hear there might be some Defias on the east side of the valley, could you do something about that?
The troubles were easily dispatched with my Lich King-granted powers, and the officials gave me some coppers for my troubles. They seemed a little embarrassed about the paltry sums offered, but I assured them that I was happy to help. I fed my apple to my horse and headed out of Northshire.
Several things were apparent.
- The income you get from questing, or your wage, is fairly insubstantial. These tasks are worth doing for experience, but the sums given, especially in the early levels, are on the miserly side. And most important – these quests all took time. Travel time, killing time, looting time – lots of time. The longer each quest took, the less money I made overall.
- The income you get from looting mobs you kill comes from two sources – straight cash and useless items (gray items). Useless didn’t mean worthless, of course — the vendors hanging around the Abbey were more than willing to give me some small amounts for everything I brought back. It wasn’t much, but over time it adds up to enough silver to pay for training.
- Every once in a while, something I’d kill would drop a small pouch. Bags are important. I’m lucky that I’m doing this with a full set of bags already, but I can see that it would be worth hanging around and killing creatures in the starting area until I had as many bags as I could carry, for all that useless stuff. If ever I were to start over, in a new place, bags would be my first priority.
- Vendor everything. Your food, your drink, your clothes, quest rewards — everything. You don’t need any of it yet. Your health and mana will regenerate very quickly.
- Don’t buy anything from the vendors in the starting area. You don’t need armor for the starting area, seriously. The only reason you need clothes is modesty, and even then you should sell off as much as you can!
- Get experienced enough to learn professions (level 5) and then leave! The money you make in this zone is extremely small. The only resources you could possibly harvest would be the skins from animals in the zone, but even then you’re better off moving onto more resource-rich areas.
As a Death Knight, I realize that I had significant advantages over many others when freed from the Scourge. I had bags, some gold, an epic mount, effectively negating the need for this starting zone. But I had forgotten so much from what I knew in my previous life, and had to relearn basic things. Simple things, like how a Gnomensprocket 47-A interfaces with a Mithril Cog Model 502 Mark V, or how to pry copper out of the earth.
I passed through the Northshire gates and almost immediately spotted the telltale gleam of a copper vein through my Charged Titanium Specs. I rode over, mined it out with my Gnomish Pocketknife (never leave home without it, and Waylan didn’t ask what I kept in my pockets) and rode on. I rode from vein to vein, traveling routes I’d traveled months before when I relearned how to find minerals from the earth. In a short period of time I had a sizable collection of copper ore and rough stone in my bags.
I also came across the occasional aggressive band of Defias, but they weren’t much of a threat. I stripped their bodies of anything useful, though, and soon had amassed a decent collection of wool and linen cloth. My purse was still lean — no one was walking around Elwynn with gold in their pockets, except maybe Waylan — but at least I had enough to feed my horse, and then some.
After a few hours of collecting, I set my sights back towards Goldshire.