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WOW: player reaches level 90 as neither Horde nor Alliance

UPDATE: And four months after Draenor launches he's 100.

UPDATE 4TH MARCH 2015: And now he, the World of Warcraft anomaly, who belongs to neither Horde nor Alliance, has reached level 100.

He lives in the starting zone of the Pandaren race, the Wandering Isle, where he must remain in order to stay faction neutral. Most other characters leave at level 10, and all the game content is scaled accordingly.

That's why it's taken four months - since the launch of Warlords of Draenor in November - of plant-picking, of wringing every last tiny dribble of experience, to achieve. And for that, Doubleagent, we salute you.

Thanks, Kotaku.


ORIGINAL STORY 24TH JUNE 2014: It's difficult - nearly impossible - to achieve something in World of Warcraft that no one else has, but a character called Doubleagent has done just that.

He was intrigued by the Pandaren race being faction-neutral - neither Horde nor Alliance - until level 10. He wondered if he had to stop there - wondered if he couldn't push the limits.

He knew that there were mining spots in the zone, herbs to pick, and that gathering from them would give XP after quests dried up and monsters were relatively too weak to offer anything.

There he is.

Could he be the only Pandaren - the only player character - to remain faction-neutral after level 10? His experiment began in September 2012.

On 21st June 2014, Doubleagent hit level 90. It took him 173.5 days of play - 4164 hours - to do it. And he intends to reach level 100 when expansion Warlords of Draenor is released. (The real-money instant-level-90 boost requires you to choose a faction.)

The last leg of his momentous journey was streamed online, and he was joined by a swarm of people who'd created Pandarens for the occasion (there's no other way to get to the faction-neutral area).

There was a moment during the video where Doubleagent reached the last resource spawn he needed to tip him over the edge and prepared to harvest it, and... someone stole it!

"SOMEBODY STOLE IT," he bellowed.

Fortunately the hold-up was brief and he found a herb - Earthroot - nearby that pushed him to level 90.

Skip to 32.25 for 'the moment'.

"I stayed on the isle and refused to betray the 'Neutral' by choosing a side," he wrote in a long 'explainer' post on the WOW forum. "I probably would have given up on it a while back had my friend not suggested that I would never be able to do it.

"At times I can find it relaxing," he added, answering the inevitable 'isn't it boring?' question, "a change from the normal. Plus it's pretty easy to do when I have TV shows or movies that I need to catch up on, more so than trying to do that during a battleground or raid."

Those battlegrounds or raids he does with his other WOW characters, which between them have around 173.5 days /played as well. He has, he boasted, a level 90 character of every faction now.

So there he is, Doubleagent, a level 90 on an island designed for levels 1-10. He can't spend his 16,500 gold on much; can't learn to ride a mount; can't access the auction house; doesn't have a mailbox; doesn't even have the full class compliment of skills.

He is an anomaly and fully intends to stay as one.

"Congratulations Doubleagent! :D" responded Blizzard community manager Rygarius in the thread.

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Robert Purchese

Associate Editor

Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.