In Servitude to Ordos - Bloody Coin farming on the Timeless Isle
If you haven't met him, Ordos is a Fire-God of the Yaungol (Tauren-like Townlong inhabitants) who has several yaungol and elemental adherents on the Timeless Isle. Most of them are located on the Blazing Way and Ordon Sanctuary where they pose increasing risks on up to the High Priests of Ordos who are probably the toughest non-unique creatures on the Isle. The Dungeon Journal explains a bit more about Ordos and his followers:
Ordos was once a shaman of the Yaungol who sacrificed himself to the flame, following the promises of the Fire Lords, in order to become a demigod. His flesh is eternally seared with fires, putting him in endless agony. Yaungol Fire-Keepers ritualistically set themselves ablaze to emulate the ascension of Ordos, and cast enchantments and prayers to ease his pain.
Censer of Eternal Agony Basics
Anyway, enough lore - let's get right to bloody coins. On the Blazing Way, on a cliff overlooking the east, any player can interact with Speaker Gulan to purchase a Censer of Eternal Agony for 1000 timeless coins as well as various items that cost bloody coins. This censer is going to be your primary means of entering a state in which you can acquire them. The censer has a 10 minute cooldown, costs 90% of your max health (if you are under 90% health you will die upon finishing the cast), and makes you hostile to Horde AND Alliance. The only players you are not hostile towards are other censer'd players - which does mean that a censer'd Horde character will be friendly to a censer'd Alliance character, even on a PVP server. You are effectively now part of a third faction.
Using the censer is always risky because you will suddenly be flagged and at 10% health - anyone that is watching this happen (10 second cast) is going to have a very good chance of killing you. Obviously you will want to heal up as quickly as possible, which for healers probably means casting heals on yourself (and pre-hotting). If you are in a party you should have the healer transform first so they can heal you quickly after you transfer. If you are not a healer, the usual methods of small class/race heals, potions, food, and bandages work. Bandages tend to tick faster than food, so on my hunter I tend to use my spirit beast's HoT plus bandages. There are also some items you can get from around the isle, such as Strange Glowing Mushrooms from Damp Shamblers in the Cavern of Lost Spirits and Faintly-Glowing Herbs from the Ashleaf Sprites along the Blazing Way. These are good items to have in general, but more on them in a later section.
You should also try to transform in a location that is relatively obscured. Unfortunately, there aren't many great locations for this as the island tends to be well populated, and it's more a matter of degrees of riskiness - there is no 'safe' spot, but locations due vary in their likelihood that someone will be wandering by. There are two things I've tried. 1: The cabins in Old Pi'jiu. These aren't really hidden, but it has a single point of entry, if you think you can work with that. I would set a trap and flare down at the doorway and use the censer, hoping for the best. Ultimately I didn't find this very successful - there are just too many people in the area. 2: Under water. This is definitely the least populated part of the isle, in just about any location. It doesn't have to be in one of the sunken ships or anything, it can simply be deep enough that someone doesn't immediately see your hostile name plate. The 3 minute breath timer shouldn't be a concern, but you will be prohibited from eating while under water.
Rewards And Milestones
So if you apply the censer and get the killing blow on a player (they have to be level 90... I don't know why level 88s are out there struggling to kill low health mobs, but they are) you automatically loot a Bloody Coin. This will show up in the currency tab. You can later spend these on items and there are also achievements for acquiring a certain number (it's ok if you spent some of it - that will still count towards the achievements).
- 10 - Candlekeeper achievement
- 100 - Oathguard achievement and Vengeful Porcupette battle pet
- 500 - Blazebinder achievement and Ashhide Mushan Beastmount
- 600 - No achievement, but you'll be able to have both the pet and the mount at this point
- 1000 - Kilnmaster achievement
- 2000 - Fire-Watcher achievement and title
If you go after these achievements there are going to be a lot of people mad at you (understandably - you killed them) and many of them are going to completely understand your motivations. They will denigrate you in general chat with attacks based on their failed understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. They make no sense and it can actually be kind of funny. Here are a handful of comments/arguments I've heard (paraphrased) and why they're wrong.
- "Oh you must feel so powerful" I'm not killing you as an act of machismo or to assert social dominance or to bolster my own sense of vanity and pride. I'm killing you for one reason only - you drop a bloody coin.
- "Wow these guys are killing people on their faction." I only see this on PvP servers where there is normally a very clear dichotomy between who is on your side and who is not. One faction is always friendly to you and one faction is always hostile, and you can count on the friendlies to at least not disturb you, if they don't directly lend aid. This bond is presumably strengthened by the constant danger presented by a mutual enemy. Intra-faction cooperation makes complete sense. But the mistake is assuming that someone with censer is still part of your faction. Ostensibly, sort of, but it makes more sense to think of it as a third faction. Former Alliance and Former Horde now serve Ordos - we are friendly to each other and hostile to our old friends. It's actually very much like the Scourge acquiring former members of these factions. Perhaps there are some people who use the Censer just for the thrill of fighting their own faction. Ok, whatever. But I'm out here for the coins.
- "This isn't real PvP" I don't know what real PvP is supposed to be exactly and I don't know why this is relevant. This isn't an exercise in fair and equitable competitions designed to accurate reveal where superior skill lies. I just want your bloody coin. Assuming that there is some kind of balance or "honor" system that exists only in your head is a grave mistake that completely fails to identify the motivation behind the actions committed against you.
- "GG Heroic Raiders killing us lesser geared players" On some level this is a perfectly reasonable expression of frustration. But this is often accompanied by an implicit argument that people stick to going after those in their own league - kind of a continuation of some previous fallacies. I don't disagree that it sucks for you (although the 10 minute debuff makes it substantially less bad for you than in most other world pvp zones) but you should probably understand the risks and incentives involved here. I don't get a percentage of bloody coin(s) based on the difficulty of my player opponent. I get one for every player no matter what. If I die, I have to wait up to 15 minutes before I can use the Censer again and get back to farming. If my goal is to be as efficient with my time as possible it makes sense that I go for the lower hanging fruit - to go after the weaker players where I can and avoid the strongest where I can. Even if I *can* kill him, it is not in my interest to go after the blood DK with 1 million health. I'm probably not going to go after the 500k health rogue (despite my 650k+ health) either, just because he's probably going to vanish and be hard to find again, or otherwise just take a long time to kill - during which some of his buddies might decide I'd be easy to take out. But that 450k mage out there farming burdens of eternity for an upgrade? Ripe for the picking.
If my goal is to seek glorious combat where I attempt to match my skill against the best of the best, bloody coin farming would be a terrible avenue to pursue. Certainly there is value in such pursuits, but you're much better off seeking it in arena or rated battle grounds. I make no attempt to justify bloody coin farming as superior or even an equitable source of pvp - I don't think it is. I merely seek to explain the motivations and counter some misconceptions.
Strategy and Tips
I've covered a bit already but who doesn't like lists? This list is primarily for solo players in high end raid gear or people in groups. If you try to do much solo farming in LFR gear it's probably going to go poorly or slowly for you.
- There are a lot of coins to farm and dying costs your most precious resource: time. You want a formula that maximizes use of targets you are most likely to kill and minimizes interaction with dangerous targets, or long duration targets (which tend to increase danger because your health is failing while you are fighting). Seek out low health pool and/or isolated players. Avoid crowded areas.
- My personal health is at about 650k, so anything below 500k looks like a decently efficient kill when I'm solo.
- The best place for this is normally the western side of the map, including the coast but also the meat of the island where all of the large pythons are and Old Pi'jiu. The skill and drop rates of the mobs in this area disproportionately attract safer targets.
- There is a choke point between Old Pi'jiu and the Firewalker Ruins where everyone seeking access to the second 'level' beyond this ramp (and less frequently, coming back down) has to pass through. This is probably the cutoff point of where you want to farm, and it can be dangerous due to heavy traffic and well geared players heading up towards the Blazing Way or Ordon Sanctuary.
- Do not use PvP gear, with the possible exception of a CC-removing trinket. Unlike current BGs, there is no ilvl cap out here, so PvE gear vastly out paces it. The difference in my health alone is about 250-300k if I swap from PvP to PvE gear.
- PvP combat strategy still applies - the under geared players will try to run away and need to be snared and/or stunned. Others will require you to overwhelm them in skill in order to survive being out numbered. There are no safe places for you, but merely putting some distance can be enough to deter reprisals from all but the most vengeful.
- The guards around the perimeter of the inner courtyard do not have much health, but are loaded with roots, and killing one makes you lose 250 August Celestial rep. It's best to avoid them if you can.
- Both the Alliance and Horde NPCs are neutral to you. I didn't notice a rep loss when killing either, but you can get overwhelmed if you really get bogged down with them.
- Buffs from shrines, Dew of Eternal Morning, Book of Ages, and Singing Crystal do not work when you have the Censer buff. The latter three will actually be applied, but removed about one second later.
- But you can use a lot of handy items that drop from non-rare mobs. Strange Glowing Mushrooms drop from the Damp Shamblers in the Cavern of Lost Spirits and Faintly-Glowing Herbs drop from Ashleaf Sprites in the Blazing Way.
- The Ash-Covered Horn is an incredible item that has a rare chance to drop from High Priests of Ordos. It is much faster than ground mounts, it is instant cast, it has a decent duration, and it has a very short cooldown. If you have the ability to drop combat - even for a second - you can get out of overwhelming situations (you wreckless devil, you) or use it catch someone running away despite your best snare/stun usage.
- Use the censer in a safe place - or the safest you can find. Deep underwater tends to be less crowded!
- Black Ash is incredibly useful for fighting anything that can heal. Instant cast, no GCD. If you already have the pet and mount, or perhaps even before then, you probably want to load up on these.
2000 Blood Coins is a long journey - but if you ever want to get this done, it's going to have to be before the next patch. After that the isle is likely to be a wasteland.