“Freeganism is an anti-consumerist lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on “limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources”.” – Wikipedia
OK, I know as sources go, Wikipedia is pretty lame, but this is a good summary of my experiment. Nor is what I am doing strictly freeganism. But the experiment needed a title.
Lately I’ve heard people complaining about the high prices of leveling greens in the auction house, and how they “have” to buy them at such ridiculous prices. My contention is that you don’t “have” to do anything of the sort. The game was designed so you could level up quite nicely on quest items, crafted items, and drops, with some limited commerce on original vanilla flavored WoW resources. Today, with heirlooms, characters rolling in gold, mounts at level 20, and other such advantages, people seem to have forgotten this. Hence, Tawnyanne, dwarf warrior freegan.
The rules of the experiment are as follows:
- No purchasing from the auction house — not so much as a piece of linen. After the experiment is over, I will post a screenshot of the achievement section that shows number of auctions purchased to prove she has made no purchases. And no, I’m not going to cheat by having someone else buy her the item and send it to her.
- No accepting items or services from any other player characters, even if free. No trades, no enchants, no ports, nothing. The only thing I’ll accept is signatures on the guild charter. Yes, 1 and 2 means I will have neither enchants nor glyphs. We lived without glyphs for years. It also means that there are some quests I won’t be able to do, such as turning in an Advanced Target Dummy for the Magram alliance quest line.
- I can only buy items from NPC vendors.
- I can craft my own items, but it an item requires an ingredient I can’t make myself, tough luck. I just can’t make that item.
- I can acquire items through quests. Also, if it drops for me, I can equip it.
- I can sell items in the auction house. I just can’t buy from it. I have an auction mule named Martylou who handles all my auction sales. And no, Martylou also cannot purchase anything.
I have chosen to level as a warrior, arguably one of the most gear-dependent classes in the game (can’t make this easy on myself, after all). I took up blacksmithing at first, but realized the items I was getting from quests were consistently better than anything I could make for myself, so I switched recently to herbalism and alchemy. The little HoT you get from herbalism is also very handy for a warrior.
Now, if I were doing this as a true freegan, I would alter the rules somewhat. I would accept any free items or services offered. If I had a true freegan guild, I would say that putting things you craft or find in the bank for someone else to use was okay as well. However, Tawnyanne is going to adhere to the rules above, at least until level 58. We know that leveling in Outlands on quest items is almost a gimme; the trick is to do it and do it relatively rapidly without outside assistance up until then. To that end, Tawnyanne is also not going to do any dungeons or PvP for gear — she’s doing this the hard way.
And yes, I will admit, this isn’t a total breeze. Right now, at level 18, she’s using a mace made for level 13s and yes, it kind of sucks and she fights slow and dies a lot. The trick then is to balance picking battles with doing things that are challenging enough to have a chance of improving gear. I won’t say this is as easy as leveling up a well-geared character with a bunch of heirlooms, but honestly, it’s not that hard either.
This is just to prove it can be done, and done with relatively minimal effort, without paying inflated prices at the AH for gear. I admit I also wonder how much money I’ll have banked by the time I hit 58.
Oh, if you’re interested in giving this a try, this is on Blackhand-US server. I wanted the guild name <Vendor Trash> but found it was taken. I hang out in the channel “freegans” for now.