As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I want to do differently this expansion is try and stay as current as (casually) possible with content. This means actually memorizing dungeons and heroics by repeatedly running them and even getting a look at raids when I get the chance. Since I leveled to 90 fairly quickly and started doing the Golden Lotus dailies pretty steadily the first several days afterwards, you’d think I’d be well on my way to making some progress towards this goal. You would be wrong. Instead, I spend hours a day like this:
Why? Because about 2 weeks ago, after doing my Golden Lotus dailies and planting my 4 crops, I was flying around gathering herbs to sell and discovered Dark Soil. My life has not been the same since. Hello, my name is Elfi and I am addicted to Dark Soil. I don’t know what it is about these random, EVIL piles of dirt that allowed them to dig their way right into the mostly tiny spot of OCD I possess, but they arrived there quickly and entrenched themselves firmly. I simply cannot NOT look for them. Some nights I find several dozen, some nights I only find a few. Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck; some nights I call it a draw. Okay, you can ignore that last sentence. I was just having some FUN.
Yes, they are useful in helping me increase my friendships with some of the Tiller members so it’s not like it’s a total waste of time to search for Dark Soil. If you find one and manage to loot it before another player finds it and loots it (I was so excited the first night I found 2 or 3 spawns in a matter of minutes, I paused next to one and whispered one of my friends to share the news of my good fortune. The 10 seconds it took me to type the sentence was just enough time for another player to land beside my dirt pile and grab the loot for himself. Sad face.) then you get a gift which you can present to one of the Tiller members to gain friendship with them. There are achievements for gaining Best Friend status with any one member and an achievement for gaining Best Friend status with all 10 members. Once you become Best Friends, there are rewards to be had. For an excellent guide to the Tillers Farming in general, as well as more information about gaining friendships with these 10 members, their locations, and subsequent rewards, I recommend using the Tillers Farming guide from El’s Extreme Anglin’. The stuff related to Dark Soil gifts is located a little over halfway down the page under the header Tillers Friendship. I’m nearly to Good Friend with 5 of them just from giving them the gifts I have been finding. Once I get those 5 convinced to be my Best Friend, I will start giving gifts to the other five.
My concern is, once I have all 10 members convinced that I’m their Best Friend will I be able to give up looking for Dark Soil? The gifts you loot are soulbound, so they cannot be traded or sold. And if I don’t need to turn them in to anyone any longer then there’s no point in getting them. But there is something so satisfying to me about finding these stupid dirt piles. I can’t explain it. They don’t appear on your mini-map (though a gathering add-on will continue to show you where you have found one before so you can see the general areas to search), they don’t sparkle or make themselves noticeable in any way. They just randomly appear; under buildings, next to rocks, in the shadow of giant carrots. I guess it’s the thrill of the hunt. I imagine it’s probably the same sort of way hunters feel about deer season. You have to be alert, carefully scanning your surroundings, watching other hunters in the area to make sure you find the elusive prey before they do. Strike quickly (druid flight-form looting ftw), get your loot and move on in search of the next one. It’s a game within a game within a game to me. I love it. I hate that I love it. I am sort of hoping after all 10 members are at Best Friend status some sort of phasing takes place so I no longer even see Dark Soil spawn. Then maybe I’ll get back to the business of seeing all the content.
For reference, here’s a picture of the evil: