The Steamwheedle Cartel is the largest and most successful of the Goblin Cartels in Undermine. It is a neutral organization that controls several cities and towns around the world, and has allied themselves with a number of other groups such as the Blackwater Raiders in Booty Bay. The Steamwheedle Cartel has made a great deal of profit from maintaining neutrality in the conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. Their services are always available to the highest bidder, and they employ anyone regardless of their affiliation if they can produce results.
During the Second War, a Horde ambassador met with a single trade prince and convinced him and his subordinates to join the Horde (while the rest of the goblin race stayed neutral). This may have been Trade Prince Steamwheedle. Some Horde members have tried to improve relations with the Steamwheedle Cartel. Perhaps with enough persuasion, the goblins could be convinced to rejoin the Horde for the first time since the Second War. This is unlikely to happen however, as the trade prince realized his mistake and left the Horde, and the goblin race remembers the mistake and remains neutral to this day.
In World of WarcraftThis section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
In CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Despite the Bilgewater Cartel - the new playable Goblin race in Cataclysm - joining the Horde, the Steamwheedle Cartel still retains its neutrality.
In Warlords of DraenorThis section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
During the war against the Iron Horde, the Steamwheedle Cartel, led by Gazlowe, traveled back to the alternated-version of Draenor, which was thirty-five years in the past. Arriving to Nagrand, the Steamwheedle Goblins established their first base at the Ring of Trials, but had been having problems with the native saberon.
Places under their control
Relationship with the Bloodsail Buccaneers
Steamwheedle Cartel is closely allied with the pirate organization, the Blackwater Raiders, who help protect Booty Bay from their rivals, the Bloodsail Buccaneers. Because of this relationship, an increase in reputation with the Bloodsail Buccaneers usually means an equivalent decrease with the Steamwheedle Cartel, so adventurers should be careful with dealing with the Bloodsail Buccaneers, if they want to maintain good relations with the Blackwater Raiders and consequently the Steamwheedle Cartel.
Relationship with the Venture Company
The Steamwheedle Cartel runs Ratchet. The Venture Company has also been said to run Ratchet. The Venture Trading Company may be a subsidiary of the Steamwheele Cartel. If so, some fans speculate that the Steemwheedle Cartel has some members with internal conflicts of interest. Members of the Cartel sometimes give quests that go against some Venture Company's operations, and also are not as hostile as Venture employees. However in the RPG the Venture Co is not as hostile as it is portrayed in the game, and is an independent group that has its hands in almost everything including a sizeable ownership of Ratchet, and Undermine. However, even in the RPG, it also has branches in various locations that are hostile to other groups (or rather other groups are hostile to it), usually in Horde lands.
Insane in the Membrane
In Patch 3.1.0, a new Feat of Strength was added. which when exalted with the four Steamwheedle Cartel cities, honored with Bloodsail Buccaneers, and exalted with Ravenholdt, Darkmoon Faire, and Shen'dralar (removed with Cataclysm) will give the player the title "<name> the Insane"
Callahan of Ysera has taken the time to write an extensive guide on how to do this achievement: Insane in the Membrane FoS Guide - By Callahan of Ysera-US
There is a section dedicated to reaching exalted with all of the Steamwheedle Cartel factions. It is recommended that you read this guide (in addition to this page) if you are serious about attempting to get "the Insane" title.
- Patch 1.6.0 (12-Jul-2005): If you resurrect after being killed by goblin guards, they will no longer re-attack.
- Steamwheedle Reputation Guide for steps and tips on getting to exalted.