WoW: Angling For a Realm First

WHEN CATACLYSM LAUNCHED two years ago, I made a completely unplanned and half-assed attempt to get the achievement for being the first person on the server to max out their fishing skill. It was so spur-of-the-moment that it was a half hour before I actually started fishing, which was about the same amount of time I lost by.

Since then, I’ve acquired the <Salty> title on two characters and won the various fishing derbies six or seven times, so with the launch of Mists of Pandaria last night, I felt obligated to make a proper attempt at the [Realm First: Zen Master Angler] fishing achievement. Interestingly, you could argue it was more about the planning than the fishing.

As Fast As You Can

There are a number of “Realm First” achievements that come along with each WoW expansion. There’s one for being the first person on the server to reach the new level cap, as well as one for each individual class. It’s never appealed to me, the gaming equivalent of choking down a five-course meal in 60 seconds. Except here, you’re talking about being glued to your computer for 15-30 hours straight. Not for me. There are also firsts for various boss kills, but those won’t happen for weeks.

Then there are realm firsts for each profession. Skills like tailoring and blacksmithing generally take some planning, and firsts generally go to people who’ve seen the content in beta and worked out a solid strategy for acquiring all the necessary materials. Gathering professions, on the other hand, are just a straight-up race, where firsts for max mining and herbalism rarely last an hour.

And there’s fishing, arguably the purest race of the bunch. There’s no real advantage to having played in the beta, and as far as I know, you don’t get extra skillups from being in a level 25 guild. It’s just a question of picking a good spot, fishing as fast as you can for two hours and hoping you have decent luck with skillups. So for me, the question was: what can I do to give myself the best chance of hitting 600 first?

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