WoW: Angling For a Realm First

Location, Location, Location

The main order of business: where to fish? I wanted to be near a trainer at midnight to buy the upgraded fishing skill and not waste time getting to a fishing spot, but there were other factors to consider. I ran through a list of possible locations: 

Stormwind: An obvious spot, although not necessarily the best. On the plus side, you’ve got your trainer and plenty of fishing spots. And I’d banked a +2 fishing skill quest that I wouldn’t turn in until after the expansion launched, so I was obligated to hit SW at some point.

But Stormwind also meant two things: I’d fish up nothing but junk, and run a high risk of getting griefed. I found this out the hard way at the start of Cataclysm: several random people spotted me fishing in Stormwind and parked mammoth mounts on top of my lure so I couldn’t fish. Hey, it’s 1AM, you spent $50 on an x-pack and there’s all sorts of new content; why wouldn’t you be a dick to total strangers? This time, I wanted to fly under the radar, making Stormwind a last-resort option.

Pandaria: I considered fishing in the new zone, which would offer the obvious bonus of fish for new cooking recipes. Having not played the beta, however, I had no idea how long the intro quests might take or if the zone might be totally lagged out. It seemed pretty risky, so I scrapped the  idea. It turned out to be the right call, as players on my server ran into a few delays trying to get to the new continent right after midnight.

Other Capital Cities.  Ironforge only has one place to fish, which again would produce nothing but junk and make it obvious I was chasing the realm first. And then there was a whole new variable to consider in the form of Blizzard’s new cross-realm zone technology: would IF’s one fishing spot be crowded with people from other servers?  Eww. So I ruled Ironforge out, along with Dalaran and Shattrath, thanks to the added element of griefing from Horde players. 

The only capital city I seriously considered was Darnassus. I figured there would be tons of quiet coastline by the docks outside, obviously free of Horde and close to a fishing trainer. Still, not wanting to end up with nothing but junk, I scrapped this plan, as well as any other involving old-world locations (which would likely involve extra traveling time).  

Cataclysm Zones. In the interest of getting some fish I could use, Uldum was my first thought, but I worried that cross-realm zone tech might result in stray players griefing each other. A superior option seemed to be the area behind the keep in Twilight Highlands, as it would likely be deserted, free of enemies or Horde, and seconds away from Stormwind. I liked it. And I’d pretty much decided on that spot, until I thought of…

…Tol Barad. I initially dismissed this idea because it seemed too risky. Most fishing spots would have lots of mobs nearby, and on the off-chance other players were around, griefing could quickly escalate to total chaos – maybe even death, a worst-case scenario for this kind of sprint.

But then I realized there was a great spot: the cliffs behind the Alliance camp. No mobs, no Horde – nothing, really. Once in place, no one would even be able to see me – I could get there quickly, fish with little chance of interruption and even catch some fish I could use later on. Perfect.

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