Satchels of Helpful Goods Prove REALLY Helpful

A commenter on one of my other sites (leave a link so I can credit you, I see your comments!) pointed me to Tobold’s most recent post, where he brings to light an exploit where goods from the Satchels of Helpful Goods can be used by level 19 characters, and how it’s having a bad impact on the 19 bracket in the EU. I’ve only played a few 19s in the past month in the US, and I didn’t notice anyone overwhelmingly powerful – all my losses were definitely due to getting outplayed – but this is one of those things which can cause big problems for a bracket until it’s fixed.

Blizzard has supposedly fixed the satchel so you can’t get these rewards anymore at low levels, but the gear still remains. Unbalancing? Yes. Likely to remain? Also yes, this doesn’t seem like something that’s easy to fix.

We’ll have to see how big an impact this has on the lower brackets.

Here’s an example of what a toon with the satchel gear looks like. There’s also a blacklist starting on the twinkinfo forums.

The Lure Master Tackle Box

I love the Lure Master Tackle Box on my twinks. It’s practically the perfect twink bag.

The tackle box is a 36 slot bag which holds fishing supplies: lures, hats, fish, poles, and – you guessed it – Rumsey Rum Black Label, the drink of twinks everywhere.

Considering how much of this drink you’ll use on your twinks, you should think about picking up this box. It often is easier to buy off the AH than it is to have it made, because players leveling Engineering will sometimes mass-produce this for skillups.

You can benefit from their haste to dump leveling mats, and profit with a LOT of storage space. Or, you can get 20 Elementium Bars, 4 Handfuls of Obsidium Bolts, and a 475 Engineer, and you’re all set.

Considering how important Fishing is to low level twinks, the Lure Master Tackle Box is an easy upgrade that dramatically improves quality of life on your twink.

Get it if you can!

A Guide to Trial Account Twinking

With Blizzard removing the 10-day time limit on trial accounts, it has become possible to gear up characters to participate in Warcraft PvP on a free-to-play basis. The limits on these new Starter Edition accounts are severe, but overcoming limitations is part of the fun of creating a twink.

Please note: Blizzard doesn’t support Starter Edition twinks.

If you choose to make one, you’ll be exploring a lot of arbitrary limits as to what can and can’t be done. This can be a lot of fun, but be prepared for limits you encounter. The challenge of overcoming these limits is the point of this project.

WHAT IS A TWINK?

A twink is a character in a MMORPG, like World of Warcraft, which has been outfitted with the best gear possible for their level, often above and beyond that a normal character would obtain during the leveling process. Experience gain is usually turned off for twinks so as to allow them to continue acquiring gear and items without gaining levels. These characters are then used in both PvP and PvE, depending on the player’s desires.

In Warcraft, there are currently two types of twinks: XP-off and expansion twinks. XP-off twinks have turned off experience gain in-game by paying 10 gold to the Experience Eliminators in Stormwind or Orgrimmar. Expansion twinks are limited by the type of account attached to the WoW software, not anything done within the game itself. e.g. A player without the Wrath of the Lich King expansion will not be able to level characters past level 70 on that account, but will be able to gain all gear from the original and Burning Crusade expansions.

Trial account twinks are a type of expansion twink. Trial accounts are limited to level 20, so characters on these accounts can quest, run dungeons, and engage in PvP combat to improve their skills and gear without leveling further. Because of the restrictions on trial accounts, trial account twinks will have the following characteristics.

  • Level 20 (so normal ground mounts are available.)
  • Cannot have any primary profession over 100.
  • Enchants are extremely limited.
  • Gear is primarily quest rewards, PvP rewards, and dungeon drops.
  • BoEs are possible but require random drops.
  • Heirlooms are possible but require a lot of Honor Points.
  • No buff foods.

Despite these limitations, trial account twinks can still be competitive in PvP, and can be solid explorers and dungeon runners. You can build a very good character with a trial account.

PVP BRACKETS AND TRIAL ACCOUNT TWINKS

Level 20 characters who queue up for PvP will be placed in the level xp-off 20-24 bracket. This means that trial account twinks will be facing characters who may be higher level than they are. That’s the bad news.

The worse news is that because your twink’s level is limited by your account type, you will be playing with other twinks in the XP-off bracket. The competition will therefore be harder, as you will be fighting with paid account twinks, whose access to the best gear, enchantments, and consumables in the game gives them a significant edge.

The good news is the sheer number of Starter Edition players in the 20-24 XP-off bracket ensures that games are not completely lopsided. Your skill still matters.

The availability of Heirloom gear – bind-to-account gear that scales with level, normally purchased by players once they have reached the highest levels of the game, to be passed on to other characters – means that you will often be dealing with players who are substantially better geared than your twink. If they make an effort to gear up and enchant their items, even leveling characters can and will surpass a trial account twink in ability and performance.

I’ve constructed several sample characters on Wowhead so you can see the difference between trial account twinks and other characters in the bracket.

Trial Account Level 20 Twink
Paid Account Level 20 Twink
Paid Account Level 24 w/ Heirlooms

The first two are level 20 twinks, to give you an idea how having access to BoE gear from the AH, enchants, and heirlooms influences a character. The trial account lacks those elements, but has the best quest and dungeon gear available. Both have stacked hit to address competing against level 24 characters. (I skipped the Arena Grand Master trinket, though both twinks could of course get it.)

You’ll note that the level 20 paid account twink outclasses the trial account twink by a substantial amount. It’s an interesting comparison.

The level 24 character represents a more accurate picture of what a geared PvP toon would look like in the leveling bracket, or just entering the twink bracket. It’s not fully twinked, instead using a reasonable selection of dungeon gear, heirlooms, and cheap enchants. This gear build would do very well in the bracket.

Locking your XP at earlier levels is no longer possible. You cannot use a Starter Edition to participate in the 10-14 or 15-19 XP-off brackets. [ed: Previous section on level 19 twinking removed.]

Next, let’s look at how to build a trial account twink.

BUILDING A TRIAL ACCOUNT TWINK

The fun part about making a twink is figuring out what kind of gear you can get for them. Let’s look at the limits of trial accounts again.

  • Trial account twinks can’t visit the AH, so BoE gear has to be farmed by the twink, leaving the player at the mercy of very low drop rates.
  • Similarly, they can’t trade with other characters, so the only crafted gear available is gear they make themselves.
  • Skills are limited to 100, so most patterns are just not available.
  • They can’t get mail, so sending heirlooms from a different Battle.net account is not possible.

So what is available?

In order of approximate ease of acquisition:

  • Quest gear (rewarded by quest givers)
  • PvP gear (purchased with Honor Points from PvP vendors)
  • Dungeon drops
  • Cloaks and belts from the Satchel of Helpful Goods, from running random dungeons through the Dungeon Finder
  • Fishing gear
  • Crafted gear made by the character (up to level 100)
  • Heirloom gear (purchased with Honor Points from PvP and PvE vendors)
  • BoE gear (directly looted by the character)

Quest gear is relatively straightforward – by seeking out quests which give powerful rewards, your character can get very good gear. Many quests are faction-specific, so be sure to check that that GREAT piece of gear you’ve spotted is actually available to you!

PvP rewards are purchased from vendors around battlegrounds and in your faction’s capital city. Trial account twinks should look at the necklaces, rings, weapons, and trinkets available at the Warsong Gulch vendors in Ashenvale: Illiyana Moonblaze for Alliance, Kelm Hargunth for the Horde. This gear is purchased with Honor Points, gained from participating in battlegrounds.

All twinks will want to purchase a PvP trinket from the PvP vendors in their capital city. The Insignia of the Horde / Insignia of the Alliance remove movement-imparing effects once every 5 minutes and can make the difference between victory and defeat.

Dungeon drops are another reliable source of gear for trial account twinks. Blue-quality gear drops off the bosses of the dungeons available to level 20 characters, especially from Shadowfang Keep & Gnomergan.

If you run random dungeons using the dungeon finder, the cloaks and belts from the Satchel of Helpful Goods will be some of the best gear you can get in those slots. The Tumultuous Cloak of Stamina is probably your best drop, but others may be more appropriate to your class. For some classes, there are a few belts that drop from dungeons which outclass the belts from the Satchels, but the belts are generally very good.

Fishing has a few rewards which can benefit trial account twinks. The Lucky Fishing Hat is a reward for catching a rare fish in the Strangethorn Fishing Extravaganza, and the Weather-beaten Fishing Hat is a random reward from the daily fishing quest in major cities.

Due to the limits on professions, crafted gear generally is not as good as the gear you’ll find from other places because you have to make it yourself, and leveling many of them without the Auction House is a feat in and of itself. A notable exception is the Flying Tiger Goggles from Engineering, as they are one of the few helms available to trial account twinks. But quest, pvp and dungeon gear generally is superior.

Bringing up the list of possible gear choices are BoEs (bind-on-equip) items and Heirlooms. Both of these are really hard to get, and only established twinks will likely even consider getting them. Normally, BoEs would be purchased off the Auction House, because they are rare, random drops. Since trial account twinks can’t use the AH, they will have to farm for them themselves, which is really just hoping random chance smiles on you.

Heirlooms are a little easier to get if you’re willing to put in a lot of time on your twink. These cost thousands of Honor Points to purchase – 2 to 3k each – and I’m not 100% positive that trial accounts can even purchase them. (Level 20 characters on paid accounts can.)

While PvP-oriented Heirlooms are available for direct purchase with Honor Points, you can also purchase PvE heirlooms by converting your Honor Points to Justice Points at a 3/2 rate. If you play a trial account twink long enough in the battlegrounds, this gear may be worth it for an upgrade!

One final word on gear: the Arena Grand Master is the best trinket you can get for either the 19 or 20 PvP brackets. I have a guide to getting it on this site with more information.

HOW DO I FIND SPECIFIC GEAR?

Wowhead is a twink’s best friend for finding gear. Learn how to use their database to search for specific types of gear that you can use for your character. Use their filters to search for specific types of gear – for example, here’s a search of all Cloth armor rewarded by quests, optimized for an Affliction warlock.

I recommend creating a profile on Wowhead to store the gear you’re considering in a profile, much like I did above, so that you can create a dynamic list of gear that you think will work well for your twink.

BAGS

Storage space can be a real challenge for starter edition characters. There are several sources of 16-slot bags available.

  • City Faction Bags: each city’s quartermaster sells a 16-slot bag (e.g. the Stormwind Satchel) which can be unique-equipped for under 2g. Each bag requires Revered with a given city’s faction, which can be obtained either through questing or running dungeons while wearing the appropriate city’s tabard. City Quartermasters can be found near the flight points of each city.
  • Stormpike Bags: Alliance Players have access to two quivers, the Harpy Hide Quiver and Gnoll Skin Bandolier, which can be purchased for 50 Honor Points each from the Stormpike Supply Officers near or in Alterac Valley. These bags will display on your Hunter character on the selection screen due to their former status as ammunition pouches. There doesn’t appear to be a Horde equivalent.

In addition to these 16-slot bags, there are 14-slot bags available from bag vendors for 9g 60s, and another 14-slot bag available as a quest reward from the Darkmoon Faire (the Darkmoon Satchel). These bags are good for filling out your trial account twink’s 3 available bank slots.

(Thanks to Goodpeeps @ Moon Guard for the tip about the AV bags.)

CONSUMABLES AND PROFESSIONS

Updated with information about secondary professions.

Primary professions like Engineering, Enchanting, and Skinning are limited to skill level 100 on a trial account. Secondary professions like Cooking, Fishing, and First Aid are not, so effort in those skills will generally repay your time investment.

Most twinks go into battle with a supply of Rumsey Rum Black Label on hand due to its excellent Stamina buff. However, it’s normally purchased in bulk from a Burning Crusade dungeon (which trial accounts can’t reach), purchased from the AH (which trial accounts can’t use), or fished up randomly from around the world (which gives you one at a time.)

So you’re probably not going to be able to have 4 stacks of rum on hand for your twink. Instead, look to Cooking to supply your food and drink needs. Cooking 100 gives you a variety of recipes which can create food which gives up to +6 Stamina, which is 60 extra health. Every little bit helps.

Another secondary profession, First Aid, can give you the ability to use Wool Bandages to heal yourself once a minute for 161 damage over 7 seconds. One of the quirks of First Aid is that you can use better bandages than you can make, so while you can use up to a Silk Bandage with First Aid 100, you can’t create it without First Aid 150. So you’re stuck with a weak bandage as a trial account twink.

While you can learn any two primary professions for your trial account twink, only a few will give any benefit.

  • Skinning grants Master of Anatomy, for +3 Critical Strike rating.
  • Mining grants Toughness, for +3 Stamina.
  • Herbalism grants Lifeblood, for +15 Haste rating for 20 seconds, every 2 minutes.
  • Enchanting allows you to enchant your gear, but with very minor enchants (about 25 health, +3 Intellect, +1 Strength/Agility.

My preference would be for Herbalism and Skinning, as they will both increase your DPS a small amount. Lifeblood is good for giving your damage a burst, useful for when you are trying to kill an opponent quickly, and the passive Critical Strike rating from Master of Anatomy is a nice bonus.

CLASS SELECTION

Play the class you like. If you’ve never played before, pick the one that appeals the most to you. There are classes that are more powerful than others in PvP at level 20, but any class is workable and can be fun.

This advice seems trite, but I’ve seen people take classes which were universally discounted in a bracket and use them to tear apart the place. I’ve seen folks play flavor of the month classes and fail badly at them.

Pick the one you have the most fun playing.

MORE RESOURCES

  • Wowhead is my Warcraft database of choice. Their search filters are fantastic and can give you great gear advice. Perculia has an excellent guide to F2P accounts with very detailed gear advice.
  • The Twinkinfo Forums have recently started up a Free to Play Forum exclusively for trial account twinks. Twinkinfo has a lot of good gearing advice and an active twink community.
  • Psynister has a great guide to trial account professions, including a guide to leveling, and dropping, and leveling, and dropping…

A community of trial account twinks is already springing up. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the Free to Play WoW twinks in the months to come.

Good luck, and happy twinking!

The Arena Grand Master

The best twink trinket for low levels is the Arena Grand Master. More than any other item, the AGM marks a character as a serious twink, having put in the days, weeks, or even months to get an absurdly powerful trinket for low-level PvP. Anyone can get the Inherited Insignia of the Alliance. Only twinks consider getting the AGM.

In order to complete it, you need to loot 12 (that’s twelve) Arena Master trinkets from the Arena Treasure Chest dropped by Short John Mithril in the Gurubashi Arena in The Cape of Stranglethorn. Every three hours, this crazy goblin comes and drops a chest of loot on the floor of the arena.

So you have 8 chances each day to try to win the Arena Master trinket. That’s the good news.

The bad news is, well, pretty bad.

The first part of the bad news is that the Gurubashi Arena floor is a free-for-all area. As soon as you step foot down there anyone can, and will, attack you. This means competition between twinks can be quite fierce.

The second is that there are two achievements based on getting the Arena Grand Master, so endgame characters will be trying for it, too.

The combination of these two issues makes getting the Arena Grand Master a challenge if you don’t have a guild who can help you out. (And even if you do have a guild like that, it’s still a challenge.)

But overcoming challenges is what playing a twink is all about.

I learned a lot during my quest to get the Arena Grand Master.

  • Park your toon in the Arena, preferably by Short John Mithril. This way you don’t have to corpse-run your way back into the Arena every time you want to check.
  • Check every three hours you’re available. If level 85 characters are there, you can try to strike a deal with them – or ninja the trinket. Log out if you know it’s hopeless.
  • Even if you’re late, check to see if the chest is still there. I would often forget and check in at five or ten past the hour, and discover no one had taken the chest yet. Once, I logged in 45 minutes late and still got it!
  • Be friendly. You’ll get to know a lot of the twink players and guilds on your server when farming the AGM, and often they’ll help you out after their current project is over. You’ll also get a chance to see how they act. Smart twink guilds don’t let their players act like jerks in the Arena, because it’s prime recruiting grounds for new twinks.
  • You can ninja the trinket away from higher level characters. Wait until they are in combat with another player and see if you can get over to the chest without them stopping you. Another favorite tactic is to let yourself be killed, then resurrect right on top of the chest.
  • The Arena Master trinket is Bind on Pickup, so you have to accept the binding to loot it. Be ready for this. Have your mouse in the right spot to click “Yes,” and spam that click. Don’t be caught unprepared – autoloot should be on, and you should click that button.
  • Pick your times wisely. I found I had great success logging in right as I was logging in for work – 9AM on weekday mornings – and then again at lunchtime or mid-afternoon. Others swear by the 3 and 6 AM slots, but my sleep schedule doesn’t allow me to do those. By contrast, Friday at 9PM would be a madhouse in the Arena, and was best served by bringing lots of guildies.
I remember my very first Arena Master, and how impressed I was that I finally got something out of that chest! Then the sinking feeling hit – I was going to have to do it many, many times.

Eventually, though, you get the 12 Arena Master trinkets and can turn them in to the crazy goblin for an exceptional piece of work – 120 extra health, and a bubble that absorbs 2000 damage. It’s pretty awesome.

But then your work is only partly done, because you’ll probably want a second one. If you’re Human, you definitely the second one, and even if you’re not, you still probably still want it for when your PvP trinket is on CD. And for walking around your home city, because an extra 240 health is really cool at level 19.

Getting the AGM seems hard at first, but it’s relatively easy once you get started. It’s a big task, and it requires commitment, but it’s not difficult per se. It just requires dedication and persistence.

If you haven’t tried for the Arena Grand Master before, I recommend you try it. It’s an interesting, unique experience in WoW, and one worth having.

Good luck.

Faction Changing For Fun And Profit

Sylvanas looks a little bored with the photo op.

Gearing up a twink at any level requires a lot of flexibility; you will need to quest, run dungeons, PvP, buy gear off the AH (or farm drops), level professions, and get heirlooms in order to get the absolute best gear for your character. It’s actually a very well-rounded way of gearing up, one I’d love to see more in the endgame. You can’t just farm badges or points for twink gear; you’re going to have to go to great lengths for some of it.

And even then, there will be gear that is out of reach. Or was out of reach, until recently. I’m talking about faction-specific gear, rewards from quests that have no equivalent on the other side.

With the introduction of the faction change service, a complete set of BiS gear is now possible. You can sport both a Seal of Sylvanas and a Seal of Wrynn on the same character – the only trouble is you may forget which base you’re supposed to carry the flag into!

I’d hit the point on Cynderblock where there were only two more things to do for gear: farm the Arena Grand Master, or change to Horde to get the remaining BiS gear.

So a faction change is what I did.

I recently faction changed my warrior from Alliance to Horde for three items: the Seal of Sylvanas, the Deadskull Shield, and the Steel-Clasped Bracers. There are a few other quest rewards I wanted to get too, like the awesome-looking Sin’dorei Warblade.

Changing your character’s faction costs $30, so this may not be for everyone. You might look at the gear upgrades and go, is it actually worth spending real money to get an additional +10 Stamina or so?

The answer to that question I leave up to you. People faction change for a lot of different reasons, so getting optimal gear doesn’t seem all that outlandish when you consider the spectrum of motivation.

If you decide to do it, here are some tips from my experience.

  1. Roll on the opposite side you want to end up on first. If you want to play Horde, roll your twink as Alliance first. This way you only have to change once.
  2. Get every faction-specific quest reward you think you’ll ever need from one side before switching. That means doing the ring quest for both sides, the Westfall quests for Alliance, the Hillsbrad quests for Horde.  Take your time and do your research.
  3. If you are Horde, don’t forget to pick up the Throat Piercers in the Ghostlands. These twink weapons are much more expensive Alliance-side than on the Horde, and are well-sought after by rogue twinks.
  4. You can take up to 300 gold with you when you transfer. Consider loading up your bank with valuable goods to sell on the other side. Faction-specific goods (like pets or clothes) offer a good return on very little investment. Don’t forget the White Kittens and the Black Cats!  You have 7 bank slots; use them all!

I actually made a lot of mistakes when I faction changed.  I started on the side I wanted to end up on (Alliance, where my main resides) so I ended up shelling out for two faction changes instead of one.  I took over a lot of Stylish Black Shirts, an Alliance-only vendor item, only to discover that pets outsell clothing 10:1 on the other side.  I didn’t research the gold cap at all and was waaaaay over it, scuttling several plans I had to get money from one side to the other.  And the list goes on.

But ultimately, I found it very rewarding, and Cynderblock very much appreciates her shiny new ring and shield, as well as some gorgeous weapons from the blood elf starting area.

What?  Like I’m going to tell her no, she can’t take them with her?  :-)

A Little Help From Your Friends

Just like the highest levels of endgame performance, you can’t twink a character without help from your friends.  You can’t get great PvP gear without Arena partners, you can’t get great PvE gear without a raid team, and you can’t get the great gear for your twink without help.

The picture above is of a group of me and my friends on Durotan dancing over the corpse of Baron Vardus, the level 40 mob you need to kill to get the Inferno Robe, the best DPS caster robe for the 19 bracket.  Setting aside why I would be getting this robe for my warrior twink (that’s another post) and why I’m not a dwarf anymore (that’s another post, too), there is no way I could have done this quest without the help of Fynralyl and Psynister.  Fynralyl has been selflessly helping me on both Alliance and Horde sides of the fence, but for Vardus we needed to bring in the big guns with an Alliance 80, and Psynister graciously came by to slaughter the camp (after Fyn tagged the Baron, of course.)

There are a lot of things you can do on your own with your twink: level First Aid and Mining to 225, Engineering to 150, fish in STV for a hat, run instances through LFG for gear.  But there are plenty of things I’ve needed a bit of help with:

  • Both the Arctic Buckler and Gravestone Scepter drop in Blackfathom Deeps, which can be very difficult to get into with a Dungeon Finder group at level 19, and many of the mobs will be hard to hit, even for a twink.  Even just having a friendly group of mid-20s helps greatly here.
  • The Lifeblood benefit from Herbalism is an awesome HoT for any level 19 twink, but getting to 225 is brutal.  Unlike Mining, which you can level via Smelting in the safety of any forge, there’s no way to level Herbalism except gathering herbs in increasingly dangerous zones.  I was able to get to about 205 through some very careful gathering in the Wetlands, but the level 30+ mobs in Arathi Highlands made quick work of me.  Fynralyl came by with her level 80 Shaman and Mekgineer’s Chopper, which made getting to 225 fast and easy.  Having a 2-person epic mount made all the difference in the world here.
  • You know the awesome Deadskull Shield, a quest reward from killing upper-20s mobs in Hillsbrad?  I was lucky Fyn had a level 33 Paladin on the Hordeside of our server, because that farm is *tough* to solo at level 19.
  • I had a guildmate (who is not on the internet, but thanks Cein!) come by and help me complete the hard part of the quest for the Seal of Wrynn.  Fyn’s Paladin made short work of Arugal for the Seal of Sylvanas.
  • I’ve gotten my entire guild involved in fights in the STV Arena fighting for the Arena Grand Master.  I will get it, someday!

It’s easy to sometimes look at a Warcraft character and attribute their success only to the player.  I’m proud of my characters, and the effort I’ve put into making them great.  But this is a social game, and to be really successful at it you need a little help from your friends.   Be it twinking, raiding, arenas, or rated battlegrounds — you don’t do the hard stuff alone.  You succeed, and fail, together.

So to those friends:  a heartfelt thank you.

Lucky Fishing Hat

Ready to fish!

The Lucky Fishing Hat is the best helm you can get for your level 19 twink, no matter what class you play.  With a whopping +15 Stamina, it’s almost double the health bonus of the Green Tinted Goggles, and casters should use it over Shadow Goggles.  150 Health vs +5 Int/+6 Spirit?  No contest for PvP.

The Lucky Fishing Hat can only be obtained by fishing in the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza and catching a rare fish, Keefer’s Angelfish, from one of the pools of Tastyfish that spawn all over the zone for the duration of the contest.  You turn in the fish to the Fishbot 5000 in Booty Bay and it gives you the hat.  You aren’t in the competition to win, just to catch a rare fish.  Sounds easy, right?

Well, it is, if you prepare for it.

  • You will need to be able to fish in STV, so train your Fishing to 125 -150.  While you should be able to fish from pools with Fishing 1, you’re better off fishing efficiently and not wasting casts on junk.
  • The safest way to level up your fishing is at the Dalaran fountain.  You can get to 100+ pretty quickly there.  Check with Marcia Chase periodically and grab a Strong Fishing Pole if she has one in stock, it gives you a bonus to your Fishing skill.
  • While the pools spawn all over STV, the mobs there will eat you alive if you don’t have protection.  There’s only one place you can fish without being molested: Yojamba island off the northwest coast (at 15,16), home of the Zandalar tribe of trolls.  These trolls are neutral and will not attack you.
  • Get your twink into position the night before the contest.  The easiest way for Alliance to get to Yojamba island is to go to Westfall and swim south from Longshore.  Horde can take the boat from Ratchet to Booty Bay, or the zeppelin from Orgrimmar to Grom’gol, and then swim north.
  • Setting your hearthstone in Booty Bay makes it easier to turn the fish in when you catch it, but is hardly necessary.  The contest runs from 2-4 pm Sunday afternoon (server time), but you can turn your catches in to the Fishbot 5000 until 5pm.  So you can swim south to Booty Bay in plenty of time.

Practice makes perfect.

I’ll admit, I was nervous about my first STV fishing tournament.  In hindsight, it was really pretty easy.

  • I logged in around 2:30, right around the time that the winner was announced.  The zone emptied out at that point, and I had no competition on the island.  I have no doubts that the island could be crowded with other twinks, and on a PvP server that could get exciting.  But I had the island to myself each time I fished there.
  • The pools spawn around the island and up the coast towards ZG.  There are crocodiles up and down the coast that can be troublesome for some of the pools, but I found that parking my DK nearby allowed me to switch to him, clear out the mobs, and then go back to my warrior to fish.
  • You’re fishing from a limited set of pools around the island.  Sometimes I’d be running laps waiting for one to respawn.  A better strategy was to hop over to my main and fish out some other pools I couldn’t get to with my twink, then come back for the respawns.
  • It took me about 3 hours fishing total to get my hat, over two separate days.  The drop rate is low, so you may have to fish a lot more than that to get it.  Or you might get it right away!  Random chance is random.

Finally, a fashionable hat for the jungle!

I’m glad I went ahead and upgraded my Green Tinted Goggles.  It’s a little strange looking at Cynderblock’s eyes again, but for both tanking and PvP the hat really is awesome.  My only complaint is that it gives her hat hair in the back – her long spinny braid has been tucked up neatly into the hat.

One side effect I hadn’t considered is that getting the Lucky Fishing Hat obsoletes your Engineering.  Twinks get Engineering because it’s the easiest way to get a good helm; the bombs are an extra bonus!  But with the LFH, you no longer need it as a profession and you have to evaluate your options all over again.  Should you go with Herbalism’s powerful HoT, Mining’s stamina boost, or the crit bonus from Skinning?  Or should you keep it around for the bombs?

Given how big a fan I am of Engineering in game, I’m really loath to drop it for something else.  But the benefits of other professions do outweigh the benefits of bombs, no matter how much fun they are to throw.

But for now, I’ll enjoy my additional 70 health and natty fishing hat.