Pilgrim's Bounty and Cooking

Cynwise said something funny in his guide to this year's Pilgrim's Bounty: "doing those first 350 points any other way is just silly". I have to admit that at first that comment actually stung me a little. Why is it silly? I love cooking (in game; in real life I'm terrible at it), and have done so pretty much for as long as I can remember. I remember being a level six noob with barely half a clue about anything in the game and eagerly cooking up Herb Baked Eggs and Kaldorei Spider Kabobs. At around level thirty or so, my friend who was wisely levelling her cooking and fishing in sync gifted me a stack of Sagefish Delights one day and I was like, OMG, eating these gives me an mp5 buff? Crazy! I also have fond memories of winning the recipe for Runn Tum Tuber Surprise in Dire Maul East and being told that I was extremely lucky.

I've always loved cooking for how it was a profession that benefited from almost everything I enjoyed doing in the game anyway. Explore and find a vendor in a remote location who sells an interesting recipe, hoard anything that might look useful to find out later that you can turn it into a tasty meal with the right recipe, quest to raise your cooking skill beyond 225, and so on and so forth. It always felt very engaging to me, and to this day I've maintained one to two tabs in my private guild banks that are devoted to nothing but raw cooking materials, gathered in one place to redistribute them to alts for later use.

However, looking at it honestly, I had to admit that I've really been struggling to level cooking on my new alts whenever I tried. With the new levelling system, you zoom from one place to the next and past many zones so quickly that you might never even see many recipe vendors, and you end up killing fewer mobs that might provide you with raw materials as well. Having alts "help each other out" seemed to have a very limited effect too, as I found it hard to keep track of who needed which recipes (Altoholic is supposed to track that in principle, but for me at least its profession tracking has been buggy for ages), and somehow pretty much every character seemed to run into the same skill point humps, needing stacks upon stacks of the exact same raw foods and I never had enough. As much as I used to love it, it had become annoying in its current incarnation. It worked when levelling was slow and had you traipsing all over Azeroth, but in this brave new world... not so much.

So I thought what the hell, might as well get it done, and so I've been spending a good chunk of the past two evenings cooking up Pilgrim's Bounty foods on various alts. (I still have a couple left, but we'll see whether I get around to them tomorrow.) I didn't just level my cooking either; basically I did the following things on all of my characters:

- I did the quest line that sends you back and forth between the cities to deliver different foods to different places.
- I ate at a Bountiful Table to complete the Share a Bountiful Feast quest and did Sharing is Caring while I was at it.
- I completed each of the dailies at least once, which was easy enough since I was cooking up lots of food to level my skill anyway, and got the Pilgrim's Progress achievement on the side.

If there were other people at the table with me, I threw food at them for "FOOD FIGHT!", but I didn't hang around to wait if nobody else was eating. Fun fact: even though I've been participating in this holiday in some form or another ever since its inception, it took me until this year to figure out how this achievement actually works. I used to think that it was just a random chance whenever you hit the button to share food. D'oh.

I also got The Turkinator on lots of characters, though not all, as I didn't fret about it if I had a streak of bad luck. As long as I got enough turkeys to do my cooking I was happy.

I only did Pilgrim's Pouch on one or two characters as I considered getting to the Exodar too much of a hassle in addition to the repeated back and forth for the quest line (most of the alts that needed skilling up were Alliance). This rang particularly true after I tried to take the portal to the Exodar from Darnassus one time and accidentally sent myself to the Blasted Lands with my hearthstone on cooldown. Arrrgh.

However, even without such mishaps these little adventures turned out to be quite a time-intensive endeavour, with each character needing about an hour to complete the whole tour, mostly due to travel time and the time it took to gather sufficient amounts of turkeys. It was all pretty relaxed though, and I watched some tv on the side and went AFK while on flight paths. Missing the boat over and over again also gave me happy flashbacks to my newbie days, though I never fell into the water.

The only thing that really got on my nerves was, funnily enough... people standing in the fire. Seriously, you don't need to stand in the cooking fire to use it! I noticed that it was mostly max-level characters in raid gear who were doing that, which then made me wonder whether it's some kind of subconscious way of being rebellious? An "I have to move out of the fire all the damn time, this one's not hurting me so I'll stand in it all day long" kind of thing? The thing is, I don't really care whether they stand in the fire in their raids or not, but being audio-spammed with incessant "oof oof oof" sounds gets annoying really quickly. This then got me thinking whether bad stuff on the ground wouldn't be easier to avoid if it always made your character make that sound... you might find yourself moving out of sheer annoyance, or else your guildies would at least yell at you for the same reason. (I vaguely recall a bug in DBM during ICC I think it was, where it kept making a warning noise on Blood Princes even if other people were moving with the shadow prison debuff... you bet that had me shouting at them!)


  1. Turkinator is killing me: I went 39/40 last night on Tom, and that last turkey was just out of reach.

    Well, Food Fight ain't all that great, because I can't seem to get the food to bounce off. @#$%!

  2. Aw, that sucks! I noticed that whenever I got my counter above 30, I instinctively started to look around for more turkeys nervously because I wanted to avoid precisely that scenario. Somehow I thought that it would be less of a blow if I realised it earlier... I got lucky though; I think the highest point at which the buff dropped off for me was 20-something.

    For Food Fight, I got the impression that you target a person / the chair they are on, the first item you throw lands on their plate, and if they don't immediately eat it the next one should bounce.

  3. Same page on the Cooking thing. Sure Pilgrim's Bounty is convenient but it's a rather empty experience (you can btw level to 375 with the Turkeys).

    Personally, besides the usual bane of 'Let's Make Raiding More Accessible' (buff food production), I blame the Achievement system for this: without Achievements people who e.g. don't care about Cooking (or First Aid or Fishing or any other specific content for that matter) wouldn't 'need' to participate in those kind of activities.

    I always did the local Cooking Quests as well, though The Shattering made quite some alterations in them (the number of ingredients dropped considerably, and instead of those ingredients you now collect Quest Items ie the Cragboars in Dun Morogh now drop cragboar ribs as well as special ribs for the Quest).

    As a side note:
    they could 'create' a lot of extra content at little to no cost by making World Events more relevant by dropping the 'Holiday Boss kill' requirement from the Meta. Realistically speaking those Boss kills have become 100% challengeless for toons who meet the level requirement, and I know I'm not exactly the only one who doesn't bother with World Events that my favorite toons won't be able to complete solely because of the Boss Kill requirement (yes some are bugged so you can 'get the kill' by being baby-sitted but gaming the system shouldn't imo be required).
    The Holiday Bosses themselves do still serve a purpose as providers of easy gear (most notably Trinkets) so no need to scrape them all together.

  4. You can actually level all the way making turkey to 430. Yes, even though it's greyed out.

    Almost done; finally got Food fight!

  5. The problem I see with cooking, as you pointed out, it's out of sync with the character leveling. But even in the old times was out of sync. You start leveling it (before the spice bread was added) and get to a point where the mats aren't in any zone you can play safely. It either requires a lot of travelling or venturing into areas higher than your char, so getting these mats is almost suicidal. Blizz should revise the recipes and make sure you can level comfortably without having to cross continents.

    Redbeard: Food Fight it's quite easy once you know the trick. click on an occupied chair (not the character). Press 1 to throw the food at the dish. First time (if the food isn't already present in the dish), that character will be able to eat that food without needing to sit in your place. Then press 1 again and since they already have that food int he dish, the food will bounce off, granting the Food Fight achi. it only works if the chair is occupied by someone. Otherwise the food will bounce off without results.

  6. Keep in mind most of my CBM guides are all about efficiency - I didn't mean to sting! D:

    For me, I leveled Cooking on my main the old fashioned way - with Fishing. I spent several days just catching up my secondary skills, fishing, cooking, fishing some more, cooking some more. I remember Poached Sunscale Salmon as my buff food of choice there for a while - it restores health, for crying out loud, it MUST be good for a warlock! - and I got to see a lot of Azeroth that I'd missed along the way.

    It's good to be reminded that leveling Cooking used to be fun.

    When I leveled Cooking on my level 19, though, I didn't need to do it all over again. I already had a maxed Cook and Angler, and running around to Azshara and Feralas just to catch some fish to get over some humps didn't appeal to me very much. Pilgrim's Bounty solved that for me, at least at first.

    Leveling it on a lowbie I discovered there are unexpected challenges, though - you /cannot/ get the Dalaran cooking dailies until level 70, so (until Cataclysm) you couldn't get past about 380 or so. Then Cata introduced daily quests and a recipe to get lowbies over the northrend hurdle - only to have the ingredients (Imported Supplies) be bugged out and fail to work.

    Outside of Pilgrim's Bounty, it's a lot of Cooking dailies to max out cooking these days. When I heard that Slow-Roasted Turkey takes you up to 430 Cooking now? It's a great thing.

    I should speak more carefully in the future. Leveling Cooking the hard way and the first time WAS fun.

    It's just not very efficient. :)

  7. @Kurnak: I do remember that feeling of cooking feeling somewhat out of sync with levelling since forever, though it is a lot worse now. They should really give all the professions a bit of a revamp; I'm surprised that a profession overhaul is something that they haven't announced as a MoP expansion feature.

    @Cynwise: Haha, no worries, Cyn. It wasn't a serious sting, more of a petulant: "I'm not silly for dedicating three guild bank tabs to levelling cooking on all of my alts! :O Ok, maybe a little..."