18/09/2022

Horde Master Angler

Two years ago, I wrote about my trials and tribulations related to winning the Stranglethorn fishing tournament in Classic. I then won it a second time the next year, when Classic era had just split off from BC and I decided to participate again on a whim. However, after that, I didn't really give it much thought again.

Several weeks ago now, I was doing the pirate quests in Stranglethorn on my tauren druid when I noticed a fishing pool in an unusual location. A closer look revealed it to be a school of Tastyfish - I was surprised to see them spawn on the eastern side of Stranglethorn, but it did serve to remind me of the event, and that now that I was playing era again, it might be worth revisiting. About an hour later I was questing in another part of Stranglethorn when the victory yell for the tournament went out - yes, you read that correctly, more than an hour later. My reaction was pretty much: What? It took over an hour for someone to win this thing? I should be able to win pretty much by default then!

Naturally it wasn't much later that I decided to revive my old routine of setting my hearthstone to Booty Bay late on Saturday and positioning my hunter on the coast to be ready for Sunday's tournament - only this time on Horde side.

In case you were wondering though... I did not win on my first try. That time the tournament took over an hour must have been a fluke or something, as when I actually tried to take part again, it was over after only eighteen minutes and I'd only just crossed the twenty fish mark. But hey, I'd learned enough from last time to know that there was a lot of RNG to the contest and that I was capable of winning it if I only kept trying.

Since I hadn't had a lot of good luck in the lower half of Stranglethorn, I decided to revisit my old hunting grounds north of Grom'gol this Sunday. While I waited for the tournament to start, a level 60 undead warrior not from my guild rode up and killed a nearby crocolisk. I just stared at them - I didn't want to be rude, but I'd claimed this spot first. Eventually they moved south a bit.

When the Tastyfish started spawning, I started fishing as usual. The warrior provided competition for a little while, but when we reached Grom'gol, I decided to turn back around while they continued further south. The northern coast always seemed to have fewer pools than the southern one, but I didn't remember it being quite so barren - I'm guessing that the lower number of participants also resulted in a slower respawn rate for pools all over the zone. Rather suddenly it also started to rain really heavily, and while I'm generally rather fond of the weather effects in Classic, I actually had a bit of trouble seeing the edges of the pools in the downpour.

I was doing terribly with catching "junk" fish as well, so that I quickly resigned myself to the idea that this week wasn't going to be a win either, but of course I kept going. I remembered from past contests that the average duration until someone claimed victory was about twenty minutes, so I kept looking for the giveaway yell from about eighteen minutes past the hour. However, it didn't come.

The spawn rate of pools seemed to pick up and my numbers were starting to look better and better. I'd been pretty chill about the whole thing until then, but with only three fish to go my heart started to race a bit. I began to provide running commentary to my husband, who was as usual perpetually bewildered by how much fishing could excite me. "I hope that someone wins soon, because if I get forty fish, hearth, and then they beat me that'll feel pretty crappy."

I was on thirty-nine fish with one more cast to go before exhausting my current pool. I cursed when my last cast resulted in an Oily Blackmouth and quickly continued to the next pool, which fortunately wasn't far away. My first cast there netted me my fortieth Tastyfish, and I hit my hearthstone to return to Booty Bay.

I ran out of the inn and didn't see anyone already there. I clicked on the goblin when I suddenly saw a male human warrior come up next to me (incidentally, I recognised the name as he'd been in my paladin's ZG run on Monday). For just a second, I panicked and struggled to find the right reward to click on, but I managed to complete the hand-in in time to be declared this week's Master Angler. The warrior did a /cry emote on me. The crappy situation I had been so keen to avoid had now happened to him. I gave him a /pat in return.

So now my tauren hunter is properly armed to engage in high-level fishing with her Arcanite Fishing Pole. As a bonus, she also caught the rare fish that rewards the High Eternium Fishing Line during this contest. Now who to take next? Maybe my paladin...

3 comments:

  1. Oof. I feel for those last second losses. But still, woot!

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  2. The interesting thing is, the STV fishing comp is completely bugged currently and has been for a while. If you are not the first to hand in your 40 tastyfish, you can just want 15 minutes and the NPC will offer the quest again which you can turn in. I have no idea if this scuffs your achievement or anything as I didn't want to cheese the game by doing it myself (I would rather win on my own merits).

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    Replies
    1. I assume that's in TBC/Wrath? I wouldn't think that bugs in one version necessarily cross over to the other. Unless you also currently have a problem with mobs near bodies of water regularly falling under the world...

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