World Drop : Sweet & “Salty”, Part 1

I imagine if you have over 12,000 achievement points in WoW, it’s easy to be classified as an “achievement whore.” I prefer “achievement hunter” myself to be honest, but I digress. This week’s World Drop article is the first of two fishing tales which led to getting the Salty title and being known as a Master Angler of Azeroth.

The other day I finally got around to finishing up a fishing achievement I had left alone for some time. The Oceanographer achievement requires you to catch a variety of different fish from Azeroth and Northrend. The catch (no pun intended) though is that the Winter Squid can only be caught during the winter. Shocker, right? With days to go before Spring shows itself, it was time to get fishin’.

An hour later I had a new fishing achievement, and another ten points closer to the 13,000 Club. No, there’s no prize for being in the 13k Club. Just the knowledge that I would be one of about fifty characters on the server to have that many points. Call me crazy. Call me insane. Actually, don’t call me insane. I haven’t obtained that achievement yet, nor do I think I’ll ever bother with it.

Obtaining the Oceanographer achievement made me remember fondly of the day I obtained one of the most challenging achievements in the game. It happened on a Sunday. That’s the only day the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza happens, after all.

In Summer of 2008, before we even had achievements, I participated in the weekly fishing contest for a shot at the fabled Arcanite Fishing Rod. Every week a few dozen or more would line the coast of Stranglethorn to fish up Tastyfish and make a mad dash to Booty Bay when you had enough to turn in.

/oldmanvoice

“In my day, you didn’t have flying mounts to get you from pool to pool all willy nilly fast. You had to ride you land mount and we LOVED it. And hearthstones? Ha! One hour cooldowns, my boy. You use that stone too soon and you’re out of luck later. No recall scrolls, no guild summons. Maybe if you were a shaman you had it easy but no… not me.”

/endoldmanvoice

So in this particular contest, I made a mistake of not only forgetting to set my hearthstone to Booty Bay; I also had used the stone about 20 minutes before the contest began. At this point I had participated in the contest about a dozen times, three months straight, and hadn’t even come close.

The fishing frenzy commenced at the top of the hour, and as I started bringing in my first tastyfish, I noticed I ran into a small string of luck. Not only was I fishing uninterrupted by pool stealers… I had the islands up north all to myself. These islands in particular were normally camped by Level 19 characters with escorts looking to win the contest so they could gear their twinked PvP lowbie character. Not today though.

Now normally when I would do the contest I would just make my way up and down the coast, but staying around the islands was doing it for me. Pools continues to pop in succession, and my tastyfish luck was incredible. Hardly a single oily blackmouth or whatever other fish you scoff at when they show.

Zone chat was abuzz with people updating their counts. 20…24…23 Tastyfish from the other more vocal challengers.

I was at 35 when I heard those comments. The excitement started to grow.

36…37…38 Tastyfish. Then it hit me. I don’t have a teleport to Booty Bay. I need to get my rear in gear and fish up the last couple of Tastyfish on the way to the finish line.

It seemed to take an eternity. Zone chat numbers got closer. I stopped at a pool about halfway to the Bay and got #39. A bit further south and I had #40.

At this point someone in zone chat just announced 38. We were fifteen minutes into the contest and usually the dreaded zone-wide yell of a winner is called in mere moments. I’m racing for Booty Bay, wishing I had that carrot on a stick trinket or anything to get to the finish faster.

The next minute seemed to take forever. I arrive in Booty Bay thinking there’s no way I’m going to win. Someone is going to dash out of the tavern from their hearthstone use and snatch victory.

No announcement yet… did I miss it? Is there a chance?!

I see the npc, click… turn in… and it’s done. I’ve won… somehow I just WON the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza against all odds. You see, I forgot to mention one minor detail about that win.

Before Wrath of the Lich King, I played on dial-up.

Next week I’ll talk about the agonizing hunt for “The One That Didn’t Get Away,” and finally getting the Salty title.

World Drop articles are stories about random WoW subjects. Lore, achievements, you name it. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this or future World Drop articles, feel free to email me at RhoWoW@gmail.com.

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