5.1: Stranglethorn Extravaganza
Patch 5.1, currently being tested, reintroduces and updates the Stranglethorn Extravaganza Contest. In summary:
- 3 winners per realm each Sunday.
- 1st place winner chooses from 5 rewards, 2nd place from 3 rewards, 3rd place has no choice. Only 1st place can gain the original pole or trinket. All 3 winning places grant the Master Angler of Azeroth achievement.
- Old Kalu'ak Fishing Derby rewards are now options for 1st and 2nd place at Booty Bay. The Kalu'ak contest is not scheduled, and may have been removed from 5.1.
Read on for full updated details.
The Stranglethorn Extravaganza is scheduled for Sunday at 14:00 PST on all test realms, regardless of the "realm time" displayed. It is expected that each region's realms will all share the same event schedule. However, several different solutions to cross-realm time-keeping have been trialled on the PTR, so this may not be final.
Speckled Tastyfish are no longer caught from contest-only pools. Instead Speckled Tastyfish become 80% of the catch from any pool in The Cape of Stranglethorn or Northern Stranglethorn during the contest. Speckled Tastyfish can now be caught from both inland and coastal pools in those zones, regardless of the pool's name.
New Mixed Ocean School (which primarily contain Firefin Snapper and Oily Blackmouth) are commonly found around the coast, while Sagefish School are found inland (instead of Greater Sagefish School). Waterlogged Wreckage Pool (rather than Bloodsail Wreckage Pools) may also appear. Mixed Ocean Schools contain an average of 2-6 catches, the same number as Sagefish Schools, so both inland and coastal fishing are competitive. Waterlogged Wreckage Pools contain far fewer catches overall (typically 1 or 2), adding some additional strategy: Is it worth stopping for so few catches?
The most significant strategy change is that pools do not respawn at the start of the contest: The contents of existing pools simply change. This theoretically allows anglers to concentrate pools in one part of the zone, by continually fishing other parts of the zone before the contest starts (see Pool Appearance for further explanation). Anglers would still need to stop others fishing their concentration of pools at the start of the contest, and if several anglers try to concentrate pools, spawns will average out again. So gaining advantage this way would require a lot of organisation.
During testing the most unexpected catch of all was this:
The Bloated Rockscale Cod only granted a Citrine. But these fish have not been caught since the classic era (over 6 years ago). This Bloated Rockscale Cod came from a contest Waterlogged Wreckage Pool on the coast of The Cape. Intended or bugged?
The first person (on your realm) to deliver 40 Speckled Tastyfish to Riggle Bassbait completes the quest "Grand Prize", which rewards one of your choice of:
- Arcanite Fishing Pole
- Hook of the Master Angler
- Boots of the Bay
- Dread Pirate Ring
- High Test Eternium Fishing Line
The second person to deliver 40 fish completes the quest "Second Place". They can only choose one of the final 3 rewards on the winner's list - Boots of the Bay, Dread Pirate Ring or High Test Eternium Fishing Line. The third person completes "Third Place", which simply rewards High Test Eternium Fishing Line.
All 3 places grant the achievement "Master Angler of Azeroth", one of the toughest parts of becoming Salty. Riggle shouts the name of each winner across the zone, alongside their position.
Rare fish - such as Brownell's Blue Striped Racer for Nat Pagle's Extreme Anglin' Boots - can probably be caught from any pool during the contest. Catches confirmed from Mixed Ocean Schools and Sagefish Schools.
Jang offers a repeatable quest to turn in sets of 5 Speckled Tastyfish for gold, which is available after the 3 winners have been announced.
When I first reported that patch 5.1's contest "still only [allowed] 1 winner per group of realms", Jonathan LeCraft tweeted back, "Whaaaaat?" It was evidently not working as intended.
After several further patches I can now confirm that winners are realm-specific: 3 winners for each realm.
It is not clear what happens if an angler switches realm (by grouping with friends on a different realm). If all contests occur at the same time (per region) it would not be possible to catch Speckled Tastyfish before the start - but switching to a low-population realm would still reduce the amount of competition for the winners' places. Instead, it is possible that anglers are judged against opponents on their home realm, regardless of which realm they are fishing on.
The Kalu'ak competition is not currently scheduled on test realms. Nothing happens on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile the Kalu'ak rewards have been added to the Booty Bay contest. And the "Master Angler of Azeroth" achievement no longer mentions the Kalu'ak Fishing Derby. Has the Kalu'ak Fishing Derby been removed permanently?
With no Kalu'ak contest, Azeroth goes back to only one day/time anglers can gain Salty (via Master Angler of Azeroth). With only one Grand Prize winner week, the Arcanite Fishing Pole remains as exclusive as ever.
I don't expect to see the Kalu'ak Fishing Derby in patch 5.1. If it eventually comes back, could it return in Pandaria? Or as a different type of contest - perhaps less of a lottery? For now we can only speculate.
Comments about 5.1: Stranglethorn Extravaganza
Below are readers' comments about "5.1: Stranglethorn Extravaganza":
el, October 2012:
As of today, on the PTR:
- At 12:00 Fishbot 5000 and Jang appear in Booty Bay. Fishbot has its old 3 quests for rares. Pools in the Cape and Northern Stranglethorn switch to a roughly equal mix of School of Tastyfish and "Mixed Ocean School". Pools appear 2 hours too early, allowing contest fish to be caught prior to the the contest starting.
- Mixed Ocean School always contains a pair of catches. Their contents are broadly the same as 1 School of Tastyfish combined with 1 average pre-contest pool (broadly the average of a Firefin, Oily Blackmouth and Wreckage pool). Those double catches are quirky, although not explicitly broken.
- There are a few rogue "Waterlogged Wreckage" pools in Northern Stranglethorn which contain double catches (similar to Mixed Ocean School), but are visibly still debris floating in the water.
- Pools are sometimes spawning on top of one another - a bug that used to happen years ago during contests. It is possible to fish from both a School of Tastyfish and a Mixed Ocean School on the same spot at the same time.
- Hard to be sure, but it appears that only School of Tastyfish respawn after 12:00. Mixed Ocean School may not respawn at all after they first appear at 12:00 in the Cape, although I have now seen one respawn in Northern Stranglethorn.
- At 14:00 precisely nothing happens. Riggle Bassbait is still not visible. There is no start yell in Booty Bay. No NPC accepts a winning 40 Tastyfish. Jang continues to act as if there has been no winner (offering no quest).
In summary, the scripting of this event is totally broken, rendering the contest largely dysfunctional.
If someone with US forum access could post that on the US PTR bug forums, please do so.
The change to the Master Angler of Azeroth achievement criteria (now 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in the Booty Bay contest only) cannot be tested. Note that the Kal'uak contest is not currently available.
Averiy, October 2012:
Copypasta to PTR Bug Report Forum.
el, October 2012:
Thanks. 4 further updates:
- Mixed Ocean School lack-of-respawns problem is specific to the Cape. Those pools do respawn in Northern Stranglethorn.
- Initially two quirky "Waterlogged Wreckage" pools could be found in Northern Stranglethorn. Both contained double catches (similar to Mixed Ocean School), but were visibly still debris floating in the water.
- Sagefish Schools in the North are producing double catches, typically a contest Tastyfish and a regular catch from the pool, but sometimes a double regular pool catch, such as 2 Raw Sagefish together.
- Finally, at 16:00 there is no end announcement. After 16:00 all the contest pools remains around the coast in both zones. It would appear these have respawned at 16:00 - for example, there are suddenly large numbers of Mixed Ocean Schools.
Averiy, November 2012:
I posted your updates that day as well, just neglected to say so here.
el, November 2012:
I've written up this weekend here. The NPCs now spawn (albeit an hour earlier than expected), but all (I think) of the other issues remain.
In addition there are some very serious synchronisation issues between realms: Aside from ultimately making the 1st place winner's quest (apparently) infinitely repeatable on all except one realm, I'm fairly sure I managed to crash the chat sever - at about 12:14, for anyone that might have access to the server logs, although the sequence of events that started it begins with my first quest turn-in at 11:22. Times are realm times as displayed to the client, but at least part of the server infrastructure may be an hour adrift, so read with caution.
el, November 2012:
On test realms, it looked like the new-and-improved Stranglethorn contest was intended to run at 14:00 PST (Pacific) regardless of the native timezone of the realm. Crude, but that prevents the worst of the CRZ issues. I expect this to convert into a region-specific schedule, eg all US realms run the contest at the same (physical world) time - such as 14:00 PST. Sadly it won't be obvious for EU servers, since all of those are at CET.
So, could someone who plays on a set of differently timezoned US realms please check the time the Booty Bay contest is scheduled for on each and report back? The equivalent realm time should be displayed on the calendar. Thanks in advance.
el, November 2012:
This post confirms the answer - PST for all US realms, except Oceanic realms, which will run the contest at 14:00 Australian EST.
This implies that winning is determined by the realm you complete the quest on, not your home realm. Maybe the quests are simply weekly, so wherever you complete a winning quest, that character cannot complete that quest again during the same week: For example, you could switch to an Oceanic realm (via a CRZ group) and complete the winning quest there, and therefore must not be able to compete again on a US realm later in the day. (Obviously you cannot store fish between events either, because the time gap is too large. The important thing is that one cannot make two legitimate attempts at winning the contest each week.)
All time variations (especially catches) are expected to be adjusted to these region-specific single timezones. For example, the standard 00:00-06:00-12:00-18:00 pattern is expected to be relative to PST on (non-Oceanic) US realms. Any confirmations of that would be useful.