Noblegarden ends just before midnight server time tonight. So if you don't have your Noble title yet, you still have time to fight over egg spawns with your fellow procrastinators. See our guide to Noblegarden for help with the holiday achievements, how to get them and egg-collecting strategies.
Warning: don't wait until the last minute. Holidays have been known to close up shop a little earlier than the time on the calendar.
Are you planning on participating this year, or do your characters already have the meta-achievement Noble Gardener? If you got your start early this morning or on Oceanic and EU servers, how crowded are the towns?
Mercifully for those of us occupied with a big day of family events and chocolate this Easter, the Noblegarden holiday doesn't appear to have changed from its vastly improved form in 2009. No changes appeared on any of the PTRs over the past year, and as far as we're aware, there hasn't been any data-mined information on new items or bosses.
What I've done here is collected our resources on Noblegarden into one easily navigable guide, updated and clarified where necessary, and also added some frequently asked questions that we received during last year's holiday. If you have any other questions, please drop them in the comments below, and I'll make sure they get answered. As with all WoW holidays, we'll be around as they go live to make sure any updates or changes are covered here!
Pilgrim's Bounty, WoW's brand-new holiday, has gone live on all servers by now, and players worldwide are busy inhaling huge quantities of cranberries and stuffing in pursuit of the Pilgrim title and the uber-adorable turkey pet. I have to admit -- I was kind of worried that the first day of the holiday would be a nightmare along the lines of Noblegarden's egg-camping hell, but was pleasantly surprised by the fast respawn rate of the Wild Turkey mobs and the sheer number of them. I'm also optimistic that the holiday will encourage more people to level cooking, because once you're got the requisite cooking skill for the achievements, the Pilgrim title and turkey pet are fast, easy, and fun (or they would be, if I could just find the ever-elusive Dwarf rogue).
But Pilgrim's Bounty isn't part of the meta-achievement What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so I'm wondering if anyone's just going to ignore it as a result. Are you planning on going for the Pilgrim title, enjoying the holiday in a more casual way, or not planning to participate at all? If you are participating in the holiday, how is it going on your server so far?
Blizzard is a cunning bunch and they seem to love easter eggs. No we're not talking lovely chocolatey orbs like the ones you find during Noblegarden, rather that they like hiding artwork in plain sight and waiting for us to click on it. Tucked away in the Cataclysmofficial site is the kind of artwork which practically demands to end up on a T shirt. Yes, Deathwing is actually the sixth member of The Artists Formally Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain (aka TAFKAL80ETC or that funny Prince-like symbol with the Horde sigil at its center). Oh and he plays the piano. Who knew, eh?
You can find it by clicking here and looking for the small keyboard at the bottom of the page (it's in the middle underneath the artwork, just below the page indicator). Alternatively, if you want all the gratification and none of the work, click here to download the awesome high res version. We fully expect to see everyone wearing them come next year's BlizzCon rather than those three wolves howling at the moon.
The last few days I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out why I'm not particularly enjoying Patch 3.1 when I'm doing something besides raiding Ulduar. I should be enjoying it! When I first checked it out on the PTR, I was extremely excited about it. The Argent Tournament especially. The whole jousting deal, the Arthurian themes, the potential for story progression, the whole thing. It looked great! Unfortunately... I'm finding it pretty boring.
The Argent Tournament feels lifeless. Completely and utterly lifeless. I say it all of the time, but patch 2.4 was my favorite patch of World of Warcraft thus far, no contest. Patch 2.4 brought me more joy than even the Wrath launch. Not only did it have content for absolutely every aspect of the game, but it also actually changed the world. Storylines progressed in an in-your-face way. Sure, patch 3.1 moved the Ulduar and Yogg-Saron story forward, but would you know it if you didn't read fansites or watch the patch 3.1 cinematic? What's different? What indicator is there that something new is happening in the Storm Peaks?
I'm not in a WoW place right now. I tend to move through phases of being a casual or a hardcore player. It depends on the content available (such as a new patch) and my workload. I did most of the Noblegarden achievements but now Children's Week is here I suddenly feel burnt out. Except for a quick romp through Gun'drak with my guildies last night and a pit stop to pick up my orphans, I've been strangely distant from Azeroth.
The thing is, I know precisely why. It's the pressure of achievements and festivals. Let me be clear, no one is making me do these things but me. Last year I enjoyed Children's Week because it was my first time doing the Outland version, I got rep, money and the smug feeling you get from taking a cute Draenei orphan around to see her heritage. Now all my guildies and most of the other people on my sever are frantically going for the achievements and, in some ways, it feels like the holiday has been cheapened a little. Being so close to Noblegarden probably hasn't helped either.
But it makes me wonder if I'm the only one? Right now I'm a casual player, but do you think the point of these holidays has been lost by the desire to get a Violet Proto-Drake?
Here's our podcast from last week -- Lesley Smith joined Turpster, Patrick Beja of How I WoW and I to chat about the Martin Fury controversy, how Children's Week and Noblegarden are going on the live realms, and what we've been up to lately in the World of Warcraft. And as usual we answered your email, including sharing ideas for our upcoming video show (we're planning on doing it on May 23rd, so stay tuned for that), how to transfer away from a guild if you happen to be a guildleader, and both why Blizzard canceled WWI, and when BlizzCon tickets might go on sale.
We also talked about the ongoing Children's Week Charity Auction -- bidding has slowed down a bit over the weekend, so if you're interested in helping out kids in hospitals by donating some money to buy them videogames, go on over to the auction page and find something to bid on. All the money raised goes directly to Child's Play, so get your bids in now while you can.
And as we mentioned on the show, here's the schedule for the next few weeks: we'll have a show as usual next Saturday the 9th, and then we'll have a special midweek show on the 13th of May. And then on the 23rd, we'll be live on camera for the video show. Should be really interesting -- we'll see you then!
Get the podcast: [iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes. [RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator. [MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
GU Comics also hosted a guest strip by Stormhaven, called Inconsistent Know-How. Don't forget to read the explanation underneath! Before I did, I thought it was about the fact that Mustard Dogs seems to never come up. I have stacks and stacks of the Rhino Dogs, but no dice.
GU Comics also posted a comic about last week's Noblegarden festivities, Rabbits Everywhere.
Noblegarden has passed for another year and everyone is now running with little orphans in tow. There were lots of changes this year - the biggest being a whole seven days of egg hunting madness rather than just twenty-four hours.
My Noblegarden was spent camping Azure Watch, being chased by purple bunnies and looking for eggs until I went more blind than usual. When I eventually managed to find enough eggs to get me my bunny wabbit (the tuxedo pants, shirt and dress dropped along with the bunch of flowers), I started looking for females in order to do the Shake Your Bunny-Maker achievement.
Now my server isn't one of the largest and I found all the females quite easily -- even a Tauren and a Troll -- but I'll be damned if I could find a single Orc female. There are some on Daggerspine, as many of my guildies had already completed the achievement, but I eventually switched to my Horde account only to experience the mind-numbing chatter from prepubescent players. In the end, I couldn't get the title and now have to wait another year. Hopefully then it won't be as chaotic.
I'm curious to hear your thoughts and experiences post-Noblegarden. Did you achieve everything you wanted?
It's a European invasion on the WoW Insider Show today -- somehow we've wrangled me and three folks from the EU. Turpster will be on as usual, Lesley Smith will be joining us again, and the one and only Patrick Beja will be on the air as well live from France. Don't worry, Americans, I'll patriotically represent us as best I can. On the menu, we'll have discussion about the Martin Fury controversy, both Children's Week and Noblegarden (and if Children's Week really is ruining the battlegrounds), and the changes in patch 3.1.2, out on the PTR right now.
And of course we'll answer your emails (you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org) and generally have as good a time as we always do. The show starts up at May 2, 2009 3:30 PM EDT over on our Ustream page, or you can just click below to find the embedded Ustream feed in the second half of this post.
And two more things: one, our auction over in Brigwyn's charity drive is heating up already, but if it's worth that much to you to come on the show with us (and oh yeah, help some sick kids, too), get your bid in now! Or just find something over there you like to bid on, it all goes to the same place. And if you have a full afternoon that you want to fill with podcasting, stay tuned after our show today, as I'll be on the Rawrcast. Should be fun -- see you this afternoon!
Ah, it's the weekend again. We find ourselves in a unique position this week as Friday sees the close of one yearly event and the beginning of another thanks to Blizzard pushing Noblegarden back a bit. This weekend, Azeroth is going to be overrun by pesky little kids asking to be taken around town, begging for junk food, and even endangering themselves as their respective guardians show them the war part of Warcraft. On the other hand, the PTR is also up for those who want to escape prepubescent peskiness. In order of how quickly they responded, let's see what the WoW Insider team is up to this weekend:
Dan O'Halloran - Hitting the PTR to play with premade-80s. Always wanted to noodle around with a level capped Mage and Warlock, but never had the time to level one all the way.
Daniel Whitcomb - Being excited for Children's Week, mostly. Not only is it two extra pets for my collection, but it gives me a good excuse to get in some PvP. I do wish School of Hard Knocks didn't require you to be the actual person holding/returning/capturing the flag/node/whatever though
Matthew Rossi - Today, I'm playing with rabbits: my bunny Herne and his bunny wife Grimalkin will be getting some out time to celebrate his being over whatever was putting him off his food. (Not eating is very serious for rabbits, they can die in a matter of days once they go into GI Stasis.) I may do a Naxx pug on my shaman and there's Ulduar 10 this weekend.
Robin Torres - Orphans and alts. It's all about orphans and alts.
Chase Christian - Ulduar 10, which will be even easier with the latest round of nerfs. I'm glad we're killing these bosses pre-nerf, because it makes the guild feel better about itself.
Jennie Lees - Getting my flatmate and his entire workplace infected with the WoW bug. >:)
Michael Sacco - Yogg-Saron on Ulduar 10; Mimiron, Vezax, and Yogg on 25.
Zach Yonzon - Arenas even though Blizzard borked the system again, Battlegrounds even though it will be overrun by children and their clueless guardians, and Ulduar even though my guild doesn't need another plate DPS.
Enough about us (cheers for those who actually read through that), what about you guys? What are you playing this weekend?
We are nearing the end of Noblegarden, but haven't discussed here at WoW Insider the most controversial part of the event: Shake your Bunny-Maker. For this achievement, you have to put bunny ears on one female of each race that is over Level 18.
Before we go any farther in this discussion, I would like to state that I am female. Not that I am speaking for all females (no one can), but I think that it is important that you know where I am coming from. I also have a young daughter and would like the world to be a better place for her, as all parents do. It is also worth noting that the title for this post was inspired by one of my favorite movies: This is Spinal Tap. The band wants to release an album called Smell the Glove with a cover of a naked woman who is leashed and is forced to smell a glove. The lead singer mistakes the word "sexist" for "sexy". Hilarity ensues.
We hope you've gotten the all the necessary Achievements for Noblegarden because a new world event kicks off today. Yep, it's Children's Week once again, and just like all the yearly events this one has a bunch of Achievements you'll need to plow through in order to get the meta, and consequently the Violet Proto-Drake? Did it catch you by surprise? We hope not. The in-game calendar tells you exactly when these things start, anyway, and barring that you've got your friends over here at WoW Insider to remind you.
While some players are polarized over the School of Hard Knocks Achievement, which requires players to venture into the Battlegrounds, I'm not looking forward to a token dungeon run to kill King Ymiron or doing five daily quests for five consecutive days. If you're unable to log in mid-week, you're toast. Ugh. That said, it's an extremely easy meta Achievement to obtain. Are you looking forward to the event? Are you rushing Noblegarden so can't be bothered to chaperone some kids all over Azeroth (like you do every year)? What's the first thing you've got planned for Children's Week?
Last night I was flying down to Un'Goro to do the Hard BoiledNoblegarden achievement. Long flights get me thinking, at least they did until I installed the Bejeweled addon. World of Warcraft has changed so much since I started playing and 3.1 has brought some of the most interesting changes: dual specs, the hearthstone timer nerf.
Now as I was flying, my guild whispered me asking for my aid in Naxx 10. Fortunately they could summon me but it reminded me of one of the biggest problems with flying in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, you can't get off a bird. Yes I know you can log out and then log back in to be deposited at the next flight point but it's hardly ideal if you need to get off right now.
Since I first started playing, I've wondered why Blizzard don't implement a handy eject button that you could use when on long flights. You could be thrown from the back of your gryphon or wind rider and gently parachute to the ground. Alternatively they could just allow you to hearthstone while flying. But I digress. Readers, I want to know if you could add one mechanic to the game what would it be?