Like I'm sure some of you did, I picked up my copy of WotLK at 12am this morning. My main purpose in doing so was to get a jump start on professions so I could stay in front of the wave of crafting activities. Since it's my task to report on tradeskills, I wanted to at least try to be a frontrunner :)
In the back of my mind, I also toyed with the idea of a Realm First Achievement. I really wanted to try for one, if only to be able to hold my head up as your fearless leader of crafty goodness! The main problem standing in my way? I'm on the West Coast playing on an East Coast server, which means the folks on my server will have a three hour head-start on me. I mulled this over for weeks, strategized possibilities with my family, and debated the merits of several options. Ultimately, I decided to go for mining. My extensive collection efforts in the Beta would give me the inside track I needed to pull it off, despite the time disadvantages I'd be working against.
I stand before you now, having achieved that goal and so much more. At approximately 3pm PST, Krystella became the first Jewelcrafter to reach 450. She was also the first Miner to reach 450 skill, which occurred around 5am PST. Krystella is the proud holder of, not just one, but TWO REALM FIRSTS!!
The race to glory began at 12:30am PST, when I logged into my account and immediately traveled to Howling Fjord with my +5 mining gloves and a dream. I spent 90 minutes circling the snow-capped mountains of the Fjord and the rough countryside of Grizzly Hills. After reaching 400 Mining, I hearthed out and traveled to the Borean Tundra, where I ventured north into the Sholazar Basin. I arrived full of hope to a zone filled with ore that had been untouched by Azerothian gloves. As the morning wore on, I felt a sense of anticipation when I continued to be the lone scavenger in a land filled only with occasional wanderers.
As I neared the magical 450 mark, a new idea sprang within me. If I were truly the only one out here, battling for the mining prize, who would there be to go against me in the push for 450 Jewelcrafting? These thoughts continued to grow and when the big moment of glory came -- I was still alone and unchallenged! Fearlessly I mined on, hoping against hope that I would be able to sustain this great lead against the masses. All morning I remained solitary in my efforts to collect huge quantities of ore. I mined and prospected. I collected and cut. I trained and mailed away the fruits of my labor. The more I crafted, the greater the obsession that came over me. I WAS THE ONLY ONE ATTEMPTING THIS COLOSSAL FEAT OF GREATNESS!!!
I pushed on, hoping beyond hope that I could make it happen. I plowed through my blue gems and my Eternals, heedless of the long term financial consequences. Around 420 it became obvious to me that I was having inventory problems. Only 2 options lay before me: Meta-gems or the Dream Signet. I only had 6 Forest Emeralds with which to make the signets, despite saving them all for the final push. That was not going to cut it... I would need lots of Metas to reach the finish line. I scoured the auctions, I canvassed my guild. No one was leveling Alchemy. If this was going to happen, it would be all on me. That's right, Ladies and Gentlemen, you know where this is going. I diverted my efforts for 3+ hours and leveled FRIGGIN' Alchemy!!!
Out came my Hunter with her trusty steed of bleatitude. She traversed Howling Fjord, Borean Tundra, Sholazar Basin and Storm Peaks in search of the elusive plant life required to level the arcane art of the witches' brew. Next my Warlock came to the party, ready to work his concoctions for the cause. Finally my Warrior jumped on board with her mote-farming services to collect all the bloody Eternals for the meta-gems. Time and time again I checked the Auction House for assistance, but no one was posting any of the items I needed. Despite my annoyance at the inconvenience, it renewed my hope that no one else was attempting this mad crusade.
When I reached the home stretch, meta-gems in hand and ready to be cut, I held my breath and set the wheels in motion. Each point that went by was a torture... would I get the points I needed? I had one gem to spare on recipes that had turned yellow at 440. I watched the numbers roll by, hardly able to look yet not daring to look away. I had a skip at 448 - there was no more room for error. At 449 I was a bundle of barely contained excitement. The bar was going .... going ... going...
FLASH! DING! HURRAH!!
I DID IT I DID IT I DID IT - WOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!
Whispers came flooding in from everywhere, I could barely read the messages as the chat scrolled by. To all the people who messaged me on my Mining and Jewelcrafting achievement, I'm sorry if I didn't thank you. I tried to respond to each well wisher but there were so many and the chat window was so inadequate to the task. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for being so gracious and supportive of my efforts!!
Needless to say, I am certifiable at this point. I pulled an All-Nighter, crafted for 14 and a half hours straight so I could make this happen. I am a proud and tired Loony Bird folks! In the end it was worth it, now I can hold my head high and know that I've earned my place amongst the professionals of the WoW Blog-O-Sphere.