To get things started, you seek out a quest giver in your home city. They will give you a quest that sends you to Noblegarden Party Central aka any newbie zone. I worked the Darnassus area since my druid can teleport right to it, so I picked up my quests in Dolanaar. Other spots you can choose are Azure Watch, Kharanos and Goldshire ( or Horde counterparts of Razor Hill, Brill, Bloodhoof Village, and Falconwing Square). The current population may affect your choice also, but I don't think it really matters where you go.
There are two quests: A Tisket, A Tasket and The Great Egg Hunt (a daily quest). The Tisket quest is fairly easy, you collect 10 Noblegarden Chocolates and turn them in. Since most Brightly Colored Eggs will contain a chocolate, this goes pretty quickly. When you turn the quest in you get an Egg Basket, which can be used for a 60% speed buff (10 second duration) but only works where Brightly Colored Eggs are hidden. The other quest unlocks a daily (of the same thing) and it requires you to collect 20 Broken Shells, which you acquire by opening Brightly Colored Eggs. This quest rewards a Blossoming Branch, which is used for an achievement, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting as many branches as you need.
The bulk of the time sink for Noblegarden isn't really in the quests, it's the completion of achievements. And the main activity you'll be doing is hunting for Brightly Colored Eggs. They contain the chocolates used for currency to buy items from the Noblegarden Vendor, which are needed to complete Noblegarden quests:
Eggs are also the best source of important items to complete achievements, so be wary of purchasing things too quickly from the vendor that you can potentially loot from an egg. Just to give you an idea of what to expect, I made a list of all the items I got while collecting 100 chocolates:
2 pairs of Black Tuxedo Pants
1 Blossoming Branch
2 Elegant Dresses
2 Spring Robes
1 Tuxedo Shirt
1 Spring Circlet
As you can see, over half the the stuff being sold by the vendor is also looted from eggs. So don't go crazy buying until you've done most or all of your chocolate farming, then just grab the missing pieces. Be mindful of the fact that you won't get achievement credit for looting the Elegant Dress or the Black Tuxedo outfit if you purchase them, they have to be discovered in an egg to count for their specific achievements. However, at this time those two particular achievements aren't required for the Noblegarden meta achievement, so if you get desperate you can go the purchasing route. I truly doubt anyone will have that problem though, the drop rate on all the outfits is pretty reasonable.
So here's the breakdown of achievements you'll be doing:
- Blushing Bride: Kiss someone wearing an Elegant Dress while wearing Tuxedo Shirt and Pants (requires an Elegant Dress, White Tuxedo Shirt and Black Tuxedo pants, which may be purchased from the vendor or traded)
- Chocoholic: Eat 100 Noblegarden Chocolates during Noblegarden (requires 100 chocolates)
- Desert Rose: Use the Spring Robes to plant a flower in 5 desert zones (requires Spring Robes)
- Dressed for the Occasion: Discover an Elegant Dress in a Brightly Colored Egg (not currently required for Meta achievement)
- Hard Boiled: Lay an egg in Un'Goro Crater's Golakka Hot Springs as a rabbit (requires Rabbit costume randomly acquired while looting eggs, can also be costumed by another player with the Blossom Branch)
- I Found One!: Loot a Brightly Colored Egg
- Noblegarden: Hide a Brightly Colored Egg in SW or Silvermoon (requires 1 Noblegarden Egg purchased from the vendor for 5 chocolates)
- Shake Your Bunny Maker: Use Spring Flowers to put bunny ears on a female of each race (requires Spring Flowers sold by the vendor for 50 chocolates)
- Spring Fling: Find your pet Spring Rabbit someone to love in 4 cities (requires a Spring Rabbit's Foot purchased from the vendor for 100 chocolates)
- Sunday's Finest: Discover the Tuxedo Shirt & Pants in Brightly Colored Eggs (not required for the Meta achievement)
As you can see, there are a few items in here that direct you to purchase from the vendor. It's possible that some of these are still lootable, but given my sampling it will probably be easier to purchase them. First is the Spring Rabbit's Foot, this is an actual pet that you buy for 100 chocolates. Then you need the Spring Flowers, which cost 50 chocolates and one Noblegarden Egg which costs 5 chocolates. If you combine those items with the 100 chocolates you need to eat for your Chocoholic achievement, that's 255 chocolates in all that you have to collect. Luckily the respawn rate is good, I was able to run laps around Dolanaar pretty non-stop. Unfortunately once crowds hit these areas, it could be more difficult, I can't really say how crazy it might get on live servers.
The big problem I had starting out was finding the darn eggs, the NPCs do a great job of telling you nothing about where to look. So I started out doing a huge lap of the whole zone, looking all over for eggs. In my first pass I found one egg and it took me about 30 minutes. Since I found the first egg near the inn at Dolanaar, I decided to go back there and be more diligent in my approach, I looked under every bush and fanned outward from town. I managed to pick up a few more eggs this way, but not many.
Eventually I figured out the system and here's the thing: these eggs are hidden in the same manner that your evil, sneaky parents would do it. There are lots of them in town and near town, under benches, on top of posts, and yes under bushes. Some of them are in plain sight, but they're tucked into nooks and crannies where you wouldn't really think to search. Those kind are fairly obvious once you know what you're looking for, but it took me a while to catch onto the system. The bush ones are the hardest to see and also the most plentiful. I took some screenshots so you guys could see what to look for (click picture to see a larger version):
Now there are some sprinkled farther away from town, but in my initial zone-wide forays, I didn't find many. Of course I was also riding on my mount and had my camera at max distance, which I'm sure didn't help me see squat. So use these pictures as an example of what to look for. If you have trouble seeing the small blob of aqua, zooming your camera in should help. Eggs that are hiding in a bush are easiest to see from above the bush, although some of the bushes aren't too leafy at the bottom and you can see a bit of egg from ground level (but not always). All eggs seem to be this same design, which might be confusing for folks who hunted eggs in previous years. Once you get the hang of it, eggs are easier to spot. It just takes practice.
The trickiest achievement on the list is Hard Boiled, which tasks you with going to Un'Goro as a rabbit and laying an egg. This bad boy will require planning on your part to complete. First, the rabbit costume is something that randomly happens when looting eggs. Alternately, I've heard that a buddy with a Blossom Branch can zap you into a bunny, but I didn't have a buddy on the PTR to test this out. Now for the bad news... once you become a bunny, you can't cast spells, use your mount or ride a gryphon. You have to travel on foot to Un'Goro from wherever you are after the transformation. The effect lasts about an hour, as I recall. So you don't have enough time to trek all the way from Dolanaar to Un'Goro on foot. Also, if you take damage of any kind your outfit comes off, I once ran too close to a cooking fire and my costume dropped. I doubt it would survive a fall or a mob attack either. One thing you can do in bunny form is hearth, so first I'd set your hearth near Un'Goro: I recommend Silithus. Then travel to Darnassus and loot eggs until you become bunni-fied. Next hearth to Silithus and run to Un'Goro. Once you get to the springs, just stand there until you lay an egg. Egg-laying is an automatic bunny emote, heheh.
Now I know some of you are saying "why not Gadgetzan?" and I have an answer to that. On foot the time to get to Golakka Springs from Gadgetzan Inn is about 11 minutes, and from the Silithus Inn to Golakka Springs it's only 6:30 minutes. I did a timed run with the in-game stopwatch for both routes, because I knew some smart-ass would give me a hard time. Now if you have a mage buddy who will portal you around - great! If you're an Engineer with a transporter to Gadgetzan - go for it! But for us regular schlubs, Silithus will be the easiest way to reach the springs on foot.
All in all I had a great time doing this event. It looks like a lot of work, but it really doesn't require a heavy time investment (unlike some other events we know). Since the bulk of the action centers around eggs that spawn continuously, you're not chained to any 1 hour debuffs that bottleneck your ability to collect the items you need. I also appreciate the fact that Blizzard put in a vendor for event-related items, so if you're being tortured by the RNG gods, you have a way around it :) Just remember that some of the items have to be looted to count for their achievements, but if that's not your concern then the vendor is a good fallback.
So enjoy the flowers and bunnies and try not to get a tummy ache!