This weekend I participated in the Kalu'ak Fishing Derby. I went last week too - but the quest NPC was bugged and I don't think anyone was able to complete it. It appears to be functional now, so I went ahead and put together a walk-thru for you guys. Here is me in Dalaran, waiting for the contest to start -->
You can see that the NPC is a walrus from the Kalu'ak faction. He was here when I popped in about 15 minutes before the event was scheduled to start. I don't know when he actually spawned though, not that it matters since you can't interact with him at this point.
About five minutes before the Derby begins, he makes an announcement. I don't know if this is continent-wide, or just in Dalaran. I thought this was a nice touch, to give a five minute warning. Luckily is isn't really important for those who are prepared in advance. This is probably more of a reminder for folks who aren't already planning to participate. However, those of you who are familiar with the Stranglethorn contest will realize that if you are in Dalaran to hear this, you are probably not going to win. At this point in time you want to be at or en route to your fishing spot.
For the purposes of this walk-thru, I stayed in Dalaran to document the Derby as it unfolded. That's right, I sacrificed a win for you people! Well, maybe a PTR win isn't worth all that much. Heh.
Anyway, at 2pm on the dot the Derby kicks off with this message from Elder Clearwater. I presume this is a continent-wide message, so hopefully you are NOT in Dalaran when you see this. At this point his quest has been activated and anyone can return to him with the golden fishie! Or whatever.
The way this works is that competitors will be fishing anywhere in Northrend in an attempt to find a Blacktip Shark. The first person to bring Elder Clearwater a blacktip shark will win the prize for that week. Blacktip sharks can be found anywhere you might find pygmy suckerfish, which basically means any fishing pool.
Since all of Northrend is a viable fishing location, this will hopefully cut down on the pool camping and cutthroat nature of the STV contest. However, there will still be some use for strategy. The most important thing will be to find a location that is plentiful in pools while minimizing competition. Also, keep in mind that areas with more appealing or useful fish are likely to have larger crowds. Since the return quest is in Dalaran, I don't think it hurts you to venture out to isolated locations. But you don't want to be so isolated that the pools are too few, too spread out or too slow in respawning.
For my first try I went to the northern end of Howling Fjord and fished the lakes and nearby rivers. There were plenty of spawn pools and only a few other people in the area. On my second try I went to Grizzly Hills and the Blue Sky Logging Camp. There are lots of spawns around Blue Sky and the rivers that flow from it. Both of these spots worked fine for me with the number of spawn pools and respawn rate.
this week's contest ended in less than ten minutes - as you can see in this pic. I was kinda bummed because I'd gotten maybe five minutes of fishing done. In the chat window you can see a continent-wide announcement of the winner. The time on my mini-map is 2:09, a mere nine minutes after the contest began. Over at El's forums I saw that the EU contest took closer to 30 minutes for someone to get a fish. So there seems to be a fair amount of randomness to the drop rate. Of course, we have no clue how many players are participating and I'm sure that changes the situation somewhat. Still, you may want to be prepared for the possibility that the contest could end in 5-10 minutes on a populous server.
You don't have to stop fishing after a winner has been declared, blacktip sharks are still available for the full hour. The first week I tried the contest, there was no "winner" announcement message at all. I kept going for the full hour and I got a blacktip shark in about 45 minutes or 100-125 catches. This week I also continued to fish for the full hour, but the server went down at 2:55 and I missed the last few minutes. I was able to fish for about 50 minutes total and made 130 catches, but found no blacktip. When I finally got back online the contest was over. You still have an hour after the event ends to turn in your fishie if you happen to find one. Since I didn't get one, I wasn't able to document the completion text. I plan to try again at next week's contest.
When you return to Dalaran, you speak with Elder Clearwater who has a blue question mark on his head. Anyone who has caught a fish can bring it to him and complete his quest. You can see in this pic of the quest text that you just hand over the fish to get credit. This information may change if you are a runner-up, this is the quest that was available before the winner was announced. Hopefully I'll do better next week getting a black tip and be able to document the consolation prize quest.
Originally this contest was going to run on Wednesdays at 8pm, but this week it was changed to Saturday at 2pm. It's my understanding that raiders complained about the Wednesday time slot because it interfered with a "major" raid night. Personally I find it odd that such a huge number of raiders are running on Wednesday to create that much of a stink. I thought it was rather nice of Blizzard to have a weekend event and a weeknight event to offer contests for a variety of schedules. Unfortunately it seems the squeaky wheel got the grease, so we'll have two weekend events instead. Still, another chance to be a winner is another chance right?
If you guys have any questions or a request for next week's event, feel free to share them in the comments below!