Noblegarden 2009 should be going live on the European realms in a few hours and then start popping up on realms elsewhere over the next day. Because so much of the holiday has changed and we've fielded a lot of questions from players about what's going on, we decided to write up a quick FAQ to the new (and vastly improved!) holiday.
Help! Where do I go to get started?
If you're Alliance, head to Azure Watch, Dolanaar, Goldshire, or Kharanos.
If you're Horde, head to Bloodhoof Village, Brill, Falconwing Square, or Razor Hill.
What am I supposed to do when I get there?
There will be questgivers in all of these towns who will give you a new daily, The Great Egg Hunt, and A Tisket, a Tasket, a Noblegarden Basket. The former will reward you with an item that will come in handy for an achievement (more on this in a little bit), but for both you're going to want to get started hunting down eggs in and around these level-5 towns. Once you've finished these quests, in order to get Noblegarden achievements done, you're going to need to be a dedicated egg hunter for a little while.
What do the Brightly Colored Eggs look like?
See the egg in the article's picture above? They're all variations on these colors and patterns and not generally tough to spot (although they are considerably smaller than the perspective in the picture makes them appear).
What do the eggs drop?
Most of the time they'll drop Noblegarden Chocolate, which can be eaten at any level and provide a stamina/spirit buff. Sound unexciting? They can also be saved and used as currency for ingame items at Noblegarden vendors located in all of the aforementioned level 5 towns. Each egg also has a small chance to drop the items you can buy at these vendors (like a noncombat pet or Noblegarden clothing) -- and you'll need almost all of them to get the meta-achievement Noble Gardener completed.
What are these vendors selling?
Thanks to Lesley, we have a screenshot of the Noblegarden vendor offerings (which are all the same regardless of location):
It's actually Noblegarden Chocolates and not eggs per se that you'll need. How many chocolates you'll need will depend on how lucky you get with drops from the eggs. If you wind up getting a lot of item drops, you won't need to spend as much chocolate at the vendors, but if you don't get any, plan on setting aside at least 365 chocolates.
Because the chocolates add up quickly and because most players do get several item drops while hunting eggs, this is usually a lot less time consuming than you might think.
Isn't this just going to be a nightmare of dozens of players trying to hunt down the few Noblegarden egg spawns?
Blizzard has increased the number of egg spawns from the holiday's pre-2009 version, and has also said that the number of spawns isn't affected by the number of players hunting for them (which we think means that one egg being looted causes another to spawn elsewhere).
To be perfectly frank, you will spend a lot more time trying to get eggs if the town you've picked is crowded with players, but the furor dies down within a few days and then you'll find dozens of eggs with little competition. If you're dead-set on doing the holiday as early as possible, try experimenting with different towns if you find your first choice to be too crowded. It's not unusual for, say, Razor Hill to be packed but Falconwing Square relatively uncrowded, or vice versa depending on the server.
Do older, pre-2009 maps of Noblegarden egg spawns work?
Nope. Toss 'em out.
How important are the Noblegarden achievements?
The achievement Noble Gardener (which rewards the title "(Name) the Noble") has been added to the meta-achievement What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been. In other words, you'll be needing Noblegarden for the Violet Proto-Drake, but the good news is that completion of this holiday's meta-achievement is relatively unaffected by luck. Even if you never get a noncombat pet, clothing, flowers, etc. out of the eggs, you can save the Noblegarden Chocolate drops and buy 'em at a vendor.
Are there any other cool items available off the vendor?
Because Lesley's character is a druid, she was unable to see Tome of Polymorph: Rabbit, available from Noblegarden vendors for 100 chocolates. Only mages can see this! As a warning for low-level mages, any mage can purchase the Tome, but you can't learn it until level 60.
Which items do I need to get in order to get the achievements done?
For more detail on this, hit our special Noblegarden edition of the OverAchiever -- we'll walk you through how to get everything sorted. Long story short, though, you'll probably need one Noblegarden Egg, one Blossoming Branch, one Spring Flowers, one Spring Robe, the shirt and pants, and the noncombat pet. Again, if you don't find any of these as drops in eggs, plan on budgeting around 365 Chocolates.
If you have any other questions, drop 'em in the comments and I'll see what I can do to get them answered!