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The OverAchiever: The Limnologist, part 1

Allison Robert

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, a ray of hope in an otherwise RNG-filled existence.

Less than 24 hours after I'd sent last week's OverAchiever: The Oceanographer to the editors for publication, Blizzard unveiled new changes on the patch 4.1 PTR designed to make Cataclysm fishing achievements a lot easier. While last week's OverAchiever is still accurate if you're a completionist with the Pokemon ("Gotta Catch 'Em All") approach to fishing, as of patch 4.1, you won't have to worry about the most maddening fish currently required for that achievement. Gravy, right? And yet you've still got The Limnologist to get through.

The Limnologist is more difficult than its Oceanographer brother, even if you allow for the upcoming changes. Not only does it require more fish, but it also requires several hard-to-catch fish (whereas the Oceanographer is/was distinguished by only one, the Bloated Salmon). For the purpose of this guide, I'll assume that you're still after all 48 freshwater fish even if you're reading this after patch 4.1's gone live ... but if I were you, I'd just take the changes and run.

Limnology (noun, lîm-nðl'eje) The scientific study of the life and phenomena of fresh water, especially lakes and ponds.

Just thought we'd clear that up right at the start. As an aside, in World of Warcraft, the "life and phenomena of fresh water" is often distinguished by the presence of a fish with a 1 in 1,000 (or worse) drop rate. Oh, the tears.

As stated last week, your first port of call for all fishing-related matters in WoW should be El's Extreme Anglin', which also has full guides to The Oceanographer and The Limnologist. Here in OverAchiever, my intent is to get you through the achievement as quickly and efficiently as possible. Due to the amount of travel required and the sheer spread of fish across several continents, I've split the guide into two and will run the second portion next week.

Getting started

In contrast to The Oceanographer, The Limnologist will keep you inland (although the locations required for the two achievements overlap at least once). Assuming you're trying to do both achievements at the same time, I'm going to keep you on roughly the same geographic trek required by last week's guide to The Oceanographer, which will keep you moving roughly south to north up the Eastern Kingdoms for a while.
  • Stranglethorn If you're a masochist, the Bloated Trout can be caught in inland waters on the Cape (see note below concerning the achievement's rare fish), but you'll certainly have better luck yanking a Raw Mithril Head Trout out of the river here. The Raw Bristle Whisker Catfish and Raw Greater Sagefish can both be caught in a quick jaunt to Northern Stranglethorn, as can the Bloated Catfish in what is likely to be a much less quick jaunt.
  • Westfall You'll find the Raw Sagefish (not the same as the Raw Greater Sagefish!) here.
  • Deadwind Pass This is a surprisingly good zone for fish, considering that everything else around here is either a vulture, ogre, or dead. You can get the Barbed Gill Trout, Bloodfin Catfish, and the Crescent-Tail Skullfish all from the river running through the central part of the zone -- or, if you wish, the little pool north of the village below Karazhan. I generally find it easier to fish in the pool because the river is so narrow, leading to an irritating number of casts that don't hit water.
  • Blasted Lands The Plated Armorfish and Raw Nightfin Snapper can be caught in the river running through the Tainted Forest here. This zone actually contains the three Salmon-type fish needed for The Oceanographer as well.
  • Redridge Mountains In another trip that promises nothing but pain, the Bloated Mudsnapper can be fished out of Lake Everstill here, if you want to make the trip.
Before we get any further, a quick note concerning rare fish and patch 4.1:

Bloated fish and you: A guide to not wanting to kill yourself

There are five "bloated" fish currently required for The Limnologist, and their drop rates are utterly miserable. Officially, they're listed as <1%, but unofficially, you can expect to see them at around 1 in 1,000 at best. Before patch 4.1, this is what you've got to worry about:
  • Bloated Catfish Can be caught in the Arathi Highlands, Ashenvale, Duskwood, Hillsbrad Foothills, Northern Stranglethorn, the Redridge Mountains, Stonetalon Mountains, and the Wetlands.
  • Bloated Mudsnapper Can be caught in Bloodmyst Isle, the Ghostlands, the Redridge Mountains, Stormwind City, Azshara, Darkshore, Darnassus, Ironforge, Northern Barrens, Orgrimmar, Silverpine Forest, Thunder Bluff, Undercity, and Westfall.
  • Bloated Redgill Can be caught in the Badlands, Felwood, Feralas, Moonglade, Tanaris, and the Eastern Plaguelands.
  • Bloated Smallfish Can be caught in Azuremyst Isle, the Eversong Woods, Dun Morogh, Elwynn Forest, Durotar, Mulgore, and Teldrassil.
  • Bloated Trout Can be caught in the Cape of Stranglethorn, Desolace, Dustwallow Marsh, Feralas, the Hinterlands, the Southern Barrens, and the Western Plaguelands.
Each and every single one of these fish is statistically likely to be a bitch to catch, but they're all currently required for The Limnologist. If you, like me, are the sort of person who can go through more than 40,000 fish without once catching a Sea Turtle or nailing One That Didn't Get Away, you may want to park yourself on this achievement until patch 4.1. Assuming Blizzard doesn't revert its planned changes, the number of fish required for The Limnologist will drop from 48 to 45, allowing you to bypass three of the five rare fish.

For the time being, it's up to you whether you want to halt your Limnologist quest in order to fish these babies up as you go. All five are likely to stall you for a while until they finally appear. For the sake of convenience, I've listed them along the "path" here, but I don't think it's worth stopping the achievement in its tracks for these fish. Get everything else in order to knock the rest of the requirements off, and then make dedicated fishing trips for the tough ones.

Returning to the hunt

At this point, if you're also doing The Oceanographer, I've recommended a trip up to the Badlands and then a backtrack to the Outland portal in the Blasted Lands. However, assuming you're interested in freshwater fish, you've got a few more catches in this neighborhood to keep your attention before you make the trip to Outland:
  • Badlands If you're here and crazy, you can spend the time going for the Bloated Redgill, but again, it's entirely up to you.
  • Loch Modan A trip up north will yield the Raw Loch Frenzy and the Longjaw Mud Snapper.
  • Dun Morogh Avoid the towns/Ironforge if you're Horde, but otherwise it should be a simple matter to fish up a Raw Brilliant Smallfish here (though you can also get one in Elwynn Forest if you're traveling up the western side of the continent). The Bloated Smallfish is also available here.
  • Silverpine Forest This is considerably more out of your way than the above trips, but you'll have to head here to get your hands on a Sickly Looking Fish.
That should round off the Eastern Kingdoms and the achievement's truly difficult fish for now. Next week, we'll return with a look at the Outland, Northrend, and Cataclysm zones.

Working on achievements? The Overachiever is here to help! Count on us for advice on Azeroth's holidays and special events, including new achievements, how to get 310% flight speed with achievement mounts, and Cataclysm reputation factions and achievements.

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