|Even back when this content was current, I was on my own... ^^|
Patch 3.1. Blimey, those were the days. No-one had even considered a fiery end to the world back then because Arthas was going to turn us all into frozen lollies or mindless drones (and possibly both). In the halcyon days of Wrath, there was nothing better to do than joust... and ironically, that's still the case. Every day, for quite some time now, I've been going back to the Tournament to earn the currency that matters, the Champion's Seal, that will buy me not only mounts but BoE pets to use as investment currency for the onset of Pandaria.
Starting out is actually the hardest part, because it involves jousting. It's taken me from 3.1 until now to get good at it, so be warned: if you have a problem with vehicle-based combat, this is going to be tough going. If you can make it through the first three days, you're laughing. With the help of my recently-dinged Hordie for screenies, let us break down what you will need to grasp.
Stage 1: Aspirants. Getting the Hang of Poking Things.
|The Starting quest-givers in the Horde tent. Mogging gear needs work, guys ^^|
Once you start at the Tournament, your options are pretty limited. It will be three days before you can start on anything constructive in terms of collecting stuff, and another five days after that before you can get access to any pets. So, that's EIGHT DAYS of doing quests for no discernible gain: if you are the kind of person who gets frustrated easily and isn't overly patient, don't say I didn't warn you. Assuming you are in for the long haul, you'll spend the next three days with these guys above (or their Alliance counterparts) They will offer you an initial set of three quests:
- Mastery of Melee
- Mastery of the Charge
- Mastery of the Shield-Breaker
These are all designed to get you savvy with your mounted combat skillz, and are really rather boring until you grasp that you'll need to do these repeatedly to progress, so it really is worth taking the time to learn how to use them all.
|My mounted combat bar. Appearance may vary :D Feet are optional.|
I can't teach you how to joust (but check the comments for some top tips from pro jousters!). I've only just grasped it myself, so all I can do is point out how important mastering the basics will be to succeeding (and thus raking in seals) as you go along. Mastery of Melee helps you use ability one on the bar (Thrust), Mastery of the Charge is for ability three (Charge) and Mastery of the Shield Breaker is ability two (guess what its called ^^) This is the basis of your time on whatever mount you find yourself with: at the start you have training wheels and basic mounts only, but as time (and your reputation) increases, you'll get more choice. Ability four is the other ability you need to grasp: Defend. It stacks up to 3 times and the number of stacks is indicated by the number (and colour) of shields around you:
- 1 Charge = Red
- 2 Charges = Yellow
- 3 Charges = Green
This is how you defend yourself against the NPC's you will fight, and its never really made clear anywhere in your training how important the shields are, until you come to fight someone else and not the targets. Keep 3 charges up AT ALL TIMES: this equates to a 90% damage mitigation. You will lose a shield charge every time you charge or are attacked. Refresh as soon as the ability comes off cooldown.
Ability 5 is important, but only at the end of a fight. It's a one minute CD self-heal. Use it when OOC to keep your mount (and by definition yourself) alive.
In your first three days, you will earn cash for your efforts, plus rep with the Silver Covenant faction you're aligned with (I'm not sure whether you get Argent Crusade rep as well, I'll need to start a new toon to check this and so will update tomorrow). This rep is important in relation to the quests that will open up to you later and the seals you can access for pets: if you're coming to the Tournament at 85 and you've not done Northrend quests (or indeed are not yet exalted with the Crusade from the questlines in EPL) you may wish to look at ways of increasing your reputation with both factions in tandom.
After three days of learning the ropes by repeating your basic skills (plus a choice of one of three 'find me a sword by doing x' quests that you'll see again in Part Two) you'll be sent to a section of the Tournament to complete Up to the Challenge where you'll need to show you grasped all the basics and defeat an NPC jouster. I'll let you into a secret, this took me four hours the first time I did it. If you can't progress though this the next bits will be hard work so its worth making sure you're comfortable with what is being asked of you.
You'll also be given a side quest (The Black Knight of Westfall/The Black Knight of Silverpine) which is worth completing not just for the extra cash but for the reputation. Once done, you'll come back to this once you make it through Stage Two, which we'll look at tomorrow.
It can be quite disheartening when you start out, especially as you'll be waiting for a week to see any discernible progression for your efforts. Needless to say, it is worth sticking with these early days. Certain tournament pets are selling in excess of 5000g on my server. I'm sure they'll be worth more when the expansion hits because there's no-one else on my server right now doing these dailies...