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A scavenger hunt on WOW?  OK geek lady- why?

Whether you are on an RP server or just need a guild event that will be great for many different level brackets, a scavenger hunt can be a great thing to plan.  I have also used scavenger hunts for upper levels as a way for them to get to know each other better as well as drive people to ventrilo or a guild website.

Team1 with their judge chillin before the contest

For example, this team got points just for making a pre-event screenshot and posting it on our guild site.

When I have a scavenger hunt, I have a signup method such as the in-game calendar or your guild website forums.  I try to get two teams going of about equal levels on each team.   You will also need to find a judge for each team.   It also helps to assign a team leader for each team of the ones participating so that someone can assign or at least suggest what their team members should be doing.  This avoids everyone sitting around and looking at each other helplessly.

There are two ways you can get points for your team- the dropped items list and the extra point activities.  The team players must all start in one location, and they have an hour to complete the mission of getting the most points for their team.  Each team should be in its own party.  Make sure you have free-for-all loot turned on in case you decide to split up but are close enough to each other to be a problem.

Just in case I need to spell this out, dropped items come from killing mobs that drop grays or other items that might be on your list.  I give between 3-6 points for each of these items depending on which continent they came from.   The last hunt I did, I gave three points for an East Kingdom item, for example, while a Northrend item would be six points.

Killing a Fel Reaver for Points

For the team to get credit for an extra point activity, which can range from between 5-20 points, their judge MUST be present to witness them completing it.  These activities in my hunts in the past have included things like- Take Halaa from the horde, kill Stiches,  achievements during the contest, etc.  I also throw in extra points for things like getting a lockbox or a BOE as a drop while killing things.

Just use your imagination to come up these, but your 10-20 point activities should be something that requires at least two players to complete together.  This leads the team to discuss whether it is better to get all the drops or go for extra point activities that take more time to win the match.

If you are the one hosting and planning the event, I will say that it takes a lot more pre-planning than some other events do.  So here are the things you need to cover:

  1. Research- I use wowhead.com and thottbot.com to look up the names of gray items that drop in each zone.  I try to spread them out all over the WOW planet.  Make sure you don’t include any quest item drops.  You will then compile your scavenger hunt list, which could include items like:  crag boar rib, bear jaw, molted feather, and shattered log.  Try to pick ones that people will remember from leveling up, but throw in a few harder ones that maybe only vet players will recognize.
  2. Communication- I post all rules such as: no getting items from AH, no getting items from other players or alts, no looking any info up online, etc.  on a guild website or forums site prior to the event.  You must also have an area for questions, discussion, sign-ups.  I post the scavenger hunt list on this site 10 or 15 minutes prior to start time so everyone can print it out.  I have the teams get on ventrilo then… first in a general channel to explain the rules one more time, and then I split the teams into separate vent channels.
  3. Recruiting-  You want to schedule this event at least 2 weeks prior to the event date.  Having hosted these several times in the past, you need lots of time to get all the info planned, out to your guild, and promoted to the guild.  Although fair warning: I find that no matter how hard you work on these things, you might end up with completely different people on your teams than originally planned due to people not showing up that signed up, etc.
  4. Prizes- I give prizes to every member of the winning team.  I also give something to anyone from the guild or outside the guild who helped as a judge.  The price range and focus of these prizes is your choice, but you want to give everyone the same item if possible.

What makes a scavenger hunt the most fun is that it actually takes some strategy and risk-taking to win the contest.  It is always interesting to see which team will come out on top!