Heirloom Farming: Darkmoon Faire

06 Dec

[Update 12/6/11: Two artifacts require level 85.]
[Update 12/6/11: A blue post by Blizzard has just junked most of my assumptions and changed some numbers.]

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, the new Darkmoon Faire is in town for the week.

The Darkmoon Faire offers all kinds of fun little games to play, achievements to…achieve, and quests to complete. And of course, it brings along the focus of this entire expansion – yet another grind.

This grind doesn’t get you any end game gear though. Instead it provides a nice collection of pets (6), mounts (2), toys, PvE heirlooms, and gear from the past for all your transmogrification needs. Basically, this is Cataclysm’s version of the Argent Tournament. The major difference is that the DMF is only around on the first week of every month, starting on the first Sunday of the month.

The purpose of this particular post is farming for those heirlooms. Why? Because heirlooms are kinda “my thang”. You feel me? You know what I’m sayin’? You smell what I’m stepping in? Alright, let’s get to it then.

At the end of the article I have a summary of how many tickets it’s possible for you to farm so that you know what kind of schedule you’re looking at regardless of what items you’re farming for.

Minimum Requirements
I wanted to include this in the guide with the F2P community and the Gnome Clones in mind, though I’m sure some of you other players might like the heads up as well.

The regular daily quests are reportedly able to be done by a character of any level. I’ve heard people say you have to be level 10, other say there’s no level requirement. I don’t know the actual answer just yet, but I will have it as soon as servers come back up today and I can test it (or rather, have it tested by my brother in law since I’m stuck at work). We have confirmed that you can start the DMF daily quests at level 1.

In order to do the professions quests, which can be done only once per Faire, you have to be the minimum level to have the profession (which is 1 for non-crafting professions, 5 for crafting). You also have to have a skill rank of 75 in order to open the quests.

For the Darkmoon Artifacts to drop for you in dungeons and battlegrounds you have to be at least level 15. Which bosses drop a particular artifact are tied to the bosses themselves and which artifact you’re looking for. I’m sure that sentence made almost no sense, so let me clarify. For example, bosses that are “monsters” like the Hydra in Zul’Farak can drop the Monstrous Egg artifact because that boss is a monster thus tying him to that artifact. Other artifacts are similarly tied to bosses that are related somehow to the concept of the artifact. Some you’ll see tied to noble or military leaders so when you see a boss whose name is General, Lord, Commander and so forth, they are the bosses that drop that type of artifact.

Battleground artifacts come from the corpses of your opponents, so make sure you’re looting those insignia. It doesn’t matter who killed them, you can run around just looting dead bodies and not participating at all in the PvP and you’ll get artifacts. No, I absolutely do not suggest you do that, I’m just letting you know there’s nothing required to get them other than looting enemy bodies.

Also, dungeon artifacts come up in the Need/Greed rolls while for battlegrounds to the looter go the spoils.

Archeology is the exception to the professions rule since it has a level requirement of 20. It also requires to you have a skill level of 75 and the quest itself requires you to have 15 Fossil Fragments to complete the quest. So not only do you have to have this profession, you also have to have spent the time leveling it and collecting specific fragments in order to do the quest.

So the absolute minimum level to do everything is 20. So the minimum level I would suggest for seriously farming the Prize Tickets is level 15 since you have access to almost everything. Level 20 opens up one more monthly professions quest (Archeology) and then you’ve got access to all but the two artifacts that require you to be level 85. However, you can start this farming at level 1, so there’s no reason to wait if you have a fresh toon and the faire is in progress.

[UPDATE: Two artifacts require level 85.

Through further research I have found that the A Treatise on Strategy artifact requires level 85 and so far all reports show that it drops only from level 85 Heroics, and typically from bosses whose names reveal them to be somehow related to a military calling such as Commander Ulthok, General Umbriss, and Admiral Ripsnarl.

Also, the artifact called Soothsayer’s Runes requires level 85 as well and is confirmed to drop in Tier 11+ raids. This one is unique then in two ways. First, that it’s the only one dropped in a raid rather than a dungeon. Second, that this one does not require a loot roll; instead, everyone in the raid who has a copy of the Darkmoon Adventurer’s Guide in their inventory will receive it when it drops and is looted.]

Heirloom Prices
Before we get into how you go about farming these things, it’s important to know how much farming you’ll have to do.

Of the 25 PvE heirlooms that you can get from the Darkmoon Faire, 19 of them (chests, shoulders, one-handed weapons) require 110 Prize Tickets, the two trinkets both require 130 Tickets, and the two-handed weapons require 160 Tickets.

You cannot get heirloom cloaks or helms from the Faire, and no new item slots were opened in this patch so legs and rings are still unavailable all together (save the ring from the Kalu’ak tournament).

The good news is, these prize tickets aren’t that hard to get your hands on. The bad news is, the event is only around for the first week of every month which means you have a set window in which to do all of your grinding and your grinding potential is limited by the small number of available quests.

Questing for Tickets

Daily Quests: 40 Tickets per Faire
Questing is your steady source of tickets. There are five daily quests that you can do, and each of those rewards a single ticket. You can do those daily quests eight times throughout the week, for a total weekly farm of 40 Prize Tickets. How do you do daily quests for eight days in a seven day week? You log on at 12 A.M. server time on Saturday night and do the dailies before 3 A.M. server time on Sunday morning when daily quests are reset. There’s your weekly exploit report, now back to our regularly scheduled farming guide. So 1 ticket per quest, 5 quests per day, 7(+1) days per week.

Blizzard quotes this as being available only seven times per week, but unless they put something in place to stop it, you can still farm an extra day’s worth of dailies during that three hour stretch each time it opens. This functionality has been around for years and I don’t see them fixing it now. They’re well aware of it and Bashiok even quoted someone who mentioned it on the boards and corrected his own total count to include it.

Monthly Quests:
Each month, once per Faire, you can do a quest related to each of your professions and secondary skills as long as you have at least skill rank 75 in that profession. Each character can have a total of six of these (two professions, four secondary skills) at one time. Professions reward 4 Tickets each while Secondary Skills reward 3 Tickets each.

For most players that’s going to be the final count on this type of farming. However, if you’re all kinds of serious about farming these heirlooms you can actually (ab)use the system here by leveling your primary professions to 75, doing their quests, dropping the professions, picking up 2 new professions, leveling to 75, doing the quests, drop the professions, rinse and repeat for all eleven professions. So crazy people can get a total of 3 tickets per quest, for all 11 professions and all 4 secondary skills, for a total of 45 prize tickets per month.

Other monthly quests include the Test Your Strength quest which has you collect 250 Grisly Trophies from targets you kill, and quests that start from all of the Darkmoon Artifacts that you get from dungeon bosses and looting insignia from opposing forces in battlegrounds.

[Update: Blizzard has confirmed that all of these are repeatable each month.]

There are a total of nine Darkmoon Artifacts: five from dungeons (one of those 85 heroic-only), three from battlegrounds, and 1 from T11+ raids. Each of these artifacts starts a quest which is simply turning the item in at the Faire.

4 Dungeon Artifacts – 10 Tickets each (40)
1 Heroic Artifact – 15 Tickets
1 Raid Artifact – 10 Tickets
3 BG Artifacts – 5 Tickets each (15)
2 Primary Professions – 4 Tickets each (8*)
4 Secondary Professions – 3 Tickets each (12)
1 Test Your Strength – 10 Tickets

So the grand total for Monthly Quests (not counting the dailies) is: 110*

I’m awaiting confirmation on whether or not Blizzard has put a stop to the dropping/repicking professions thing I mentioned above. If it’s gone, then 110 Monthly is the limit, while if it’s not you can add another 36 to the total.

Total Farming Per Month
This is the part of the guide that’s applicable to everyone who wants to farm the prize tickets, even if you have no interest in heirlooms. These are your total farming caps per month for you to determine how long you’ll have to farm to get all the items you want.

Total Weekly Farming: 40 Tickets
Total Monthly Farming: 18-45 Tickets
Total Artifact Farming: 100 Tickets

So, you’re able to farm a maximum of 158 Tickets if you’re sane, or 185 Tickets if you’re no longer restricted to the realm of sanity.

That’s a lot of tickets. You can basically get a new heirloom every month, or two heirlooms every two months depending on how seriously you farm and which ones you’re going for since there is some variation in price.


Posted by on December 6, 2011 in World of Warcraft


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12 responses to “Heirloom Farming: Darkmoon Faire

  1. dakotarick

    December 6, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Thanks for the write up. It answered a lot of the questions I had. I was unaware of the Artifacts in the battlegrounds.

    • Psynister

      December 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      I only knew about them because I pulled up the achievements for the faire and saw that there was one for getting all three of the BG ones. I did a lot of BG’s on my druid and in the first match I found one, the second match I found another, and I’ve yet to see the third. Hopefully I find it soon and can switch over to another toon to farm them on to double my efforts.

  2. Pixelated Executioner

    December 6, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    By the way, if you look at the achievements again, there are only FIVE artifacts from dungeons. The ninth artifact, the Soothsayer’s Runes, appear to be from something else: and I suspect that you can only get it once you turn in the other eight.

    • Psynister

      December 6, 2011 at 3:36 PM

      Research reveals that the Soothsayer’s Runes are dropped from T11+ raid bosses, and it does not require a need/greed roll. Instead, everyone in the raid who has a book in their inventory gets it.

  3. Pixelated Executioner

    December 6, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Just checked it out on WoWhead, and it looks like the Soothsayer’s Runes are a raid drop that anyone with the journal can loot.

    Great post!

  4. Jamin (@JaminToTheTop)

    December 10, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Thank you very much for this. Really given me some ideas for my (soon to be) Gnome Clone!

    Also, if you haven’t seen, I gave you a mention in my blogs Anniversary Post –

    – Jamin

    (Ooo, just noticed the snow effect on the page. Like it =D)

    • Psynister

      December 12, 2011 at 9:05 AM

      Thanks for the mention, Jamin.

      May your heirloom farming go swiftly!

  5. Bernie

    December 6, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Nice work. But if your really insane your farming is per toon and you can rinse and repeat for as many toons as your matchstick opened eyes can handle.

    • Psynister

      December 7, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      That’s very true. Having recently transferred to a new server and lost some heirlooms in the process, I’m back to farming for more by doing it on four total characters.

  6. Bernie

    December 6, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Soz should have added: using mail to redistribute items you could farm the lot in a month or two.

  7. Kristian

    January 26, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    Another thing might worth mentioning is that the artifacts drops all around the month and you can mail them around between your chars, meens all your alts higher than lvl 15 will be able to turn them in.

  8. refelgallo

    May 9, 2014 at 1:28 AM

    Darkmoon prizes (which contain darkmoon tickets) are NOT soul bound. Your ALTs, (or newly created level 1 toons) can go to DMF and the dailys and mail to your MAIN!. I don’t start early enough to get the 8 day exploit. However what I do is create a toon, run to DMF do dailys and send the dark moon PRIZE to my main toon. With 11 total toons, you can farm 55 tickets a DAY. Not counting the professions, dungeon /raid/heroic/BG artifacts etc. Thats an heirloom EVERY TWO DAYS. For the alts i’d recommend skinning and herbalism for their professions because you can get those at level 1 and gather the skins and herbs within DMF (instead of around the island) or HAVING to level to 5 and the profession to 75, BUY materials, craft and turn in.

    You could even take this a step further and create 11 other alts on a different server (same faction) and mail the prizes to your main.

    alt1-stonemaul, alt2-stonemaul, alt3-stonemaul etc sends darkmoon prizes to main-boulderfist. in this case however I’d recommend leveling your alt to about 5-10 so you have enough gold to pay teleport to DMF, buy Tokens, teleport to cannonball, and pay postage for prizes to MAIN (or you could do COD and just run to DMF. I’d recommend making your alts either Humans or Tauren to be closest to DMF staging area.

    Keep in mind that doing all the DMF dailies and winning Darkmoon prizes on the first try, takes a minimum of 18 minutes from whack a knoll, cannon, run to turtle, tonk, shooting gallery, turn in cannon (retry cannon teleport back to turn in), hearth, mail prizes to main, logout.

    for all 11 toons its about a 3.5 hour process for 55 tickets. That includes a 3-5 retries for cannon, 2-4 retries for whack a gnoll, 1-2 retries for tonk, 1-2 for shooting gallery. Which in theory could net about 3 heirlooms a day.


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