During the Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft the very first realm first earned was cooking. They'd implemented quests a month beforehand which allowed you to stockpile the materials needed to max out. So all it took was clicking a couple buttons once the servers came up and someone would get it. I got lucky (there were probably a dozen people trying for it on Alliance side alone) and pulled it off last time.
Cooking in Mists of Pandaria is significantly harder than it was in Cataclysm. The number of materials needed to max out was pretty extreme and there's pretty much no way to get them in a short period of time on one character. Someone who was really hardcore about it would level multiple characters to 86 or get friends to help out. On Vek'Nilash it didn't seem like anyone was really hardcore about it at all. It was approaching my bedtime and cooking was the only profession realm first that hadn't been claimed. So I figured I'd try to throw some money at the problem...
You see, all the materials could be purchased with tokens earned via Tiller quests. Anyone just randomly questing in the zone was likely to pick up a few tokens. Ideally they'd save them up to buy interesting items from one of the Tiller vendors but I hoped I could bribe some people to part with them for me. My first request was met with puzzlement. I probably hadn't worded it too well (I'd been up for a long time by this point) and no one was interested at 1k per token. I went fishing for a bit in another zone to earn a couple more tokens myself and then came back to try again. This time I spelled out precisely what I wanted by calling out one specific item I wanted to buy. (100 year soy sauce) I was about to give up when I got a taker. Woo! He sold me 5 which put me within striking distance. I'd have to catch a lot of fish but I could do it. He then asked if I was going for realm first with the soy sauce. I said yes and he opened a second trade and threw some random cooking materials at me. I didn't need any of them for the recipe I was planning on making but it did include 5 carrots which meant I could get 3 more tokens myself. That meant I was a mere 5 fish away! I quickly ran out, found two pools, and caught my fish. Back to town, spend my tokens on 250 pumpkins, and I was set. Victory!
First one done in one expansion. Last one done in the next. But both of them mine! Last time around I got 3 realm firsts. This time I have two, but there's still a couple to go. Pandaren ambassador and all gold challenge dungeons!