It was a busy holiday season. Somehow we managed to extend Christmas into a four day event, spending time with different parts of our extended family. Then our daughter turned 21 and there was a full day of that, and then New Year’s Eve, and in all of this I didn’t have a bunch of vacation time saved up so I only took a couple of days off at the end of the year, which all added up to not a lot of free time to play video games.
Oh well. It happens.
That meant not much time for big gaming goals, so I set myself a small one. One of my checklist items for Wrath Classic has been to become exalted with the Kalu’ak, the walrus-oid peoples who should be a playable race by now, but shamefully are not.
They have three daily quests that earn 500 reputation, though as a human I get 550 reputation. That 10% bonus can add up. Doing that meant basically flying Wilhelm to three different points to do the daily quests.
Each quest is just a couple of minutes, so it is mostly the flights between the three points that takes up the time every day. And that was enough time that there were a couple of days when I only did two.
But as I got closer to exalted (and started having a bit more time in the evening to play) I realized that I had a pile of quests at Moa’ki harbor, the middle flight point, that would also cough up 550 faction for me. So after one evening run I went back there and chased those down, earning myself the exalted status and the achievement.
Once I had that I flew to Kamagua where the Kalu’ak faction vendor is and bought the items I had been looking forward too. Sure, Pengu the pet penguin is nice, but the fishing pole is the item to have.
And it is honestly not a bad weapon either. Enough to whack anything that interrupts my fishing time, though some of that time is spent fishing in the fountain in Dalaran.
So I did get that done over the holidays. What I did not do was make any progress at all on the Feast of Winter Veil achievements. After having done the Pilgrim’s Bounty achievements to get the meta achievement and title I thought sure I would be on the road to that during Winter Veil.
However Ula and Fergorin (and Bjorid) had been on the case for Winter Veil and were almost done when New Year’s Day rolled around. They just needed on more item, the holiday cap, to complete the final achievement to get the Merry Maker meta achievement and title for the holiday.
To get the hat you have to take it off of a dungeon boss. There is a list of possible bosses, including some in Outland. But to have a 100% chance of a drop you have to do a Northrend boss, and the easiest of those is Grand Magus Telestra in The Nexus.
We had actually defeated her with this very group of four, and at lower levels than we were currently, so it seemed like a viable plan. Doing the run as a threesome, even with three level 76s, was a bit much without a dedicated tank, but the four of us were able to run in and take her on.
The fighting to get to her wasn’t too bad, though there was the that section in the Halls of Stasis with the frozen mobs that got a bit out of hand due to tab targeting and auto-targeting on cast deciding to select the next group while we were still involved with the previous one.
But other than that we were able make it to Telestra and defeat her.
The problem came when we looted her. We all hit “need” on the hat and I won it… but there was only one hat. And I won the hat, the person who needed it least.
As it turns out, while Van Cleef can offer up five heads, dungeon bosses can only have one hat. Going back to our 2009 Merry Maker run, it turns out that one hat per run was the way it was. So we had to run back to the entrance and reset the instance and fight our way back to Telestra again, and again, and again.
We managed to make it, did our four runs, and everybody got a hate.
There was a brief moment of potential disaster when somebody forgot they got a hat and went need again, but the RNG was kind to us and we did not have to do a fifth run.
That got Ula, Fergorin, and Bjorid most of the way there, though we had to run around a bit to get some rugged leather so Tistann could make the Winter Veil boots that are required wearing for the final achievement. You put on the hat, the boots, and the tunic, then eat Graccu’s fruit cake, and there you go.
For me it was just the one achievement, for them it was the final achievement that got them the meta achievement and the title.
After that I started looking into what it would take me to get to the meta achievement as well. Unfortunately, I was starting off on that journey about 14 hours before Winter Veil ended, and I was going to need to sleep at some point in the middle there. So I made a bit of progress on some of the achievements.
So I have a head start on next year, if Wrath Classic is still a thing next year. Retro experiences go much more quickly. I seem to remember the Kalu’ak achievement taking me much longer back in the day.
And the four runs was enough to get me to level 76, even though I had the Joyous Journeys bonus xp turned off. And that level unlocked a nice upgrade for me, again from the Kalu’ak.
I had been honored for a while, but I needed the level.
So now we’re into the new year and the group will be looking towards the next dungeon… and the next holiday I suppose. The Lunar Festival kicks off in a couple of weeks. Maybe I can manage that.