Tag Archives: Achievements

Ashenvale and the Stonetalon Mountains

Astranaar… shit, I’m still only in Astranaar… Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in Stonetalon.  I’m here a weekend now… waiting for a quest… getting softer. Every minute I stay in this zone, I get weaker, and every minute some Warsong grunt squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I look around the mountains move in a little tighter.

-Trianis, nigh elf rogue stuck in Ashenvale

My run for the Loremaster achievement continues.  After finishing up Darkshore with my fresh night elf rogue, I decided I should just keep rolling with him into Ashenvale.

Ashenvale.

If my memories of Darkvale were faded recollections of running up and down a zone over and over, what could I recall about Ashenvale?  A series of uninspired quests at the start, with nagas and Blackfathom Deep to your right and furbolgs on your left.  At the far end of the zone, satyrs, the Warsong lumber camp.  In the middle that lake with the water elementals.  And in the middle, Astranaar.

I mostly remember running back and forth to Astranaar.

The zone hasn’t changed all that much.  Sure, there is a great big patch of it on fire in the middle now… that seemed to be one of the key Cataclysm theme, let’s set thing on fire.  But otherwise the scenery looks about the same.

Ashenvale exposed

Ashenvale exposed

There are some new quest chains in the zone that help sew the whole thing together and make sure you move from place to place.  Some of the Cataclysm themes, like Garrosh Hellscream is a jerk, are present in the new quests, and at a couple of places they set up an interesting conflict.  I like the quests around Warsong, where the Horde and Alliance quest chains are working at cross purposes.

More after the cut.

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Summer Project: The Loremaster Achievement

The Loremaster achievement, which gets you not only the achievement but also a title and tabard (which goes towards another achievement), has been around for a while now.  While it has always been a meta achievement, an achievement for obtaining a series of other achievements, it has changed a bit over time.

Back before Cataclysm, Loremaster meant getting the zone by zone achievements for each area in The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King by doing a specific number of quests.  Each zone had a tally to hit.  In the very quest/story driven WotLK zones, that number could exceed 100 quests in each.  And then there was a single achievement each for Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, which just required 700 quests completed in each.

Azeroth - The Burning Crusade timeframe

Azeroth – The Burning Crusade time frame

Those last two were a bit of a pain.  Sure, you could pick any 700 from each, but 700 is also a pretty long-term goal, especially when the transition to the achievement system didn’t always credit you with everything you had previously done.  I recall not getting the achievement for Scholomance despite the fact that my pally had the epic charger mount, which required at least two runs through it.  That, and the idea of going back through so much of old Azeroth with a level cap character did not appeal to me.  But I have to hand it to Earl, he went and did that.

Then came Cataclysm, and much of old Azeroth was recast with changes in scenery and new quest chains.  Blizzard took the time to make achievements for most of the zones in the old world, so rather than just a lump sum of 700 quests they were divided up into single zone (or two combined zones in a couple of cases) quest packets.  If nothing else, that makes things a little more digestible in my opinion, having a set of sub goals.

Still, I did not go after the achievement.  You had to do the whole thing on a single character which would mean a significant amount of back-tracking through zones you had out-leveled.  And since I would want it on what I considered my “achievement character,” it would have meant doing it all with a level 85.  I hate being the level cap character stomping through the lowbie zones, and while one shotting things never really gets old, you do end up running into quests where you have to get a mob’s health down and then apply some magic or device.  Those get particularly annoying when even without a weapon your minimum hit will kill the mob in question a few times over.

However, since Mists of Pandaria, achievements have been shared across your account.  This means that I can go in alts and do the content at level, or close to level, and have it count towards the achievement rather than having to have my level 90 “main” character slum it across multiple low level zones.  Since I noted last week that I was actually having fun running down zones at level, the time seemed ripe.

Add in the fact, as pointed out to me last week, that because the Eldre’Thalas server has been joined to the Korialstrasz server via Blizzard’s connected realms, that I now effectively have 11 more character slots that can join our guild and share things on a single server, and I seem well positioned to take on the Loremaster achievement.  I was practically giddy  at the prospect of having so many free character slots and rolled up four new characters with zones like Darkshore in mind.

I then looked into how many zones I had to run.  I have a lot left undone, so I got started.

Some of the zones feel very familiar from the old days, though the quest chains have been tightened up quite a bit.  No doubt because characters level up much faster now.

I remember this...

I remember this…

My night elf rogue… I am not sure why Blizz felt it was necessary to make leather wearing classes feel ridiculous by putting them in shorts and a vest in the starting zone.  But there were lots of similarly clad elves running around.  And eventually you get better looking gear.  But for a while I felt goofy in a self-conscious way.

I now have four pre-60 characters in motion working on various zones in old Azeroth, made up of classes I have never played to level cap. (Warrior, monk, shaman, and rogue) And I have plans for a couple more.  One of the things I have noticed is that even though the game points you at most of the quests in a zone, there do seem to be a few off in the periphery or hidden away, so being something of an explorer helps.

There is a quest down that, I feel it...

What happens when I jump into there… let’s see!

And it is fun to tour the world again.  Darkshore, which I am in the midst of with my rogue, and Ashenvale might be a couple of the more difficult achievements.  Back in the day, facing these two was enough to get low level night elves to make the dangerous run through the Wetlands to Ironforge.  Well, that and being able to play with your friends who rolled humans, dwarves, or gnomes.  But you didn’t see many low level representatives of those races making the run the other way.

Will I stick to this, or will I get bored of it and move on to something else?  It is quite possible that, next week, I’ll be focused on mounts or pet battles or something else. (Though, in doing these zones, I have been taming new pets along the way.)  But if I keep at it, it will at least keep me distracted from Warlords of Draenor.

My zone “To do” list after the cut.

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Campaign Medals

One of the many interesting features of corporations in EVE Online… and probably not well known to people outside of the game… is the ability to create, design, and award medals to member of the corp.

I have long harangued our CEO, El Supremo, to implement some sort of honors systems for the corp.  There are all sorts of ways that you could go with this, but my focus has been on campaigns.  Ideally, anybody who actively participates in a campaign ought to get a medal for their profile.  My campaign list would look something like this:

  • Branch and Tenal Campaign 2011-12
  • Homeland Defense 2012
  • Tribute and Vale Campaign 2012
  • OTEC Operations Award 2012
  • Delve Campaign 2012
  • Homeland Defense 2013
  • Liberation of Fountain 2013
  • Delve Campaign 2013
  • Curse Deployment 2013
  • Halloween War 2013-14

In addition, in my vision of how things ought to be, there would also be awards for significant battles, such as:

Maybe not all of those would deserve an award.  You might, as an example, just make a blanket award for having been in a battle that crashed a node.

These would be something like achievements, though being given out by fellow players and only available to members of your own corporation makes them more special.  At least if nobody is abusing the system.

Medals do not get used all that often in EVE Online however.  It can be time consuming to create them, they cost a small chunk of ISK for each one awarded, and the method for tracking and awarding them is buried in the usual atrocious CCP user interface.  Seriously, you think the UI is bad, and then you try to do corporation level functions and suddenly managing your overview seems pretty logical.

So, my hope is that, at some future date, CCP will cast its collective eyes on the medals system and turn it into something a bit more usable.

In the mean time my nagging had some impact.  I did get El Supremo to create medals for participation in the battle at B-R5RB and for being on a titan kill mail.

Order of Friendship

Order of Friendship

Hero of Socialist Labor

Hero of Socialist Labor

So you can see those on my in-game profile now.

Why Can’t I Just Turn Off Achievements?

Over in a corner of the blogesphere this week achievements have been the discussion point.

Syl at MMO Gypsy started venting on Twitter about achievements and went on the write about about her hate of them and other like things at her blog.

In the way of the world, that lead to Liore at Herding Cats to express her love of achievements.  Cuppy joined in on that front as well, while Klepsacovic just wonders if they are the right tool for the job.

The lines were drawn, let the battle commence!

Both sides make impassioned, emotional pleas for their point of view.  The ill-defined concept of “immersion,” which I think means something different to everybody, has been flung about.  Comments have popped up trying to explain one point of view to those whole held the other, myself included.  All just the blogesphere functioning as designed.

I fall on the achievement lovers side of the argument.  They went into World of Warcraft five years ago and I have enjoyed Blizzard’s implementation ever since.

Vikund's Achievements

Vikund’s Achievements – Oct. 15, 2008

I don’t think they necessarily belong in every MMO… and some retro-fits, like the EverQuest implementation, make me groan… but for WoW, already a bright and shiny game with a cultural reference around every corner, it seems like a good match.  I especially like the statistics tab which tracks all sorts of little details, but I am that sort of person.

That isn’t to say that I don’t “get” the dislike of achievements.  And while I think trying to describe what immersion is to each other is like trying to describe what blue is to each other, I can understand how some might find that a shiny pop-up in the middle of their experience might break that for them.

And while I was absorbing all of this, a thought popped into my head.

What if you could just turn them off?

I am not even suggesting that they be expunged from the game, but that the game have a check box somewhere in the settings to not pop up achievements, yours mine or ours.  They would still accrue somewhere in the background in case the person in question changed their mind, but while the correct box was checked somewhere in the settings, they just wouldn’t be a thing on that particular game client.  No pop-ups allowed.

And in imagining that, it sounded so simple that I had to believe that such a setting was already there.  I mean, you can turn off all sorts of things in the UI in most games.  How could that not already be a thing?

So I launched World of Warcraft and went to the setting to check.

You can turn on and off lots of UI elements in WoW.  You can toggle the on screen quest list, quest tracking, floating names over players and NPCs, quests markers on the map and so on and so forth.  There are even conditional settings, so you can have NPC names hidden unless they are part of a quest you are on.

But as far as I can tell, there is no setting to turn off achievement pops.

Well, WoW is a big game, with 7.6 million subscribers at last count.  Maybe somebody has filled this niche with an addon!  So I went to Curse to look at achievement related addons.  There are dozens of addons devoted to helping you find, track, and achieve your achievements, but not one to suppress them.  There may be one out there (let me know if there is) but I couldn’t find it in my admittedly limited search.

I decided to check other games.  The next up was Rift.  I downloaded the latest update, which was sizable, and got into the game.  Ignoring the fact that somebody clearly left the realm administration console unlocked during a bathroom break (Or was that server-wide broadcast about Ceiling Cat watching you part of the current event?) and the blinky telling me I earned a reward just for logging in (that I could do without) I started leafing through the settings.

DSEplopachi

Like WoW, Rift has a pretty comprehensive set of things you can turn on and off.  There is even a social media tab where you can annoy your soon-to-be-ex-friends by spamming Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr with all of your achievements.  But I could not find a way to keep achievements from popping on your screen.

I can automatically decline marriage proposals (which I have set) but achievements are sacred.  I even tried editing the UI to see if I could move achievements off screen, but that particular UI element isn’t part of the editor.

No luck on that front.  So I moved on to Middle-earth.

Lord of the Rings Online doesn’t have achievements… at least not in the WoW sense of them.  But there are traits and pop ups and all sorts of little nags that do get on my nerves.  And they also have a pretty comprehensive list of things in the settings.  But on the achievement-like traits front there was no joy there.  Like other games, there are plenty of potentially immersion breaking things you can turn off, but trait notifications… and the accompanying “Visit the LOTRO Store!” message… are stuck on.  So I moved on.

Next I patched up and tried EverQuest II.  EQII has such a half-hearted “I’m just like WoW! Love me too please!” attempt at achievements that even I am not really interested in them.

Which is odd when I think about it, because EverQuest II had a sort of proto-achievements implementation back at launch in 2004.  In addition to server first and world first discoveries, which were kind of neat until they inevitable ran out, there were the slaughter titles you got for killing so many undead or gnolls or what not.  But they felt they needed to tack on the WoW model as well, making EQII even more of a mish-mash of conflicting visions.

SBHHistoryBuff

Anyway, in digging through the “monumentally huge since day one” options window of the game, I figured out that achievements are part of the updates and notifications in the game.  You can set how quickly they are displayed and where the UI element shows up, but it doesn’t appear that you can actually turn them off.  I suppose you could move that off-screen, but since it shows information for things besides just achievements, I am not sure if that is a viable solution.  Call that a “maybe” at best.

I thought about checking Guild Wars 2, but was brought up short by two things.  First, their super duper, point of interest, laundry list, be the completionist mechanism seemed so much a part of the game when I tried it that I seriously doubted you could turn it off.  And it seems to have progressed since then.

Hah, finished!

Hah, finished!

And, second, I’ve forgotten my password and I cannot get Anet to cough it back up again because I’ve changed internet services since I last logged in so they think I am trying to hack the account.  Saved me from patching in any case.

I also considered checking EverQuest, which has had achievements grafted onto it as well, but I was starting to get bored with the whole idea.  Plus the pattern seemed to be pretty clear and I hated to ruin it by finding a contrary example.  Once you have two points, draw the line, calculate the slope, and move on I say!

But this does leave me with a few questions.

First, does any MMORPG with achievements let you turn off the pop ups?  Did I miss an example or a setting or an addon that would do that for any of the above or some other example?  And why isn’t the option to turn off achievement pop ups available?  Do companies believe them to be so important that the game cannot be separated from the achievements?

Then, would turning off the achievements as I have describe be enough for you explorers and those of you who just do not like achievements in general?  Or does the fact that achievements simply exist bother you?

Too Many Words and Pictures about Need for Speed: World

I fade in and out of Need for Speed: World.

In a way, that represents the upside of free to play.

As it tends to go, I start playing, have a run at it, tire, and move on for a while.  I think I am at the end of the cycle again.  The current run started on a new server when Potshot and Earl got into the game for a bit.  We had a really fun evening of races and goofing around and then never quite went back to it, except for a bit of holiday cheer.

I managed to get myself hooked on the NFSW version of the daily quest mechanic, then gem hunt.  This was primarily due to the explicit promise that the game has at the end of each such hunt.

NF3ConsecDay

Each consecutive day gives better rewards!  That is what it says.  So I decided to test that theory.  As you can see, I made it past the 100 day mark.  So I should have been getting some pretty awesome rewards, right?

Well, I will tell you about that, plus some other aspects of the game as I see them at this point after the cut.

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The Final Achievement

For now.

With Blizzard letting me cancel my account outside the short window between the expiration of my annual pass and the point of automated billing, I was off the hook.  The account was cancelled and would no longer be a worry.  Around 5am today it was closed.

But last night, when there were still a few more hours left to go, I decided to log in one more time and bang out one last achievement.

The Hallow’s End event was running.  As the blog tag will indicate, I as an individual, and we as the instance group, have spent a chunk of time doing things around Hallow’s End over the last few years.

A year ago I was left hanging on the “A Mask for All Occasions” achievement, not having noticed that there was a vendor selling the damn things.   Back in my day, you earned you masks by hitting up an inn keeper every sixty minutes and hoping against hope you would get something you needed.

Anyway, the achievement was undone.  I needed two more masks.

Which is actually kind of funny, because two years ago I started  Hallow’s End two masks short.  Back then it was the two blood elf masks.  And I ended still missing one.  But since then they added worgen and goblin masks, setting me back to six masks.

As I logged on, I was a bit worried.  Were there going to be more masks to collect?  Was this going to go from an amusing whim to a chore?

Fortunately, there were no new masks on the list.  I found the vendor outside the gates of Stormwind.  He needed some candy for currency, but the Hallow’s End daily quests are also right there as well.  I grabbed the stink bomb related set, cleaned up Stormwind and bombed the Undercity, collected my quest rewards, took about four steps and bought the masks.

Achievement complete.  Ironic that it should feature a blood elf mask.

That left my achievement balance… and I think these are now combined achievements if I understand the changes that came with Pandaria… as such.

Achievement Totals

Clearly I am not challenging anybody for achievement supremacy, but it does indicate where I spent my time.  A lot of it was spent with world events.  I would probably have even more there if the Children’s Week activities did not include those battle ground achievements.

Exploration is everything up through Wrath of the Lich King and some of Cataclysm.  Dungeons are all the standard five person instances through WotLK, not including the final three they added after we complete Utgarde Pinnacle… just a little over three years ago.

I regret that we never got back together and ran those final three dungeons.  That would have nicely capped off what was clearly our peak in Azeroth.  But there is no going back.  Well, at least not on Blizzard’s servers.

I finished that final achievement so quickly that I fished around a bit to see if there was another one I ought to knock off.  And certainly I was close on a few.

This Way Lies Madness…

In then end though, I decided to leave it with the masks achievement.  That was one I had been struggling to get, so it seemed fitting to end on that.

My annual pass was at an end.

Green Armadillo and Anjin both spent a post summing up their annual pass experience, viewed through hindsight.

For me, it was a wash.  My math is like Green Armadillo’s, I paid for the year in the most economical way possible.  I would have purchased Diablo III on day one at full price if it had not been for the pass.  I probably would have spent about as much on WoW, though I would have likely cancelled earlier.  And I got a mount.  So aside from Blizzard annoying me with their cancellation policy, it was a net neutral.

Honestly, how many things in life even turn out that well in the end?

And what of Azeroth going forward?

I think, fittingly enough, that WoW is now about in the same position that EverQuest was when I started this blog.  EverQuest was seven and a half years old back then, Blizzard is just shy of eight now.

I have fond memories of both games, and those memories are about a time when the game was considerably different from the way they are today.  And, with both, I have looked for ways to go back and recapture a bit of that past; Fippy Darkpaw for one, Emerald Dream for the other.  I can get a taste of things there, revive and relive old memories, and wander among the ghosts of the past.  But it is, in the end, still all in the past.

Azeroth is officially a place of nostalgia here.

And so I bid Stormwind farewell and flew off into the sunset.

The Sun Was Cooperating For Once…

I will be back to visit I am sure.

I just do not think I will ever really be a part of the game again.

Stonefield in Fifteen Achievements

I wrote about my current Rift goal last week, my desire to get one character of each of the class archetypes, warrior, rogue, cleric, and mage, to the level cap.  Already there with a rogue and a warrior, and well on the way with my cleric, that left only a mage to level up.

And my mage, Solyndro, was only level 8.

If this had been EverQuest of 1999 I might have despaired and passed on this goal.  Even WoW of 2005 or so would have made grinding another character to level cap a chore.

But this is 2012, and we don’t hold with that tough grind to level cap any more.  So Solyndro is already level 38 as of last night.  He only has 12 more levels to climb and 60 days in which to make the goal.  Not tough at all.

It became obvious pretty quickly, as I burst out of Freemarch after only a couple evenings, that running the 7 round Instant Adventure quest every night plus doing a bit of questing was going to make the level cap goal very attainable.  So I decided to add an additional side goal.

I decided I was going to play the hell out of certain zones, run down their full quest chains, explore all of their nooks and crannies, and leave only when I felt I was well and truly done.  Even if I started to level out of the content, I would use the mentoring system to level myself down and keep on playing.

And the first zone on the list was Stonefield.

Stonefield had the obvious advantage in that it stands as the next zone on the list of progression, so I could start right away.  Also, Instant Adventures run in Stonefield, so I could run that daily task in the zone as well.  And Stonefield is a zone that I haven’t really “finished” in the past.

Though I might say that about most zones in Rift.

The rate at which you level, if you are moving at a casual pace and building up a bit of rested experience between sessions, is such that you are usually ready for the next zone when you are somewhere between the half way and three quarter point in the quest chain.

Even before Instant Adventure came along, I think the only zone I felt I had really finished, aside from the intro zone, where you do not have much choice, is Freemarch.  In Freemarch I ran back around to root out the final quests to finish up.  And after Instant Adventure… well, you can go pretty far without too many zones.

So I did it.  I ran the Stonefield quest line from start to finish, even running down the end quests that lead you on to Scarlet Gorge.

And when I was done, did I “feel” done?

I suppose.

The gold standard for this sort of connected zone is the old Westfall, where you followed a story that started with Old Blanchy and lead you through the zone to the natural conclusions, the Deadmines.  You did the zone, got to the end, then found a group to do the instance.  When you turned in the quest that sent you to the zone, the Gryan Stonemantle announced your accomplishment in a zone-wide shout.  That was one of the great early points in the game, getting that shout.

Stonefield does not feel that well connected.  The story line gets broken up and the instance, Deepstrike Mines, which our group did back in March, comes along about two thirds of the way into the zone.  Once you hit Granite Falls, you have the quests to go do it and in past runs that is about where I have stopped.  And the instance, which is about fighting the Endless Court diverges from the Eth/Titans lore of the main zone.

On the flip side, you can get too tied into story.  Recall the post-Cataclysm version on the Redridge Mountains, a zone so dedicated to keeping you with the story that other players become an annoyance.  Of course, pop culture references ran amok in Redridge as well.

Ah well.  But I did get achievements.  And thanks to my enabling the social media aspect of Rift (though I gave the feature its own Twitter feed so it doesn’t spam the few followers on my main feed), the game automatically takes a screen shot every time I get an achievement.  This got me in the habit of trying to “pose” or at least face towards in an interesting direction when they hit.

That, in turn, ended up being kind of a nice little montage of my time in Stonefield.  Fifteen achievements all in a row.  I actually ended up getting all of the achievements that you can just “do,” aside from the one about killing giants.  The remaining ones involve rare spawns and completing collection quests.  I so rarely complete collection quests that I will probably never get that zone meta achievement, the achievement for getting all the achievements.

The only hitch was getting the achievement for doing quests, Playing the Field in Stonefield.  I was stuck at 86 out of 87 for a while until I looked up the quest list and found one I missed.  There is a quest giver on the rocks above the entrance to  Deepstrike Mine.  That actually opens up a couple more quests.

And then I did the Titan’s Well dive, slew the beast that resides therein, and it dropped another quest starter.  So there are enough quests to do the achievement.

My next zone focus is the Moonshade Highlands, where Solyndro has already started.  From there I think I will wrap up in Shimmersand, a zone in which I have done almost no quests.

But that is for later.  For now, here is my Stonefield adventure, in achievement screen shot form.

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Finding the Last Quest in Freemarch

I mentioned in my post about accidentally discovering the Instant Adventure feature that achievements in Rift are nearly as “shiny” as achievements in World of Warcraft.  I would be hard pressed to justify that statement, when it comes down to it.  It is an emotional reaction, no doubt related as much to the fact that WoW achievements came first as to how well integrated they are with the game and how they balance the mundane (achievement for hitting level 10), the quantifiable (I have 5,000 PvP kills), the recording of events (every dungeon complete achievement ever), and the fun/silly (I have danced in Dalaran in lederhosen during Brewfest).

I happen to like achievements.  Well done achievements can extend a game’s life for me.   And I like the idea set forth that achievements can be used as a quality indicator, though I agree with some of the comments about crap achievements being crap.  Still, it is probably more reliable than fishing as such.

Rift does an excellent job achievements and the balance mentioned above.  Achievement pursuit is part of what is keeping me playing Rift right now, as the instance group is into its usual summer hiatus.  And it was in this pursuit that I noticed Rift did WoW one better in at least once aspect.  On the achievement summary page in Rift you can see not only achievements you have recently hit, but also ones you are close to getting.

And so it was that I found that I was just one quest away from this achievement.

All I needed to do was find and complete one more quest in Freemarch, which is the low level zone just outside the gates of Meridian.

How tough could that be?

And with that achievement I would get a Pure Crystallized Insight thingy, which is essentially a consumable that gives you 50,000 planar attunement points, which I am not going to try to explain again, other than to say that it is a post-level 50 thing.  Anyway, 50,000 points is 10% of an “it’s always 500,000 points” planar attunement level.

So I ran out into Freemarch.  See map below.

Welcome to Freemarch – Mind the Rifts

I started at what would be about 12 o’clock on the map above, if the map were a clock face… maybe lacquered onto a dramatically shaped piece of polished driftwood, with the hands radiating from the lake in the middle of the zone. (Prototype)

Anyway, I started there and moved clockwise around the zone, stopping at each quest area… and running off the path every so often to make sure I didn’t miss some lone quest giver out in the middle of nowhere… until I got to about 7 o’clock.  Call it that little fire rift icon next to the Guardian stronghold.

And then I realized that I did not have “show low level quests” selected in my mini-map overview.

Well crap.

So I checked that box, ran back to my starting point, and began another clockwise circuit of the zone, looking for just one more quest that I might have missed.

And I kept coming up with no quests.  I know I can be a bit of a completionist but I was surprised at what a clean sweep of the zone I had managed.

There were still some daily quests green to me.  I did a couple of those on the off chance that I had not done them once already in the hope that they might count towards the total for the first run.  However, either they do not count or I had done them all already.  Or both.

I did stop by the Iron Fortress to grab another achievement while I was in the neighborhood.  There is one for going to the top of all the towers.

Just for the view

As I continued along my trek around Freemarch, I began to wonder what I was going to do if I did not find any convenient green bordered exclamation points.  Was there some quest I missed that was triggered only by a drop from an NPC?  There are a bunch of those in the game, but do they drop if you are over level?

I got to about the end point of my journey when I finally hit a quest.  Down at about 8 o’clock on the map, where the earth rift icon sits, is an area with a couple of group quests.  I had passed those up because I had been running through the quest chain solo.  But now I was nice and high level and could handle a couple of such low level group quests with ease.

Achievement achieved!

So that was one more achievement off the list, plus a nice boost of planar attunement.

Of course, the next closest achievement bubbled up to the top of the list.  I am just two quests away from the similar achievement in Stillmore.  However, Stillmore is a close-to-level-cap zone, so I cannot just run out and solo a group quest.  And even if I could, the only quest I could find in a sweep of that zone was a raid level quest.

Ah well, there are other achievements to conquer for now.

Towards that end, I have created an incredibly annoying Twitter feed.  It is hooked up to Rift Connect and Raptr and tweets all my achievements along with screen shots.  I couldn’t recommend following it really, but I like that it grabs screen shots of all my achievements automatically.

First Achievement of the Year

I actually made level 85 in World of Warcraft on New Years Day.

85 in Twilight Highlands

Cataclysm has been out for what, just over a year now?  And I finally finished up those five levels.

I am actually the fifth person in our little guild to hit level 85.  Even my mother beat me, and I think she had to get through most of Wrath of the Lich King first.

Big Fish? Small Pond? Both?

I was looking at my Raptr profile this morning, and one item caught my eye.


That first one, for my worgen Maloney says that I was one of the first 200 Raptr users to get that achievement.

And the reason it caught my eye was that the likelihood of me being the first 200 WoW players to do anything in any group of players of reasonable size seemed remote to the point of pigs flying.  And that achievement especially is not a tough one to obtain.

Of course, the population might not be of a reasonable size.

It is limited to Raptr users, and only those users who play World of Warcraft and who have bothered to add it to their profile and who run the client that does the tracking.  It addition, the user also has to then manually add specific characters.  Only the achievements of those characters get tracked.

So I could be something like the 20th player on Raptr to get the achievement for all I know.

I couldn’t get a fix on exactly how big the active WoW population is at Raptr.  If I search on people who play WoW, the number is less than 500.  But if that were really the case, I would imagine that a lot more of my achievements would be in the “first 200” range.  Instead, most are like that second achievement, which merely points out what percentage of WoW players on Raptr who have the achievement.

I am still looking for more stats on how big the WoW population is on Raptr.