Tag Archives: WoW Achievements

Return to Draenor

My daughter and I have been discussing our return to World of Warcraft for a while now.  That whole reflective nature thing I have about games has rubbed off on my daughter… a bit.  She did agree with my assessment that, in light of historical play trends in our house, it was safe to assume that there would be a limited timeline before either of us decided to stop playing WoW and move onto something else.

The release of the WoW 7.0 patch to the Public Test Realm put the need for a plan onto the front burner, and on Saturday we weighed the merits of a Father’s Day return to the game or pushing it off until the Independence Day holiday.  And then we were sitting around on Father’s Day this past Sunday wondering what daddy/daughter activity we should indulge in and an afternoon of playing WoW was declared.

So we returned to Azeroth and places connected there to.

And, of course, once clients had been updated, accounts activated, and so on, we came to the musical question of the hour, “So what are we going to do?”  Neither of us were keen to return to another stretch of Garrison Crossing: Follower Festival, so there was a bit of running about and checking out dimly recalled characters and what not.  It has been about a year or for both of us, barring that 30 day stint I did with a WoW Token, which was solely focused on running garrison missions to earn back the money I spent on the WoW Token in the first place.  Sure, I came out ahead, but I didn’t want to play another 30 days of that.

Remembering how to play and where to go and shouting at each other across the house from our respective computers until we settled down into our own little voyages of discovery pretty much occupied the balance of play time on Father’s Day.

By the end of the evening though, I had decided on a goal.  A goal is important to me.  I can put up with all sorts of tasks, both fun and tedious, in pursuit of such.  We just covered that in my Minecraft post earlier this week, right?

I announced to my daughter that I was going to try to unlock flying in Draenor.

She thought that sounded good, right up until I told her what it would take, at which point she said, “screw that” and went back to collecting things for transmog after she heard about the new wardrobe stuff coming with WoW Legion.

And she was put off by my vague notion of what was required.  I had written about it before, but I hadn’t really added the task up and then compared it to where I stood currently.  Tanaan Jungle wasn’t even in the game when I wrote that post.  To unlock the Draenor Pathfinder meta achievement, which gives you flying and a mount to go with it, you need:

Five achievements?  How hard could that be?

Then I started looking into how where I stood.  I didn’t have any of them completed yet.

For Tanaan Dilplomat, the reasons were pretty obvious… I stopped playing before Tanaan Jungle showed up.  However, I had at least built the shipyard in my garrison during that WoW Token stint and, in doing so, I had at least set foot in Tanaan and had the first flight point.

At the other end of the spectrum, I was a bit surprised I did not have Loremaster of Draenor on Vikund yet, as I had been pretty diligent about rolling up at least all the main quest lines, and even the bonus quest lines in the early zones.  In fact, I had all the achievements I needed for it save one, the Nagrand achievement.

Getting that meant going out to Nagrand to re-trace my steps and figure out why I hadn’t wrapped that one achievement up. (I also cleaned up my quest log a bit.  I still had Mists of Pandaria quests in there.  With just 25 quest slots, you can’t leave stuff sitting there forever.  EverQuest II and its 75 quest limit has spoiled me.)

After a bit of running about to find which quest was actually the one I needed, I got there and had a dim memory of it being bugged… like a year and a half ago.  Something happened and the item I needed didn’t spawn.  Anyway, I dropped the quest, found my way back to the quest giver, then started it up again and things seemed to proceed.  Whatever was wrong or whatever I missed back then didn’t seem to be an issue and I was on my way.  This all ended up with an assault on a Iron Horde camp with Yrel in order to arrest the trouble maker… again.

Didn't we take him into custody back in Pandaria already?

Always Garrosh…

That turned into a set piece where Thrall stepped in and eventually took him away.  If we have to go capture him again in some other timeline I am going to be annoyed.  This ended with all the big names standing around in a circle, so I took a pic.

The leadership powwow

The leadership powwow… and me

But what mattered at the moment was that I got the achievement I needed to wrap up the first item on the list for flying.

Always Garrosh, always achievements I guess...

Always Garrosh, always achievements I guess…

One down, four to go.

On the Explore Draenor front, I have a few corners of the map to explore.  It would be really easy to get this if I had flying… which I guess is somebody making a point.  Anyway, this is more a matter of just getting out and doing it.

Securing Draenor involves running a dozen missions from the map table in the garrison.  I have four down already, but some of the required missions are group focused, and I am not over-geared enough to handle elites solo or anything.  I demonstrated this to myself when I tried to do The Pit solo.  So some planning required on that.

Master Treasure Hunter requires looting 100 treasures in Draenor, excluding Tanaan Jungle.  I have 25 so far.  I am going to bet there is an addon that will help me with that.

And then there is the Tanaan Diplomat achievement, which requires me to get revered status with three factions in the jungle, the Saberstalkers, the Hand of the Prophet, and the Order of the Awakened.  I haven’t looked into that, but I imagine that will need running some dailies for a couple of weeks.

So that is my goal for now, to get flying in Draenor before the WoW 7.0 patch hits and the pre-Legion events begin.

Collecting Frostweave and Achievements

It was just Potshot and I again on Saturday night.  We were both on early and, as the appointed hour approached, it became clear that it would just be the two of us.

As it happened, we were both tooling about in Northrend doing the ground work for a couple of guild achievements.

He was on as Skronk and working on Tushui Pandaren faction, as nobody in the guild had managed to get to exalted as yet.  Mobs in heroic instances in Wrath of the Lich are still green, giving experience and faction when killed, so that looked like an easy way to advance his standing; just put on the Tushui tabard and go nuts.

Meanwhile I was trying to shore up another guild achievement related to crafting.  We were short a max level tailor and archaeologist.  I knocked out the archaeology earlier in the day with Vikund.

Zen Master in boring

Zen Master in boring

I had long ignored archaeology as a profession, but decided to run with it a bit over the summer.  Leveling up isn’t too hard, there are some decent rewards, and a long list of related achievements.  However, the basic mechanic of the profession, exploring dig sites, becomes so tedious after a while that I could only hold out until my skill level hit 600.  I am just not that desperate for something to do.

The guild was also missing a tailor at max level, so I had started working on that with my summer project alt, Trianis the rogue.  He is now sitting just shy of level 80, having sprinted through Northrend fairly quickly.  However, in that sprint he did not pick up nearly enough frostweave cloth to get into the Cataclysm skill range.  A guide I read said that you needed 12 pieces of cloth, which reduce down to bolts of frostweave at a rate of 5 to 1, in order to get to the next tier.

So I had Vikund out in Northrend to gather frostweave and bind on equip gear, the latter because Trianis is also an enchanter.  Tailoring and enchanting seem to go together.  Neither requires resource harvesting and you can disenchant all the useless tailoring items you have to make in order to skill up and use those to help skill up enchanting.

In pursuit of these twin goals I was headed towards Naxxramas.

It seems bigger on the inside...

It seems bigger on the inside…

I had read… at the very same crafting site that said I needed 1200 frostweave… that Naxx was the place for frostweave.  However, there was a trick that involved setting it for 25 player, going into the Plague Quarter, killing up to but not including the second boss, the running back out to reset the instance and then set it for 10 players and you would be in frostweave farming heaven or something.  Just kill the mobs in the bat section, reset, repeat.  Only I seemed to have messed it up as no bats were available on the reset.

And why do bats has frostweave?

And why do bats has frostweave?

At that point Skonk was in the neighborhood and decided to join me.  We got on Skype and wandered through Naxx together, slaying all who opposed us and collecting frostweave and equipment drops.  We were on the lookout for interesting items for transmog, though I am pretty picky on that front.  I have my troll shoulders and my sword (Claymore of the Prophet, which I have held onto since Argent Tournament was a thing), both of which I love, but other equipment tends to be less interesting.  I tend to hide my helm and I am seriously considering hiding my cloak if I don’t find a nice one, and everything else sort of fades into the background if you’re wearing a tabard.

Anyway, much frostweave was collected, though not as much as I needed.  It is a long ride to 1200.  I also picked up some BOE gear to send to Trianis.  This wasn’t helping Skronk with his faction quest… raid mobs don’t seem to give faction, though I am not sure why… but we were having fun.  We stumbled through and survived, managing to figure out each of the fights pretty much by patience and dumb luck.  And we picked up a pile of achievements. (Note to Skronk: Go back and kill that first boss you missed at 10 player level and you’ll get three or four more achievements.)

A good enough time was had that we decided to do it again.  We decided on Ulduar, never having been there.  We flew up to Storm Peaks and then had a bit of trouble actually finding the way in.  There are a couple of instances in the neighborhood, the Halls of Stone and Lightning, but the big raid swirly seemed to be eluding us.  Then I looked at the map and decided that maybe we needed to check out the great big building.

Here be Ulduar

Here be Ulduar

That wasn’t so subtle and soon we were in what looked to be a vehicle park.  There were gnomes all over and siege engines and other vehicles in various states of repair and whatnot.  However, since we couldn’t immediately get into any of the vehicles, we walked on past them and looked out on the sea of foes opposing us.

That is a lot of guys

That is a lot of guys

And, in seeing the might of our enemy said, “Meh, whatever” and advanced to face them on foot.

It was an epic battle.  They came on in seemingly endless numbers… which was in fact the case, since you have to destroy those towers to keep them from pouring out at you… and at various point we stood and slaughter them by the dozens and then ran ahead.

And here’s the thing; it worked.

We actually made it through the morass of hostiles to the first boss, the Flame Leviathan.  And that is where our effort fell apart.  He was hitting us for big numbers, big enough that eventually we succumbed.

The Fault in our Cars

The Fault in our Cars

We came back into the instance to find all the vehicles had been moved up to a start line just before the first boss, but we still couldn’t figure out how to use them or what to do.  Something was amiss.

I saw my friend Pia online and asked her what we needed to do to use the vehicles, and she said it was the same old big green arrow interface to mount up and drive as always.  While this didn’t tell us how, it was a clear indication that we had missed something.  So we went back out of the instance, reset it… which was successful this time since we hadn’t killed a boss yet… and went back in to more closely examine the starting area.  There we found noted adventurer and general troublemaker Brann Bronzebeard.

Brann Consults

Brann Consults

Since he was the party of interest in the local 5 player dungeons, we decided to speak with him.  And, sure enough, that conversation unlocked the vehicles.  So we took a siege engine, with me driving and Skronk in the turret, and headed on out.  I didn’t take a screen shot of it… I seemed to take very few over the course of the evening, but it was the one like I used to drive in Wintergrasp back in the day.

Shooting things, I understand that part

Shooting things and ramming things

And from that point forward things went swimmingly.  We knocked down all the towers one by one, slaughtered the hostiles in huge numbers without much effort, and went and taught the Flame Leviathan a thing or two about driving.  We were The Stig in a field of Captain Slow clones.

And then we were done with the vehicles.  They only seem to be for the first stage of the raid, and after that it is back on foot and tracking down bosses the old fashioned way.  So off we went, slaying all that we could find.  I am not sure we found everybody.  We went up and down every side path, but there were several towers with portals that we could not enter.  After we ran out of stuff there it was about time to call it a night.

All in all, an enjoyable time.  I collected a pile of frostweave and went on to get even more the next day.  Skronk went on to finish up the Tushui Pandaren faction the next day, as did I.  He also finished up all of the Northrend heroic dungeon achievements, which inspired me to do the same.  The Occulus was a bit of a pain, but I managed.

And, as everything in Northrend raids and heroics was green to us, I also managed to finish up the test of strength quest for Darkmoon Faire, the first time I had done that in ages on Vikund.  I also noticed, when I went to turn that quest in, that Goldshire appeared to still be on fire even though Hallow’s End had been done for a week.

That's not supposed to be on fire normally

That’s not supposed to be on fire normally

Anyway, it was a weekend of many Northrend achievements.  I think I piled up more than 30 if Raptr is to be believed, though it has been known to double count.  And I still some more frostweave for Trianis in order for him to get to the next tier.  I guess I will just put on a new tabard… maybe Wildhammer Clan this time… and start in on that.

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.

Continue reading

Critter-pocalypse Continues

As I mentioned before our guild, small though it may be, is intent on getting the armadillo pup that comes with the critter killing guild achievement.

We have now made it to the 20% mark.

I have added to the critter count myself by slaughtering the flocks of fjord penguins that can be found around Icecrown.

Many a penguin victim

I have to wonder what PETA thinks about this sort of incentivized critter slaughter that Blizzard has set up.

Actually, given their behavior back in 2009, I suppose I don’t really have to wonder.

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.

Sorting Through My Hallow’s End Loot

Hallow’s End is over, it closed up at midnight on October 31st.  And while I didn’t go all out to do things for Hallow’s End, I still ended up with a few cool items.

I did Trick-or-Treat and used the dungeon finder to slay the Headless Horseman at least once a day.

And while I did not get the coveted Horseman’s Reins, I did at least get the flying broom.  It only lasts a few days, but it is a cool mount and it summons instantly.

Vikund on the Broom

And I did get the Horseman’s Horrific Helm, which is not only a pretty good helm, but also lets you do the Headless Horesman’s laugh.

For This I Will Show Helm

And I even got one of the masks I was looking for.  But only one.  I am still one shy for the A Mask for All Occasions achievement.

One Shy...

Not bad I suppose.  But now I have to wait another year to try and knock out that final Hallow’s End achievement.

Oh, and I got about a half a dozen sinister squashlings and an equal number of hallowed helms, both of which I already had.

Ah well, maybe they will change up Hallow’s End a bit more next year.

One More Hallow’s End Achievement To Go

Again, as with Brewfest, the completionist in me wants to finish off that one last Hallow’s End achievement.

Unfortunately, that last achievement for Hallow’s End is a bit of a pain.  This will be my third year on it and it is simple a matter of luck as to whether it gets done or not.

Two Masks Left

Right now though, rather like Gordon, I am feeling a bit of WoW malaise.  Cataclysm is a month away.  I’ve been on, read up on my specs, tried out the new skills on a few characters, but am generally in a holding pattern until Cataclysm hits and the instance group returns to Azeroth.

So I am not on enough, or interested in logging on enough, to go do a trick or treat every hour in hopes of getting those last two masks.  Blood Elf masks.  Damn Blood Elves.

I do get on to do the Headless Horseman once a day.  I was having a problem with WoW locking up during the Headless Horseman event.  Fortunately, Larisa was having the same issue, and a comment on her post pointed me to an addon that fixes a tool tip crash that seems to be afflicting WoW of late.

The addon basically suppresses tool tips and prints them out in your chat window instead.  A simple fix.

Not that my locking up seemed to slow down the demise of the Headless Horseman.  Even with a disconnected Ret Pally, three groups I was in killed him and I logged back on to find I had the daily quest done.

So I suspect that I won’t finish this achievement again, despite this being my third run through Hallow’s End.  We shall see.