10. Alone in the Darkness
I've previously described the Yogg + 0 encounter as "a screaming, gibbering nightmare," and I stand by that comment proudly.
Yogg with no keepers up simply does not permit mistakes. Even if you do it with the benefit of heroic ICC gear, your raid has to play perfectly to avoid the seemingly endless array of ways to get yourself killed -- or worse, driven mad. Yogg can easily RNG even amazing players into a sliver of Sanity entering phase 3, and there is literally nothing you can do about it. The only way to survive is -- again -- to play perfectly, because there's no way to make up for whatever you've lost. You giveth yourself a margin for error, and Yogg? He shall taketh away.
The Sanity mechanic alone guarantees that this encounter is never going to be a cakewalk for the length of Wrath, and I'm curious to see if it even gets easier in Cataclysm. While a few guildies have floated the idea of doing Yogg + 0 at 85 to farm Mimiron's Heads (for people who, for some inexplicable reason, want a reminder of the nightmare that was Firefighter), not everyone's on board. I guess there are only so many times you can watch your raid disappear under a murderous pack of completely unkillable adds before you break out in a cold sweat at the thought of getting within 50 miles of Ulduar again. If you watch Stars' world-first kill, and more particularly the final few seconds where they sacrifice most of the raid for one or two more seconds' worth of damage, you'll get a sense of just how desperate phase 3 can get.
More than a year after Ulduar's release, a lot of servers still don't have a Yogg + 0 kill (and of those that do, most have just one) -- and it took the world's best guilds the better part of three months to manage it. Many raiders think the only encounter in Wrath that equals the difficulty of Alone in the Darkness is ... well, you'll see later on in our list.
9. Higher Learning
While this is a great achievement for lore nerds, it's an RNG-infested pain in the ass to complete. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to find a series of eight disappearing and reappearing books all over the city of Dalaran, with the eventual goal of reading the complete Schools of Arcane Magic series. For your troubles, you'll get this achievement and a neat little arcane pet. Of course, you're also likely to get an ordeal that may span months unless you're willing to arrange your schedule around the books' 3-4 hour respawns, or be online as soon as the servers come up after maintenance. While this is certainly the easiest way to guarantee that you'll find a book in the spawn area, occasionally things like gainful employment stand in the way of logging on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon.
Easily the most frustrating thing about this achievement is the high chance of getting a "dummy" book that's not part of the series. From a lore perspective, it's fantastic and wonderfully appropriate that you never know what book you'll get in a city steeped in magic, and many of them are actually interesting to read.
From a game mechanics perspective -- and especially if it's that one last Arcane Magic book you need that resolutely refuses to spawn -- it's wait after wait after boring and usually disappointing wait.
8. Hero of Shattrath
The Aldor and the Scryers hate each other. How do you know? Every time the Aldor decide to like you just a little bit more, the Scryers decide the opposite, and vice versa. The only way to get this achievement is to reach exalted with one faction, then turn around and start the long, painful, horrible grind to from hated to exalted with the other. Because their respective hand-ins are no longer very common on the auction house, you'll probably have to get most of them yourself.
7. Accomplished Angler
From our earlier article spotlighting three of the most evil achievements:
Accomplished Angler is so stuffed with RNG that you could theoretically get the whole meta-achievement in the space of a single day -- or, like me, you could be slogging away at it more than a year into Wrath.
I debated whether to split up all the horrifying RNG achievements required for the fishing meta, but there are so damn many of them that it just feels more efficient to group them here. A lot of Accomplished Angler is really, really fun, especially for people who genuinely liked fishing even when the more reasonable among us would admit there wasn't much point to it. But for all those of us still chasing the "Salty" title, there's a depressing amount of luck involved in getting the meta. At this point, I've caught tens of thousands of fish without once seeing a rare needed for One That Didn't Get Away or getting a Sea Turtle during the year I've fished up countless pools' worth of Fish Feasts.
As an aside, I rather enjoyed our commenter Grovinofdarkhour's description of One That Didn't Get Away: If achievements were people, that one would be a dirty rotten son of a bitch that kicks cats and pushes old ladies. Testify!
Either you'll nail this achievement on the first try, or (more likely) you'll spend the better part of an evening resetting the fight and trying over .. .and over ... and over ... -- The OverAchiever: Return of the Glory of the Hero.
This is, without question, the most despised achievement required for the Glory of the Hero meta now that Oculus has been clobbered by the nerf bat. Certain lucky souls out there may get it entirely by accident if they land a very high DPS group with lots of interrupts through the Dungeon Finder, but for the rest of us, Less-rabi is much less forgiving (unless you accidentally hit Bash at exactly the right moment and get it by accident).
Your goal? Kill Moorabi without allowing him to transform. The horrible part is that his transform cast speeds up as his health drops, becoming virtually instantaneous below 20%. Below 50%, he'll try casting it every 5 seconds, and unless you have better reflexes than Peter Parker, you're virtually certain to miss a cast. Oh, and Moorabi also has an irritating knack for using Quake at inconvenient times, stunning the group and allowing him to transform with impunity. Even if you have an elemental shaman with Reverberation (easily the best way to do the fight), the unpredictable stun can eighty-six an otherwise perfect attempt.
In some ways, this achievement is even more painful nowadays given much higher average group DPS; it's absurdly easy to kill Moorabi by accident trying to reset the fight because he got a transform off. I've seen a lot of players walk away from this fight frustrated and angry because it's the last achievement they need for the meta, and with so many players in tier 9 these days, it can be next to impossible to reset the fight before DoTs finish him off.