I had originally intended to run the last article in our continuing series on evil achievements this week but belatedly remembered that Children's Week starts this Sunday. Possibly I'd blocked it out due to the existence of School of Hard Knocks, but even that's not an excuse given that this miserable piece of work appears in my top five evil achievements article (and my own personal See Me In Hell list).
As with other WoW holidays, Children's Week was heavily revised last year. We haven't seen any additional information for the 2010 holiday, so we're assuming that it's the same. Much of our 2009 guide had to be written on the fly as information trickled in from the realms that saw the holiday first, so for 2010, I've organized and expanded it past the cut. The Children's Week achievements and the meta For The Children are part of the year-long What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so you will want to get these done if you're working toward a violet proto-drake.
This achievement was a little buggy last year; it reset after players logged off or to other characters. Fortunately, Blizzard was able to fix it, and it went back to being quite an easy achievement, albeit one with a slightly sadistic feel. Simply use your hearthstone while you have an orphan out, and you'll have the achievement. For added fun, you can get them stranded in such pleasant locales as the Eastern Plaguelands, Wintergrasp mid-battle or the top of a frozen mountain in Storm Peaks.
I've listed where and how you can find the necessary sweets below; just don't forget to have your orphan out before you sit down to what might be expensive treats:
- Tigule and Foror's Strawberry Ice Cream This will be sold by vendors who appear in Stormwind and Orgrimmar for the duration of the holiday. The Alliance will find Emmithue Smails just outside the Stormwind inn. The Horde will find Alowicious Czervik can be found between Orgrimmar's auction house and bank. If you're leveling a character in Outland, you may find it more convenient to purchase the ice cream from your faction's innkeeper in Nagrand. Weirdly enough, a vendor at the Shimmering Flats race track also sells it -- and this may be the last year you can buy it there.
- Red Velvet Cupcake Sold by Aimee, the Dalaran pastry vendor located outside the city's north bank at 51, 27.
- Dalaran Brownie Sold by Aimee.
- Dalaran Doughnut Sold by Aimee.
- Lovely Cake Sold by Aimee. In order to get the Lovely Cake Slice you need, right-click the cake to set it down somewhere on the ground. You'll then be able to right-click it again and take a "slice" of this somewhat expensive cake.
- Tasty Cupcake: Created by cooking, requiring 350 skill (or you can always look on the auction house, as enterprising players will certainly be selling them during the holiday). Requires two Simple Flour (purchased from any cooking supplier) and one Northern Egg per cupcake. If you're not willing to pay what are sure to be highly inflated prices on the auction house for eggs, you can easily get them off most bird mobs in Northrend.
- Delicious Chocolate Cake: The Delicious Chocolate Cake recipe is a random reward from Outland and Northrend cooking dailies. Most dedicated chefs at 80 are already likely to have the recipe, which requires 1 cooking skill and eight Simple Flour, four Ice Cold Milk, four Mild Spices, eight Small Eggs, one Flask of Port and three Mageroyal. If you don't have the recipe or the inclination to farm up the materials, you'll probably find some cakes on the auction house, but they are likely to be very expensive.
This was once an achievement requiring you to do at least one daily every day for five days, but Blizzard hot-fixed it to its more forgiving form. Just have your orphan out as you turn in five daily quests, and you'll get it. You don't even need to have them out while you're doing the quests -- they just have to be around when you hand the quests in to the quest-giver.
Aw, Isn't It Cute?
This is very easy and fun to get. Each of the Azeroth, Outland and Northrend Children's Week quest lines will reward you with your pick of noncombat pets at the end, and all you have to do is learn one. The quest lines themselves are very straightforward.
Hail To The King, Baby
Easy, and easier still with the dungeon finder; just queue for Utgarde Pinnacle, or wait until it pops up as a random. Whether you do normal or heroic doesn't matter, but again, don't forget to have your orphan out before the group pulls King Ymiron.
School of Hard Knocks
This is not exactly players' favorite achievement, and with good reason. For the length of Children's Week, it turns battlegrounds into an every-man-for-himself bonanza ruining gameplay, and even the achievement's defenders admit it's something to be endured rather than enjoyed.
School of Hard Knocks requires you to return a Warsong Gulch flag, assault a node in Arathi Basin, assault a tower in Alterac Valley and cap a flag in Eye of the Storm -- all with an orphan out. That's all very well and good, because all four objectives are routine for these battlegrounds, but legions of individual players all trying to do them rather than splitting to different objectives (you know, in the interests of teamwork?) is an unhappy mess. The fastest way to accomplish all four objectives is to form a premade with like-minded players and take turns protecting each other while each gets the objectives done. Failing that, the only way to do this is to keep queuing and trying -- over and over and over again until, wonder of wonders, you're the first person to click your faction's flag in Warsong Gulch or survive the mad dash to a tower in Alterac Valley. Of course, that doesn't actually mean that pursuing the enemy flag carrier or assaulting a tower is even a good idea strategically when you do it, but who cares about the other people? You're here for yourself, not to help your team! Teamwork and sensible play are for suckers!
The (very occasional) saving grace of School of Hard Knocks is that, because the battlegrounds are flooded with players desperate to get it done, you'll sometimes get lucky with a "We're all in this together" attitude on the part of opposing players. I've heard of enemy players capping and recapping Arathi Basin nodes with orphans in tow, Warsong Gulch flag carriers voluntarily dropping flags so opposing players could return them and even some semblance of turn-taking at the Eye of the Storm flag. But you shouldn't count on this happening. All it really takes is one or two opportunistic enemy players deciding to take advantage of distracted enemies, and your ass is grass. Have fun back in the queue.
I am a big fan of Blizzard's achievement system, but if you want to encourage more people to play and enjoy battlegrounds, this isn't the way to do it. That's why School of Hard Knocks has earned a slot among the top five most evil achievements in the game. More on that next week, folks.