This year, the Midsummer Fire Festival will go live at 3:00 am server time Monday, June 21st and will run through 3:00 am Sunday, July 4th. While it doesn't outwardly appear to be a very time-intensive holiday -- the meta, awarding the Flame Warden title to Alliance players and Flame Keeper title to Horde players, consists of only six achievements -- three of them will have you trekking all over the world.
We don't believe that the holiday has changed significantly from its 2009 incarnation (if it has, the information hasn't become available yet), but there have been a few changes to how you'll do some of the achievements, and the holiday's boss, Lord Ahune, also has an updated loot table. Consequently, I've updated and expanded our 2009 guide to reflect the changes we're aware of.
First things first; how you do Ice the Frost Lord has almost certainly changed from its 2008 and 2009 versions:
Ice the Frost Lord
Lord Ahune was a fairly easy fight in both 2008 and 2009, and we don't think the encounter itself has changed. However, he'll probably be inaccessible to anyone who isn't using the dungeon finder. Before patch 3.3.3, Blizzard indicated its interest in having players queue for holiday bosses solely through the dungeon finder. Upon completion of the encounters, players receive a bag containing special holiday items from the boss once -- and only once -- per day. You can queue and farm the boss as much as you want for their regular drops (i.e. cloaks, necks, rings, etc.), but you'll only get one crack at a pet or mount per day. The intent is to cut down on the endless resummoning of holiday bosses that players have been able to manage by press-ganging a huge line of alts. While I'm having trouble locating the blue post where this was stated, I also believe the drop rate on mounts/pets has been raised to compensate for only getting one chance a day.
Since this system is supposed to have gone into effect for patch 3.3.3, it should be live in the game when Lord Ahune becomes available (although of course we won't know for sure until the Festival starts). When the holiday goes live, I'll be around to snap a pic of how you queue for the boss and update our guide.
Otherwise, Ahune should be the same fight with the addition of an updated ilevel 232 loot table. The quest chain that leads to slaying him starts with Earthen Ring Elders located around city fires everywhere. However, you need to be at least 65 to get the follow-up quest to head to Outland, then queue for the encounter through the dungeon finder and kill Ahune. Ahune will drop an item (group loot) that starts Shards of Ahune, rewarding you with your choice of tabards (the blue Tabard of Summer Skies or the reddish Tabard of Summer Flames) and 20 Burning Blossoms.
- WoW.com's guide to the Lord Ahune fight
- Suspected 2010 cloak drops: Frostscythe of Lord Ahune (ilevel 232 spellpower staff), Icebound Cloak (ilevel 232 tanking cloak), The Frost Lord's War Cloak (ilevel 232 agility-based physical DPS cloak), The Frost Lord's Battle Shroud (ilevel 232 strength-based physical DPS cloak), Shroud of Winter's Chill (ilevel 232 caster cloak with crit and haste), Cloak of the Frigid Winds (ilevel 232 caster cloak with haste and spirit).
- Other drops: Enchant Weapon -- Deathfrost and the Scorched Stone noncombat pet. UPDATE: The Scorchling noncombat pet isn't available this year per Blizzard poster Aredek. In its place we're seeing the Frigid Frostling pet drop.
- Will Ahune drop earlier ilevel 110 cloak/necks for lower-level players?: We're not sure yet, so stay tuned.
The following should be mostly unchanged from the holiday's 2008 and 2009 versions. I've updated and clarified 2009 achievement guide to reflect what happened last year.
The Fires of Azeroth encompasses each faction's Flame Keeper of the Eastern Kingdoms, Flame Keeper of Kalimdor, and Flame Keeper of Outland achievements. It requires a lot of legwork and travel time, but should be easily doable for any character with a full set of flight paths. If you don't have a full set of flight paths, now would be a great time to get them; the vast majority of the Midsummer fires are within a few seconds' walk of a flightmaster. For all new players, in order to "honor" or "desecrate" a fire, all you need to do is right-click on it.
Big thanks are due here to Wowwiki, which had an enormously helpful set of coordinates for each fire. The sites for honoring flames aren't the same for the Alliance and the Horde, so I've split them up for the convenience of each character's faction. However -- as you'll note from the Desecration achievement following this -- you still need to know about the other factions' fires in order to complete Flame Keeper.
The 2009 Midsummer Fire Festival was initially bugged, and players were unable to honor or desecrate any fire that they'd visited in 2008. Although Blizzard was able to fix it, hopefully it won't happen this year.
Flame Keeper of the Eastern Kingdoms: There are 14 Alliance fires in the Eastern kingdoms, located in:
- Arathi Highlands -- Refuge Point at 50,44
- Blasted Lands -- Nethergarde Keep at 58,17
- Burning Steppes -- Morgan's Vigil at 81,63
- Dun Morogh -- Kharanos at 46,47
- Duskwood -- Darkshire at 73,54
- Elwynn Forest -- Goldshire at 43,63
- Hillsbrad Foothills -- Southshore at 50,47
- Loch Modan -- Thelsamar at 32,40
- Redridge Mountains -- Lakeshire at 26,60
- Stranglethorn Vale -- Booty Bay at 33,74
- The Hinterlands -- Aerie Peak at 14,50
- Wetlands -- Menethil Harbor at 13,47
- Western Plaguelands -- Chillwind Camp at 43,82
- Westfall --Sentinel Hill at 55,52
- Ashenvale -- Astranaar at 37,54
- Azuremyst Isle -- Azure Watch at 44,52
- Bloodmyst Isle -- Blood Watch at 55,67
- Darkshore -- Auberdine at 37,45
- Desolace -- Nijel's Point at 65,17
- Dustwallow Marsh -- Theramore at 61,39
- Feralas -- Feathermoon Stronghold at 28,43
- Silithus --Cenarion Hold at 55,35
- Tanaris -- Gadgetzan at 52,28
- Teldrassil -- Dolanaar at 54,60
- Winterspring -- Everlook at 62,35
- Blade's Edge Mountains -- Sylvanaar at 41,65
- Hellfire Peninsula -- Honor Hold at 62,58
- Nagrand -- Telaar at 50,70
- Netherstorm -- Area 52 at 31,62
- Shadowmoon Valley -- Wildhammer Stronghold at 40,54
- Terokkar Forest -- Allerian Stronghold at 54,56
- Zangarmarsh -- Telredor at 69,52
Flame Keeper of the Eastern Kingdoms: There are 11 Horde fires in the Eastern Kingdoms, located in:
- Arathi Highlands -- Hammerfall at 73,41
- Badlands -- Kargath at 4,50
- Burning Steppes -- Flaming Crest at 61,30
- Eversong Woods -- Falconwing Square at 46,50
- Ghostlands -- Tranquillien at 47,26
- Hillsbrad Foothills -- Tarren Mill at 58,25
- Silverpine Forest -- The Sepulcher at 50,39
- Stranglethorn Vale -- Booty Bay at 33,74
- Swamp of Sorrows -- Stonard at 46,45
- The Hinterlands -- Revantusk Village at 76,74
- Tirisfal Glades -- Brill at 57,52
- Ashenvale -- Splintertree Post at 69,69
- Desolace -- Shadowprey Village at 26,77
- Durotar -- Razor Hill at 51,46
- Dustwallow Marsh -- Brackenwall Village at 33,31
- Feralas -- Camp Mojache at 72,47
- Mulgore -- Bloodhoof Village at 53,60
- Silithus -- Cenarion Hold at 46,43
- Stonetalon Mountains -- Sunrock Retreat at 50,60
- Tanaris -- Gadgetzan at 49,28
- The Barrens -- Crossroads at 51,26
- Thousand Needles -- Freewind Post at 41,52
- Winterspring -- Everlook at 59,35
- Blade's Edge Mountains -- Thunderlord Stronghold at 50,58
- Hellfire Peninsula -- Thrallmar at 57,42
- Nagrand -- Garadar at 51,34
- Netherstorm -- Area 52 at 32,68
- Shadowmoon Valley - Shadowmoon Village at 33,31
- Terokkar Forest -- Stonebreaker Hold at 52,43
- Zangarmarsh -- Zabra'jin at 36,52