Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we are pleased to discover that a certain noncombat pet's going to be a lot more fun to obtain.
Hey folks. This edition of OverAchiever was initially meant to cover archaeology achievements, but we've been getting so many questions on Insane in the Membrane and other problematic achievements that I decided to pre-empt the archaeology article. The Queue comments also tend to host a lot of achievement questions, so I want to answer as many of them as I can here. I apologize in advance to anyone who already knows some, most, or even all of the answers contained herein.
If you have a question concerning disappearing achievements, reappearing achievements, achievements that are being altered, or [insert issue du jour], hopefully you'll find the answer here. Additionally, there's some information on the Razzashi Hatchling that pet collectors might want to hear about (fair warning: It involves a Cataclysm spoiler related to Northern Stranglethorn content), in addition to notes on what's going on with the Shen'dralar, Dire Maul, Molten Core, and city reputation tabards. I ran both an Alliance and Horde character ragged on the beta to confirm everything in this article personally, and the information should be accurate as of the most recent beta patch.
Do the faction reputation tabards work in every level dungeon?
Yes (barring one exception below). You won't get as much reputation for lower-level dungeons, but they'll still work. I saw three reputation points per mob (bosses included) in lower-level dungeons, as compared to 15+ per mob in 85 dungeons and heroics.
Wrath of the Lich King dungeons and heroics don't appear to be granting reputation with the city tabards, however (for example, Darkspear Tabard, Gnomeregan Tabard). I don't know whether this is intended or a bug. I assume it's the latter, given that much easier dungeons award rep.
What's going on with Insane in the Membrane?
During the BlizzCon 2010 World of Warcraft open Q&A session, developers made the unexpected announcement that Insane in the Membrane might not be obtainable in Cataclysm. This triggered a flurry of posts on the forums from players who were still working on it, and the community weathered some conflicting information from the blues and player angst before Blizzard finally decided that, yes, it was going to keep Insane in the Membrane. However, the developers have still made some changes, so I've listed them below.
So if you don't have your "Insane" title yet but still want it, don't worry; you can still get it in Cataclysm.
What's happening with each of the reputation grinds needed for Insane in the Membrane?
Bloodsail Buccaneers No real change.The pirate faction's still very active and now plays an important (and fun) role in the Cape of Stranglethorn leveling process; you'll actually spend a period of time friendly with them even if you've never killed a single Booty Bay Bruiser. On that note, Bruisers should now award reputation through exalted.
Darkmoon Faire This should be unchanged. However, I didn't have the foresight to visit the Darkmoon Faire during the limited periods it's been available on the beta, so I can't personally confirm this.
Ravenholdt Unchanged. It's a lot easier to find the place these days, as the path up the mountainside to Ravenholdt Manor is now marked on the map. But then, you can also fly to it, too.
Shen'dralar This is where things get confusing. What we do know is that exalted reputation with the Shen'dralar will no longer be required for Insane in the Membrane, and some of the information we got seemed to indicate that they would be disappearing entirely. However, this hasn't happened on the beta. Dire Maul has been revamped, and I'd assumed that the reclusive Highborne sect drowning its miseries in books within had decamped in favor of Darnassus, but most of the Shen'dralar NPCs still appear to be present. The lorekeepers, researchers, and vendor in the Athenaeum are still around, as is Prince Tortheldrin (who remains the object of a quest).
However, the reputation-related quests no longer appear to be on offer, so I'm not sure what's going on. The faction itself is still here, but why the reputation grind had to be taken out is anyone's guess.
A few notes on Dire Maul:
- The imp Pusillin is still around.
- Dire Maul East is still theoretically accessible from the "back door" at the Lariss Pavilion in eastern Feralas. Azj'Tordin (the Shen'dralar elf who, on the live servers, gives you a quest to get the Crescent Key) is still moping in the Pavilion as well.
- However, while it's possible to leave Dire Maul East by way of the back door, it wasn't possible to gain entry there; the Crescent Key had disappeared from my bags. I'm not sure whether this was simply the result of copying the character to the beta with an achievement wipe, a bug, or if it means that the Crescent Key is no longer meant to exist. You don't need it to access any portion of Dire Maul anyway, but I'm hoping it's simply a bug, because the "back door" is still interactive and requires the key.
- The Athenaeum continues to connect Dire Maul West and North. However, the door between the two in Dire Maul North isn't interactive, so the two dungeons are no longer accessible from their other halves. Cue Sad Keanu moment.
- The Dire Maul North "tribute run" is still alive and well, and a new NPC (a Druid of the Talon for the Alliance and a Stonemaul Ogre for the Horde) will tell you about it as you zone in. The key/lockpicking is no longer required to access the last door before Captain Kromcrush, so you don't need to kill the first boss if you don't have a rogue with you. The tribute run is also doable without bringing materials along for a Gordok Ogre Suit (or having made one in advance) or alchemy supplies to repair the trap for Guard Slip'kik.
- Knot Thimblejack is still present, and he will still offer to make you the Gordok Ogre Suit. However, it only requires Ogre Tannin now (that is, you don't have to bring other materials). I don't know whether it's still possible for tailors and leatherworkers to get the recipe for the suit. See below for a note on Steamwheedle Cartel rep.
What's happened to the Razzashi Hatchling?
The Razzashi Hatchling (the little red raptor pet) was assumed to be disappearing alongside Zul'Gurub, but has been recently confirmed to be obtainable elsewhere in the game. We initially thought it would appear as a drop elsewhere, but I think (though can't yet confirm) it's going to wind up being a quested pet.
Here's why: There's a really neat quest line (for both Alliance and Horde) in Northern Stranglethorn pairing you with a small raptor hatchling that follows you around. Horde players, if you've done the quest line for the Venomhide Ravasaur, you'll recognize a few of the elements here. The friendly little raptor turns out to be the daughter of Bloodlord Mandokir's raptor, Ohgan, and not disposed to follow in daddy's footsteps. However, you accidentally resurrect Mandokir over the course of the quest line (hands up -- who's surprised?), and he proceeds to hold a friendly NPC hostage in return for your little raptor buddy. Players killed his own mount and he needs to raise a replacement.
What follows is a nifty series of quests that culminates in a trip back to Zul'Gurub, where you'll assume control of the tiny raptor in a bid to escape before Mandokir catches you. The attempt doesn't succeed, but unfortunately, that's as far as I got on my level 36 rogue. My best guess right now is that the little raptor will be a quested pet down the line, because making it a random drop under the circumstances wouldn't really make sense.
Is Molten Core still in the game?
Yes, and it appears unchanged from its present incarnation on the live servers.
What's going on with the Hydraxian Waterlords?
The rep is still in the game, but there's no sign of Duke Hydraxis or his elementals in Azshara.
What about the Thorium Brotherhood?
They're still around and accepting the usual turn-ins.
What old-world raids have disappeared?
Apart from Zul'Gurub, none of them. Ahn'Qiraj-20 has been changed to a 10-man raid, but that's about it.
What mounts are disappearing?
The Swift Zulian Tiger, the Swift Razzashi Raptor, and the four Trial of the Grand Crusader mounts. We recently ran an OverAchiever on getting these if you're still interested, but time is running out.
What's going on with the Ulduar and Icecrown drakes?
Nothing. The Ulduar proto-drakes and Icecrown frostwyrms are all still in the game.
What's happening with Loremaster? Do I have to start all over again if I don't already have it?
Nope. In a nutshell, whatever you've already done isn't taken away from you, but how much you have left to do is subject to change. If you already have one or more of the meta-achievements, you'll still have them post-patch (e.g., Loremaster of Kalimdor, Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms). If you've done, say, 529 quests toward Loremaster of the Eastern Kingdoms, you'll have those 529 quests credited to you, but the number of quests you have to finish for each achievement has probably changed. However, that's where things get hairy, as you won't have credit for any of the new quests introduced, but you still won't be starting from scratch.
A Horde character before the patch needs 685 quests for Loremaster of Kalimdor and 550 quests for Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms. An Alliance character needs 700 quests for Loremaster of Kalimdor and 700 quests for Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms.
Post-patch, that same Horde character will need 624 quests for Loremaster of Kalimdor (split across 13 zones, each with its own achievement) and 603 quests for Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms (split across 14 zones, each with its own achievement). The Alliance character will need 714 quests for Loremaster of Kalimdor (split across 13 zones, each with its own achievement) and 648 quests for Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms (split across 14 zones, each with its own achievement). The Outland and Northrend quest requirements appear to be unchanged for the moment. With the Cataclysm zones becoming a requirement for Loremaster, it's possible that the title may be briefly unattainable by players between patch 4.0.3a (if all of these changes go live then) and Cataclysm's release.
If you have any other questions, please drop a line on the comments, and I'll make sure they get answered.
Working on achievements? The Overachiever is here to help! We cover everything from Glory of the Hero and Insane in the Membrane to Master of Alterac Valley and Lil' Game Hunter, and you can count on us to guide you through Azeroth's holidays and special events.