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The OverAchiever: Guide to Children's Week 2011

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we resign ourselves to another year of School of Hard Knocks.

Yep, folks, we've got back-to-back WoW holidays this year with Noblegarden and Children's Week! Noblegarden will end right around the time that Children's Week begins, and you've got from Sunday, May 1, until Sunday, May 8, to get everything you need. Check your in-game calendar to see your realm's exact start and end times.

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. Fortunately for you, there are only six achievements associated with the meta and seven with the holiday itself. Unfortunately for you, one of them is an almighty pain in the ass that made #2 on our series of WoW's 25 most evil achievements.

Home Alone Very, very easy: Simply use your hearthstone while you have an orphan out, and you'll have the achievement. If you're a true sadist, you can get your orphans stranded in such pleasant locales as the Eastern Plaguelands, Wintergrasp mid-battle, or the top of a frozen mountain in Storm Peaks or Winterspring.

This achievement's been bugged in years past -- players would get then lose it after logging to other characters -- so don't freak out if that happens again. Blizzard's usually quick with the hotfixes.

Bad Example 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, although it's possible that their locations will have changed somewhat post-Cataclysm. If you're Alliance, you'll be looking for Emmithue Smails, who will probably be located in or around the main Stormwind inn. If you're Horde, Alowicious Czervik was traditionally found between Orgrimmar's central auction house and bank (now Grommash Hold). 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. You've also been able to find it on a vendor at the Shimmering Flats racetrack in Thousand Needles, which is now ... uh, underwater. Fear not: Brivelthwerp peddles the ice cream these days from a boat at 69, 85.
  • 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, albeit for high prices, 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 cooking dailies. Most dedicated chefs 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 -- like the Tasty Cupcake -- they are likely to be very expensive.
Daily Chores This was once an achievement requiring you to do at least one daily every day for five days, but Blizzard hotfixed 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 your orphan out while you're doing the quests -- he just has to be around when you hand the quests in to the quest giver. Which quest/s you select won't matter, so just do whatever dailies you're already doing or whatever's most convenient for you.

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
This was arguably easier during Wrath of the Lich King with tons of players already running Utgarde Pinnacle, but let's face it: At level 85, you should be able to stomp the place with a friend or two, particularly because it doesn't matter whether you kill Ymiron on normal or heroic. Either way, don't forget to have your orphan out before you pull him.

School of Hard Knocks
I've been pretty vocal about my hatred for this achievement, and I'm not alone in that. For the length of Children's Week, School of Hard Knocks turns battlegrounds into an 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 at the same time rather than splitting to different objectives (you know, in the interests of teamwork?) results in 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 you'll be hard-pressed to find a player who cares if this is the only thing standing between him/her and the meta.

The saving grace of School of Hard Knocks is that, because the battlegrounds have historically been 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. You will get sympathetic players who'll cap and recap nodes for enemies with children out and Warsong Gulch flag carriers voluntarily dropping flags, but you shouldn't count on its being a universal truth. All it really takes is one or two opportunistic enemy players deciding to take advantage of distracted enemies, and your ass is grass. However, because so many players' mains already have the meta, there's a little less urgency these days.

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.

Veteran Nanny This achievement is not required for the meta, so don't worry about it unless you've been playing for a while. Players with two of the three Outland Children's Week pets can snag themselves a cool 50 achievement points by simply grabbing whichever noncombat pet they haven't picked in years past.

Working on achievements? The Overachiever is here to help! Count on us for advice on Azeroth's holidays and special events, including new achievements, how to get 310% flight speed with achievement mounts, and Cataclysm reputation factions and achievements.

Filed under: Events, Achievements, The Overachiever

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