For experienced achievement hunters, these aren't a big surprise; Blizzard has made a habit of turning older holiday items like Brewfest Steins and Winter Veil gifts into feats of strength, so people tend to hang onto them for that reason. In addition to the two new feats of strength related to the 2009 and 2010 Winter Veil presents, we also get an early peek at this year's gift -- a Gaudy Winter Veil Sweater! Given the additional achievement related to the sweater (see below), it's pretty obvious that the on-use effect for holiday carols isn't just there for show. I have to say that an ugly holiday sweater is one of Blizzard's funnier Winter Veil ideas.
The achievement concerning the Red Rider Air Rifle (the 2009 Winter Veil gift) is a little more exclusive than it appears. You can purchase Rifles from the Dalaran toy store and the wandering toy vendors in Stormwind and Orgrimmar (Craggle Wobbletop and Blax Bottlerocket, respectively), but the only version that counts toward the feat of strength is the 2009 gift. My main on the PTR who's stashed her rifle in her bank has the achievement; a premade version who ran and bought one off Blax in Orgrimmar does not.
- Gaudy Winter Veil Sweater Proud owner of the 2011 Vintage Winter Veil gift, the Gaudy Winter Veil Sweater.
- MiniZep Controller Proud owner of the 2010 Vintage Winter Veil gift, the MiniZep Controller.
- Red Rider Air Rifle Proud owner of the 2009 Vintage Winter Veil gift, the Red Rider Air Rifle.
In our holiday guides, I've gotten used to reassuring players that they don't need to worry about achievements related to newer content, but it appears that Blizzard's starting to play catch-up -- at least with the Lunar and Midsummer Fire Festivals. If you're still working on various holidays for the yearly meta What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, be advised that the post-4.3 versions of these holidays are likely to require more work.
The achievement below has been added to the To Honor One's Elders meta, so if you don't yet have the Elder title, plan on having to do this when the Lunar Festival goes live in January 2012. That said, there are only nine Cataclysm Elders, so you don't have to worry about a lot of them.
- Elders of Cataclysm Honor the Elders, which are located in zones opened by the cataclysm.
As with its Lunar Festival counterpart, these have all been added to The Flame Warden (Alliance) or The Flame Keeper (Horde) meta achievements required for What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. Sorry, new folks; you're going to wear out a lot more digital shoe leather on this title than your older colleagues did.
- Extinguishing Northrend (Alliance) Desecrate the Horde's bonfires in Northrend.
- Extinguishing Northrend (Horde) Desecrate the Alliance's bonfires in Northrend.
- Extinguishing the Cataclysm (Alliance) Desecrate the Horde's bonfires in zones opened by the cataclysm.
- Extinguishing the Cataclysm (Horde) Desecrate the Alliance's bonfires in zones opened by the cataclysm.
- Flame Warden of Northrend (Alliance) Honor the flames of Northrend.
- Flame Keeper of Northrend (Horde) Honor the flames of Northrend.
- Flame Warden of Cataclysm (Alliance) Honor the flames of zones opened by the cataclysm.
- Flame Keeper of Cataclysm (Horde) Honor the flames of zones opened by the cataclysm.
This one breaks the trend: A-Caroling We Will Go is not required for the Merrymaker meta, so for the moment I assume it's just a fun little achievement added so you can inflict your ugly sweater on enemy capitals. Merrymaker had escaped the scourge of holiday metas sending you to die horribly enemy capitals, so I guess Blizzard had to cook up some incentive for you to ... well, go die horribly in an enemy capital. I thought this was supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.
- A-Caroling We Will Go (Alliance) Use your Gaudy Winter Veil Sweater to carol in enemy capital cities during the Feast of Winter Veil.
- A-Caroling We Will Go (Horde) Use your Gaudy Winter Veil Sweater to carol in enemy capital cities during the Feast of Winter Veil.
Pretty routine: Blizzard's just adding some points to achievements that previously lacked them.
- Hero of the Alliance: Vicious now awards 10 achievement points, up from zero.
- Hero of the Horde: Vicious now awards 10 achievement points, up from zero.
The three new heroic 5-mans are the Hour of Twilight, the Well of Eternity, and End Time; the new raid is Dragon Soul. As Dragon Soul isn't currently available, the Minutes to Midnight achievement is basically an unknown quantity, although we do know that Ultraxion is the fifth boss of eight encounters. His Dungeon Journal entry doesn't currently reference the Hour of Twilight ability, so your guess is as good as mine on what this does.
My groups for the new heroics have been alternately nonexistent due to my schedule or else kicked offline by server instability, so regrettably I'm not in a position to shed much light on Moon Guard or That's Not Canon! However, I think we can all agree that the latter is pretty much the best achievement of all time, sight unseen. Our commenter Bellajtok came up with a marvelous ditty when we ran a quick news article on the new achievements:
Bella, I think I kind of love you.
Demons die when a lore nerd goes to war.
QQs will sound and drown the fun
When a lore nerd goes to war.
Each PUG dies and ninja lies
Tank will quit and the the queue will rise
When a lore nerd goes to war.
Demons die, but count the cost,
The Valor's won, but the cheevy's lost.
For anyone interested in seeing End Time, Mat McCurley shot a great video the other day, and I'll try to get some commentary on these achievements up as soon as I get a workable group.
- Minutes to Midnight Defeat Ultraxion in Dragon Soul without any raid member being hit by Hour of Twilight more than once.
- Moon Guard Engage the Echo of Tyrande in End Time on Heroic Difficulty after surviving her Shadow Gauntlet without allowing the party's healer to take any damage.
- That's Not Canon! Defeat Mannoroth in Well of Eternity on Heroic Difficulty after dealing enough damage to Mannoroth while Varo'then is still alive to cause him to sacrifice Varo'then to heal himself.
You won't catch me complaining about one less fish to be caught for The Limnologist. Experienced fishermen everywhere already know that the achievement previously required five super-rare "Bloated" fish with 1 in 1,000 (at best) drop rates. From what I can see, the new requirement allows you to bypass all of these headaches, so the only fishing achievements left with a horrifying drop rate are the usual mainstays Turtles All the Way Down and One That Didn't Get Away.
- The Limnologist now requires 42 different fish, down from 43.
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.