Hallow's End 2011 begins on Tuesday, Oct. 18 and runs through Monday, Oct. 31 this year. For all those of you still working toward the yearlong meta What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been that grants the Violet Proto-Drake, Hallow's End is one of the required holidays. Completing the required Hallow's End achievements will also award the title the Hallowed.
Over the past year, we've seen some new things pop up for the holiday's 2011 incarnation on both the patch 4.1 and 4.2 PTRs. While we're not 100% sure of how the former will show up within the game or what's going on with the possible new holiday currency, we've got a few guesses. I'll be around as the holiday goes live to clarify and update today's guide, but I expect the new stuff will be pretty straightforward.
As with our guide to Brewfest, I've arranged the holiday's achievement in the rough order they should be completed, noting which achievements are required for the meta and which aren't.
Update on Tuesday, Oct. 18: The holiday has gone live on all realms now, and I've started to update how the new changes affect achievements. Please bear with us!
The Savior of Hallow's End is very easy to do at the beginning of the holiday when a lot of players can help put out village fires, and not quite as easy to do as the holiday winds on and fewer people get involved. It's similar to Down With The Dark Iron from Brewfest in that respect, so this is the achievement you'll want to complete first. If you get delayed early in the holiday or if you just don't have any choice but to do it alone, head for Azure Watch (if you're Alliance) or Falconwing Square (if you're Horde). It's considerably easier in both towns to solo the achievement if you can't rustle some guildies or friends for help.
NPCs in major cities will direct you to one of your faction's level 10 villages: Goldshire, Kharanos, Azure Watch or Dolanaar for the Alliance, and Brill, Razor Hill, Falconwing Square or Bloodhoof Village for the Horde. Each is attacked every 15 minutes by the Headless Horseman, who sets several buildings on fire. Your task is to talk to the visiting Orphan Matron and then help the locals by dousing the flames. How do you do this? You'll be given a bucket, and in each town there'll be a centrally located water barrel. Hotkey the bucket to speed things up, click it in proximity to the barrel in order to fill it, run anywhere there's a fire, and use the bucket again. You'll get a targeting circle you can aim at the flames. Lather, rinse and repeat until all the fires are out; it's really pretty simple.
That Sparkling Smile (required)
That Sparkling Smile is easy enough, but you'll have to suffer through a little RNG for it, which is why I've given it priority. In addition to picking up a Handful of Treats from the candy buckets located in inns for Tricks and Treats of Azeroth (see below) and adding to your Tricky Treat stocks, Tooth Picks are a potential reward within. Once you get one, simply right-click it, and you'll have your achievement.
The Masquerade (required)
The Masquerade is another achievement you'll want to get done (or at least, started on) somewhat early. Wands, like Tooth Picks, are a random reward from the Treat Bags that innkeepers will give you once per hour when you trick-or-treat with them. However, the catch is that you can't transform yourself into anything. While you're likely to have a certain number of wands used on you anyway by guild pranksters or group members, it's still common to wind up a few wands short. Typically this has resulted in players' trading wand transformations back and forth, and in past years it's been common for players to congregate in highly visible areas (e.g., around the Stormwind fountain for Alliance, or around the Orgrimmar bank -- now Garrosh's building -- for Horde) and make offers through trade. So if you still need a few transforms (or even all of them!), just advertise.
As the holiday winds on and fewer people trick-or-treat with innkeepers, it's more common for players to start selling rather than trading wand charges -- so again, the earlier you get this done, the more likely you are to avoid that particular headache.
G.N.E.R.D. Rage (required)
To anyone who's done this achievement previously and is now running the holidays on an alt, please note that the number of required kills has dropped from 50 to 10.
G.N.E.R.D. Rage is pretty straightforward as long as you've got a few extra G.N.E.R.D.S. hanging around. So what are G.N.E.R.D.S.? As Hallow's End goes live, big candy buckets suddenly appear in inns all around Azeroth. Right-clicking one will give you a Handful of Treats with random sweets:
Tricks and Treats of Azeroth (see below). They should last for the duration of the holiday (two weeks).
Got your G.N.E.R.D.S.? Queue for a Battleground or a world PVP event like Wintergrasp/Tol Barad, eat a G.N.E.R.D.S. once you zone in, and start killin'. You don't have to get all 10 honorable kills in one Battleground, but I found this to be a relatively easy achievement to do in Alterac Valley on the bridge chokepoint. Isle of Conquest during the pitched battles that result between huge scrums of players over flags and keep doors is another good bet. Tol Barad is another obvious choice. If you can survive long enough to spread some damage and/or heals around, the kills rack up pretty quickly, and it probably won't take you more than a single Bttleground to get 10.
Don't forget -- if you die (and you probably will), the G.N.E.R.D.S. buff disappears, so you'll have to eat another one. Make sure you've got enough G.N.E.R.D.S. to cover your deaths.
Tricks and Treats of Azeroth (Alliance) / Tricks and Treats of Azeroth (Horde) actually encompasses three separate achievements: Tricks and Treats of Eastern Kingdoms, Tricks and Treats of Kalimdor, and Tricks and Treats of Outland. None are very difficult, but you should budget a few hours to hot-foot your way around these three continents visiting candy buckets. Basically, you just have to visit all of your faction and neutral inns and grab a handful of candy while you're there. Remember to trick-or-treat with the innkeepers once per hour while you're out, and you may be able to get That Sparkling Smile out of the way as a result.
Note that the Cataclysm zones have not been added to this achievement. Both it and the Northrend Tricks and Treats are their own, separate achievements, neither of which is required for the meta (see below). It has been updated to address the revamped Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor continents otherwise, as with Thal'darah Overlook in the Stonetalon Mountains for the Alliance and Fuselight in Badlands for the Horde.
Of interest is also a discrepancy between the lists on the live servers and the achievements on the PTR for the Alliance, such as Tricks and Treats of Eastern Kingdoms (Alliance) on live and Tricks and Treats of Eastern Kingdoms (Alliance) on the PTR. Whether Blizzard will resolve this in time for Hallow's End is anyone's guess, but if it doesn't, expect to have do a lot more field work for the holiday if you're on a Horde character.
Update: It appears there's a problem with the Sentinel Hill candy bucket for the Alliance: If you've completed questing in Westfall, you may not be able to get this done. Stay tuned, as Blizzard is probably already aware of this.
Tricks and Treats of Northrend (not required)
As with its earlier counterpart, Tricks and Treats of Northrend (Alliance) / Tricks and Treats of Northrend (Horde) is very straightforward. Run around the continent visiting candy buckets, yadda yadda, and remember to talk to an innkeeper every hour.
Tricks and Treats of the Cataclysm (not required)
Tricks and Treats of the Cataclysm (Alliance) / Tricks and Treats of the Cataclysm (Horde) is the same deal as the earlier achievements, although you can do it at the same time as Tricks and Treats of Azeroth.