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The OverAchiever: Achievements to do before it's too late

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Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, time is of the essence. Where have we heard that before?

I recently talked to a player who managed to solo most, though not all, of the Glory of the Hero achievements from Wrath. He mentioned ones like Share the Love that been impossible to complete without putting a group together, and as you can imagine, getting four more players for heroic Wrath achievements isn't the easiest thing in the world at 85. People who want the achievement for their alts are rarely interested in doing a meta piecemeal, and this is probably going to get worse, rather than better, once account-wide achievements go active. Once someone's got a red proto-drake on one character, they almost certainly won't repeat the process on one of their alts.

The vast majority of achievements get easier as you level up, but the canny achievement hunter will pay attention to the ones that don't. As the game changes, players' priorities and interests change, and older content has a tendency to fall by the wayside. It's best to strike while the iron is hot.

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This isn't the first time I've written a column like this, and we'll revisit the topic once we have a firm handle on any achievements going bye-bye in Mists of Pandaria. In the meantime, let's tackle the Cataclysm achievements you want to get done before the next expansion hits.

General

General achievements aren't that bad. You won't lose anything other than a little convenience if you decide to put these off until later.
  • Cataclysmically Delicious and Drown Your Sorrows You can actually afford to ignore these until later, but they're both marginally easier to do right now when so many of the ingredients or even the finished dishes themselves are on the Auction House.
  • To All the Squirrels Who Cared for Me As above. You might as well knock this one off while you have a reason to be in the Cataclysm zones in which they're located.
Quests

Two words: Molten Front. Expect this to empty out quickly when Mists arrives, and that will make several of the related achievements more difficult to get done.
  • The First Rule of Ring of Blood is You Don't Talk About Ring of Blood Blizzard is very likely to reduce the amount of experience needed to level from 80 to 85, as it's done with previous expansions. This had the effect of turning later zones from The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King into ghost towns, because players outlevel the expansion's content before they need to do zones like Shadowmoon Valley or Icecrown. The Twilight Highlands are likely to suffer the same fate. However, if you play a class that can solo the Crucible of Carnage, disregard.
  • Round Three, Fight! Same deal as the above.
  • Have ... Have We Met? It'll be tough to find a lot of people doing the Molten Front dailies after Mists hits, and some of the NPCs needed for this (Thassarian is the major sore point) are already rare catches. Even if it means hanging around Sethria's Roost for a bit, I would really try to get this done now.
  • Gang War This will still be relatively easy if you can convince a friend or guildie to come with you in order to lose a duel, just more inconvenient.
  • Master of the Molten Flow You need another person in the party with you in order to complete the Flamewaker Sentinel requirement. Unless you want to make a special trip back with a guildie or friend who's already phased in that particular leg of the Molten Front dailies, do it now.
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Exploration

No real problems here. However, if you're one of the few people who doesn't have this yet, go knock off Stood In the Fire. Reportedly you can still get this on the Spine of Deathwing encounter (I haven't personally observed this, but commenters have written in about it before), so try to get it done while Dragon Soul PuGs are still common and you haven't outleveled the Raid Finder version.

Player vs. player

Oh, this one's easy. As any Wrath player could tell you, Wintergrasp achievements got a lot tougher when Cataclysm made the zone less compelling to max-level players. The same thing's likely to happen to Tol Barad. The problem's less acute than it was for Wintergrasp, which had more achievements that were reliant on having a zone with lots of players around, but you'll still want to get Master of Tol Barad (which encompasses most of the stuff you need to worry about) done before players set sail for Pandaria.

By contrast, the daily quests and reputation associated with the zone shouldn't be a problem.

Dungeons and raids

This is the big one, and it's actually what prompted this article after that conversation I had with the Glory of the Hero soloer. It got me to thinking about a few scattered Cataclysm dungeon achievements that I never got around to doing, and I started to wonder how many of them I could realistically put off if I weren't getting them out of the way now.

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Because my main is a bear/restoration druid that generally has little difficulty soloing a past expansion's heroics, I'm approaching this with the idea that you'd be knocking these achievements off at level 90 by yourself. Obviously, you'll need to account for any variables that apply to your own personal context. With that in mind, below is a list of the achievements that you might realistically need a group for even at level 90:
  • Cataclysm Dungeon Hero Unless you play a class or spec that will be able to solo the heroic version of these places at level 90, do these now.
  • Acrocalypse Now As with the Vault of Lights achievements (see below), how easy this one is at level 90 will depend on how much DPS you can put on 20 crocs within 10 seconds.
  • Arrested Development Technically soloable at level 90, but dangerous. You can't control the evolution of more than one Twilight Zealot if you're on your own, and I imagine having two Evolved Twilight Zealots and Corla active while dancing in and out of the beam controlling the third will get pretty hairy. This achievement's quite easy to do with a competent group, so move it off the back burner.
  • Ascendant Descending If you have to solo the dungeon, Obsidius' adds have no one to focus on but you.
  • Bear-ly Made It I doubt the DPS requirement for this achievement will be doable at level 90 for any spec that is otherwise capable of soloing Zul'Aman trash. Maybe a few raid tiers down the line, I dunno.
  • Crushing Bones and Cracking Skulls Definitely possible to solo, but it'd mean sitting around for a while until 10 Angered Earth spawn.
  • Faster Than the Speed of Light This one is likely to depend on how quickly a single player can blow through the Vault of Lights at level 90, so it's a toss-up. Actually, there are a lot of achievements here where it's difficult to evaluate the soloability because we don't know how much DPS players will be doing at level 90, so take these with a grain of salt.
  • Here, Kitty Kitty ... The rats are a unique item, so you can only carry one at a time, and the achievement's not cumulative like Rat Pack is.
  • I Hate That Song Managing this in 15 seconds would be tough for a single player, although maybe you can drag Anhuur down into the pit and just try killing him there? He'll still head back to the top to channel, but it might give you the time you need to click off both levers.
  • Prototype Prodigy Definitely not soloable. This is another one that's incredibly easy with a competent group -- the Prototype Reaper is immune to the adds' damage during the Foe Reaper 5000 encounter, and even an inexperienced player can keep it above 90%, assuming she's not running around hitting stuff beforehand -- so just get it out of the way now.
  • Pardon Denied Possible to solo but likely to be very tricky, as you'll need to land a very quick heal on yourself after interrupting Ashbury.
  • Spirit Twister Another high-DPS achievement.
  • To the Ground! Both of the adds that Commander Springvale summons can cast the Unholy Empowerment buff, and you'd need more interrupts than one player will realistically field. I think this might actually be possible to solo if you can CC one of the adds or maybe just keep dragging Springvale through the dungeon so that they're never within range or line of sight, but still ...
  • Vigorous Van Cleef Vindicator High DPS.
By contrast, raid achievements tend to be a lot easier to do once you've outleveled the content (this assumes you're not trying to solo them, of course), so they're still reasonably attractive to players who didn't have the time or guild to do something like Glory of the Firelands Raider. While that does mean sacrificing some convenience -- you'll either have to put a dedicated raid together at level 90, or wait for someone to advertise one in trade chat -- they won't pose the same problem that the 5-man achievements will in Mists.

Professions

There's really nothing here that jumps out as being exceptionally difficult to complete, although stuff like The Cataclysmic Gourmet is obviously more convenient with players putting materials on the Auction House now. Preparing for Disaster may also get more expensive in the future with fewer players in Cataclysm content getting Embersilk drops.

Reputation

Easy, assuming that faction tabards (e.g., Tabard of Therazane) still work in Mists of Pandaria dungeons.

World events

Nothing time-sensitive here.

Feats of strength

Most feats aren't doable at present anyway, but the attainable ones generally get easier as time passes and not harder. Scourer of the Eternal Sands is one particular to Cataclysm content that probably won't be as tough, because you won't have as much competition for the Mysterious Camel Figurines in Uldum when players take off for Pandaria.

Then again, I thought that about the Time-Lost Proto Drake, too.

Enjoy working on achievements? The Overachiever is here to help! Count on us for advice on patch 4.3 achievements, our guide to Mountain O' Mounts, and a good, hard look at what's wrong with archaeology and how Blizzard could fix it.

Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

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