Last week in the comment thread for OverAchiever: Achievements to do before it's too late, there were a few notes from readers who were worried that noncombat pet achievements were going to disappear in Mists of Pandaria. This shocked me, because I could have sworn I saw pet achievements flash across the screen during the spam I always get when I copy my main to a beta or PTR, and I hadn't been aware that these achievements were actually missing from the General category. I was also sure there would have been some pretty high-profile news about it if developers were planning to axe them. Especially with the introduction of Pet Battles, it seemed like a very strange time for Blizzard to get rid of related achievements.
Then again, these are also the people who put the Aldor Rise elevator and Warsong Gulch rep in the game, so we already know they're capable of real cruelty.
OverAchiever's pretty much pointless if I don't use it to investigate stuff that I could have warned readers about well in advance, and pets are serious business. So, another character copy onto the beta later, I have an answer for you about what's going on.
Question: Are pet achievements disappearing in Mists of Pandaria?
If that's all you care about, then you can rest assured that you'll still have them when Mists of Pandaria goes live, or if you don't have them, that you don't need to break your neck trying to get them as quickly as possible. Bye! See you next week!
If you want a quick explanation for why I'm so sure of this, keep reading.
Still with us? OK, folks, here's the deal. As readers are already aware, Blizzard is introducing account-wide achievements in Mists, and the system is particularly well-suited to noncombat pets and mounts. The basic deal is that any pet or mount you get on any character will add to a running total calculated on an account-wide basis rather than by individual character. As an example, if you have a Brutal Nether Drake and the Swift Zulian Tiger on your warlock, not only will you be able to access them from all of your characters, but they'll also count toward mount achievements.
The present system only cares what a given character has; the future system cares how many pets or mounts you've got across all of your toons. Account-wide achievements handily solve one of the more persistent issues with the current achievement system, which punishes players who want to play alts but can't transfer achievement rewards from their main. On the present beta build, account-wide achievements are denoted with a Battle.net logo and turquoise header (see below).
They haven't. What they did do is relocate to a new Pet Battles category sandwiched between World Events and Feats of Strength on the achievements interface, and every single pet achievement is account-wide. I transferred both my main (a tauren druid) and an alt (a tauren shaman) over to the beta again to check. My main has 159 pets to her name on the live realms and would have had Littlest Pet Shop either way, but my shaman also has it despite only having 17 pets on live.
While this is just a guess, I suspect what happened with earlier beta builds is that Blizzard had removed pet achievements from the General category without having programmed the new Pet Battles category yet. In other words, the achievements still existed, but you had no way of seeing that they did. That would explain why a few people on Wowhead were afraid that pet achievements were going to disappear -- but fortunately, that isn't going to happen.
So don't sweat it, folks, and don't go crazy trying to get Littlest Pet Shop before the next expansion hits if you don't already have it. The achievements aren't going anywhere, and they're only going to get easier, both to obtain and enjoy.
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.