The Midsummer Fire Festival will run from Thursday, June 21 to Wednesday, July 4 this year. (This year, OverAchiever gives you an effective week's notice on the holiday.) While there aren't actually a lot of achievements associated with the Festival -- the meta awards the Flame Warden title to Alliance players and Flame Keeper title to Horde players but consists of only six achievements -- three of them require you to put in some serious travel time, and one also requires a set of dangerous trips to enemy capitals.
If you're starting from scratch, this is definitely one of the more work-intensive holidays you'll have to clear for What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. However, the one really good thing about all the work ahead of you is that even if you're starting from scratch, you can afford to get all the rewards from holiday vendors if you're diligent about hitting all the fires, quests, and dailies.
As far as we're aware, there have been no major changes to the holiday apart from the addition of achievements for Northrend and Cataclysm fires, but as always, I'll be around to update and add to the guide in the event that Blizzard springs something new on us. If Blizzard's also added fires to Pandaria on the beta, we'll have a head start on next year's holiday as well.
EDIT: I had a few inaccurate fires that I thought I'd fixed up last year. My apologies, folks -- I've visited them all again this year and made sure the coordinates are accurate as of Cataclysm. I've also rearranged the guides in a rough north-to-south direction to make it easier for anyone who's covering the continents. I hope that helps!
Lord Ahune has historically been a pretty easy fight, and we don't think that Ice the Frost Lord has changed. As with other holiday bosses, simply queue for him through the Dungeon Finder, and you should have a group pretty quickly. Your first kill each day will net you a Satchel of Chilled Goods with a chance to drop a noncombat pet, an enchanting recipe, and/or the famous Frostscythe. (Transmoggers note: The Frostscythe drop is a very popular mogging item for staves.) Otherwise, Ahune's loot table will include one from a number of cloaks.
The 2011 loot table contained the following, and I have not yet seen anything to suggest that Blizzard's updated it for 2012:
- A noncombat pet These days, it's the Ice Chip that has a chance to drop. Past years' Scorched Stone drops are now random drops from Zen'Vorka's Cache in the Molten Front.
- Frostscythe of Lord Ahune A lot of players complained about the itemization (stamina, baby!) on this last year, and Blizzard's rationale for keeping the stats the way they are is that they'd rather not have it compete with more difficult-to-obtain weapons from Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub.
- Formula: Enchant Weapon -- Deathfrost
- Cloak of Frigid Winds
- Icebound Cloak
- Shroud of Winter's Chill
- The Frost Lord's Battle Shroud
- The Frost Lord's War Cloak
Otherwise, Ahune should be the same ol' fight. You can read our strategy guide if you're unfamiliar with him, but the encounter pretty much boils down to "Avoid bad stuff on the ground and don't let adds kill your healer." The quest chain that leads to slaying him starts with Earthen Ring Elders located around city fires everywhere. You need to be at least level 65 to get the follow-up quest to head to Outland, but you have to be at least level 84 to queue for Ahune. Ahune will drop an item (group loot) that starts Shards of Ahune, rewarding you with your choice of tabards (the blue Tabard of Summer Skies or the reddish Tabard of Summer Flames) and 20 Burning Blossoms.
The Fires of Azeroth (Alliance and Horde versions) encompasses each faction's Flame Keeper of the Eastern Kingdoms, Flame Keeper of Kalimdor, Flame Keeper of Outland, Flame Keeper of Northrend, and Flame Keeper of Cataclysm achievements. It requires a lot of travel time, but it's very easy for any character with a full set of flight paths.
Failing that, an 80+ character with a flying mount will find the achievements in classic Azeroth substantially easier than they've been in the past. If you don't have a full set of flight paths, now would be a great time to get them. Festival areas are always a short walk from the local flight path with a big, obvious tent and several holiday NPCs located around them. For all new players, all you need to do is talk to the Festival NPC (they'll always appear with an exclamation point over their head) to honor a fire, or right-click a fire to desecrate it. You'll also get gold and/or experience -- about 8 gold for honoring a fire at level 85, or 16 gold for desecrating one.
The sites for honoring flames aren't usually the same for the Alliance and the Horde, but I've included them next to each other for your convenience. In years past, the fires have been occasionally bugged for characters who had honored/desecrated them the previous year, but Blizzard's pretty fast with the hotfixes.
I've organized the coordinates so that assuming you're doing both the honoring and desecrating flames achievements at once (and you should, or you'll have to do that long trek twice!), you can just hit everything on a zone-by-zone basis. Now that there are achievements associated with Northrend and Cataclysm content, I've listed those here as well. Before we do that, don't forget about these achievements, either.
Desecration of the Alliance or Desecration of the Horde
See all those fires I've listed below that don't belong to your faction? You need to visit them, too, for either Desecration of the Alliance (if you're Horde) or Desecration of the Horde (if you're Alliance). Again, this is a lot of legwork, but for most zones, you should be able to honor your faction's fire and desecrate the opposing faction's fairly quickly, then simply move on the next zone.
Please note that even on a PvE server you will get flagged by desecrating the other factions' fires. If you're not fond of world PvP, you'll want to try this during a slow period (or, better yet, with a group). That said, if my experience is any indication, enemy players will usually leave you alone in the smaller towns and villages because they're too busy getting their own achievements. Enjoy it while it lasts, because you're going to find yourself in considerably more dangerous territory shortly.
Ready? Let's get this show on the road.
Flame Warden of the Eastern Kingdoms (Alliance) and Flame Keeper of the Eastern Kingdoms (Horde)
- Eversong Woods Falconwing Square at 46,50 (Horde)
- Ghostlands Tranquillien at 46,26 (Horde)
- Western Plaguelands Chillwind Camp at 43,82 (Alliance)
- Tirisfal Glades Brill at 57,51 (Horde)
- Silverpine Forest The Sepulcher at 49,38 (Horde)
- Hillsbrad Foothills Tarren Mill at 54,49 (Horde)
- The Hinterlands Aerie Peak at 14,49 (Alliance) and Revantusk Village at 76,74 (Horde)
- Arathi Highlands Refuge Point at 44,46 (Alliance) and Hammerfall at 69,42 (Horde)
- Wetlands Menethil Harbor at 13,47 (Alliance)
- Dun Morogh Kharanos at 53,44 (Alliance)
- Loch Modan Thelsamar at 32,40 (Alliance)
- Badlands New Kargath at 23,37 (Horde)
- Burning Steppes Morgan's Vigil at 68,59 (Alliance) and Flaming Crest at 51,29 (Horde)
- Redridge Mountains Lakeshire at 24,53 (Alliance)
- Elwynn Forest Goldshire at 43,62 (Alliance)
- Westfall Northeast of Moonbrook at 45,62 (Alliance)
- Duskwood Darkshire at 73,55 (Alliance)
- Northern Stranglethorn Fort Livingston at 51,63 (Alliance) and Grom'gol Base Camp at 40,51 (Horde)
- Stranglethorn Vale Both Alliance and Horde fires are northeast of Booty Bay at 51,67 (Alliance) and 50,70 (Horde)
- Swamp of Sorrows Bogpaddle at 70,14 (Alliance) and Bogpaddle at 76,14 (Horde)
- Blasted Lands Nethergarde Keep at 55,15 (Alliance) and Dreadmaul Hold at 46,14 (Horde)
- Teldrassil Dolanaar at 54,52 (Alliance)
- Azuremyst Isle Azure Watch at 44,52 (Alliance)
- Bloodmyst Isle Blood Watch at 55,68 (Alliance)
- Winterspring Everlook at 61,47 (Alliance) and 58,47 (Horde)
- Darkshore Lor'Danel at 48,22 (Alliance)
- Ashenvale Forest Song at 86,41 (Alliance) and Silverwing Refuge at 51,66 (Horde)
- Stonetalon Mountains Mirkfallon Post at 49,50 (Alliance) and Sun Rock Retreat at 52,62 (Horde)
- Northern Barrens Crossroads at 49,54 (Horde)
- Durotar Razor Hill at 52,47 (Horde)
- Southern Barrens Fort Triumph at 48,72 (Alliance) and Desolation Hold at 40,67 (Horde)
- Mulgore Bloodhoof Village at 51,59 (Horde)
- Dustwallow Marsh Northwest of Theramore at 61,40 (Alliance) and Brackenwall Village at 33,30 (Horde)
- Desolace Nijel's Point at 65,17 (Alliance) and Shadowprey Village at 26,77 (Horde)
- Feralas Feathermoon Stronghold at 46,43 (Alliance) and Camp Mojache at 72,47 (Horde)
- Tanaris Gadgetzan at 52,30 (Alliance) and Gadgetzan at 49,28 (Horde)
- Un'Goro Marshal's Stand at 59,62 (Alliance) and Marshal's Stand at 56,66 (Horde)
- Silithus Cenarion Hold at 60,33 (Alliance) and 50,41 (Horde)
There are seven Alliance and seven Horde fires in Outland.
- Blade's Edge Mountains Sylvanaar at 41,65 (Alliance) and Thunderlord Stronghold at 50,58 (Horde)
- Hellfire Peninsula Honor Hold at 62,58 (Alliance) and Thrallmar at 57,42 (Horde)
- Nagrand Telaar at 50,70 (Alliance) and Garadar at 51,34 (Horde)
- Netherstorm Area 52 at 31,62 (Alliance) and 32,68 (Horde)
- Shadowmoon Valley Wildhammer Stronghold at 40,54 (Alliance) and Shadowmoon Village at 33,31 (Horde)
- Terokkar Forest Allerian Stronghold at 54,56 (Alliance) and Stonebreaker Hold at 52,43 (Horde)
- Zangarmarsh Telredor at 69,52 (Alliance) and Zabra'jin at 36,52 (Horde)
There are eight Alliance and eight Horde fires in Northrend.
- Howling Fjord Fort Wildevar at 58,16 (Alliance) and Camp Winterhoof at 48,13 (Horde)
- Grizzly Hills Amberpine Lodge at 34,61 (Alliance) and Conquest Hold at 19,61 (Horde)
- Zul'drak The Argent Stand at 41,61 (Alliance) and the Argent Stand at 43,71 (Horde)
- Storm Peaks K3 at 41,87 (Alliance) and K3 at 40,85 (Horde)
- Crystalsong Forest Windrunner's Overlook at 77,74 (Alliance) and Sunreaver's Command at 80,52 (Horde)
- Dragonblight Wintergarde Keep at 75,43 (Alliance) and Agmar's Hammer at 39,48 (Horde)
- Borean Tundra Fizzcrank Airstrip at 55,20 (Alliance) and Bor'gorok Outpost at 51,11 (Horde)
- Sholazar Basin River's Heart at 47,66 (Alliance) and River's Heart at 47,62 (Horde)
The Uldum and Twilight Highlands fires are separate. The Deepholm, Vashj'ir, and Mount Hyjal fires are neutral.
- Mount Hyjal Nordrassil at 62,22 (neutral)
- Vashj'ir Silver Tide Hollow at 49,42 (neutral)
- Deepholm Temple of Earth at 49,51 (neutral)
- Uldum Ramkahen at 53,31 (Alliance) and Ramkahen at 53,34 (Horde)
- Twilight Highlands Thundermar at 47,28 (Alliance) and Bloodgulch at 53,46 (Horde)
King of the Fire Festival is awarded for stealing the flames from four enemy capitals and completing a turn-in quest for all four. When you right-click the enemy capitals' fires, a small flame appears in your pack as a quest to turn in at a Festival Loremaster (located around major city fires everywhere). Grab all four flames (Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff, Silvermoon, and Undercity if you're Alliance; Stormwind, Ironforge, Darnassus, and the Exodar if you're Horde), and you'll get a final quest called A Thief's Reward that, once completed, will give you the King of the Fire Festival achievement.
Stealing enemy fires is a lot easier with flying mounts in Azeroth these days, but let's face it -- there's nothing easy or risk-free about getting into an enemy capital, regardless. Try not to do this at peak server times if you're on your own.
Alliance Undercity, Silvermoon, and Thunder Bluff are easy; Orgrimmar more than makes up for that unless you've got a flying mount.
Stealing Thunder Bluff's Flame The Thunder Bluff flame is located on Spirit Rise (the northwestern bluff) at 20,26. If you don't have a flying mount, the city can be a nuisance because the bridge system has a tendency to confuse players. On the bright side, while more populated than it's been in ages past, TB is not one of the busier Horde cities. If you have Slow Fall/Levitate, a parachute cloak, or a lucky Noggenfogger slow fall effect, you can also jump off the mesas after getting the flame and evade any guards or players chasing you.
Stealing Orgrimmar's Flame The Orgrimmar flame is located at 46,36 in the Valley of Wisdom (well, technically above it) on the northern edge of the city. (It's quite close to the circle of portals to Cataclysm zones.) Historically, this has been the most difficult of the Horde fires to capture, because Orgrimmar is the most crowded Horde city and the fire's located pretty far in. For Alliance players without access to a flying mount, it's easiest to enter the city from the little-used western gates, but this still means navigating your way through a pack of NPCs in the troll district while still having to run by the fairly crowded zeppelin-and-flight-master area. Still, it's better than entering through the city's main gates, which will toss you into the middle of the giant pack of players typically loitering around the main auction house and bank. You can also try the northern gates (coming from Azshara), which is usually deserted until it reaches another giant pack of players loitering around the northern Auction House and bank. Sorry, folks -- there are really no good options here. Try to do Orgrimmar during a slow period.
Stealing Undercity's Flame The Undercity flame is the easiest of the four Horde fires to steal and is located in the Ruins of Lordaeron courtyard at 68,9. You don't actually have to enter the city, although you will get PvP flagged because the Ruins are Horde territory.
Stealing Silvermoon's Flame The Silvermoon fire is located at 69,39 in the Court of the Sun at 69,43. Silvermoon itself is generally deserted and you should have little trouble.
Horde Darnassus and the Exodar are easy: Stormwind and Ironforge are not.
Stealing Darnassus's Flame Darnassus used to be a freebie, with the fire located in Rut'theran Village. Now you're going to have to head to 63,47 below the Warriors' Terrace on the eastern side of the city. You can skip the zoning process by flying straight up the trunk of Teldrassil (although it takes a while), but you're going to have to brave a city full of guards if you don't have a flying mount. Either way, don't forget to pick up the flame in Dolanaar for Flame Keeper of Kalimdor. When you're done with both fires, catch the boat from Rut'theran to Azuremyst for the Exodar and Azuremyst/Bloodmyst Isles fires.
Stealing the Exodar's Flame The Exodar's flame is located in the Crystal Hall at 41,25. The Exodar is generally empty and this one shouldn't be too difficult, but the fire is still pretty far into the city. When you get off the boat, take the side entrance into the Exodar (located to your left off the road) in order to avoid as many players as possible. While you're on the draenei islands, desecrate the flames at Azure Watch and Blood Watch. Afterwards, head back to Rut'theran and transfer to the boat heading to Stormwind.
Stealing Stormwind's Flame The Stormwind flame is located at 50,72 around the entrance to the Stormwind Stockades. If you're coming from the docks, you should be able to avoid the more highly trafficked portions of the city, but the odds of running into some high-level players are still pretty good. If you get mobbed, try to zone into the Stockades and wait a few minutes. Afterwards, mount up, ride for the Deeprun Tram if you don't have a flying mount (just get the hell out of Stormwind if you do), and head to Ironforge.
Stealing Ironforge's Flame The Ironforge flame is located at 64,24 in the Hall of Explorers. You can get to it relatively fast if you're coming off the tram (head out, hang a right, steal the fire, then sprint back to the tram). Bear in mind that while the tram is neutral territory (and on a PvE server, your flag will drop there after five minutes), anyone who decides to make your life difficult can and probably will follow you back there.
Got all four flames? Head back to a Festival Loremaster, turn them in, and enjoy your achievement. Use the quest money to help repair the thrashing your gear probably took.
Burning Hot Pole Dance sounds simple, right? Well, it would be, but buying these threads is going to run you 400 Burning Blossoms if you're starting the holiday from scratch.
Do yourself a favor and get the Fires of Azeroth, Desecration, and King of the Fire Festival achievements done first. These, the Festival dailies (easily doable with the NPCs located around any capital city fire), and the Blossoms you'll get once a day for killing Lord Ahune will give you a ton of Burning Blossoms, way more than you'll need. (Actually, doing the fires from the old world alone should be enough, if I recall correctly.) Blossoms are the currency needed for purchasing items from Midsummer vendors, including the three clothing items required.
The three items you need for the set are:
- Mantle of the Fire Festival 100 blossoms
- Sandals of Summer 200 blossoms
- Vestment of Summer 100 blossoms
Whatever you buy from the vendor, you're not going to get those Blossoms back, so be careful. If you do all the achievements and keep at the dailies and Ahune kills, it is possible as of last year to get all the vanity items off the Festival vendors. Just keep in mind that it's an awful lot of work.
Once you've got the duds, simply wear them, right-click the nearest pole, and and stay there for at least 60 seconds. Congratulations -- you've got your achievement!
For people with crappy computers, Torch Juggler used to be a real nightmare due to the giant circus of players and mounts occupying Dalaran during Wrath of the Lich King. These days, it's not likely to be a big deal. On the chance that it is, just park your toon on one of the floating rocks immediately outside Dalaran, and doing this will be a lot easier.
What you'll need to do is purchase around 20 to 25 Juggling Torches from Midsummer vendors, then hotkey them somewhere convenient. Using a torch will allow you to target a specific area where you want it to land. Target it at your feet, then spam the hell out of your torch hotkey. This will automatically force each torch to come down where you're already standing, so you can instantly juggle it back. Use of the torches doesn't trigger the global cooldown, so as long as your latency and framerates are cooperating, you should be able to juggle 40 torches easily within the space of 15 seconds.
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.