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Filed under: Achievements

To all the squirrels I've loved for achievement points

World of Warcraft certainly has a dizzying array of achievements in all shapes and sizes, covering quests, raids, and PvP. But some of the best achievements are the ones shuffled innocently away in the General section. You know, the ones that don't really fall into any category at all -- they simply involve general topics of interest. Things like mount or tabard collecting, getting a haircut, sampling different types of food and drink, or leveling several different classes to 90.

Or, in one frankly bizarre case, chasing down dozens upon dozens of fuzzy little critters and hugging the daylights out of the little buggers. Azeroth is just full of critters wandering around -- some are collectable as Battle Pets, some are not. But while you're waiting for Warlords to come out, it might be time to dust off that Achievement pane and take a look at completing some of the more ... unique of Azeroth's general achievements.

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Filed under: Achievements

The Lunar Festival begins today

The Lunar Festival is upon us! Every year, Moonglade's druids hold a celebration of their triumph over an ancient evil, and that celebration involves sending out druidic ambassadors to various points all over Azeroth. There are several of these Elders, mapped out by Wowhead for the collector or achievement hunter, and since 2012 "honoring" them awards XP and a little gold. Go see them with your alts!

There are also various quests, clothes and pets to earn, and a few recipes. The pets are the same ones as were added back in 2012, the two lanterns, both of which are account-bound battle pets. Most of these items are obtained by collecting and redeeming Coins of Ancestry, which are the items received when you honor elders. To honor them, you basically just go up and say hi, so it's pretty easy. You can earn a maximum of 84 coins from honoring elders, enough to buy at least a pet and a couple of outfits.

For more detailed information, do check out Perculia's excellent in-depth guide over at Wowhead, updated for 2013. The festival runs from today, January 20, until February 3.

Filed under: Achievements

New collection tracking feature on Wowhead

Anzu mount
Our friends at Wowhead hav just announced the launch of a new site feature that should make many players very happy indeed: a collection tracker! You can now use Wowhead to track your characters' possession of pets, mounts, titles, achievements, and recipes. The new feature was green lit thanks to the popularity of their recently-implemented quest-tracking feature, which has been a big hit.

The new collection tracking feature includes options to exclude items that fall into certain categories -- the example used by Wowhead is that of pets only available from WoW's Collector's Editions. In this way you can hide any items you may not be interested in pursuing, either by blanking out entire categories of items (i.e. exclude anything Horde-exclusive), or you can manually select individual items to exclude as well. Hop on over to Wowhead's announcement page to check it out!

Filed under: News items, Achievements

Reminder: WoW's 9th Anniversary event begins today

Festivities for World of Warcraft's 9th Anniversary begin today! During this two-week event, players can log on and take advantage of a 9% boost to experience and reputation gain for all characters. In addition, logging on during this time period will grant you a Feat of Strength. Players logging on during the event will receive an in-game mail with a Celebration Package attached. Using the item will grant the XP and reputation buff -- but only during the event!

Although World of Warcraft officially launched on November 23, 2004, this two-week event surrounding that auspicious date allows players to get a leg up on leveling those pesky alts that they might want to dust off before the launch of Warlords. New players can take advantage as well, of course. The event ends at noon on December 2, so be sure to log in on all your characters and nab those Feats of Strength before they're gone for good.


Filed under: Events, Achievements

Guide to Hallow's End 2013

Headless Horseman comic.
Hallow's End 2013 begins on Friday, Oct. 18 and runs through Friday, Nov. 1 this year. As with most of the game's holidays, Hallow's End is required for the yearlong meta What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been that grants the Violet Proto-Drake. Completing the required Hallow's End achievements will also award the title the Hallowed.

In 2011, Blizzard added some major updates and improvements to the holiday, one of which completely eliminated the hassle behind one of WoW's most hideous RNG nightmares, and one of which left us with two very cool non-combat pets. In short, Tricky Treats -- once vomit-inducing but otherwise useless items that dropped in spades from the holiday boss, the Headless Horseman -- are now a form of currency that players can use to buy pets, masks, and wands. And for all you pet collectors out there, you'll really want to pick up a Feline Familiar, a Beast-type pet with an unusually useful moveset.

If you didn't get around to the holiday last year, please note that there's an additional 10 points available in the form of Tricks and Treats of Pandaria.

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Filed under: Events, Achievements, The Overachiever

Guide to Brewfest 2013 achievements

I suspect quite a few players will be seeing the level 90 version of the Brewfest holiday boss, Coren Direbrew, for the first time this week. Last year's Brewfest arrived so soon after Mists of Pandaria launched that you had to level somewhat quickly to be able to queue for Coren at all. Fortunately, that's no longer the case, so now you've got a choice. You can get better gear for yourself and approximately 37,000 alts off the Timeless Isle if you've a mind to grind, but killing Coren can get you some ilevel 470 trinkets without having to suffer endless "Is Huolon up?" spam in general chat.

That might be worth it. It's up to you.

Anyway, right now there's no indication that Blizzard has changed the holiday in any substantive manner, and [the developers said very recently at Gamescom](http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/1345) that there aren't any plans to overhaul holidays in the near future.

This year, Brewfest runs from Friday, Sept. 20 to Sunday, Oct. 6. As always, check your in-game calendar for your server's exact start and end times, as they'll differ slightly by time zone. The Brewfest meta Brewmaster is required for the year-long What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so you'll want to get this done if you're working toward a Violet Proto-Drake.

If you're leveling a monk who plans to tank, the Brewmaster title is basically mandatory. And yes, the Orgrimmar Brewfest area is smack in the middle of what's canonically a war zone at present, but when has free booze not trumped violence?

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Complete your For the Alliance achievement before patch 5.4

Complete your For the Alliance! achievement before patch 54
Last week, with the help of a great group of folks, I was able to complete the For the Alliance! achievement on my priest. But wait... Garrosh won't be around for much longer. I logged onto the PTR to visit Grommash Hold to see who's inside. Spoilers: It's empty. Well, there are a few of the standard NPCs around, including the Archaeology trainer, but there's no warchief to be found.

Not unexpected. At this point in the storyline, Garrosh is being the ultimate butt and everyone's pretty distracted. What does this mean for Alliance looking to complete the For the Alliance! achievement if there's no Garrosh? Sure, there will be a new leader to kill, but we really can't guess when the achievement will be updated once patch 5.4 hits.

If you can gather a group before then, do so! It's unfortunate that Orgrimmar can't be cross-realmed -- this part of the achievement must be completed with people from your server. To avoid being caught and overrun, arrange the raid via social media or within your guild. Word spreads quickly when these runs go public. Good luck!

Filed under: Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Crazy Cat Lady/Man title added

Patch 54 PTR Crazy Cat LadyMan title added
When the Crazy for Cats achievement was discovered on the PTR, the first thing players asked for was a title to go along with it. Namely, something to do with being a Crazy Cat Person. Good news! We got what we asked for: The Crazy Cat Lady and the Crazy Cat Man were both added as titles in the latest patch 5.4 PTR build.

Keep in mind that you need 20 out of the 24 cats listed under the achievement. Overall, the achievement doesn't seem too difficult for a battle pet collector to earn, especially since one-third of the cats on the list are purchasable via NPCs. A few felines on the list are harder to come by, including the Nightsaber Cub and Spectral Tiger Cub from the TCG, and the Spectral Cub awarded to players participating in the Shanghai 2012 Battle.net World Championship.

I'm crossing my fingers for the title off the bat when the patch drops!

Filed under: News items, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Lesser Voidcaller brings all the spirits to the yard

Lesser Voidcaller

Since the introduction of the new Raiding with Leashes achievement, I've been farming the old BC raids for new pets. I've only managed to farm up about half, but I'm sure Lady RNG will be kind to me at some point. In my collecting adventures, I've come across a few battle pets that are so irresistibly cute that I could care less about abilities, pet family, or how to obtain them. Lesser Voidcaller definitely falls under that category because of its unique idle animation that summons small spirits.

Lesser Voidcaller drops from High Astromancer Solarian in The Eye, so it's not tough to obtain. Before you engage the boss, be sure to at least kill the two packs patrolling the room, as the casters will use a mind control and force a reset. The entire room will pull with the boss if you don't clear it, but I've never had an issue AoEing everything, even on my squishier priest.

Lesser Voidcaller is of the Magic family and its abilities are as follows:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Guide to the Midsummer Fire Festival 2013

The Midsummer Fire Festival will run from Friday, June 21 to Friday, July 5 this year. As always, check your ingame calendar to determine the exact start and stop times for your server. While there aren't actually a lot of achievements associated with the Festival (the meta consists of only six), three of them require serious travel time, and one also requires a set of dangerous trips to enemy capitals. For the trouble, Alliance players are awarded the Flame Warden title, and Horde players Flame Keeper.

If you're starting from scratch, this is definitely one of the more work-intensive holidays necessary for the completion of What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. However, even a fresh character can afford to get all the rewards from holiday vendors if you're diligent about hitting all the holiday's fires, quests, and dailies.

The basics of the holiday involve "honoring" or "desecrating" a series of fires across Azeroth and Outland. For convenience, we've listed all of the fires on each continent in a specific direction so you can reach them as efficiently as possible. This year, Blizzard has updated the holiday boss' loot list with ilevel 480 cloaks and weapons and added a set of fires to Pandaria, but there aren't that many; you'll only have an additional 7 fires to honor and one to desecrate on the continent.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Lil' Bad Wolf packs a big punch against Critters

Lil' Bad Wolf packs a big punch
Real talk time: I've been feeling a bit agitated at the battle pet situation in patch 5.3. Naturally, I want to collect every new pet, but RNG is a cruel mistress. The new patch introduced an updated Raiding with Leashes achievement, which has players returning to the good old BC raids. BC was my favorite expansion, so I enjoy heading back to stomp all over Lady Vashj, especially. Which is good, because I've yet to see a pet drop from SSC. But I digress.

Reader SpaceBard suggested a rundown of Lil' Bad Wolf, one of the ten new raid battle pets in 5.3. We live to serve.

Farming Lil' Bad Wolf is plagued with RNG obstacles. First, the Red Riding Hood encounter must spawn during The Opera Event -- one of three possible outcomes -- and then, of course, the pet may or may not drop. This devilishly cute Humanoid's abilities are as follows:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Insider's guide to the battle pets of 5.3

unborn val'kyr
Patch 5.3 has added a ton of new content to the game, including some additional battle pets for us all to collect. We've compiled a a rundown of them, including where to find them and what they do. Have at y, pet collectors, and happy hunting!

Burning Crusade raid pets
There are a total of ten new battle pets that can be found in Burning Crusade-era raids. And you thought you were done farming the Karazhan opera!

Karazhan
L'il Bad Wolf
The L'il Bad Wolf has a chance to drop from the Big Bad Wolf at the Karazhan opera event. Sadly, the Big Bad Wolf is not a guaranteed boss from the opera, so this pet is likely to be one of the more difficult ones to add to your collection this patch. For the lucky ones who do manage to grab the L'il Bad Wolf, you'll be rewarded with a Humanoid pet possessing Claw, Mangle, Howl, Counterstike, Dodge, and Pounce. While none of those are unique abilities, Mangle is possessed only by two other pets in the game.

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Filed under: News items, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Solo the Chess Event with Tikari's Tricks of the Trade

Oh, you want that pet in Kara The Chess Event SUCKS BUTT here's how to solo it
As an obsessive a big fan of battle pets, I was looking forward to everything patch 5.3 had to offer. Tons of battle pet changes, and the slew of new pets for the Raiding With Leashes II: Attunement Edition all had me especially excited. I zipped through The Eye and Serpentshrine Cavern hunting for the new pets, and emerged victorious with one. Huzzah! But on my way to Karazhan, I realized I'd need to solo the Chess Event to get to Prince Malchezaar, who also drops a pet.

I wiped a few times, but things turned around once I read through an excellent Chess Event soloing guide from WoW blogger Tikari of Tikari's Tricks of the Trade.

Keep in mind that even with a great plan, the Chess Event is still plagued with RNG issues. But knowing what to expect will hopefully keep your rage at bay.

Tikari lays out a simple set of moves -- with diagrams -- and priorities to give your king the best chance of surviving, which is the main goal. The event was nerfed to increase the delay between enemy moves, but keep a few tips in mind.
  • Move your king, and queen if you can, out of the fire immediately. Fire isn't a buff!
  • Attack the enemy king with your queen, using the Rain of Fire/Poison Cloud ability. Be sure to target the enemy king with the queen's main attack.
  • The Clerics seem to heal the enemy king more than I remember, but I kept them distracted with other pieces.
  • Medivh doesn't cheat as quickly as he did before, so you'll have time for about four moves before he does so the first time around. Be sure to at least give your king, ideally your queen as well, space to move. I was able to win in the end by moving backward out of fire, drawing the enemy king into it.
Good luck and be sure to check out Tikari's guide for all the details!

Filed under: Achievements, Raid Guides, Mists of Pandaria

The 5 mounts I'm going to farm until the end of the world

Anzu
Mount collecting in World of Warcraft is a common passion. There are some really beautiful designs out there, and showing off a rare collection is one of the ways in which people take pleasure from the game. A number of mounts are also a testament to dedication or skill in the game: the arena drakes, the Pureblood Fire Hawk, Invincible... for those who have earned them these mounts and others like them stand as a visual marker to their accomplishments.

For those of us who tend to be a bit behind on the raiding or PvP curve, there are still plenty of obtainable mounts out there. Some of them were formerly unattainable without groups, but thanks to the inevitable passage of time and raising of the level cap, the bosses which drop them are now soloable. Unfortunately, mounts tend to have a very low drop rate, so getting them can be a challenge of determination, diligence, and of course, luck. Here are a few that I have yet to earn for myself, but I remain determined to acquire!

1. Raven Lord

Can you believe I am a druid who still doesn't have this one? A Burning Crusade-era druid, too. I've been farming this mount since Anzu was only summonable by druids such as myself, and I still haven't seen it drop. Admittedly I've slacked off more recently, mostly because I'm sick of Sethekk Halls. I should hop back to it, though. The Raven Lord is one of the most gorgeous ground mounts in the game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Achievements

The OverAchiever: Guide to Children's Week 2013

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, the children are our future, and oh, how we hate them.

In the aggregate, Children's Week is one of the most entertaining annual holidays. Dragging a small child with you around Azeroth's grand vistas and dangerous places is surprisingly fun ("I want to go to the Dark Portal." "Sure, why not?"), and it's a fairly immersive reminder that the planet's constant wars have almost certainly left a large population of orphans for each faction to rear. Also, getting a pet or the aptly-named Curmudgeon's Payoff is pretty cool too.

But.

(You knew the "but" was coming.)

Unfortunately for all of you poor sods who still don't have School of Hard Knocks, that achievement still exists. I hated it so much that it was the sole remaining achievement between me and What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been for a year. With account-wide achievements, you no longer have to do it on multiple characters (and the whole system was worth it if for no other reason than that), but you'll still need it on one. Sorry, folks.

Anyway, Children's Week 2013 runs from April 29 to May 6, and, as always, the achievements and the meta For The Children are part of the year-long What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

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