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Filed under: Achievements

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

15 easy (and not so easy) achievements to work on while leveling

15 easy and not so easy achievements to work on while leveling
If you've played WoW for more than a half hour or so, chances are you've noticed the game's achievement system, which rewards you with (meaningless) points and sometimes more tangible rewards (like unique tabards or special titles) for doing certain things in the game. You'll find you get achievements for leveling, achievements for completing quests, achievements for picking up gold, achievements for leveling professions, there's even an achievement for visiting the barber's shop. We've gathered some achievements that are a bit more out of the way, but all of which you can either pick up or work on while you're leveling. They aren't all easy, but none of them require you to be level 90 and epiced out.

So if you're leveling but are interested in upping your achievement game, give these a try. We've ranked them in what we think of as order of difficulty. If nothing else, they're a distraction from the leveling grind!

1. Duel-icious
All you have to do here is duel another player and win. Any player -- even if they're much lower level than you are -- will do. We recommend asking a friend to duel with you, but you can request duels from anyone. Just remember to be polite about it rather than just going around challenging everyone in an area to duels!

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Achievements

The OverAchiever: Time zones, battle pets, and an achievement you probably don't know about

Courtesy of Wowhead.
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, Allison desperately wishes to return to the days of "server time."

Confession: This article was originally going to be about achievements you could get from unexpected places, because I thought it would be cool to run a column on the areas you pass by a lot without necessarily realizing there are points there for the taking. I'd worked all the way up to Wanderers, Dreamers, and You, which I've been meaning to do for a while but never got around to ... and then I hit a giant road block.

Why? This achievement was one of those unintentionally affected by changes in patch 5.1 that altered event times for a lot of servers. Most players will probably remember when the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza disappeared for a few months while Blizzard tried to figure out a way to square it with Cross-Realm Zones. The Fishing Extravaganza returned alongside a new system that standardized most event times across servers in an effort to simplify what was happening and when. The Wanderer's Festival was one of the affected events.

After spending hours trying to track down and confirm the event time schedule for servers across the European, North American, and Oceanic servers, I decided it probably merits an article all to itself because the Wowhead thread is a giant rat's nest of conflicting and outdated information. Also, it's not enough to be there while the festival is actually happening, and if you don't get there early, you probably won't have a shot at a battle pet you can't get anywhere else.

I am not too proud to admit I need help with this one.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Patch 5.3: Even more battle pets from the PTR

Patch 53 More new battle pets from the PTR
If you're a fan of pet battles, then patch 5.3 is for you, bringing new pets, new pets, and new pets. And while we were already excited about the creepy/cute Unborn Val'kyr, now Wowhead has turned up more information -- along photos and drop locations -- on what to expect from the pets in the upcoming patch.

Many of these are being added to Burning Crusade era raids for the Raiding with Leashes II: Attunement Edition achievement which requires you to collect 10 pets from Karazhan, Serpentshrine Cavern, and The Eye. The reward for collecting all of these pets? It's another pet, the still mysterious Tito. But while most of the pets discovered so far require revisiting old raids, there are also some new wild pets and drops, including the previously mentioned Unborn Val'kyr as well as mini-Gahz'rilla Gahz'rooki, the ooze Filthling, and a couple of adorably miniature Direhorns, the Stunted Direhorn and Direhorn Runt.

So what's our favorite? Well, you already know how we feel about dinosaurs.

Filed under: News items, Achievements

The OverAchiever: Guide to Noblegarden 2013

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, bunnies take over the world.

Time to get sick on candy again, folks! That seems to be a running theme with WoW holidays.

Noblegarden will run this year from Monday, April 1 until Monday, April 8. As always, check your server's in-game calendar for the exact start and stop times. If you've never done Noblegarden before, or only done its pre-2009 version, be aware that Noble Gardener (the holiday's meta) is part of the year-long What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been achievement.

Last year, the Swift Springstrider was added to holiday vendors at the fairly steep cost of 500 Noblegarden chocolate. This year, we haven't seen anything new datamined, but Noblegarden did hit the patch 5.2 PTR in mid-February, so you never know.

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Filed under: Events, Achievements, The Overachiever

The OverAchiever: The game's 13 vanished titles

The OverAchiever The game's vanished titles THURSDAY
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we rue the lack of High Poobah among the game's honorifics.

An interesting question in the Tanking forum about a month back spurred an article for readers here about which title they find most reassuring on a fellow player. The discussion that ensued was a reminder that you can't get some of the more popular picks anymore, and just why they meant -- and continue to mean -- something in the first place.

Sad to say, these titles are no longer accessible, unless you manage to find some far-flung server at the end of the universe where no one's bothered to kill Sartharion at all.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Breakfast Topic: What really feels like an achievement?

Breakfast Topic Just what is an achievement
Achievements are everywhere in WoW these days. There are achievements for collecting mounts, achievements for doing quests, achievements for exploring zones, achievements for completing dungeons... and that's only scratching the surface. How many of you remember the good (or not so good) old days before achievements popped on to our screens to let us know we'd done something noteworthy? Back then it was up to us to decide what was considered a noteworthy achievement and instead of doing them for rewards, we did them just to prove we could.

Though it's a lot of fun to work towards achievements, I've got to wonder if we're missing out on deciding for ourselves what's important in the game -- what really constitutes an achievement. Accidentally stumbling into an achievement for exploring a zone, for example, doesn't really feel like I've accomplished anything important. But still, I've got the achievement, just like I'd get if I killed the baddest beast in the land. And sometimes when I do things that I think are really epic, like soloing a dungeon or keeping a raid alive when I'm the only healer left, there's no achievement to mark my accomplishment.

So I put the question to you, dear readers: what World of Warcraft achievements really feel like achievements? And what non-achievements really ought to be achievements?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Achievements

Only one week left to get your Winter Squid

Finishin in Dragonblight
Fellow fishing achievement-seekers and completionists, it's that time of year again! The time when birdsong fills the treetops, daffodils bloom merrily on hillsides, and clouds of pollen return to punish your sinuses for daring to survive another winter.

Oh, and it's also the time that Winter Squid turns into Summer Bass.

Fishing up both Winter Squid and Summer Bass is a requirement of The Oceanographer achievement. Much like the world event and holiday achievements, though, you need a certain time of year to be able to complete The Oceanographer. Winter Squid is fishable from September 23rd to March 20th, and Summer Bass from March 21st to September 22nd. Both can be found in normal waters (no schools or pools needed) in Sunken Temple, Feralas, The Cape of Stranglethorn, Badlands, Tanaris, Blasted Lands, and Swamp of Sorrows. Swamp of Sorrows appears to have the highest drop rate for the squid, and Blasted Lands is the best for bass. If you're a squid away from The Oceanographer, now's the time to cast your line! This has been a friendly reminder from your neighborhood WoW Insider columnists. Happy fishing!

Filed under: Humor, Achievements

Lorewalkers guide for the Isle of Thunder

Patch 52 guide to Lorewalker items on the Thunder Isle
What, you thought we were done with the Lorewalkers? Not a chance. Patch 5.2 introduces more lore objects to find, scattered around the Isle of Thunder. Collecting all of the objects results in achievements as well as new scenes to watch, courtesy of Lorewalker Cho. The objects themselves are softly lit with a blue glow as shown above, making them relatively easy to spot once you're in the area.

I spent some time on the Isle of Thunder and managed to hunt down all of the lore objects while doing quests for the new zone. But if you don't have the time or inclination to explore, we've put together a map and guide of all the new lore objects. Please note -- there are plenty of these lore objects locked behind island progression. You won't be able to nab all of the lore objects until the Isle of Thunder is fully unlocked on your server.

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Filed under: Lore, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Guide to Love is in the Air 2013

Love is in the Air returns this year from Sunday, Feb. 10 through Saturday, Feb. 23. As always, check your game calendar for your server's specific start and end times. After many tweaks over the years, the holiday's become one of the less annoying and RNG-riddled outings from the What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been meta. However, last year's version added a pretty grind-intensive mount to the holiday rewards, so if you're starting fresh and want the meta and the mount, be prepared for a lot of work.

Before you ask -- yep, it's required if you're still on the warpath for your Violet Proto-Drake. The finished holiday meta will also reward the title the Love Fool.

If you're completely new to Love Is In the Air, you'll probably want to read our FAQ on the holiday. Otherwise, we'll be dealing with the holiday achievements here. There are only two optional ones if you're going for the meta, so I've listed all the ones you'll need first.

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Filed under: Events, Achievements, The Overachiever

The OverAchiever: Guide to Lunar Festival 2013 achievements

The OverAchiever Guide to Lunar Festival 2013 achievements
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, the Fed-Ex quest from hell.

This year, the Lunar Festival runs from Sunday, Jan. 27 to Saturday, Feb. 9. (As always, check your game calendar for specific start and stop times for your server.) On a very important note, this year cuts the length of the holiday from three to two weeks, so if you're a new player or you're starting a fresh character, you won't have as much time as you usually do to get everything done. I think Blizzard limited it so as not to clash with Love Is In the Air, which begins Sunday, Feb. 10.

If you're new to the Lunar Festival, the holiday mostly revolves around involve talking to a number of elders in order to honor them, receiving Coins of Ancestry in return, and then using the coins to purchase holiday items, including clothing and pets. The To Honor One's Elders meta-achievement is also a requirement for What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so if you're still after a Violet Proto-Drake, make sure you get this done.

The Lunar Festival is definitely not one of Azeroth's more difficult holidays, but it's time-consuming if you need all the NPCs. However, it's also a good time to do other travel-intensive achievements like World Explorer.

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Filed under: Events, Achievements, The Overachiever

Does everything have to be fun?

When I was talking about reforging recently, one of the talking points for the discussion was that reforging isn't fun. This got me thinking: does it have to be fun? Reforging, enchanting and gemming my gear isn't something I do because I find those activities to be fun, it's something I do to be better at doing the things I do find to be fun (which is to say, killing monsters in Azeroth's various locales) and I'm okay with not especially enjoying everything.

This doesn't mean I want them to be painful or tedious. But while I am endlessly delighted by transmogrification, I don't think I need to feel the same obsessive joy in arrange my stats that I do in picking out new looks. In fact, I think it might actually detract from the game and the parts I do enjoy if reforging was compelling gameplay instead of a means to an end. That's because the name of the game, having a lot of options to gameplay, can only sustain so much interest before it becomes overwhelming. Everyone has a threshold of interest they can sustain. Some of us can do enough content in a week that valor caps seem restrictive, while others of us can barely even cap valor in a week. Some of us love alts, others can barely manage to keep one character going. These differences are what has led World of Warcraft to become a game with the dichotomy of enormous choice in terms of what content we can choose yet restrictions on how much benefit you can get from it, to make it more optional.

Into this mixture, elements of the game that are neither astonishingly enjoyable nor game-breakingly tedious serve an important function. They provide leavening. They create breaks between the peaks and valleys of the game experience - the crushing disappointments of nights spent wiping, or bosses who refuse to drop your desired item and the dizzy elation of a close arena match swinging in your favor, a first boss kill for your guild. There's an old saying that if everything is special, then nothing is, and one could argue that if the entire game strives to be fun at all times you'll soon come to lose out that sense of fun.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Holiday replayability and the Fed-Ex quests from hell

Holiday replayability and the FedEx quests from hell THU
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, get off our lawn.

One of the things I think about while revising and updating the holiday guides is that the audience for them is doomed to get smaller over time. It's reasonable to expect that, because people don't need the guides after they finish doing the events on characters they care about, and there's generally a few years between Blizzard's major updates. However, with the introduction of account-wide achievements, pets, and mounts, the replayability of holidays has probably suffered a bit. That doesn't mean that the content's not enjoyable, just that each successive character derives less reward from it.

This is a particularly acute problem with the approaching Lunar Festival and how one element gets a lot more onerous as the game continues to expand.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

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