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Filed under: 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

Discover wealth and achievements with the Riches of Pandaria

Image
Who doesn't like free gold? You'd be silly not to nab what's out there for the taking -- and there's far more for the taking in Pandaria than you'd think. Wowhead just finished up a guide for the Riches of Pandaria, which explores free gold and the achievements associated with said bounty with easy to follow maps and instructions for discovering all that Pandaria has to offer.

Scattered throughout Pandaria are objects called Treasure of Pandaria. Collecting these items will nab you a progressive series of achievements ultimately ending with the Riches of Pandaria. These Treasures of Pandaria are small, clickable items that you can find hiding in various places around each zone. Each object vendors for free gold -- up to 100g, free and waiting for you to just grab it and sell it.

Lest you think this is a task best saved for level 90, you should also note that these items grant a chunk of experience when they are found as well. Whether you're leveling through Pandaria for the first time, or simply on the lookout for free gold and more achievement points, Wowhead's guide is an excellent starting point to hunting down all the precious items that have been scattered across the continent.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

The OverAchiever: Guide to Winter Veil 2012

'Tis the season! Winter Veil 2012 runs from Saturday, Dec. 15 through Tuesday, Jan. 2 this year. As with most of the WoW holidays, the Merrymaker meta is required for What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. Those of you who are still on the lookout for your Violet Proto-Drakes will want to keep an eye out for any achievements you still need.

Even if you don't want or don't need any achievements, Winter Veil also gives you the opportunity to turn your mount into a reindeer, become a snowman with a unique dance animation, and get noncombat pets and unique holiday items. This is also the only time of year where pets like Father Winter's Helper won't disappear with an excuse over how busy they are making toys, so if you want to run around for an extended time with gnomes dressed in Santa outfits, seize the day.

As always, I'll be up as the holiday goes live to make necessary additions or corrections to the guide, but we're not anticipating any major changes to Winter Veil this year.

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Filed under: Events, Achievements, The Overachiever

Desperately seeking Mr. Bigglesworth

Desperately Seeking Mr Bigglesworth
Patch 5.1 is an exciting time, whether you're continuing on your questing for Wrathion in search of a legendary or you're just really jazzed about having more dailies to do. It also introduced the ability to go into old raid instances without actually having to be in a raid, making them much more accessible for solo players. For some of us though, it is an opportunity to continue on with a never ending hunt. The hunt for rare and special battle pets!

Laugh if you will, but patch 5.1 introduces 12 new rare pets that are spread throughout classic raids from the yester-years of World of Warcraft. It gives players incentive to revisit those raid instances, and rewards them with some pretty cool looking pets. It also rewards those with the motivation to farm the content with the achievement Raiding With Leashes. If the achievement wasn't enough, as an added bonus for collecting all 12 new rare pets, you get the pet Mr. Bigglesworth, who may in fact be the most sought after mini pet since he was introduced as the trusted companion of Kel'Thuzad back when Naxxramas made it's first appearance. So, with 12 new rare pet drops from 12 classic raid bosses, how hard can obtaining these magnificent prizes solo be?

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Filed under: Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

Don't forget to log in for WoW's 8th Anniversary!

Don't forget to log in for WoW's 8th Anniversary!
Today is the first day of WoW's 8th Anniversary, a two-week holiday that grants a special feat of strength for anyone that logs in. But don't forget to check your mail, because there's a present involved, too. This year, players will receive the Celebration Package, which grants those that use it an 8% experience and reputation boost from kills for one hour. The item can only be used during WoW's 8th Anniversary event, so grab yours and use it while you still can!

Unfortunately there is no pet involved with this year's achievement, it's simply a repeat of last Don't forget to log in for WoW's 8th Anniversary!year's rewards -- right down to the in-game mail that happily asks you to defend a shattered world. We kind of did that already, Blizzard. We're heroes now, remember? Regardless, the Celebration Package should offer a nice boost to those still leveling, or those in the midst of grinding out reputation with the Black Prince, Huojin or Tushui. Make sure to log on to all of your characters, so you get the Feat of Strength and the accompanying reward for everyone. WoW's 8th Anniversary runs from now until December 2.


Filed under: Events, Achievements

The OverAchiever: Guide to Hallow's End 2012

Headless Horseman comic.
Every week, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. Today, our yearly sugar rush.

Hallow's End 2012 begins on Thursday, Oct. 18 and runs through Wednesday, Oct. 31 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.

Last year, 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 badass non-combat pets. In essence, Tricky Treats -- once a vomit-inducing item 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, wands, and other holiday items. 2011 also introduced a new set of quests associated with Hallow's End, one of which sends you into an enemy city without the fear of ugly death.

Bottom line: If you weren't around for last year's holiday, a lot of stuff may interest you this year. If you were around for last year, you'll still be interested, as the Headless Horseman's set of dropped epics are a lot more compelling at the beginning of an expansion. Hardcore achievement hunters will also be pleased to note an additional 10 points in the form of Tricks and Treats of Pandaria.

As with most of our holiday guides, I've arranged the achievements in the rough order they should be completed, noting which achievements are required for the meta and which aren't.

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Filed under: Events, Achievements, The Overachiever

Making best friends with the Tillers

Making best friends with the Tillers
The Tillers are one of several new factions in Pandaria, but they come with a couple of unique twists. First, you get to have your own farm for growing cooking ingredients through some unique phasing and a quest chain with a pandaren who is new to farming. In order to upgrade your farm and get more plots for planting, you have to get the approval of the other farmers around the area, which you can complete by increasing your reputation with the Tillers and completing a series of dailies.

Second, you can improve your farm itself, through befriending the various people you'll meet around the area. You'll start out as strangers to these characters, but over time you can earn reputation and make friends. Once you've reached best friend status, each character will mail you some items, and send an improvement or two for your farm. So what's the best way to a Tillers' heart? Some would say through the stomach, but I'd have to say through the judicious use of gifts.

And those gifts are surprisingly easy to find ... if you know where to look.

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Filed under: Achievements, Mists of Pandaria

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