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Filed under: The Overachiever

Guide to Hallow's End 2014

Headless Horseman comic.
Hallow's End 2014 begins on Saturday, Oct. 18 and runs through Saturday, 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, changing Tricky Treats from edible confection into a form of currency that players can use to buy pets, masks, and wands. This year has some new loot available -- three costumes for your pug pals, and a new costume for players as well, the Exquisite Costume Set: "The Lich King." And for all you pet collectors out there, this year you'll find the usual Creepy Crate, Sinister Squashling and Feline Familiar as well as Widget the Departed and Cursed Birman, two new ghostly kitties to add to your collection. Toy collectors will want to make note of the Little Wickerman and add him to your Toybox if you haven't already.

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

Guide to Brewfest 2014 achievements

Brewfest is back, as is Coren Direbrew, his cronies, and some of the easiest trinkets you'll ever farm for from the holiday boss. Now, 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 quick and easy ilvl 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 although some new items have been found on the PTR and beta, they are not on live servers, which means the run of achievements is pretty much the same. This year, Brewfest runs from Saturday, Sept. 20 to Monday, 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.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Guide to the Midsummer Fire Festival 2014

The Midsummer Fire Festival will run from Saturday, June 21 to Saturday, 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.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

WoW Insider's Guide to Pilgrim's Bounty 2013 achievements


While Pilgrim's Bounty isn't part of the meta What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, it's inarguably one of the most helpful yearly events. Yes, you can rack up some points with the Pilgrim meta and get a plump turkey pet, but the holiday has an unbeatable side benefit -- it's a fast, easy, and cheap way to level cooking to 350. If you've got a lot of alts around that haven't leveled the profession or never got around to doing it on your made, Pilgrim's Bounty will get that fixed as long as you're willing to put in a little elbow grease. As with Hallow's End and the recent anniversary tabard, you can also get a reputation boost from participating: The Spirit of Sharing from the feast tables grants an additional 10% to reputation gains.

Pilgrim's Bounty runs from Monday, Nov. 25 through Monday, Dec. 2nd this year. It's not one of the longer holidays, so if you'd like to get all the goodies, you'll want to start early. However, there's been no sign of an update to this year's version (we assume the developers are busy with Warlords of Draenor), so if you've done Pilgrim's Bounty previously on all the characters who needed to level cooking, you probably won't see additional benefit this year apart from a bit of fun.

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Filed under: Events, The Overachiever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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