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Posts with tag School-of-Hard-Knocks

Breakfast Topic: Did you meet your Children's Week goals?

Tribute to Cairne Image
Many players going for What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been leave Children's Week until last -- often not by choice. It is a truth universally acknowledged that School of Hard Knocks is the worst achievement required for any holiday meta. Even if you like PvP, competing with your region-mates for the same objective is frustrating, to say the least. And then there are the funsuckers who do their best to obstruct everyone trying. Ugh.

I think that otherwise, Children's Week is rather fun. Being the minion of orphans who coax you into irresponsible actions is enjoyable, surprisingly. I love the scripted reactions of the NPCs, particularly Lady Sylvanas. (I'm so predictable.) I do miss taking Salandria to see M'uru, though. Having her rock out with the Elite Tauren Chieftains doesn't have the same impact.

The pets are fun to collect as well. Sleepy Willy is a long-time favorite of mine. I did not try to get all of the pets on alts in preparation for Mists of Pandaria, however. I do think it's a great idea because all companion pets will become account-wide in the expansion. I just didn't make the effort.

What did you enjoy most about Children's Week? Did you meet your goals? What pets did you get?

Did you meet your Children\'s Week goals?
Holiday, shmoliday.1592 (27.6%)
No, but I tried.669 (11.6%)
Yes. But they didn't include the meta.608 (10.5%)
Yes! And I am now a Matron or Patron! 747 (12.9%)
Yes! And I got a Violet Proto-drake!535 (9.3%)
Just show me the results.1627 (28.2%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Why I hate holidays

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There are two reasons why I hate holiday events in World of Warcraft:

  1. Rather than a heart, I possess a shriveled black acorn of hate ripped from the oakbread tree, steeped in the corrupted blood of the deep wound of the earth, and finally implanted in my chest after my original heart was consumed by the venom of the Emerald Agony, rarest and most deadly of the agony serpents.
  2. There is no way you can convince me that running around trying to pick up eggs before anyone else gets to them while hissing expletives at the screen is anything like a good time.
Seriously, I just don't get holidays in game. I get that other people like them, and I'm not campaigning for their removal or anything. But there has yet to be a holiday introduced in the history of World of Warcraft that's done more than gotten me to say all right, I'll run that for you. I don't enjoy holidays; I tolerate them. Every year when Children's Week rolls around, I gulp knowing I'm going to be forced to try and get School of Hard Knocks so that other people can get a mount. When Noblegarden rolled around this year, I just rolled a lady dwarf death knight so that my guildmates could throw ears on it primarily because I was tired of hearing people talk about how hard they are to find.

I guess what really bugs me about all these holidays and holiday achievements is that no one seems to enjoy them. They go nuts grinding for a new mount or pet, yeah, but I just don't get a happy vibe when I ask people about them. Instead, I get a grim litany of how many more necklaces or chocolates or whatever they have to get through. I could just be missing the joy, I suppose. I'm very good at that.

Do you like holidays? If so, why? If not, congratulations on agreeing with me. Also, why not?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The OverAchiever: Help update our list of evil achievements

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, the abyss stares back.

Almost two years ago, I wrote a series of articles for OverAchiever that turned out to be one of the most popular themes the column's ever visited: evil achievements. It turns out that a lot of folks care deeply about achievements that have been -- allow me to quote myself -- "milked from the angry teat of Satan himself."

Now, it has to be said that all achievements are technically optional. No one is forcing you to do anything, why do you play this game anyway if you aren't having fun, yadda yadda ... all true. But I assume you're reading The OverAchiever because you really like achievements and you think they add something to the game. (Either that, or you're just reading because you're bored, but that's fine too.) Personally, I don't think players really mind difficult achievements or even achievements that they have to peck away at over an extended period of time. But there's a line between an achievement that is genuinely difficult on its own merits and one that makes you privately think the developers want you dead.

So with that in mind, how would we reconstruct a list of evil achievements in 2012 during the Cataclysm era?

You can find the original series here if you're interested in a trip down Memory Lane, although I'll give you a quick rundown on them past the cut:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Achievements, The Overachiever

The OverAchiever: Mountain O' Mounts from achievements

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, 10 little points are all that stand between us and a new ... something.

Many of the mounts this week be familiar to you if you've read The OverAchiever: Pimp Thy Ride, which I wrote before the Cataclysm content patch with an eye toward the number of people who wanted to slap a 310% mount on their toons before it had to be trained. Sadly, none of the mounts described in that article, barring one, will grant Master Riding for free now.

Also read:

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

The OverAchiever: Guide to Children's Week 2010 achievements

I had originally intended to run the last article in our continuing series on evil achievements this week but belatedly remembered that Children's Week starts this Sunday. Possibly I'd blocked it out due to the existence of School of Hard Knocks, but even that's not an excuse given that this miserable piece of work appears in my top five evil achievements article (and my own personal See Me In Hell list).

As with other WoW holidays, Children's Week was heavily revised last year. We haven't seen any additional information for the 2010 holiday, so we're assuming that it's the same. Much of our 2009 guide had to be written on the fly as information trickled in from the realms that saw the holiday first, so for 2010, I've organized and expanded it past the cut. The Children's Week achievements and the meta For The Children are part of the year-long What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so you will want to get these done if you're working toward a violet proto-drake.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

The Queue: Decisions, decisions


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Readers, I'm having trouble making a very tough decision today. I'm in the mood for two very specific things but can't make up my mind between them. I definitely can't have both. So before you read the rest of The Queue and pick apart its World of Warcrafty deliciousness, please, help me choose what I'm eating for dinner today.
What is Alex eating for dinner?
Taco Bell6665 (49.6%)
KFC6786 (50.4%)


Boz asked...


"Any word on whether School of Hard Knocks will be removed from the meta-holiday achievement, or if it will hammer Battlegrounds for another week this year?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

The OverAchiever: Guide to Brewfest 2009 achievements


Officially-sanctioned drunkenness ahoy! The Brewfest boss Coren Direbrew has been updated for level 80 players and we'll see the return of the wolpertinger quest, but apart from that, the beloved holiday is back in all its judgment-impairing glory. Read on for a complete guide to the Brewfest achievements and getting the Brewmaster title. As with most of Azeroth's holidays, successful completion of the holiday meta is required for What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, and many players will be getting their violet proto-drakes immediately after completing Brewfest 2009.

Myself? All that stands between me and my giant purple drake is School of Hard Knocks. I didn't think I could hate anything in the game as much as I hated the old Tauren cat form, but I may possibly have been incorrect.

Oh well. Two days into the holiday and my main will be too sloshed to care.

Brew of the Month

Its former incarnation involved drinking each of the 12 brews mailed to your character over the course of the year, but after much hue and cry, was changed to its significantly more forgiving current form. I would just like to state for the record that around this time last year I wrote a thoroughly detailed and explicit article on why you needed to join the freaking club early in order to get the meta-achievement, but apparently not everyone was paying attention. Honestly, people.

Joining the Brew of the Month Club will run you 200 Brewfest tokens for the membership form and a trip to Orgrimmar or Ironforge to turn the membership in to Ray'ma or Larkin Thunderbrew respectively. Turn it in, and you're all set.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Achievements, The Overachiever

Breakfast Topic: So much for Children's Week


So, Children's Week came and went, and for the most part I think it went by largely unnoticed. Aside from the first few days where Battlegrounds were overrun with orphans -- a truly disturbing thought if you stop to think about it -- most people pretty much completed the Children's Week meta-Achievement on the first day. In theory, this was one of those holidays that had the potential to screw players over with Daily Chores, which required players to complete a daily quest every day for five consecutive days. That would've meant that anyone unable to log on for 24 hours would have to wait until the next year to complete the Achievement. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly), the Achievement bugged out and players were able to complete it in one day.

Admittedly, as much as I disliked the design principle of the School of Hard Knocks -- I still think it didn't give a good impression of the Battlegrounds to new players -- a lot of people got the Achievement within a day or two. By mid-week, it was back to normal again. Which meant that in my Battlegroup, Horde weren't playing Alterac Valley again. If there was anything good about the School of Hard Knocks, virtually every Battleground started with even numbers every time. Never mind that most of them were recklessly endangering their wards and couldn't care less about winning, but even numbers are always a good start!

Anyway, how did Children's Week go for you guys? Did you get everything you wanted? Pets? Items? Did you complete the Achievement? Was it difficult, easy, or not even worth bothering with? Share your thoughts on what is arguably the most lackluster yearly event yet. I mean, where were the orphans in Northrend? Surely it wouldn't have been too hard to make quests for little Wolvar or maybe Frenzyheart and Oracle children, would it? Maybe next year?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Breakfast Topics, Achievements

The Queue: Acronymification, FWIW

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

The last few editions of The Queue had a lot about tanking, and deciding which Heroic is the best Heroic to tank your first time around. Adam said Utgarde Pinnacle was a good training ground, and his opinion was thoroughly stomped upon for being wrong. I have to say, though... Utgarde Pinnacle was my first Wrath heroic as a tank and it worked pretty well. I did a lot of tanking in The Burning Crusade so maybe I'm a little different since I already knew what I was doing, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it's made out to be. Mobs in Utgarde Pinnacle hit really hard, and it taught me to get back into the habit of using my cooldowns properly and not relying completely on my healer to keep me standing.

I won't say Adam was right, but I also won't say he was wrong. Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle and Heroic CoT: Stratholme are the two dungeons that taught me the most about tanking. Teaching myself to remember to use my own cooldowns and mitigation abilities, learning how to pace a group and keep them moving, relearning how to handle different types of mobs. They were a challenge, oh yes, but that's why I learned so much from them. Easier heroics like Violet Hold didn't teach me to do much because you basically nap through the thing. Then again, I am sort of a 'trial by fire' kind of guy. I need to die a few times to figure out whether I'm capable of something or not.

CallMeIrd asked..


"Are they going to change or remove the School of Hard Knocks achievements? It's pretty much impossible for a lot of players to achieve."

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

The Daily Quest: Of orphans and officers


We here at WoW Insider are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.
  • Our sister site Massively asks, "What's in a name?"
  • You have a few days left to get your Children's Week achievements taken care of, and Herding Cats has a few tips for everyone's bane: School of Hard Knocks.
  • Less QQ, More Pewpew has continued their Ulduar video series with their latest addition, Mimiron. You can watch it at the top of this post, or over on their site!
  • World of Matticus's Lodur takes a very close look at the transition into becoming a raid leader.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

Children's Week ruins Battlegrounds


I'm sorry Blizzard, but I'm with the whiners on this one. The School of Hard Knocks is so badly designed that it's ruining, instead of enhancing, the Battleground experience. Take, for example, the requirement to return a flag in Warsong Gulch. First of all, the requirement is that the player return the flag personally as opposed to being in the vicinity of a flag return. This means that all ten players on one side are angling to return the flag... which is great in theory but in practice encourages entire teams to wait inside the base hoping to get the Achievement. This results in extended stalemates that don't actually encourage what needs to be done, which is to capture the flag.

In Alterac Valley, we have forty players and four capturable towers or bunkers. Sure, the opposing faction can defend the towers/bunkers allowing it to be recaptured, but the whole business of racing to capture one -- again, personally -- turns every Alterac Valley into a race. This means lesser chances of defended towers. Realistically, if players tagged and defended until the objective burned down, only 10% of the team would be able to accomplish the Achievement requirement in every match. I'm sorry to tell all those who are allergic to PvP that you'll actually have to play quite a number of Alterac Valley matches just to get this one. Unfortunately for me, on my Battlegroup, playing Horde-side AV is like pulling teeth.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Battlegrounds, Achievements

Breakfast Topic: Never Gonna

World of Warcraft does have a decent variety of things to do. Arenas, Battlegrounds, Soloing, Professions, 5-mans, raids, the list goes on. Some may focus singlemindedly on one or two aspects of the game, while others dabble a bit in most or even all of them. All this variety also ends up meaning that some people just won't like certain aspects of the game, and will generally shy away from doing them. This can also be true of classes, of talent trees, of playstyles, and all the rest. Of course, sometimes we swear we'll never do something in game, then do it anyway.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics

A closer look at the School of Hard Knocks

Let's take a look at the Children's Week PvP achievement School of Hard Knocks and the resources you'll need to accomplish it.

If you want to get your Violet Proto-Drake and fly around at 310% speed, you're going to need to do this achievement. Reports are mixed on how easy or hard this achievement is. Some folks are saying it's done quickly and easily with a good group, others are banging their heads against the desk and spewing curse words at Blizzard.

But just like everything, if you research and take an educated look at these achievements, they become more understandable and easier. That's not to say the achievement will become trivial, but it'll at least become more manageable.

The achievement is broken down, complete with tips, after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Battlegrounds, Achievements

Breakfast Topic: For the children!


We hope you've gotten the all the necessary Achievements for Noblegarden because a new world event kicks off today. Yep, it's Children's Week once again, and just like all the yearly events this one has a bunch of Achievements you'll need to plow through in order to get the meta, and consequently the Violet Proto-Drake? Did it catch you by surprise? We hope not. The in-game calendar tells you exactly when these things start, anyway, and barring that you've got your friends over here at WoW Insider to remind you.

While some players are polarized over the School of Hard Knocks Achievement, which requires players to venture into the Battlegrounds, I'm not looking forward to a token dungeon run to kill King Ymiron or doing five daily quests for five consecutive days. If you're unable to log in mid-week, you're toast. Ugh. That said, it's an extremely easy meta Achievement to obtain. Are you looking forward to the event? Are you rushing Noblegarden so can't be bothered to chaperone some kids all over Azeroth (like you do every year)? What's the first thing you've got planned for Children's Week?

Filed under: Events, Breakfast Topics, Achievements

The OverAchiever: Guide to Children's Week achievements


All right, folks, we've got another sub-achievement needed for What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been (and thus the 310% speed Violet Proto-Drake) on our hands here. I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that most of the achievements for Children's Week are fairly straightforward, and should be easy (and even fun) to complete. Appropriately enough for a mini-holiday, most of the achievements are simple, amusing, and not too time-consuming. The bad news is that one of the achievements may be a huge headache to get done, and unlike Noblegarden, your character has to be at least 75 in order to get all of the achievements needed for the year-long meta.

Children's Week runs from Friday, May 1st at midnight through Thursday, May 7th at 11:59 PM. Got your kiddo? Let's get cracking.

EDIT: This article's been revised and updated to reflect new information and the hotfixes that have gone live since initial publication. All information herein should be accurate as of 11:30 AM EST Saturday May 2nd.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Events, Instances, Features, Guides, Battlegrounds, Achievements, The Overachiever

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