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Posts with tag achievements

WoW Archivist: The triumph and tragedy of Ulduar

Windows in Ulduar
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

With patch 5.2 on the PTR, everyone is talking about Mists' next tier of raiding content. If the buzz seems more intense than usual, it might be because of the hints that Ghostcrawler and others at Blizzard have dropped comparing the Throne of Thunder to Wrath's Ulduar raid.

Perhaps it's too soon to revisit Ulduar in an Archivist column. After all, the raid went live less than four years ago. I don't care. I want to talk about how amazing this place was, how Blizzard still managed to screw up such a good thing, and why we should all be excited for an Ulduar-style raid in 5.2.

Put the rose-colored glasses away here, folks. You don't need them -- Ulduar really was that fantastic.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

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

Breakfast Topic: Do account-wide achievements make characters too interchangeable?

Breakfast Topic Do accountwide achievements make characters too interchangeable
Account-wide achievements bug me. I get that it's nice to be able to see when players have some real history and effort in their game. What I'm not OK with is how linking that experience to characters that haven't earned it makes every character feel like a tool of game mechanics instead of a character that's part of a story and fictional world.

I value the unique histories of each of my characters. Each one of them has played in entirely different ways: different guilds, different playstyles, different content in different eras of the game. While I'm proud of their achievements, I believe they are inextricably linked with the characters that achieved them. If I need to prove to a RBG leader that I've slaughtered hordes of the Horde, I'd appreciate a verified link to the character that did it -- but I have no desire to have that achievement linked to my little Cataclysm-era PvE bunny. It just doesn't fit.

I still feel odd that my characters share pets and mounts. I recognize that most people adore having everything available everywhere. To me, though, the things my characters have and don't have are part of what makes them unique, giving me different reasons to play (and not to play) each. It's perfectly OK not to have it all! Until recently, I'd been running about with my trademark Captured Firefly on characters such as my bankers that hadn't farmed it themselves. I've quit doing that now. It just didn't seem to fit.

To be sure, none of this makes me angry or resentful. I don't get pissy about a newer character running around with a title or mount he obviously didn't earn. I recognize how useful it is to have shared pets available for battling. And yes, like choosing not to summon my firefly, I realize that I can simply choose not take advantage of certain account-wide features. But after a bit of time under the new system, I find it still feels a little too glib. When characters become interchangeable, we lose our sense of investment in them.

Are you inseparable from your account-wide pets and mounts? Have shared achievements or titles helped you earn a spot in raids or join a guild? Have you started playing a different character based on gaining (or keeping) access to something you earned on another character? Have account-wide features made your characters feel more freely interchangeable -- and if so, is that a good thing?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Reputation in review: The Dominance Offensive

It took until patch 5.1, but we got it. The most perfect reputation grind in the game to date. I don't say these words lightly, because let's face it, I have pretty high standards for what I like and what I don't like with daily quests. But the Dominance Offensive appears to have taken the best out of all previous reputation grinds and wrapped it all together in a delightful ball of compelling story and quests that barely feels like a grind at all.

Please note that this is a review for the Dominance Offensive, which is the Horde side of the 5.1 reputation. At this point in time, I don't have an Alliance character at level 90, so I'm unable to play through the Operation Shieldwall quests. However, I have been assured that not only are the Operation Shieldwall quests just as good, in some ways they are even better than the Dominance Offensive material. I'm not even sure how this is possible, because these dailies are just that good.

But enough gushing. Let's get into the nuts and bolts of what makes this reputation grind so different from everything before it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, 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

Breakfast Topic: Are your in-game goals set by the game or your own sensibilities?

Breakfast Topic Are your ingame goals set by the game or your own sensibilities
If you're reading WoW Insider today, it's a slam dunk that you've discovered something in Mists of Pandaria intriguing enough to keep you coming back for more. My morning coffee question for you this morning: Where does that motivation come from? Do you reach for achievements built into WoW's gameplay, or do you strive to accomplish internally set goals?

Part of the reason today's WoW is enjoyable at so many levels is because the game itself is increasingly designed to reward players no matter what their playstyle might be. Leveling up, gearing up, and downing the big bads is only one slice of WoW life in 2012. My own game goals, for example, are divided between PvE/Alliance character goals and PvP/Horde character goals, and then subdivided further between things I want to do for my own enjoyment and things I want to be sure are covered for work here at WoW Insider. My lists by far exceed my available time.

What I'm curious about today is what sets the pace for your in-game goals. Do you prefer to slave over accomplishments set by the game -- achievements, points, titles, items, or content downed -- or do you tend to follow your own muse? By the latter, I mean goals such as maxing out all the available professions among your stable of characters, leveling one character of each class or race, or building and maintaining a collection of something -- maybe even some relatively useless somethings. Are you munching along on one of WoW's many feasts of satisfying gameplay, or are you blazing your own path through Azeroth?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Where does he get those wonderful toys? Pandaren rares and loot

Where does he get those wonderful toys Pandaren rares and loot
If there is one thing I have perfected in eight years of playing this game, it is filling my bags with useless stuff. I'm not talking about armor bits and pieces for transmog, or weapons with pretty glows, or bags full of crafting material like cloth or leather. No, I'm talking random baubles that will make you look like your neighbor. Or fling you in the air, without worry of what happens when you eventually hit the ground.

You know, stuff. Everybody likes stuff. And who has the best stuff in Pandaria? Rare mobs, of course! But which rares have the good stuff? Which ones will let you summon a fleet of angered puppies in party hats to fight at your side? Or inexplicably get you ready for a day at the beach in the middle of a raid? Or turn you into a statue with no apparent purpose other than sitting there pretending to be a statue?

You want useless stuff? Oh we've got all kinds of useless stuff for you, sorted by category.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

The OverAchiever: Guide to Pilgrim's Bounty 2012

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we advise you to stay away from the bathroom scale.

While Pilgrim's Bounty isn't part of the meta What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, a lot of players still find it one of 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 absolutely unbeatable side benefit -- it's an incredibly fast, easy, and cheap way to level cooking to 350. Pilgrim's Bounty is tailor-made for anyone who wants to get cooking leveled on a bunch of alts, or anyone who never got around to doing it on his or her main. As with Hallow's End, there's an additional benefit for all those of us slaving away on Mists of Pandaria reputation grinds: The Spirit of Sharing from the feast tables grants an additional 10% to reputation gains.

As far as we know, the holiday hasn't changed from previous incarnations, but as always, I'll be around as it goes live to update or clarify any portion of this guide. This year, Pilgrim's Bounty runs from Sunday, Nov. 18 through Saturday, Nov. 24.

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Filed under: Events, The Overachiever

Reputation in review: The Shado-Pan

Reputation in review The Shado Pan
I gotta say, I really dig the Shado-Pan. I liked them from the first moment I saw them in the beta. I think a lot of it has to do with what kinds of characters make up the faction. While the rest of Pandaria is full of affable characters like the Tillers, who are free with food, drink, story and song, the Shado-Pan represent the other side of the pandaren race. They're the warriors, the fighters, the fierce, strong and sometimes dark side of pandaren culture.

They are not welcoming, they are not particularly friendly, and to be perfectly honest the majority of them are pretty angry that we've shown up on Pandaria. Now perhaps it says something about me, but that fact in and of itself made me want to grind out this reputation. I mean, here I am, hero of Azeroth, killed Deathwing and interrupted what was going to be the end of the world and these guys are treating me like a total scrub? Oh it's on, guys.

Not to mention the absolutely fantastic taste these guys have in hats. Have you seen the hats? I knew I needed one of those hats the moment I laid eyes on it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Reputation in review: The Golden Lotus

Reputation in Review The Golden Lotus
Blizzard decided to try something completely new for Mists of Pandaria. In an effort to increase the amount of things to do once you've hit level 90, they left an entire zone as level 90 content. The Vale of Eternal Blossoms has a small handful of quests to do once you've gotten there, but the majority of what is going on in the Vale -- and there is a lot going on in the Vale -- happens after you hit level 90, and plays out as a series of daily quests in the Golden Lotus reputation grind.

The idea behind that, the objective of giving players more to do at level 90, is a good one. Once you've hit level 90, you no longer have an experience bar. It's instead replaced by reputation bars, and you level your way through the reputation just as you leveled your way through 85-90 content. And for the Golden Lotus, it's going to take a lot of leveling reputation to prove yourself.

After all, these guys are protecting one of the most hallowed places in Pandaria, and they decided to let you in.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Reputation in review: The Klaxxi

Reputation in review The Klaxxi
You address your elder ...

The Klaxxi are one of the most bizarre reputation grinds in Pandaria, and it has little to do with the mechanics of the process. Your path to gaining reputation remains simple for the most part, completing daily quests with the occasional turn in of reputation-enhancing items. In addition, you'll get the opportunity to complete extra daily quests, depending on what daily hub you happen to be assigned to that day.

However, the story of the Klaxxi is anything but simple. You are referred to with the name Wakener by all of the Klaxxi you encounter -- as far as they are concerned, there is no need to give you another name. And although the reputation grind for the Tillers contains friendly faces and nice people, the Klaxxi are all the way over on the other end of the spectrum.

Which is actually part of the charm, oddly enough.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

20 best addons for Mists of Pandaria achievements

The OverAchiever The best addons for achievement hunters
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, no more psychotic episodes with Tillers rep.

I love Wowhead to death, but what I don't love is tabbing in and out of the game in an endless search for information on any achievements I'm working on. This is where the wonderful world of addons makes its entrance, and we're blessed with an abundant supply of good ones in the early days of Mists of Pandaria.

These addons have made a significant difference to the ease and enjoyability of our achievement hunts lately. By my count, these will help you with two Pandaria rep grinds, all of the new dungeons and raids, the endlessly fascinating Glorious!, pet battles, and some oldies but goodies. If you have any additional suggestions, drop them in the comments and I'd be happy to add them to the article.

Oh, and while this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with achievements, if you can't wait for Blizzard to add a mount search function to the default UI, download Mount Search. Congratulations, you can now stop going crazy trying to find all the new cats, serpents, cranes, and goats you trained up.

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Filed under: The Overachiever

Patch 5.1 PTR: Darkmoon hats, new pet models and more

Darkmoon hats, new pet models and more
Care for a fancy hat? Wowhead found some new models from the patch 5.1 PTR server, including a stunning array of fancy chapeaus courtesy of the Darkmoon Faire. Each has its own bizarre style, and some even include animations like flickering lights or bobbles that sway in the breeze. Wowhead has animated versions of all of the models so you can see the movements for yourself. How exactly one goes about obtaining these hats is unknown at this point, but you'll be able to find them at the Darkmoon Faire next patch.

In addition, MMO-Champion dug up some new pet models from the PTR, including clockwork bears, cats and dinosaurs as well as an adorable group of red panda models in an assortment of colors. There have been some changes to pets as well -- Mr. Bigglesworth is no longer a drop from Kel'Thuzad. Instead, he's a reward for completing the achievement Raiding With Leashes, which requires the collection of all the new pets that have been added to raids.

Since the new patch notes indicate players will no longer need to be in a raid group to enter pre-Mists of Pandaria raids, it should be even easier to get your hands on these new pets. Take a look at MMO-Champion for pet models, and head to Wowhead for the animated versions of all of the new hat models so you can see the movements for yourself.


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: News items, Mists of Pandaria

12 new pets added to vanilla raids in 5.1

12 new pets added to vanilla raids in 51
Just in case you haven't had your fill of pets, Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton dropped some news on Twitter and let us know that there will be more to find in patch 5.1. 12 new pets have been added to all four vanilla raids -- Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Ahn'Qiraj, and Naxxramas. These pets will drop from bosses in the zones, and according to Stockton, the drop rates aren't bad at all, either.

And for those of you perking up at the mention of Naxxramas, you have every right to be excited. One of the pets offered is none other than Mr. Bigglesworth, Kel'Thuzad's beloved cat. Wowhead dug up the information on the rest of the pets, which included a Stitched Pup, Chrominius, and an Anubisath Idol among many others.

Not only is this a cool way to get some more pets out there in the mix, it's also a great reason to go run those old vanilla raids. Although Naxxramas moved to Northrend with Wrath, it was one of the original 40-man raids available back in vanilla. And despite its new location, Naxxramas is still soloable by most classes at level 90, although you can take a few friends along to make the jaunt a little easier. For a full list of available pets, check out Wowhead's list -- and if you aren't following Cory Stockton on Twitter, you're missing out on cool updates!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

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