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Posts with tag 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

The most reassuring title to see on a player

The most reassuring title to see on a player
Whether we like to admit it or not, we tend to give other players the once-over whenever we zone into a Raid Finder or dungeon PUG, particularly if you've had a run of bad experiences while getting valor-capped for the week. A recent thread on the Tanking forums about the best title for a tank to sport is both a sideways acknowledgment of this and a question as to which title best suits your role in the game. For healers, one could argue that Undying or Immortal means you probably had job security for the length of Wrath, but that kind of ignores everyone else's responsibility to not screw up in Naxx. Possibly Herald of the Titans/Conqueror of Ulduar would have been the equivalent for DPS players, although a raid had to fire on all cylinders for those achievements too.

Before achievements were account-wide, and leaving aside obvious ringers like Light of Dawn/Bane of the Fallen King before Mists, I would have nominated Loremaster or Seeker as the most reassuring titles to see on a player regardless of gear quality. I can't say exactly what link exists between the persistence needed to get these titles and overall competence, but I have yet to see a Loremaster or Seeker player do something screw-the-pooch crazy in a PUG. These days, it's tougher to guarantee that a player sporting a title is doing so on the character that originally got it, so maybe The Undaunted is probably the single best outward indicator of competence.

Having written all this, I've also had the pleasure of knowing a world-class hunter who never bothered using titles, and we have to acknowledge that a generic, funny (e.g., "Chef Boyardee"), or absent title means nothing at all. But if you had to pick one that said, "I will not get you killed in this PUG," which would it be?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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

Guildox ranks achievements and titles

Guildox ranks achievements and titles
GuildOx just launched a new feature on their website: Popular Achievements and Popular Titles Rankings. This feature does exactly what it says on the tin -- provides information on the game's most popular achievements and titles.

This feature makes really interesting reading, and GuildOx have gone to some length to ensure the data is accurate, saying that they have used their Character Database and filtered out alts using their alt detection.

WoW Insider could spend all day drawing interesting conclusions from the database, for example, the highest ranked holiday achievement title is The Hallowed, so that could mean the requirements make it the easiest to get, or that people just really love Hallow's End. In a similar vein, more players have the Arathi Basin Victory achievement and the Alterac Valley Victory achievement than have the Warsong Gulch Victory one. Why is that? Of course, this feature can't answer that question, but it's fun to speculate!

And while you're over at GuildOx, don't forget to check out their popular mounts and pets databases -- see where yours rank!

Filed under: News items

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

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

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