The annual Lunar Festival starts tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011. Fighting Omen, honoring the elders, getting some lunar-looking costumes -- it's all on the docket this year again. The in-game activities will run through Feb. 12, so there's a good amount of time to get all the achievements you need.
Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we shine our light on the the Lunar Festival.
The Lunar Festival runs this year from Sunday, Jan. 23 through Sunday, Feb. 13. That's right, folks; you've got three weeks to get everything done. The basics of the holiday involve talking to a number of elders to honor them, receiving Coins of Ancestry in return, and then using the coins to purchase holiday items. 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, you'll need to work on this holiday. This is not one of Azeroth's more difficult holidays, but it's definitely time-consuming if you're starting from scratch; you'll need to hunt down a lot of NPCs. Due to the mileage you'll rack up doing this, this would be a great time to do World Explorer and/or Surveying the Damage. It'll also be a good excuse for higher-level characters to pick up the new flight paths that have popped up all over the place.
I've updated and expanded our 2010 guide, but fair warning -- the location of a number of elders has likely changed due to Cataclysm's impact on Azeroth's landscape. While I doubt that most of them are substantially different, nothing's been datamined yet concerning this. In the days after the holiday goes live, I'll be updating the guide to include a list of new coordinates.
EDIT: This guide is in the process of being updated. Please bear with me while I check through all the Elders!
Can you believe it's time for the Lunar Festival again? I mean, can you believe it?
To be honest, it took me a while to figure out just exactly what holiday the Lunar Festival was. Most holidays in Azeroth mirror our own, but I don't really celebrate Chinese New Year. So of course, being the uncultured (though handsome) dolt I am, I assumed the holiday was inspired by the canceled CBS drama Ghost Whisperer. Apparently, though, the Chinese New Year is a pretty big thing. Especially in China. Go figure!
For those who don't know, the Lunar Festival is a three-week-long super-holiday that involves running around the world to meet and "honor" all sorts of elders. If the whole thing tingles the same obsessive-compulsive part of your brain as it does mine, you'll find yourself one-manning all sorts of old instances, trying to honor some inconveniently located, long-forgotten spooks for a handful of gold and some holiday-only currency. If you want more information about it, it's all here in The OverAchiever: Guide to Lunar Festival 2011.
It's one of the most brutal travel-heavy holidays out there, but if you're interested in scoring that 310% mount from the What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been achievement, it's required. But is it worth it? Will you be celebrating the Lunar Festival holiday across all your alts? Are you excited about corpse-hopping your way through the opposing faction's capital cities?
I already made my rounds last year, so I think I'll just take it easy myself. Maybe order in some Chinese and catch a Camryn Manheim film festival instead.
What are evil achievements? They're the soul-killing rep grinds, the raiding milestones that required sacrificing a farm animal to get, and even fun pasttimes like battlegrounds into which a sizable dose of misery has been added. Eventually you just want to grab the nearest developer and shake him back and forth, screaming, "What the hell were you thinking?"
Last week I previewed three of the most evil achievements in the game, both to collect my own thoughts and to canvass commenters' opinions for a larger article. This week, I'd like to present the first set of evil achievements for your reading, wincing and antacid-chugging pleasure.
A note on judging the "evil value" of achievements: I've been adding to this list for a while, and it's drawn from both the achievements we've covered in this column and some I've seen players complain about frequently in game. Obviously, there's no real way to quantify exactly how difficult or excruciating achievements are, so I'm going with the definition I gave above. Any incredibly difficult or RNG-saturated achievement made the short list, but I also tried to keep some unusual picks in mind. In this vein, there's an achievement in today's column that, while extremely easy by today's standards, was a screaming horror when it first debuted. I may wind up doing a list of honorable mentions as well.
So, in no particular order, I am pleased to present World of Warcraft's 25 most evil achievements, starting with #25-16 this week.
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The Lunar Festival started this past Sunday and will be running until March 7th -- but there's no reason not to start on this one right now if you're after achievements, reputation, or have simply run out of other grinds. (Really, I mean "grind" in the nicest way possible here -- but there are a heck of a lot of elders to visit if you're trying to get your achievements.) But if you're interested in getting involved, we've rounded up all the web has to say about the Lunar Festival.
The Lunar Festival is upon us once again today, and this year the real world inspiration for the in-game event coincidentally falls on the same day as Valentine's Day, which Love is in the Air is based upon (Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Chinese New Year to all, by the way). It's a funny little twist that has most of our metro's best restaurants booked today. We also joke that the only folks who won't be wearing red would be the loveless non-Chinese. This year, the Year of the Tiger, is also going to be pretty special to me and my wife because our second daughter is due in April, so we're about to welcome a tiger in the family.
Blizzard will be ushering in new babies this year, too -- two, in fact. StarCraft 2 and Cataclysm are scheduled to come out in 2010. Overall, I think it's going to be pretty exciting. We can also consider this another fresh start, and folks who missed out on completing the whole Long Strange Strip last year can start completing it again this year. What are your plans for the Lunar Festival? I personally think it's one of the coolest in-game holidays and I usually amass enough stacks of Festival Dumplings to open up my own dimsum bar by the time it ends. Are there any achievements you still need? Any elders you still need to visit? Allison's written up an excellent guide to help you complete anything you might have missed.
I personally love going around Azeroth to visit all the elders because I enjoy receiving those red envelopes in the mail. Sure, it'll contain some some shiny stone or a bunch of fireworks, but it still reminds me of the real thing. A little later tonight we'll all be lining up in front of our A Ma to get similar red envelopes which contain, well, gold IRL. It's pretty cool. The year is shaping up really well, and I hope everyone else is having a ferocious, tiger-like start to their 2010, too. A lot of things to look forward to, a lot of things to be thankful for. How about you? Anything you're looking forward to or wish to be thankful for in the Year of the Tiger, whether in-game or out?
The Lunar Festival runs this year from Sunday, Feburary 14th at 9:00 am server time through Sunday, March 7th at 9:00 am server time. That's right, folks; you've got three weeks to get everything done. The basics of the holiday involve talking to a number of Elders to honor them, receiving Coins of Ancestry in return, and then using the Coins to purchase fun holiday items. The To Honor One's Elders meta-achievement is also a requirement for What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. In general, this is not a difficult holiday, but it is time-consuming; you'll need to hunt down a lot of NPCs. Because of the mileage you'll rack up doing this, it'd be a good time to do World Explorer if you haven't already done that, or pick up flight paths that a character doesn't yet have.
We've updated and expanded our 2010 guide to include exact coordinates for every Elder in the game, and I've also arranged them in what I hope to be the most straightforward way to reach them all. Let's get started.
Earlier this week, the World of Warcraftcommunity sites (multi-regional) updated with a gallery from WoW China. Chinese WoW players participated in an event called, "I Love World of Warcraft, I Love Spring Festival" that combined a passion for WoW with the Lunar New Year celebrations. Chinese players submitted pictures of themselves that incorporated both of these things and the community picked their favorites.
This is, by far, one of my favorite galleries that any of the official community teams has ever done. As a blogger here on WoW Insider, I see every day just how much community has been built up around this game, and I know very well that there are faces behind the characters. I've met many of my guildmates in person, and I hear similar stories every single day through WoW Insider's tipline. I love seeing the faces behind the characters, and that is exactly what this gallery does. Sure, they posed for these things and they're not exactly candid, but it still shows that the game is very personal.
We're all players, but we're also people. I much prefer galleries that display that, rather than yet another mount gallery. Mount galleries are cool and all, I just like this better. Go on, check it out!
Love is almost in the air, but the Lunar Festival isn't over yet. Have you gotten your Elder title yet? The Lunar Festival is technically the first world event of the year, although I'm pretty sure some of you already have your Hallowed and Merrymaker titles. Some of us got a head start on this latest event, like myself. I found out I'd completed the continents when I did them last year, when I hoarded Festival Dumplings. This made it considerably easier for me to complete this Achievement.
Don't forget that the event is about to end, so if you plan on going after that nice mount, you're going to have to complete this Achievement because at 6am server time this Thursday. I always wished that the Outlands had this, too, but I guess alien continents don't celebrate Chinese New Year the Lunar Fesitval. Have you completed the Achievement? Did you even bother? Some of you probably even finished it on multiple characters. Anything interesting happen this year? What did you buy with your coins? I certainly had fun getting the Elders of the Alliance. I'm sure Alliance characters had fun doing Elders of the Horde, too, even if only to visit Thunder Bluff's newest elder. Let's bid the Lunar Festival a fond farewell with our experiences thus far.
As I'm sure you all have heard by now, one of our favorite comics, Flintlocke vs the Horde, is slated to be set aside. Its creator, Dave "Fargo" Kosak, landed a shiny new job at Blizzard helping to give the game we all love some extra oomph. Fortunately, the storyline won't just be dropped, and you can expect it to wind up sometime in April.
In response to reader Keyra's thoughts on last week's Ding! comic, I would like to offer my own. I would have to bet that almost every single person who has played WoW for any length of time at all does ponder why none of their farmers seem to have skulls, or why you can't get enough blood out of a giant monster to fill even one vial.
We've all joked about it too. I mean gee, if only I could learn to rip off Troll ears without dismembering them into tiny chunks, I'd be in business. The lame jokes crop up on almost every quest with a poor drop rate, and I don't personally feel that the comic took it any further than I ever have, or any of my uninspired friends (no offense guys). It isn't that there isn't a humorous element to it, but that it's been done better in-game while roaming around by ourselves.
I'm thrilled that you liked it, I just wanted to explain why so many of us are bucking it, other than that we miss the old stuff.
Experience Points knows what some of you really pray about (please don't send me hatemail, because I don't know what you pray about. It was all a gimmick to work this comic into a sentence when I haven't had my coffee yet). They also know that not all dogs make good anti-burlar hunter pets.
Flintlocke and his overzealous ladyfriend are suddenly in a hurry to flee the scene.
GU Comics: Lucky Red Envelopes. Now this orc isn't as respectful of his elders. Think of the poor elders!
NoObz: Laaag. Coincidentally, if you scroll down to the blurb beneath the comic, there's yet another confirmation that no one listens to their elders.
I was afraid to look. This week's Ding! is definitely an improvement of sorts. The story is funnier, although not really in the comic format. Maybe if it had been told by a talented comedic writer, or as entertainment on a Podcast? I'd even take it as a guildie tale over Vent in between pulls. Still, I suppose I like pictures of people with their mouths open to show that they are indeed talking.
By saying this, I will totally ruin any of the funny in the note from the author beneath the comic strip, but I totally choked on my water when I read the first part of the second paragraph. In all seriousness though, I'm one of this comic's biggest fans, so you totally have a following. The Adventures of Disgraph T. Dwarf: Lunar LoLs.
Lunar Festival has been ongoing for awhile now, and still has about a week left. It's one of the longer holidays in Azeroth, so there's ample time to complete all of your achievements or just experience the seasonal content. Despite that... well, I haven't done any of it yet. All the time in the world, and I'll probably be running around trying to get it done the night before everything disappears until next year, just for completion's sake.
Achievements are all fine and good, but I'm having a hard time getting up and doing things with this holiday. It's unusual, because it was one of the first holidays that I was genuinely interested in back when they implemented it. It was fun hunting down all of the coins and getting the cool clothes and vanity items, but now? Not really diggin' it. Sure, the first time was fun, but the holiday hasn't really changed since then. There are some new Elders in Northrend, but that doesn't really count, does it?
How is the holiday going for all of you guys, though? I suspect some of you are in the same spot as me, but I know a lot of people are super excited about doing all of it as well. Have you finished your achievements? Working on them slow and steady? Not going to bother?
There's always something going on in the World of Warcraft, and the month of February is no exception. We've got the Lunar Festival in full swing, Love is in the Air on the horizon, and a Chris Metzen signing out in New York.
Take a look after the break for our complete rundown of all the February events. And remember to check your in-game calendar to see what times these events begin on your sever, and then compensate for the time zone you live in.
Of course throughout all this month we'll keep you abreast on the latest news!
Wacky times on the podcast this past week -- along with BRK and Turpster, we were able to welcome our good friends Shawn Coons and Patrick Beja of the How I WoW podcast. They talked with us about themselves, including Shawn's recent move, and Patrick's ongoing campaign to get his parents to play videogames, and we talked a whole lot of World of Warcraft, too. We answered emails about the correct pronounciation of "Fah-jord", how Blizzard can get more players on the PTR, and what to do to get into a good guild, and during the show we broke down the latest bugfix patch, talked about the Lunar Festival (and why we weren't interested in it), a little bit about group management and how best to do it, and we ran down exactly how we WoW, too.
Also, we've got some great fan audio in the show as well -- an excellent intro, and perhaps the best thing we've ever played on the song ever: a "Meat of the Show" intro by listener Sammy T. Seriously, give this thing a listen -- we played part of it during the show, but you can hear the whole thing afterwards, and it's great. If you'd like to send us an intro or just a note about something you've heard on the show or want us to answer, the email address is email@example.com -- just drop an mp3 attachment in there or speak your mind, and you might hear it on next week's show.
Remember, we do this live every Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern over on the Ustream page, so if you're around next Saturday, be sure to stop by and say hi. We'll see you next week -- enjoy the show.
Get the podcast: [iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes. [Ustream] Listen to the unedited recording in Ustream. [RSS] Add the WoW Insider Show to your RSS aggregator. [MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
So, here I am in Orgrimmar, all ready for today's It Came from the BlogLunar Festival event. The Spousal Unit is going to take The Spawn for ice cream so that I can focus on herding you cool cats from Elder to Elder. It looks like people (Hi Cowzilla!) have been getting their Death Knights through the initial quests and sanctioned by Thrall to be ready to hang with the lowbies today. I also have some emails (Hi Diahix!), but unfortunately, I can't ginvite via email. Here are the details:
When: 6PM Eastern Time today, January 31st. (That's 4PM server time, 3PM Pacific Time)
Where: Meet at the Bank in Orgrimmar, Zangarmarsh U.S. (PvE server, sorry ganker wannabes)
Who: Any Horde character at any level as long as you have 3 silver and Thrall has welcomed you to the Horde (I mean you, DKs)
What: We'll be doing the initial Lunar Festival quests and then running around picking up Ancient Coins as well as flightpaths for you non-Death Knights
Please be at the bank in Orgrimmar before 6PM so that we can get started on time. If you have a low level Tauren character, I will summon you, but otherwise everyone should be able to get there easily.
Leveling, questing, PvPing, raiding, Lunar Festival achievements... that's what the WoW Insider team is doing this weekend: a little bit of everything. And if you aren't up to anything Saturday afternoon, you could join us for some fun with our guild, It Came from the Blog, on Zangarmarsh (US), Horde-side, to hang out, collect some festival coins, and chat. But some of us, apparently, have been skipping Wrathgate, a quest-chain which is without question one of the most impressive in the game. Why would anyone do that to themselves?
Michael Gray explains it for us: Fishing up Old Crafty, so I can complete my Warthgate quest series. I really want to finish levelling my Paladin, but Old Crafty mocks me. In my sleep. In nightmares. Like some drooling, fanged monster.
And apparently Michael isn't the only one. Daniel chimed in to say "I leveled from 1 to 270 fishing in Instance Ogrimmar before finally giving up and finishing Wrathgate. Then I came back later and got Crafty on the second cast. Old Ironjaw in Ironforge still eludes me though." But, sadly, not all of us thought up this strategy in advance. Matt Rossi joined in with, "Wait, you're not finishing Wrathgate so you can go to the Org that's phased for Martial Law? Sneaky, I like it."
For the rest of the team -- and to add your own thoughts on skipping Wrathgate -- read on!