13,000

yep, thirteen thousand achievement points

I crossed the 13,000 achievement point threshold this weekend. Well, 13,100 really. It started with crossing off some low-hanging fruit on Friday - bowing to baby Kroshik for When in Ihgaluk, then finally finding the Dread Ambercrusher and crossing Over Their Heads off my list. Then while in a heroic queue (gotta get that Anglers rep), I caught a Shimmershell Snail in Darkshore and earned That's a Lot of Pet Food.

There was idle discussion after of doing some achievement point things (mostly to help with Rades and Narci's ongoing battle to be top nerdpoint person in TTGF) when Rades mentioned he needed a bunch of the troll heroic achievements - so off we went to ZA, earning Bear-ly Made It (finally got a bear!) and Tunnel Vision. Didn't quite get Ring Out! (we weren't all in to begin with), but we went back the next day and got it. There was also a surprise invite by a guildie for The Light of Dawn, which also earned us Neck Deep in Vile somehow - I couldn't see it because I always, ALWAYS get blown off the platform by Arthas' transition. Not the phase itself, but the actual transition between phases, he just explodes. Oh well.

ZA came after, and I think we got everything there - I know we got It's Not Easy Being Green (turns out it is), Ohganot So Fast!, Here, Kitty Kitty... (which actually took us two tries, I think one of our rats got caught in AOE before the cats could eat it), and Spirit Twister. I wandered around afterwards completing quests and also wiped up Gurubashi Headhunter.

After the group broke up, I decided to do some more soloing. I'd had a lot of luck recently getting the achievements in the Hour of Twilight heroics that I had not managed to get previously - namely Severed Ties and Lazy Eye. (Still working on That's Not Canon! - I got overwhelmed by demons last time I tried; it didn't seem like Tyrande was doing much of anything at all.) So I decided to work on some more achievements that would actually count for the meta-achievement, and headed off towards Throne of the Tides. I was glad you can fly over Vashj'ir - my shaman has never been there! Fun fact: if you're in no phase at all, the elementals from the Thrall/Aggra "Elemental Bonds" questline are hanging around the outside edge of the entrance of Throne.

So I headed into Throne, made my way through the packs of trash and the gauntlet (not TOO bad, although my attempt to skip the gauntlet led to me doing it backwards by accident), and pretty easily got Old Faithful. The second boss was a piece of cake - although now that I think about it, I probably could have skipped him, too - and then I got to Neptulon for a shot at Prince of Tides. The first time, I overestimated how many HP the Unyielding Behemoth had (and underestimated Neptulon's heath) and so I used no AOE on the murlocs, which led to Neptulon dying, which led to:

Whoops.

The second time I knew what to expect and it was a cakewalk. It helped that when you wipe on the Neptulon encounter by Neptulon dying it just... despawns everything. Very easy, no time wasted.

After that, knocked out a couple more - Rotten to the Core and Don't Need to Break Eggs to Make an Omelet - I don't know how I didn't have that first one. Insanely easy. Pull the boss, wait on the adds to gather up, drop a frag bomb on them all.

Onward and upward. I've got a couple more achievements in my sights - I have maybe 4 more days of dailies until I hit exalted with the Anglers, which will get me The Anglers (obviously), Pandaren Ambassador, and We're Going to Need More Saddles. There's also lots of low-hanging fruit left on my death knight - which I'll probably tackle after she gets to 90! - and I finally built my Sulfuron Hammer, so now I get to farm for the Eye.

Herald of the Titans

So it started out kinda rough.

Let the bodies hit the floor

Then eventually he coughed up his cache of loot and achievement and sweet-ass titles. I did not live, despite what this screenshot might lead you to believe.

SO MANY BODIES

Dalaran lit up a light show for us.

BEHOLD

LIGHTS

I'm the one on my green proto-drake because I don't have an Ulduar proto-drake yet... buuuuut I'm only one achievement off, and I did get the green one in Ulduar...

I don't know who has that horse, though

This pales in comparison to Rades' exciting minipost, I know

Grats TTGF!

DAGRONS

Many dagrons, Alliance bank, handle it

Let's define account-wide: an answer to some FAQs

Look THIS up in your Funk & Wagnall's

There's still a lot of confusion floating around about what mounts, achievements, and pets are going account wide. Based on two things:

  1. Things Blizzard has said
  2. Actual first-hand beta experience

Here's what you can expect. Point your friends at this if they ask.

An important note

Account-wide, in this case, truly means account-wide. Heirlooms and other physical items are not truly 'account-wide' because of limitations in the mail system in-game. There are no such limitations on mounts, pets, and achievements.

Mounts

  • PvP mounts, according to Blizzard, will not be account-wide. The TBC end-of-season drakes and the rated battleground mounts were account-wide for a while, but I would not count on that sticking around until live.
    • The definition of 'PvP mount' seems to explicitly mean mounts awarded from PvP, not those bought with honor. My warlock's Frostwolf Howler has been account-wide since the beginning of the beta, and still is.
  • Class-specific mounts will not be account-wide. No Monks on Felsteeds, Rogues on Chargers, or Shamans with Swift Flight Form. This does include the Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade.
  • Faction mounts will be account-wide for the same faction only, but they will not work across faction lines. If you're an orc buy a Timber Wolf, all of your Horde characters will have a Timber Wolf, but your Alliance characters will not.
  • Profession-made mounts will be account-wide, but if it requires a specific level of skill to ride, like a flying machine, you will be unable to ride it unless you have the requisite skill. (On the other hand, this means if you have multiple engineers or tailors, you only need to craft one set of flying machines or carpets.)
  • Guild rep mounts will be account-wide. They were briefly not account-wide, but Blizzard reverted this change the very next build.

Achievements

(Disclaimer: It's really hard to test some of this based on the fact that Blizzard still doesn't copy achievement histories to the beta; it seems to generate a new one on that server. That said, this is what they've told us.)

  • Achievements, in general, will be account-wide.
  • Feats of Strength, in general, will be account-wide.
  • New achievements are being added that have to be account-wide because of what they require you to do. Examples include Double Agent and Quintessential Quintet.
  • Achievement progress for meta-achievements will be account-wide. A meta-achievement is an achievement whose completion requires you to complete other achievements - examples include For the Children or Explore Kalimdor
    • What does this mean? Well, if you've got, say, one character who has completed half of the requirements of For the Children and another who has completed the other half, when account-wide achievements go live, you will complete For the Children.
  • Achievement progress for normal, non-meta achievements will not be account-wide, with one known exception. Examples include Explore Thousand Needles and Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare (10 player).
    • What does this mean? Let's say you've got two characters, Joewarlock and Joepaladin. Joewarlock has 4 dwarves in his Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare progress bar, and Joepaladin has 7. When account-wide achievements go live, you will not have 11 - Joewarlock will still have 4, and Joepaladin will still have 7.
    • I mentioned there was one exception - honorable kill requirement achievements (such as 250000 Honorable Kills). These are tallied collectively across your characters.

Pets

  • We now have details on the account-wide pet process. Of note: the Guild Page, Guild Herald, Argent Squire, and Argent Gruntling will not be account-wide. Also, pets only summonable by one faction (such as Horde/Alliance Balloons and your faction's version of the moonkin hatchling) will appear in the panel but be greyed-out.
  • If you are planning to get into Pet Battles, you will only have to level your pets once. If you level your Murkimus the Gladiator to level 20 on Joepaladin, Joewarlock will have access to the same level 20 Murkimus.
  • Shameless plug: I'm giving away a Sand Scarab loot code. You, too, can have one of these babies account-wide.

Well-dressed for a date with Algalon

When word went out that we were toying with the idea of doing Herald of the Titans in TTGF, a few thoughts immediately went through my head after I volunteered my priest, Grendan. I originally volunteered as shadow with a holy offspec as necessary, but now I'm just going to be holy on Algalon.

Which means my raid doesn't have to put up this this looming behind them.

Which means my raid doesn't have to put up with this looming behind them

  1. A holy priest? What am I, a madman? I haven't healed since playing a holy paladin in T11.
  2. What am I going to wear?!

Luckily, I can fix the second one. Grendan is a Scroll of Resurrection-boosted tauren priest, which meant that unlike usual (where I have to bemoan the fact that I did a lot of quests pre-transmog because now I can't go back and get those rewards) he had literally the entire game open to him to choose from. So I set myself a little challenge - other than the few green drops I legitimately got from killing things, to make a transmog outfit entirely of quest rewards. Mostly I didn't want to spend too much time on my Herald in old raids and dungeons and such when I could be spending time on him trying to actually gear him for the fight with Algalon - this is basically a little challenge to do in between gear runs.

One bad mothaSHUT YO MOUTH

Well, not only am I a mere five pieces from geared, last night I grabbed the last piece of his transmog outfit. Huzzah! This comes from all over the place, and unfortunately includes a few Horde-specific pieces, so it's not universal.

There's RNG and then there's RNG

So this morning I finally finished Death From Above.

FINALLY

This got me to thinking about 'good RNG' vs. 'bad RNG' when it comes to achievements.

Good RNG

Good RNG is like a good lab experimemnt: it only depends on one factor. An example would be Just Another Day in Tol Barad. This can really be thought of as two sub-achievements: the quests from the Tol Barad Peninsula and the quests from Tol Barad itself. The good news is, though, this really only depends on one thing: which dailies are available. Haven't seen a daily on the peninsula side yet? Just keep going back, you'll see it eventually. Haven't seen a daily on Tol Barad proper? Keep checking back for your side to win. Even if you defend successfully, this can still cause your dailies to change.

In short, the best RNG-based dailies (for certain definitions of the word "best") are the ones you can overcome with sheer determination, doggedly returning every day. The only thing you're really trying to overcome is a pseudorandom number generator (which is a whole other can of worms). This does, despite the fact that Narci will probably kill me for calling it "good" in any way, shape, or form, include Lost in the Deeps, required for Rock Lover. There's no extra steps required other than opening the Therazane daily: you just show up, see if Lost in the Deeps is there, and if not, you come back tomorrow.

Bad RNG

Now let's look at Death From Above. On the surface this seems much the same: shoot the randomly-spawning elemental bosses while running a bombing mission. However, the very structure of the Molten Front precludes this being good RNG. Let's look at the steps required:

  1. You have to have unlocked at least the Druids of the Talon in the Molten Front. If you unlocked the Shadow Wardens, you can't access the required quest at all.
  2. You have to choose to do the Druids of the Talon dailies every day to even have a shot at it. The first quest is still exceptionally irritating.
  3. Each day, you'll have one of two possible dailies from Morthis Whisperwing: either one of three where you steal a fire hawk egg, or one where you run a bombing mission. If you steal an egg, you do a bombing mission the next day. Simple as that.

Seems fine, right? Now let's throw a twist into it.

  1. Early on (possibly in PTR, I forget when it was changed), the elementals only spawned one at a time. At some point it was changed to spawning three at a time. This would seem like good news, except...
  2. When the elementals were changed to spawning in threes, they were separated into two sets, and what you actually get is a random set of elementals each day - either Ragepyre, Blazefury, and Singeslayer, or Heatflayer, Flashfire, and Hatespark. And then, on top of that...
  3. The set of elementals does not change every day.

The latter portion, by itself, would be fine. If I could do the bombing mission every day but I stood a chance of not seeing the elementals I needed, oh well. I finish the bombing mission and move on. However, you can't do it this way - basically, you have to hope that on the day you can do the bombing run, that the elementals you need are up, and if not, you have to try again two days later, when it's entirely possible they're up again. It's RNG behind a gate that doesn't allow you to keep trying. It tells you to piss off, come back two days later.

It's a pretty terrible design, and I'm a bit worried we'll see it again in Mists, since out of the 300 or so daily quests, only 40-something will be available each day. Here's hoping the ones you need are up.

Afterword: The trick to forcing this achievement into completion

Note: if you're still working on opening all the portions of the Molten Front, this will slow you down (not by a lot, if you can knock it out in a day or two, but if you're unlucky, this could lose you a lot of seals). If you're all done, though, carry on. Most of you are likely done with this place by now.

  1. Do the first Druids of the Talon daily, Into the Fire. Turn it in to Thisalee Crow, take her two followup quests, and complete them - Flamewakers of the Molten Flow and Fire Flowers. If Anren is down there with a quest (Hounds of Shannox), take and do that too. Turn them all in.
  2. If Fire in the Skies is available, great! Take a run, see if the elementals you need are up. If so, bomb them. If that makes all six for you, finish the quest and turn it in. If not, don't even bother bombing anything else - just press the button that sends you back to the Front.
  3. Complete all the other quests from the Druids of the Talon but do not turn in or abandon Fire in the Skies. Note that not turning in Fire in the Skies will keep you from getting Strike at the Heart. Unavoidable, unfortunate, but true.
  4. The next day, pick up Into the Fire again, complete it, and do not turn it in. Leave it in your quest log. Don't even go downstairs to see Thisalee. Just run straight to Morthis Whisperwing on the back of the Furnace.
  5. As long as you have both Into the Fire (it must be completed) and Fire in the Skies in your quest log, you can keep returning to the Furnace and riding the fire hawk. Treat it just like step 2 - if the three you need are up, bomb them, if not, return to the Molten Front; if you're finished with the achievement, finish the quest. I've tested this across multiple days and across a server reset - I never had a problem with the bird despawning or the fires re-appearing; if you do, well, bad luck, but you can at least keep this going for seven straight days if necessary.

Doing this means you're usually going to be doing How Hot and Territorial Birds every day. Anren seems to appear down by Thisalee if you need to steal an egg. Tholo sends you to measure the temperature of lava if you bomb that day. (P.S. Tholo: lava's temperature is 'really frigging hot.') You cannot, as mentioned, get Strike at the Heart, nor can you do any of the Shadow Wardens quests. Hopefully you'll be able to knock this out in a day or two and not lose a ton of seals!

On insanity

Insane in the Membrane, achieved by ring toss

Not much to say here. I'm sure some people will point out I didn't "really" achieve it since I didn't get it before Shen'dralar went away as a faction, or before Darkmoon Faire became a once-a-month reputation-palooza, but... well... good for them. I'm still proud of my shiny new title, and happy to be done with it. (In case you're keeping track, I started it sometime in the fall of 2009).

Big ups to @gakochun, who basically did the whole Ravenholdt part by himself and helped grind pirates to death for hours on end due to an abnormally high tolerance for things that are boring and grindy; without him, I would likely have had to level a rogue, and that never would have gone well.

And now... I think I'm going to level something for a while instead. My only other major goal on Zulfon is finishing Sulfuras, and that can wait for a little bit. Leveling: that sounds relaxing. I have several level 80+ alts and a few sub-80s asking for some quality time.

Alive and well

ragnaros

Waiting to exhale (fire)

Things have been rather quiet on the home front lately. Stuff has been happening, but the blogosphere seems to be collectively holding their breath for the world to end. I've been taking advantage of the time to level Bishamel - remember the CYOA paladin no one cared about? Well, he's ret now, blasting his way through enemies 10 levels over him, soloing instances, and generally just being enjoyable.

Malacrass is decked out in just enough gear to probably go into Hyjal and only replace half of it. I might try and get him a pair of i213+ leggings just to finish up Epic, but it's not a priority. Seriously, it's the only reason to do so.

Builders League United

We've been pulling in a few more people here and there, including a few known bloggers. Most importantly, however, we're roughly a week away from finalizing our raid days. The time, at least, is set: 8-11pm EST. Now to just pick between three sets of days: Sunday/Tuesday, Sunday/Thursday (my current favorite), and Friday/Saturday (which means I can't raid with my own guild).

Decisions, decisions.

Also, we have a tabard, six bank tabs, and are friendly. Don't all guilds have to say that nowadays? You'd think so from Guild Recruitment...

Running rampant through the hallowed Core

Last night, on a whim, I decided to rush up my Thorium Brotherhood reputation. This took all of a few hours, maybe 2-3 tops. Felt like I spent more time at the Auction House than actually questing.

pillaclencher

So after robbing the Dark Irons of pillows and face-punching incendosaurs, I was left with nothing to do but go to the Molten Core. So I figured... why not? Worst case scenario, I continue to wipe on Gehennas like usual, settle for downing Garr and Geddon in hopes of finding the bindings, and go home with some rep items for the Brotherhood. Instead, I managed to down Gehennas (take that, longtime enemy), along with the rest of the Core up until Ragnaros - I had an unlucky positioning problem and went splat on the knockback, and by then it was approaching 2:30 in the morning.

Got my Sulfuron Ingot - hello, Sulfuron Hammer plans - and a few other goodies, including the formula for +30 spellpower to a weapon which works on heirlooms.

By fire be purged, indeed.

Good news, everyone! I've fixed the broken achievement!

You heard that in Professor Putricide's voice. Or Professor Farnsworth's. Either is okay.

The latest build in the beta no longer includes The Shen'dralar in the requirements for Insane in the Membrane. If that's the case, and it stays that way, then I really just need Darkmoon and the goblins and I'm done. That's refreshing, though it sucks for people who did do the Shen'dralar grind (and money sink) - hopefully they'll get their own separate feat of strength.

Update: this is confirmed, and they will add something for Shen'dralar grinders.

OnNotice

80 #2

Proving that I, too, can be years behind all the cool kids, I got my second level 80 character last night at around 2:30 AM EST.

WoWScrnShot<em>101110</em>025634

A little background: This is Malacrass. He started life as Kallech, a draenei shaman, in January of 2008 - my first character upon my not-so-triumphant return to WoW. Kallech was ostensibly to level up with my cousin, but I neglected to remember that my cousin has waaaaay more free time than I do, and so around the time Kallech hit his late 40s (46 to be exact), my cousin's mage was strolling into Outland - or maybe even further by then.

And so Kallech took some time off while I discovered the joys of the Horde. That character, Queklain, a Forsaken warlock, would be my first (and, for the rest of TBC, only) character at the level cap, and my initial raider. Kallech chilled in the Hinterlands, dusting things for the Wildhammer and wondering if he'd ever get to go out and hit things again. He did hop over to Silver Hand at one point to say hi to Tawyn, only I never did because she was important people and I was just some guy. Yes, I was too shy to say hello to someone on the internet. I did at least play him a little bit there, gaining him a level or two.

Then came Wrath, and then came death knights. Duskwalker (née Ambassador, née Rajaat, née Zulfon) raced to the cap during the days when Death Knights were overpowered and I could solo 3- and 5-person quests to my heart's content, and raided. Raided Naxxramas and Ulduar, while my little alts sat forgotten. Took some time off for basically all of ToC, and came back for ICC. Kallech waited, still hanging out in the Hinterlands, until the first signs of burnout began to set in, at which point I transferred him to the same realm as my death knight, bought him some mail heirlooms, respecced him elemental, and sent him to finish killing wolves or whatever it is one does in the Hinterlands.

From there, Kallech continued on to finish up his time in Azeroth, then went and fought the Burning Crusade, spending an extended amount of time in Hellfire Peninsula before moving on to Zangarmarsh. Finally, to Northrend!

About this time I relocated both to Cenarion Circle and to the Horde. I forked over the cash to do both, bringing him to a happy state of trollhood, only to discover that the only other toon named Kallech in all of WoW was already on Cenarion Circle. /fistshake

So I named him after my favorite troll. :) And then he pew-pew'd his way to 80, and here we are. Just in time for everything to change! I tell you what, I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Earthquake - and everything I need to know about elemental in the days to come, I learned from Binkenstein. (By the way, Totemspot has a really nice theme. I'm not biased or anything. ;))