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A Busy Week of Holidays and Achievements

May 2, 2011

This week has been pretty busy in game, what with all the new patch content and two different holidays, not to mention the normal raid routine.  I’ve managed to knock out a bunch of new achievements, collect a new mount and a few pets, and finally hit the weekly Valor Point cap (now that I no longer need VP…), but there have been some incredibly frustrating moments too.  Also, I really wish I had been able to work on my hunter.  She’s been languishing at level 70 for almost two weeks now!

The new troll dungeons are significantly harder than the other Cataclysm heroics, and sometimes even guild groups are taking a couple of hours to complete one.  However, I’ve been insanely lucky with pug groups since the patch.  I’ve only had one bad experience, but it was cut short by a random DC and when I returned I’d been kicked from the group, which was kinda a relief.  Blizzard has also tweaked the LFD tool so that it now attempts to place you with people from your own realm, and I’ve certainly noticed the change.  I even found a great tank from our server and we added each other to our friends lists!  It’s been ages since I found a friend through running dungeons, so that was exciting.  Wouldn’t it be cool if a sense of server community and reputation could develop again?

As I mentioned above, I don’t really need Valor Points now, so I don’t have much real incentive to run random dungeons anymore.  Except, oh yeah – I actually like running dungeons.  Although there’s only one item in the troll dungeons that I could use, (bracers), and it would be cool to get the new bear mount and finish the last achievement I need for my Volcanic Stone Drake, those aren’t really strong motivators for me.  What motivates me is that it’s fun to run randoms, and always has been.

Flying dragon kites with my Orcish orphan for Children's Week.

But you know what’s not fun?  Getting the School of Hard Knocks achievement for the Children’s Week holiday.  I have been dreading this holiday for months now.  I don’t do a lot of PvP, and when I do it’s always as a healer.  Before yesterday, I had never in my life even attempted any of the things required for that achievement.  I wasn’t even sure where the towers were in Alterac Valley!  However, I have spent the better part of the last year knocking off all the holiday meta achievements, and I was not going to let this achievement stand in the way of obtaining my Violet Proto-Drake.  So yesterday morning I queued for battlegrounds.  And then queued again.  And queued again.  I spent at least 6 hours fighting tooth and nail against both the Alliance and my own Horde faction, but I finally, finally managed to get it done.  I now hate both factions equally, and am convinced that all PvPers exist solely to grief other human beings.  If this achievement was Blizzard’s way of trying to get PvEers to enjoy PvP than Blizzard has failed miserably.  I don’t care if I never set foot in a battleground ever again!

It’s a shame that the School of Hard Knocks leaves such a bad taste in my mouth, because otherwise Children’s Week is one of the best holidays.  The quest chains are cute and reward us with great pets.  I particularly love the revamped Orgrimmar quest chain.  My Tauren heart was deeply moved when my Orcish Orphan asked to visit Cairne’s shrine, and I had so much fun with the dragon kites (see above) that I didn’t want to turn the quest in.  Why can’t I have a permanent dragon kite?

Speaking of dragons…  The very first day I ever logged into WoW and saw the Sindragosa loading screen I said to myself, “Whoa… I want that!”  I was a freshly rolled level 1 Tauren Druid.  Level 80 looked impossibly far away.  When I told people that I wanted a mount that looked like Sindragosa they laughed at me and said that only the very best raiders would be able to get one.  They told me to set my sights on something more attainable.

Well, for the last few months I have been one achievement away from getting my Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquisher from ICC.  Every time I tried to get the achievement something would go wrong and we’d accidentally kill LDW without all the right adds up.  It was so frustrating!  I was so close!  Then everyone was busy with Cataclysm raiding and no one wanted to go back to Icecrown.  But finally, finally we decided our Retro-Raid this week would be ICC, and at long last I have my mount.

I finally got my drake!  Better late than never, right?

Sure, I’m level 85 now and I didn’t manage to get it while ICC was current content – but she is mine and having her means a great deal to me.  (I also think I may be the only one in my current guild who has one, so hey, it still means something!)  I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who raided with us on Friday and helped me get that last achievement.  Don’t worry, I’ll still go back to ICC and help you get your drakes too.  🙂

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