Friday, December 26, 2008
Before the Winter's Veil holiday kicked off, I took a crack at breaking down the Winter's Veil achievements. Having wrapped up all of the achievements, I figured I might as well post a wrap-up before the holiday ends so that those of you still working on them can read all about it. The three I predicted would cause problems weren't as bad as I'd anticipated, but two that I didn't think of have seen complaints.
- The HK's in the gnome costume was potentially irritating, but I wound up getting it in one Wintergrasp siege. This one would obviously be a lot harder for melee classes than ranged DPS, but it's not unattainable - melee can always man turrets to participate without wading into harm's way.
- The Winter hat was potentially a dealbreaker for me simply because I'm going to be away from home next week, and thus had less time to farm one up. The good news is that the hat turns out to drop from the first boss of the Nexus, a level 70 dungeon, so you can run that dungeon quickly, kill the boss, and reset it to run it again for the rest of your group. A few level 80 characters can snag this without a proper healer/tank as needed - I was able to get mine with a level 75 DK tanking and a balance druid healing occasionally, though we added a rogue to make the last pull (with four mobs) a bit easier. I even got several Stone Keeper Shards out of the deal, since we owned Wintergrasp at the time. As Euripedes points out, some classes can even solo a hat. (I may have to try this for shards someday.)
- The present boxes, containing the racer, didn't go live until 6 AM server time on the 25th. Fortunately, I was able to log in from the road for long enough to complete the last crucial achievement, so my hopes of a violet proto-drake in 2009 remain alive.
The two achievements I DIDN'T anticipate causing problems were:
- The Horde version of Bros before Ho Ho Ho's caused some problems, even though there are only three brothers to visit, because one of them is on an airship in Icecrown that is very hard to reach before you unlock your flying mount for Northrend at level 77. I'm not sure what portion of the playerbase that cares about achievements will not have reached level 77 by the New Year, but it would certainly be frustrating to fall into that group. The only consolation I can offer is that this is an achievement that can be completed immediately in Winter's Veil 2009 if you don't make it this year - it would be a much more serious problem if we were talking about something like the Brew of the Year achievement that can't be done for a year after NEXT year's Brewfest if you missed it.
- The other achievement that got complaints was The Winter Veil Gourmet. One of the three recipes requires 325 cooking skill to learn. Most achievement hounds reluctantly conceded that they had to level cooking or give up. The group that ran into serious problems here was the people who decided to go to war with the Steamwheedle Cartel in exchange for the pirate hat. It turns out that the quest needed to advance past 225 cooking is given out in Gadgetzan, and thus is unavailable to pirates.
In fairness, there isn't a good reason why that particular quest couldn't be available somewhere else. That said, I hope these Bloodsail Admirals realize that, every time they cause this sort of a scene on the forums, they're reminding Blizzard why they should not have offered anything like the Bloodsail rep in the first place and certainly never should again.
Wrapping up the holiday
Overall, as I said, originally, it looks like Winter's Veil went reasonably well. The Lunar Festival's major event is lengthy but completely soloable and not dependent on the random generator, so it looks to me like Blizzard will be in the clear through til February.