A narrative of the Blizzard Valentine's event:
1. Denial (Wednesday)
Sure, this is the same juvenile and tacky in-game event that it always has been (see Spinks' place for a concise summary). But at least this time there are achievements. Even better, there were some good memes surrounding the bugged ice stone has melted messages (apparently intended for the summer's edition of the Fire Festival). See also, http://hastheicestonemelted.com/.
Some folks have even harnessed the spirit of entrepreneurship that exemplifies the offline Valentine's Day by finding a way to profit from it.
2. Irritation (Thursday)
Hm, now I've got all the achievements except for the one for the candy hearts. (Note: I had roses from a previous year.) That's a bit annoying. MMORPG's already have a bad name for providing "just 5 more minutes/one more quest" incentives, they don't need to add more and have them be time limited.
Don't get me wrong, I had some less than kind things to say about the previous Blizzard holidays which relied on a daily quest drop, so that's not my favorite mechanic for limiting rarity in a brief holiday either. However, at least daily quests can be done at a time of the players' choice. The Trick or Treat mechanic offers players 23 opportunities per day... but the clock is ticking at 60 minutes and 1 second after your last attempt. Hope you don't have to sleep, work, or spend part of a weekend that has two holidays in the US (Valentine's, always a great time to be neglecting relationships, and President's Day) offline for whatever reason.
3. Concern (Friday)
Alright, so it turns out that this thing is actually rare enough that it might move from "inconvenient" to "unobtainable" if I don't focus on it for the rest of the time I've got. It's some small chance to even get a candy bag out of my trick or treat gift in the first place (I've heard 20%, dunno if that is before or after they raised it), and then 10 chances to get the heart I still need (presumably 1 in 8).
Because the "do all the holidays" achievement is all-or-nothing, I MUST somehow complete this one or I won't get the reward for the three holidays I've already put a lot of effort into doing (plus work spent pre-farming several of the Brewfest achievements for next year). I'd better stay put in town until I finally get this thing to make sure I don't waste time.
(I was not alone - Daria and Larisa were also milling around town.)
3a. Boredom (Still Friday, a minute or so later)
Hmm... So I can't run instances because those take over an hour. Can't do Wintergrasp because I have no idea when it's going to happen and won't get credit if I can't stay. Already did the dailies I still need. Guess I might as well play some EQ2 and load up WoW on my laptop once an hour to loot the trick or treat gift.
(I ended up looting 7 bags over an 8 hour period, obtaining one sack of candy, and not having it contain the heart I needed. This was my third bag - according to a WoWhead comment, I should have had an 86% chance of obtaining the heart by now. Also, having a 1-minute cooldown on the bag of candy really is adding insult to injury. Making me sit on my rear for 10 minutes to click the bag 10 times just to find out that I had nothing to show for my 8 hour vigil doesn't make the mount any rarer, it just wastes my time.)
4. Resignation (Saturday)
My wife asks me why I'm so concerned about this thing, as she witnesses me two boxing a pair of different games in the morning (she was out on Friday night), and suggests that I buy a drake instead. I explain that it's faster than any mount I would otherwise have access to, and that I've been working towards getting it in previous months. Still, she raises the point that I shouldn't do it if it isn't fun. Ah, the wisdom of the non-gamer.
Anyway, we're going out for the rest of the day, so I'm only going to get one chance to loot the thing before bed, and otherwise Sunday will bring what Sunday brings. I'm past the point where anything I can do will influence this achievement - either it's going to happen in the next few tries or it isn't.
And I do indeed get a sack of candy in my one attempt for Saturday evening. Seven times I click it, seven times it gives me a heart I don't need, and seven times I sit on my rear for an entire minute waiting for my next chance to click it. The numbers suggest that 95% of players should get their eight different hearts within 4 sacks of candy, but independent events are independent and my chances to avoid joining the 5% in the next 3 clicks are the same as any other - 1 in 8.
Well, I'm glad that's over with.
5. Regret (Sunday)
As Klep writes, this is a very hollow "achievement" because there's nothing I could really do to influence it. There's no skill, and not really much in the way of perseverance - either it falls into my lap in the very brief time I have or it does not.
In order to fill in this checkbox, I feel like I lost access to my character for four days. I spent some time in WoW on Sunday doing previously mundane things that now felt vaguely comforting in that my time was my own once again. I'm not even guaranteed the mount after all this - Children's Week in May is almost as short, includes a PVP achievement that calls for players to enter a battleground and disregard the good of their team in favor of fighting over the flag for the achievement, and another achievement which becomes impossible if you're not able to play on all three of May 3, 4, and 5 (plus two days adjacent to those days), or if it bugs out (which it might if they don't put it on the PTR's, since the achievement it appears to be based on had various bugs).
If Blizzard had announced a quest at the beginning of the holiday to buy surplus candy hearts off a goblin after the event for 10,000 gold, I would have paid it not to have to go through the last week, even though that's all the money my character has, and I won't spend 2,000 gold on BOE epic raid gear I'd actually wear. If you'd sent me a copy of this post on Feb 10, before the holiday began, well, I don't know what I would have done because, again, I'd already sunk all the effort into the previous holidays. If you went back to before achievements rolled out, though? Will this all have been worth it?
It saddens me that the answer may well be "no".