The Achievement system must have recently celebrated its first year anniversary. You now how I know? Because when All Hallows came around this time last year it was the first time I said to myself: I want that achievement because I want that title.
Cassandri the Hallowed
I’m a Shadow Priest. I’m like a little slice of Halloween all year round. Perfect match, right? And at the time having any kind of title was pretty special. You’d see a few Champion of the Naaru, Hand of Ad’al or Private titles wandering around Shattrath but most players were simply known by their name and their guild. I’ve got a thing for titles.
So last year I trekked through god-damned Horde territory twice a day for 2 weeks on my two level 70 characters to summon the Headless Horseman. I didn’t care much for the loot but I desperately needed two items dropped by the Headless Horseman for one of the achievements, a Sinister Squashling and a Hallowed Helm. I got the Hallowed Helm. I never got the pet.
By the last day of the holiday I had done so many ridiculous things that I never would have otherwise done in order to complete achievements that I was starting to question whether the title was even worth it. I Trick or Treat’ed an Innkeeper every hour with 3 characters hoping to collect each of the various Wands and Flimsy Masks. I’d attempted to compete the ridiculous PVP Southshore quest and gotten outnumbered by viscous, Flight Master killing, Horde for at least an hour before giving up.
Can the Mayor of Southshore employ some decent guards already?
So imagine that it’s the last day of All Hallows 2008 – my last opportunity to win a Sinister Squashling. I slowly make the trip from Chillwind Camp (of course, at least 5 Horde players are ready to kill you the instant you land) through Western Plaguelands, west into Horde territory and north to the Scarlet Monastery. About 30 minutes, numerous deaths later (because that’s the only way you can force your way through the last 100 yards to the instance door) my party gets into the instance. We summon and kill the Headless Horseman over and over again. A Sinister Squashling drops. So does the totally wicked Headless Horseman mount which flys.
I didn’t win the mount, but that’s ok, I’m not that lucky.
But I didn’t win the Sinister Squashing either. My roommate, who rarely plays, and in fact hasn’t really played World of Warcraft much this year (the Hello Kitty MMO and all that), won it. I was devastated. My chances at the title were gone for the year.
All that time spent earning the lesser achievements, swapping characters every hour to trick or treat innkeepers, logging in every day, getting ganked on the way to Scarlet Monastery could have been better spent doing… well almost any other in game activity. I would have enjoyed my time much more and ended up with the same result.
I vowed not to waste another minute of play time on holiday achievements.
Fast forward to Monday night. The first evening of All Hallows 2009. I let myself be talked into giving the Headless Horseman another go. The trip there is agony (nothing has changed since last year and the Southshore guards are still absolutely hopeless) and we finally get into the instance. What I would have given for a Paladin immunity bubble as I approached the path leading up to the Monastery… you don’t want to know.
5 friends. 5 attempts. No Sinister Squashling. But, miracle of miracles, the mount drops. My roommate wins it. That’s right, the same person who only just reactivated their account in the last few months, plays once a week if that, hasn’t reached level 80, doesn’t have Epic Flying and probably never will.
I’m not angry at my roommate for having such amazing good loot luck. But I’m angry at myself for wasting more time, yet again, even though I vowed after last year, to never waste time on an achievement which requires you to have luck to complete it.
All Hallows, you have made your point quite clear. I am not going to spend time on activities which I don’t particularly enjoy in the hopes of earning a title that I’d like to have.
I’d also like to see them put an achievement, required to earn the title Brewmaster or something, tucked away in Gnomergan, deep in the heart of Alliance territory and conveniently close to one of our capital cities and see how the Horde like being farmed as for honor kills. Fair’s fair and all that?
Note: Brewfest was the very first holiday scheduled after the Achievement system was launched, but “Brewmaster Cassandri”? No thanks!