March 22, 2012

Beta Achievements, First Round

Intrepid dataminers have been working hard to get the juiciest morsels of beta information to the rest of us. Which means more achievements have been found! Here's an overview of the new ones for those of you, like me, who enjoy planning these in advance :3

  • Level 90
  • To All The Squirrels I Once Caressed
The obvious tip-of-the-hat for hitting the level cap is there, as expected. The bit that's exciting is the new critter /love achievement! I really appreciate having a reason to look at all the little critters that my eyes miss normally. Thinking about the theme of the expansion we might see cicadas, pond skaters, miniature cloud serpents...lots of possibilities!

  • Explore Jade Forest
Standard zone exploration achievement, one for each zone is guaranteed.

  • Settle Down, Bro - Defeat the Sha of Anger in Kun-Lai summit.
3rd edit: Seems like the Sha of Anger is a world boss in Kun-Lai Summit. Pulling beta information together is an inexact science!

  • Bombs While Bomb - Trigger 15 explosions within 15 seconds during the Saboteur Kip'tilak encounter on Heroic Difficulty.
  • Return To Sender - Defeat Mantid General while he has 20 stacks of Detonate in the Siege of Niuzao Temple on Heroic Difficulty.
Return To Sender reveals the name of another Mists dungeon to be Siege of Niuzao Temple, joining Stormstout Brewery, Shado-Pan Monastery, Temple of the Jade Serpent, Mogu'shan Palace and Gate of the Setting Sun as the 6 new dungeons that will be available at launch! Personally, I think that '20 stacks of Detonate' is a similar enough theme to '15 explosions...Saboteur Kip'tilak' that I'm going to say Bombs While Bomb also takes place in Siege of Niuzao Temple.

  • Jade Forest - Complete the following storylines in the Jade Forest
    • Chun Tian Monastery
  • Walk the Land - Complete the following storylines in the Valley of the Four Winds
    • Thunderfoot Farms
    • Chen's Masterpiece
    • Zhu's Bastion
    • New Taurajo
    • The Hidden Master
    • The Salvation of Stoneplow
    • Mudmug's Place
    • The Stormstout Brewery
    • The Crane Temple
    • Farwalker Refuge
    • Nesingwary's Safari
Jade Forest is an 85-87 zone where we will make landfall in Pandaria and basically start ruining everything for them. Valley of the Four Winds is listed as an 86-87 zone. It's interesting to see the names of these story arcs - New Taurajo will doubtless provide some great lore and story detail, and it's always good to see Hemet Nesingwary again. It's not an expansion without one of his safaris, whether or not you agree with him!

  • Zen Master Cook - Obtain 600 points in cooking
This confirms that the new rank for all professions will be Zen Master, but nothing else we didn't know already.

World Events
  • That Rabbit's Dynamite! - Slay the ferocious Darkmoon Rabbit
If this isn't a nod to Monty Python and the Holy Grail I will eat my hat!

So there we go, another handful of new achievements to get excited about. Do you have any thoughts on how they will work? What critters do you think we'll be /love-ing in Pandaria? Tweet me your thoughts or comment below!

All data pulled from MMO-Champion and Wowhead

March 19, 2012

Ara's Mists of Pandaria Achievements roundup!

I don't think it's news that lengthy opinion pieces come once in a blue moon on this blog. I'm not a writer of prose, making eloquent and well-reasoned points on a variety of topics. Neither am I a particular class loyalist, devouring all information I can find on them and going deep into the hidden facets of their spec and abilities.

At heart, I'm a researcher, a maker of lists. Do you need information pulled together and put in one place for simplicity? Hey there! I'm probably your girl (not your girl, in that sense, I mean I am one person's girl, and not that you're unworthy or anything, but yeah...hmm, this is awkward...). I'm also an achievement addict. Can you guess my predictable response to a load of new achievements being announced?

So forgive me for writing a guide on the same achievements information that's currently everywhere today, but I can't resist the lure of all those facts. To soften the blow, I'll throw in some opinions where I have them - hold on to your hats, we're bringing in feelings about things - and links to other useful posts that I've found.

  • Mystically Superior - Equip a superior item in every slot with a minimum item level of 463.
  • Mystically Epic - Equip an epic item in every slot with a minimum item level of 476.
As Lizzyuh says in her Mists Achievements Analysis, you're likely to achieve Superior through dungeon gear and then Epic once you have some raid/valor gear. I'm a fan of these two achievements - the initial gearing grind for your character deserves some kind of recognition, especially following hot on the heels of your levelling grind!

  • What a View - Visit each of the 10,000 waterfalls in Pandaria.
Many people think that 10,000 is a placeholder number rather than the final total but I'd be happy with either outcome here. 10,000 waterfalls? Yes please! An achievement that rewards getting out in the world to see the scenery? Sign me up!

  • Shado-Pan - Earn exalted status with the Shado-Pan.
This is your standard 'exalted with a faction' achievement that we're all familiar with. Other factions mentioned so far that will almost certainly have their own achievements:
  •  The August Celestials
  • The Golden Lotus
  • The Klaxxi
  • Order of the Cloud Serpent
  • The Lorewalkers
  • Brewmasters
  • Tillers
  • Anglers
I don't think the two disciplines of Tushui and Houjin that guide new Pandaren in their faction choice will be factions as such, so they're unlikely to have related achievements.

Mists of Pandaria Raid
  • Mogu'shan Vaults - Defeat all of the bosses in Mogu'shan Vaults. (Quilin Guard, ??[unannounced boss], Trollwerk, Four Kings, Celestial Serpent, and Terracotta Army)
  • Show Me Your Moves - Defeat the Terracotta Army without being [hit] by Devastating Arc, Stomp, or Energizing Smash.
This is only a taster of the raid achievements that Mists will launch with. Mogu'shan Vaults is one of the new raids that will be available at launch and this is a typical meta achievement. Show Me Your Moves is more intriguing and makes it sound like we may be fighting numerous terracotta soldiers that make synchronised attacks at intervals. My quick guess is that:
  • Stomp would be similar to the Quake ability on the Crystalspawn Giants in Stonecore and we will be jumping to avoid damage and/or a stun
  • Devastating Arc will see us getting out of the reach of their swords quickly, or possibly tanks having to pop avoidance cooldowns (similar to Baelroc's Decimation Blade)
  • Energizing Smash will be a directional charge that gives them a temporary attack speed buff if it hits a player
I'm a big fan of raid boss achievements giving you something to work on once you have a boss on farm and it looks like that tradition continues in Mists.

Mists of Pandaria Dungeon
  • Stormstout Brewery - Defeat Yan-Zhu the Uncasked in Stormstout Brewery.
  • Aisatsu - Bow to the Shado-Pan Initiates when they bow to you after being defeated, but before they fully heal during the Master Snowdrift event.
  • Conscriptinator - Gain three stacks of Resin Residue by defeating Mantid Conscripts.
  • Cleaning Up - Defeat the Sha of Doubt in Temple of the Jade Serpent while under the effects of Purified Water.
  • Heroic: Stormstout Brewery - Defeat Yan-Zhu the Uncasked in Stormstout Brewery on heroic difficulty.
  • Keep Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' - Kill Ook-Ook after assaulting him with 20 Rolling Brew Barrels in Stormstout Brewery on heroic difficulty.
  • How Did He Get Up There? - Find a way to get the Hozen Clingers to let go in Stormstout Brewery on any difficulty.
  • I Am the Hopocalypse! - Smash 100 vermen with a single hammer swing in Stormstout Brewery on heroic difficulty.
  • Ling-Ting's Herbal Journey - Collect all 30 Golden Hoplings hidden around the Stormstout Brewery on any difficulty.
  • Rattle No More - Defeat Rattlegore without allowing him to gain more than 5 stacks of Rusting in Scholomance on heroic difficulty.
  • Sanguinarian - Defeat a Krastinovian Carver that has 99 stacks of Boiling Bloodthirst in Scholomance on heroic difficulty.
  • Soul Savior - Defeat Lillian Voss without allowing Lillian's Soul to reach 24% health in Scholomance on heroic difficulty.
  • Mosh Pit - Get a combination of 8 players and Scarlet Defenders caught up in Armsmaster Harlan's Blade of Light on heroic difficulty.
  • Wild Side - Take a ride with Armsmaster Harlan's Blades of Light for at least 10 seconds and live to tell the tale on heroic difficulty.
  • Pool's Closed! - Defeat Wise Maru without touching Corrupted Water in Temple of the Jade Serpent on heroic difficulty.
  • Bombs while bomb - Trigger 15 explosions within 15 seconds during the Saboteur Kip'tilak encounter on heroic difficulty.
  • Shado-Pan Monastery - Defeat Taran-Zhu in Shado-Pan Monastery.
  • The Obvious Solution - Eliminate the remaining Sha imprisoned in the Sealed Chambers and then defeat the Sha of Violence in Shado-Pan Monastery on heroic difficulty.
  • Hate Leads to Suffering - Defeat Taran-Zhu while every party member is at maximum hatred in Shado-Pan Monastery on heroic difficulty.
  • Glintrok N' Roll -Defeat Gekkan and his Glintrok entourage in Mogu'shan Palace on heroic difficulty within 5 minutes of being spotted by the Glintrok Scout.
That's a lot of dungeon achievements and I'm pretty sure it's not the full list! The most conspicuous absence is any mention of a meta achievement rewarding a mount and I have to say that I'm a little disappointed that I have to wait for that, although I haven't completed the Cataclysm dungeon meta yet...

Stormstout Brewery thoughts:
  • Keep Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' will require one or more players to ride/direct the rolling Brew Barrels at Ook-Ook. Perhaps this will only be possible with practice, as it sounds like it will extend the fight and/or make it a lot harder
  • How Did He Get Up There sounds like an optional trash pack achievement, possibly involving clever use of items found in the brewery to attack them at range
  • I Am The Hopocalypse! will probably require your group to round up 100 of them and withstand the building damage before one player smashes them all at once (I nominate myself for this job!)
  • Ling-Ting's Herbal Journey makes it sound like these Golden Hoplings will be hidden in crates of herbs or other brewing ingredients. Hopefully they aren't as tricky to reach as the Golden Orbs in Vortex Pinnacle...

Shado-Pan Monastery thoughts:
  • Aisatsu should be easy to get if you make a /bow macro beforehand
  • The Obvious Solution sounds like an incentive to do some extra mini-bosses rather than a difficulty toggle
  • Hate Leads To Suffering will likely be a stacking debuff that does more damage as you gain hatred, making it hard to complete at launch

Temple of the Jade Serpent thoughts:
  • Cleaning Up will be another debuff-based achievement
  • Pool's Closed! will require you to jump from stone to stone without getting knocked back into the water, and possibly also avoiding Wise Maru's water jet attack (source for abilities)

Mogu'shan Palace thoughts:
  • Glintrok N' Roll will be a timed gauntlet through Glintrok trash but I don't think there will be any other failure for being too slow other than not getting this achievement

No achievements are listed here for The Gate of the Setting Sun. Conscriptinator is probably an achievement from the as-yet unnamed Mantid dungeon and I think it'll likely involve killing optional (possibly harder) trash instead of saving time by skipping them.

Scholomance thoughts:
  • Sanguinarian is possibly a waiting game, surviving increasing damage while you wait for the buff to stack up on certain trash mobs
  • Rattle No More will either be a purely time-critical achievement, or you'll also have to actively prevent him getting those stacks. If both, this could prove...interesting.
  • Soul Savior is the most intriguing achievement of the bunch, if just for the lore and speculation surrounding Lillian Voss. Rades at Orcish Army Knife will beat us all to the punch on this one and I'm excited to see what he thinks up. For the actual achievement, I think that her soul will decrease in health and we need to stop this in order to redeem her, somehow.

Stratholme thoughts:
  • Mosh Pit will most likely require your tank and any DPS with damage-reduction abilities to throw themselves in there, dragging some adds with them, while your healer prays for mercy at the edge
  • Wild Side should be a little easier to get, as long as your healers are willing to try it!

Dungeon Challenges
  • Bronze Challenge: Stormstout Brewery
  • Silver Challenge: Stormstout Brewery - Reward: A piece of challenge armor.
  • Gold Challenge: Stormstout Brewery
  • Full Bronze: Mists of Pandaria - Achieve a Bronze Challenge in every Mists of Pandaria dungeon. Title: <the Challenged>
  • Full Silver: Mists of Pandaria - Achieve a Silver Challenge in every Mists of Pandaria dungeon.
  • Full Gold: Mists of Pandaria - Achieve a Gold Challenge in every Mists of Pandaria dungeon. Reward: Flying Kwan-Lai mount
It looks like every challenge mode will start on a gold medal and as the clock ticks away, you'll downgrade to a silver and then a bronze medal depending on how long you take. Currently there will only be challenge modes for the six new dungeons, not for Scholomance or Stratholme.
Completing Bronze challenges will give you an achievement, but nothing else. Completing them all will earn you the title <the Challenged>. Completing a Silver challenge will reward you with a special piece of armor for transmogging, and you will need to complete them all to build your full set. As a bonus, once you complete the set it will gain a special visual effect triggered by one or more of your class abilities. Finally, completing Gold challenges will reward nothing individually but completing all of them will reward a flying Kwai-Lan mount.

Feats of Strength
  • Realm First: Gold Challenge: Stormstout Brewery
  • Realm First: Gold Challenge: Temple of the Jade Serpent
  • Realm First: Full Gold: Mists of Pandaria
  • Realm First: Full Silver: Mists of Pandaria
It will be nice to see some Realm First achievements that aren't for raiding, but realistically I'd expect these to be obtained by players from the raiding guilds that normally score the Realm Firsts. Still, I'll be tilting for them if there are the bodies around at launch week!

If you got all the way here, thanks for reading! I'll keep this updated as the new ones come out - there are so many more to come :)

All images from MMO-Champion. Information gathered from MMO-Champion, WoW Insider and Wowhead. Thanks to MMO Melting Pot for the link love!