April 24, 2011

Noblegarden 2011

Noblegarden is upon us so I'd like to offer up some tips and advice from my experiences so far! If you know nothing about Noblegarden yet, read this fantastic guide over at WoW Insider first, which is how I got started.

  1. Azure Watch is the quietest place to work on this (on my server at least). As it's a circular settlement on a hill it seems that eggs will spawn no further out than the back of the buildings, which makes your hunting easier.
  2. Do not camp the egg spawn locations! I promise that it will be much slower this way - I've tried both camping and constant movement today and if you keep moving you will find more eggs.
  3. Vary your route. This is especially important if there's a quiet patch with few people hunting as the eggs must be collected before they can respawn in new locations.
  4. The speed boost from the Egg Basket is not always your friend. I watched people whizz around like bunnies on speed, missing eggs that were right in front of them.
  5. Empty your bags beforehand! Keep an eye on free slots too. It's extremely annoying to run out of bag slots and watch someone else grab that egg.
  6. Lastly, don't take 'egg thieving' seriously. It's every rabbit for themselves and there are plenty of eggs to go round.

If you haven't hunted for eggs in Azure Watch before, here are some visual clues to where you might find them (click to see larger):

There are 10 achievements to get during Noblegarden, but you only need to complete 8 to get the Noble Gardener meta and title. Completing those 8 will require items that can be bought from the Noblegarden vendors in each town, but you shouldn't run off and buy them as soon as you can.

Here's a list of the items you need to acquire:
Noblegarden Egg (5 chocolates)
Blossoming Branch (10 chocolates)
White Tuxedo Shirt and Black Tuxedo Pants (25 chocolates each)
Spring Robes (50 chocolates)
Spring Flowers (50 chocolates)
Spring Rabbit's Foot (100 chocolates)
Sounds pretty daunting - if you bought all of them, you'd need to gather a total of 265 chocolates plus another 100 chocolates for the Chocoholic achievement. 365 chocolates!

Here's what dropped for me while I was working towards that total:
5 Blossoming Branches
3 White Tuxedo Shirts
Black Tuxedo Pants
Spring Robes
2 Spring Flowers
3 Spring Rabbit's Feet
The first thing I bought was the Spring Rabbit's Foot, for 100 chocolates, which dropped about 10 eggs later. 100 chocolates could have been used for the Chocoholic achievement so I then had to gather 100 more. Once I'd learnt that lesson, I only had to spend 5 chocolates on a Noblegarden Egg to hide in Stormwind.

My advice is to keep a running total of how many chocolates you need. Some of the items will drop while you hunt, at which point you can subtract their price from the total you still need.

Lastly, here are some tips for completing the various achievements:
  • You'll have to team up with a friend to complete the Hard Boiled achievement, as it requires someone else turning you into a rabbit using a Blossoming Branch, preferably near the Golakka Hot Springs in Un'Goro Crater or it's a long hop there! If none of your friends or guildies can help there will likely be some other people there that could if you ask.
  • If you're feeling especially nice yourself, travel around in the Elegant Dress (drops from the eggs or can be bought for 50 chocolates). This will allow people with the shirt and pants to get their Blushing Bride achievement with a minimum of hassle - a lovely way to spread some Noblegarden spirit. Of course, you'll end up covered in kisses...
  • The dress, shirt and pants all remain tradeable when equipped. Try and find a friend or guildmate who has the dress and/or suit, and borrow them. You can swap outfits to get the achievement for both of you! I'm a big fan of how this makes the achievement easier whilst still allowing you to keep the snazzy clothes for a bank alt or just chilling out-of-combat.
  • Try and combine Spring Fling with Shake Your Bunny-Maker. The 5-minute cooldown on Spring Flowers should wear off as your travel between towns, and you should be able to complete most races in your faction this way.
  • Speaking of Shake Your Bunny-Maker, finding females of the other faction can be hard. When I was looking the advice from various quarters was to lurk over/outside the other faction capital, their Tol Barad camp, raid portals and busy quest hubs. In the end, I dive-bombed into Orgrimmar to catch two, found two at Razor Hill, and two outside Orgrimmar gates. (Hordies, I'd recommend trying Stormwind and Goldshire). This is the hardest part of the meta in my opinion and if you have any great ideas I'd love to hear them!
That's all the information I have for you :D please drop anything I've missed, got wrong, or could add in the comments - I'll edit it in with full credit/linkage. Happy Noblegarden!

    April 22, 2011

    WoW Blogging Challenge Day 05 - Favourite item(s) in game

    This post is part of the WoW Blogging Challenge! Originally inspired by Saga at Spellbound.


    Today is the first day of 11.5 days off work for me, which means I have a lot more time for blogging. I won't lie - there won't be a sudden influx of posts (scheduled posting is not how I roll) but I will endeavour to get on with this challenge.

    By nature I'm a hoarder. Naturally it extends into WoW as well, leaving me with bags full of items I don't need/use but refuse to delete. That doesn't automatically grant them 'favourite items' status though, so in the name of honest and transparent blogging I've logged on and had a good hard look at what my favourite items really are:

    Bone Fishing Pole and Weather-Beaten Fishing Hat
    I'd been doing the fishing dailies for so long that I'd given up on getting these items. After a few weeks not doing them, I decided that sulking about it was a silly reason to lose my guild that exp. The first day I went back to them I got the fishing pole and the very next day I got the hat. Chance is a fickle mistress.

    Titanium Seal of Dalaran
    My fondest memory of wasting time within the game is fishing in the Dalaran fountain for coins. If the lore (at times sad, at time hilarious) on the coins wasn't enough, there were three achievements to get and this nifty coin. Granted it does nothing but trigger an emote, but that's not why I chase these things! It's a good reminder that perseverance will get me far in this game.

    Sea Turtle
    Fishing for Glacial Salmon in Northrend, minding my own business...BAM. Fished up the Sea Turtle. I squealed and did a little dance, guildmates were jealous and I got whispers in Dalaran about it. My first ever 'look at me' item and I'd be telling a big fat lie if I said I wasn't chuffed to bits with it. The noise and animation when you jump whilst mounted are adorable too.

    Fossilized Hatchling
    Proof that Archaeology would drop nice things for me! The noise it makes when you click on it is beyond cute. Now, if only I had the Fossilized Raptor to match...

    Singing Sunflower
    Those quests were hard, ok?! It took me quite a few tries to get the lovely sunflower and it's a very fitting pet for Aralosseien.

    Tranquil Mechanical Yeti
    Just because it's a yeti. And yetis are awesome.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, me and my Sea Turtle are off on a tour of Stormwind.

    Last Challenge post - Your best WoW memory
    Next Challenge post - Your workplace/desk

    April 20, 2011

    Leading the Cavalry

    This post is brought to you by sunshine and delicious cheesecake.

    A few of you may have read my recent posts on deciding which achievement to aim for next, and the decision I made. Well, I have some good news:

    I hit that 50 mount total last night and finally got Leading the Cavalry, complete with Reins of the Albino Drake! Not one to do things inefficiently the 50th mount I acquired was the Armored Brown Bear...which comes with its own achievement.

    The next achievement I'm going to pick up is a small 10-pointer called Well Read. I'm having a bit of a bookworm phase at the moment so it strikes a chord! Despite not being a flashy achievement it'll take a fair bit of travel and searching to find and read them all, so I'll be posting a guide to their locations (with tips on reaching them if needed) once I've completed it.

    What are you working towards lately?

    April 15, 2011

    Ambassador Aralosseien

    Although it's not a hard achievement to get now that Blizzard have added city faction tabards, I'm still proud to say that I got Ambassador of the Alliance mid-heroic last night and the title 'Ambassador'. There was no sudden urge to spoil anyone with Ferrero Rocher, much to my tank's dismay :D

    Lately I've been working my way through the new city tabards while we run heroics. I seriously recommend you do the same for any city factions you haven't hit exalted with yet, especially if you only need to get from revered to exalted. Collect the tabards you need from the city quartermasters located next to/near the flight points. They also sell cloaks which incorporate the city colours and coat of arms - these look great as part of a non-combat/RP outfit.

    It goes without saying that you should always have a tabard equipped if you're running dungeons as you level!

    As an added bonus for those efficient achievement hunters, each reputation will count towards achievements like 25 Exalted Reputations (my next milestone) or maybe 50 Exalted Reputations (a lot of respect to anyone who's aiming for that one).

    Happy tabarding!

    April 14, 2011

    WoW Blogging Challenge, Day 04 - Your best WoW memory

    This post is part of the WoW Blogging Challenge! Originally inspired by Saga at Spellbound.


    I think it's pretty traditional to list more than one favourite here, but I don't want to ramble on about everything I've ever enjoyed in the game. Short and sweet, here they are:

    • My first raiding attempt
      Last week Discombobulated paid a visit to Magmaw for the first time. It was also the first time that most of us had ever been in a 10-man group that was having a go at current content and we LOVED IT! He got the better of us many times, but we're heading back for another go tomorrow. I hadn't thought I was missing out on much except gear by not raiding once I hit 80 but now I've tried it at 85 I've realised that there's a whole other facet of the game waiting for me (and I am really excited about that).
    • The formation of our guild
      The core of Discombobulated was formed from people who were together in our old guild but not entirely at home there. A chance whisper to my pocket tank one day changed all that - it turns out we all felt the same, had the same issues and wanted something new. We made our apologies and created the guild I'm in today. It's been an absolute blast starting our own guild and I can't imagine I'd still be enjoying the game as much if we hadn't done so. I owe my success in Cataclysm to my guildmates <3 you all!
    • The first time I flew, back in Outland
      It might sound rubbish but I remember being shocked at how different the world was from above when you could control where you went. Every time I fly over a new place I have to make a circling detour to check it out. When they allowed flight in/over cities after the Cataclysm I must have spent a good 15 minutes flying about over Stormwind and landing on all the high towers to check out the views ^.^ of course, I levelled a druid...Flight Form had a big influence on my love of being airborne!
    So there you have it, three of my favourite memories from my time playing WoW. They aren't epic tales of 40-man vanilla raiding or downing the Lich King for the first time but they're things that I will always remember fondly.

    Last Challenge post - Your first day playing WoW
    Next Challenge post - Favourite item(s) in game

    April 12, 2011

    Trying, failing and trying again

    For the last week, I've been wrestling with a dilemma.

    What do I do if I don't enjoy healing as a druid at the moment?

    It makes me sad just to type it out. When I started playing and I rolled my first character, I picked a druid because I wanted a hybrid class - one that could fulfil multiple roles, be of assistance to friends and enable me to try different aspects of group play - and because it sounded like a lot of fun to play.

    When I hit 80 and started chaining Wrath heroics, my old guild never had any healers online - plenty of hybrid classes but none that wanted to heal. Aralosseien was doing so well in heroics as a moonkin that I decided to pay the gold for dual-spec and take the resto spec for a spin.

    April 08, 2011

    A mixed bag of achievements!

    A blog called Achievements Ahoy should probably have a little content on achievements, right? Right? So here is a round-up of the achievements I have earnt in the last 3 weeks:

    King of Dire Maul - obtained while going after Runn Tum Tuber Surprise for the Iron Chef achievement, which I can't get until more recipes are released. Curse my late introduction to the game/the 25k cost of recipes that aren't available anymore.
    Got My Mind On My Money - raid trash runs are useful if you're not far short of the 5,000g mark.
    The Guardians of Hyjal
    One Hump Or Two? - two more mounts towards Leading the Cavalry! For those who don't know, this is my current goal ^.^
    Heroic: Blackrock Caverns
    Heroic: Deadmines
    Bullet Time - I really contributed nothing to this, apart from my normal role in dungeons. We stood in a cheeky place while the melee took care of it - I'll try and get a screenshot of it next time I'm there.
    Ready for Raiding - an immensely fun achievement that's easy to get. Stay on the outside and run just behind the Fire Wall. Sophisticated directional diagram ahoy:
    Really, it's ridiculously simple. This diagram is completely unnecessary!
    Cataclysm Dungeon Hero
    Pit Lord Argaloth - the first big guild thing we've done together and one we enjoyed a lot. No PvE loot but the achievement made up for it!

    They're a mixed bag, to be sure. I haven't been chasing any of these with intent, as I'm still focused on Leading the Cavalry at the moment. After becoming exalted with Ironforge, the dwarves of that grand city have granted me the right to ride their rams and 6 more mounts are now happily stabled in a secret location...

    What achievements have you added to your list lately?

    April 06, 2011

    WoW Blogging Challenge, Day 03 – Your first day playing WoW

    This post is part of the WoW Blogging Challenge! Originally inspired by Saga at Spellbound.


    When I started playing WoW, I'd never played another MMO. The reason I signed up for a 2-week trial is lost in the mists of time...it might have been a TV or web advert. Maybe the fates planted a seed of thought in my mind, having deemed that I needed a new procrastination tool.

    As the launcher downloaded game data I agonised over races, classes and professions. Eventually, as the last few megabytes filtered through, I settled on a night elf druid. My inner chemist demanded that she be an alchemist so I picked herbalism to complement it.

    While I don't roleplay more than the occasional /salute at a questgiver, my druid is both an alter ego and an extension of myself. I cared about her path through Azeroth from the very beginning and accepted the first quest with a sense of adventure I still remember today.

    Tasked with the balance of nature, I ran towards a boar, hit Wrath, and rejoiced that I could shoot spells from my hands. I think my love for WoW was cemented at that very moment :D My favourite characters in stories are magic users and (geek alert) I've never stopped wishing that magic could be real. Here I was in the beautiful environment of Teldrassil, marvelling at the landscape and the atmosphere of the place, with a night elf druid who could shoot nature magic from her hands and call arcane energy from the sky. How could I not love this game?

    Of course, I had to kill more boars and nightsabers that evening. The map was slowly getting uncovered and I was starting to realise the scale of the task ahead - 80 levels worth of quests, dungeons and adventures. I scurried around Teldrassil doing quests wherever I could find them, the levels flew past and I believe I logged off at level 10, pleased as punch and wishing that it wasn't past midnight!

    Last Challenge post - Why you decided to start a blog
    Next Challenge post - Your best WoW memory

    April 05, 2011

    WoW Blogging Challenge, Day 02 – Why you decided to start a blog

    This post is part of the WoW Blogging Challenge! Originally inspired by Saga at Spellbound.


    Following on from yesterday's discussion, I'm meant to tell you why I decided to start a blog.

    Hmm. This might get a wee bit waffly.

    I guess there's no thrilling, bolt-out-of-the-blue reason I decided to start this blog. The idea had been floating around at the back of my mind for a few weeks, while I was looking for some purpose to my spare time. I'm notoriously bad at just enjoying spare time, and always feel I need to be achieving something. Occasionally that gets things done, but mostly I'm burdened with senseless guilt that all I do is play games and enjoy myself. Yep, I'm that silly.

    The day I created this, I remember reading some really good blog posts (both WoW and non-WoW) and thinking that while I could only dream of writing as well as they did, or of making as good an observation, I wanted to take the plunge and give it my best shot.

    If I'm totally honest, part of me was drawn to the sense of community that WoW bloggers seem to share. This game is my favourite hobby and getting to know other people in the community is a big incentive :)

    One thing I can say without waffling is that having started, I intend to carry on - people have been kind enough to comment on a few of my posts and it's really heartening to see that people have dropped by.

    Carrying on with the challenge, tomorrow's post will be about my first day in WoW. It might even be in story form, so if you're feeling like you have spare brain cells to lose...

    First Challenge post - Introduce Yourself
    Next Challenge post - Your first day playing WoW

    April 04, 2011

    WoW Blogging Challenge, Day 01 – Introduce Yourself

    Having missed the start of Saga's 20-day WoW blogging challenge, I was happy to see that Gina at Healbot has decided to set the challenge again. Grab a cuppa and I'll get started...

    My character's name is Aralosseien and my real name is Charlotte. I'm 24 and I live in Leeds, UK with my partner, who plays my pocket tank (protection warrior). We've both been hooked on WoW since January 2010 - a Sunday whim to sign up for a 2-week trial got us lured right into Azeroth and we haven't wanted to leave since. I should confess; I did try Rift the other day, to form my own educated opinion. The winner with flying colours is WoW, even accounting for time spent and lack of familiarity with Rift.

    I'm a slight altoholic but I only have Aralosseien at 85. My shaman is at 45 now, which is the most I've ever levelled an alt, so you might hear more about her in the future. The last two months have been a lot of fun, as for the first time I feel I'm really playing the balance spec well, and my guild, Discombobulated, has started to raid, which is a new side of the endgame for many of us. I'm a bit hermit-like, in and out of the game, so I don't tend to PuG much, but I do love my guildies - we're very close knit because there are couples and real life friends woven into the social fabric.

    While I have loads more to say I'll stop there, as looking ahead at the schedule anything else I may have added has its own separate day allocated already. Thanks for reading all the way down to here! Hopefully I can keep up with the pace over the next few weeks. I'm hoping to follow other people as they do this, so please leave a link to your blog for me if you're taking part and you don't mind me trundling over to say hello ^.^

    Next Challenge post - Why you decided to start a blog