# PvE, PvP and Achievements, oh my!

Let’s look at a simple mathematical formula.

PvE + (PvP + Achievement) = Drama

Okay, so it’s a silly formula. But I want to use it to illustrate a point.

At the moment there is a lot of unhappiness going around within the game because there are players that love PvP resentful of PvE players, and there are players that love PvE resentful of PvP players.

All of it is coming from friction between the two cultures over Achievements.

At it’s heart, this does come from a core design of World of Warcraft.

WoW consists of two seperate, distinct cultures; PvE and PvP.

WoW seems to be two seperate games in one.

Players of the game may truly love both aspects of WoW equally, but within the rules of the game, they are handled and managed seperately.

You often hear about transforming behavior and motivating people through leading by example. In this case, the example we all follow is how PvE and PvP are set up, and the ways they are intentionally kept seperate (but where possible, equal).

What do I mean about seperate cultures by design? My point of view on this is directly relevant to my final point, so I’d like to explain.

In PvE, Player vs Environment, what is the goal?

The goal of PvE is to overcome challenges against AI controlled NPCs by working cooperatively with other players as part of a coordinated team.

In PvE raid design, no single person is of greater importance than another, because victory is not complete until the entire team successfully defeats the challenge.

The player with the highest healing or damage on meters does not get bonus Emblems, gold or items. There is no MVP recognized by the game. Group wipe? Then group fail.

In PvE, the only true measure of success that makes world first headlines is “Boss downed”. When that boss is downed, it is the team that gets the well-deserved credit. All else is chest beating irrelevance.

Focused fire on a single target, coordinated movement out of AoE effects while maintaining unit seperation, synchronized tanking/taunting/kiting to handle adds and spawns or stacking debuffs, heals with multiple cleansing/CCing/debuffing duties, etc. Teamwork and prior proper planning to prevent piss poor performance.

What about PvP (Player vs Player)? How is it any different?

In PvP, it’s all about personal excellence against other living, thinking, reacting and planning opponents.

Real people, fighting against each other and using every trick they can think of, all in a fluid combat environment that requires various Battlefield objectives be met for faction victory.

But whether or not your faction reigns supreme, the focus is entirely on personal accomplishments, on excellence in playing your own character as an individual.

The line may seem to get blurred a bit, because overall success or failure within the Battleground hinges on how many players to a side both kicked individual ass AND were able to work together towards these Battlefield objectives.

At the end of the battle, however, it’s not just win or lose for a side. No, in a PvP Battleground, there is a Leaderboard that pops up which breaks the results of the entire battle down into individual accomplishments.

The leaderboard does show information that relates to team play. Who captured or assaulted flags or towers, etc. But all of the information, including numbers of honorable kills, is clearly presented, by intentional design, to single out and recognize excellence in individual effort. To put things in a “MVP” perspective.

Contrasting the two.

Those are the core differences between PvP and PvE. The difference in emphasis on teamwork recognition versus individual excellence.

Hey, sounds pretty good, right? Having the ability to play what is, in effect, two completely different game styles, each with very deep and exciting gameplay, using the same characters, and having the same games and relaxing opportunities for soloing and exploration and questing outside of these exciting challenges.

Oh, is it time for the guild to do the ICC raid? That’s fine, just let me finish this Wintergrasp battle and I’ll switch specs and gear and be right there!

Pretty cool. Pretty awesome. Brings a lot of replay value to the table.

So, that being established, on what points are the two cultures being brought into conflict?

There have always been, to some extent, conflict between avid fans of each of the two cultures. It’s the inevitable result of HAVING two seperate cultures with such a distinct difference in direction within the same game.

What’s brought things into heightened drama this time are the existence of Achievements in game that require active participation in both PvP and PvE content, Achievements that reward participation with highly desirable items (310% Speed Flying Mounts).

In a perfect World (of Warcraft)

Right now, the way it breaks down is that there are two Meta-Achievements that reward players with Proto-Drakes;

• What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been (From completing all World Event Achievements such as Children’s Week, Hallow’s End, Love Fool, etc for a 310% speed Violet Proto-Drake)
• Glory of the Hero (from completing all Heroic Dungeon Achievements such as Less-Rabi, Girl Loves to Skadi All The Time, etc for a 280% speed Red Proto-Drake)

As has been pointed out in the comments, there are also two raiding-based 310% flight speed mount achievements that are not part of this discussion.

Perception is very important to this topic.

The current perception of these two Achievements is that the Glory of the Hero Meta-Achievement is a teamwork based PvE reward, and What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been is considered a mostly solo effort PvE reward that has some PvP uncomfortably shoehorned in.

Take a step back and distance yourself from the emotion of the situation. What does “What A long Strange Trip” really do? It consistently takes you not only to various places in the traditional PvE game world, but also into Battlegrounds to complete different PvP based objectives.

“What A Long, Strange Trip” has the feel of a Meta-Achievement designed to be an all-inclusive grab bag of a little bit of everything WoW has to offer. A little solo work, a little fed-ex questing, a little searching for a lucky drop, a little PvP, a little dungeon questing, a little world exploring.

Still standing back and looking at things dispassionately?

What I’d like to see is the acknowledgement of a THIRD culture within WoW.

We have talked about PvE, and PvP, but there is now, and has always been, a third culture within the game.

The World Explorer.

They are not particularly vocal, and rarely get attention, but you either are one, or know someone who is.

World Explorers do not particularly enjoy playing in small or large groups, which is pretty much 95% of end game content.

World Explorers do not particularly enjoy intense personal combat against other real players, which is PvP.

What World Explorers DO love is playing their characters and doing their own thing in World of Warcraft itself, adventuring, questing, exploring, leveling, learning, trying new things, and often once they get to max level, they lose interest in that character and switch to a new one, simply because they do not feel drawn to end game group activities.

Three cultures, not two.

I think the Meta-Achievements, again in a perfect world, should be changed to reflect the existence of three playstyles, and to benefit players that pursue their own chosen playstyle to the ultimate limit.

Keep Glory of the Hero the same. It is an excellent example of a teamwork/PvE based Meta-Achievement. But increase the reward to being 310% flight speed. The dedication needed to accomplish this Achievement is pretty impressive.

Modify What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been to remove both dungeon and PvP aspects of the Meta-Achievement. Make it the Achievement for people that love and follow the playstyle of the World Explorer. Perhaps even tie in Loremaster and exporing all zone areas into it. Again, it should not be easy, it should represent the ultimate expression of following that cultures’ preferred playstyle. Keep it a 310% speed mount.

And then, show the PvP culture the respect they deserve by adding a brand new, completely PvP based Meta-Achievement that would reward them their own 310% speed mount. Perhaps the Ebony Proto-Drake.

Perhaps that is something Blizzard is already contemplating. I have no idea.

What I do know is that having three distinct Meta-Achievements tailored to each of three playstyle cultures makes a lot of sense to me, in direct response to the current game design, and the distinct preferences of the players involved.

So. That’s my dream for a perfect World.

Dealing with Harsh Reality.

Now that I’m done wishing in one hand, let’s move on to dealing with reality as it is (if you can call Achievements in a virtual world “reality”).

There is a lot of stress, a lot of unhappiness and a lot of drama in the game right now. Two cultures are in direct conflict.

For the purposes of the rest of this conversation, I am going to use the accepted “PvE” and “PvP” terms for two cultures, including World Explorers in the PvE group. It is the most commonly accepted and understood framework for the game. But you know what I mean. 🙂

For people that play PvP as their preferred playstyle, a playstyle that is equally valid and should be equally as respected as the others, this week SUCKS.

There you are playing the way you like, and the game design itself is sending people into your Battlegrounds that do not want to be there, and while they don’t want to get in your way, they really want that damn proto-drake.

So, an influx of the innocent, the ignorant, the confused and above all else the hopeful, just looking to duck in and get it done and get the hell out of the way of the people that belong there.

The people within your own faction will hate to see these people on their team, and will get pissed at them for the havok they cause. But PvP players have a term for PvE players when they’re on the opposing force.

I believe they’re called “farmable kills”.

For those of us among the World Exploring and PvE crowd, the first lesson to learn is, it’s all about individual achievement in PvP. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you will get steamrolled and die.

If you decide you want revenge, then just remember everyone had to start somewhere, and everyone gets pwned at some point. Get your fire up, reach deep down and find your intestinal fortitude, and devote yourself to learning how to fight back.

If you decide you just want to get your Achievements and be done with it though, please remember you are a visitor in someone else’s house.

Don’t be the player that zones in, get’s what you want for yourself and then bails on the run. Whether you do get your Achievement or not, please stick it out, do your best, and along the way why not try to learn to kick ass? Or at least support the ones that do.

Think about how it feels when it happens to you. You KNOW you see people do that in raids and dungeons all the time.

As an example, you go into a VoA pug, the group does the newest boss first, and as soon as he’s down and Frost/Drops are passed out, a bunch of people instantly drop group. After all, there’s nothing for THEM in the rest of the raid instance, so why should they stay? What, to help YOU out? Get real.

Selfish? Yes. After all, they needed you there to get them their shot at what they wanted. The difference is they aren’t willing to do the same thing for you. Selfish.

You see the same thing on a smaller scale during group runs like Love is in the Air, when people needed to get Roses as a boss drop. How many times during that week did you see or hear of groups forming, the first boss in Utgardt Keep killed, Roses needed and players instantly bail on the rest of the party.

It’s all the same thing. You don’t like people acting selfish when you are in a group to see it to the end and win, and neither do PvP focused players. They’re in there to win over the opposite faction, not sit there and swap capping Towers for 20 minutes.

I think it’s a fine testament to how polite and nice most players are, that when an Achievement week brings the ignorant flooding the Battlegrounds, a lot of PvP folks WILL drop what they’re normally doing and help.

What you need to really keep close to your heart is, you are the intruder in their turf. It’s their house. This is the part of the game THEY like.

When you visit someone else’s house, be polite, wipe your feet, don’t take a dump in their living room, and when you come for the party, even if all you wanted was free food and an open tap, you stay until it would be a polite time to leave, as in, after you get the Achievement, you stay and help KILL THE OTHER BASTARDS and win the match.

That being said, if you are a member of the PvP culture, please, I ask of you to make a few allowances this week for the clumsy and clueless that stumble into your house, drunk and dazed, looking for the bathroom, but who are perfectly willing to piss on the rug in the corner if they can’t find what they’re looking for.

I know it’s trying, and I know it’s annoying, but this is your opportunity to sucker people into thinking Battlegrounds are filled with fun people just looking for a good time, instead of the evil, malicious little bastards looking to gut yers in a dark alley like we all know you are.

Remember… “farmable kills”.

Just try and sympathize. These are people who have been working on their Meta-Achievement all year, and are already feeling stressed out at doing something totally unfamiliar. If they want to get the very, very nice reward at the end of this rainbow, they don’t have any choice but to try and complete the challenge Blizzard set.

In conclusion… until the day when the Achievements reflect our actual interests, all we can do is try and be civil and respectful to each other, remember that we want to treat other players how we’d like to be treated, make allowances to some extent, and above all else keep in mind…

It’s only for one week, and then we can all get on with our lives.

For myself… I tried for two days to do Alterac Valley. I looked at the stress everyone felt, the anger and frustration on both sides, and I made my decision for myself.

I am no longer going to pursue “What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been”.

I’m going to mentally assign it the lable “PvP Meta-Achievement”, and I’m moving on.

I will instead set for myself the goal of completing, someday, “Glory of the Hero”, and work towards improving my teamwork and knowledge for that purely PvE related goal. Yes, even though it doesn’t reward you with a 310% speed mount as the game currently sits.

I hope that, even if you don’t agree with what I’ve said in this post, you’ll take the time to be a little more understanding during this chaos, on both sides.

None of us are out to intentionally screw up the others. It’s not personal. Give folks a chance, and they’ll be only too glad to get out of your hair.

My thanks for those folks who pointed out the inaccuracy concerning Red Proto Drake speed. It didn’t change my point at all, but leaving the mistake would have confused a whole lot of people, and I honestly did not know that.

## 61 thoughts on “PvE, PvP and Achievements, oh my!”

1. Phisnern |

Just an FYI, the Red Proto-Drake mount is only 280% speed. Besides the Violet Proto-Drake, the only way to get a 310% speed mount is either through Raid Meta Achievements or Gladiator mounts in PvP.

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2. Just so you know, the Red Proto-Drake isn’t 310%. If you want a 310 mount without the holiday achievements, you have to do Glory of the Ulduar Raider.
.-= Dave´s last blog ..Show #394: BUT YOU’LL WISH IT HAD. =-.

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3. I believe it is the glory of the Ulduar hero that gives you the 310% mount. As far as I know the glory of the hero just gives you a red proto drake

You can also get a 310% mount from the ICC achievements too
.-= Millea´s last blog ..Super Sunday – The Seconded! =-.

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4. Cecht |

Glory of the Hero doesn’t provide a 310% speed mount. It provides Red Protodrake that is still 280%. The only way to get 310% speed mounts at the moment are: Glory of the Ulduar Raider (10 or 25), Glory of the Icecrown Raider (10 or 25), or What a Long Strange Trip.

Your point is still valid, but the only way to get a 310% mount without Raiding is What a Long Strange Trip, same for PvPers and PvEers.

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5. Moonstalker |

I enjoy both worlds (and they are different worlds with different mindsets) What I discovered to my surprise, that this week when I went to get the School of Hard Knocks achievement, there was COOPERATION between factions until everyone got what they needed. THEN bloody retribution occurred. Oddly enough, the only ones being difficult were usually my own faction. (“Don’t help them!!!)

Truce for 5 minutes to reach goals then nuke em seemed to be the standard. I think the impossibly long queues did a lot to foster peace and brotherhood for a few minutes.

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6. Tilman |

The Red Protodrake you get by completing “Glory of the Hero” is unfortunately not a 310% mount.

The Ulduar Protodrakes however are. So your point still makes sense as they are obviously a pure PVE-reward.
Anyway I think it is a good idea to give players a motivation (at least from time to time) to try out something completely different.
Now I really am a bad pvp player and I almost exclusively play the pve part of the game but when I went for the occasional pvp battle I learned a lot of things that improved my pve game a lot.
There are spells I never used in pve before I learned to love them in pvp.
e.g. Hand of Freedom on my paladin – Nature’s Swiftness+Cyclone on my druid. I didnt even use barkskin as a healer in pve before I learned its value in pvp.

Pvp just uses a bigger toolset than your basic “pve-rotation”-spells and pve players who are aware of all these tools play better in pve. I think that its good when blizzard tries to mix things up a bit and sends pve players “to the slaughter” in a bg – some of them will want to fight back and have fun doing it.
The ones that really hate it so much should just skip the stupid achievement. I mean a purple drake – seriously? What do you need a 310 flying mount for anyway when you get ported everywhere?

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7. Grumpyhorn |

Interesting post. I finished up the meta achievement around Brewmaster I believe. I’m much more of a PVE/Raider. I can pvp some in BGs but arena is like a foreign planet for me. My wife loves BGs and plays them in a PVE style. She heals and contributes much more than I do. I mainly try to ‘tank’ by distracting/surviving several ally while others hopefully move toward the BG goal.

I think that it is easier to ‘carry’ someone in PVE than in PVP for the most part. Heroics and some raids bosses can absorb a borderline player more easily than PVP, where just being killed several times helps the other side.

I think the theme of understanding is something that WoW needs more of. I hear too many people lament that people ‘dont belong’ in a BG or VOA or where-ever. The post about the truce is interesting. I remember in vanilla wow cooperating with an ally while we were doing the same quest so that both can get it completed. This is on a PVP server as well.

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8. bigbearbutt |

If you read my posts through the magic of feedreaders, I did make some changes thanks to the mistakes I had made that were brought to my attention. Please, before you comment, make sure you have read the corrected version of the post. Thanks!

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9. Bolder63 |

Finished the meta achievement the other night. Delayed a year due to a near tragic family incident. The worst was getting a shot at returning the flag in EoTS, at least there is more than one tower in AV. Got enough honor from the bonus weekend in EoTS to buy 2 of the pvp mounts as well.

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10. Weetree |

I HATE PvP, PvPer’s and Blizzard at this time of year.

I think it is absolutely ridiculous that we have to PvP to get what is essential a PvE meta achievement. And like you 2 years ago abandoned any hope of getting the mount because I REFUSE to PvP!!!!!!!! I have every world/PvE achievement done for the drake and enjoyed most of them but every single time I have to invade a ally capital city or go into a BG I just hate the game.

My server – it’s farm the noobs. No cooperation, no mercy and no fun. That’s not what I pay \$15.00 a month for – to get stressed out of my mind – Hell I can just go to work and be paid for that.

And it’s not like it’s even balance fairly – go into UK, kill the first Boss. Thats the PvE event for the PvPer’s to achieve!!!!!! hell no – should be something like organize a 10 man raid in ICC and kill Sarufang. See the effort to just get 10 players together, waste a weekly lock out on an achievement and have to work for it. Or perhaps 25 Naxx and clean out 2 wings.

That’s more similar to me in 0 res gear, with 0 PvP experience having to go and capture a tower (with 5 ally’s camping on it in AV) or returning a flag as a Bear!

No, the sooner the separate us from each other the better it will be. No more screwing up our talents to make it PvP fair/balanced, nor gear welfare so everyone can PvP. It’s two games in one world. Make res gear ONLY work in BG/Arena and make PvE gear useless in the aforementioned environments.

And for crying out loud – fix the meta’s so they f really reflect who they are for – once and for all.

PS And if your bitching that you like to do both – that’s what dual spec and 2 sets of armour are for!

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11. Neil |

I liked your post very much. If I may, I’ll offer my own two cents on the matter 🙂

First, PvP’ers already have access to 310% mounts. Arena players who end the season with a rank of Gladiator earn them. They were Armored Nether Drakes in BC, and are Armored Frost Wyrms in WotLK. I’d very much like to see something similar added for those who achieve the (incredibly arduous) Battlemaster title.

WoW’s developers have gone on the record time and time again saying that they do not want to draw a hard line between PvP and PvE. This is the reason why they are so insistent upon creating a game that is balanced in both PvP and PvE while simultaneously being reluctant (although not outright refusing) to create game mechanics that behave differently in PvP and PvE. There are PvE encounters that take on the feel of PvP (e.g. Faction Champions in Trial of the Crusader) and PvP encounters that take on the feel of PvE (e.g. Alterac Valley generals). The Emblems rewarded by PvE content can be used to purchase PvP gear. In the zone of Wintergrasp, PvP combat grants access to a PvE dungeon which in turn drops both PvP and PvE items. The two play styles are very thoroughly intermeshed in WoW, and neither play style is particularly tolerant of the “World Explorer” who dislikes groups of all sorts.

I applaud your call for a change in WoW’s achievement structure. I personally don’t like the “School of Hard Knocks” achievement, as there’s no way I’d have done it without a handful of PvP-skilled friends kind enough to take the time to help me through it. But: I wouldn’t get my hopes up for WoW to raise the barrier higher between PvP and PvE. If anything, I expect them to continue blurring that line.

I have one final quibble. Before I make it, let me make it 100% clear that I enjoy your blog, I enjoy your writing, and I’m making this quibble known only because it kills me that there’s such an easily-avoidable flaw plaguing one of my favorite sources of good reads, and because you seem like the kind of guy who sets the bar high for yourself.

Your spelling, man! You have got to do something about your spelling 🙂 “Seperate” and “Battelground” and “whyshould” are sloppy, especially coming from as talented and expressive of a writer as you! (Utgardt instead of Utgarde also makes me cringe a bit, but I doubt there exists a spell checker which would catch that out of the box.) There are a handful of readily-available solutions to this problem.

* Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox both have built-in spell checking.
* There are third-party spell-checking add-ons for Internet Explorer.
* OpenOffice Writer is a free and open-source full-featured cross-platform word processor in which you could compose posts.
* If you prefer them, Microsoft Word or iWork Pages are non-free word processor options.

I hope that helps 🙂 And I really, truly apologize if this comment ended up with me sounding like a jerk 😦 I promise, I really do, that my goal was to help brighten one aspect of your life (blogging), not to knock you down on one of your passions.

Cheers,
Neil

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12. Vulpina |

I actually have gotten both “What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been” and “Glory of the Hero.” I’m not a PvPer and the PvP aspects of the first one were daunting, but doable. I had to actually PLAY 3 of the BGs and learn them, but in WSG there were hordies going /wait and picking up the flag and dropping it on purpose over and over so people could get their achieves. It was nice, and I plan on returning the favor for some Hordies later this week. I might be pissing on the rug of PvPers by doing that, but hey, they could just slaughter me.

“What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been” is considerably more difficult than “Glory of the Hero” and I think the 310 mount is surely deserved for it.

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13. Aw don’t give up so easily. You are a DRUID. You can DO THIS.

#1: Use that stack of triumph emblems to buy yourself some basic PvP gear. Look, you wouldn’t expect someone to waltz into ICC wearing wrathful gear would you?

#2: Creative use of abilities. PvP is about control. Cyclone, root, hybernate, natures grasp. And don’t forget the power of prowl. Also practice the art of how not to be seen. Run different routes. Buy an invisibilty potion and/or a free action potion.

#3: Balance the odds in your favor. THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS … er … Four towers, in AV. There are 40 players in AV. Unless you get some opposite faction help toggling towers that means you are not only competing against the opposite faction but 36 of your own faction for the achievement. You can help yourself some here by bringing in your own team. Thats right. You know that guild tag above your head? Think of this like a RAID. You’re not going after Arthas alone, you’re bringing your pals. Same thing here. Come prepared with friends.

#4: Don’t go to the first tower. Don’t go to the second tower. You and your team can go all the way to the blessed towers right near the other teams towers. You just need to cap it. You need 5 seconds. Feels like an eternity. But 5 seconds. You are going to stealth/invis into the tower. Your friends are going to distract the pve guards and you are going to CAP IT. Just like that.

#5: You will die. You will die and you will fail. But eventually you will succeed. Everyone dies in PvP, even seasoned vets with gear. The key is not to take it personally, get back up, and keep going. All 4 flags fall, oh well. This is living, breathing, pvp. stuff happens. Pick yourself up, and get going.

Remember, as a druid you have one of the best BG tools you can have, stealth. Potion up. Bring friends.

YOU CAN DO THIS.

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14. Malphailuron |

I’ve been thinking a lot about PVP recently, especially after getting my feet wet with a couple thousand arena games. I have to disagree about the personal excellence bit.

Yes, the DESIGN seems to be towards that. You accrue HK’s separately from other people. We do have those silly leaderboards, which list battleground objectives like flag returns LAST, and killing blows FIRST (in most BG’s, this is opposite the MVP thing you spoke of; not to mention that there’s no way to track clutch CC, proper heal targets, or my Holy Pally’s occupying four of the enemy, by himself, for five minutes while my teammates overrun other objectives with numerical superiority). Not everyone gets the same amount of honor. Other incentives like titles and gear are very individualized. And, in practice, arena-team loyalty is far, far weaker than guild loyalty, and PVPers tend to be the biggest asshats of all. Competition does that to simple minds, I guess.

But the more I think on battlegrounds, the more I realize that a team effort is absolutely essential—and not just because you need a lot of bodies. Even at a low-to-moderate level of play in arena, you have to coordinate CC, trinket usage, and burst opportunities just as tightly as you have to coordinate in raids—and to boot, the environment is less predictable. Battlegrounds are just this concept writ large—the best BG teams will coordinate recon, offense, and defense, as well as assembling specific teams of diverse individuals, on the fly, to ensure that healers are where they’re needed and that the fireman team has time enough to react to enemy advances.

Intelligent PVPers will recognize all this, will understand no matter what their personal gear or skill, they need competent allies, and will do their utmost to get the Hard Knocks crowd out of their BG’s as quickly as possible. This means helping them; this means letting them recap the flag or tower or whatever. Stupid PVPers will just yell and bawl, because in their tiny minds, they actually believe that harsh words will send the “bads” away.

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15. Taerce |

I can agree that this particular achievement is poorly thought out, but I also think you may be missing Blizzard’s other goal with these achievements. I think they’re trying to get the “World Explorers” to try something different to see if they like it.

I’m basing this off my own experience. When the achievement system first came out I had just hit 70 and went for Hallowed Be Thy Name for the title and to start working towards the mount. This required G.N.E.R.D Rage, 50 honorable kills with the G.N.E.R.D buff on. Since I was on a PvE server, I went off to Arathi Basin. I quickly found I loved it there, and soon branched out into the other battlegrounds too. When Wrath dropped, I hit 80 and then played Wintergrasp pretty much daily (and still do it weekly on 3 different level 80’s). My time is now split between raiding, battlegrounds, and working my alts.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t have tried PvP eventually, but it got me hooked sooner with that one achievement. And that may be the reason for including them.

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16. Carrie |

I just got my purple drake the other day, after several AV’s worth of disappointment. I dabble in PvP, mostly when some of my guildies are going, so I know more or less what to do, how to win, where to go. I’m no expert, but I do my best to contribute where I can. I consider myself one of the Explorer types you mentioned, though I have enjoyed raiding from time to time, I have the most fun just questing and messing around.

I never would have gotten the PvP part of the Children’s Week stuff done this year if not for some very nice horde. They helped several people in WSG by coming over and taking and dropping the flag. Once I’d gotten my bit done, I went over to their flag room and there were several horde in there. I tried to convey my purpose with a /wait macro, and I managed to get over to the flag and grab it, but it took me a bit to figure out how to drop it, and there was someone in there killing me anyway. Not to be deterred, I went directly back after a rez. There were still a couple of horde waiting in there, one of them had been the one dropping the flag for us. When I returned and did /wait again, the hunter who had killed me said /sorry! And I dropped the flag for both of them, they were happy, and we all went on our way.

AV, on the other hand, seemed full of a lot more of the angry sort of PvPers on the alliance side. However, at long last, someone actually ORGANIZED the achievement people, saying, everyone go to this tower, don’t kill the horde if they come, and we can all take turns. Getting us effectively out of the way of the PvP-minded people so they could continue their business. I got my achievement, left the tower, went to see what I could do to help farther down the road, and promptly got killed. Farmable, that’s me!

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17. Iniquitor |

I love reading your blog BBB! I don’t often get the chance to because I’m forced to share a community PC at work with other folks who want to spend hours upon hours on them doing silly things like work. I bring this up because I’m not sure if you’ve touched on the subject of the unbelievable selfishness of other players before, but boy am I glad you did! I want to rant for a second and play the “if Blizzard had half a brain between their collective whole, they would _______” game.

If Blizzard had half a brain between their collective whole, they would do something about the d-bags that drop group in the middle of an instance and leave the other former members of their group hanging. I bring to the court as Exhibit A: The fact that it took me almost 2 weeks to finish Halls of Reflection (regular or Heroic) because Tanks, Druids and Hunters would constantly drop group after Falric was downed. The reason of course is because they were all after a specific drop and didn’t have the courtesy to finish the run for *gasp* the benefit of someone other than themselves. To prevent this, Blizzard provided us a cross-realm ignore list to prevent us from being placed in another random group with someone we have placed on this list. There are 2 problems with this: 1) The ignore list is only effective against preventing you from being shafted by 1 specific player after they have already shafted you and 2) Once they drop group, you can no longer ignore them because your dumb ignore list can’t find that player to ignore them. I have never once been lucky enough to have one of these terds say while we were running to our left-side cubby “BTW, i’m leaving u loosers after u halp me pwn falric and dont expect me to help u f’ing peons do waht u came 2 do lulz, so get in the crnr and QQ less noobz :p”. If so, I could ignore them ahead of time, vote to kick their sorry ass, and find someone else. I personally think that any roll won by anyone leaving the party before the instance is finishing should have their loot taken back and re-rolled on by everyone remaining. /endrant

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18. I just wanted to say what an excellent post this is.

There have been a few of the achievement hunting people in the battlegrounds I’ve done in the last few days who have been willing to try and join in and do their best, and they inspire me to help them with all I can to get their achievement while they are there. There was a mage in WSG who came along to try and actually get a flag home while 8 people turtled in our base with their orphans, who was one of the first to get his return, and who deserved it totally. Thanks to him being willing to join in and try, we had a halfway decent game, one of the few I’ve had this week.

So I have to agree. I don’t mind losing some while the poor PVE people try and get their achievements. I don’t mind people being a bit inept and clueless and bumbling around and dying. As long as they join in and try to play, I’ll be nice and friendly and helpful, and I’ll shout down the people who want to be rude in bg chat.

When they refuse to even try, and break the game completely for both sides, then, well, I feel like griefing them as much as I can. And I’m not even a pure PVPer, I’m one of the strange bunnies that does both.
.-= Loque’nahak´s last blog ..The Alliance has some Real Wierdos in it. =-.

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19. I dreaded this week, but have also been looking forward to it. I had my last two achievements to complete, in order to get my mount – and yes they were both in battlegrounds – AV and WSG. But you know, it was really cool – not because I worked out what the heck the whole PVP thing was about, but that both sides co-operated to help the other side get their achievements. It makes sense really – the quicker those who just want to nip in, get their achievements and get out are sorted, the quicker the normal BGers could get back to normal – it was like our own little Battleground Christmas 😉

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20. bigbearbutt |

I’m not “giving up”… I simply don’t like PvP. I know it easily seems that’s what I’m saying at the end, but I’m really not.

I’ve given PvP plenty of honest attempts in the past, and I just don’t like it. The pace is awesome, it’s exciting, and it’s fun at times… but it’s the fun of a group of friends I love.

I would be interested in doing premades with friends, in fact I DID do that back in vanilla WoW at times with the most ancientest of guilds I was in. Those were incredible fun, the best of both worlds. But not PvP with total strangers. I don’t enjoy it at all.

Giving up, to me, would be to cave in to peer pressure for the sake of a mount I don’t care enough about to research where they actually come from, reference my mistake about the Red Proto Drake.

I’m at the point where I’m not playing for loot or Achieves. If I do something, it’s because I think it’ll be fun, or neat, or look cool, or whatever. Not because it’s the behavior expected of me. I honestly think of loot as a neat bonus. “Oh wow, I had fun, AND I got this neat mount! Bonus!”

I might give it a few more shots this week, just to continue to see if I can find more stories about cooperative people (and incredible asshats), but I’m just not gonna worry about it.

@Neil; I at first wrote a very honest, but harshly worded comment about how I felt towards your remarks about my spelling. I removed it, because it wasn’t fair. You were very, very polite about wanting to be helpful, and I feel you deserve a real answer to help understand how I feel about advice on how I write my posts, and why I feel that way.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been doing this for a while, and I write a lot of posts. I’ve developed a system that allows me to feel like I have a certain amount of momentum. I am able to write as the inspiration strikes, without much in the way of preparation or wrapup as most publications have.

I write a post, on my own time, in my own way, freehand, in between emergencies and real life. Sometimes a single post will be interrupted 30 times before it gets posted, and I have to be able to just get up and walk away at any time at the drop of a hat.

They sometimes, as in this case, run over 2300 words. And my attitude on them is, when they post, they post, as is.

Unasked for advice on writing and proofreading is not welcome, because of my system. I have broken things down so that I use only one program that makes it EASY for me to write. It frequently autosaves, it let’s me log in from various locations, save multiple drafts, include pictures, website links, all sorts of stuff. The keyword here is easy. The downside is, it also “features” a broken built in spellcheck. So, I get one place to log in and write, write, write, but it does not spell check for me. When I spellcheck, I’m doing it as I’m rereading the flow of what I wanted to say, as an incidental.

You may not nkow this, but I am mildly dyslexic. I already correct a ton of spelling mistakes in every post. I do it as a matter of habit. But I refuse to allow myself to worry about catching them all. Being concerned about spelling perfection, for a dyslexic person, is similar to liking being slapped with a straight razor. It’s only ever going to hurt.

I also frequently think the words faster than I type, so there are always numerous errors involving missing words entirely.

Let me break it down though. Changing my current system in any way to add any additional steps, copy/pasting to other programs, changing which service I use, would all involve increased work for ME. This would directly encourage me to stop writing, because I am already at the edge of how much time I am willing to spend writing on the blog. It would change the comfort level.

As it is, my standard practise is to eliminate anything other than writing, unless it has a direct bearing on what I want to say. That is why I long ago stopped having pictures for any reason other than to directly add value to the post.

You can think of it this way. Right now, the blog is balanced on a very tiny point. What may seem to someone else as easily followed steps to quality improvement are, at this end, recommendations to dramatically increase the pain in the ass factor, increase my workload, and decrease my excitement at writing.

I hope that you and the rest of my readers are willing to accept the at times numerous spelling mistakes as the price you pay for there being an updated blog.

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21. @Iniquitor – I believe there is a way of ignoring people cross-realm, even after they have dropped group. As long as you know their name and realm, I think its just /ignore – (someone jump in if I have the syntax wrong pls 😛 )

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22. Firedancer |

I wasn’t actually meaning to pop by. I was just browsing through some blogs, looking for helpful resto druid tips. Dipped onto your site (I’ve been here before, for some quality reading about bears.. or butts..), read a few sentences… and got stuck.

I wish that your insightful comments would reach the rest of the PvE & PvP population, I really do. I see daily the absolute stake-burnings of the occasionally PvP-geared person crawling along in a heroic, not quite sure why he shouldn’t be standing in that fire or watching out for that blob of purple flying towards him. And I’ve farmed a PvP mount for two characters now – but let’s just say I am not a friend of PvP. I am, actually, a fan of quality PvE with a group of friends, colleagues, and the odd funny folk with interesting Greek accents. (Killed Lich King on 10man, normal, yesterday. WOOT. WOOT.)

As far as I could ever see, PvP brings out the worst in people. I’m astonished time and time again by the language and general behaviour of the common BG-goer. Name-calling and outright threats is what I have been seeing ever since the first time I set my foot in a Battleground. I have also met the semi-mute friendly-enough helper, or someone who has a big mouth but also a big heart… but these sort of people are a vanishing minority. I avoid these places like the plague, as it only makes me feel sad or frustrated or aggressive or all at once, and I didn’t log in to feel these emotions.. 😛

Yet, whenever I enter Battleground (or a heroic, for that matter), I intend on doing my best (though I will know I might be hammered to the ground so hard that there will barely be a red splotch left), and expect others to do so too. I used to see whole parties empty the moment Oculus’s loading screen was done. Made me oddly grateful for the penalty they gave party ditchers!

I don’t care for achievements, but I do care if folks think they can walk all over me because “it’s just a game and that other person can’t see me in real life anyway”.

Well… I guess I just wanted to agree with you, and thank you for the lovely blog. 🙂

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23. bigbearbutt |

Oh, and btw… the mispelled “know” right before talking about being dyslexic? 100% accidental. Go figure.

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24. Bah … that comment didn’t work lol … try /ignore NAME-REALM

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25. Hehe … Bear – I wouldn’t worry about your spelling. tbh I didn’t even notice any of them – and we’ve surely all seen those e-mails that do the rounds that explain human brains can “read” sentences with half the letters missing – perhaps you should do a blog intentionally like that – see if we notice 😛

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26. Kyanr |

Fortunately I am one of those strange people that love pvp, pve and what you describe as the world explorer…

and honestly, this is one of my favorite games because it caters to all 3 of those things.

I didnt actually do the childrens achieve last year, and this year the worst thing about it was waiting for queues to pop. I found most people in bgs to be supportive and everyone knew that you were only in there for the achievement so things like flag dropping in wsg and base recapping in av happened. it was kind of a beautiful thing really.

but since i love pvp and pve it really didnt seem that hard…shrug…

I think blizzards stance is that because its an achievement, it really isnt that big of a deal. Yeah, its hard, but thats the point…its a long and lonely road and you have to do some work to get it…

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27. Labels? Boo at labels!!!! Picture a cat trying to shake off something sticky – that’s me! 🙂 I am a World Explorer. I am a PVEer. I enjoy BGs and dabble for fun and fail in PVP! I one day hope to be a Lore-Master as well.

And I got lucky with the dreaded School of Hard Knocks this year. I found myself in BGs where Alliance & Horde worked together. In other BGs, I was just luckily at the right place, at the right time, to capture a flag. Last year, I didn’t even try. This year, it’s the one of 2 things in between me and the meta-achievement so I had no choice but to try. And try I did. And was lucky. And, I even had fun! /gasp!!!!

I’m sad that you’ve come to this decision. For some reason, it makes sense to me for you to get the Long, Strange Trip achievement. Not that I’m calling you strange. Maybe it’s just because of the Sporregar tabard…

Maybe the ‘Strange’ in the name of the achievement is the witnessing the opposite factions working together in a BG… cause it was honestly the first time I’ve ever seen it happen.

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I have a great tip for you for AV. There are four steps and you will get your achievement. This works best for Horde side, but all the really good things are that way.

1) Find a Pally to queue with. You need Crusader aura, and you need him to be thinking the same thing as you.
2) Ride along side him (or with in a Choppa!), and SKIP EVERYTHING on your way to Dun Baldar.
3) Each of you separately attack one of the two towers there. You can LoS most of the mobs guarding it. All you need to do is have your orphan see you cap that banner. You do not have to wait the four minutes for the tower to burn, you just have to be the first one that burned that banner.
4) Laugh at everyone that is waiting at the first tower for four minutes to see if they got credit.

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29. I think I’m the sort of player that this achievement actually works for. I wasn’t looking forward to it all but had a much less awful time than I expected, thanks to the “achievement trading” and then some help from my husband in running the EotS flag. It reminded me that I do enjoy PVP – been focusing on PVE this expansion but even with my resilience-free mage who died every three seconds I enjoyed myself. So much so that I am going to grind the pvp necklace for my Resto druid – I just realized it’s the best upgrade she’s likely to get and you know, I had fun as a mage, maybe tree pvp will be fun too. It was something to do with all my leftover Triumph badges, at least.

I’m going to finish out Long Strange Trip on my mage. I consider it the “WOW Jack of All Trades” meta achievement actually; prove you can pvp and pve, navigate the world, follow basic instructions, eat weird stuff, and kill things.

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30. Nimizar |

Another random fact that is actually relevant: getting Long Strange Trip is only about having a 310% mount *now* and saving some gold in Cataclysm. Everyone else will be able to buy 310% flying at level 85 (Blizzard haven’t announced the price yet, but they’ve said that people that have one of the 310% achievements will get the new riding skill for free)

(http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=13200300823&pageNo=3&sid=1#45 for the blueness of the info)

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31. Neil |

B3:

I truly appreciate your willingness to take the time to discern my intent and to write out such a patient and helpful response. It was a lot more than most people in your situation would’ve done. I did not know that you were mildly dyslexic, nor did I know that you already had a very specific and rigid system in place to handle the circumstances of your writing. Now that I do have this information, I feel as though I much better understand where you’re coming from.

I respectfully apologize for and withdraw my comments regarding your spelling. You’re clearly juggling a lot (a job, and WoW, and a family, and a blog?! I can barely handle the first two) and if the worst downside of your system is the occasional typo, then you’re doing an amazing job 🙂 The last thing you deserve is Internet-strangers like me giving you unwanted trouble over it :

Once again, I offer my apologies for my unsolicited criticism and advice, and my thanks for the patience and class with which you responded to it.

Cheers,
Neil

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32. The part that bothers me about the Hard Knocks achie is that it can be pretty much impossible for folks on some servers, barring EXTREME luck.

The lack of gear, understanding and skill is only the start.

Think of it as the Evil Lady RNG on crack.

If you have the bad luck of being on a Battlegroup that barely/never wins or caps a flag on EotS (or some of the other battlrgrounds), you are going to have a hugely frustrating time. And you will probably not ever get the achie. I emphasize EotS, because it’s pretty much impossible for the two factions to work together: 1 flag, 32 people trying to cap it.

For these folks, you combine all this with the fact that you can queue up so many times. You can, repeatedly, dozens of times (however many times you can run it, between eating, sleeping and work/etc) during the week, and you have a rather limited number of opportunities. Given a relatively low number of opportunities, and the very real fact that the probability is <<1%, and the probaility of getting it is near zero.

THAT is my issue. It's not that it's tough or takes work, but the fact that it can require a LOT of work and can still have a good possibility of not getting it.

Heaven forbid you aren't dual specced and are a PvE Holy Priest or something similar…

I think it would be "acceptable" (IMHO) if they increased the number of challenges, but only required you to be on the team that accomplished them (or be within 40 yards). That would force folks to try them out, and (hopefully) participate, but would acknowledge the fact that the current requirements go beyond "hard work" and jump head first into "brutally difficult bordering on impossible" for a fair number of folks.

The GNERD Rage one is fine. Eat your candy, and just participate in a few BGs, and you will get your HKs. Hard Knocks is just mean spirited, IMHO.
.-= SlikRX/Balthazario´s last blog ..He Got Knocked Down, Didn’t Get Up Again =-.

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33. Nightwhisp |

John:
You know, you write really great blogs! You really have a great attitude about people cooperating and coexisting and making the game better for it. And brother bear, I share that dream. Unfortunately the WoW world that I find myself in is so different than the ideal. Forget the trolling and the name calling in Trade chat for a moment and cut to the deeper flaws. . .

When I started this game it was at the behest of my boyfriend who helped set me up on his server, which is a PvP server. I have to admit that I fell deeply in love with the game within the first twenty-four hours. I didn’t pay much attention to the local defense channel saying Elwin Forrest under attack, it just seemed like part of the environment.
Later, I started to experience the occasional “ganking” as some 80 level asshat would run through the starting zone and kill everything in sight. I considered this a necessary part of the game as I leveled, until I reached Stranglethorn Vale (Ganklethorn as it was called on that server.) Predictably it was very hard to complete a quest without a higher level player ganking you. We actually took to having higher level guildies escort us through some of our quests. Again, I took this all in stride.
But everything changed one evening when a female guildmate and I were questing and four 80’s ambushed us. This time was different because one had written a macro to simulate rape of our corpses. I’m sorry, but that is neither funny nor acceptable! I knew that I either needed to quit the game or move to a PvE server. I tried complaining to Blizzard, and asked for a free transfer but that got me nowhere, The most laughable advice I got from them was, “make sure you release as soon as they kill you and they can’t do that.”

Well I rolled new toons on a PvE server and the rest is history. That is until I started doing BG’s. I actually thought that things would be different, and for the most part they were, when I was 78 or 79 and playing from a position of strength. Then I hit 80 and queued up for WG. the gate opened and a couple of seconds later I was dead. I rezed in the grave yard, was stunlocked by a rogue and I was dead again. . .rinse and repeat. . . Boy that was big fun. . .NOT

Yeah, I do Voa every week and occasionally I’ll sit on a Wintergrasp cannon so that I can trade the honor points for uncut gems, but basically I have no use for PvP or the slimbags that I have encountered in PvP. Give me a good Raid and I am a happy girl. And most to the achievements I really like, but Long Strange trip. . .forget about it. I have Swift Flight Form I can get to where I need to be, or the raid will summon me at the stone. And I’m almost 40 I don’t really need the title of “Matron.” lol

PS. I am a terrible speller as well! I hate when people “proofread” and point out mistakes. Everyone gets what you are saying. Come on people get a life!

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34. Sougent |

I’m one of those explorer types, I work on achievements for the simple pleasure of seeing the box pop up saying I got it. I only do it on my first toon, my main toon.

I’m not a PVPer, I’m not especially thrilled by it because I don’t do well. However, once I used my Triumphs for my PVE gear I picked up the PVP gear because, frankly, I was tired of getting ganked out in the world (I’m on a PVP server). Resilience really does make an immense difference, I went from hardly doing any damage in a battleground to being closer to the top of my Skada chart. I’m still a clumsy PVPer but it’s more fun when you actually manage to get a kill.

For Childrens Week, the PVP part was the last thing I did.

WSG was easy, had a Horde Pally dropping the flag multiple times (when the idiot hunter wasn’t trying to kill him). An example of cooperation, though once the last person got their flag return he did run out of the building with it, lol.

Arathi was easy too, being a Pally myself, I put on Crusader Aura and headed straight to the lumberyard and took the flag. Then had fun killing and being killed for the rest of the time.

Alterac Valley was a pain, as far as the achievement goes, I did several before I finally got it and there was limited cooperation that allowed it. But it wasn’t too bad, AV was my battleground of choice when leveling and I always liked playing it.

The problem child this year was Eye of the Storm, very frustrating, everyone and their brother wanted that flag and there was zero cross faction cooperation. I even got the flag once with my little kid out running toward the towers the Alliance always tends to have to find them Horde controlled, ended up getting killed trying to get to one we did control, so close. I racked up lots of honor points trying to get this part of the achievement. Finally got lucky, was coming down from defending a tower and saw a lonely flag sitting there on the ground, I grabbed that sucker, noticed my kid wasn’t out so whistled him up and ran up to cap the thing. Lol, I suspect I may have accidentally stolen it from someone but there was no one else about so oopsie.

The key to this part of the achievement is basically patience, which if you don’t like PVP is going to be hard, but it’s not as hard as it might seem.

I’m not a regular PVPer, never done Arenas, not sure I’ve done every battleground (don’t think I’ve done Strand) and I understand how aggravating it can be as a PVE player to do PVP in battlegrounds. But, that said, you’d be surprised how a decent set of PVP equipment can change your outlook. Oh, sure, you’ll still get wiped out by experienced PVPers but at least you’ll manage to see their HP go down a little bit before they do. And you’ll be the one wiping out the ones with PVE equipment. Oh, not always, but a lot more often.

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35. bigbearbutt |

Wow, a lot of really solid comments, as well as good advice for completing the achievement in PvP. Thank you!

Chawa, you do bring up a great point that I didn’t realy address.

When I’m using terms like World Explorer and PvP and PvE, I’m really talking about the game design that facilitates seriously different styles of play.

I don’t think labels can be made to apply to the players themselves, except as a cheat for lazy thinking. Every player has more than just one easily identified interest. I think the majority of us feel drawn in varying degrees to ALL the different styles of play listed, and also to far more I didn’t describe, such as the collector (pets, mounts, tabards, gear, dresses, hats, titles, etc), the achievement hunter, the rep grinder, the Auction House market master, the Trade Chat troll, and so many, many more.

Where I think labeling helps is in a “big group” dynamic, trying to identify the core attractions of an entire playstyle, and then knowing what those favorite attractions are, make them the core you build from in the future.

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36. Krulla |

One thing that’s causing me some puzzlement is where the sense of entitlement is coming from. It is clearly stated that the Violet Proto Drake is a reward for completing all the various tasks required by the meta. Some of these tasks are very difficult, e.g. School of Hard Knocks. Now, as stated above, the only other 310% mounts in the game are also rewards for completing specific tasks which are very difficult, be they PVE raids or PVP arenas. Why shouldn’t this achivement have similar difficulty requirements to obtain the final reward? I believe that similar drakes have been removed as a reward from an earlier raid tier, as getting the required achievement is now a trivial job.

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37. bigbearbutt |

Krulla, you missed the post yesterday where I said troll commenters that don’t actually read the posts were supposed to comment on the topic there in advance.

But, if you HAD read this post, you’d perhaps have seen that I didn’t feet “entitled”, that in fact the point of the post was that I DON’T feel entitled to it, and that instead, I encourage everyone to act politely towards each other on both sides, but wish that there were more clearly delineated playstyle driven meta-achievements for people who enjoy excelling at one playstyle over the others to focus on. Meta-achievements that would provide one hell of a challenge, but not require one to have to take part in a different aspect of the game’s playstyle that they hate. not because it’s difficult, but because for them the playstyle itself sucks. As in, not fun. I acknowledged, in fairly plain language I thought, that the achievements themselves shold be very hard indeed to accomplish. They should just be within a part of the culture the player already enjoys.

I hope you no longer feel puzzled as to what the post was about. I do know that some folks need a “TL;DR” setting.

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38. Krulla |

Apologies, it was not intended as a troll post, English is not my first language so I may not have expressed what I intended. When I stated “sense of entitlement”, I was not referring specifcally to yourself, BBB. As it is, I’m agreeing with what you say, particularly:-

“I’m going to mentally assign it the lable “PvP Meta-Achievement”, and I’m moving on.”

If you’ll permit, I’ll try again – this achievement as it currently stands is, in my eyes, a way of getting a 310% speed flying mount, which involves some PvE (which I think most people would agree is relatively trivial, RNG aside), and some PvP, which the vast majority of people would seem to agree is not fun, for various reasons. The requirements of the achivement are well understood and clearly defined. What I find curious (or puzzling if you will) about this particular achievement is that the perception amongst the general player base, in my experience, is that everybody should be able to earn it – the “sense of entitlement” I mention above. Alternatively, the perception I’ve encountered is that this achivement is the World Explorer meta you mention above, where it clearly isn’t. I’ll leave it there as it’s going off topic perhaps and I’m not sure if I can clarfiy further.

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39. bigbearbutt |

That’s quite all right, Krulla, as long as there are no hard feelings for my coming down on you like a big furry buttload of bricks, then hopefully we’re all good. 🙂

The way I try to be consistent about reading comments, is that if someone addresses another person specifically, such as prefacing a comment with “@Whatsisface”, then I see it as being cross talk within the subject, and for the most part, i stay out of it, becausein essence it’s mail not addresed to me, so long as it stays within certain bounds of decency.

When a comment has no specific address, when it’s a reply to the theme of the post in general, then I see it as being directly aimed at my attention as the blog writer, and so I will reply (when time permits) along those lines.

After reading your clarification, I’d have to say I agree with you. I mentioned what I feel to be the most prevalent perception of the achievement, but in reality it’s probably more like what you and other commenters have said, seen as a “World Explorer, all in, little bit of everything WoW has to offer grab bag” Achievement.

I also do see what you mean about some people seeming to feel that the fact that it is related to the holiday events means everyone should be able to do it.

I think that comes from the perception that the holiday events themselves are outside “actual” core gameplay, meaing the perception is, if it ain’t PvP and it ain’t PvE, then it ain’t important to WoW. Bear with me and see if this sounds like a reasonable theory.

Holidays are for everyone of all ages, but are generally for the benefit of the enjoyment of children. Holiday events themselves can be enjoyed by everyone in the game. Therefore, I think the reasoning goes, the achievements related to the holiday event should also be of a challenge level that they are appropriate content for all ages. If challanges within the holiday event are not at that level of difficulty, then they are frequently considered too difficult.

What I think is the core issue here, is that by setting the 310% speed drake as the reward for completing all of the events 100%, Blizzard is implying that this is not for everyone of all ages and difficulty levels. That this is an overall meta-achievement that requires participation in every facet of the game, and at any bloody level of difficulty they like.

They clearly set the difficulty of some of the achievements/challenges very low, fed-ex quests and explorig and things that take time. Also, a fair element of pure random luck is at play. A lot of dedication and persistance is part o f the entire thing.

But I think true tests of difficulty are also included intentionally to make us feel we did earn that special mount. And that can be hard to reconcile with an image of “family fun for everyone”.

Is that where you were going with your comment? If so, as I said, I do agree with you, but as I say in this comment, I think the perception of the nature of holiday achievements themselves helps foster the idea that it’s supposed to be for everyone.

I am very interested to hear what other people may think about this part of the Long Strange Trip.

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40. Ngita |

I am surprised to hear you had that much trouble with the AV component, since 90% of that achievement is simply riding the quickest line to the tower of your choice. Eots on the other hand:(

I am somewhat on the fence on this. I do see blizzard point its not a pve or pve acheivment. Its just wow. Their is nothing thats says all achievements should be easy , and some are very hard indeed. They plan to offer 310% flying speed for gold in Cata. and if your in a hurry, then their is a relatively easy option from pve by completing the uldaar 10 Meta. I ran two alts through this achievement this year. One on the first night and I was able to complete the entire children’s week including the tourist sights in 3 hours, the second i have yet to complete Eots and WSG. If it does not happen this year. then I try again next year.

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41. TJGypsy2 |

I had an incredible experience the other day, and since it relates directly to this post, I thought I’d share.

To start, I have the Violet Proto-drake on my main. It felt like an amazing accomplishment when I finally got it, and the achievement that hung me up the worst was the damn sinister squashling from the Headless Horseman. I finally got that achievement because in the eleventh hour, some kind, generous, thoughtful and caring person decided to take it upon himself and make it his mission to GET me my squashling. We killed the horseman something like 25 times, before the thing finally dropped, and then this guy, and the three people in the group all passed on it, so I could have it. I have never been so greatful to a group of people I don’t know. But that isn’t what I wanted to tell you about.

I have become, over the past year, something of a PvPer. I’m not leet, and I don’t do the arenas, but I’ve gotten fairly decent at the BG’s. They are fun, and provide a little spice when WoW gets stale. And I had come to hate Children’s Week.

Last night I zoned into an EOTS for my sixth or seventh random of the day, and was greeted by three people making the comment that they “hated this holiday, and all they really wanted was to get my achievement done so I can stop PvP’ing.” And someone else, in true BG style piped up with “F*** you and your stupid drake.”

So I announced in BG chat that if those three people would defend a tower so that I had some place to take the flag, I would do my flat level best to get the flag, and would drop it so that one of them could cap it, and get their achievement. And wonder of wonders, for the first time in probably a MONTH, nobody left a node undefended. I managed to get the flag three times, and all three times I ran it to a tower, and dropped it so someone could cap it. And then they’d follow me back to the middle to help defend it, so I could grab the flag and repeat the process.

And at the end of the BG, not only did we win, but three people got their last PvP cheeb out of the way for Children’s week, and one even said he’d gotten his purple drake. And I realized that I had, all unknowing, paid forward the kindness that had been shown to me the year previous.

So…to you PvE’ers out there working on your drakes, don’t give up hope. There are those of us out there that understand, and that feel your pain. If you play on the Rampage battlegroup, look for Korevelo, and hit me up, and I’ll try to help. And for you PvP’ers out there, that had this holiday and what it does to your BG’s…why not try to make it a little easier for those people? If you grab a flag, ask if someone needs it. If you’re gonna cap a tower, make sure there isn’t someone around who could use it. Not only do you get to do a good deed, and make someone feel a little better about their day, but you end up with one less person screwing up your BG in search of their elusive drake.

Just my .02.

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42. Drudesa |

I did finally get my achievment this week, and tbh was dreading the PVP School of hard knocks part.

But as a druid AB, was easy, everyone was zerging around capping bases, so i just stealthed to the farm,waited fot the Hord to defend it and recap after the zerg had passed through and just capped it again after they left.

EotS this ione was more down to luck, basically we capped the 2 home bases and then all charged the flag , a big melee in the middle and we had control of the spawn point, then it was simply a matter of trusting to the old rng to click the flag first, over the next couple mins, 5 of us got the flag one after the other before the horde managed to get control of the flag and then did the same. (kitty +dash helping me get a nice headstart to the towers after picking up the flag)

Both ocations staying around to see out the BG (we won AB lost EosT)

WG on the other hand was a completely different story, basically 2 teams of 6-7 achiement hunters and a couple PvPers, so after getting a little annoied at the two 7 man turtle defenses, on of the PVP’ers stelthed into there base, picked up the flag and imeadiatly dropped it, allowing one of the horde to the return it thus getting the achievement, he did this 5-6 further time untill all the horde had the achievement. One of the Horde guys then stelthed into our base and did the same so we could get the achievment, then he basically asked everyone who was just here for the achievement to either leave or now try and play properly.

AV was also a bit different in that basically everyone zerged the towers, but rather than just 4 people on each side getting the achievment the towers in the middle filled up with either horde or allies (depending on which tower you were at) and a opposite faction would run in cap it, then one of the guys waiting would recap etc untill all had tha achievment, all those who were not looking for the achievment were continueing on doing all the other towers and generals etc, without all us achievment hunters getting in the way, all very amicalbe.

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43. Hey BBB, it’s not often I disagree with you, but on your comparison of PvE as a team game and PvP as individual I will. However that demands a proper response… So I’ll get my blogging juice flowing over the next couple of days.

As for SoHK… Out of the 10-20 BGs I have been in over this period, there have only been a few that have been torture.

In the majority the experienced PvPers have assisted the achievement hunters and they in turn have darted to win the battles.

In fact I have probably had more consistent wins this week than for a couple of months.

Otherwise.. Give us 3 mount streams… Or… Just give us 310% speed mounts… we can buy them, so why bother achieve them?

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44. Nimizar |

@Gnome: I think the difference between PvP and PvE team vs non- that BBB was trying to make is that in PvP, a random PuG in a BG each doing their own thing will lose, but each player will still get honour. Try that in a dungeon and you get nothing.

However, a PvP premade will roll a PuG every time, which is I think where you’re coming from.

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45. Xenogriff |

I totally agree with this post, for the last 2 year I’ve been working on all the achievements and I’m finally down to just School of Hard Knocks.

I’ve gotten the AV and AB ones down thanks to cooperation between horde and alliance but EOTS and WSG have made me just give up and not bother anymore.

I somehow (seeing as I had no idea what I was doing since I avoid PVP at all costs) managed to get the flag my first EOTS attempt but somehow didnt get credit – even got the achievement as storm capper – but credit for orphan? nopes
After that it just went downhill.

I tried WSG – I figured returning the flag should be simple, wait for horde to pick up the flag, kill it and get the flag back – only problem was, again I didnt know what I was doing and due to latency issues, even when I did see my flag, someone would ALWAYS get it before I could return it.
It didnt help that my own side was yelling at me, /spitting on me, calling me a noob and telling me to GTFO….

Seriously though, this achievement is near impossible to someone who has absolutely no interest in PVP at all and has not gained the skills/knowledge to pull it off – I mean the PVE components are a breeze for PVPers compared to what PVEers have to go through, one LFG tool run and not even on heroic (not saying that heroic is all that hard anyways), its kind of a horrible joke by Blizzard.

So yes, I have 2/4 parts of the last achievement I need to get that mount but due to the stress and PVP not being fun to me, I am giving up on it.

*Fingers crossed that Blizzard actually changes this somehow*

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46. scotth |

On PvP being all about personal excellence.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

The reason so many people are bad at PvP is that they do not have any focus on the actual objectives, and do not work as part of a team.

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47. I think you might be on to something there about separating out the achievement streams. I love the holiday stuff, I got my protodrake last year on my main and am currently running through the holiday stuff again on my lvl 80 druid alt. Not really to get the drake (love flight form too much), but just because I enjoy the break up of my routine of going forth and running orphans around or talking to Elders etc.

I would be perfectly happy of they removed PvP and PvE (instance-based) parts from the holiday achievements and instead put other solo/explorey stuff in there. Like you say that is the reason I enjoy them. PvP I don’t normally do, PvE I do do normally and the holiday stuff is supposed to be a break from your normal routine.
.-= Tufva´s last blog ..Buff, Nerf – what is difference? =-.

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48. Angie |

Yet another brilliant post, BBB. I’m a roleplayer/PvE’er, and I just… really dislike PvP. It’s so… I don’t even know. I probably have such issues with it because I’m so frickin’ squishy, what with my lack of resilience and all, and when tossed into a Battleground, I last about as long as a frog would last when tossed into a pot of boiling water, but with much more flailing and screaming. However, my boyfriend is adores and is amazing at PvP and can make my huntard win despite her lack of good PvP gear, so I just let him get any PvP achievements I need for me. *cracks whip* Mmmyes.

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49. bigbearbutt |

Well Gnomer, the thing is, I related the PvE and PvP comparison in terms of the apparent design intent of Blizzard.

Wheras PvE raids started at huge…. tracts of land and are now experiencing shrinkage into the swamp, PvP started out not only solo in nature, but actually was set up to make it as impossible as they could to prevent pre-made team efforts, blocking people from joining as a group. It seemed Blizzards design for PvP at the start was 100% solo, forming spontaneous groups only after being in.

That’s where I was coming from in my comparison. Arena team-based competition, the team-based or cooperative based objectives in the new BGs, the ease of joining as group for PvP queues, all this was added after the fact.

As things are now, I totally agree that solid PvP professionals such as yourself turn the tide of battle by forcing teamwork… but you are acting against the original design, pulling victory out despite the solo-focus of the system, not because of it.

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50. Ralph |

I’m an Explorer/PvE type, and it is achievements like this one that meant I didn’t bother trying for a long strange trip (That and having to subscribe for a year solid). I don’t mind there being hard grinds/exploration in it, and I even levelled cooking in a day to get the christmas meta, but the idea of having to do specific things in battlegrounds/farm rare drops does not appeal.

I say leave the 5-man dungeon stuff in, as these days IIRC you can use the dungeon finder to queue just for the holiday boss, so don’t even need to disturb the people farming emblems.

That’s an idea actually, how about a battleground finder just for holiday people wanting the achievement…

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