Monday, February 2, 2009

Glory of the Hero

Last week, my five-man group finished the Glory of the Hero achievement. It was a long road and the reward of a Red Proto-Drake was felt to be well deserved. As far as I am aware, this makes Aille, Ay, Bluid, Laeryn and I the first in the guild to complete the meta-achievement. Some of the achievements were very easy, and some so difficult that I am not sure how Blizzard intends for them to be done, but we completed all of them. We also did this without respecs or even a specific group make up. Our group consisted of a Holy Priest, a Rogue, a Feral Druid tank, a Retribution Paladin, and an Unholy Death Knight. The all melee group drove our healer batty at times, but in the end, we were successful. Now that we've completed this, I'd like to reminisce on the best and worst of the required achievements.

The Best
  1. Emerald Void: This achievement requires players to Defeat Ley-Guardian Eregos in The Oculus on Heroic Difficulty without anyone in the party using an Emerald Drake. Because the Emerald Drake is the only drake that can heal in this instance, this achievement has to be done with zero healing. We completed this achievement by using five Amber Drakes—at least the first time we did it. We had to do this achievement twice because Laeryn was out of town the first time we did it. The second time, we used four Amber and a Ruby, but the strategy we used was nearly identical. This achievement takes a lot of coordination (probably more than any of the others). It also relies on skill and timing, not on luck. Properly timed Time Stops and perfectly coordinated Shock Lances and Temporal Rifts make this achievement possible and my favorite of all of them.
  2. Consumption Junction: This achievement requires players to defeat Trollgore in Drak'Tharon Keep on Heroic Difficulty before Consume reaches ten stacks. To complete this, we had to play with line-of-sight and make sure that, when Trollgore cast Consume, everyone but the tank was out of his view. It took coordination and good timing. It was another very well designed achievement.
  3. Volazj's Quick Demise: This achievement requires players to defeat Herald Volazj in Ahn'kahet on Heroic Difficulty in 2 minutes or less. It all hinges on players being able to kill their shades quickly enough during Insanity. We also found that stacking at a specific position during Insanity made it much faster to come to the aid of party members who were not able to kill their shades as quickly as others. This one took some crazy DPS and a good amount of skill.
Those are my three favorites. Here are the three I disliked the most:

The Worst
  1. Watch Him Die: This achievement requires players to defeat Krik'thir the Gatewatcher in Azjol-Nerub on Heroic Difficulty while Watcher Gashra, Watcher Narjil and Watcher Silthik are still alive. We tried many many different strategies for this achievement; however, none of them really worked. Everything we found online said that players simply zerged it and hoped for good luck. Some kited adds away, and some didn't, but in the end it was simply a DPS race to the death. We wiped even when we successfully completed the achievement (as did everyone else we read about completing it). I can't imagine that Blizzard intends that the successful way to complete this is to wipe, but that's the only way that we were able to complete it.
  2. Less-rabi: This achievement requires players to defeat Moorabi in Gundrak on Heroic Difficulty while preventing him from transforming into a mammoth at any point during the encounter. Unfortunately, his cast speed just gets too fast when he is below 30% health. Even with a few players who can interrupt the cast, it becomes nearly impossible to stop him from transforming. We took the easy way out on this one and kited him to the door so that he'd reset. I hated that we had to cheese it, but without stacking classes with silences, there was no other realistic way for us to complete it. Blizzard now says "Take the player, not the class," but that doesn't hold true with this achievement. This one needs to be reworked.
  3. Defenseless: This achievement requires player to defeat Cyanigosa in The Violet Hold without using Defense Control Crystals and with Prison Seal Integrity at 100% while in Heroic Difficulty. The reason I dislike this achievement is not because it was too hard—in fact, it was the exact opposite. This achievement was a joke. We got it without even realizing we had done anything special. We did it with quest greens and blues. It was way too easy. Most PUGs have an easy time completing this one. It simply isn't challenging in the least. In order to fix this one, Blizzard needs to make the instance more difficult than it is.
There were many other achievements that we needed to complete, with varying levels of difficulty, but these were the ones that stood out to me. I very much enjoyed the challenging ones that were not absurd. If the achievement is too easy, it doesn't feel like an achievement at all. Hopefully, with future instances, Blizzard refines their achievement system so that more of them are a challenge to most groups but still feasible. But, for this round, I win—I have my Red Proto-Drake.

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