If you play World of Warcraft, then read on, otherwise, move along 🙂
If you play World of Warcraft, then read on, otherwise, move along 🙂
I just got my Violet Proto-Drake this morning 🙂
When I started WoW, the very first time I logged on it was the Fire Festival. I’ve always loved the seasonal events, and have great memories of sneaking into enemy areas or high level zones to burn bonfires. I’ve been after the What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been meta-achievement for three years, to get my Violet Proto-Drake, but everyone who goes for the meta has to eventually face the facts: they will have to do the School of Hard Knocks achievement during Children’s Week.
There’s plenty of qq about this achievement and it is by far the hardest thing in the entire meta to do. I won’t qq about it here. I will refer you to the excellent piece at WoW Insider which pretty much says it all, not to mention the discussion at the Wowhead entry (the latter which also has a lot of great tips).
My aim here is to make a very quick, succinct guide about strategy for this achievement. There’s lots of strategy guide material out there, but here’s what worked for me. I hope it helps you, because despite the well-warranted qq, this IS achievable. It IS doable. Don’t be intimidated and don’t despair. If I could do it, so could you.
Yes, there’s a lot of luck involved. But that’s how statistics and RNG work: keep trying and it will break in your favor. Keep trying.
Orphan, Orphan, Orphan!
Capture the flag in Eye of the Storm
UPDATE: yes, as several folks have pointed out, the map is backwards. I will revise this asap…
Assault a tower in Alterac Valley:
Assault a flag in Arathi Basin
Return a fallen flag in Warsong Gulch
If you are just getting started on What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been, you may be feeling a trifle bit overwhelmed. But even though they removed the free 310 flying reward, it’s still the best way to get yourself a rare proto-drake mount, far more interesting and less grinding than getting the various raid meta-achievements. If I had to start from scratch, the best option is to use Zygor’s Professions and Achievements addon (affiliate link). If I had this when I first started, I would likely have finished the meta achievement a full year earlier and gotten my 310 flying, so I regret not getting the help. There’s no better way to keep all the various achievement steps and goals organized than this – it will literally save you days of work.
Here’s a quick video preview of how Zygor’s Professions and Achievements addon works:
(That’s just for the Professions and Achievements guide, of course. There is also a fantastic Zygor guide for leveling which I highly recommend).
Finally, also do check out Cynwise’s guide to School of Hard Knocks as well. Very detailed guide with a lot more depth on strategy for Warsong Gulch in particular.
In anticipation of MoP I’m trying to build up an alt army, mainly for professions support of my main, Aabde (mining/blacksmithing). I’ve got Ppeeta, a lvl 10 gnome mage herbalist/inscription, Mmarko, a lvl 20 worgen hunter jewelcrafter/enchanter, and Zzamba, a lvl 30 nelf druid skinner/leatherworker. Those guys are all in the queue, but I’ve mainly been focusing on Gganda, my dwarf rogue engineer/tailor who just reached 71. And of course I will have a Panda monk to add to the mix, I’ll probably just go mining/herbing for him to act as gatherer support.
This is daunting especially since most of Outland and a hefty chunk of Northrend bored me out of my mind the first time around with Aabde. I’ve got agility leather heirlooms to outfit the alts with (note how all are classes that can use the same set, except for the mage). I’m turning to Zygor’s Guides as an alternative, especially since due to Real Life I barely have any actual time to play. They have a free trial available as well, and the guides have an in-game addon that looks like it lets you level on cruise control. (and they also do Diablo III, if you’re interested…). I’m setup as an affiliate link so if you decide to buy I will also get a few bucks, which will be useful since keeping this place spam free isn’t cheap 😛
There are other guides out there, but it looks like Zygor is the leader of the pack. Give it a shot!
I’ve just upgraded to the 30 MB/s internet plan at Charter cable (and added HBO so we can watch Game of Thrones), so here’s the obligatory speedtest results.
It occurs to me that the units for download can be incredibly confusing. Charter advertises the download speed plan using units of Mbps. So, the question naturally arises, how long should it take to download something 18.3 GB in size? (and a related question, if I am downloading something at 300 KB/s, am I getting my max download speed?)
1 GB refers to a gigabyte (10^9 bytes) in this context, since we are talking about file sizes and network speeds. If we were talking about RAM, a GB would actually refer to a gibibyte. However, 1 Mb is a megabit (10^6 bits), not a megabyte (10^6 bytes), because of the small-case b. So 1 Mb is actually 1/8 MB (since there are 8 bits per byte).
So 18.3 GB downloading at 30 Mbps should require:
(size) / (speed) = (time)
(18.3 x 10^9 bytes) / ( (30 x 10^6 bits / sec) x (1 byte / 8 bits) = 18.3 x 10^9 * 8 / 30 x 10^6 = 4880 seconds = 81.3 minutes
Wolfram Alpha gets the answer right, too (and I like teh natural language query – very intuitive).
Now, suppose I’m rocking 300 KB/s according to a certain beta software download client. How am I really doing? The capital B means it is kilobytes, so that’s actually 300 x 10^3 x 8 = 2400 x 10^3 = 2400000 = 2.4 Mbps. Wait, what??
I’m only getting 1/10th my actual download speed for this??
This is why it’s important to do the math. Of course, the download speed may be limited by a lot of other factors, most notably how fast the server at the other end can deliver the data. I clocked almost 40 Mbps doing a speedtest with some local, low-ping server somewhere, but for downloading this big file I’m probably going a lot further and their server has a lot more to do than humor my ping requests. I guess I should be satisfied.
(But, I’m not. grrr….)
presented without comment
I’m awaiting my Pandaland beta invite.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have found that playing WoW actually boosted cognitive functioning for older adults â€“ particularly those adults who had scored poorly on cognitive ability tests before playing the game.
â€œWe chose World of Warcraft because it has attributes we felt may produce benefits â€“ it is a cognitively challenging game in a socially interactive environment that presents users with novel situations,â€ says Dr. Anne McLaughlin, an assistant professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of a paper on the study. â€œWe found there were improvements, but it depended on each participantâ€™s baseline cognitive functioning level.â€
Researchers from NC Stateâ€™s Gains Through Gaming laboratory first tested the cognitive functioning of study participants, aged 60 to 77, to set a baseline. The researchers looked at cognitive abilities including spatial ability, memory and how well participants could focus their attention.
This is unsurprising, because WoW’s complexity really scales with the player. You can easily access the game as a total noob but if you’re a diehard theorycrafter you cam minmax your way into elitist heaven. And there’s an entire social layer on top of that – you can play the game solo if you prefer, but from guilds to PUGs to PVP there’s plenty of actual human interaction that forces teamwork, competition, etc. There’s even a free market economy and the occasional plague. I think that the cognitive benefits for people with higher baseline are going to be more subtle, but like the Nintendo Wii I think that there’s an argument to be made for WoW in particular to become part of the therapists’ arsenal.
So, in celebration of getting to 80, I went ahead and Explored the world 🙂
Now here’s my dilemma. I’ve been working my way through Northrend, and hit 80 while finishing off Grizzly Hills. Now, do I continue the questlines in nrend or do i just go straight to the new cata zones?
I looked around and here’s pre-cata advice for finishing Northrend after 80:
If you’ve done the run to 80 before you shouldn’t do every quest in the zone; only the ones that will help you later.
Do Howling Fjord first, do the initial zone quests up to the ones that unlock the Utgarde Keep dungeon quests. Then do the Ka’luak quests in full.
Do Borean Tundra. Do Coldarra in its entirety to unlock the Nexus dungeon quests. Do Ka’luak quests until you get to Revered (or close to it, there’s easier ones in Dragonblight), and do the quests that lead up to and include finishing Temple City of Enkil’ah.
Run Utgarde Keep and Nexus at least once WITH the dungeon quests.
Do the majority of Dragonblight. The Goblin quests in the north area are optional, but nearly all the quests are important for something (Kirin Tor, Wyrmrest Accord, Ka’luak, Wrathgate).
By the time you do all those you should be Honored with Kirin Tor and Wyrmrest Accord, and Revered with Ka’luak. When you hit Lv.76 go to the Ka’luak vendor and buy a blue chest, and go back to the vendors for all three when you hit Lv. 78.
After that I recommend skipping Grizzly Hills and Sholozar Basin and hit Zul’drak for the Argent Crusade and Ebon Blade rep, both of which are in the lower areas. You could optionally unlock the Drak’Theron keep quests in Grizzly Hills, and probably a good idea to do the same for the flight point in Sholozar. If you intend to do Frenzyheart or Oracles, then stop by in Sholozar.
Once you hit Lv.77 go directly to Icecrown and do the quests to unlock Crusader Pinnacle and Shadow Vault, and start up the Argent Tournament quests. Then if you think you need shoulder enchants later go to Storm Peaks and do the entire Sons of Hodir questline, but only that. By then you should have enough dailies unlocked to not have to worry about anything else.
However, as the level cap is 85 these wont be as much of a gold bonanza – instead i could go straight to Hyjal, finish the zone, and then go do Firelands dailies for epic gear and better flying mounts. And then I can always return to northrend to finish off the Lich King.
What’s the better strategy here? I don’t even know all the pros and cons of each, so help educate me…
UPDATE – I just went to Hyjal, did three quests and got a sword that doubled my DPS. 0_o