The Explorer

March 25th, 2010

Exploring Oultands

The World Explorer title and tabard (for exploring Northrend) is one of the simplest titles to earn.   In real life, I love to travel to distant and exotic places – to explore different landscapes, places and cultures.  One of the things I love about WOW is the variety and beauty of its diverse landscapes some which bring back memories of savannahs and semi-desert lanscapes of my childhood while others have a more alien beauty. So exploring different areas has always been part of the fun.  However, it was the seasonal events that really got me started towards the World Explorer title – first when my main (then in her 40s) made her determined (and suicidal) push to Light’s Hope Chapel, Eastern Plaguelands to complete Trick and Treats of the Eastern Kingdoms, and then when she (having just made 70) made a even more determined attempt to reach Frost Hold, Bouldercrag’s Refuge and Tunka’lo Camp in Storm Peaks to complete Elders of Northrend.  Both attempts were successful though the attempt to get to Frost Hold without a flying mount took the most tries (an understatement LOL).  Having reached Elder Fargal in Frosthold she was inspired to finish exploring – gaining the title at level 73.

With patch 3.2.0  introduced last year (2009), this achievement has become easier now that flight in Outlands is available at 60 and cold weather flying is available at 68 if at least one other alt is at 80 on the same realm (through the purchase an account bound book from Hira Snowdoawn at Krasus landing, Dalaran).  Otherwise, cold weather flying is available at 77 for the appropriate amount of gold.  So once players reach 77 (or 68 on alts) this achievement is just a matter of taking the time to travel.  It can however be achieved much earlier.  Tenen, a Dwarf Warrior (Moon Guard realm) gained the World Explorer title at Level 17 (a level he achieved entirely from exploration – no quests, pvp or mob kills etc)!)  Tenen did receive help from other players who at times escorted him through areas or summoned him to inaccessible places in Outlands impossible to reach without flight.

None of my toons have been this dedicated though my druid got the title at 69 (just before the level for Outland flying was lowered – druids at that time got flight form at 68) and my priest at 65 (she actually had explored all Northrend, Outlands, Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms with a single exception at 63 – but then had to wait til 65 to be able to fly to the Isle of Quel’Danos.) As my priest was running through the Argent Tournament I suddenly realised she was the subject of general chat – what was a 61 priest doing at the top of Icecrown?  Most thought I must be a gold farmer – though why one would farm in Icecrown on at 61 toon I’m not too sure – while one lonely voice suggested I might be exploring.  All in all, I had lots of fun going were no level 60 toon had gone before (well not many at least.J)

So if you want to explore – you don’t have to wait to 80, though of course you can.  My suggestions would be: (more…)

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Beyond the fierce bulk of the allosauros-like King Dred and his smaller dino companions I could see the glittering column of moonlight.  My pulse quickened.  This was it …. in a few short seconds my main would pay her respects to this last elder.  Even as Elder and hunter bowed as one dwarf to another Elders of the Dungeons, To Honor One’s Elders and What a Long, Strange Trip it Has Been flashed up on the screen.  As has often been the case for me on reaching meta-achievements, it was the early hours of the morning server time, none of my friends or guildies were online, and the other members of the PUG were already rushing up the steep stairs to the next group of trash mobs.

It didn’t really matter that no one else celebrated the moment.  It felt great to finally have completed a meta-achievement that I had started working on some 16 months earlier, criss-crossing Azeroth trick or treating.  When, a short time later our pug had swept through Drak’Tharon Keep and bested The Prophet Tharon’ja, my hunter main hearthed to Dalaran and made a bee line to the mail box.  Soon she was flying in exhilarating circles around the floating city of Dalaran on her latest mount.    The Violet Proto-drake is a great color with a fluorescent violet mouth though perhaps a bit chunky (not as elegant and slim lined as my previous favourite, the bronze drake).  Best of all he is very fast (310%).  All in all, the proto-drake is one sweet ride and a fitting reward for several months of effort.

And indeed, it has been a long, often strange road full of fun and frustration, the culmination of many hours of game play.  The meta-achievement requires completing the majority of the achievements from most of WOW’s seasonal events:  All Hallow’s End, Winterveil, Lunar Festival, Love is in the Air, Noble Garden, Mid-Summer Fire Festival, Children’s Week, Brewfest (Pilgrim’s Bounty is not included).  Usually at least one of the achievements for each seasonal event can only be completed by higher level characters (often only at level 80 and usually 70+).   The achievements also span across the various types of game play, including tasks that require questing, grinding, drops, instances, raids, pvp and professions (such as cooking).  As the festivals span the year, a minimum of 10-12 months is required to complete the meta-achievement though, due to the level requirements of some of the achievements,  it often takes longer. (more…)

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