Saturday, May 2, 2009

AV Towers, or "Joining the QQ"

I have said how ardently I hate QQ. But here we go.

The Hard Knocks achievement is not impossible. For the most part. I got the WSG flag return on an 80 and a 74, the EotS flag respawns many times per game, and the AB points are in constant fluctuation.

These are battlegrounds with 10-15 players per team and flags that can respawn many times per game. Theoretically, every player in the battleground can get the achievement without sacrificing the game itself.

Alterac Valley is a different beast. 40 players, limited towers, no incentive to take your towers back to help the other side, and the shortest time limit.

Once you get the enemy towers, you'll find yourself sitting in them with 2-8 other players waiting for the enemy to show up and defend. You must pray that a) you're the fastest clicker and b) none of the others with you are jackasses waiting to kill the enemies that show up to defend. Which happened to me and several others.

All of those who want the achievement are sitting and waiting at the attacked towers, praying some kind soul on the other team will arrive to take it back. What this means is, nobody's coming to defend because there's no real gain to that. It doesn't give you the achievement (I know, I defended), and the people wanting to win the game don't need to defend as much as kill the final boss. (And, no, they won't stop or slow down to let people get the achievements.)

Out of 40 people, only about 6 managed to attack the 4 towers for my first game. It's pathetic.

Those in the battleground who are actually playing the game zip through and defeat the boss at the end because they meet no resistance.

80's who race forward and get the towers rarely stop to kill the mobs on the towers, so lower levels who want to wait and recap with their orphans get mercilessly killed by 79 mobs (I was in stealth and they still got me).

The only sure way to get this achievement is to have a completely flawless run to a tower and to not get targeted by any of the tower mobs (or have an ability that drops aggro).

All in all, the odds are overwhelming, the company is both competitive and sadistic, and the enemy is apathetic. I have no idea how anyone can succeed without astronomical luck or premades with an "understanding."


  1. Don't need a full pre-made, we had a group of 5-6. Skip past the early fights and go to the two towers at then enemy base.

    Still sucks, but doable. EotS is my misery.

  2. Get a pallie or hunter with a motorcycle & a speed buff to team up with you. Race to the towers at the very top. Get your partner to aggro the mobs, while you burn the flag. You can do it by yourself if you are careful, and especially if you have a potion or something to speed you up. But a partner in crime makes it simple.

  3. Heres a lesser known tip for this achievement for a class that is not a Rogue, Mage or Druid.

    Find an Alchemist or buy an Invisibility potion from the AH. Im not talking a Lesser Invisibility Potion but the full one which is a level 37 item.

    This will give you Invisibility for 18 seconds.

    I can confirm from my own experience that this is effective against level 80 mobs. Stealth works on varying levels and there are many mobs who can see through stealth. Invisibility however, much like the mage skill, is an absolute. They can either see you or they can't. Whilst Invisible you can stand infront of an NPC's position and they will not spot you.

    You then proceed to do a bit of dastardly work that will upset your faction but who gives a crap they are all selfish idiots themselves anyway.

    1)Run as fast as you can to the nearest capturable tower.
    2)Upon arrival let a dear fellow Alliance/Horde enter the tower. If they have already beaten you, then hurray!
    3)Pop the potion inside the tower and run to the flag. This will drop any aggro you have gained from the archers. Your fellows entering the building will be keeping the aggro on them and you can safely capture the flag if you are swift.

    Warning: I am not 100% certain if you can capture the flag with the buff on (you can't do it with divine shield for instance). My buff faded just as I clicked the flag for my achievement so maybe some testing will confirm it? :)

    Either way, the potion will get you inside the building, invisible to NPC's and enemies and losing all aggro so you can get a better shot at the flag. The only disadvantage is you cannot see the NPC's or enemies with the buff on but I am sure a Humanoid tracking food buff from the cooking daily will solve that issue :)

  4. I got to the first tower a few seconds after everyone else. They all had aggro and their cap cast kept getting interrupted but since I got there very shortly after they did I had no aggro and ninja'd it. First tower, first AV. I know it was lucky and I'm so glad it's done with.

  5. Most of these suggestions require that someone else helps you. But if you're going solo, everyone is competing with you.

    I have a habit of falling off of ramps. >_> /cry

  6. Rogues can stealth into the enemy base and (generally) ninja cap the towers without killing the NPCs. You just have to stand out of LoS of the archers. If you mess up, Vanish and try again, yes?

  7. I hate PvP. I play on a PvE server and don't do PvP.

    But I got the achievement on my 3 80 chars without a problem. The trick was to stay up until the children week starts and immediately sign up for BGs. During the first 24 hours it was easy.

    In Warsong it was common that the enemy came to your flag room. Picked up the flag, layed it down for you to return. And you did the same to them. (With one char I entered WS and spawned near a tauren. He greated my, picked up the flag and layed the flag down in front of me. That was fast :-)

    In AV it was common to have 10-20 allies in one tower and one horde. The horde would take back the tower and give the achievement to the next person. As soon as I got my achievement I went to the alli towers to return the favour. There were always some horde killing you but nevertheless I made the day for some horde by taking back the tower at least once per resurrect before I got killed. :-)

    Arathi isn't hard anyway.

    And Eye of the Storm you just had to wait a few days. (Or do what I did. Go there with a real PvP player and let him grab the flag and wait near a tower. He dropps the flag, you pick it up and return it.)

    So, yes, most stupid (and insulting to all the PvE players) achievement ever.

  8. I got it by joining off-peak times when we were 12 alliance vs 31 horde. I stood out of LoS but I think the archers were concerned with people running by instead of me. First time I've gotten to anything before anyone, stealthed by an oblivious horde, no clue how I got it.

    Still needs to be changed, though. Every strat is "get really lucky or get help." That's still ridiculous.

  9. I wish they had at least made it attack OR defend a tower in AV so that there is some incentive, and more opportunities to get the achievement. Blizz seems glued to it's idea that the holiday achievements (yaknow, the ones sorta intended to give more "casual" players a shot at a 310% speed mount) need to draw from all aspects of the game....luckily not raiding yet, but who knows, summer event may have a "Kill Yogg-Sarron" attached to it T_T.

    Thing I hate is, I consider myself sort of a "rounded" player, I raid a couple nights a week or so with a group of friends, and I occasionally PvP....but this achievement has made PvP hell in certain BG's this last weekend.

    I understand that Blizz is trying to have fun achievements that encourage participation, but they need to take a step back and rethink some of the ones that can end up just plain horrible.

    Imagine if they took the Hard Knocks achievement and applied it to PvE type content. "Bring your Orphan to kill person X who will drop a special item for them, can only be looted by one person in the party." Just watch, it'll happen :p

  10. Or maybe, just maybe, it's not so much "stupid" as it is recognizing that there are all sorts of players. And some people from the PvP crowd also enjoy the holiday achievements. Personally, I think it's kinda' cool that some of the achievements require battleground activities. I don't think there's anything wrong, in what is supposed to be a social game, with creating challenges which practically require you to get help.

    It's certainly no worse than putting some of the achievements in dungeons with minimum level requirements that preclude participants period. Regardless of how lucky I am or how much help I get, I simply cannot do Hail to the King on my level 67 character. Last summer I couldn't do Ice the Frost Lord or Desecration of the Horde, in October I couldn't do Direbrewfest or either of the Hallow's End quests that required drops from the Horseman. This is the first holiday where I've been the one in a position to help out low level players to reach goals in high level zones and it's made the Holiday richer because I've done so. It reinforces the social aspects of WoW and I think that's a good thing.

    There is nothing at all wrong with making the achievement hard to get. Even very, very hard. Even partially influenced by luck. It's what makes the achievment and achievment. If that means some of us have to work at it for two years to get our Violet Proto Drake, then good. The fewer people who have it, the cooler it'll be to get one ourselves.

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  12. "Imagine if they took the Hard Knocks achievement and applied it to PvE type content. "Bring your Orphan to kill person X who will drop a special item for them, can only be looted by one person in the party." Just watch, it'll happen :p"You mean like My love is like a red, red rose"?

  13. Forgot about that one, luckily it dropped of a boss early, into the dungeon (and IIRC could be done on normal) :)

    Actually it's happened another time, during the Christmas event iirc..the hats were only dropped by a handful of NPCs, one of them being the "first" boss in Nexus.

    I would argue that (depending on battlegroup of course) the AV one is a bit worse, since it means 1/10 people gets the "item" per attempt, and that's assuming your team is able to reach all 4 towers. I recall doing both the Christmas and Valentine's quests in under an hour, bad luck in AV could cause this one to take days :(

    When I wrote it I was more thinking of a raid, like dropping off Kel or Yoggie :D...25 man only.

    In a sense almost all the achievements that reward 310% speed mounts have some aspect of Luck to them...there were pages upon pages about how getting The Undying and The Immortal were almost luck (read: connection) based. I knew someone who went to bed an hour before downtime the night before the end of Season 4 thinking he had a Netherdrake in the clear only to wake up the next morning to find that some other teams had blitzed the arena during the night and he'd been pushed into the .06%...just shy of the drake.

  14. Forgot in my last post: I personally think the ones they need to do more of are like the Flames during the can take a LONG time, but it's entirely controlled by the player... (except for the flames in instances, same goes for Elders during the Moon festival, sorta sucks they made one heroic only). So there is less of an RNG/luck aspect, and more rewarding the dedication.

  15. Actually, stuff like the WG cannot be compared with an easy instance like the one dropping the rose or the hat.

    - The flag carrier has to be killed
    - You have to click on the flag
    - Your and especially the other team is random.

    For the hat/rose, you could create a group and just run the instance 5 times and everybody gets the item.

    Or if you suck a PvE, find a group and let them carry you to the loot. Happens all the time.

    If you suck at PvP, a bg can carry you to a win but they can hardly carry you to a flag return.

  16. I think there's a difference between having to find a group to get something in an instance and having to find an ally or enemy willing to just give you the achievement when they have no incentive to do so.

    Also, except for maybe Master Looting a bouquet of roses, going into an instance with a group still keeps the power of the achievement in your hands. Outsiders can't run into the dungeon and wipe you on purpose or mess with your group. No, you can't go in if you're too low, but that's happened for other holidays and only the hardcore complainers really whine about that.

    A good chunk of Hard Knocks, and I think the reason people are upset, isn't that it's hard as much as it relies on other people being benevolent. The players in AV have no power over when or if someone will come defend their tower. They have no way to assure they'll get this achievement through anything other than an obscene amount of persistence and hope.

    And I suppose it was the same with the bags of candy during Valentines -- the control wasn't in the player's hands. It was too random, too dependent on something individuals couldn't change.

    I'll work on a post as a follow-up to the ideas here. But not right now. /tired

  17. Returning a flag in warsong with a level 70 cloth wearer is about as possible as entering the pinnacle instance before level 75. You need to be where the flag drops but you die within one cleave.

    Complaining about this is stupid because leveling up is in our hands. Let someone take back a tower is not. (The same problem existed with the hellfire peninsula towers where you had to take them over for a daily to get a best in slot trinket for casters but you couldn't because there was more alliance than horde on the server, so the towers always belonged to the alliance. On the other side, poor horde never got the auchindoun towers, therefore no spirit shards and therefore no epic hit ring. Stuff like that sucks.

  18. If you suck at PvP, a bg can carry you to a win but they can hardly carry you to a flag return.PuGging instances sucks, right? Why would anyone assume PuGging a BG would be any different? Ideally you go in with a premade which has as its sole intent to get the achievements. Can you get 5 guildies together for an instance? Get 5 (or 10 or 15, however many you need and can gather) for a BG and join as a group. You may still have an apathetic enemy, but the company is less likely to be sadistic or competetive. At least, not competing against you.

    And while normal BG behavior tends to be pretty cutthroat . . . and there are still jerks participating in the holiday activities . . . I've also seen a lot more cooperativeness between strangers, even of opposite factions, during the holidays. I mean, how else do you explain a female orc running laps around Dalaran during Noblegarden? Working off the pixelated chocolate? :) The likelihood that you get a friendly group (both opponents and teammates) in the BG has gone up, too. I'm not saying it's a guarantee, just that during the holiday's the likelihood goes up.

    With a good group working the BG for the achievement, everyone who wants the achievement should be able to get it in one shot, in 1/2 hour. Give or take. As opposed to running the instance 5 times so everyone can get the drop.

  19. I think my problems with it is the lack of control, and yes, there is some aspect of it, but less than most previous cases. In the end it's very do-able and nothing earth shattering, a friend and I are planning to get our AB, WSG and AV ones tonight. Some of them are easier than others. I personally have found WSG and AB to be simple, but EotS and AV are much more difficult. Getting a group of 9-14 together for the BG is somewhat different than getting 4 other people for an instance, especially ones that at 80 are cake-walks (Yes, except for Gundrak during the Elder's event but even then it was only 6 fights into the instance, and all party members got it). To me, the WSG and AB ones are fine, they perfectly encourage play that normally goes on...but the AV and EotS ones are a little TOO extreme in that respect...AV because of the limited number of towers and EotS because of the excess importance it puts on the flag.

    What bugs me as a PvPer is how these achievements mess with the BG's themselves. Since the Holiday started every EotS game I've joined (and conveniently enough it's also EotS weekend) has been marked by 80% of the team charging straight for the flag...I've had cases where one of the towers goes completely ignored. Funny thing is, the joke is on them since when they grab the flag there won't even be a tower to carry it to.

    Despite the difficulty of the AV one, it actually has been a boon in my battlegroup, since finally people are being proactive about capping towers (thus making Drek/Van easier and granting honor)...previously you'd have to force people at sword/gun/whatever-point to get them to go there. Admittedly it sucks when they happily step aside to allow it to be capped, but it's a step in the right direction.

    The reliance on certain behavior from enemies is why they pulled the original PvP achievement from this one: Kill 10 people who have their orphan out. Since it meant having to HOPE the other people in the BG had their orphans and you'd have to get the killing blow.

    As for AV, even if you take a dedicated group in way you're gonna get all 40. The only thing you can do to help your chances of getting a tower are to be the first one there...Crusader Aura won't help you since it's raid-wide so all your competition is moving just as fast.

  20. You know, I've read all this advice and tried numerous times to get the AV achievement, and I just... I'm competing with my own faction, when I finally get a chance horde kills me cause why on earth would they help someone from the opposite faction?? It's the last thing I need, and I'm almost in tears. I've been working on the proto drake since last September and all I'm missing is AV and the summer and brewfest stuff. For what? A bunch of asshats that will not help you?


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