If you do not get the reference in the title of this post you are either very young or do not like classic rock. The in game achievement What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been comes from a classic song from the Grateful Dead named Truckin'. My long journey finished last night and I went for a ride on my brand spanking new Violet Proto Drake. Have to love being 310 riding now. Even more so that my X-53 Touring Rocket is now 310 as well.
I may have done a lot of achievements in the game and some of them where quite satisfying to finally finish but so far none of them compare to this. Loremaster might come close but in the end I think finishing that was more a sigh of relief that it was done then a moment of joy that I actually did it. When I finished my "Trip" I actually had a smile on my face. Yeap, in real life I was actually smiling. I had put on the song and was blasting it on my headphones while I was turning in that last quest. Timed it so the song said "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" at the exact time as the achievement popped up. Sure, I just let my geek flag fly there but it was worth it. It actually felt like an achievement.
Every achievement in the game has something that makes it hard to get. Remember, hard does not mean difficult. This one achievement had a little but of everything. Some parts where beyond easy, some where beyond frustrating, and some part where outright torturous. I can't really complain about that however as that is the reason that finishing this achievement actually made me smile.
Now that I am done I will share my long trip's experiences with you.
Brewmaster was by far the easiest. I was not even 80 yet when I did it. I was lucky that I got carried through the Direbrew fight but I got it done. Otherwise it was just grinding easy as sin dailies to get enough to buy the junk needed. The dailies where all in one place which made this very easy. If all "trip" parts where like this one then it would not feel like much of an achievement as this one did not take a lot of work.
Hallowed Be Thy Name was one of those things that had a lot of luck involved with it. I got the Sinister Calling part from getting a helm in a candy bag which helped. I did get the pet later anyway. That Sparkling Smile was also easy because I got that from my first candy thing. Most parts where easy. Killing the headless Horseman was a bit easier for this one as I was not 80 so finding a group was not an issue. G.N.E.R.D. Rage was the hardest part for me. Back then I had never PvPed, that is the only reason that it was an issue. Had to eat the candies each time you died because they did not last through death. Not really an issue as I ended up with tons of them.
Pilgrim was fun over all. A bit of running around but nothing to crazy. The Turkinator was the hard part of this one being getting an area where there were not many others trying to kill them was hard. I waited a few days and headed over to undercity and did it over there. Seemed no one was ever there doing it which made it easier. First try I just missed it by 1 second, second try I got it no problem. Turkey Lurkey was an effort in patience but not as hard as similar ones I had to do later. Needless to say this is where I first learned that 90% of all Horde characters are Blood Elves. The Troll Rogue was where most got stuck, I was lucky and got that early. Couldn't find an Orc for what seemed like forever. After 3 hours of waiting I finally found one and it was a done deal.
Merrymaker was the next stop on the trip and two things I had already experience became the same issues. Finding an Undead Rogue was a lot harder then it should have been but I got it and the with a little helper achievement was the second time I found myself thrown into PvP against my will. I got it done but after doing it is when I decided that I was going to start a PvP gear set and learning how to PvP.
Fool For Love was the hunt for the Troll Rogue again and this time he was more elusive then the first time I had to find him. Over all however, this set of quests was pretty easy. Not as easy as brewmaster but still not one of the ones I will ever remember as a bitch fest.
To Honor One's Elder's was the first time I actually started to bitch about some of the things we needed to do. Maybe this is the point where it was starting to get a bit to long and too much to do for me. The running around to honor all the elders was time consuming and a bit annoying. I did not mind going into Horde towns any more. I had some PvP gear now and had been doing battleground and wintergrasp so I was starting to become a better PvPer. All that running around really annoyed me. I think the reason it annoyed me was that really that was what everything was about. There was nothing else much to do really. Just do all that crap and kill a boss. Nothing else really that took any effort. It seemed like this was an achievement build to test "how much do you really want this".
Noble Gardener was the point where I started to wish I could jump through the screen and kill people. I started running around to collect eggs which seemed almost counter productive. I found a lightly traveled area that had 3 eggs appearing close to each other and parked myself there and just picked things up as they appeared. I watched TV, chatted in game, chatted on Vent. Basically kept myself busy while doing it. It took hours, lots of hours really, to get all the things I needed to get for all the achievements. Ended up with something like 4 pets before I got the last piece of clothing.
That is not what I found frustrating. What I found frustrating was the large amount of people that saw me camping a spawn and still would try and take it from me. Or the few times that they saw me getting eggs there so they sat right next to me and started to camp with me. GO AWAY! Find your own spot asshole. That is what was annoying. I had this tiny patch of land, you have the rest of the world, leave me the fuck alone. I am not bothering you so do not bother me. If you like the spot I am in, wait for me to be done and then take my spot.
Now as annoying as that was and how time consuming as that was, I was not done with annoying and time consuming things needed for this achievement. Now I need to find a female dwarf and a female orc. That took longer then it took to get all that crap from all those eggs. I was starting to think that I might give up on doing these things. I couldn't however, I made it this far and I am an achievement whore. I can't stop now.
For The Children time came around and I knew this would be a hard one. I had been planning ahead for this one for a long time. Now I was in full PvP gear, I was on an arena team and fought in wintergrasp and battlegrounds all the time now. I knew how to PvP, sure I am not great, but I could surely hold my own. I learned to PvP just because of the school of hard knocks part of this achievement. Doing it was hard, very hard and if not for the help of a few friends that we all went into them together to we could work as a team to get everyone the achievements one at a time I don't know how long it would have taken me to do this one. First off, this was not just a PvP one like the others are. This was a "do something" in PvP one. Not only did I need to do something in a PvP setting but I needed to do something that was counterproductive to actually winning the battlegrounds. I have been playing battlegrounds to win for months now and had to throw that all out so I could do something that is against my character?
Assaulting a flag in AB is no problem, I'd done that before. Returning one in WG was not a problem either. Now I need to assault a tower in AV. I did not even know where the hell a tower was. I am a hunter, it is not my job to be going up towers, it is to be defending them. Turns out that was the easiest one. The entire battleground was in one tower clicking back and forth so everyone could get it. The one that annoyed me was the eye of the storm one. First, let me remind you that I am a hunter. If I am ever even near the flag I am doing something wrong. My job is to defend a base, stop a runner, or protect a runner. Now I need to get the flag? Not to mention that everyone else there was trying to get the flag too. No one was capping areas. Did anyone ever consider even for a moment that getting the flag means nothing if you do not have a place to put it? Do people not realize that if you take 3 towers then you can win the game without ever capturing even one flag? The flag is not the main part of this battle and they made it the main part. Lucky for me that in my crew of friends were a warrior and a shaman (among others) that made it a bit easier. The shaman ran up and blew all the Hordies off the edge, the warrior grabbed the flag and gave it to me to turn in. Or at least tried to because some asshole followed him and as soon as he walked up to me to pass me the flag he stole it so he could get his achievement. Hell, we would have helped him, but that flag was not meant for him. This achievement made me really hate people as a whole. Well, not really. I hated people to begin with. By far the hard knocks was the hardest part of all of these to get in any of them.
The Flame Warden was another one of those annoying "lets send you all over the world" for no good reason achievements. The PvP I encountered here was fine and dandy. Had to kill a few guards here and there and a few players here and there. The only area I had any problem was getting into Org, died like 5 times. It seemed like 1/2 of all the horde that were online where sitting in the fire waiting for people to try and get it. Like the idiot I am it did not occur to me until the third time trying to grab it that I have deterrence. I hit it as soon as I revived on the fire. Clicked the fire and got it no problem and then died on the way out with a trail of 8 horde and some guys all wanting me dead. Who cares, I got what I came for. It was fun doing it. That was the only hard part of this one, getting into Org. TB was not much of an issue, one set of guards to deal with and that was it. UC was walk in and walk out and SMC was the same, even if I did have like 20 guards on my ass at once. You can easily out range them so they go back.
With all that done I can say that I will never do any of that crap again and I am glad it is over with. I am also very happy to have achieved something that took a huge amount of time and dedication to get to. It took PvP skills, PvE skills, even mapping skills to know how to get back and forth where you need to the fastest way. Everything you will ever need to do for any achievement in the game is represented here. So doing this one achievement is like doing them all wrapped up in one. I guess that is why I was smiling. Or maybe I was smiling because I never have to do this again. Either way. I am quite happy to say I have finished it.