So there I was, the last day of Children’s Week, with the Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley goals still unmet for School Of Hard Knocks, but every other achievement for the Children’s Week meta complete. I was having a horrible time with PVP, though I DID manage to grind my honor points up to the point that I was able to buy the Black War Ram. And get almost halfway to the Black War Tiger, too.
Anyway, PVP was evil. Very evil. Kicking my little Draenai tail evil. It being the last day, EVERYONE was trying to get this achievement. I queued for Alterac without much hope (the fourth time that day, but as it was the easier of the 2 goals, I was trying to do it first.
I shot out of the gate at the beginning, mounted, and ripped down the valley with the pack of players, at least half of which were being followed by orphans, Human, Draenai, or Wolvar. I had my Wolvar orphan with me for the sole reason that he was small enough that he might not get noticed – OR he might get mistaken for the Wolvar pet from completing the quests. So Hordies (who I’d learned were specifically targeting people with orphans) might miss him and therefore NOT target me. I was old hat at this sequence, but had decided to try something new this time. I took off away from the pack of Ally players and tore my own path down to the far end of the Horde field. I climbed one of their towers, killed their NPCs and entered the flag room with my orphan out for all to see.
There was a large, imposing bull Tauren standing in front of their flag. A player. I stopped, just inside the door, and I imagine I might have had the air of “oh, just kill me and get it over with” about me. To my surprise, he didn’t do anything. Then he /poke-ed me. Then he /point-ed at my orphan. It didn’t take me long to realize what he was offering… He was giving me their flag so I could get the objective done.
I captured the flag, stepped back – fully expecting him to gank me now that I was done. But he just calmly took the flag back,and /wave-ed at me. I was so excited that I /hug-ed him, and then left the tower and headed back for the pack of Ally players. There was still a battleground to complete, after all!
Alliance lost that BG, but I didn’t care. That was one more objective down, thanks to that friendly Tauren. I proceeded to queue for Warsong Gulch, now more determined than ever to complete the achievement and the meta.
Warsong is arguably the hardest of these four achievements, as while the other three just involve grabbing flags or towers, Warsong specifically requires you to allow your flag to get taken, chase the attacker down and kill them, and be the first to click on the flag when he drops it upon death, reclaiming it for your faction.
After several attempts over the week to do this in the battleground at large, I realized that this one would require actual strategy. So, with my Orphan out, I didn’t run out of the flag room with most of the rest of the pack of Alliance. It was me and a couple of other players, both with their orphans out as well. I camouflaged myself and hid near the main entrance to the flag room, then proceeded to lay ice and snake traps directly underneath the flag. The first enemy player to get near it would be slowed and poisoned, almost instantly.
Soon enough, a Tauren druid came darting in and went straight for the flag. The blue sparkles of the flag itself hid the ice trap well, and I imagine he might not have even known what hit him when he was suddenly slowed violently, and then set upon by ten snakes, all poisonous. He grabbed the flag and was immediately attacked by me, my pet, a paladin, and a warlock and his pet. He shifted to swift running form and managed to get away from us enough to get out of the room. Hatari’s dash meant he was the only one of all of us who could keep up with the swift-running Druid… and he got too far away from me before I could get closer. Hatari despawned, and we lost the flag.
However, it DID cement in my mind that the strategy of hiding in the flag room and trapping the flag actually worked quite well. So I kept repeating it in each successive battleground. Finally, on my fourth try of the day, I managed to be on top of the flag stealer when he was killed, and, with my orphan out, I was the first to click on the flag. And there it was! The School Of Hard Knocks achievement, as well as For The Children and it’s associated title, Matron! I think I squeed aloud. I don’t remember.
But then I thought about the Tauren who’d helped me in the other battleground. Alliance was already losing this instance, so I spoke to the group at large and asked if anyone would mind if I returned the favor to the hordies. To my surprise, no one argued, as long as I only gave up the one flag. So I went running for the Horde base. Twice I was killed on my way in, but I kept going. I put on my new title and desummoned my Orphan to make it clear I wasn’t competition.
I made it into the horde flag room… and was promptly killed. But I DID see a Troll Druid with his Orc orphan in the room. I returned. After 2 more attempts, I took the flag. Three of the hordies in the room ran for the door intending to intercept me, I think… but I didn’t move. I stood there, next to the flag, and /point-ed at the Troll Druid and his Orphan. His bear form stared at me for a moment… then attacked. I’m assuming he got the idea.
What made me happiest was that it was obviously the last thing HE had for the achievements, too… because when I died and he grabbed the flag, I saw the general chat announcement that he had gotten both School Of Hard Knocks, AND For The Children, just as I had. And, to make it complete, he /salute-ed my body in thanks.
I was content, my purpose served, my achievements won, and the kindness paid forward back to the Horde side. I hope that Druid will remember the Draenai who sacrificed herself so he could have his Patron title. The battleground ended shortly after that, but I didn’t care. One more step finished on the path to What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been!
The way I’m going, assuming I don’t fail any of the Holiday metas for the rest of the year, next year during the Love Is In The Air festival, I should get the Purple Proto-Drake. 🙂
My in-between holiday project is reputation grinding for mounts, to take me closer to another coveted mount – the Blue Dragonhawk for the Mountain O’Mounts achievement. I decided to start with the Netherwing faction two days ago, and already I’m having a lot of fun spending part of every day pretending to be an Orc.
I also haven’t even ENTERED Uldum yet. I plan on getting my Netherwing Drakes, picking a favorite, and having that be my mount around Uldum. You don’t see them that often anymore. Another mount I’m trying for when I have time just to kind of sit around in Storm Peaks and let the NPC Scan add-on do it’s thing, is the Time Lost Proto Drake. I lose inspiration for haunting for that particular mount quickly… Also known as getting bored. 😛 But I will get it eventually, I know I will. It’s just a seriously rare spawn, so hunting for it is literally hit or miss. So far, I haven’t even seen it DEAD. But I hold out hope, and my positive has already proven to effect the game, so that’s part of this as well.
In the mean time, another holiday meta down, and more mounts on the way… I’d say my WoW career is just beginning.