I try to keep achievement posts to a minimum. Partly it’s because I have ideas about what kind of content belongs on my main weblog, partly because I have issues tooting my own horn in public, partly because I know they’re not nearly as interesting to a general reader as they are to the writer. You have to give context to the achievement to make it interesting, otherwise it’s just a status update.
But those are kind of bullshit reasons when you cut your social presence back to dealing with only your friends. I’m barely on Twitter at all these days, I’ve stepped away from CWM for the time being (maybe for good), and I’m basically just plugging along doing my thing in Warcraft. It’s been kind of lonely, and I’m glad that I have the guilds I have and BattleTags to make it less so, but I looked at the beginning of Mists as an unique opportunity that took me away from what everyone else was doing to chase after Battlemaster.
See, I locked my XP at level 85 and have been PvPing - on my main - in a twink bracket. The 85-89 bracket is mostly populated by 85s who don’t want to buy Mists for a variety of reasons (cost, hate pandas), so it’s an odd cross-section of people. If you had full Cata PvP gear, you have an advantage - the vendors got taken away - and if you go full Mists PvE gear, you become a glass cannon, which has its charm.
Yes, it’s imbalanced, though Warlocks aren’t really all that OP in it (Mages and Hunters and Holy Pallys, OMG. Though you can kill a Holy Pally as a fully-charged Destro lock.) Yes, I am glad I have the best gear and don’t have to grind out Conquest Points every week to stay on top. Yeah, it’s not the best level of play I’ve ever seen - it’s not the 19s or 70s, or even the endgame bracket.
But I’m able to recap towers in it, and recap bases, and make progress in the interminable quest for Battlemaster. I’ve made more progress since Mists launched on Tower Defense and To The Rescue than I have in the previous 3 years of playing. It’s crazy to be focused on just two achievements for weeks on end. Some nights I get a base recap, or a tower recap. Some nights I walk away empty handed except for a pittance of AB rep. But these achievements just required focus - I had to sit down and actively try for them, my natural tendency is NOT to be the one to recap bases, but to be the one fearing the defenders away. After a few weeks of this I have gotten a lot better at it, and I know they are inevitable.
But Alterac Valley All-Star was the one that kept eluding me.
For as long as I’ve played Warcraft, this was the achievement I thought I could never get. Cap a tower, defend a tower, cap a GY, defend a GY, get an HK - any one of those is possible, but all 5? In a single, quick AV battle? No chance.
Locking at 85 helped because the games are longer (bosses have more health), and my obsession with recapping towers helped. I got close a few times, then closer, then 4/5. Then 4/5 again. Then 4/5 again. I’m sure the Horde wondered why I was frantically throwing myself at FWGY during a turtle, but I was. PLEASE DEAR LORD LET ME TAKE THIS GY.
No dice. Those guards hurt at 85 now. But I kept trying. I knew there would be luck involved, and even though I’d figured years ago that I’d never be able to do this on a warlock, I must have rolled the wrong class, omg - I had to keep trying.
Last night, it finally happened. I assaulted - but did not defend - IBT. I defended … lots, I don’t even know. DB North, SHB, IWB? (I am the recap team, I’ve recapped 30 towers since I started.) Snowfall GY was in the hands of the Horde, I took it away from them. There was a Holy Pally running across the Field of Strife. I showed him why it was a bad idea to let me Fel Flame/Conflag all the way across it.
And then a Troll shaman assaulted Snowfall GY, and I retook it.
The one remaining achievement that relied on luck I had for Battlemaster - the one I thought I would never, ever get - was mine. This and Resilient Victory are the ones I look at and say, you have to be lucky for this one if you’re pugging it.
So relieved. So, so, incredibly relieved.
The rest of my Battlemaster grind is straightforward.
- 10 WSG wins
- 5 WSG flag returns
- 22 AB base defenses
- 40 EoTS wins
- 9 AV tower recaps
- 24 Strand wins
Alterac Valley All-Star isn’t a big deal in and of itself - it shows you had a really good game.
But to me, it was the biggest obstacle remaining in my quest to Battlemaster, so it was a pretty big deal.
That’s what I’ve been up to in Warcraft.
(p.s. I will stay locked for a bit longer; my friend and old Arena partner Rezz is going to lock his pally at 85and heal me for a bit. Once I’ve got the AB caps done I’ll probably unlock and start leveling through PvP.)