The Midsummer Fire Festival will run from Tuesday, June 21 to Monday, July 4 this year. While there aren't actually a lot of achievements associated with the Festival -- the meta, which awards the Flame Warden title to Alliance players and Flame Keeper title to Horde players, consists of only six achievements -- three of them require you to put in some serious travel time, and one also requires a set of dangerous trips to enemy capitals. If you're starting from scratch, this is definitely one of the more work-intensive holidays you'll have to clear for What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been.
The holiday's unlikely to have changed significantly from its 2009 and 2010 incarnations, but we do know that Lord Ahune (the holiday boss) has an updated loot table with ilevel 353 drops. As you might have guessed, coordinates for Cataclysm-era fires to honor/desecrate have almost certainly changed as well. Consequently, I've expanded our previous guides to reflect the changes we know about. I'll also be updating fire coordinates to reflect Cataclysm zone overhauls once the holiday goes live.
EDIT: This article is undergoing revision to make updates to fire coordinates. Please bear with us as we make corrections, and remember: If in doubt, fires are nearly always within a very short walk from a local flight path! And thank you to all of our readers who've written in!
Lord Ahune has historically been a pretty easy fight, and we don't think the encounter itself has changed. As with other holiday bosses, simply queue for him through the dungeon finder, and wham, presto -- you should have a group pretty quickly. Your first kill each day will net you a Satchel of Chilled Goods with a chance to drop a noncombat pet, an enchanting recipe, and/or the famous Frostscythe. Otherwise, Ahune's loot table will include one from a number of cloaks.
As far as we're aware, the 2011 loot table will contain the following:
- A noncombat pet In previous years we've seen the Scorched Stone and the Ice Chip. Reportedly this year we'll be seeing the Ice Chip again, and the Scorched Stone will become available in patch 4.2 through the new Mount Hyjal quests and rep.
- Frostscythe of Lord Ahune
- Formula: Enchant Weapon -- Deathfrost
- Cloak of Frigid Winds
- Icebound Cloak
- Shroud of Winter's Chill
- The Frost Lord's Battle Shroud
- The Frost Lord's War Cloak
Edit: As our commenter JelloGolem observes below, it's an unfortunate bit of timing this year that the Midsummer holiday goes live about a week before we expect patch 4.2 to drop. One of the Mount Hyjal-related questlines rewards an ilevel 365 cloak. Ouch.
Edit: Guardian_titan in the comments has confirmed: You need to be at least level 84 to queue for Ahune.
The Fires of Azeroth encompasses each faction's Flame Keeper of the Eastern Kingdoms, Flame Keeper of Kalimdor, and Flame Keeper of Outland achievements. It requires a lot of travel time, but it's very easy for any character with a full set of flight paths. Failing that, an 80+ character with a flying mount will find the achievements in classic Azeroth substantially easier than they've been in the past. If you don't have a full set of flight paths, now would be a great time to get them. Festival areas are nearly always a short walk from the local flight path with a big, obvious tent and several holiday NPCs located around them. For all new players, in order to "honor" or "desecrate" a fire, all you need to do is right-click on it.
Big thanks are due here to Wowpedia, which has an enormously helpful set of coordinates for each fire. The sites for honoring flames aren't usually the same for the Alliance and the Horde, but I've included them next to each other for your convenience assuming you're doing the honoring/desecrating achievements at the same time (and you should!). In years past, the fires have been occasionally bugged for characters who had honored/desecrated them the previous year, but Blizzard's pretty fast with the hotfixes.
Please keep in mind that these coordinates are very likely to have changed in some zones given the Cataclysm zone overhauls. In the day after the holiday's gone live, I'll be checking them one by one to update and add to them as required.
Flame Keeper of the Eastern Kingdoms (Alliance) and Flame Keeper of the Eastern Kingdoms (Horde)
- Arathi Highlands Refuge Point at 50,44 (Alliance) and Hammerfall at 73,41 (Horde)
- Badlands Kargath at 4,50 (Horde)
- Blasted Lands Nethergarde Keep at 58,17 (Alliance)
- Burning Steppes Morgan's Vigil at 81,63 (Alliance) and Flaming Crest at 61,30 (Horde)
- Dun Morogh Kharanos at 46,47 (Alliance)
- Duskwood Darkshire at 73,54 (Alliance)
- Eversong Woods Falconwing Square at 46,50 (Horde)
- Elwynn Forest Goldshire at 43,63 (Alliance)
- Ghostlands Tranquillien at 47,26 (Horde)
- Hillsbrad Foothills Tarren Mill at 58,25 (Horde).
- Loch Modan Thelsamar at 32,40 (Alliance)
- Redridge Mountains Lakeshire at 26,60 (Alliance)
- Silverpine Forest The Sepulcher at 50,39 (Horde)
- Stranglethorn Vale Booty Bay at 33,74 (neutral)
- Swamp of Sorrows Bogpaddle at 70,14 (Alliance) and Bogpaddle at 76,14 (Horde)
- The Hinterlands Aerie Peak at 14,50 (Alliance) and Revantusk Village at 76,74 (Horde)
- Tirisfal Glades Brill at 57,52 (Horde)
- Wetlands Menethil Harbor at 13,47 (Alliance)
- Western Plaguelands Chillwind Camp at 43,82 (Alliance)
- Westfall Moonbrook (Alliance)
- Ashenvale Forest Song at 86,41 (Alliance) and Silverwing Refuge at 51,66 (Horde)
- Azuremyst Isle Azure Watch at 44,52 (Alliance)
- Bloodmyst Isle Blood Watch at 55,67 (Alliance)
- Darkshore Lor'Danel at 49,22 (Alliance)
- Desolace Nijel's Point at 65,17 (Alliance) and Shadowprey Village at 26,77 (Horde)
- Durotar Razor Hill at 51,46 (Horde)
- Dustwallow Marsh Theramore at 61,39 (Alliance) and Brackenwall Village at 33,31 (Horde)
- Feralas Feathermoon Stronghold at 28,43 (Alliance) and Camp Mojache at 72,47 (Horde)
- Mulgore Bloodhoof Village at 53,60 (Horde)
- Northern Barrens Crossroads at 49,54 (Horde)
- Silithus Cenarion Hold at 55,35 (Alliance) and 46,43 (Horde)
- Southern Barrens Fort Triumph at 48,72 (Alliance) and Desolation Hold at 40,67 (Horde)
- Stonetalon Mountains Mirkfallon Post (Alliance) and Sun Rock Retreat at 52,62 (Horde)
- Tanaris Gadgetzan at 52,28 (Alliance) and 49,28 (Horde)
- Teldrassil Dolanaar at 54,60 (Alliance)
- Un'Goro Marshal's Stand (Alliance) and Marshal's Stand (Horde)
- Winterspring Everlook at 62,35 (Alliance) and 59,35 (Horde)
There are 7 Alliance and 7 Horde fires in Outland.
- Blade's Edge Mountains Sylvanaar at 41,65 (Alliance) and Thunderlord Stronghold at 50,58 (Horde)
- Hellfire Peninsula Honor Hold at 62,58 (Alliance) and Thrallmar at 57,42 (Horde)
- Nagrand Telaar at 50,70 (Alliance) and Garadar at 51,34 (Horde)
- Netherstorm Area 52 at 31,62 (Alliance) and 32,68 (Horde)
- Shadowmoon Valley Wildhammer Stronghold at 40,54 (Alliance) and Shadowmoon Village at 33,31 (Horde)
- Terokkar Forest Allerian Stronghold at 54,56 (Alliance) and Stonebreaker Hold at 52,43 (Horde)
- Zangarmarsh Telredor at 69,52 (Alliance) and Zabra'jin at 36,52 (Horde)
See all those fires I just listed that don't belong to your faction? You get to visit them too! Again, this is a lot of legwork, but for most zones you should be able to honor your faction's fire and desecrate the opposing faction's fairly quickly, then simply move on the next zone.
Please note that even on a PvE server you will get flagged by desecrating the other factions' fires. If you're not fond of world PvP, you'll want to try this during a slow period (or, better yet, with a group). That said, if my experience is any indication, enemy players will usually leave you alone in the smaller towns and villages because they're too busy getting their own achievements. Enjoy it while it lasts, because you're going to find yourself in considerably more dangerous territory shortly.