Hallow's End 2012 begins on Thursday, Oct. 18 and runs through Wednesday, Oct. 31 this year. As with most of the game's holidays, Hallow's End is required for the yearlong meta What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been that grants the Violet Proto-Drake. Completing the required Hallow's End achievements will also award the title the Hallowed.
Last year, Blizzard added some major updates and improvements to the holiday, one of which completely eliminated the hassle behind one of WoW's most hideous RNG nightmares, and one of which left us with two very badass non-combat pets. In essence, Tricky Treats -- once a vomit-inducing item that dropped in spades from the holiday boss, the Headless Horseman -- are now a form of currency that players can use to buy pets, masks, wands, and other holiday items. 2011 also introduced a new set of quests associated with Hallow's End, one of which sends you into an enemy city without the fear of ugly death.
Bottom line: If you weren't around for last year's holiday, a lot of stuff may interest you this year. If you were around for last year, you'll still be interested, as the Headless Horseman's set of dropped epics are a lot more compelling at the beginning of an expansion. Hardcore achievement hunters will also be pleased to note an additional 10 points in the form of Tricks and Treats of Pandaria.
As with most of our holiday guides, I've arranged the achievements in the rough order they should be completed, noting which achievements are required for the meta and which aren't.
The Savior of Hallow's End is one of those achievements that tends to be easy with lots of players around early in the holiday, and not so easy as interest wanes. (It's similar to Down With The Dark Iron from Brewfest in that respect, which is why both are listed so early in their respective guides.) The Cross-Realm Zones feature may be the ticket to fixing this, but just in case, I'd still get it done fairly early. If you get delayed while doing the holiday or if you just don't have any choice but to do it alone, head for Azure Watch (if you're Alliance) or Falconwing Square (if you're Horde). It's considerably easier in both towns to solo the achievement if you can't rustle some guildies or friends for help.
NPCs in major cities will direct you to one of your faction's level 10 villages: Goldshire, Kharanos, Azure Watch or Dolanaar for the Alliance, and Brill, Razor Hill, Falconwing Square or Bloodhoof Village for the Horde. Each is attacked every 15 minutes by the Headless Horseman, who sets several buildings on fire. Your task is to talk to the visiting Orphan Matron and then help the locals by dousing the flames. How do you do this? You'll be given a bucket, and in each town there'll be a centrally located water barrel. Hotkey the bucket to speed things up, click it in proximity to the barrel in order to fill it, run anywhere there's a fire, and use the bucket again. You'll get a targeting circle you can aim at the flames. Lather, rinse and repeat until all the fires are out; it's really pretty simple.
That Sparkling Smile (required)
That Sparkling Smile has gotten significantly easier, as there are now two ways to acquire the Tooth Pick you need. Traditionally you had to suffer a little RNG, as they were random drops from the Handful of Treats you get from candy buckets located in inns for Tricks and Treats of Azeroth (see below). You can still do that, but players who want to bypass trick-or-treating can simply buy a Tooth Pick for two Tricky Treats from holiday vendors: Dorothy for the Alliance (located outside Stormwind's main gates) or Chub for the Horde (located in Undercity's courtyard).
Once you've got your Tooth Pick, right-click it and you're all set.
The Masquerade (required)
The Masquerade is another achievement you'll want to get done (or at least, started on) somewhat early. Like Tooth Picks, you can get wands as a random reward from the Handful of Treats from candy buckets, or buy them from vendors for two Tricky Treats each.
The catch with wands is that you can't transform yourself into anything. While you're likely to have a certain number of wands used on you by guild pranksters or group members, it's still common to wind up a few wands short. Typically this has resulted in players' trading wand transformations back and forth, and in past years it's been common for players to congregate in highly visible areas (e.g., around the Stormwind fountain for Alliance, or around Garrosh's building in central Orgrimmar for Horde) and make offers through trade. So if you still need a few transforms, just advertise.
As the holiday winds on, it's more common for players to start selling rather than trading wand charges -- so again, the earlier you get this done, the more likely you are to avoid that particular headache.
G.N.E.R.D. Rage (required)
To anyone who's done this achievement previously and is now running the holidays on an alt, please note that the number of required kills has dropped from 50 to 10.
G.N.E.R.D. Rage is pretty straightforward as long as you've got a few extra G.N.E.R.D.S. hanging around. So what are G.N.E.R.D.S.? They're a holiday candy, and there are two ways to get them:
- Candy buckets As Hallow's End goes live, big candy buckets suddenly appear in inns all around Azeroth. Right-clicking one will give you a Handful of Treats with random sweets, one of which may be G.N.E.R.D.S.
- Holiday vendors Dorothy for the Alliance (located outside Stormwind's main gates) and Chub for the Horde (located in the Undercity courtyard) will both sell you G.N.E.R.D.S. in return for Tricky Treats.
Don't forget -- if you die (and you probably will at some point), the G.N.E.R.D.S. buff disappears, so you'll have to eat another one. Make sure you've got enough G.N.E.R.D.S. to cover your deaths, but in practice, you're unlikely to need more than two or three.
Tricks and Treats of Azeroth (Alliance) / Tricks and Treats of Azeroth (Horde) actually encompasses three separate achievements: Tricks and Treats of Eastern Kingdoms, Tricks and Treats of Kalimdor, and Tricks and Treats of Outland. None are very difficult, but you should budget a few hours to hot-foot your way around these three continents visiting candy buckets. Basically, you just have to visit all of your faction and neutral inns and grab a handful of candy from the buckets while you're there. That's all there is to it, and it's not difficult, just time-consuming.
Please note that the Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, and Mists of Pandaria zones are not part of this achievement: They have their own, separate achievements (e.g., Tricks and Treats of Pandaria), none of which are required for the meta (see below). However, trick-and-treating locations were updated to reflect Cataclysm's effect on the old world, as with Thal'darah Overlook in the Stonetalon Mountains for the Alliance and Fuselight in Badlands for the Horde.
Tricks and Treats of Northrend (not required)
As with its earlier counterpart, Tricks and Treats of Northrend (Alliance) / Tricks and Treats of Northrend (Horde) is very straightforward. Run around the continent visiting candy buckets, and you'll have your achievement once you've knocked them all off the list.
Tricks and Treats of the Cataclysm (not required)
Tricks and Treats of the Cataclysm (Alliance) / Tricks and Treats of the Cataclysm (Horde) is the same deal as the earlier achievements, although you can do it at the same time as Tricks and Treats of Azeroth.
Tricks and Treats of Pandaria (not required)
Tricks and Treats of Pandaria (Alliance) / Tricks and Treats of Pandaria (Horde) are Mists of Pandaria's contribution to the holiday thus far.
Out With It is pretty easy to do, although it requires a little more work than it used to. While Tricky Treats used to be a common (absurdly common, to the point of being a pain in the ass for bag space) drop after a Headless Horseman kill, they're now the currency associated with the holiday. You can get them from the holiday's daily quests, from Headless Horseman kills, and from the Handful of Treats you pick up from candy buckets. Just keep eating the Treats, and before long you'll have what the Australians call a technicolor yawn. My goblin got last year's after only five.
Rotten Hallow (required)
Rotten Hallow (Alliance) / Rotten Hallow (Horde) has changed as of last year. While it once concerned each faction's efforts to clean up or trash Southshore respectively, Southshore has fallen to the Horde as of Cataclysm. These days, you'll find yourself going after far bigger meat in the form of new daily quests in Stormwind and Undercity. For the purpose of the Rotten Hallow achievement, you only need to do them once, but you'll probably want to do them more than that as they reward Tricky Treats.
I've listed the required quests (separate for each faction) below:
Alliance Everything you'll need will start in or around Stormwind, and if you're not there, a breadcrumb quest will direct you to the holiday area outside the main gates.
- A Time to Gain Celestine of the Harvest (better known as the Gilnean druid trainer) will ask you to light the Alliance wicker man.
- A Time to Lose She'll send you up to Lordaeron to douse the Undercity one. Players on PVE servers, beware: You will be flagged the moment you cross into the courtyard. People noted last year that you can do this without aggroing any Horde guards if you stand behind the wicker man, although that's obviously of no use to players without access to flying mounts.
- Stink Bombs Away! Low-level players, fear not: This quest will flag you too, but the broom that takes you on a tour of Undercity will grant you immunity to hostile attacks. You won't have to travel all the way up to Undercity for this; you'll be ported there directly as part of the quest.
- Clean up in Stormwind Attacking Horde players on their own stink bomb quest will leave behind noxious fumes (they look like orange gas clouds) you can clean up, or you can clean the random ones that spawn.
Horde As with the Alliance version, a breadcrumb quest will direct you to the holiday area in Undercity's courtyard, or you can just head there directly.
- A Time to Build Up Darkcaller Yanka is directly in front of the Undercity wicker man.
- A Time to Break Down While you can reach the Alliance wicker man without being flagged on a PvE server as a Horde player, you will get flagged the moment you douse it. Try not to do this at server high time.
- Stink Bombs Away! Like the Alliance version, you'll be dumping stink bombs from a broomstick. Crina Fenlow will take you down on a broom vehicle (it's a quick port; you won't have to fly the length of the continent!) and fly you around the city while you toss 25 bombs around Stormwind. Be advised that this quest will flag you for PvP, although you don't seem to be targetable while you're on the broom.
- Clean Up in Undercity You'll need to make a trip around Undercity to get rid of the stink bomb residue, which looks like large orange gas clouds. There are plenty of them around, although you'll spend longer on this quest at server high time or early in the holiday with lots of would-be cleaner-uppers around. Why the Forsaken care about eliminating an extra smell from Undercity is something I'll never understand, but get cleaning.
Check Your Head is probably the easiest of all the various holiday achievements that ask you to do something with specific races, classes and sexes, as all you need to do is find all 10 races. This is considerably easier than, say, finding a dwarf rogue for Turkey Lurkey.
Weighted Jack-o'-Lanterns are obtainable from three different sources:
- The Headless Horseman drops them frequently.
- You'll also find them in the large, flaming pumpkin left on the ground when the Headless Horseman is defeated in level 10 towns (see The Savior of Hallow's End, above).
- It's rewarded by the Let the Fires Come/Stop the Fires daily quests.
Sinister Calling (required)
There are three ways to complete Sinister Calling:
- Get both items (the Sinister Squashling and Hallowed Helm) as a drop from the Headless Horseman.
- Get them as a random drop from the Handfuls of Candy at candy buckets.
- Buy them from holiday vendors for 150 Tricky Treats each.
Bring Me The Head of ... Oh Wait (required)
Bring Me The Head of ... Oh Wait entails killing the Headless Horseman, and that's pretty easy. Pull up your Dungeon Finder (the default hotkey is "I"), and the Headless Horseman should appear in the dungeon selection options. Queue for a group (or just queue your existing group), and you'll be ported as soon as possible. If you've never done the Headless Horseman before, he's pretty easy, and you can find a strategy guide for more help. Otherwise, just hit him, then his head, then him, then his head. There's your kill!
Unfortunately, the new versions of the Headless Horseman's gear doesn't appear to be available on either Wowhead or WoWDB at present, so I'll probably have to wait for the holiday to go live to link them. Rest assured that the array of rings and the creepy plate helm have been updated for Mists of Pandaria.
Trick or Treat! (required)
Which inn you choose for Trick or Treat! and the candies you get doesn't matter; just right-clicking the candy bucket will do. This is by far the easiest of all achievements needed for the Hallowed Be Thy Name meta, and you'll get it anyway while doing Tricks and Treats of Azeroth.
A Mask for All Occasions (not required)
A Mask for All Occasions was once one of the worst RNG grinds in the game (to the point of numbering among our 25 most evil achievements), but the 2011 version of the holiday nixed that in favor of making the masks buyable from the vendors mentioned above for two Tricky Treats each.
Enjoy working on achievements? The Overachiever is here to help! Count on us for advice on patch 4.3 achievements, our guide to Mountain O' Mounts, and a good, hard look at what's wrong with archaeology and how Blizzard could fix it.