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The OverAchiever: The 25 most entertaining achievements, part 4

Allison Robert

Every so often, I get tired of the self-seriousness that infests some of (OK, most of) the other work I do here and get the urge to write something purely for fun. After our series on evil achievements and the relentless misery of School of Hard Knocks, I'd like to spend some time on achievements that are nothing but an absolute joy from beginning to end.

We continue our series on World of Warcraft's most entertaining achievements this week, and this is the full series if you're just joining us:

10. Get to the Choppa!

Engineering has long been the redheaded stepchild of WoW professions, taken only because players were interested in it or (later) because raids needed repair bots. Before Wrath, it had never really played a prominent role in raiding apart from that, which I always thought was a bit sad. It had (and has, I would argue) the potential to be the most interesting and amusing profession due to the wide variety of class abilities its gadgets can mimic, and it was a tad bothersome that it was so expensive and irritating to level with so few returns at the level cap. Engineering was the profession you'd reserve for a pampered alt you'd play for fun; your main wound up taking something, anything else.

And then engineers got motorcycles.

It's Azeroth. Magic and swords rule the day. Transport is effected by way of wyverns, gryphons or giant dragons. Motorcycles are a vaguely steampunkish but nonetheless distinct "Wait, what?" moment when you pass them in the street. And they're expensive!

Like we care? They're cool.

9. Going Down?

Yes, this is a total throwaway achievement that I am somewhat ashamed to include. It doesn't reward you with anything beyond 10 points, and it literally exists only to give you a reason to throw yourself off a wall, cliff or hill in the hopes of surviving the fall. Yes, certain classes (ahem, paladins) can completely cheese it.

I don't really care. It's funny and, for that matter, fun to do. The sheer length of the comment thread on Wowhead itself is amusing; people have put a ridiculous amount of thought into this one achievement. You can also get Ultimate Triage immediately after -- two achievements for the price of one! Not too shabby.

8. For the Alliance! or For the Horde!

The cool thing about this achievement is that, for the organizational nightmare it represents for the raid leader, it's never not fun. Being in a huge pack of charging players with a common purpose really brings home the "massively multiplayer" sense of the game. This is all the more true because you spend most of the achievement in hostile territory attempting -- and hopefully succeeding -- to take down a faction's highest authority. For a short period of time, you're part of a mercenary force conducting a systematic invasion and defeat of enemy cities' seat of government. The amount of travel the achievement requires and the need to protect the raid is part of the fun. While you may be able to kill one or two leaders in more inconvenient spots without fanfare, your enemies' city chat will be abuzz over the raid, and they've usually got a decent idea over where you're going next. That behavior is one that players even try to exploit by planting spies in city chat on opposite faction characters to send them in the wrong direction -- but once you've got three leaders down, there's no doubt over the next target.

Which faction leaders players choose to defend during For the Alliance! and For the Horde! raids is a pretty decent guide to their popularity. I'm among the Horde players who will rush to defend Thrall and Cairne, for example, but as far as I'm concerned, Sylvanas is on her own.

And when Garrosh takes over? I'd be surprised if Alliance players weren't being escorted to the new Orgrimmar throne room on a near-daily basis.

7. World Explorer

Azeroth is an incredibly expansive world, home to a multitude of different environments and geographic features, but chances are pretty good that you missed a lot of it while leveling up. Not only has the leveling experience been hugely shortened, the Alliance and Horde also don't see too much of each other for a while. A player who's intimately familiar with, say, Elwynn Forest and Westfall probably won't clap eyes on their Horde equivalents until their level 30s to 40s, and vice versa. You may even make it to the level cap without a character setting foot in half the game's zones.

As a new player leveling in Mulgore, I remember very well what it was like to be sent to The Barrens for the first time, trying to make sense of the directions (this was well before quest objectives were added to the map) while staying on the road as instructed. I crossed the border into the Barrens and suddenly realized that this world was huge; that when NPCs said to go north or go east, they didn't necessarily mean that you'd find what you were looking for within a short walk.

World Explorer recaptures a little of that sense, I think, and Brann Bronzebeard will even send you a rather attractive tabard once you've seen all of Northrend.

6. Mr. Pinchy's Magical Crawdad Box

Like a not-inconsiderable number of achievements that I otherwise consider entertaining, there's a hint of evil to this one. I'm more than happy to admit that it actually took me the better part of a year during The Burning Crusade to fish up a Mr. Pinchy pet. Because I tanked my way through BC raids and was always in need of more stamina food, I fished up the Highland Mixed Schools in Terokkar Forest on a near-daily basis. Over a year's time I only managed to get five Mr. Pinchys, and my reward was invariably more heartbreak; I got combat pets I didn't need (well, that's not entirely true; I did have one helpful Mr. Pinchy who assisted with an Illidan kill), a Furious Mr. Pinchy on occasion, or potions with which, as an alchemist, I was already well stocked. It wasn't until the second "wish" on the fifth Mr. Pinchy that I finally got the pet.

So yes, this achievement is a bit evil; my main is living proof. But I think Mr. Pinchy is one of Blizzard's more engaging little additions to the game. It's a tiny part of a profession that the developers had been struggling to improve for a while, it doesn't contribute anything to gameplay, and there is no compelling lore reason for it to exist. It's just a little bit of magic locked away in a historically overlooked portion of the game and one more reason why Azeroth pretty much rules. Each expansion concerns giant, world-ending political events into which your character is inevitably swept ... but if you want to, there are a few lakes in a far-flung corner of the world where you can fish up a magical, wish-granting lobster!

If you're still on the lookout for your own Mr. Pinchy, El's Anglin has a great guide, and it should be a lot easier these days with far less competition than you would have faced in the previous expansion.

Working on achievements? The Overachiever is here to help! We've covered everything from Glory of the Hero and Insane in the Membrane to Master of Alterac Valley and Lil' Game Hunter, and you can count on us to guide you through holidays and Azeroth's special events.

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