World of Warcraft certainly has a dizzying array of achievements in all shapes and sizes, covering quests, raids, and PvP. But some of the best achievements are the ones shuffled innocently away in the General section. You know, the ones that don't really fall into any category at all -- they simply involve general topics of interest. Things like mount or tabard collecting, getting a haircut, sampling different types of food and drink, or leveling several different classes to 90.
Or, in one frankly bizarre case, chasing down dozens upon dozens of fuzzy little critters and hugging the daylights out of the little buggers. Azeroth is just full of critters wandering around -- some are collectable as Battle Pets, some are not. But while you're waiting for Warlords to come out, it might be time to dust off that Achievement pane and take a look at completing some of the more ... unique of Azeroth's general achievements.
To All the Squirrels I've Loved Before
To All the Squirrels I've Loved Before is actually a series of achievements in the General tab, and a reference to a song originally recorded by Bobby Vinton in 1980, titled To All the Girls I've Loved Before. The first section of this achievement was released with the introductory patch to Wrath of the Lich King -- the first time achievements were introduced in game. Because of this, all the critters involved with the achievement can be easily found on Azeroth, or in Northrend. The only exception to this is the Ewe, which is most easily found in Shattrath City. While the list below doesn't list all of the places you can find these critters, it does point out locations that are closest to major cities, for the most part. Quite frankly, the first leg of this achievement is the one that is likely going to eat the most travel time.
- Deer Elwynn Forest/Ashenvale
- Fawn Elwynn Forest/Teldrassil
- Cat Elwynn Forest/Silvermoon City
- Cow Elwynn Forest/Arathi Highlands
- Chicken Elwynn Forest/Northern Barrens
- Small Frog Elwynn Forest/Northern Barrens
- Rabbit Stormwind City/Stonetalon Mountains
- Gazelle Northern Barrens/Desolace
- Prairie Dog Northern Barrens/Westfall
- Swine Northern Barrens/Durotar
- Hare Durotar/The Hinterlands
- Toad Orgrimmar/Darnassus
- Shore Crab Azshara/Westfall
- Skunk Azshara/Duskwood
- Parrot Northern Stranglethorn/Cape of Stranglethorn
- Ram Loch Modan/Arathi Highlands
- Ewe Shattrath City/Ruins of Gilneas
- Sheep Redridge Mountains
- Borean Frog Borean Tundra
- Steam Frog Borean Tundra
- Squirrel Squirrels are everywhere. Head to Dalaran for the fastest source.
If you find yourself getting lost in a haze of tiny fluffy animals, the addon Overachiever might be your best bet for helping you out -- it'll let you know if that critter you have targeted needs to be /loved or not.
To All the Squirrels Who Shared My Life
If one giant list of critters wasn't enough, the achievement continued with another section introduced later on in Wrath of the Lich King that added even more critters to the list. These critters can all be found in Northrend, with one exception.
- Borean Tundra: Arctic Hare, Tundra Penguin, Borean Marmot
- Sholozar Basin: Sholazar Tickbird
- Icecrown: Glacier Penguin
- Zul'drak: Huge Toad
- Grizzly Hills: Grizzly Squirrel, Mountain Skunk
- Howling Fjord: Scalawag Frog, Fjord Penguin, Fjord Turkey
To All the Squirrels Who Cared for Me
Cataclysm brought several new zones to Azeroth -- and several new critters to once again hunt down and /love for imaginary points. The expansion also introduced the ever-cheerful critter enthusiast Mylune, who would probably find this whole crazy journey a delightful and enchanting romp. All of the new critters can be found in the zones introduced in Cataclysm -- and since both Stormwind and Orgrimmar have shrine portals to the various zones, completing this section of the achievement should be a snap.
- Mount Hyjal: Alpine Chipmunk, Grotto Vole, Rock Viper
- Vash'jir: Rockchewer Whelk, Sea Cucumber
- Uldum: Oasis Moth, Mac Frog
- Twilight Highlands: Rattlesnake, Yellow-Bellied Marmot, Highlands Turkey
- Tol Barad: Baradin Fox Kit, Sassy Cat, Wharf Rat
To All the Squirrels I Once Caressed?
Of course, Mists of Pandaria had to introduce its own version of critter-cuddling, complete with questionable achievement title and requiring critters that are specifically native to Pandaria. However, Mists also introduced Pet Battles -- and every single pet on this list is also one that you can capture and battle with. If you've done any pet battling in Pandaria at all, check your list of captured pets. You may be able to complete this achievement without actually going anywhere, if you've already caught this lengthy list of fuzzy friends.
- Jade Forest: Shrine Fly, Leopard Tree Frog, Coral Adder
- Valley of the Four Winds: Sifang Otter, Marsh Fiddler, Bandicoon, Malayan Quillrat
- Krasarang Wilds: Amethyst Spiderling, Luyu Moth
- Townlong Steppes: Yakrat, Mongoose
- Dread Wastes: Clouded Hedgehog, Resilient Roach, Emperor Crab
- Vale of Eternal Blossoms: Dancing Water Skimmer, Gilded Moth, Golden Civet
Completing all four sections of this achievement will net you 40 achievement points, a ton of new Battle Pets if you're so inclined, and either warm fuzzies from all the critter love, a deep sense of accomplishment, or leave you possibly questioning your priorities in life. Regardless, it's a fun achievement that really requires nothing more than a little spare time on your hands. Whether or not we'll see the return of this achievement in Warlords is uncertain, since all pun-worthy lyrics from the tribute song have now been used. But who knows, we may be chasing after Squirrels, All I Really Want Is Squirrels or some other groan-worthy accomplishment when the new expansion launches.