Guide to 9000 Achievement Points
The plan is simple: Earn the “It’s Over 9000!” feat of strength as fast as possible. For simplicity, we’ll aim for 9000 achievement points in one year. From 0 and lvl 1 to 9000 and lvl 85 in 6 months. Can it be done?
- Money: Several achievements require large donations to NPCs and others (namely rep grinds) can be sped up via auction house purchases. A starting bank roll of 75,000 gold is sufficient, less if you have a steady source of income and don’t plan to buy the “buy this, get achievement” achievements all at once.
- Time: The fastest route isn’t necessarily fast. Just going 1 to 85 takes a couple weeks. Even at 85, many achievements take time. Rep grinds are obvious, but other things, such as the battleground veteran achievements and Got My Mind on My Money achievements, require serious time inputs. We can’t skip all the grindy achievements, we can only limit them.
- Friends: WoW is a social game. You need friends to help complete many achievements as well as speed up the process. Some, like the raiding achievements, cannot be completed unless you’re in a high-level guild; can’t pug Firefighter. And now with guild perks, being part of a high-level guild will speed things up dramatically. Guild level 8, which takes about a month of diligent effort by the guild, will help immensely: increased rep and xp gained, decreased durability loss, and a faster hearth. Very helpful.
- Luck: Always a factor in WoW, the luckier you are, the faster the process will go. Some achievements are just luck: “Oh look, the lone defender at Blood Elf Tower just grabbed the berserker buff. How convenient.” If you’re lucky, win. If not, ugh.
- The guide assumes you are in full Cataclysm heroic dungeon gear, iLvl 346. Better gear will, of course, help.
- You must have at least one primary profession—crafting or gathering—as well as all three secondary professions. Crafting professions can be power-leveled if you’re willing to dump money, mats, or both into it. Gathering professions are slower to level, but more profitable.
- Class doesn’t matter as some tasks are easy for certain classes, other tasks are easy for others. Druids have the advantage of being able to gather while in travel or flight form. Not just herbs, but many quest items, too! Plus, they can fill every role: melee dps, caster dps, healing, and tanking. Oh, and stealth is handy in many situations. Other classes can solo content that other classes couldn’t; hunters and paladins are solid soloers, priests and mage are not. But really, any class with which you’re comfortable is best. No Death Knights, though. Starting at 55 with all flight points is cheating.
- Race = human or doesn’t matter. The Diplomacy racial is seriously overpowered for rep grinding: people change races to human solely to get the Insane title. No other race has that kind of “OP for achievements” racial. Goblins, with their Best Deals Anywhere racial, are the best Horde race for this endeavor. Not close to Diplomacy, but it’s better than nothing.
- Faction matters not.
- Do not try this if you’re still leveling to 85 for the first time. Get to 85, then start working on achievements.
- This is for the achievements as of 4.3. This is the last update of this guide.
- This is not a guide for completing every achievement. This is a guide for getting to 9k achievement points. I included tips on getting specific achievements, but not for every achievement.
- This guide is based on Alliance achievements. Horde achievements are very similar: killing Alliance leaders instead of the Horde leaders, for example. If you’re unsure of the Horde equivalent, find the Alliance achievement on wowhead and look in the Comments tab. Someone will note the Horde equivalent.
Total: 67 achievements for 710 points
Goal: 57 achievements for 595 points
Time investment: Minimal
Money investment: Huge
Friends needed: A few
We’re gonna skip Mountain o’ Mounts because, well, that’s a huge time and money (real and virtual) sink. And the 25K Got My Mind on My Money might happen, but I don’t want to count on it; if you don’t raid consistently, then this achievement will take a very long time. Everything else, though, is fairly straight-forward. Chopper/Hog is perhaps the biggest single purchase you will ever make (the TTM is more, but I’m a big tipper), Haris Pilton’s bag is 1.2K gold, Wooly Mammoth is 8K, Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth is 16K, Ring of the Kirin Tor is 8K, Dual Spec is 10g (was 1K), epic flying is 5K, cold-weather flying is 1K (not an achievement, but required for doing anything in Northrend), buying non-combat pets adds up quick, buying mounts adds up very quick…In short, these are the achievements that eat your money. But you pay up, you get the achievements. No mystery, no luck. Luck only matters on the Greedy/Needy achievements and the Higher Learning, but wait long enough, and you’ll get those.
For the Cataclysm achievements, we’re skipping Cataclysmically Epic and 50K and 100K gold looted. Cataclysmically Superior is go; run a bunch of heroics (which you will be doing) and you’ll get this. Epic requires raiding, which is not necessary at this time. 50K and 100K…Yeah, neither is happening. Vial of the Sands is Cata’s version of the mammoth, so go for it if you have the gold, but it’s not required. Menagerie and Petting Zoo also require a lot of gold; skip them. The Cata food and drink achievements are easy. Just buy the food, get fat, collect achievement points.
TIP! For the Got My Mind on My Money achievements, solo old raids. You can loot at least 250g from lower Karazhan, for example. And loot everything when soloing old dungeons.
TIP! Many servers have a world channel dedicated to checking statuses on the Higher Learning books. Ask around, join the channel, and keep an eye on it.
Total: 129 achievements for 1330 points
Goal: 95 achievements for 950 points
Time investment: Moderate heavy
Money investment: Negligible
Friends needed: A few
Blizzard made the biggest change to achievements in this category. Before, the quest achievements were specific to only Outland and Northrend. Deathwing’s emergence sundered Azeroth, causing Blizzard to revamp all Azerothian quests. This allowed Blizzard to create more depth in this achievement category.
This change enables us to get more from this category than ever before. Prior to Cata, questing pre-Outland only helped push our number of quests completed counter up. Now, we can get achievements for completing each zone as we’re leveling. Yup, this change enabled us to get two-fers: each completed quest increases our zone quest counter and our overall quest counter. Sweet.
However, I’m not asking you to complete each and every old world zone. Only zones with fewer than 40 completed quests for the achievement are required. All other zones are optional. All Outland and Northrend zones are still required as are the Cataclysm zones. The path remains the same.
In short, work on other achievements while leveling to 58. Once at 58, head to Outland, quest, quest, quest. Once at 68, head to Northrend, quest, quest, quest. Once 80, head to the Cataclysm zones, quest, quest, quest. Ding 85.
Once at 85, you’ll have plenty to do. I suggest finishing Cataclysm Loremaster within a month after reaching 85 as all of the Cataclysm zones have phasing. Best just to be done with all that. When you have time, go back to Outland and get Outland Loremaster. Repeat for Northrend. Then, when you need things to do, knock off some of the old world zones.
Faster leveling is better than completing each zone. Once at 85 with a 310 mount, low-level zones take 60-90 minutes to complete. Don’t waste time finishing a zone when you can level faster in another. You can return to it later.
Even with the double-dipping, I still recommend working on PvP achievements while leveling. There are lots of n00bs in battlegrounds, many of whom don’t even know there are PvP achievements or how to get them. Abuse the n00bs. Trying for achievements at max level is as difficult as ever, more so for some achievements (I’m looking at you, Strand of the Ancients.)
Don’t worry about the 30K quest gold and 2500 daily quest achievements. Too much time invested for too few points.
The Molten Front is Cata’s Argent Tournament. Why Blizzard put the Molten Front achievements under Quests and the Argent Tournament achievemenes under World Events, I don’t know. But I digress. Do all the achievements. Not only are these achievements easy, but you get solid gear upgrades from heroic dungeon gear.
TIP! While working on the Molten Front dailies, stop by Farden Talonstrike and work on the jousting achievement. Alliance mount collectors and rep lovers can head over to Winterspring and work on Wintersaber rep. The Molten Front dailies take 30 days to complete, another 15-20 days to complete the achievements (depending on RNG; stupid bombing achievement), the jousting achievement requires 10 days, and the Wintersaber mount needs 20 days. Might as well bang all them out concurrently.
Total: 80 achievements for 945 points
Goal: 77 achievements for 885 points
Time investment: Minimal
Money investment: Negligible
Friends needed: None (but they still help!)
Luck: None for quests, tons for the other achievements
These are the easiest achievements to get. Take a lazy Saturday afternoon, pop in a good movie or album, hop in your mount, and go exploring. Done. Medium Rare and Northern Exposure require a bit of luck, but you should run into one Outland and one Northrend silver elite while questing. Bloody Rare and Frostbitten, however, require a lot of luck and a lot of flying around, spamming a /tar macro or using an addon (_NPCScan, e.g.). Not fun. Spend your time on other achievements.
Don’t both with Stood in the Fire. Tis completely random. If you get it, congrats. If not, don’t worry about it.
TIP! If you want Stood in the Fire, spend as much time in “old world” Azeroth (i.e. not in the lvl 80+ zones.)
TIP! If you find a rare, don’t kill it immediately (unless it’s Loq or the Time-Lost Proto-Drake). Stay near it and tell your guild and friends about it. Hit it once to tag it, wait for friends to arrive, have them heal you (bandages work for those without heal spells) so they can get on the rare’s loot table, kill. Giving back to those who help you is always win. Kill Loq and the TLPD yourself because of their extreme rarity and poaching.
For the next few categories, I’m going to break the achievements into subcategories
PLAYER V. PLAYER
Total: 229 achievements for 2620 points
Goal: 111 for 1170 points
Time investment: Huge
Money investment: Severe
Friends needed: Many
Total: 31 achievements for 370 points
Goal: 27 achievements for 280 points
These are (mostly) easy. Wrecking Ball requires help and focus, but do a couple raids on the enemy leaders, do a bunch of battlegrounds (you’ll be doing a lot of these anyway), and most of these achievements will just happen. The skipped achievements require an enormous time investment, time that could be spent on doing many other achievements. 10K Honorable Kills isn’t that bad; you’ll probably get it as you’re working on other PvP achievements. Doing the daily battlegrounds will probably you get there anyway. 50K and 100K HK’s require either focusing solely on PvP and/or being on a PvP realm. Battlemaster and Conquerer/Justicar are, again, huge time sinks, especially the Warsong Gulch; 1200 flag captures to go from neutral to exalted = fuck that.
For the battleground achievements, if your battlegroup faction is better at one particular battleground than another, go for that instead. For example, if you’re Emberstorm Horde, your faction might dominate WSG but wins EotS once a month. Thus, grab what you can from EotS and get more WSG achievements. Some of the recommendations are biased based on my personal experience (Alliance Bloodlust and Ruin battlegroups.)
Try to work on multiple achievements every time you run a battleground. For example, on Isle of Conquest All-Star, I capped Quarry at the beginning, then hopped in a cannon and worked on IoC All-Star and Mowed Down simultaneously. Sweet.
And friends help. Even just a buddy to watch your back makes these achievements much easier. We like to run with me, a rogue, a disc priest, and a resto druid. DPS and lots of heals. With communication and trust, we can mow down achievements.
Total: 13 for 185
Goal: 5 for 60
Notes: Like WSG, AV is usually dominated by one faction in each battlegroup. Horde Bloodlust prevented me from getting any achievements in AV for 6 months. Literally: my Alterac Valley Victory achievement is dated 10 March 2009, 6 months after achievements began being tracked. Victory, Sickly Gazelle, Everything Counts, Alterac Blitz, Loyal Defender. Done. Other achievements require 50 of X, which requires time. And I’ve looted a lot of bodies in AV and have still not seen the Autographed Picture of Foror and Tigule. Loot everything and hope lady luck smiles upon thee.
Total: 14 for 195
Goal: 2 for 40
Notes: The AB achievements involve capping and defending, which is more about luck than skill: who clicks the soonest, who rezzes first after the enemy zergs to another base. AB Victory, Disgracin’ the Basin (which I got by capping 3 flags while idiot horde defenders tunnel-visioned my friends. Win :D) are all I want from you. These are not bad at all. I removed AB Assassin because of the dramatic drop in honor kills per battleground in Cataclysm. People stay alive longer, which means fewer honor kills each run.
TIP! AB All-Star and Overly Defensive are a nice pair to get. The hardest part of All Star is defending two flags. If you already have two flags defended, why not defend a third in the same match? Assaults are easy.
Eye of the Storm
Total: 12 for 145
Goal: 8 for 80
Notes: Everything except Veteran and Master of EotS, EotS Domination, and The Perfect Storm. Everything else is fairly straight forward and can be done in a few EotS runs with concerted effort.
TIP! For Stormtrooper, grab the flag and run to an owned base, but do not cap the flag. Wait until an enemy or two charges and then drop the flag. Wait until they pick it up, blow them up, rinse, repeat. The entire battleground team gets credit for the achievement. Whee!
Isle of Conquest
Total: 15 for 175
Goal: 12 for 130
Notes: Veteran and Master of IoC excepted, these achievements are not so bad. Cut the Blue Wire…No the Red Wire! was removed after I realized that even dedicated effort won’t get this achievement. If you can get it, congrats. If not, work on other achievements.
TIP! For IoC All Star, I recommend sprinting to and capping the Quarry/Refinery (Alliance/Horde, respectively), running back to base, hop in a cannon, kill a player and a vehicle from the safety of your cannon, then find a base and wait for the other side to assault it. It’s not easy, but it is doable.
Strand of the Ancients
Total: 15 for 175
Goal: 5 for 70
Notes: Strand of the Ancients went from bad to horrific. I know, I didn’t think it was possible to make SotA worse, but Blizzard found a way. Now that the demos move at rocket speed, nobody carries bombs and player kills are few and far between. Victory, Artillery Expert, Defense of the Ancients, Explosives Expert, and Storm the Beach are the only ones remotely possible now. Good luck.
TIP! Melee drive, ranged hop in the passenger seats, healers cc and annoy. Oh, and healers can–and should–dispell the demos.
Total: 14 for 165
Goal: 4 for 40
Notes: WSG is the most variable battlegrounds. With only 10 people per side, one fail person can ruin a fight. The achievements are frustrating if you’re in a battlegroup who sucks at WSG. Alliance Bloodlust has a 25% win percentage on a good day, Alliance Ruin is about 40-50%. Either way, unless you devote yourself to hammering WSG, some of these achievements are not going to happen. WSG Perfection, Capture the Flag, Not in My House, Not So Fast are the only achievements I think are within reason. Again, this is based on my personal experience.
TIP! If you go for Ironman, note that you don’t need to grab the flag, just “carry and capture” it. So get some friends and have them run the flag to you. Meanwhile, you stay safe. Roof, in a corner, somewhere out of the way. When you can cap (i.e. your flag is safely at your base), pick up the flag from the flag carrier, cap, then go hide. Repeat three times for the achievement. Do NOT die! Keep a healer (or two) near you at all times!
Total: 18 for 195
Goal: 13 for 130
Notes: Now that very few people fight for Wintergrasp, the required achievements have been changed. All the watchers need to die on 10 and 25 man; easy. The Grand Black War Mammoth, Veteran and Master of Wintergraspare still off the list. Also on the no list are Wintergrasp Ranger and Within Our Grasp. Not enough people play to make Ranger viable; you’ll have to cheese it with friends if you want it and it’s just not worth the effort. Within Our Grasp is doable, but, again, if you’ve got very few players in the zone, you may not have enough to get sieges in 10 minutes, let alone knock down the walls.
TIP! Didn’t Stand a Chance is one of those annoying achievements that is nigh impossible to get as it’s intended. The cannons are crap; 2.5k damage = useless. And the shells have a travel time. Good luck hitting something other than the ground. Get a friend with a high level of the opposite faction (at least lvl 75; they need to be able to join WG), find a cannon away from the fray, and blast them until dead. Repeat until achievement “earned”. Yes, it’s that lame.
Total: 28 for 290
Goal: 5 for 50
Notes: Go for Brutally Dedicated (which is 4 achievements in 1) and you’ll get World Wide Winner. Maybe you’ll grab another achievement or two along the way. Win 20 matches each week for 4 months and done.
Battle for Gilneas
Total: 15 for 195
Goal: 7 for 90
Notes: Battle for Gilneas is a 10-man, 3-node version of Arathi Basin. The achievements are very similar to AB, and so are the required achievements.
Total: 14 for 150
Goal: 8 for 90
Notes: Twin Peaks is the Cata equivalent to Warsong Gulch. I have more achievements required here than for WSG because these seem easier to get. May not be, I don’t know, I’ve only done it a couple times.
Total: 11 for 110
Goal: 9 for 90
Notes: The hardest part of Tol Barad is getting in. The achievements are very easy. Ignore Master and Veteran, get the rest. Done.
DUNGEON AND RAIDS
Total: 567 achievements for 6115 points
Goal: 381 achievements for 4150 points
Time investment: Massive
Money investment: Massive
Friends needed: Many
This is where the bulk of your achievements are going to come from. WoW is a PvE-first game, not surprisingly that many achievements come from PvE.
TIP! Many servers have chat channels for old content. Check your server’s official message board or ask in trade. A group of 5 lvl 85’s can knock out everything up to T9 hard mode. Make new friends!
General Dungeon and Raids
Get some friends and blow through these. Some of the heroic achievements will take a speck of planning and a couple runs through the instance. Nothing too worrisome.
In previous versions of this guide, I listed a slew of Wrath raiding achievements. However, a lot of easily earnable achievements have been released with Cataclysm and subsequent patches. And after a couple months in my server’s Retro channel (an open channel for advertising pugs of old content), I’ve gotten a much better feel for what people are willing to do; in short: drakes. Between those two factors, I have significantly revised the guide. Specifically, I have culled many of the Wrath raiding achievements. Now you just need to clear the instances and get the meta achievements. That’s it. Much simpler and easier. Any other achievements earned while doing so are extra, frosting, substitutes for other achievements.
Tier 7 = All
At this point, Tier 7 content is cakesauce. Sarth+3 is zerg-able on both 10- and 25-man. If you don’t get 6-minute Malygos, you’re doing something very, very wrong. The only frustrating achievements are the 8- and 20-man achievements. Not a huge problem, just annoying.
TIP! For Immortal and Undying runs, do the Construct wing first (Thaddius), then Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad, then the Military wing (Four Horsemen), Plague wing (Loatheb), and finally Spider wing (Maexxna). If you can get through Construct, Sapph, and KT without a death, you’re on easy street. They are feats of strength now and not required for the meta.
Tier 8 = Only those required for the meta
Ulduar is an achievement junkie’s paradise. With 1450+ points across 140+ achievements, there are more achievements and achievement points in Yogg-Saron’s little prison than in the entire General, Quests, Exploration, Professions, and Reputation achievement categories. Do every achievement in Ulduar and you’ll be over 16% of the way to 9000 achievement points. Damn.
Now that we’re many tiers above Ulduar, the content is much easier. Bosses that required skill, planning, and execution now require moving out of insta-death boss abilities and, well, not much more.
For Wrath, I had this big, complicated list. But with more achievements, all I’m asking you to get from Ulduar are the meta achievements. Two drake runs—one 10-man and one 25-man— and Algalon. That’s it. Not even Yogg+0.You don’t even need a full raid, but the more the merrier.
Tier 9 = 10- and 25-man normal and heroic ToC kills. Nothing else.
Gear makes a huge difference. ToC is rather easy with our gear. H-Anub won’t be a walk in the park, but it’ll be a whole lot easier than before.
TIP! For The Traitor King, have only the tanks pick up the adds. Healers heal, dps keep the adds off the healers. Do NOT attack the adds. Pets on passive, weapons unequipped. Just stand around until you have a bunch of adds. Then blow them up. A wipe is probable—not enough time to kill Anub—but a one-death repair bill is a pittance for an achievement :D Note: Blizzard nerfed The Traitor King: only 25 scarabs are required, down from 40. It might be possible to do the achievement and kill Anub on the same attempt.
Onyxia = Kills on 10- and 25-man. Nothing else.
I’ve seen people looking for groups to work on the whelps. The most difficult part of the whelp achievement is remaining connected. My wife and I tried it back in Wrath on 10-man. No go. More doable now as tanks can survive longer and dps can nuke the whelps faster. Still, expect your computer to hate you.
Tier 10 = Everything in ICC, Ruby Sanctum normal, skipping Ruby Sanctum hard mode.
Wait, what? Everything in ICC? Including H-LK?!
I did 10-man H-LK about two months into Cata. We were in half-heroic, half-raiding Cata gear. Two-shot H-LK, and the wipe was only because our tanks died due to Necrotic Plague on the first attempt because we pushed him over so fast. The Lich King has not aged well. His massive health pool is nullified by our much-increased dps and enormous health pools. Plus we still get the 30% buff. It’s ridiculously easy now. 25-man is also quite doable with a full set of Cata heroic gear.
TIP! All ranged dps should attack the Lich King during phases 2 and 4 (the transitions). With 40-yard max range, ranged dps’ers will not get hit by Unrelenting Winter. The extra dps will shorten phases 3 and 5, which means fewer defiles to avoid.
Ruby Sanctum, however, has aged well; that is, gear will not save you from the cutters. Two-shot H-LK, ten-shot (possible more) H-Halion. Push him over on normal, move on with life.
Cataclysm Dungeons = Everything
And we’ve caught up to the current expansion.
This is the tradeoff: no Cata raiding achievements required means all Cata heroic achievements. Most of these are not so bad. The worst are (in my opinion):
- It’s Frost Damage = Requires coordination and awareness, two qualities that make this a guild run-only achievement.
- Vigorous Van Cleef Vindicator = Only get one shot at this every Deadmines run. You need a high-dps group that doesn’t die. One death and goodbye achievement for another day.
- Headed South = Requires coordination, high dps, and a bit of luck (because getting knocked off the platform is bad.)
- Pardon Denied = Much easier after Baron Ashbury was nerfed (he no longer casts Mend Rotting Flesh), but still requires the interrupter to be aware and ready to interrupt at the right time.
TIP! For It’s Frost Damage, have a hunter put a pet (preferably a tenacity pet, such as a bear or turtle) on stay+passive at the bow of the ship. When Ripsnarl despawns the first time, everyone runs and stands on the pet. The hunter needs to Misdirect the adds to the pet, then, when three adds have spawned, everyone else runs back to the middle of the ship. If successful, the adds will explode at the prow of the ship, safely away from the group. There will be a delay on the achievement as at least one person must stay alive 5-10 seconds after the third add explodes.
TIP! The best thing to do on Vigorous Van Cleef is stay alive. Slowing down for a few seconds to avoid badness is far more important than being reckless. Also, sending someone—the tank is preferred—to stand in front of Van Cleef when Ripsnarl is below 50% saves several valuable seconds. If you have Bloodlust/Heroism, save it for the worgen.
TIP! Siamat’s shield reduces damage by 90%, not 100%. Off-tank the servants and kill minions while whittling his health down to about 66%. Then group up and kill the servants in reverse spawn order (last to spawn = first to die.) Regroup, kill second servant, regroup, kill third servant, blow all dps cooldowns (healer should dps, too) and kill Siamat.
TIP! An off-healer makes Pardon Denied much easier because the Baron can one-shot someone after Asphyxiation. Most healers can handle the achievement now (now = patch 4.2), but just let them know you’re going for it before you pull. I, uh, might have angered a couple healers as I went for the achievement as the tank without informing them prior to pulling. Go me :D
TIP! Get three guildies together and do a random heroic then a specific heroic. The one pug will increase health and dps by 5%, which, provided you don’t get a windowlicker, will help significantly on some achievements. Plus you’ll still earn guild rep and xp though not as much as a full guild run.
Many can be earned without being in full heroic sets or without a perfect group composition. Hero/Ancient Hysteria/BL is great for high dps achievements. But while those buffs as sweet, no achievement requires a specific class/spec. Might be harder without, but every achievement is doable regardless of group composition.
4.1 saw the (re)release of Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub. Easy stuff here: complete both and grab the It’s Not Easy Being Green achievement off the Venoxxis in ZG. This is a “do this fight right by avoiding bad” achievement; very simple.
The only dungeon achievement released in 4.2 was Bear-ly Made It. A 4-chest timed ZA run requires raiding gear, so this achievement is off this list.
For 4.3, complete the new dungeons, win. That’s it. Not asking for any of the new heroics’ achievement.
Cataclysm Raids = Nothing
Raiding in Cataclysm does not provide a good achievement-points-per-time rate. Blizzard nerfed Tier 11 in 4.2. That doesn’t mean Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, and The Throne of Air are easy now. They’re not. They’re easier, but still challenging especially if you’re not geared. Firelands is tough plus it has some of the most insane raiding achievements ever. So if you’re trying for the fastest line to 9K, work on other raids, not Cata raids.
Total: 113 achievements for 1140 points
Goal: 86 achievements for 870 points
Time investment: Significant to Massive, depending on luck
Money investment: Mediocre
Friends needed: A few
Luck: Bring the rabbits’ feet, horseshoes, 4-leaf clovers, everything you got
These achievements are very easy except for the fishing achievements. Depending on your luck, you can spend a day working on these or a year. That’s /played.
Many of the fishing achievements involve running around. Easy. The hard ones involve a ton o’ luck. Because of that, we’re ignoring the bad ones. Try if you feel lucky. I’m not lucky. Old Crafty (if Alliance) or Old Ironjaw (if Horde), Mr. Pinchy’s Magical Crawdad Box, I Smell a Giant Rat, and Accomplished Angler are not worth the trouble. You’ll spend enough time on the fountain fishing achievements.
TIP! You can level fishing while working on these achievements. Add lures to your fishing pole, get the +fishing enchant, use +fishing poles.
TIP! If you decide to power-level fishing, fish in Ironforge (Alliance) or Orgimmar (Horde) and go for Old Ironjaw or Old Crafty, respectively.
Use your time wisely. You can spend the same amount of time fishing up Mr. Pinchy as you can searching and killing the rares in Outland. Mr. Pinchy is worth 10 points. Bloody Rare is worth 35 (25 + 10 for Medium Rare).
Note that there are zero archeology achievements on the list. Archeology is the grindiest profession ever. It was designed for those who like finding buried treasure and people with too much free time. You cannot powerlevel archeology, you must grind it out. Spend the 20-25 hours leveling archeology after you hit 9000 points.
Total: 54 achievements for 655 points
Goal: 27 achievements for 335 points
Time investment: Significant
Money investment: Significant
Friends needed: A few
Rep grinds are time-consuming, so we’re skipping many of these. Only rep grinds that can be bought (i.e. Aldor/Scryer), are super fast (i.e. capital city reps) or involve normal activities (i.e. running Northrend heroics) are required.
TIP! Do not bother with rep grinds until Outland at least. Once 80, go back and do the starter zone quests for all races in your faction. “Kill 10 of X!” “Okay. CONSECRATE!…Done. Next!”
TIP! Remember to have a tabard equipped when doing heroics. And make sure it’s a tabard with which you are not already exalted. That’s lost faction rep you can’t get back.
TIP! Cynwise posted brilliance. In short, use Honor Points to grind Northrend faction rep. For a mere 9720 Honor Points, you can get exalted with the Argent Crusade, Knights of the Ebon Blade, Kirin Tor, Sons of Hodir, and Wyrmrest Accord. That’s 5 factions for not much effort. Epic win. Thanks, Cynwise!
Total: 162 achievements for 1735 points
Goal: 34 achievements for 330 points
Time investment: A few minutes each day for Argent Tournament dailies, and “Go time!” when you still need the Darkmoon Faire achievements
Money investment: Moderate
Friends needed: A few
Luck: Not much except for Hallow’s End, for which you should cash all your lucky tokens
The big change from the Wrath version of this guide: No world events required (well, sort of. See below.) Now you don’t need to spend a year slogging to 9000 achievement points. Now you can get the feat of strength however fast you want. Now you can use the holiday achievements as substitutes: get one and strike a hard and/or time-consuming listed achievement from the list. Now you can choose when to start you 9K run. You need to be level 80 to get all the holiday achievements, which takes 2-4 weeks depending on how hard you push.
Yes, you still must do the Argent Tournament. Look on the bright side: Tirion pays well. Doing the full set of dailies nets over 150g per day. That’s a lot of gold. Plus, the Argent Crusade has lots of nice goodies: 14 mounts, 6 tabards, 5 pets. The mounts alone cost 1025 Champion’s Seals (a little more than 3 months of dailies), but, if you save all the money from those dailies, you’ll be able to buy another mount: a Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth. Getting the mounts and tabards will get you more than 25% towards the 50 mount achievement and the 25 tabard achievement. Tedious, yes, but worth the effort. And yes, you must get Quel’Delar. Buy a Battered Hilt or get lucky.
The revamp to the Darkmoon Faire in 4.3 was a nice little boon for achievement junkies. A baker’s dozen of easy achievements that can be done with relatively minimal time invested. Sweet.
Total: 1401 achievements for 15260 points
Goal: 868 achievements for 9285 points
I know 9285 is not 9000. I budgeted in some overage. This allows for flexibility on the path; 3% is wiggle room.
Path to 9000
TIP! Don’t forget to use the list!
Getting to 85
Equip Bind-on-Account gear.
Level smartly. Use Bind-on-Account gear (as much of it as possible, and don’t forget your guild perks and achievements BoA gear), get your mounts as soon as you can, plan your quests and do as many at a time as you can, focus on quests with big upgrades, get all flight paths, use a leveling spec, group with people doing the same quests and ask for help when bogged down, buy low-droprate items from the AH when you can, do quests you know, run dungeons when you have quests for them, do daily dungeon run (the goodie bags have nice blues), go to Outland at 58, Northrend at 68, and the Cataclysm zones at 80. Getting to 85 will take a while—probably about a week of /played—but you can’t hit 9000 achievement points without hitting 80. (You can get 9k achievement points at level 80, but since many of the achievements are trivialized when at 85, that’s where we’re going.)
TIP! Refer-a-Friend trivializes leveling. And you get a cool mount!
TIP! Don’t forget to make gear for your character if your other alts have crafting professions.
TIP! Buy a 310 mount and 310 flying as soon as you can. It’s worth the gold.
There are achievements to be earned along the way:
- Battlegrounds: When you reach 10, *4 and *8 (14, 18, 24, 28, etc; thanks, Cynwise!), run battlegrounds. Although the XP isn’t the best, achievements earned here count; you do not need to re-earn achievements when you reach 85. So if you’ve got a couple friends and are kitted out in BoA gear, you can wreak havoc in battlegrounds. You’ll encounter twinks, but you’ll also encounter a lot of n00bs wandering about. N00bs don’t know about achievements and won’t recognize when you’re working on them. This works both ways: you can outwit opponents, but your allies will sometimes inadvertently get in your way. Luckily, there are always more opponents than allies (cause you don’t count, but you’re on the team). Working on the battleground achievements as you level also aids in the long-term achievements, such as return 50 WSG flags and the 100 victories. And every honorable kill counts towards your honorable kills achievements. Oh, and sign up for Wintergrasp once you hit 75.
- Dungeons: While low-level dungeons don’t offer achievements other than the completion achievements, they do offer very nice rewards (boss drops and quest rewards) that aid in questing and plenty of XP. A lvl 85 can make quick work of any Classic and BC dungeon. With all the available BoA gear, I would skip random dungeons unless you’re with a good group and/or a high-level player who will escort you through the zone.
- Exploration: Don’t bother until you have 310% flying. You’ll explore most of the zones as you level, but you can polish off the achievements with an hour or so of flying once at level 85.
- Questing: The more quests you do, the closer you’ll get to 1500 or even 2000.
- Professions: Level professions as you go. First Aid, Fishing, and Cooking are easily leveled as you level. Fishing, especially, is good to have as you can work on some of the “Fish in location X”, Oceanographer, and Limnologist achievements. The gathering professions—Skinning, Mining, and Herbalism—pair excellently with leveling: if you gather as you quest, you will max your gathering profession when or before you reach 85. You don’t have to level professions while leveling, but it’s easy and convenient to do so. You can powerlevel professions once at 85, especially the crafting professions. Powerleveling is more expensive, but faster. Take your pick.
Once at 85…
You’ve got options.
There are basically three big areas for achievements: PvE, PvP, and miscellaneous.
PvE: First thing’s first: gotta gear up. Questing will gear you for normal dungeons. Unless your main can make a bunch of epics for your alt or you have the gold to buy BoE’s off the AH, you won’t meet the iLvl requirement for heroics. That’s okay. This isn’t Wrath. Grab a Cata faction tabard and start grinding normal dungeons.
If you have to wait for the LFG queue (not a tank or healer and/or can’t get guild heroic group), don’t waste time, keep working towards 9000!
- Finish questlines. Twilight Highlands and Uldum both have solid gear if you complete their questlines, so do those first. The Cata, Wrath, and BC zones can be completed later.
- Work on professions. Fish, cook, make bandages, craft, pick herbs, mine ore, skin, whatever. 525 or bust!
- Explore. Hop on your flying mount and go exploring.
- Dailies. The Molten Front,Tol Barad, Therazane, and Wildhammer (for Alliance) are the Cata daily quest hubs. Until you unlock all three vendors, do the Molten Front dailies everyday. The gear is excellent and the money is good. Therazane and Wildhammer are next; the faster you get to exalted with them, the sooner you can switch to Earthen Ring or Ramkahen tabards to get exalted with those factions. Tol Barad lost a lot of luster when the Molten Front came out: the MF dailies offer better rewards and are much easier. Still, another exalted faction and gold isn’t bad.
- Look for rare spawns in Outland and Northrend. Just one in each area, not Bloody Rare or Frostbitten.
As soon as you’re able, switch to heroics. No reason to wait. As mentioned above, Cata dungeon hero is on the menu. All of the achievements can be earned in ilvl 346 gear. Some will be difficult, but all can be completed without raid gear.
Because no raid achievements are required, Cata dungeon hero is as far as PvE progression goes. Once decked out in ilvl 346 gear, slow down on the heroics (still do one per day for the valor points) and head back to the previous expansions. Every class in ilvl 346 gear can solo Classic and BC dungeons, and most can solo Wrath normal dungeons. Wrath heroics will require a partner or two for some of the achievements. At some point, run ZA and ZG. You just need to do each once though the gear is quite nice with many BiS pieces for non-raiders.
Now is the time to begin organizing old content raids.
- Classic and BC raids: once through as you only need the completion achievements.
- Tier 7, Wintergrasp, and Onyxia: Twice, once on 10-man, once on 25-man. There are not any achievements that require multiple raid lockouts. Those that used to—Gonna Go When the Volcano Blows, undermanned achievements, e.g.—can be done in one go. And don’t try 25-man raiding with fewer than 15 people. I have. It’s unpleasant.
- Ulduar: Twice, once on 10-man, once on 25-man, but more runs will net more achievements. There are so many achievements in Ulduar that multiple runs will certainly bring more achievements.
- ToC: Twice, heroic 10- and 25-man. Easy. Done.
- Ruby Sanctum: Twice, normal 10- and 25-man. Heroic mode not required.
- ICC: Four times, twice each heroic 10- and 25-man, plus however many runs you need to get exalted with the Ashen Verdict. Thank you, Once Bitten, Twice Shy, for doubling the number of runs required. And because 10- and 25-man raids share the same lockout, you will need 4 weeks to get your ICC meta drakes.
TIP! Organize guild runs for old content raids and pick up guild achievements. Guild members must comprise at least 80% of the dungeon’s raid max. So 40-man raids require 32 guildies, 25-mans require 20, and 10-mans require 8.
I recommend spreading this out over several weekends. For non-raiders (that is, those not raiding Tier 11), plan on this taking 6-8 weeks. Schedule raids in 4-hour blocks. Grab a bunch of friends, hop on vent, pour yourself a drink, and have fun. You’ll need to be sober for Ulduar, ToC, and ICC. Otherwise, party on!
Okay, I lied. You will raid in Cata: Baradin’s Hold. It’s easily puggable. Argaloth and Occu’thar have huge loot tables, so you probably won’t get anything besides Valor Points. Push him over once a week just in case they’re feeling generous.
PvP: Nothing too special, unique, or insightful here. Grab some friends and start banging out those achievements.
WARNING! The next statement is inflammatory. Those who have morals, a sense of dignity, or just don’t want to be “that guy” should skip to the next section.
Screw everyone else, work on achievements.
Be selfish. Ignore win objectives, farm honor kills, blow speed cooldowns to get to the flag/node first, don’t run with the group (unless you’re carrying the flag and need protection), leave if you think the fight will take longer than 15 minutes, throw the fight if you’re losing and you’ve gotten all the achievements you need/can get from that battleground.
I know, I sound like a goblin. In this case, I’m okay with that. You’re running battlegrounds for the achievements, not for honor points, esprit de faction, wins, or teabagging. Get in, get your achievements, get out.
Ends > means.
Miscellaneous: There’s still plenty to do that’s not dungeon or battleground grinding.
- Fishing = Patch 4.2 brought new fishing dailies to all the capital cities. They don’t offer much gold, but they do give skill levels. Very handy for powerlevel fishing. Marcia still has her dailies, which you need for Chasing Marcia. And Old Man Barlo still has his, which you need for Old Man Barlowned.
- Cooking = Need to do a bunch of dailies to get 100 Dalaran Cooking Awards, at which time you can buy the Chef’s Hat. Once you got the hat, you still need to do more dailies to buy all the recipes. Oh, and don’t forget to do the Shattrath cooking dailies. And don’t forget the capital cities’ cooking dailies, which give skill levels. Whee!
- Argent Tournament = All of them. Every day that you can.
- Sons of Hodir = The dailies are not necessary as you can use Relics of Ulduar to buy your way to exalted, but they are gold earned (which helps towards The Bread Winner) and gold saved (rep earned via dailies means fewer Relics needed to hit exalted, which means gold saved). Double win. (Although there’s no specific achievement for getting exalted with SoH, you need to get exalted to purchase a Grand Ice Mammoth.)
- Daily LFG = Valor Points will help you gear up, and each pugger contributes towards The Patient.
- Daily LFBG = While not necessary, each battleground won adds to your overall total and there are always achievements to earn. Use the honor to buy PvP gear (you need to get a PvP trinket not because it’s useful for PvP, but because it’s an achievement! Horde | Alliance)
- Rep dailies = Therazane and Wildhammer dailies, while not necessary, will decrease the time required to get to exalted. Tol Barad dailies are needed. I hate them, too, but there’s no other way to exalted with Baradin’s Wardens.
- Other dailies = The Molten Front offers good gear and several achievements. The money is nice, too. The Icecrown dailies help with Northrend rep grinds. Ogri’la and Skyguard dailies aid BC rep grinds. Netherwing dailies reward mounts (though those dailies aren’t very fun.) The pterodactyl dailies give a pet and an achievement after 10 days. Doing the Wintersaber (Alliance) or Raptor (Horde) mount dailies give feats of strength and a mount after 20 days.
You can “only” do 25 dailies per day. Seems like plenty, but there are a lot of daily quest hubs.
Things to remember:
- Old school runs = During the week, hit up old school instances: Wrath heroics (take a couple friends, knock them out [the instances, not your friends]), any leftover Classic dungeons.
- Rep runs = Scholo and Strat for Argent Dawn rep, Northrend heroics for Northrend faction rep (don’t forget to wear your tabard!)
- Arena = 300 wins needed. Tough but doable. Hardest part is remembering to get your matches in every week.
There are four areas to earn substantial substitute points, PvE, PvP, reputation, and world event achievements. In this guide, I ask that you get 1150 PvP achievement points out of a possible 2580 (45% = 1430 missed points), and 325 reputation achievements points out of a possible 630 (52% = 305 missed points). That’s 1735 possible points. If you get half of those missed points, you won’t need 87 achievements to reach to 9000 achievement points.
PvE = Although I’m asking you to get over 5000 achievement points from PvE content (quests, dungeons, raids, etc.), there are plenty more achievements to get: Quests and Dungeons and Raids achievement groups combine for over 7000 points. The Quests achievements are easy but can be on the slow side as zones take 60-75 minutes to complete on average. The raiding achievements vary in difficulty (though most Wrath raiding achievements aren’t nearly as hard as before thanks to our better gear), but they do require a raid to complete. But if you hate PvP, abhor rep grinds, and your schedule doesn’t mesh with the world events, you can get to 9000 via PvE content.
PvP = Many of the omitted achievements are luck-based achievements (We Had It All Along *Cough*) or cumulative achievements (see: all of the [battleground] Veterans), neither type is good for a guide to amassing achievement points quickly. That said, if you focus on PvP achievements, you can grab many that are not on this list. The “Master of [battleground]” achievements, for example, are difficult but not impossible to earn and are worth 20-25 points each. Getting to a 2200 Arena rating in all three brackets rakes in 90 achievement points and (probably) the Brutally Dedicated achievement (and tabard!) Rated Battlegrounds can get you a few more achievements.
Reputation = If you’ve got the time and patience, rep grinds aren’t so bad. Grab a couple friends, hop on vent, and chat the night away while chaining Outland heroics. Empty your bags and grind Scholo and Strat for Argent Dawn rep (and the myriad of goodies from those instances; Runecloth is always in fashion.) They take longer and are only worth 10 achievement points each, but, if bored with other achievements, they fill in the time nicely.
World Events = Aside from the Argent Tourney, no World Event achievements are required. Yet there are over 1300 points from World Events, which, if you earned them all, is about 15% of the 9000 needed for the feat of strength. So obviously, there are lots of possible substitutions here.
- WarcraftOverachiever.com = Excellent site. I love the “Suggested” tool: shows you what achievements you’re close to earning. Very helpful for those achievements you may have forgotten.
- Wow-Achievements.com = Fun website, but not a lot of tools. Arena Junkies for achievement whores.
- Wowhead.com and WoWWiki.com = Because remembering all the achievements is hard, yo. The commenters on wowhead.com often have very helpful suggestions.
- ElsAnglin.com = For all those annoying fishing achievements.
- GuildOx.com = Guild-based achievement tracker. Great for finding guilds who are working on achievements or guilds that might have some achievement addicts.
- Guild website/forums = Duh.
- Official server/battlegroup forums = You might find other achievement addicts who would be happy to have a like-minded, achievement-oriented partner.
- Official achievements forum = Hints, bugs, suggestions galore. Blue posters post here, if for no other reason than to showcase their own awesome (coughcoughBornakkcoughcough).
- _NPCScan and _NPCOverlay = Fantastic tools for finding rares.
- RaidAchievement = Very handy for the achievements that cannot be tracked and require everyone to complete it or no one gets the achievement, such as Neck-Deep in Vile, All You Can Eat, Getting Cold in Here. It’s not an addon that you’ll use everyday, but you’ll be glad you have it when you need it.
- OverAchiever = I don’t have personal experience with this addon, but I have heard good things of it. If you’re gunning for achievements, an achievement-tracking addon is a good idea :D
I earned It’s Over Nine Thousand! on 30 January 2010, about 14 months after Wrath’s release. I started Wrath with about 2000 achievement points. I was diligent in my progress towards 9000. Compared to the current situation, I was hindered by gear and a lack of achievements. Ulduar, ToC, ICC, IoC, SotA, a couple of world events, gear above iLvl 213/226…These didn’t exist when Wrath was released.
Someone trying for 9k achievement points now will probably need about four to six months of diligent effort to earn the feat of strength. Diligent effort = about 20 hours of playtime every week. Don’t sue me if it takes longer. This is just an estimate. This does mean you’ll miss a lot of World Event achievements, but if you’re playing that much, you should be able to get those points elsewhere. I got to 9000 points without all the World Event achievements.
Could you go from 1 and 0 to 85 and 9000 in one year? Yes. Dedicated casual players should be able to do that. Could you do it in one season? Sure, especially in winter when there are several world events going on. Could you do it in one month? That would be one hell of a month. Possible—RaF + heirlooms + massive amount of free time—but unlikely.
This guide will not be updated after Cataclysm. Cataclysm added 3870 achievement points, which brought the percentage of achievement points needed to get the feat of strength down from 79% (9000 out of 11390 possible) to 59% (9000 out of 15260). If Mists of Pandaria brings another 3000 achievement points, fewer than half of the possible achievement points will be required to get the feat of strength. Earning 9000 achievement points will still show diligence and determination, but the luster of the feat of strength will be gone.
In addition, I have no intentions of playing MoP, so I will have little incentive to keep the guide updated. The massive gameplay and mechanics changes will greatly diminish my knowledge of the game; I won’t know which achievements are easy points and which should be skipped. Not worth my time or yours.
I will leave the guide up until WoW 5.0 drops, at which point it will be moved to the Old Stuff folder.
A couple of tips
- Organization and planning = It will set you free. Organize guild runs of old raids, plan your playtime to maximize time spent working on achievements (aka always be (a)chieving). The more you plan and organize when not playing, the more you will do while playing.
- Persistence = This is tough. This is not easy, quick, or simple. Keep working at it and eventually you will earn that feat of strength.
Have fun. This should be a happy trek. Grab some friends and go have fun. Make friends along the way. You’ll have to work at it, but the reward is worth it.
We Had It All Along *Cough*: 10 Achievement Points
The Light of Dawn: 20 Achievement Points
What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been: 50 Achievement Points
It’s Over Nine Thousand!: 0 Achievement Points
Feats of Strength: Priceless.