Children’s Week 2011 and the School of Hard Knocks

It’s unfortunate that Noblegarden and Children’s Week are so close together. The combination of two holidays back-to-back, and the pressure people may put on themselves to complete them (or complete them multiple times on alts) adds to the general stress of everyone’s least favorite holiday achievement, The School of Hard Knocks.

The School of Hard Knocks is many people’s stumbling block in accomplishing the meta achievement, What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been, and while the reward from that achievement doesn’t quite have the luster it once did – 310% flying can be bought for 5000 gold now, after all – it’s still a big accomplishment.

If you are going to attempt the School of Hard Knocks this year, let me point you back to my School of Hard Knocks guide from last year, complete with maps, videos, and as much advice as I could cram into a blog post.

The achievement hasn’t changed this year – you still have to perform some battleground tasks that many other people will be trying for. The one place I would recommend you bring friends to help out would be Eye of the Storm; that is a highly competitive environment, with some people actively griefing members of their own faction. And by griefing, I mean actively preventing you from returning flags, not just taking the flag and holding on to it, or running it back themselves. Report those people.

If you are a PvPer and a battleground enthusiast, I leave it up to you to consider if you’re going to take the next week off from BGs, or instead go tear up the newbies. I’ll remind you of both my modest and vicious proposals from last year, and while Southshore/Tarren Mill might not be the best place for Alliance to stage an attack these days. I’m sure you can be creative and just invade Undercity instead.

And don’t forget! If you’re in full Vicious Gladiator gear, go get an orphan!

Because nothing is more fun than having someone think you’re an easy kill, and then turning the tables on them.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Children’s Week 2011 and the School of Hard Knocks

  1. hehe, children’s week. (evil grin) If my guild hadn’t already done so, I was going to use this week to make sure we got a dwarf mage HK. Luckily, we got our Guild Page about a month ago.

    • I’m really looking forward to running around with my orphan out this year. I’m finally doing enough Arenas that I qualify as “very well geared” for battlegrounds, and have been tearing them up of late.

      Go ahead. Pick on the warlock standing in the flag room, /begging. I dare you.
      :-)

      • Gameldar

        As a sometimes pvper I’ve actually found it a lot easier inside the BGs getting things done because I’ve got some gear. It’s actually quite nice to be able to take down 3/4 players (as a prot paladin too) and then grab the flag and run it back in (or as was the case help x little buggers that stole the flag from under my nose after I did all the hard work)…

        Mind you I’ve also walked into some BGs where the horde have actually been organised and are probably there to pick on the poor achievement hunters and found myself nuked down more quickly than normal. So it goes both ways.

        It has really shown me the value of resilience for pvp.

  2. Jen

    I intend to offer my healing services to any unfortunate soul who is stuck in a BG doing something they hate and don’t know. The achievement was hell for me on my previous main and I hope I can help make it a bit better for some people now that I started PvPing.

  3. Glad to see your guide coming up again for CW this year :) It really helped me last year on my hunter while going for SoHK and I’m hoping that this year I can manage to get this achievement out of the way on my shaman and paladin (both healers x_x )

  4. Last line is pure win.
    Shame I only have Vicious offset, and therefore am pretty squishy against a fair few players.

    • I got ganged up on in AV earlier this week. I traded a few flag caps, and then suddenly got jumped by a coordinated guild group. It was awful. I banged my head against them for about 15 minutes before realizing I just didn’t have enough allies to take them out.

      Gear helps, but having a lot of friends helps, too! :-)

  5. Inno

    Something to note about 310% flying speed. Exalted rep with a city that has a flight trainer along with guild bonus to discounts will net you your top flying speed for 3,500 gold. A nice 1,500 gold savings.

  6. It is amazing the difference 12 months can make. Last year I did the achieves on a PvE geared toon with no idea. I wouldn’t say that I am a PvP god, but a bit of gear and some more experience, and now I’m the one wincing at these scrubs this year :)

    • This achievement is really terrifying if you don’t know the first thing about battlegrounds. But once you give them a try and get some under your belt, it’s no different than another day in the office.

  7. Jorrn

    I enjoyed the heck out of your AV video from last year, Cyn. Thanks for posting it.

    A question for you about the AV towers from the Alliance side — how do you avoid the arrows once you’re inside the tower? For the past several nights I’ve been first (or close to first) to reach Iceblood. I run up counterclockwise, hang a left, run into the room, click the banner, watch the timer count down and … then I’m interrupted by an arrow.

    Is there a specific place I should be standing inside the tower? Or is there something I should be doing to drop aggro? Can I bubble (I’m a paladin) and still get a cap? Or should I simply bag IB and run to the towers at the far south end of the maps?

    — Jorrn, Blackhand-US

    • Jorrn

      Update: You can’t bubble and cap a flag (I tried). But you can cap a flag if you’re patient. And I was patient (and lucky) today.

      Remember, Cyn, your guide to AV graveyards? Someone violated the Thou Shalt Not Cap Snowfall rule today, but it worked to my benefit. After missing an IB cap by a couple of seconds, I went south to Frostwolf. I died there and rezzed back at Snowfall. Turns out IB was still in Horde hands, and I was close, so I figured it was worth a visit. By this time the archers (my nemesis in previous cap tries) were dead, and another Ally was taking care of the horde mage guarding the place.

      Glad I remembered to pull out my orphan. I was halfway up the tower when I realized that bloodthirsty little bugger had run off somewhere.

      Keep up the guides. I always learn a lot from ‘em.

      – Jorrn, Blackhand-US

      • Thanks!

        I usually attack the guard at the entryway with my demon, which keeps them busy while I am capping. I forget this on my non-warlock toons, but you can step out of the line of sight of the archers in the room and still cap the flag – just move right to the side once you enter the door.

        As far as Snowfall Graveyard, I laughed at your comment. I’ve come to peace with SFGY going to the Alliance every single time. It’s right there. It’s seemingly impossible for people to resist taking. So I just assume it’s going to go, and that if the Horde defends Galv, we could get our forces split up in a big bad way. :-)

        And what is up with the orphans running away in BGs? Mine kept disappearing on me too! Cheeky little guys!

  8. Franko

    thanks to your guide, i was able to finish all four PvP achievements this year, and get my drake. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

    warsong ended up being my last one, and i ran it back-to-back for 3 hours, and almost gave up. with one hour to go before the holiday ended, i got tossed into a group with an amazing bunch of helpful, cooperative people from the Shandris, Hydraxis, and Farstrider servers. there were 4 of us that needed to return the flag, and for all of us this was the LAST thing we needed to do for the drake. our raid leader was organized, helpful, encouraging, and instructive. we each took turns, and let the “next” person take the flag when it was their turn (nobody ninja’d!). we cheered each other on when someone got their drake, and worked together. i was the last one, and we got it with one minute to go in the battle. AND… WE WON! my first time winning in warsong, too. truly amazing. it restored my faith in people.

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