Away From Reality

April 29, 2012

Harder Knocks

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — tabulacandida @ 6:31 PM

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Let’s face it: School of Hard Knocks is terrible achievement.  I just got it on my fourth character in three years and I had to go walk around outside for an hour just to calm down from how angry and frustrated it made me.  I didn’t enjoy doing it.  I don’t feel a sense of accomplishment in getting it done.  The only satisfaction that comes from it is the fact that I am just a little closer to getting free super-fast flying.

To those who say “I got SoHK really easily!”: that’s great.  I’m happy for you.  Really, I am.  I’m glad you had a good experience.  I didn’t.  Neither did a whole heck of a lot of other people.  We don’t have your advantages or your luck and the game should not punish us for it by making us waste hour after hour doing something that makes us miserable to get one of the major meta achievements.

To those who say: “Achievements are optional, so don’t complain”: it’s true, achievements are optional.  That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be well-designed and fun.  An achievement as badly designed as this one has no business being in the game, even if it’s optional.  No one says you have to go into the restaurant on the corner, but if you did and they put broken glass in your hamburger you’d be pretty annoyed about it, wouldn’t you?

To those who say: “Achievements are supposed to be hard”: wrong.  Achievements are not meant to be hard.  Achievements are meant to be fun.  A lot of fun can come from overcoming a challenge, but the degree of the challenge has to be reasonable. Beating a dungeon or raid boss is a fun challenge because those encounters are tuned to make sure that, with good gear, skillful play, and coordination, appropriate-level characters can get it done. The rewards come from making an effort and solving a problem.  SoHK is a mess of griefing, aggravation, and dumb luck.  The rewards come not from your efforts and skill but from being in the right place at the right time with cooperative enemies.

Other achievements that were poorly thought out, unreasonably hard, or just not fun have been changed already.  There’s no reason for School of Hard Knocks to still be in the game in its current form.  None.


  1. Eh. I got over it quite a while ago. I stopped PvP a long time ago, when cc got nerfed hard in BC. I never got back into it… and this didn’t interest me at all. After trying for a few hours on my clothy main… I gave up. I was too squishy to do this without a premade for it (and those were gone by the time is gave the mount.)
    I posted when it offered the faster flying speed, since it required pvp out of non-pvp people… and since certain classes were at a major disadvantage.
    Since then I’ve already paid gold for the faster flying on multiple characters, and completely ignored world events that I don’t find fun… or that don’t give me something I really want (Like faster leveling of alts at midsummer!) I’m far past through caring about things to the point where I will do something I don’t enjoy.
    Now, the part I still do want explained is why anyone would take a child into the middle of a war. This should get you a title expressing your ruthless hatred of children, imo. 🙂

    Comment by Robert — April 30, 2012 @ 12:01 AM

  2. yeah, I’m just resigned to never having the drake, because there’s so commonly a completely stupid PVP achievement in there. SoHK is the WORST. I’ve heard from a lot of people who are missing that one thing for their drakes – and have been since the first year the achievement was put in. That’s the ONE thing that blocks them, every. single. year. It’s horrible, and there’s no reason for it to still exist. Make it a feat of strength so people who already got it can stroke their epeens all they want (because God knows there’s enough who will), and let everyone else just get on with it already.

    Comment by ayshela — April 30, 2012 @ 5:04 AM

  3. Have to say I agree. I got it second time around on my paladin, the only toon I cared about achievements in the slightest on, and to this day, I couldn’t believe how lucky I ended up with two parts. Getting a base in AB was just being selfish, I turned off my mount aura when I saw I was the only paladin, and I had the speed talent. So I go to the stables first, done.

    WSG was almost real pvp, scary more than lucky. I chased a rogue who had stolen the flag into the midfield, saw him trying to hide on one side, and jumped him. Solo, ret paladin beating a rogue. Probably a first for me, and was I panicking trying to reset the flag before anyone else found it 🙂

    But with EotS, I joined a game in progress, walked to the middle with noone in sight, the flag spawned, I picked it up and ran to the only base we had, all without even seeing a hordie. And for AV, I found myself in a bg where people were taking turns to cap a tower. A dozen or so of each side standing there, clicking away until you got the capture.

    AB was actually the last one I got, and also the last time I ever entered pvp on that toon. Requiring people to do pvp in order to obtain something that is only of any use in pve always struck me as wierd. I’d guess it was supposed to encourage both sides of the pve/pvp discussion to try something new, but for me, that didn’t work.

    And 4 toons in 3 years, that’s nothing. One lunatic in my old guild did all 10 in less than three years, at one point he was running 6 or 7 toons through each event as it came up, starting new ones as the old ones were complete. One advantage of being unemployed, I guess…

    Comment by blackflame — April 30, 2012 @ 5:33 AM

    • Yep, forcing pve people to pvp never worked for any of the ones I know either. Blizzard still keeps trying, however.

      Comment by Robert — April 30, 2012 @ 6:21 PM

  4. I can feel everyone’s pain. I finally completed this last year. I was fortunate that people in my group were supportive (I needed “Return a fallen flag in Warsong Gulch”). The other events I was able to get without much help, although it took multiple BG attempts.

    Comment by kyplor — May 4, 2012 @ 7:35 AM

  5. That is one achievement I’ll never get.

    Comment by Zy — May 6, 2012 @ 9:57 PM

  6. As someone who nearly quit the game in a fit of frustration over this, I enjoy your chart and comments immensely. My only concern is that shouldn’t the three items on the right (leet pvp god, having friends, and getting lucky) be in parallel and not combined? Or are you saying that you need all three conditions to get the achievement? Cuz I’ll admit, I just got lucky.

    Comment by WookieeBH — May 6, 2012 @ 11:01 PM

    • It’s true, you don’t need all three, but they all help.

      Comment by wowafr — May 6, 2012 @ 11:34 PM

  7. I hated this achievement with a purple passion, and I probably had an easier time getting it since I went after it the first time it was available. But still, did it once, will not ever do it again.

    Comment by sneaksyranger — May 21, 2012 @ 9:13 PM

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