Well, it’s holiday time again in Azeroth. This week is Children’s Week, where players get to take an orphan around to different places in World of Warcraft, and even buy them ice cream. Then, they have to show the kids the horrible field of battle : horrible in more ways than one.
School of Hard Knocks is an achievement that is part of Children’s Week, and is needed for players to earn the meta-achievement For the Children. This is part of the What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been achievement, causing many players to attempt it so they can earn the Violet Proto-Drake.
To earn this achievement, a player must complete four battleground tasks with their orphans by their side. Now, some people complain that this is too negative to start with, as it is showing these kids war and death. I don’t necessarily agree with that opinion, but I understand what they are saying.
That being said, I think this is one of the worst achievements in the entire game. Why? One reason is that the tasks are designed in such a way that many players are required to do things in the battleground that their class is not truly designed to do, such as carry a flag.
Another problem is that people who are trying to complete these tasks are not participating in the battle in a way that will help their team win. Instead of fighting the opposing team, players are often made to fight their own allies in order to grab the needed flag.
I am not opposed to having player-vs.-player elements in achievements. What does annoy me is that this particular achievement is not fair to certain classes, and causes strife between players. This seems to go against the very nature of a battleground, which is that players have to work together as a team to be successful.
One positive note is that some players are going out of their way to help each other get the achievements, both on their own team and across the factions. I applaud this, as it shows that there are players who care about others. However, this behavior sometimes aggravates those players who regularly do PVP, and can cause more arguments and grief.
Personally, I believe that Blizzard should either change the tasks required for the achievement or remove it from the meta-achievement. Having tasks that are class biased and cause drastic changes in battleground behavior is simply a bad idea.
Overall, I enjoy Children’s Week. The quests are fun, gold and experience can be earned, and the pets you can earn are cute. Most players at even very low levels can do the quests, especially with friends to help them travel to some of the higher level areas.
However, the PVP part of the achievement causes me to give Blizzard a grade of C for this event. The battleground tasks ruin the event for many players. Good luck to those who choose to give it a try.
(Note: As of the writing of this article, the Dalaran quests are not working for players who completed a set of the quests last year. In theory, if you completed the chain for one pet last year, you would be able to complete the other chain this year, but the orphan matron will not let you start the chain. Other bugs have also been reported. Blizzard is aware of the problems, and has said they are working to get them fixed.)