Achievements, Gaming

Making Higher Learning Simple(r)

Pygmy with kirin tor petIf you’re into companion pets and achievements, there’s no pet quite as awesomely cool as the Kirin Tor Familiar.  This incredibly cool familiar, seen here with Trixxyne as a pygmy gnome, is the reward from one of the most frustrating, pull-your-hair-out General Achievements in World of Warcraft: Higher Learning.

This Achievement requires you to find and read (well, click on) 8 different books, located around Dalaran, all about the Schools of Arcane Magic.  Being a particularly insane person, in need of intervention, I have this achievement on Snazzie (the mage), and on Trixxyne (the Paladin).  And Shoxxie (the Shaman) is currently only missing two books.

A couple of things make this achievement so much more difficult than it sounds: the spawn times, and the spawn HABITS of these books.  Books spawn in the same 8 places every 3-4 hours, but they’re not always the Schools of Arcane Magics books – sometimes they are books about Fluffy the Rabbit, cook books, diaries, etc.  On most servers, these are known as ‘Fake Books’. Once someone has ‘read’ the book, by clicking on it, it will activate a despawn timer.  I’m not exactly sure of the time but I think it is around 3-4 minutes.

So, apart from living in Dalaran round the clock, running between the known spawn places, how do you make getting this achievement remotely doable?  Read on, I’ve got some tips for you.

  1. Make sure you know what all the correct spawn points are, and their common abbreviation (handy for later):
  • VG – Violet Gate – On the floor behind the woman who gives you the quest to teleport down to Crystal Song Forest – in front of the bookcase on your left (her right)
  • VH – Violet Hold – On the crate in the corner by the guy who gives you the Regular Daily Dungeon quest. You can fish from the little jetty and still see the crate!
  • DVC – Dalarn Visitor Center – On the floor in front of the bookcase to the right as you come in the door.
  • TOF – Threads of Fate – On the crate on the upstairs balcony – this is visible from the top of the steps to the Violet Citadel (handy later)
  • UVC – Upper Violet Citadel – On the floor in front of the bookcase by the portal to Caverns of Time.
  • LVC – Lower Violet Citadel – On the bottom shelf of the bookcase to your right and closest to the back as you come in the door.
  • ULL – Upper Legerdomain Lounge – In the bookshelf of the room with two twin beds, to your left as you come up the stairs.
  • LLL – Lower Legerdomain Lounge – In the bookshelf closest to the pot-belly stove on the second floor

2.  Get some friends. Join the books channel, or make your own and announce it in forums, trade chat, general chat, etc, if you don’t already have one on your server.  On Hellscream Alliance side, it’s called Books, (ie type /join books).  On a different server I’ve seen it called Bookclub.

3. Do the circuit. Every time you head to Dalaran, stop by the book locations you still need.  If you are lucky, you will see a book.  Note the time, and put it in your macro (step 5).  Don’t waste time hanging around though.  Highly unproductive.  The only time this would be useful is right after a server restart when all the books will spawn (real or fake).

4. Start watching your books channel.  Start by saying something like: Does anyone have any book times?  If you are very very lucky, you get the last spawn times from someone and you can skip to steps 5 or 6.  If your channel is silent, it is usually NOT because there is no one in it, but because no one is taking any initiative.  So, that’s where you have to step in.  Start by posting your macro from step 4, and do so every half hour or so.  You’d be amazed how many times you can fill in here and there.

5. Your macro.  Mine looks something like this (my book channel is channel 6)

/6 Last known spawn times (all times server)
/6 VG – 10:34 (r)*
/6 VH – ?
/6 DVC – 10:50 (f)
/6 UVC – ?
/6 LVC – ?
/6 ToF – ?
/6 LLL – ?
/6 ULL – 9:46 (f)
/6 Please let us know if you have seen any others.

If I get other times, I stick them in there.  *The (f) is for fake or real.  Why people want to know this, I do not know.  Glutton for punishment I guess.  It sucks to find out one was real like 10 minutes ago.

6. Keep an eye on spawn times. This should give you a decent idea of when books are due.  When ones you need are due to spawn, head to Dalaran.  Hang out by the book you need.  Use the book channel to see if other people are watching other books.  Play with pygmy oil.  Dance.  Eat weird food for eating achievement.  Or it’s happy hour somewhere.  Even more useful is being a mage,  getting naked, and making copies of yourself.  Some people play Peggle.  If you have offspring, you can have THEM sit there and play with the toon.  Watch TV (True Blood requires too much Eric drooling – I missed a book because of it).  And, hopefully, you’ll get lucky.

7. Don’t forget to note the times, and tell the books channel when something pops!

8.  When you finally get all the books, you get a book in the mail, it lets you teleport to the place where you can buy your Kirin Tor Familiar! Yay!

I leave you with Pygmy Snazzie waiting for her LVC book.

Pygmy Snazzie waiting for book

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