Loremaster, You Say?
Loremaster is one of those achievements that is truly an achievement. You didn’t just molest a few critters or eat some food, you went all over the damn world and completed just about every quest Azeroth, Outland and Northrend could throw at you. You killed thousands of mobs and tracked down NPCs from Goldshire to Icecrown. You ventured into ancient, forgotten temples and waged war against factions you forgot existed. You probably even participated in quest chains that would have been impossible for you at the appropriate level. In effect, you scoured the entire planet (and others) to earn the right to call yourself a master of lore.
This achievement is rightfully not easy. Nor is it quick. You won’t sit down to accomplish this one afternoon and have the title before bedtime. To put it in perspective, you must complete a little less than 3,000 quests total to earn this title. 2,843 for the Alliance and 2,705 for the Horde. You will visit every continent, every island, every zone, every planet. It takes a long while to complete, but as we get closer to the advent of Cataclysm it is very much worth your time. You’re going to see old content that has been buried under dust each new expansion, quest lines that were once pivotal to the reclamation of Azeroth that no one now cares about. You’ll get a good feel for the lore present in the world before it’s overturned and trampled on and rewritten by Deathwing. So if you’re a lore nerd, a completionist, or an achievement-whore, Loremaster should be high on your list of things to do before Cataclysm. It’s an epic undertaking, so prepare yourself for some hard, often tedious, sometimes boring work. To that end, I have prepared some pointers for those brave (or bored) enough to attempt it.
First thing’s first. Max out your bag space. Buy bigger bags if you can afford it, but more importantly sell, bank, or toss everything. The only thing you should have left in your bags is your hearthstone. This achievement will take ten times longer if you have to keep running back to a village to vendor all the crap you’re likely to pick up.
Start questing as if you’re a brand new level 1 character, and pretend you’re leveling up that way. In other words, begin your questing adventure in the starting zones of your faction and quest your way through zones in order of level. This does two things for you. First, it helps you find quests easier if you go zone to zone in order than if you just plop down in a random zone. Second, it may actually up your quest count by giving you “go find this person in the next zone” bread crumb quests. These quests count towards your total, and may not be available if you ran ahead and talked to that person beforehand.
Don’t stick to the roads and don’t forget to explore. Many times there are hidden quests lurking off the beaten path, and the only way to ever find them is if you get your boots muddy and go looking. Cities and villages will have most of your quests, but a vast number of them can also be found out in the wilds where no one would ever look.
Keep low level quest tracking on always. Never turn it off.
Ignore repeatable quests, dailies, and PvP quests. Rule of thumb: if it has a blue exclamation point or question mark, it isn’t going to count. However, the initial quest that unlocks the repeatable quest does usually count.
Hit up dungeons along your way. Dungeons often times have quests hidden inside them, such as escort quests that groups may have passed over. Unless you were an avid and very thorough dungeon crawler back when you first leveled, you are likely to find many quests for dungeons in Azeroth. Gather all the quests for a particular dungeon before entering it.
Exhaust your resources. I owe my success to wowhead.com, the comments section of which is a lifesaver for people like me who dislike addons. Go to wowhead and search for the particular zone achievement you are working on, such as Nothing Boring About Borean. Then look in the comments. Helpful people have left locations of hard to find or easily missed quests for your convenience. This only works for zones with a specific achievement attached to them (those in Outland and Northrend). But if you search for Loremaster, then you can find the achievement linked to whichever Azerothian continent you’re currently trying to nuke down and see what people have to say. Also remember to peep at wowwiki and search the zone you’re in, as it usually has an entire article about quests in that area. Lastly, addons like QuestHelper can be invaluable if you want to go that route.
Head back to your low level class trainer. If you’re like me, you tend to ignore class quests with no benefit for you. Double back and make sure you didn’t do the same long ago.
Search capital cities. Stormwind and Orgrimmar may get overlooked as quest hubs while leveling, but they actually have a lot of quests available if you look. Same for all of the other racial capitals.
Don’t discount raid quests. They count towards your total, too. Save a bunch of them then pester your friends or guildmates to help you complete them.
Remember that some quests are only available via a drop from a mob in the zone. Once again, use Wowwiki or wowhead to search for items that begin a quest in a zone. Usually these items have a near 100% drop rate, so if you’re killing mobs like crazy and it isn’t dropping, chances are you did it already.
Pay attention to your reputation with certain factions. Quests become available at different reputation levels, so keep an eye out if you’re climbing the ranks somewhere. Wowwiki has tables for the different factions that will help here.
Never delete a quest. Even if you think it’s too hard or stupid or you’ll never finish it, keep it. Keep everything until you have your title in hand. Nothing is worse than thinking you can ditch a few quests and then find you’re a few quests short and have to go back and look for the ones you tossed.
It’s a long haul to the end, but well worth the effort you put into it. Loremaster is not going away come Cataclysm, but the majority of the quests currently in the game are. You may also want to consider trying for the Seeker title, as you will be completing nearly 3,000 quests anyway. Classic Dungeonmaster and Outland Dungeon Hero are others that you might earn in the process, as well.