If you're a gamer, you're probably familiar with "achievement" systems, where you get a little virtual badge every time you complete a game goal, like finish a level, or some arbitrary task the developer happened to think of, like collect all the pink-colored guns in the game. The Xbox Live Gamerscore system is basically the grandfather of all achievement systems.
It's so common it's sort of an inside joke among gamers.
World of Warcraft picked up on the system soon enough, once they realized the potential. You see, plenty of people were already hooked on WoW because of the sense of accomplishment -- gaining levels, killing bosses, getting fancy weapons and armor -- from just playing the game content as it was designed. The thing is, there were players on either side of that bell curve (super hardcore or super casual) that weren't quite as hooked as they could be.
This is the ideal, you see.
Enter the achievement system. Achievements can be handed out for the stupidest things, like reaching level 10 or logging on during WoW's 4th anniversary. This makes people feel like they've accomplished something even if they'll never set foot in a dungeon or kill a boss.
On the other end of the spectrum, the overachievers who kill every boss in the game within a month of its introduction now have new challenges in the form of completely arbitrary conditions under which to kill the boss. It'd be like after a football team wins the Super Bowl, asking them to try and win the Super Bowl again, but this time with one hand tied behind their backs and everyone on the team wearing a Bavarian alpine hat.
And you can't let the hat fall off.
So some achievements are meaningless, and some achievements are insanely difficult. The developers thought it would be funny to make some that were both. Like these.
#5. Old Crafty / Old Ironjaw (aka Many Hours of Fishing)
"Old Crafty" and "Iron Jaw" are names of fish. You don't get this achievement for defeating them, or finding them, or anything else you'd expect in a medieval monster-killing fantasy game. You get it for catching them, by fishing, with a fishing pole.
I'm sure this is exactly what you're looking for in a fantasy-themed MMO.
Fishing in WoW is almost exactly like fishing in real life. You cast a line and can't go do something more interesting, because the moment you hear a splash, you must click on the bobber or you will lose the fish. Then you will either reel in an empty line or something you don't want, curse, and cast it again, about 1,000 times or so, until you get Old Crafty or Old Ironjaw. Also as in real life, there is usually drinking involved.
Which can be done from commemorative WoW beer steins.
One veteran WoW fisher's tips on fishing includes detailed instructions for how you can trick the game into letting you watch a TV show in Media Player while your character performs the boring fishing task (recommending all seven seasons of Scrubs as a good choice -- though I personally would suggest The Wire.
The real tricky part however, is that one of these fish is found in a Horde capital city and one is found in an Alliance capital city. In WoW, you're either in one faction or the other, and the other faction will kill you on sight (both players and city guards).
You usually have to bring a small army.
So basically, getting one of the fish just takes patience and a good sitcom. Catching the other one requires you to walk straight into a city packed with players and NPCs that will kill you the moment they set eyes on you, and that's when you're supposed to set up your fishing pole, and wait patiently for hours.
Your reward is that you get an achievement that no one will ever see unless they click on your profile and look for it specifically, and 10 achievement points that can't buy anything and aren't part of any competition.
#4. BB King
One thing you'll start noticing is the WoW developers' penchant for terrible puns and pop culture references. If you play WoW regularly, you know it's best just to sigh and move on.
The BB King achievement requires you to walk into the capital cities of the opposite faction, similar to Old Crafty/Old Ironjaw, but (1) you have to walk into all five cities, and (2) you can't just hide out in a secluded fishing spot and do your thing. Instead, you have to walk right into the throne room of that city's leader and shoot them with - I am not kidding here -- a Red Rider BB gun.
This BB pellet will draw the hostility of that leader, plus all their guards, and probably lead to your imminent death, either at their hands, or the hands of enemy players as you try to run out through their city to safety.
Oh, also it takes a couple of seconds to fire, it can miss, and it can backfire, stunning you for five seconds and giving you a temporary negative status called, "Right in the eye!" just in case you haven't noticed the reference to A Christmas Story yet. You'll have time to figure it out while the enemy guards murder you.
This is BB King, for you Philistines.
#3. School of Hard Knocks
Two things you need to know about first -- orphans and battlegrounds. Orphans are non-combat characters that you can have follow you around during Children's Week, a yearly event where you take an orphan around with you to see specific sights in the world that they've always dreamed of seeing while confined to the orphanage -- sights like the Dark Portal where the orc invasion entered the world, or like a dam or something. They say malnutrition does strange things to a growing brain.
Doesn't do much for looks either.
Then we have the battlegrounds, which are specific player-vs-player scenarios with goals like capturing the flag or holding bases or whatever, and involve players killing each other en masse.
So what better things to put together than orphans and battlegrounds? It's like peanut butter and jelly, it is.
"MOTHEERRRRR! NOT AGAIN!"
Every year during Children's Week, people who don't normally play PvP will flood the battlegrounds, hoping to accomplish these very specific and non-teamwork-oriented goals while toting an orphan around, enraging the PvP veterans who are trying to, you know, win the battleground.
Also, for some reason, 15 orphans goes from cute to creepy.