In a few months it will have been two years since Blizzard officially recognized my insanity.
Insane in the Membrane
Bloodsail Buccaneers (Honored)
Booty Bay (Exalted)
Darkmoon Faire (Exalted)
And when I did it, also required Shen'dralar (Exalted), a faction which is no longer available due to how Cataclysm cataclymized everything. This makes it a bit easier (a lot easier, but taking a billion away from infinity doesn't do much overall), but also means it is still possible (I'm not a fan of people losing to deadlines). I think it was a good change, since it's not as if it's suddenly trivial.
The first requires destroying reputation with the next four. Which then need to be fixed. The easy way is to destroy the first. I did it the hard way and didn't. The next requires a rogue and the last is expensive.
The other week when I was visiting some friends, and possibly violating the ToS by playing her account for an hour or two (scandal!) the subject of this particular achievement came up. I imagine I was waxing nostalgic about everything before [current expansion].
This is the best achievement in the game.
It's actually an achievement (to the degree that anything in a game is), rather than just another something that you happen to get. You won't accidentally get this. You won't get this by someone carrying you. You won't get this by wandering over to somewhere and maybe see what happens. This is something you choose to do, actively, and with some concept that it is a completely absurd goal.
It takes a literal fuckton of time. Note that in modern language, "literal" has degraded to just mean "metaphorically with a lot of emphasis", or in this case "ten times as much", which means approximately a skrillion hours (same amount Ron Paul will cut from the deficit).
I liked this. It kept me entertained for a long time. Was this high-intensity screaming with joy fun? No. It was not fully voiced, fully animated, or even fully scripted to tell a complex and engaging story. But it did send me all over the place to find what I needed at whatever pace and in whatever order I wanted (with some accounting for optimization within the strange reputation system), something sadly absent in these highly-scripted, linear times.
It rewarded innovation. By which I mean it rewarded me for being an engineer. My mailboxes saved me a ton of time and gold. And I got ogre suits out of the deal. But it did reward innovation. Sure, the easy path was to go kill pirates and fix my Booty Bay reputation. But screw that, I'm playing both sides! I learned about Dire Maul and how it, this strange far-off instance in the middle of nowhere, could give a big piece of goblin reputation without destroying my Bloodsail reputation as well. I found myself with a lot of old junk, and turned it into even more gold. Turns out there was a market for cloth and old enchanting materials, both in low supply thanks to Burning Crusade pulling players out of Azeroth too soon to hear too soon.
"Gordok Ogre Suit, 40g, will make you look thinner in comparison!"
Maybe by now you're wondering, "but would you do it again?"
Maybe. I originally had a paragraph here about context and content and changes in the game, but in short: maybe, it depends on what the game is in which the achievement is embedded.
I liked having long-term goals, particularly those which did not require speculating on whether a raid group would get it's shit together or not.
The looming MMO war of 2014
1 hour ago