So, as of last night, Shintar is a Loremaster. I finished Loremaster of Kalimdor down in Silithus and then quickly hopped over to Outland to polish off thirteen more quests for the Shadowmoon Valley achievement. I accidentally got ten tabards too. Funny how these things work out.
I do have to say that I felt very accomplished at the end of it all. This is definitely one of those achievements that really does feel like an achievement, instead of just another badge assigned to some random thing that you were going to do anyway. I don't recommend doing it if you don't really care about quests and lore though, as it's quite time-consuming and you'll probably just find it tedious. I remember a former guild member of mine going through the whole process just because he wanted to have as many achievements points as possible, and he was complaining about "stupid quests" and how annoying it was the entire time. Then he displayed his Loremaster title with pride and I could only facepalm. It just felt so wrong.
Grindiness aside, I thought that the difficulty was definitely overrated though. I had heard a fair amount of comments about the Kalimdor achievement being tough for the Horde, with people saying that they had to do the old Onyxia attunement chain, upgrade their old dungeon sets and/or do the Sceptre of the Shifting Sands line just to reach their quest tally. I didn't find that to be true at all, as I haven't done any of these things and still hit my 685 Kalimdor quests quite comfortably while running a couple of plain old kill/gather errands in Silithus.
I didn't use any questing addons either. I just turned on low-level quest tracking on the mini-map and then worked my way through the zones, going from low to high levels to make sure that I properly completed prerequisite quests for higher-level chains without having to give it any special thought. Once per zone I'd have a quick look at the Wowhead map to see if I missed any quest givers standing in obscure places or item drops that start quest chains (most of the time I hadn't missed anything) and then moved on. So don't let perceived difficulty deter you.
I thought the experience was quite educational in terms of lore. I don't remember reading anything that was completely new to me, but I did notice a lot of minor details that I had overlooked before, and many overarching stories just kind of "clicked together" much better than before. While I like talking about lore and always do read quest text, I have to admit that whenever I'm levelling I'm still more focused on the XP and the rewards than on the story; plus I realised that the way WoW questing works simply doesn't lend itself all that well to great, overarching storylines: even if you're interested in what's going on, it can be quite hard to keep track of everything while you're progressing through ten different quest chains at once. It's kind of like trying to read ten books at once, one chapter at a time, before swapping to another book after each chapter. It's not impossible, but at the same time it's easy to get things a bit mixed up after a while.
That said, I don't actually feel like a Loremaster now, regardless of the title. The number of quests that I discovered and had honestly never done before on any of my characters was relatively low, and instead of fulfilling my dream of an empty quest log, I was left with it being more crowded than ever before. I can only look at the large number of stories that I still haven't tackled with a strange mix of dread and wonder. I intend to keep questing for a while now, even if the game won't acknowledge my efforts beyond this point, as I really do want to know what else I've been missing out on all this time. It seems that the real lore mastery is hidden in what lies beyond the achievement.
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