Update (18:36): Confirmation has arrived! (see below)
This is an unexpected change and totally opposite of what Bashiok said not too long ago:
Insane in the Membrane is a feat of strength, not an achievement. Feats are things that you can’t be guaranteed to complete, which is why they’re feats and not achievements. Most of them are actually now impossible to complete, and this feat will join a long list of “you had to be there” moments in WoW time.
The feat isn’t being removed of course, those who have it will retain it, however; some of the requirements are, so it will no longer be able to be completed by anyone who has not already done so.
It’s possible that in some very specific situations where someone has completed the reputations which are being removed, but not others that will still be in the game, that it can still be completed. But it’s something we’re waiting for clarity on, and will let you know as soon as we do.
Now, some of you reading this are obviously gonna get really happy since something that was out-of-reach is suddenly within reach. For us that have completed it already it feels like a bit of a bummer that one of the most difficult (if not THE most difficult) faction to grind up your reputation with is being removed from the achievement.
However, putting our feelings aside for a moment to think about this. Does this change seem deliberate or is it perhaps a mistake? Blizzard has flip-flopped on many issues before so that shouldn’t be too unbelievable, but have they ever made a feat of strength easier to obtain? Yes, they have. Winterspring Frostabers used to be twice as difficult as it is now for example. Could this just be a mistake though? Yeah it could, because Shen’dralar is supposed to be removed as a faction entirely and when they did that, it might have disappeared from achievements, items, etc, automatically.
One thing is for sure, we’ll need confirmation from the blues on this.
And here it is! (Source):
It’s a question you’ve been asking us for a little while now. And, based on all the posts, emails, petitions, and letters we received following the announcement that the Insane in the Membrane achievement would no longer be in available in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we started to wonder if maybe we had gone a bit loco.
So, we went back to the drawing board. After carefully reviewing all the feedback and discussing the matter amongst ourselves, we’re now happy to report that we will be making the following changes to the Feat of Strength:
- Exalted reputation with Shen’dralar will no longer be required. As this is the only reputation that will be unobtainable in Cataclysm, we’ve simply decided to remove it as a requirement. For those who already earned Exalted reputation with this faction, don’t worry — we haven’t forgotten about your accomplishments. In a future patch, we’ll be adding in a separate Feat of Strength to recognize your deep love of Dire Maul.
- Bloodsail Buccaneer faction reputation will remain in-game. Also, to ensure that this change does not negatively affect Cataclysm quest progression in Stranglethorn Vale, Booty Bay Bruisers will now provide reputation up through Exalted.
This will ensure that players will still be able to attain Insane in the Membrane and “The Insane” title in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Please note, however, that these changes will not take effect until The Shattering in patch 4.0.3a — excluding the separate “Exalted with Shen’dralar” feat, which will be introduced in a future, but currently-undetermined patch.
And, of course, those who are already Insane in the Membrane will retain their title and current Feat of Strength. Shine on, you crazy diamonds.
So, wow. That’s a lot to chew all in one post. The Insane will still be obtainable, contrary to what we’ve been told for several weeks. It won’t be as prestigious as it is now but on the plus side us extra-hardcore Shen’dralar fanboys will get another feat of strength which will be unobtainable in Cataclysm.
And just for extra funsies, Bloodsail Bucaneer reputation will be grindable again – and this time, all the way to exalted from killing bruisers!? 😮 I know what this means, I’m gonna have to grind my Steamwheedle rep from hated to exalted a third time, haha.
I believe these changes will make most people happy, so that was some pretty good and relieving news right there!