Thursday, September 25, 2008

More on a budding hatred of Achievements

Not sure what "good" bloggers do when their readers post thought provoking comments: do you post a follow up comment, conversation style? or do you just go ahead and post a new blog entry. I often find myself paralyzed over indecision that leaves me deep in thought, wanting to write a follow up, and then leaving it unwritten. On the one side, a conversation is a good thing, and my readers often leave comments that give us good food for thought, and I'd love to validate their contribution and also share my follow up. On the other, if your readers read via feedreader, they might not subscribe to your comments feed so they wont be in on it. (h3ll, i dont even know how to subscribe to my own comments, i get them via email).

So, I'll go with the "just go ahead and post a new blog entry" technique today.

Brajana posted a reply to my article about "My new fear of Achievements". The reply describes the optional nature of achievements, and how each person is free to pursue the ones that they like and leave the others uncompleted.

True dat.

All signs point to Achievements being an optional part of the game, with only perhaps some vanity items coming from being a super achiever. No game content will be physically blocked for lack of achievements. You may have some guilds reject candidates, using a low achievement score as (possibly false) evidence of the player's general commitment, availability, or focus. I'm personally not too worried about those guilds, since I probably don't want to play with folks who evaluate people like that anyways. But I digress.

My growing unrest with what I understand to be the Achievements system is not me calling out for Blizzard to change anything. Its simply me wanting to vent about how the system may either be something I love, or hate. I doubt I'll casually grab a achievement here or there.

I look at achievements as a to-do list, once the real to-do list is done.

The real to-do list, for me at least, is the list of things that will open up content for me and my guild.

You all know I hate loot, but I do understand that Blizz engineered the game so that loot is your access key to more content.

So grinding rep with factions that provide me or my teammates better loot, that goes on my real to-do list. Hitting BG's for gear that I can wear while raiding, real to-do list. Grinding gold to pay for enchants and repairs, real to-do list. Getting the Master's Key, real to-do list. Remember attunements? lol.

Then, when I'm done with most of my real to-do list, or if I just need a break, because lemme tell you, grinding Sporeggar, I sure needed breaks from the to-do list. There's just so many drops of Shiny Fish Scales and Fish Oil that I can leave behind before all those sparkly un-looted corpses make me mental (/slap-self, you were mental before you even started).

When I'm done with the content-opening things, or the things that are simply so overly entertaining that I want to do them anyway, I was thinking that Achievements would fill the gap.

And, as Brajana writes, there will be achievements available to suit a wide range of tastes. A plethora of tastes, if you will. I know I'm going to like trying to get the Ogri'la bombing one done in 2 minutes or less. I've been trying to time it lately, that's going to be a tough one.

But there's two things that're going to drive me batty.

One. An achievement should be achievable. The 2008 Bejing Olympics was achievable. For a brief time period. If you didn't complete it before the closing ceremony, you will never be able to complete it. If you start playing WoW with the release of WotLK, this achievement was NEVER achievable by you. This does not jive for me, homey. I really hope that the Achievements UI will put these things in a very separate list, because something that is completely un-doable is silly to me. If its in a separate list, well, maybe I'll feel a bit more at ease.

Two. For the life of me, I can't remember what my point #2 is. Must have been pretty weak, eh? But, rest assured, there was originally two things driving me batty.

I suppose in the end, I'm a completionist. I really like diving in as deep as I can and going hog wild. The idea of a to-do list of fun things that I can then check off as I do them, sounded pretty cool. Even if some of those things are not so fun, and feel grindy, if I have an internal sense that the list is possible to complete, there's a good chance I'll be motivated to keep at it.

By having things on that list that are unattainable, it makes it so that me, and maybe people like me if there are any, just not really want to be involved.

Challenging but attainable? You'll have me buying a lifetime subscription to WoW.

List that is physically impossible to complete? Meh. I hear the public quests in WAR are pretty cool, maybe I should try them out.

I feel like they've taken something that would have had me engaged and highly motivated, and turned it into something of a passing novelty, where I'll occasionally pick an achievement and go for it, but probably not much more.

Oh yeah, and its not like Sporeggar was on my real to-do list. That was just for the tiny sporebat pet, and to appeal to the completionist in me. Hey, maybe that's like Achievements. Maybe I'll like those after all. Just make up your mind already, would you?


Mal-2 said...

My understanding is that there are two types of Achievements. You have regular achievements, which are possible for anyone to do eventually, though some of them may be quite difficult.

Then you have "Feats of Strength". These are recognition for doing things that you can't do anymore. They aren't worth any achievement points (whatever those are), and include things like getting the old PVP titles, owning a collector's edition, or getting the little gold dragon.

Anonymous said...

A Festivus for the rest of us hey?

Considering the complete lack of diligence I have displayed completing the Champion of the Naaru questline I am going to say achievements are unlikely to be my thing.

As long as they don't end up really elistist (ie if you don't have the "I soloed Onxyia in beta with someone else's resto shammy" your a noob) they will be ok.

I'll be too busy trying to figure out how to politely decline raid spots in Naxx when every class has essentially the same talents anyhow.


Brajana said...

Thanks for responding to my response! :)

mal-2 does make a good point, and it's something I appreciate. They have clearly separated out the achievements that are only achievable "once upon a time". That means that if you did do this special thing, you can be proud of it, but other people can't complain that your "score" (silly little number) is better than theirs and they can never complete -everything- without out some level of effort.

But I will probably do the same as you, just pick up the achievements as I get them, and as I read them or get close to achieving some others, I'll probably put some additional effort in.

Or when I'm bored.

Or when I should be studying....

... stupid achievements. Hehe :)