Wednesday, November 5, 2008

On Achievements

As part of the upcoming Wrath expansion, Blizzard has added an Achievement system to WoW: a method to track one's accomplishments in-game. The way it works is fairly simple and requires no additional interaction from the user: complete an achievement and you get a "ding" of sorts, an announcement in guild chat and a few points earned.

When I first heard about this system I was resoundingly meh'ed. Just another useless carrot-dangling mechanic that fuels the OCD in all of us (as if we don't have enough of that in us as MMOers!). Very few of the achievements actually do anything for us in-game... a few titles here and there, an epic mount after collecting some insane number of mounts, etc. Again, meh. There are goals within the game that I mentally keep track of, but you won't see my dwarf running off to Teldrassil just for some exploration achievement.

However, what I didn't anticipate was the team-building and community aspect, which so far has been an overwhelmingly positive thing. The guild chat announcements encourage conversation ("grats!") and cooperation ("LFM SFK!"), even from our quietest members. Another benefit of the system is that it helps keep track of certain goals you may already have, like playing through every instance in the game.

So in the end, I have to give kudos to Blizz for adding a mechanic that you can either take or leave, with no real impact on your ability to play the game well (e.g.: kill mobs faster). It's an added grind only if you want it to be, but doesn't have to be if you could care less...

Like with Fishing.

Or Cooking.

Meh.

:)

3 comments:

Kaelara said...

I agree Ex, it's been quite fun - though it seemed a bit odd at first to me as well.

I've really enjoyed dinking around with it myself!

shieldsup said...

as a huge soccer nerd this picture made me smile. where'd you get it?

on another note: please visit Shields Up!

Exelus said...

I think I just did a search for "trophy" or somethin'. :) Nice to hear from other Shaman bloggers - look forward to reading about "maybe Ponies!"