Account-Wide Achievements

For anyone who hasn’t gotten the (old) news yet, achievements (for the most part) are going account-wide. I must say I’m a bit taken-aback by some of the responses, which are ranging everywhere from “you’ve ruined my life” to “you are my personal gods of joy.” Yeah, sometimes forum posters really scare me. Anyway, I thought I’d address some of the major concerns by adding my two copper to the subject and also ask for other’s input on the subject.

  1. Now I have nothing to do on my alts.  Except that you do. You can still do the activities that grant you the achievement. You’ll still get your mini-ticker tape parade in-game when you do it. The only difference is that the in-game UI panel that shows you have achieved X will have already been highlighted. Since nobody can see this but you, I don’t see how this should affect your personal feelings of joy or accomplishment in any way shape or form. This mostly falls down to nostalgia. If you want to regale us with the tales of how tough things were when you started out, please feel free. We’ll treat your “uphill both ways” stories with as much respect as we whippersnappers ever do. Please do not, however, talk about how players should be forced to do this, that, or the other unless you are willing to do it yourself, even when you have other options. Because I hear all sorts of people talking about how the game was so much more awesome when you had to run everywhere and couldn’t fly or teleport or summon, and very few people actually going anywhere on foot. Put your money where your mouth is or stfu.
  2. The game is becoming way too easy. Except that this isn’t a difficulty adjustment. This is, by and large, a quality of life change and nothing more. With very few exceptions, this does not make getting an achievement any easier. You still have to do every step of every achievement (and most of those on the same toon). The game may or may not be getting easier, but if it is, it has very little to do with changes like this. If you want the achievement for 10oK HKs you still have to acquire 100,000 honorable kills. It’s just that  now you are free to choose which toon you want to earn them on without losing your progress. If you want the Insane title you still have to grind out every rep on the same toon. You just don’t have to do it over again every time you roll an alt.
  3. You’re just too lazy to earn it. Except that I’m not. This is the argument that alternately makes me rage and laugh. You’re talking to somebody who has done “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been” half a dozen times and has another 3 toons within spitting distance of completion. You’re talking to somebody who has earned the Crusader title 8 times. Dungeon Hero? Been there, done that a dozen times over. It’s not that we’re too lazy to earn it. It’s that we’ve already earned it. And earned it. And earned it. And now earning it is boring, stale, and has lost its value as fun. So yeah, we don’t want to do it again for the 3rd or 6th or 9th time. If you consider that to be lazy, then I’ll wear the label with pride. Hear ye, hear ye! I am so insufferably lazy that I have earned the Noblegarden achievement 13 times and though running in a circle collecting eggs for 4+ hours on each of my alts for the rest of eternity sounds like ever so much fun, I do not want to do it again. You may flog me for my laziness now.
  4. You just don’t want to put in the time. Except that I have. Much like it’s close cousin laziness up there, this one is misleading. It’s not that we don’t have time to redo the exact same content again and again and again. It’s that, given the limited possibilities of game content to do, regrinding heroics from 3 expansions ago isn’t all that high of a priority. You see, time is a finite commodity for everyone. Even somebody who has a lot of it – let’s say 4 hours per day – to devote to the game will not have enough to do everything. Once I get a new alt to 85, I already have to do the exact same rep grind, gear grind, etc. before it catches up to the point where it can do the content Blizzard intends to matter.

And that, my friends, is the crux of the argument: CONTENT THAT MATTERS. Achievements, vanity items, pets, mounts, titles, etc. are time-fillers. This is the carrot-on-a-stick that Blizzard uses to get you to re-use the same old content so it doesn’t have to come up with new stuff. The game, no matter how you slice it, is repetitive. It’s always a treadmill. The change to achievements is all about letting us pick our treadmill. If we’d rather spend our time gearing up alts (in the same 3 dungeons) so we can repeat a single raid ad nauseum, let us make that choice. Odd as it may seem from the description I gave, that is what I enjoy. For me, switching between tanking, healing, and dpsing, especially given the vastly different flavors of melee and spellcasting and the variety between each class’ toolbox is enough to keep it fresh for me. You may be different. That being the case, nobody is stopping you from doing the achievements you claim to enjoy. If you enjoy it, keep doing it. All that’s happening is that those of us who do not enjoy it (or have grown tired of it) don’t have to do it more times than we wish.

So, there we are in a nutshell. This change will ruin everything, except that it changes nothing.

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