Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shared Achievements: Are They a Good Thing?

With all the announcements about shared pets, shared mounts, shared achievements, and shared sharing it has me thinking if it is really a good thing over all.

While I have always liked the idea of account wide achievements I am not sure I am ready to embrace the idea of characters having them all.  Let me explain.

Lets take the what a long strange trip its been meta achievement for example.  Only one of my characters has it.  More than a few others have many parts of it but only one has actually put forward the effort to finish it.  That is my main, my main is who I try to get the achievements on.  Makes sense right?

So when I am on my hunter, I have it.  When I am on my priest, I do not.

What I would have liked to see is achievements put into two numbers, first number meaning this character and second number meaning an over all my characters number.  For example my hunter has 11000 achievement points and my priest had 4000 but my priest has a fair deal of achievements my hunter does not.

So my achievement points should look like this, when displayed.

Hunter 11000/11880
Priest 4000/11880

This would show what that character has, and what all my characters combined have.

The way I am understanding it is that it will show as 11880 on both my hunter and my priest now.

The question is, is that a good thing or not?

I have a feeling that showing it as one definitive number like that takes something away from the concept of achieving something.

If I get an achievement that takes time and effort, like strange trip, on my priest it would feel like I did nothing, because I already have it thanks to the work I did on my hunter some years back.  Sure, I made it on this character as well now, but will it feel the same?  Will I even have the desire to do it again?

It is not like I ever wanted to do that on any of my other characters again anyway.  When I finished it a few years ago I was happy to say I would never have to do it again and I never have.  I've not even attempted it on any other characters.

The one thing that seems to be confusing me the most about it is the recent announcement that reputations will not shared as well.  So if my hunter gets exalted with therazane and gets the achievement all my characters will have the achievement yet I will still need to grind exalted to buy shoulder enchants with each character individually?

I don't get it.  If anything, that is something I would want shared.  Why should I have to grind all my characters to exalted when they all have the achievement for getting to exalted already?

This is one of the huge faults in the shared design of shared achievements.

Like if my main has the achievement for master flying, the 310% one, all my characters will have the achievement for master flying as well.  But they will not have 310% flying.  Who decided these things and do they want to share whatever drugs they are on?

Another thing I don't think I get is the concept that certain things are shared while others are not.  Lets say a part of loremaster needs 14 areas and If I get loremaster on one character in 12 areas and on another in the 2 the first one was missing they are collected for one lump sum of the 14 needed and thus I get the meta achievement.  Yet my honorable kills are not added up so I can have the 100K achievement?  How can you choose to add some things up and ignore others?

I think there is something good about shared achievements.  Some achievements are easier to get on some classes.  Like the moonwell thing with the healer never getting hit.

My priest healer has it because I know how to heal, I know when to heal to get the least aggro, I know how to position myself and I know how to hit fade at the right moments, but none of my other characters have the achievement because I have not been lucky enough to have a healer that knew those things.  I like that achievement being shared. 

For the longest time I had many cataclysm glory achievements on other characters that my hunter was missing and my hunter is my main, so of course I wanted them on my main.  Same goes for T11.  I finished BWD as a tank and a healer but never on my main, a DPS.

My main still does not have shattered world because I have never gone back to do it.  At the beginning of the expansion we were healer light and tank light, so I took one for the team and played those roles instead of on my main.  Now I will get that achievement on my main.  I love shared achievements for that.  I will not longer be upset because I am stuck healing when I would rather be on my main.  I will no longer feel tied to my main because I want the achievements on him most.

But look at the bad things I mentioned, do the good things outweigh the bad ones?

I think they are going about the shared achievements all wrong.  They should do them the way I mentioned before, and share everything, even rep, even valor points collected, even honor kills, everything.

They should display the number as xxxx/xxxxx meaning character points / player points.

So my main, my hunter might not have the achievement for BWD but I, the player, do.  My hunter should not be given the achievement for clearing it, as he did not but I should be able to show people that me, the person behind the characters, does indeed have the achievement.  This way would also give me the incentive to go back and get it on my hunter.  While I, the player have it, that character still does not.

They want to add more to the game yet they don't seem to understand that sharing achievements takes away from the game.  Now if I want something on all characters I have to get it on all characters.  If this goes through, all I have to do it do it once.

Doesn't this effectively remove tons of content from the game?  Doesn't it remove the desire to do things on an alt?  Doesn't it take away the feeling of accomplishment that some people like while they are leveling an alt?

My hunter might not have 100K honorable kills but over all my characters combined might.  So my characters would have their respective achievements they earned, and I, the player, would have the collective total and its associated achievements on my player achievements list.

Shared achievements are a good idea.  Just not a good one as they are planning it.

As they are currently doing it, I do not think they are a good thing.


  1. Whilst they aren't currently added up on the beta, I believe the design for hks is to make them shared across accounts to make achievements like Bloodthirsty easier.

    "There are two categories of account-only achievements. One is achievements that are not possible to earn on one character. If we made an achievement to level every class to level 90, it would be account-only. (I'm not sure we will, but it's a good example.) The other category are achievements that are just brutal to complete on one character (and you’d never want to do for multiples), such as 2500 daily quests or 250K honorable kills. In these cases, the cumulative work of all your characters on those criteria will count."

    From Ghostcrawler's blog post.

    1. I had read that as well, but that is only half the issue. The other half being the main achievement total number being shared.

      I would rather my priest be 4000/11880 and not 11880 because the 4000/11880 show she contributed to it, the 11880 makes it seem like it was her alone.

      Not to mention, getting a new achievement on my priest will feel better then getting one that I already had on my hunter. IE: going up to 4010/11880 feels more like I actually achieved something whereas getting an achievement and still be 11880 is just flat out boring and does not actually feel like I achieved anything.

    2. I completely agree.

      I really through when account wide achievements were first mentioned that it would work like you're outlining. A separation between a character's individual tab and the account tab. I would have been much happier if that was the plan.

      I also think that it's wrong that once you have an achievement such as Loremaster on one character, it's impossible to track it on any subsequent alts. It takes the fun out of doing stuff on each individual character.

      I hate the idea of my brand new panda alt waltzing into a battleground at lv 10 with the Bloodthirsty title. I know I don't have to show it, but it takes away the rite of passage that the first hk on every new character.

  2. "Doesn't it remove the desire to do things on an alt? Doesn't it take away the feeling of accomplishment that some people like while they are leveling an alt?"

    This is my only real probem with the whole thing. Ghostcrawler specifically stated the HKs would be counted across characters in the clarification post, which WAS my main concern until I read that.

    The thing is that this is an RPG and I like my characters to have a story, even if only I know what that story is. I don't RP, but I love the idea that my characters exist within the game world and are truly being heroes. Reputations and titles are extremely important to this effect: they show exactly who that character has worked for within the game world. It's why I can have multiple paladins on different servers, a different name and look is enough of a difference for me. And since It all comes together to tell their story.

    Now, all my characters will be loremaster, all of them will be Guardians of Cenarius and Crusaders and Diplomats. Sure, you can still do it all over, but you're just going through the motions instead of actually achieving something at that point.

    So short answer is yes, yes it takes away a great deal of desire to play these alts.

    1. I agree, even if I have many hunters I do not want them to all feel the same. I want them to be individuals.

      Even when not role playing there is still something we all "feel" about our characters.

  3. I like the idea of displaying the 4000/11880 for the achievements. In a way, it'll also help other players know whether this particular character is your main or not, etc.

    As far as the Long Strange Trip, as I understand it, they're letting the mount be account wide, but come Mists, it'll no longer grant the 310% flying speed unless that specific character has gotten the achievement.

    I'm going to love the cumulative PvP achievements, though. Sometimes I want to heal, and sometimes I want to barrel through people like a monstrous deathcow with a shield. Allowing the numbers to add up regardless of character will be very helpful. I won't feel like I'm forced to heal the BGs forever.

    1. I know exactly what you mean. I tend to PvP more as a healer so my main has fewer PvP achievements. It would be nice to have them combined as a personal achievement because after all everything that was done is me doing it even if it is a different character I am on.