Thursday, July 12, 2012

Will Shared Achievements Change How You Play?

The addition of shared achievements come mists can be both a good and a bad thing in my opinion but that is not going to be what this is about even if I mention the good and bad of it.  This is about how we play the game and how shared achievements might change that.

One of the biggest reasons I liked the concept of shared achievements is something like the holiday events.  I know a few people that have done them all on multiple characters but personally I do not have the time nor the desire to do that.  Some of the things for the holiday events I hated doing, some were downright brutal like school of hard knocks when it first came out, it is easier now, but it is still not even close to anything anyone could call fun from a PvP or a PvE standpoint.  So why would I ever want to do that on more than one character?

But even if I like that the achievement is being shared for this, the shared achievements are not going to change the way I play in cases like this because I had absolutely zero intention of ever doing it on any other character again after I finished off my main.  If I did do any of it, it would just be for something to do.

One of the biggest drawbacks to the shared achievements is the fact that is removes a butt load of content from the game.  We are not just talking a little bit here of there, we are talking 100s of hours of play time is being removed from the game.  No longer will I need to go get the achievements from old raids, which is something I love to do, with a new max level character.  What is worse is not the fact that I no longer need to do it, I am no longer capable of doing it because I already have the achievement even if I wanted to do it to get the achievements.  Boo hiss hiss boo.  Taking away things I did for fun like that is not nice blizzard.

I can see me playing the game a lot less because of shared achievements.  Many of the times I go help people with raids or achievements it is on a character that needs the achievements.  Not sure why, but I love seeing the achievements pop up, it is part of the fun for me. 

If none of them need the achievements my desire to go along will be greatly decreased.  Sure, I will still help someone if they need the help, but I will never tag along just for fun so I can get the achievement on an alt.  My alt won't need it.  That means, unless I am actually needed, I won't go.  So it will surely change the amount I play the game, lowering is significantly in the achievement hunting department because once you get it, everyone has it.

Some of that once you get it everyone has it stuff works well for me in places however.  So it is a double edged sword.  My rogue and druid do flag returns, my main, a hunter, does not.  So now I can get those PvP type achievements on my main while not doing them on my main.  For someone like me that likes to hunt achievements this can help my main get something he has not been able to before.  There are some achievements that are just easier to get on some classes.

For a few examples my priest has the moonguard achievement and I have healed that achievement for so many others because doing it because as a disc priest is insanely easy, while my main still does not have it.  My priest was a kingslayer a good three months before my main was.  My shaman healed tunnel vision every time I was in that dungeon with her but on my main I have never been lucky enough to get a healer capable of healing it so my main does not have it.  Those are just a few achievements my hunter will pick up.

How about doing those runs I was talking about.  The old raids for fun.  If I need any achievements on my main I want to run on my main.  Which means if we are short a healer or a tank I get put in the position of taking one for the team and running on a tank or healer and not getting the achievement on my hunter or saying I want to get the achievement so someone else has to switch. 

Neither one of those is fun really.  I am either forced to play something I would rather not or I have to force someone else to play something they would rather not.  I don't know about you, but I think being in that situation sucks.  Now with shared achievements it is no big deal.

It also means when I decide to go achievement hunting I can stack the odds in my favor being I have every class in the game maxed.  I can use the perfect class for getting the achievement.  A worgen feral druid or worgen rogue, lots of speed boosts there, for flag returns in PvP.  My engineer to get ravenholdt exalted because lets face it having that mailbox will make things a lot easier.  My healers to get achievements like tunnel vision or moonguard that depends on healers that I usually have bad luck getting good ones that are good on my hunter.  Or how about a tank based achievement like faster than the speed of light, my tank had it way before anyone else.  Now I just use the character / class / profession that is needed to get the achievement done easier.

So while the achievements being shared did decrease the replayability of the game a great deal as I mentioned before, it does bring a chance to get more achievements for my main.  Both a good and bad thing.  Like I mentioned.

So how will achievement sharing change how I play?

I will raid on multiple characters a lot less because there is no need to get the achievements on each one.  I will no longer do something I've already done, just for something to do.  I will still be a hunter main but will no longer feel tied to it as much as I used to.  No longer will I ever have to face the feeling that it is either help my guild and tank or get the achievements on my main.  I can do both at once basically.

It will also breath some life into my PvP desire.  I like to heal PvP but my hunter can not heal.  So I don't do it at all.  I always hated getting the achievements on my priest when my hunter did not have them so I just didn't do it at all.

Over all I think I will find myself playing a lot less with the loss of achievement hunting on alts but it might see me playing PvP a little more.  Maybe it will even out, maybe it won't.  Only time will tell.

One side effect of this achievement sharing that I am looking forward to seeing is more account wide achievements.  Stuff like class specific achievements.  Defeat this dungeon as a tank, healer and DPS.  Catch 5 enemies in one ring of frost.  Get the killing blow on 5 enemies at the same time with one multi shot.  All things like that.  I am looking forward to the possibility that there could be a lot of new achievements for me to chase on all my characters being I lost the replayability of a lot of my previous achievement hunting.  This is, if they add stuff like that.  I sure hope they do.  I think that would be awesome if they did.


  1. You mentioned flag returns as (I assume) DPS classes. Imagine the pain of trying to get flag returns as a healer! I think being able to do things like that on different characters, to fill in for other characters' "weaknesses", essentially, will be a really nice thing.

    1. For sure. That is one of the things I like it for. Like I said, I like to PvP on my healer more than on my hunter and there is no way in hell I would be running the flag on my priest. Although oddly enough, she had done so many times.

  2. I love the idea of shared achievements. It will allow me to play my alts for things I would have had to use my main for. For example, I'm working on Netherwing rep on my main and after that I'll be able to spend some time working on Skyguard rep on my Draenei alt.

    There's so much to do in WoW that I'll never have time to do it all but being able to have a lot of what I do on alts "count" on my main as well is going to be amazing. I'm looking forward to it, esp with regards to mounts.

    1. There are some good things, like you mentioned. I do like that I can do things with whomever I wish now and it counts for my main. It means, with the exception of the gear factor, there is no such thing as a main any more. Everything you do counts for everyone.

    2. Well I guess your main would be the toon you play most and feel more connected too. If you're a raider it would be the toon you do the main progression raid on. I actually switched mains last year and I have a lot of achievements on my warlock and I'm glad they'll be able to show on my new main, my hunter, soon as well.

    3. I know what you mean. The beginning of this expansion I never got to raid on my main because we always needed a tank or healer so my main had nearly no progression in T11. Heck, it only just recently finished T11. I was doing it on alts at the time. For that reason I like that achievements are shared, so my main does not feel so left behind like that again.

  3. Will the "Kill All Rares" achievements from Outland and Northrend be now merged throughout all my same-server toons? So if my pally's killed Dirkee, Terror Spinner and Vyragosa and my shaman's only killed the spirit leopard down in Sholazar, they now all get credit for all kills?

    1. I am not 100% certain but I believe this is how those achievements work.

      If one character has all the things, the total achievement is shared, but parts of each achievement are not.

      This means, no, bloody rare and frostbitten will not be shared in parts, only as a whole on one character.

      At least that is what I have been lead to believe.

    2. Yup, that's correct.

      You have to have done it all on one character, before an Achievement is allocated to all. You can't e.g. add the Ravenholdt Rep on one character to another that has SWC Exalted to another that is a Bloodsail Admiral to get Insane for example.

      AFAIK the only exceptions are Meta achievements (Hallowed on one toon, the Matron on another) and - possibly in order to promote more Real ID HK premades and Loomhunters to crap up PvP even more - the HK achievements (ie you camp newcomers to oblivion in 10-14 or 20 with a 24, it gets allocated to your 'overall' tally)

    3. Yeah, the total kills will be added up. They are doing that and a few other things, but over all most are on a per character basis.

  4. Accountwide achievements remove for me much of the point to play.

    I also don't subscribe to this notion that all Achievements should be attainable by everone, it only leads to the individual Achievements becoming more shallow and less 'special'.

    It will also reduce the amount of available content, as yes, at first players will say 'goody, now I can get X easier by another toon!' but once they have done it on that one character, replayvalue will sink again and people will clamor for more content.

    Besides MMORPG's not being meant to be 'finished', not all the content has to be suitable for all players, there has to be suitable content for all players.

    And that last part is where Blizz is quite argueably failing.

    1. That is my biggest point against it. It effectively removes content by making it so one character gets everything for every character.

      I know someone that is just an alt player. They never PvP or raid. And they have fun hunting achievements on each of the characters. They are quitting because of this. Because basically their entire reason for making alts is gone now.