Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What Would You Do Just For Achievements?

Someone made a comment in a post about achievements being a motivator for some of the things he does in game and it got me to thinking how much of what I do would I do if there were no achievements tied to it.

Archaeology is the one thing that really made me think about it.  I have it on only one character and it really is boring.  Sometimes I did while waiting in queue for my dungeon when it first came out, as a timer waster sort of thing, but still not something I would ever do on another character.  Once skilling one character up I see no reason to get another up.

As a secondary profession it fits neatly where it should I guess.  You can live without it.  I personally did it for the goodies but this expansion I did it for the achievements more so.  I was lucky and got the goodies in the first few finds, even before I managed to get to max level.  Even when they added the klaxxi ones I got the goodies there really quick. But I still kept at it.  Why?  Achievements.

The 20 of each achievements, the one of each pristine achievement and of course the seeker of knowledge title.  If it where not for the achievements once I maxed archaeology and got my goodies I would have never done it again.  Achievements drove me to do it.

It got me thinking about some of the other things I do.  Like right now I still solo old dungeons and raids trying to get mounts.  I have the mount I use and I like it.  Been using the same mount for years and even if I got other nice ones and checked them out, like ashes, I still went back to my mount.  Sure, I collect mounts, but it is sort of something of a byproduct.

When I go back and solo this old stuff looking for mounts it is because I need 5 more for the 200 achievement.  I could easily live without the mounts and there is so much to do in the game as is so it is not like I am bored and looking for something to do, which is how I got into collecting them to begin with.  So each time I step into stonecore to do my 5 before I am locked I am doing it for the 200 mount achievement, not for the mount itself.

I don't PvP really but when I do it is always in the back of my head that I can get achievements at it.  When I enter a battle ground the first thing that pops into my mind is what achievements should  I work toward while I am here, not about winning the battle.  The battle is secondary.  I am going to end up with my 100 wins anyway sooner or later just doing them, might as well get the achievements like capping a node, returning a flag, getting honor kills, etc.

I think the first bullshit achievement, and by that I mean something I did just to get an achievement, was shave and a haircut.  I did it not because I wanted to change my hair, I don't give a crap about my hair, but I wanted to get the achievement.

I went around the world to read books for an achievement, I loved squirrels to get an achievement, I did a ton of things that I would have never done most likely if it were not for the sake of getting achievements.  It is not so much that I am an achievement whore, it is just that when I see something there on the achievement list it becomes a todo list.  I need to go read these books, I need to love these squirrels, I need to get a haircut.

I wonder if there are certain aspects of the game you would never have done if it were not for the achievements associated to them.  I know there are some things I never would have done and the archaeology thing is first and foremost.  I would never have went on to find 20 of each thing and one of each pristine thing after I reached max level and got my goodies I wanted.  There really is no motivation to do it when you have everything.  And that is where achievements come in.  They are the added motivation to keep us doing something that we would never do otherwise.

I do find some achievements to be quite odd.  I mean do we really need an achievement for level 10?  It is something you just bump into.  You were leveling anyway.  It was bound to happen if you kept leveling.  But other things that add up numbers do seem to make sense.  To some extent.  Looting 1000 gold, while just like reaching level 10 is something that will happen sooner or later anyway, makes sense to keep track of.  Maybe because it is not a number we see on the screen all the time.

Then they have all those new achievements they added being they tied achievements together.  Makes me wonder, why stop?  We have an achievement for having 2 90s, 3 90s, 5 90s, one 90 on each side, but why not have one for have 1 90 of each class, or 2 90s on each side, or, well, you get the idea.

Sometimes, even for the achievement hunter that I have become, it seems like it is really getting out of hand.  They are adding so many achievement to hunt, so much so that it almost seems like it eats a lot of time for a limit period of excitement for achieving it.   When on the other hand, there are achievement they could have added and they didn't.  We have an achievement for killing all the rares on the island or killing a certain amount of warbringers and warscouts but why not have one for killing all the commanders in the barrens?

While I am asking the players what do you do just for achievements I could ask blizzard what is the reasoning behind some achievements? 

Or what are the reasonings why some other things that scream achievement don't have one?  With the achievement happy blizzard lately, one that wants you to grind (20 of each artifact) and ones that want you to camp (kill all the rares) why are some things that seem perfect for achievements absent.  Like killing all the commanders or killing all the named hozen in the valley.  Those would both fit neatly into the kill all the rares sort of thing.

More importantly, for this post at least, is if they did add those achievements, would you go and slaughter all those named hozen to get it?  Would you make groups to hunt down commanders to do it?

I know I would, because I do a lot of things in game I would never do, or want to do, if it were not for the achievements associated with it.  What would you do just for the achievements?


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    1. I do actually wish I could get into the achievements more. I guess that does make me an achievement whore. lol

      I have most all of the ones you can get solo. All except one I refuse to do, the stupid golden lotus one where you have to do those 2 quests without taking damage. I did the entire quest line every day for almost 2 months and never got sent there to do it. So I gave up. I hate that I need to go through all those dailies just to see if it is that one for the day. I doubt I will ever get that one.

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  2. Coming from the comments section of your previous blog, needless to say, this post strikes a chord.

    Like I said, the last six weeks I was on the fence about the game, having - for the first time in years! - more or less ran out of things to do, and entertaining myself with thoughts similar to what you wrote above. I think I have changed my stance towards achievements as a result. In a nutshell, I no longer like them and no longer see them as something that is worth pursuing.

    A very illuminating experience came from archaeology, indeed. I did manage to get all of the achievements in the end, cursing and humming, and half-way through this I had a thought about how arbitrary the number 20 looked. A question popped in my mind: "what if they said we had to collect not 20, but 50 of each item type?". It was scary just to think about it!

    There's more of it in the game. For example, I don't have all achievements for Brewfest (somehow, all these years I've been busy on days when Brewfest occurs). Do I want to have them achievements? Yes. Do I want to have them because they are fun to do? No. Would I be glad if they just sacked the holiday and removed these achievements? God, yeah. Heck, I see patch 5.4 and since the absolute most of it is of little interest to me (your mileage may vary, of course, but I am meh on proving grounds, etc), I catch myself hoping they *don't* add too many achievements.

    How screwed up is that? How screwed up is to be *scared* that they add achievements for things you don't like to do, so that you would be posed with a dilemma: either stop pursuing *all* achievements and give up on your completionist ideals, or suffer through god knows how many hours of god knows how boring activities?

    Pretty screwed up, yes. So, I think I am choosing to face the dilemma and am taking the first option: stop pursuing all achievements. And since I am a completionist, if I can't pursue all achievements, I likely won't pursue any.

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    2. The only holiday one I really hated was "hard knocks". But the fact I've only ever done the holiday ones on one character, even way before shared achievements, shows you how I feel about them. They are a one trick pony.

      I agree with what you are saying about being scared about them adding things you want and you will feel forced to do them.

      I already have my arena team for next patch. Paladin healer, feral druid and me, a hunter. All because I want to get that mount for winning 100 games. And I am pre assembling more people for more PvP so I can do the new thing on the isle where I need to collect kills.

      As you know, I am not into player vs player stuff but the achievements seem easy enough to attain so I feel if I want the achievements, and the mounts that come with it I am kind of stuck doing it.

      So I do understand being scared they will add achievement I do not want to do, like this PvP stuff.


      I feel your pain, I had a few friends that were close to loremaster when cata came out and had it all reset. I was lucky, I did it about 2 years previous to that. Back then loremaster was an actual achievement, not it is a joke.

  3. Personally, I never worry about achievements... sure, if there's one I can get with minimal or no effort (for instance, the ach on Council in ToT), sure, why not do it once to get it done. Over the course of normal playing I've gotten quite a few, obviously, but it's not something I generally specifically look for.

    There are a few exceptions, though... achievements that have rewards (titles, pets, mounts)? Those I'll generally put some effort into. Not a ton, but some.

    The rest of the time, though, achievements are things that happen, they aren't things I set out to get.

    1. I think your approach to them is a lot more healthy than mine is where I actually work to get them.

    2. Healthy? I don't think chasing achievements is unhealthy if you enjoy it. If you still enjoy farming Stonecore after 800 (I think it was 800, don't have that post handy) attempts, though, I do fear for your sanity.

      Also, meant to ask, how are you farming FL for the mount? Is that soloable at this point? I haven't tried...

    3. Up over 1000 now would be my guess. I've been doing 5 or 10 a day lately and that adds up.

      I fear for my sanity as well. lol

      It can be soloed on normal but it is much easier with a few people. I drag people along but I can solo some of it now. I am guessing, seeing the stats on the next tier, I might be able to get it all soon solo. I am sure much better hunters than I can solo it.

  4. Achievements have kept me playing for a long time. It's gotten less in Mists as there aren't a lot I can get solo and I don't really ever find groups that want to do them. Back in WotLK I was one of the top 2-5 achievement totals on my server, and I kept raiding in a hard core guild almost solely for the ability to get those achievements. I've farmed old legendaries for years just for the achievement. I've farmed old raids or dungeons for mounts for years just for another mount towards the achievement. I find now I worry less about achievements because there are so many I cannot find groups for where most of my play is solo. At one point my goal was every achievement, but they've added so many I just don't want to do (like the loremaster twice) or can't do (because of lack of group) that I don't care as much about missing achievements.

    1. I think I can understand the somewhat passing nature of some achievements as they are not worth trying for. I feel that way about the one quest one in the lotus area. It is not worth doing the entire daily line just to see it is not there again.

      I think they could do a little more adding of solo stuff like you mentioned. That is how I first got into it, by chasing things I can do solo. I believe, for me at least, that is an important factor.

  5. I find achievements add a little extra flavour and goals for me, as a non alt player. I am an achievement junkie, it's true, and I often will do ANYTHING to get an achievement... even spend lots of gold, if need be.

    Though having said that, I still have no yak.

    1. I purchased the yak as a gift for myself when I got the 200K money on my mind achievement.

      Big mounts I always do that with otherwise I feel they are not worth the gold. I make a goal and tell myself when I get that, I will buy it for myself as a gift.