Greedy Goblin

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Achievement point(less)

There is a big hype around achievements. Blizzards implemented several features like zone- and guild-wide achievement announcement to make sure you cannot miss their existence.

Let's analyze achievements both from RL-wise and RP-wise:

From the RP point of view we are fighters on the side of the people of Azeroth, fighting the Burning Legion and Arthas's scourge. To succeed we need to prepare both in gear and skill to face the forces of evil. From this point running around the world to get every gray area out of Ashenvale or giving /hug to corpses is pretty pointless and stupid.

From the point of the RL, you are playing a game either to have an escape or to participate in a simulated world to hone your real world skills:
  • mathematics in theoricrafting
  • quick reactions in complicated bossfights of PvP
  • leadership in leading a guild or raid
  • social skills in solving drama situations
Having a list of stupid tasks simulates only one RL thing: how would you perform in a mindless dead-end job of an errand boy/girl.

I'm wrong. The achievement system simulates something really important from the real life: can you resist the stupid "I have better car than my neighbor" fever? Can you resist wasting your resources in something completely pointless just to look better in the public eye?

To reach any goal, both in WoW and RL you must assign your resources to that goal:
  • If you want to be rich in either worlds, you must gather seed money and invest it into some business that will only take money in the initial period.
  • If you want to be an athlete either in the Arena or your county's swimming team you must spend your time on practicing and spend your money to buy you more time.
  • If you want to beat a hard boss or find a cure for a disease, you must spend your money buying gear for the fight and spend your time doing your homework.
While succeeding in either can bring fame and huge public respect, until you succeed, your efforts are invisible therefor attract no respect. A new luxury car get more envy than a valuable set of stocks in your bank safe, but it's the later will make you really rich.

I've written it already and write it again: resist the temptation of wasting your time and money into something useless, but visible and of prestige! Invest it into something useful! Achievement system is a great tool to practice it in this simulated world. Just ignore it, don't mind having less than anyone you know. Every time you see an announcement "XX unlocked achievement YY", tell yourself: "these points are useless, give me nothing. I go for my goal and not for the public eye"


Larísa said...

Thank you! You're an even more dedicated non-achiever than I am, but you really give me inspiration and good arguments not to toss myself into that circus.

I'll resist and stick to my own goals. Promise.

Anonymous said...

I actually like the achievment system for ones that are worth while but for me /love 20 different types animals is not much of an achievment.

Nice blog btw.

Anonymous said...

I don't thinks they are pointless, people play wow for many different reasons and I don't thinks some are better than others. Some collect, pet, recipes, mounts, cloths some strive to be the ultimate pvper or get world first kills but in the end it's always having that something special that others don't.

We should recognize achievements for what they are: goals that some people will set for themselves and more importantly many new ways to make gold.

The new achievement system combined with holidays is the best thing that could have happened to someone trying to start a character on a new server. Wand transformations still go for 5-10g a pop on my server. I don't think anything can beat that as a way to make those few hundred gold you'll need to start playing the ah on a new server

Gevlon said...

evander: You are right, one can make money from the achievements of others.

And thanks for your comment! It inspired another post!

Larísa said...

Gevlon, I suspect that the blog post of tomorrow will be about how to make gold on the achievement fever of others?

Looking forward to read it!

Anonymous said...

I agree with esdras and evander I don't think they are pointless and like evander mentioned everyone has different reasons why they play the game.

Although WOW achievements aren't something I am actively trying to acquire some have been helpful for example the trick or treat Azeorth it encouraged me to find those extra Flight Paths that I was missing. Playing Horde side locating flight paths was new I didn't automatically know where they were so having the main ones listed on the achievement page was helpful and it saved me googling those Flight paths.

Evander made an excellent point I've already made a few hundred gold in the past few days from those who wanted to make certain achievements. I'm fairly new to the server. In two days I will have been on there a month so I'm still in the process of making my WOW fortune. I'm getting there.

Gevlon said...

@Larísa: no. Since I don't like achievements, I'm way too lazy to look up any kind of profitable activity from it. The post motivated by the comment will be on saturday as today's post was already taken, by Dechion

Unknown said...


I don't care about achievements either and i would like to know if it is possible to disable our own achievements.

I mean, just hide the litte frame from poping on my screen when i complete one.

I hope it must be possible with a script command.


Gevlon said...

While it's unknown how to turn off your own achievement windows you can turn off the anouncements from others: