Tobold's Blog
Sunday, January 18, 2009
 
Open Sunday Thread

How fast the week goes by! "Raid difficulty week" on Tobold's blog is over, and we can concentrate on other subjects now, although I'm sure the issue will come up again in the future. So tell me, what do you want to talk about next week?
Comments:
Achievements.

Some people think Achievement X is too hard. Some people think its just right, and some people think its too easy. Achievements are much like raiding in allowing people to show off, but at the same time uesless in terms of upping stats or improving your character's abilites.

For instance (and brought up a great deal on the WoW Forums, the "Master Angler" achievement and the "Brew of the Year" Achievements (both of which are part of meta-achievements that are basically long lists of many achievements).

"Master Angler is an achievement that involves winning the STV Fishing Tournament, and is part of the meta-achievement of gaining the "Salty" title...a rare, but arguably useless title.

Along the same lines as "Master Angler" is the "Brew of the Year" achievement which requires someone to have gained membership to the Brew of the Month club, and sampled 12 different beers, sent via mail and sold via vendor, one each month. This is part of a meta-achievement that awards a Violet Protodrake mount.

Personally, I think that most, if not all of the achievements, are just ways Blizzard added to keep people busy who would otherwise get bored or have nothing to work towards. Other people think they are a right just because they exist and have a checklist of sorts. I think for things like "Master Angler", it provides a title for those who have won the STV Tournament(along with some "grindy" achievements"). Yet others think it is too limiting and think the achievement should be removed from the meta.

The problem some people have with the "Brew of the Year" achievement is that it takes a full year after gaining membership during Brewfest to actually drink all the beers, and people think the arbitrary wait time is too much. I think they are both fine as it rewards people for doing something extra beyond logging in to raid or do PvP, but then again, I've completed both, so maybe I'm biased :)

Anyone else think that achievements are fine as is, and/or whether you think some achievements are too hard, limiting, or are just plain useless and not worthy of concern? To me, achievements that don't require a legendary spurt of luck to bypass bad RNG seem to be fine, even if they aren't available to all players right away. Just wondering what other people think about the "shadow" part of WoW introduced with 3.0/WoTLK.
 
If there wasn't achievements right now, I guarantee there would be a lot more bored/quit people in the game. Even with achievements, I have heard multiple times tonight from different people about being more bored than bored, whatever you would call that level of absolute boredom.
 
Sorry, on that note, I do think achievements would be a great topic for this week, as it is something I'm interested in.
 
2009 - SC2
2010 - WOW expansion number 3
2011 - D3
2012 - WOW expansion number 4
2013 - Blizzard's next MMO

Sound about right?
 
Not quite. Blizzard's next MMO will need more notice than that or the expansion will take a hit in sales.

Achievements would be a great topic. I'm still waiting for a way to check a player's achievements before inviting them to a group without having to alt-tab for the armory. A friend and I started checking achievements as a signifier of skill and/or experience. He was having people link 'Glory of the Hero' to see how many heroic achievements had been finished, but it turns out those can be faked (I linked him completion of 'Glory of the Raider', something we both knew was a lie).
 
Achievements? There is already an discussion about them there: http://muckbeast.today.com/2008/12/28/achivements-the-new-hot-feature/ and http://www.wolfsheadonline.com/?p=1052
 
Tobold, I was wondering what your thoughts on MMO communities were and, in particular, what the WoW community was like? Personally (as much as I like the game) think it's pretty weak compared to other MMOs out there. I started a discussion on my blog (http://blog.weflyspitfires.com/) so I'm curious to hear what other people think. I reckon WoW could really improve it's community with only a few small changes.
 
What sort of changes, Gordon? Making the guild system a bit stronger? (And how would you do that?) Policing the chat lines for homophobic/racist/sexist behavior? Punishing bad in game behavior? Rewarding group raids by giving everyone an equal reward at the end?

Or--to tie both subjects together--removing achievement points for bad behavior and rewarding extra achievements for good group actions?
 
Jezebeau - you're demanding Glory of the Hero complete for potential members of a pug? Really? That seems kind of counterproductive.
 
I have a problem with factions in WoW. It's not that there's a battle between two sides but the fact that the two sides are so entrenched in their hatred of each other that, with the exception of a few quests and areas, cooperation between the two sides is impossible. One problem I have is that I play characters in both the horde and alliance sides so that I can experience as much of the game as possible. The problem is I can't send mail or items between two characters on the SAME account simply because I've chosen to maximize my playing experience. The other problem I have is that I have a great guild for my Horde characters but a small and inactive guild for my Alliance characters. It would be very nice if I could have my alliance character group with some Horde characters to do some instances.

What I would like to see if be able to send mail to characters of the opposite faction. This could be done through neutral town mailboxes. Right now I'm stuck having to pass off valuables to guild members so they can post an auction item at a neutral AH. If I want to transfer gold I end up losing lots of money on service fees as well as the fact that I'm taking a chance with giving this money to a third party that could just take off with it. I do use people that I trust but the fact is many people in my guild I've never met in real life.

I think allowing opposite faction characters to group for instances would be viable in this game. Already some quests where the Horde and Alliance are forced to cooperate have been implemented. This could solve some of the problems with people trying to find a group. Currently what we have is a system where 50% of the available players cannot be used for your group. The lore involved could be that you are begrudgingly teaming up to vanquish a common foe and that you will go your separate ways afterward.
 
This is why I have all my horde toons on one server and Alliance on another. Remember, there is a small, risky way to "trade" items between characters of the two factions by posting items at a neutral auction house (ie. Booty Bay) and then buying it with your other toon. I haven't tried this but I heard it used to work.
 
It doesn't work anymore. You need to have a second account get the item.
 
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