Tuesday, October 21, 2008
PvP achievement farming
I got an interesting mail from Machinima-turned-cook film maker Hugh Hancock, about the unintended consequences of introducing PvP achievements into WoW:
Thought you might be interested to hear about one of the first unexpected consequences of introducing Achievements to WoW!Funny, but somewhat sad. Have you seen anything similar, people behaving strangely in PvP to get some achievement? In WAR I noticed several people doing scenarios naked, because there are achievements for that too. Why do developers even put such achievements in which can only lead to weird behavior?
So with the latest patch came all the Achievements, including a bunch of battleground achievements - capture the flag 5 times, kill a flag carrier 5 times, kill 50 flag carriers over your character's life, etc. Also, a whole reset on the powerscales, as you know.
So, I logged into WSG to check out my character's new abilities, and found something very odd - the Horde were entirely Tier 2-4 Gladiator kit, and were all sitting in their base. They didn't even attack Alliance who came in, even though their flag carrier - with the third flag of the game - was sitting right there with them. They just waited, patiently, until the unfortunate Alliance member walked up to their flag and took it, and then they killed him/her. Repeat.
Yes, the Horde were farming achievements. We figured they'd blown through "5 flag carriers in a single battle" and were going for either "50 flag carriers in career" or "300,000 points of damage done in a single BG"
The Alliance couldn't get their flag back, because they were horribly outclassed kit-wise. They certainly didn't stand a chance of capturing a flag. The Horde weren't going to end the BG any time soon, so we ended up essentially being the mobs being farmed - only rather than honour farming, which most people recognise as inefficient, this "achievement farming" was very sensible for the Horde, who presumably wanted to get their achievements quickly and easily, and hence the entire Horde team was cooperating nicely.
I'd guess, unless something changes, we can look forward to seeing this as a regular thing any time a PvP guild gets a new member who wants to complete some Achievements...
Raph Koster, "humans tend to optimise the fun out".