Guild Wars 2: Achievement Injection

f5f23Chauncey-590x511Yesterday, Guild Wars 2 introduced the first patch that really got me excited.  I mean, I was definitely a fan of the Halloween/Christmas events, but this patch finally feels like it’s tailored to the way I play.  What got me so excited?  The upgrade to the achievement system.

Ever since I started experiencing achievements in MMOs, I’ve felt strongly that there should be a reward structure attached to them so that they were more than just a high score.  WoW’s achievement system always felt like a missed opportunity to me, with very few of the achievements giving you anything other than a virtual pat on the back.  Other games, like RIFT and LOTRO, do tie in fixed rewards to some of the achievements.  But I can’t recall a game letting me stock up on “achievement currency” to buy the rewards I liked, and that’s something I’ve really wanted for some time now.

That’s why I’m excited about this patch, because it’s the first step to turning the achievement system in GW2 into something that rewards me for my regular activities.  It looks like the changes to the system will be rolled out in a couple phases, so for this first phase, we’re seeing laurel currency that can be earned by completing daily and monthly achievements.  The currency can then be turned in to vendors for a variety of goods, including some of the much-coveted high-level swag.

What’s interesting to me is that the devs have changed things up so that the daily/monthly achievements change on the new day/month.  It introduces variety into the game so that we don’t get used to running the exact same patterns day in and day out.  That’s awesome.  It was a bit of a mental shift to look down the list of five achievements last night and go, “Oh, I have to dodge?  And rez?” but it was cool too.  One of the goals of achievements is to encourage you to try out new activities and get out of a routine, not stay in one.  To know that there will be different achievements every day will go a long way to accomplishing this.

I remarked to my guild that I could see this as being not just a beneficial system for the average player, but beneficial to the game as a whole.  Having selectable rewards behind rotating daily achievements will probably suck in a lot more players into participating — and if the achievements encourage interaction (such as running events and rezzing others), then it builds community.

The future possibilities of this system as mentioned by the GW2 devs have me even more excited.  Things coming up include:

  • Selectable daily achievements from a list
  • Rewards for all achievements, not just dailies/monthlies
  • More offerings in the achievement store

Considering that my average play session in Guild Wars 2 is 30 min to an hour of landscape exploration, pursuing daily achievements is as good of a goal as any other.  Once I’m done with world exploration on this character, my first alt will focus more on events and (now) whatever daily achievements come along.  This patch really reinforces the notion that the world is to be experienced, not just plowed through on the way to the endgame.  I wasn’t *not* excited to log in as of late, but now I feel even more interest in getting in a good GW2 session before bedtime.

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12 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2: Achievement Injection

  1. Well, up to a point, Lord Copper…

    When the finished thing is up and running, when we can pick which dailies we want to do from a list and when we gain Laurels from the achievements we generate organically through normal gameplay, then yes, this probably will be, on balance, A Good Thing. Even then, it does push the whole game further towards the Achiever end of the spectrum, where nothing is ever done just for the fun of doing it but must also generate a clear and tangible reward. I’m not much in favor of going down that road.

    At the moment, though, with the system implemented piecemeal and unfinished, we have a somewhat arbitrary, somewhat directive set of instructions tied to some really quite unbalanced rewards. I’m by no means saying I’m against it or even that I dislike it. It’s fun enough in its way, but changes like this do constantly remind me I’m playing a game not living in a world and that while that amuses me in the short term it risks alienating my affections in the long run.

    MMO Devs do puzzle me. They seem determined to give away things through gameplay that they could, and in my opinion should, also be selling in their Cash Shops. As a player I don’t feel that gaining currency by repeatable, arbitrary in-game activities is “better” for me than breaking out my Credit Card and buying them. It’s the same thing. I go to an interface representing a shop window, choose an icon representing something I want to gain the use of, press a button and a number changes in a field.

    Whether that number represents Laurels or Dollars seems irrelevant. Either way, I got them by spending my time doing something to earn them specifically so I could spend them on these things. I much preferred the old days, when if you were pretending to be a Dwarf Warrior and you needed a better magic axe you had to go find a creature who *had* a magic axe better than yours and take it away from him.

  2. This new update got me excited as well. Like you, the dailies is also something I can do to “get things done”, in the short amount of play time available to me, before I get back into the game in full swing this Summer.

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  4. Amusing, considering this is exactly how prowess works in DF:UW. Feats (achievements) reward prowess (currency), which can then be used to buy boosts (stats) or class abilities.

    Coincidence I’m sure, as I doubt anyone from Anet is in the beta…

  5. Like every GW2 patch thus far I am extremely underwhelmed in general and very vexed, bordering on angry, by some specifics.

    First off, whatever happened to playing the game the way we want to? The old daily was perfectly fine. You could get it done anywhere in the game with a the merest modicum of effort. But I sure as hell ain’t getting 25 underwater kills a night in normal play unless I get lucky with fractals and the only time I craft is when I’m leveling an alt. I don’t understand why they foisted this half-baked system upon us. Imo, the developers can piss off with their guiding hand. If I don’t give two shits about their bloody PvE world then I should be able to continue ignoring the bloody thing like I did before. They made that style of play possible in the first place, and even implied that it was a supported play style, but now it’s in bloody tatters.

    And bloody hellfire the prices on those laurel items! I have 5 80s and if I wanted to get an ascended necklace for each of them and each of their builds it would take me almost 7 months. And then if I wanted any of the gold find infusions it would take even longer. Sheer madness. Stop punishing people who have alts and multiple gear sets ANet for pity’s sake.

    Of course, it wouldn’t really take me 7 months because not all of the stat bonuses I want for my builds are even bloody available on ascended gear. Why can’t my elementalist have some damnable healing power on her ascended gear? Why can’t my warrior have the knight’s stat distribution? And they keep putting bloody magic find all over the damn things. What the hell?

    None of these things may not be something to quit over, but they are yet more straws on an already overloaded camel.

    The only unequivocally good high-level things in the patch is the removal of free server transfers and the cached low-poly models.

  6. @ SynCaine. Darkfall? Whats a Darkfall ;)

    First off hats off to arenanet for keeping the updates flying in, they really are doing a good job, its good to see a patch full of little tweaks as well instead of just new content. To be honest the patch has got me excited about the game again and I can see me logging in daily now instead of every other day. Good times ahead, roll on the next patch :)

  7. @Andy

    Not having to grind out PvE for bloosy ages to get gear/exp so I can play WvW for starters.

    After that I’d like some adjustments to poorly thought out and implimented mechanics like the AoE cap, linear returns on multiple rezzers, rezzing fully dead people in combat, etc.

    Some new, larger WvW maps and class balancing would be nice too.

  8. @Attic Lion : the XP rewards in WvW are quite high, and higher than what I earn when playing PvE !

    But they seems to give 1/3 of their effort in every part of the game : PvE, WvW, PvP. That seems fair to me ! But I would really enjoy having new map in WvW !

    For more specific problem, I am quite a casual WvWer, so no opinion about it.

  9. @Olivier E
    I don’t take under leveled characters out into WvW. I only run with my guilds 5-10 man group and bringing along a level 20 would be a disservice to them. I also hate surfing the zerg for xp and refuse to have any part of it. I would love it if I never had to set foot into PvE again so I could play every class, even if it cost me a substantial chunk of gold/gems to do so.

    Same goes for gear. I would be letting my teammates down if I didn’t strive for the best gear I can reasonably get. And since launch ANet has consistantly overlooked people who have more than a single character/gear set when they’re designing their shit and it’s quite aggrivating.

    I almost enjoy doing my daily fractal run with my friends, but I dread logging in one day to find that my daily, which is the only way to participate in this new advancement scheme, wants me to do something that I flat out don’t want to do like “complete 5 frost & fire prelude events” , “complete an orr temple event”, or “fanboy it up on the forums! 0/30.”

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  11. @attic lion

    Mmmmhmmm. Yeah. Your in the minority. This generally means you aren’t getting what you want. Since people don’t cater to the LOWEST common denominator. Do you know what a NIGHTMARE it would be to add a new map to WvW at this stage? THEY JUST got guesting going, and the scoring system has to be reworked because it’s not tiering people up right… and you want to make it worse by adding a whole new map to balance? YOu have no idea how programming works do you… you just say random things and hope they happen. Like I want a unicorn!

    This isn’t a matter of fanboyism. You have no idea how hard core anet has already been bending over BACKWARDS trying to make players happy in game. Someone is always going to feel left out, today it’s you. Trust me, when they came out with all the fractal shit and I don’t do dungeons so couldn’t get that gear, or the skins which are awesome, I felt left out. I’m here to have fun my way, why should I HAVE to do a dungeon for those rewards, why can’t I do it MY way.

    Because it’s a dungeon. You get your rewards for that. Dailies are a mix and match, and that’s the way it is, and I’m glad because if I Have to go into fucking fractals for a daily when it’s already dominated the monthly’s for like.. ever.. I’ll shoot something. Takes five damn minutes to go underwater and kill some things. Go to a starter area, spend 5 minutes in the water. Or, pretend it doesn’t exist, like you do with PvE. That’ll work great. There’s all sort of things you can’t get anywhere but PvE, maybe we should just make one big store where all you have to do is walk around for an amount of time in the game and you earn points! No one has to do anything but breath and be ON the game! YES. That’s the ticket.

    Someone is always dissapointed.

    [Edited to take out personal attacks: Let's be civil, please.]

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