If you feel that you must put people into categories, then slot me in with the folks who love achievements in MMOs. I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea and even irk some severely, but I figure that if they entertain me and I keep my mouth shut when a PvP or raid patch ushers in new content I couldn’t care less about, then I should be able to enjoy achievements without feeling guilty.
Sure, I could make up my own random goals, but that never seems to happen. It’s kind of like geocaching for me — the activity set up by others prompts me to go to places and explore where I otherwise would never have done. Achievements allow me to pick and choose which mini-goals I want to attain, and if they have rewards attached? Especially if they have rewards attached? So much the better.
I kind of see them as quests without a narrative attached to them. Actually, they’re quests in which the story comes out of your journey to complete them, which may not be as rich in lore but sometimes is far more personal.
It’s a big week for achievements in MMOs for me. My return to RIFT is more or less centered around filling up my new rogue’s achievement panel. There aren’t a ton of rewards for doing these outside of a few titles and the occasional chest, but it’s like a guided tour of Doing Telara The Weird Way. Plus, I get a small jolt of happiness when the achievement notice pops up and guildies say “grats” when I finish one of the more difficult ones.
Today Guild Wars 2 is dropping a patch that has a major overhaul to its achievement system. Apart from the dailies and occasional event, I can’t say that I’ve given much attention to achievements in this game — but that’s about to change. We’re not only getting a UI overhaul for achievements, but now our cumulative achievement points will give us various rewards, including permanent account unlocks. I’m beyond excited (surpexcited, I guess) for this. It’s even overshadowing any interest I have in the new living story/area.
GW2 for me has been a very casual game without much focus on dungeon running (and without a dungeon finder, that’s not going to change). Reward-based achievement systems will provide a new layer to my exploration of the world. I’m quite looking forward to starting my coast-to-coast quest to gather those points. It even got me to dust off my Engineer, as I figure that she’ll be in the best position to do this.
It’s nice to finally get a GW2 patch that has something of great personal interest. More new systems, ArenaNet, and less living story stuff, OK? Like housing. Let’s get on that. You guys would totally rock the house, so to speak, if you did that. But I feel that it might be better to get such a system out before WildStar releases than after.