Ask the Devs #5 - Achievements - Answers

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The answers are in from our last installment of Ask the Devs. We will start a new questions round next week. Please keep in mind that each edition of Ask the Devs is focused on a specific topic, as noted in the thread title.

Q: When will achievements finally be awarded account-wide? – Larosh (Europe [German]), Eneia & Payasos (Europe [Spanish]), Rageudder & Kellgros (Europe [English]), Деадхил (Europe [Russian]), Nyn (North America/ANZ), 기사는아무나 (Korea)
A: Making achievements Battle.net account-wide is something we'd like to do, but it's not a goal we could provide a current timetable for. All of the original World of Warcraft coding was done with the expectation that the data on every realm would always be independent. Now that we are trying to make as many things as possible account-wide, we’re having to rebuild all of those systems. It is absolutely something we want to do, but it will take a lot of time away from other features.

Q: Will we ever be able to spend our achievement points on something? Or will there be a feature where it will be required to have x amount of points? – Nordicberry (Europe [English]), Hogosha & Wulkuhr (Europe [German]), Neroth (Europe [French]), Kularia (Northa America/ANZ), Trafalgarlaw (Latin America)
A: We want Achievements to remain as an optional thing you can do as bragging rights, or to challenge yourself. As soon as we add any kind of player power, or use them to gate anything, then they feel mandatory for a lot of players. In fact, we think one of the reason achievements are fun is that the drive to complete them is totally up to you, which keeps them (hopefully!) from feeling like a chore. If you want to go after some achievements that's a choice, and choosing not to care about achievements doesn't mean you're making your character less powerful.

We do offer pets, mounts and titles for specific achievements, and we’re unlikely to ever do anything much more “mandatory” than those.

Q: Do you plan to implement more achievements directly linked to professions or classes? – Cith (Europe [French]), Tsuteymanga (Europe [English]), Sergan (Latin America)
A: Until we can do Battle.net account-wide achievements it would be pretty cruel of us to offer achievements for say Illustrious Grand Master Alchemy, Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting on the same character. The same is true of classes. The best we could to today would be to have something like “Land a Pyroblast for X damage” and have an equivalent one for all 10 classes, since you could get only one. We do have more room with the guild achievements, since not every task needs to be completed by one player. We’ll continue to look for fun achievements for Cooking, Fishing, First Aid and Archaeology until then.

Q: Will we ever see a change to the Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin exalted achievement /reputation grinds? While normally a fan of time consuming achievements, these two seem to be a tad excessive. Warsong moreso as you can go entire games without gaining any reputation at all. You could in theory lose every AB you ever do, and eventually get exalted at a "reasonable" pace. Perhaps award rep for Flag returns, killing efcs, capping bases, HKs similar to Alteracy Valley, etc. – Idkmybffyata (North America/ANZ), Lunaticheart (Korea)
A: We think those are fine as achievements. They definitely take a huge time commitment, but so do some of the other achievements. And you don’t need to get them for the meta achievements.

Q: As some achievements like The Keymaster and the Shen’dralar reputations have been removed, have you considered creating a Feat of Strength for those achievements or is it possible that we get them back in the future like normal achievements? – Enarhion (Europe [Spanish]), Деадхил (Europe [Russian])
A: We added a Feat for Exalted Shen’dralar rep in 4.1. We’re unlikely to add a Keymaster feat.
We added the Keymaster achievement and then almost immediately decided to deemphasize the existence of keys in the game, and thus removed the achievement. Unfortunately it probably isn't even possible to track who had the older keys now.

Q: Guild Achievements related with professions are much more difficult than other Guild Achievements. Is there any plan to give a chance for small guilds to get those Achievement rewards? –버미전사 (Korea), Joq (North America/ANZ)
A: We think some of these are way too high and we plan on lowering them to more sane numbers for 4.1. The Pen is Mightier glyph achievement for example would have been reasonable with the old glyph model but is ridiculous today. We were waiting to collect some additional data from guilds currently working on those achievements, but we feel like we have enough information now to lower them. Pen is Mightier for example will go from 25,000 glyphs to 2,500 in 4.1.

Q: I'd like to see the achievement system become more active and dynamic, will we ever see achievements that unlock quest lines, dungeons, or other Easter egg content as a reward for dedicating so much time in Azeroth? – Grandevil (North America/ANZ)
A: Probably not. As we said above, we want Achievements to feel optional. Some players don’t care for the game of collecting pets or mounts, so they still feel like they can opt out of achievements. If there was a cool quest line involved, then players who felt like they could safely ignore achievements in the past would now have to go back and play catch up. If you are doing achievements today, it should be because you like to do them, not because you’re hoping for some additional reward to materialize in the future.

Q: Currently, the achievement rewards are more focused to common tasks, such as raids, events, PvP. Have you considered creating achievements with rewards that ask to do crazy things around the world, like for example, soloing bosses or mobs, or more achievements like the “Jenkins” one, that are meant to do crazy things. – Thodyr (Europe [Spanish]), Khaelthas (Europe [French]), Assmira (Europe [German])
A: We like for achievements to be fun, but we don’t want for players working on achievements to have a huge negative impact on other players. At first glance, soloing a boss mob might sound like a decent achievement. But consider that if the achievement is very easy to do then hitting all those dungeons may just feel like a chore. On the other hand, if it’s challenging to do then we suddenly have to go back and worry about class balance in a way we never had to before. Blood DKs for example excel at soloing older bosses because of their self-healing mechanic, but the same isn't true of most other classes and specs. We try not to have achievements that require you to ask your group to do something really bizarre or not fun. “Run a dungeon without picking up any loot,” would just be frustrating every time you had to debate with your group whether you were going for the achievement or not. “Jenkins” is a fun for a silly achievement, considering its history, but too much of that sort of thing would get tedious pretty quickly.

Q: Will we ever see a "search" feature in the achievement window? That's a lot of achievements to search through if you're looking for something specific. – Grandevil (North America/ANZ), Lonik (Europe [Spanish])
A: Yes, this is something we plan on doing. The current UI makes it hard to find specific achievements. There are several places in the current UI that could benefit from a smarter search.

Q: Will you ever bring back the mounts for achievements that were removed (Naxx Glory runs) as you didn't remove the later mounts? – Joyia (North America/ANZ)
A: This is a tough one. On the one hand, we know there are a lot of players who would still like to get their hands on these mounts. On the other hand, we were pretty clear that they would only be available for a limited time, and we hate to go back on our word because we know some groups went through heroic efforts to get them before the door closed. This is the kind of thing that is not set in stone and player feedback might eventually convince us to change our minds.

Q: The Achievement reward for “What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been” still remains as a purple proto-drake, which is a WotLK model. How about coordinating the color of the reward upon each expansion theme? – Shory (Korea)
A: The issue with meta-achievements like this is deciding how to structure them for the future. Do current players with the achievement just get a new mount every expansion? Do the old mounts go away and the new mount replaces it? Do we require you to just do one additional holiday and now you can get a second mount? We added Long Strange Trip when achievements first went in the game, and we didn’t always do a great job of designing some achievements with expandability in mind. If we had made the Long Strange Trip reward a protodrake at level 80 and then had a new achievement for doing the holidays again at level 85 that rewarded a different drake, then we might have some easily expandable content. We didn’t do that though, and it’s hard to go back and mess with existing achievements, especially ones that were hard to complete.

Q: There are still no Achievements beyond “Collect 75 unique companion pets”. Can I expect a reward for 100 companion pets in the future? – Whitewnd (Korea)
A: Patch 4.1 has achievements for 100 and 125 companions. Those particular achievements don’t reward pets, but we’ll probably do another reward at some tier in the future, perhaps 150 or 200 pets.

Q: Are we going to see more PvP achievements that reward mounts? Currently most of the cool mounts are awarded for PvE achievements. – Demodras (Europe [English])
A: PvP achievements are even trickier to design than PvE achievements because it’s harder to come up with something cool to do that doesn’t make the experience worse for everyone else. You don’t want to see the one dude who is trying to engineer capturing and losing a flag twenty times in one BG just so he can get the achievement for capturing a lot of flags. As a result, many of the PvP achievements are just for winning a lot of Arenas or BGs, which we feel already come with a lot of rewards. On that note, we are adding unique ground mounts to winning Rated Battle Grounds similar to the flying mounts you get for excelling at Arenas.
85 Troll Druid
11890
RE > Q: Will you ever bring back the mounts for achievements that were removed (Naxx Glory runs) as you didn't remove the later mounts? – Joyia (North America/ANZ)

While i understand the considerations here, at the time when this content was 'current' achievements were a new thing and in naxx nobody in my guild had a particular interest in even trying to attempt them, the guild was more than capable but they were just seen as a complete waste of time by the officers and especially the raid leader.

Therefore my only route to have got those 'worthless' achievements at the time would be to leave the fairly successful guild that id been playing in for the best part of a year. Im not on a high pop server and to my knowledge none of the few successful guilds there actually bothered on the alliance side of the server where i was at the time. Hence although I wanted those achievements i really had no route to pursue them.

Nowadays guilds go for these meta achievements as they are considered part of the progress path, having them is not just kudos but also a recruitment tool to help you attract good players and the same raid leader i was swearing at back then for being all 'meh' about it wants them just as much as I did.

In short the attitude towards achievements and meta mounts has changed and they are less likely to be dismissed now but that doesnt help us that missed out during that original window and i would like to see them put back in, especially since the more prestigious mounts from later content will not be removed.
Edited by Rockweiler on 13/04/2011 18:15 BST
49 Goblin Hunter
10795
Some nice answers but not a huge insight into stuff on this Q&A.

Please make achievements for the Darkmoon Faire. :-)

And put their awesome tabard as the reward for the meta!
Edited by Blackcoin on 13/04/2011 20:44 BST
49 Goblin Hunter
10795
Also Blizzard, 100 pets should give you a Dalmation.
100 Tauren Warrior
20380
Once again, the answer to most of those questions were known to anyone who knows how to read PTR notes or to anyone who has any goddamn common sense. This whole Q&A thing is turning out to be quite the charade.
90 Human Mage
6475
Q: When will achievements finally be awarded account-wide? – Larosh (Europe [German]), Eneia & Payasos (Europe [Spanish]), Rageudder & Kellgros (Europe [English]), Деадхил (Europe [Russian]), Nyn (North America/ANZ), 기사는아무나 (Korea)
A: Making achievements Battle.net account-wide is something we'd like to do, but it's not a goal we could provide a current timetable for. All of the original World of Warcraft coding was done with the expectation that the data on every realm would always be independent. Now that we are trying to make as many things as possible account-wide, we’re having to rebuild all of those systems. It is absolutely something we want to do, but it will take a lot of time away from other features.


All I want is to be able to link raid and dungeon achievements from any character regardless of which one achieved it. Even if it says "Achieved by Enthalos" (or whichever character) so that it shows I have actually completed that raid and dungeon and at least know the tactics.
100 Troll Hunter
15840
Is there going to be a new "collect x amount of mounts" achievement?

This question was on the first page of the topic, highly rated one. The only one actually that i was waiting for to be answered. Bad luck :( Though they gave an answer to the similar question about the companion pets, hope it will be the same with mounts.

13/04/2011 17:26Posted by Flasheavedk
I am not russian, all hail google translate!

Thank you good sir but we alredy have an official translation on our forum :P
Edited by Trollok on 13/04/2011 22:26 BST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
10015
cancelled my sub just now. felt nice.
MVP
85 Gnome Priest
12790
Once again, the answer to most of those questions were known to anyone who knows how to read PTR notes or to anyone who has any goddamn common sense. This whole Q&A thing is turning out to be quite the charade.

As always, the questions are picked based on what the community votes the most on.
But to be fair, the achievement system isn't really as deep a subject as PvP or UI is (for example). So in some way, the questions and answers sort of reflect that. I mean, design-wise the achievement system isn't exactly a big feature. It's very simple and straight-forward. And like you say, if you just have a little insight into it, and keep the finger on the pulse as far as the PTR goes, then there's hardly anything you don't know about the achievement system, or can't make a good qualified guess on. So from the point of view of an advanced player, it's perhaps not the most exciting Q&A so far.
But none the less, for those people who don't keep up-to-date on the PTR patch notes and such, for them the Q&A is probably quite informative :)

13/04/2011 19:51Posted by Blackcoin
Please make achievements for the Darkmoon Faire. :-)

In WotLK there was actually a tab under World Events that said Darkmoon Faire. There were no achievements there though, but I think it indicated that Blizzard had at least considered the idea.
It's not there anymore though :P
But I think it would be cool if there were just a few achievements for it, like turning in a deck of cards, or getting a Darkmoon Faire Fortune, or something similar.
80 Undead Death Knight
0
Account wide achievements is a very bad thing. I'm 200% against unless this is like another extra tab (very hidden) that would show all achievs on the account. But the achievs for that character still remain there.

I mean some people are making achiev on multiple characters, I can even imagine some people doing achievs multiple times on all their characters. Do you want to penalize theses people ?

Achievs...people take them too seriously. Is that the same people asking for achiev to be a currency that asked account wide achievs ? why not account wide gear ? not like heirlooms even better, each epic you loot automaticly apply to all your characters Account Wide™
Why not Account Wide™ reputations also ? Account Wide™ pets ? Account Wide™ quests ? Account Wide™ daily quests ? Account Wide™ arena ratings ? Account Wide™ titles ? pff!
90 Tauren Warrior
12475
13/04/2011 19:53Posted by Blackcoin
Also Blizzard, 100 pets should give you a Dalmation.


101 , Learn your disney nab :)
MVP
85 Gnome Priest
12790
14/04/2011 01:21Posted by Carlsberg
101 , Learn your disney nab :)

Could be 102 then as well.
Disney has a notorious tendency to make sequels ^_^
90 Undead Rogue
18635
no time table ? :(

well ill just wait then !
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