Ask the Devs - Answers #5: Achievements

Community Manager
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 do 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 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 Battlegrounds similar to the flying mounts you get for excelling at Arenas.



Archive:

Ask the Devs - Answers #1 http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2228225718
Ask the Devs - Answers #2: PvP http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2267599521
Ask the Devs - Answers #3: UI http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2301722463
Ask the Devs - Answers #4: Armor and Weapons http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2353015977
Edited by Zarhym on 4/13/2011 1:26 PM PDT
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86 Blood Elf Rogue
3750
Boooooo!!

I want to toggle them off!

whoot first!
Edited by Loralye on 4/13/2011 9:26 AM PDT
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90 Orc Rogue
11070
a little disapointed on the keymaster FOS but i can forgive you since you admit you goofed
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90 Human Death Knight
9205
Thanks once again for taking the time to answer our questions!
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90 Night Elf Hunter
0
04/13/2011 09:24 AMPosted by Bashiok
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.


You can't tell who used to have the achievement?

Why did you include two questions that could have been answered by "read the PTR patch notes"?
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60 Night Elf Druid
3850
A lot of these answers are things that Blizzard already commented on in the past. I guess the answers weren't visible enough though since apparently most of the community voted for those questions.

04/13/2011 09:56 AMPosted by Shalura
Why did you include two questions that could have been answered by "read the PTR patch notes"?

Also, this. Obviously, the questions were written before the patch notes were updated for these changes. I'd think that would have made those questions skippable.

I noticed the achievement point rewards question had its answer focus on not wanting to provide incentive that would make achievements feel necessary, but there was another highly rated question that specifically mentioned only offering cosmetic rewards, like how some achievements already do. I would have thought that would be a good thing to talk about rather than ignoring it and focusing only on the first question on the topic when the other one was phrased more in alignment with Blizzard's already-stated intention for achievements.

Oh, before I sound too ungrateful, I do appreciate these Q&As. :)
Edited by Lorinall on 4/13/2011 10:05 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
15495
Still no word on another tier of mount achievements... Currently the highest achievement is 100. I have 131, and many players have more than I do.
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85 Goblin Death Knight
10310
I'm really disappointed. I was really hoping for a realistic acknowledgment of how incredibly broken A Mask for all Occasions is.
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85 Tauren Druid
3350
Please bring the Naxx achievement drakes back! Barely anyone on my server has them since the door closed so quickly. The Plagued Proto-Drake is probably my favorite of all.
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90 Human Mage
16360
04/13/2011 09:56 AMPosted by Shalura
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.


You can't tell who used to have the achievement?

Why did you include two questions that could have been answered by "read the PTR patch notes"?


This is what I suspected and I'm totally bummed because those keys took work but now we can at least lay that issue to rest and move on.

As for the Nax mount - how about a reskin and add back? Preserve the original look and give back a slightly different one.
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85 Night Elf Druid
12725
The current rate of gaining WSG and AB rep is "fine"? ...Really?
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90 Human Warlock
10690
Omg, they answered my question... despite the fact it was less of a question and more of pointing out how INCONSISTENT they are.

Even though *every* good game designer admits that CONSISTENCY is almost as important as balance.

Ignore the elitist jerks, and give everyone, regardless of WHEN they started playing or raiding, the chance to get something cool.
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90 Night Elf Druid
10410
04/13/2011 09:24 AMPosted by Bashiok
: 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.


04/13/2011 09:24 AMPosted by Bashiok
: 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


Blah. I've played a dozen MMOs and other games with crafting or class titles.




04/13/2011 09:24 AMPosted by Bashiok
“Jenkins” is a fun for a silly achievement, considering its history, but too much of that sort of thing would get tedious pretty quickly.


"Jenkins" is fun. This game needs a serious dose of silly right now.
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14 Tauren Warrior
60
please add back the naxx meta mounts!

my guild even went back for months trying to get immortal, and we finally did but it was after the drake was removed (we wanted the title anyway)

that cheev was just so much RNG (tank gets mc'd by kel? almost guaranteed wipe) that it was honestly unfair
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85 Draenei Shaman
3160
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.

Please don't do it. Please. Please please.
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90 Troll Druid
13645
I would like Naxx mounts back as well! Those players who demand that they not be reintroduced have the titles now (really awesome titles at that).

Please please bring them back <333 I wasn't able to raid very much during Naxx so I was unable to obtain the mounts. I would love to be able to have these mounts. Would be more meaningful to go back to Naxx and obtain those achievements as well.
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85 Blood Elf Death Knight
10640

    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.



This is pretty disappointing. Fifty and 75 pet meta achievements granted pets, so why are the 100 and 125 metas being downgraded? With the number of pets being churned out for the TCG and Blizzard store each year, a couple in-game rewards for avid collectors would be awfully nice.

I still remember the broken Dalaran children's week last year, with barely an apology. Then Ahune the Frost Lord no longer dropping the scorchling without warning. Now we get (the long overdue) new pet metas, and nothing.

I know 4.1 is adding quite a few new pets, which is great, but the lack of reward for dedicated collectors is still a bummer.

04/13/2011 10:16 AMPosted by Sinfonian
Still no word on another tier of mount achievements... Currently the highest achievement is 100. I have 131, and many players have more than I do.


Agreed, that meta is as long overdue as the new pet metas.
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