WoW! Thoughts! — On the Guilty Reality of Account-Wide Achievements

Thoughts on how this year's Midsummer Fire Festival is exposing just what account-wide achievements really mean.

So as those of you who listen to the Mashcast may know, I play WoW, and I play it enough that I’m not allowed to talk about it.  These are my thoughts for this week in WoW…

The Midsummer Fire Festival is upon us, and for me this year highlights an interesting predicament that will arise in Mists of Pandaria.  As account-wide achievements go live, we’ll no longer need to complete each of the holiday achievements on one character in order to attain the meta-achievement.  While that’s something I’ve often longed for while performing the holiday tasks on my alts, I’m starting to feel a little regretful that this will come to pass.

Prior to subscribing to the annual pass, I didn’t care much for the holiday achievements.  I wanted to get titles for some of my other characters, but beyond that, I had no interest in working for the purple proto-drake.  However, once I signed up for the annual pass – committing to subscription for a full year, and therefore a full rotation of holidays – I decided that I would strive for the meta-achievement “What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been.”  And this is proving to be a Longer and Stranger trip than I could have anticipated.

Having conquered my troubles with Children’s Week, all that remains to be completed is the Midsummer Fire Festival and Brewfest.  Last summer I was busy leveling my warlock alt, but managed to complete all but the “King of the Fire Festival” and “Ice the Frost Lord” achievements .  This year, I’ve been completing all of the holiday achievements on my hunter main.  So I have a choice before me: do I quickly knock out the two remaining achievements on my warlock, or spend the time to re-do all of the achievements with my hunter?  In particular, the Fire Festival has some of the most time consuming achievements in “The Fires of Azeroth” and “Desecration of the Horde/Alliance,” where I’d have to visit every flame on every continent, for both factions.

By completing the achievements on my hunter, I’ll have one character which has done everything and legitimately earned the proto-drake.  But when I check my achievements, all I’ll see is that I earned the titles on my account, and it won’t matter how many times I’ve done the achievement on each of my characters.  By completing the achievements on my warlock, I’ll get the same results, except part of me will be disappointed that I didn’t do it the *right* way.  As it stands now, I need to do all those achievements on one character, and there are plenty of people that have run through that grind, some multiple times.  Why shouldn’t I be one of those people?

On the other hand, I don’t have the time to waste that I once did.  I’m going to get the credit I need for the achievement either way, and only I will know the truth behind it.  Fundamentally, the account is a representation of me, and I’ve performed all those actions of visiting each flame and dancing around a pole.  I don’t need to do them again.  The introduction of account-wide achievements is just technology catching up with reality.  I am my hunter.  I am my warlock.  Their achievements are my achievements.  And there’s no reason for me to devote so much time to duplicating my efforts.

Account-wide achievements are a good thing.  Ideally, this is how achievements would have been implemented when they were first introduced in Wrath.  Just because Blizzard didn’t have this feature fully functional for four years doesn’t mean I shouldn’t capitalize on it now that it’s here.  But I’m still going to feel a little guilty.  I suppose if that guilt grows over the next year, I can still complete all the achievements on my hunter.  But for now, I’ll have to learn to be glad for getting what I wished for.

WoW! Blurbs!

Mists of Pandaria box art allegedly found!  Its got a panda on it!  Surprise!!!

Clarification on account-wide mounts!  You only have to spend a crap-ton of gold once!

UI-addons are going to be testable in the next beta patch!  This is usually a sign that the beta is entering its final stages.  The mists might finally be clearing around a release date….

Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz

Senior Producer

Host of WoW! Talk! and The Tauren & The Goblin. Sometimes known as the Video Games Public Defender. Wants to play more Destiny and Marvel Heroes but WoW is all-consuming. Decent F2P Hearthstone player. Sad that he lost the Wii that had Wrecking Crew on it. Would be happy if the only game ever made was M.U.L.E. Gragtharr on Skywall-US. Garresque on Ravencrest-US.

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