GamingMMO

Achievapalooza 2008!

“Just One More Achievement…”According to the rather disturbing countdown clock on WOW Insider, Blizzard’s second expansion for World Of Warcraft – Wrath Of The Lich King, is due in just under a month (okay, okay, 23 days, 3 hours, 56 minutes and 6 seconds at the time of writing. See, I told you it was rather disturbing… who needs to be that fixated on an expansion’s launch?). I have mixed feelings about the launch day. On the one hand, I’m excited by the prospect of exploring all new lands and running away from all new critters but I also remember the launch of The Burning Crusade, the last expansion. The starting areas were flooded with players just as excited and due to a tweak in respawn timers (to ensure people weren’t sat around waiting for mobs to reappear, or more likely, at each other’s throats for ‘kill stealing’), you could down a critter and before your attack animation had ceased, a replacement had spawned and already be kicking your ass. It was a little… um… hectic, those first few days.

One of the things that I was rather looking forward to and something I’d talked about in the past, was the achievements. Well, a few weeks (months?) ago they announced that they were rolling some things previously assumed to be part of WotLK forward (such as pet revamps/class revamps, vanity pet/mount interface shuffle and the incription profession). Well, in the Tue/Wed 3.0.2 patch last week, they all arrived along with the new achievements feature.

Achievements boil the game down to it’s most basic of tick-box orientated gameplay. Visited all the areas in Durotar? Well done, you earn some points. Beaten seven shades of shinola out of Edwin VanCleef? More points for you! These are just some of the easy-peasy achievements. They also combine into sets so your Durotar wanderings add to your overall Explorer achievement for East Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Outland and Northrend. Your dungeon boss killing spree counts towards your various ‘Dungeonmaster‘ achievements. Some of these achievements will even earn you some lightweight rewards like titles, tabards and vanity pets. There’s tougher achievements in the mix, some that require long-term commitments and some that acknowledge bouts of luck such as rare kills/drops. All in all, that’s one helluva list (750 achievements… currently) of boxes to tick.

Me, I’m going all OCD on the easy ones. I’ve decided that the rest are going to have to be happy accidents if I get them or I’ll end up driving myself batty like the dopes on the forums. I have to admit, it’s kinda nice going about your business, playing the game as usual then seeing the whoosh of an achievement occur. Even reviewing your ‘progress’ on some of the others tempts you into focusing your gameplay a little more.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to infiltrate an enemy faction city and spend countless hours trying to catch a rare fish, all the while getting my ass handed to me by players trying to earn that bizarre “kill-then-/hug-emote-the-corpse” achievement…