Blizzard giveth, and Blizzard taketh away

Achievements

While skimming the list of things that will be removed upon 6.0, I was struck by how much would be gone come patch day.  Ahead of the Curve SoO obviously, but something’s, like the Challenge Mode Transmog Armor?  Why take content away, when leaving it will have no negative repercussions?

An article by Tastes like Battle Chicken made me rethink my opinion.  Ambermist talks more about the raiding and PvP achievements being removed, but her premise still applies.  She explains eloquently why we shouldn’t feel entitled to achievements (I totally recommend checking out her post; it is a thought provoking and well written article).

Do I feel entitled to achievements? Well yes and no.  I agree with Ambermist’s premise, but I think the issue is more complex than a sense of entitlement.

Ambermist defines an achievement as “a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill.”  That’s a great definition for the word achievement, but I don’t think it quite fits with what a WoW achievement is.  A WoW achievement can be more or less than that.  Definitely, for the heroic raiding, and the pvp, that fits.  But for things like The Old Gnome and the Sea I don’t really think that definition applies.

I would define WoW achievements as like collecting Pokémon cards.  Some are rare or hard to get.  And some are like Pikachu, incredibly common and easy to get.

On top of this, achievements don’t really tell the whole tale.  Some really hard to get achievements you can stumble on to, while other take you weeks and weeks and weeks.  I’ve gotten some rare kill achievements by blind luck, but have spent almost 2 months now trying to get Ahead of the Curve for normal SoO.  The effort required for every achievement differs, which is what makes this question so hard to answer.

Do I feel entitled to achievements? On one hand, not at all! I have a chance at getting some of them, but that’s it.  I’m not owed anything, and my own satisfaction should suffice as my own reward.  But on the other hand, I do feel entitled to some achievements.  I want that Normal Garrosh kill.  I’ve invested hours on it, wiped countless times, joined multiple groups. So at this point yes, I do feel a bit entitled to it.  I’ve put the work and sweat into it, now I want to reap the rewards.

But at the same time, I know that if I don’t get that Normal Garrosh kill by next Tuesday, then it’s over.  I don’t deserve to get more chances at it; I’ve had just as long as anyone else.  I understand that it wouldn’t be fair for people to, several expansions later, get that achievement after so many people broke their backs on it when it was current.  I understand this.

On the achievement front, I understand both sides of the argument, and can sympathize with either.

But, do we consider content the same as achievements?  Achievements is just a name with a time stamp on it, but actual content is slightly different.  After the AotC achievement goes away, the raid will still be there.  Yes, the mount and the title will disappear, but everything else will stay the same.  So what about Challenge Modes?  The entirety of those Challenge Modes are leaving; the dungeons, the gear, the mounts, the titles, the achievements, everything.  Or the treasure room on the Isle of Thunder?  Does the same rules apply?

I think not.  Achievements and titles, yes, should go away.  But the content itself should stay.  The treasure room should stay, but just have its money amount reduced slightly.  Challenge Modes and the gear should stay, but only be attemptable at level 90 (similar to the Herald of the Titans Achievement).  Taking away content for the sole purpose of making those who got it seem special is silly. And a waste of resources.

Getting achievements can feel like an accomplishment, and that sense of accomplishment is often increased by the unavailability of that achievement later.  But content does not and should not follow that rule.  Achievements can only be completed one way; the way described by the achievement itself.  But content can be completed in any way one would like, the normal way, the blow-through-everything-because-I-outlevel-this way, the I’m-going-to-take-off-my-armor-to-make-this-difficult way, any way you’d like.  And removing the content entirely is foolish and unfair.  Achievements can be the special snowflake ‘I did this when it was hard’ thing, but content should be completely by anyone at any time.

And one last thought: Does an achievement really portray the ‘accomplishment’? Or just the numbers?

But seriously though, gimme that AotC!

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8 thoughts on “Blizzard giveth, and Blizzard taketh away

  1. Pingback: The View from the Last Pre-Draenor Darkmoon Faire | The Ancient Gaming Noob

  2. You and I agree on the content aspect completely. Turning achievements into Feats of Strength and removing the ability to earn the rewards that came with them is one thing, actually removing a whole bunch of content from the game is another.

    While I’ll never be one to get overly stressed about what they remove from the game (except for my moonkin DPS in WoD, something something nerf QQ), I can see the argument for keeping things in–who doesn’t like to go back and run old raids, dungeons, or quests from time to time.

    Being able to still do current CMs (even if you couldn’t get the xmog for it) would be fun, and I always did enjoy the treasure room.

    Thoughtful post, thank you for sharing! 😀

    • Thanks for the idea for the post!
      I do sometimes get a little bummed when something is removed when I don’t have it (hello, vanilla gear), but it only really bothers me when it is something big or fun. I wish that I had gotten to go through the original Naxx, or that I remembered the glory days of Winterspring (There was a giant ice dude… and mines? All I remember is killing those frostwolves). Some of those old school obscure achievements, yeah I don’t really want or need them.

      The thing I was most shocked about, was the removal of the legendary cloak. I forgot to touch on this in my post, but I really can’t see the reasoning behind that. It’s already considered the ‘casual’s legendary’ so it’s not a matter of preserving uniqueness. And the cloak wouldn’t be easy to get once the content was old; that’s a lot of raid grinding for drops. I wish that Blizzard could do a post with their reasoning….

  3. I wish i could help everyone out there with their achievements! Unfortunately as I only have one raiding toon and am still raiding I cannot help. Hopefully one of your other readers can get you that kill!

  4. What groups are you trying to get your normal Garrosh kill with? Is it an established guild group, or are you pugging? Using Open Raid?

    I ask because our guild stopped raiding to take a break before 6.0, which means that I’m not getting locked to SoO right now. So if you could use a heroic geared Resto Druid in your quest I might be able to help out. (It would depend on scheduling to some extent, of course.) I definitely know the fight, having killed normal Garry 23 times now.

    I know how it feels to be trying to get the final boss down before the end of an expac. I joined WoW in Wrath and started raiding in ICC. Our guild managed to get normal Sindragosa down, and then everyone just… stopped playing. But I really wanted to kill the Lich King before Cata, so I joined every pug I could find for months on end before finally, FINALLY getting a kill. To this day it is one of my proudest achievements. LOL So if I can help you get your Garrosh kill that would be awesome.

    Anyway, I think you have my email from the scavenger hunt contest, so if you are interested shoot me a message and I’ll give you my btag.

    • I’ve been mostly pugging; my schedule makes it a bit difficult to find established groups I can run with.
      Thank you so much for the offer! I currently have 2 (possibly 3) established groups that might bring me, but if those all fall through, I will definitely email you! 😀

      • Ok, just let me know. I don’t guarantee a kill because too much depends on everyone performing well, but I will do what I can if you need me. I would have tried to get my own team to bring you along, but since we’re not raiding I would have trouble getting everyone together and they don’t know you, so they might not be interested. :/ Hopefully one of the established groups comes through for you!

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