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!