Some graphical glitches are creepier than the rest. Not sure whether it’s her lack of eyes or the fact that her entire body seems have been dipped in plaster of Paris. Either way, I know I’d be running in the opposite direction.
Account-wide achievements seem to be semi working in the current Beta build and more than ever I find my feelings on the subject are mixed. When I wrote my original post on the topic, I was torn between liking and disliking but now, I think I’m definitely coming down on the side of dislike.
Pets I’m okay with. It was a necessary evil to get the most of the Pet Battle system, that makes sense. Asking people to level pets individually on a character by character basis would be frustrating and annoying. Everything else, I’m not so comfortable with.
Based on shots like this one, it looks like if you have an achievement somewhere on your account, you will get any relevant titles and mounts handed out on all characters once they reach the level required to use them.
Perhaps I’m a special snowflake but part of the reason I love rolling new characters every so often is that they are blank slates (just like the Student of Chi-ji). You start completely afresh with nothing but come MoP without purchasing a new account, that won’t be true. Instead of trying to pick a first companion pet that I feel suits the character, I’ll have well over a hundred to pick from. The same goes for mounts, already by the time a new character hits lv 80, it will have it’s pick of over a 100 creatures to ride.
Now I’ve swapped mains once or twice across the last seven years so I should be in seventh heaven. My two characters who are Hands of A’dal sit unplayed, my main pet and mount collector who also happens to have a variety of PvE titles as well as the bulk of my achievements is currently the wrong faction. My Hyacinth Macaw and Horseman’s Reins sit on Druids 1 and 3, neither of which get much playtime these days. Finally, my achievements will reflect me, the player yet still I find the whole concept uncomfortable. It’s not because I’m afraid of being stalked, although I believe that these changes will make it a whole lot easier for people to track down other gamers because suddenly your achievements will be one unique fingerprint across all your characters. Hiding on alts, re-naming and server transferring won’t be the safety net they were before. Of course in the case of bad behaviour, that’s a good thing. Way back before server transfers were an option, my old GM said one night that, “all we have in WoW is our reputation” and perhaps account-wide achievements is one way to help bring back that sense of accountability. Yet, I still don’t like it.
All my characters who are high enough level to reach AV are exalted and that’s a rite of passage for me. Just as is saving my <Make Love, not Warcraft> achievement for the stunned corpse of someone I really enjoyed ganking. Inheriting those moments from others takes away some of the fun from achieving achievements in the first place. Of course, it’s probable that you’ll still get the achievement, your new one just taking over from the inherited one but it’s not the same. It’s like the difference between blank notebooks and half filled jotters or buying new clothes versus getting your brother’s cast-offs.
Then there is content. I repeat content on my alts just because there is a blank space in my achievement list. I explore places I know like the back of my hand, flying over old familiar hidey holes, taking screenshots and thinking about all the memories they gave me. I do old favourite quests and farm rep with people who already love me on four other characters. I get out into the world because my achievements aren’t currently shareable and I know plenty others who do the same. Even when there is no new content available, when the game seems stagnant (like now), there is plenty of things to do if you treat all your characters like separate individuals. This change alters that. When your play time is perhaps limited by outside factors and achievements are shared, it makes sense to only do certain things once. Why for example should I run Ulduar again because I’ve got all the titles and both mounts already. If there is nothing I want for transmogrification, there is no reason for me to set foot in there again. No one is ever going to farm the Firelands dailies twice (or at least if they do, that gives a whole new definition to masochism). All these areas which on all the servers I play on (mainly medium to high pop) are currently buzzing with the latest crop of alts will fall silent.
Now this is all fine and dandy, if Blizzard keep new content flowing at a rate where we don’t get stuck for things to do but if they don’t? I can’t help but feel that making achievements account-wide makes the world smaller. I’m one pet off completing the Darkmoon Faire collection, once I’ve grabbed that this week why go back (unless they add new stuff). Don’t get me wrong, I do quite enjoy the games, especially hitting toy Hoggers over the head with a mallet and punting my Gnome out of the cannon but if I don’t need the tickets because my pets and mounts are about to become shared across all my characters.. then it diminishes my need to visit whole chunks of the game. So, we’ll get the new shiny expansion with lots of things to do but then what happens when we come to level the second character through it and the third? When we already have all the achievements to show before a character even leaves the start zone? Doesn’t that take away from the experience.
I know there are benefits and that I will probably benefit more than most. I have been playing a long time and have switched raiding character more than once for my guild and yet, I still dislike the idea. Although I can see one silver lining in the whole concept. Sunday sees the start of everyone’s favourite holiday “Children’s Week”. The week where everyone manages to get annoyed, whether it’s pvpers ranting at achievement hunting under-geared idiots ruining their battlegrounds or everyone else complaining about being targeted by a never ending succession of evil ganking scum whilst trying to get their achievements done. Now if Blizzard intend all achievements and mounts to be shared, well then hopefully by next year, everyone who wants a purple drake will have one on one character or another and Children’s week will be a peaceful and relaxing occasion without the shrieking and whining of previous years. We can but dream!