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Posted by Raine Hutchens on May 8, 2012

Blizzard Adding Account-Level Achievements To World of Warcraft

Blizzard has announced that they’ve added account-level changes to achievements earned in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. The beta for WoW’s next expansion is still running strong, and players will see these changes soon within the game. The idea behind this addition is simple: Blizzard doesn’t want WoW players to focus on a single character because of achievements.

Here’s what the developer had to say in the official announcement post:

Overall, we never want you to play Character A instead of Character B because of achievement concerns. If Character A had the Violet Proto-Drake, then you might not play Character B. If Character A was only one holiday away from the Violet Proto-Drake, then you may not play Character B. If Character A had completed most of the raid achievements from Dragon Soul, you may not want to bring Character B for one fight and miss out on the achievement. Having alts is cool and working on achievements is cool, but we don’t want the two systems to work against each other.

This goal is paramount and drives everything else. If we allowed you to earn extra achievement points from completing an achievement on two different characters, then you might only want to play the character with the most points and you’d feel like you had to grind through all the achievements with every alt, thus defeating the purpose of having account-level achievements.

This is a real focal point in bringing the game back for many players. Personally, I suffer from this issue myself. I feel as if my main toon is the only one worth playing because he is the character with the most achievements and rewards. Why play my alts just to run them through the same gauntlet? Why go back and hit all of the achievements again? This new change will help eliminate that feeling and make each character players have feel more valuable and worth playing.

Of course, there are some stipulations that will stick to these new account-level achievements. Some of them are:

  • Most achievements are account-wide

The meaning behind this is that you’ll earn the achievement points only once. If you earn an achievement on one toon, then you’ll see it on all toons. Though you will see the pop-up notification if a second character completes the achievement, and this is important. Blizzard still wants to recognize milestones for each character.

  • Most criteria isn’t account-wide

If you start an achievement process on one toon, you can’t finish it on another. There are some exceptions, though they aren’t numerous.

  • Some achievements will be “meta achievements”

These meta achievements will require you to grab other specific achievements. An example here is “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” These achievements generally are account-wide, allowing different characters to earn the sub-achievements within to gain the overall goal.

  • Very few achievements are account-only

Two categories of achievements will be account-only. The first will be achievements that aren’t possible to earn on one toon. For instance, getting every class to the level cap. The second category will be those that are just “brutal” for one character alone, such as 2500 daily quests completed or 250k honorable kills.

  • Rewards from achievements should be shared at the account level.

Though it isn’t promised, Blizzard wants for the achievement rewards to be at the account level as well. While the team is working on it, there will be some restrictions set in place. There’s no reason why your level 3 Orc Warrior should be walking around with the title, “Defender of a Shattered World” just because your main achieved it.  You also wouldn’t be able to use a faction-specific mount, title, or pet on the wrong faction.

 This is the type of system that Blizzard wants to develop over time, and I think it will fit really well. I strongly believe that more players will come back to the game, and the ones already playing will find it easier to share their time with different characters. A lot of players have been requesting changes like these, and Blizzard is letting us know they’re listening. More changes and details will come over time, and it looks like they’ll continue to get better.

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