Tuesday, June 30, 2009

looking to the stars

I want star ratings on my achievements.

Allow me to explain.

At my level - i.e. an Ulduar- and Naxx-geared endgame PvE 80 - there are certain achievements that are at my level, certain ones that are just below, and some that are trivial. Much of the QQ from the hardcore comes from the fact that post-nerf, muppets can get the same achievement as them and there's no way for them to lord it over the plebs other than with the date of the achievement, which depends on everyone knowing that a certain fight was nerfed on a certain date.

My solution (as you might now have guessed): star ratings.

If I get an achievement in current content (i.e. currently, content introduced in 3.1) it gets rated 3 stars. So Ulduar on any mode and Emalon, but not Naxx or Archavon. I achieved it before it was deprecated somewhat by new content. 3 stars.

If I get it after a certain point, say a major content patch (n.n level) it's 2 stars. So it's still legitimately difficult content, but you weren't in that top end that did it when it was fresh. Heroics, Naxx, etc. Maybe toons 70-79 could stil get 2-stars for non-heroic 5 mans.

If I get it after it became trivial, 1 star. Non-heroic 5-mans (for toons at 80), Classic and BC achievements, etc.

Now 3.2 comes out, and suddenly Ulduar achievements drop to 2-star with Naxx and the rest. Coliseum acheivements are the only 3-stars available, and they will only be 3-star until patch 3.3.

Of course there are always issues. A normal WotLK 5-man is challenging for 5 toons 70-79. It's trivial with 4 80s and a single 70. How should that be handled? I suggest that Blizz looks at the maximum star rating that would have been awarded if no party/raid members had already achieved it. So if you bring a single 80 into that non-heroic 5-man, everyone who doesn't already have the achievement gets a 1-star, not a 2-star. Of course that's not perfect, but it's a start.

Do you think that will address some of the legitimate recognition issues that the really hardworking players have? Amaze me with your boundless ability to find QQ.


  1. It's an interesting idea.. but I have to say I don't agree with it. I' not QQing here though. ;-)

    I play in a 10-man raiding guild - we're not bleeding edge, but we're progressing through the content at our own pace.
    Sure, we're never going to get server firsts (nor do we want to), but I don't see how different our achievement for downing boss x, y or z is any different to another 10 man raiding guild downing the same boss a few weeks ahead of us.

    In the same way, a guild starting out in Naxx now still has to progress through that instance in the same way we did weeks before. Its a little unfair to trivialise someone's effort when they're just showing up to the party fashionably late :)

    And before the "But they can use Ulduar gear now" argument comes into play - not many Ulduar geared players would take a step backward to help a new guild start off Naxx.

    Sure, you got the Achievement before others - the date on the achievement signifies that already, and no one can take that from you. Very well progressed guilds already have a few perks - you've got a chance at getting the protodrakes while you can (and thats one awesome perk - better than any achievement, you can swan around on that thing and no one needs to inspect you to see what you've accomplished).

    For folks like me, the proto drakes from the extra raid achievements are a laughably long way off, but I'm content with eventually getting the achievements to just clear these places... in my own time. Thats cool with me.

  2. My major question regarding this, is it really necessary? I ask this because, as a skilled player, the achievement system alone has butchered me.

    Sadly, guilds look at my gear, see no Ulduar peices, no 3-Drake title, and therefore assume that I'm terrible, when many of the people who have these achievements I outDPS and die less than.

    If it's all about doing it "first" then what about the guys like me, who had a guild fall apart. Suddenly they're totally screwed because they lost tempo, and now need to compete against people they're just flat out better than.

    I can't do things first, not because I'm not geared, not skilled or don't put in the time. I can't because I lost tempo, and the people who didn't are now getting my spots in raids, even though I know for a fact that I can do better than them.

    To me, competition like this had totally killed WoW. Back in pre-BC, you couldn't afford to turn many people away, because they "might" be damn good, and if you lost them, no Ragnoros kill. If they failed, you booted them. Simple as that. None of this "Oh, you don't have of the Nightfall so you must suck".

    It's like if at the Olympics, if so-and-so who won the race last year gets to represent again, even though you're a faster racer. But because you didn't do it first, no one will give you the time of day.

    Doing things first should NOT be the defining success. What should be, is continuing on and getting the new content downed. So what if you did something a few years ago that was awesome? It doesn't matter when faced with new challenges. Real victory isn't just getting the win. It's pushing the bar higher every time.

    And in my experience, the NUMBER ONE cause of people being malicious and aggressive in WoW, is because of competition and ego. I've had people constistantly insult me because I linked a damage meter after a fight because I saw a new personal high. They thought I was insulting them, even though I tried to clarify that I wasn't.

    Besides, if these "stars" aren't built to show your level of skill, and just to lord over other players with... Well, that's kinda what's ruining WoW completely for me. And I think people should go elsewhere if they need pixelated ego. If it is to show a level of skill, I personally think it's flawed. Because too many guilds are using gear, achievements and other various things to measure skill, instead of giving a player a chance and actually seeing their skill first hand.

    Gear is flawed. Do you know what every classes itemization values are given every set up? Probably not. For example, many affliction warlocks go two pieces T7, two T8, because the bonuses stack up well. If you say "They don't have full T8, then they fail", that's just wrong. Not to mention people being carried through content can get the gear without the skill.

    Achievements are flawed. If having an achievement means you're ready for that content, how the hell are any of them earned in the first place? I mean, people who want Ulduar players, look for Ulduar achievements. How the hell does that even work?

    Stars are flawed, because if someone starts to fall behind and fail, they have the "I did it first arguement." It's like some random person from vanilla WoW. They suck horribly in WotLK for whatever given reason, but because they were present in vanilla, they lord over people who are in actuality more skilled at the game.

    So if it's not a skill-check, then it's an ego trip. If it's an ego trip... Then to me, that's just players being selfish; requiring praise and worship for playing a video game. Those people tend to harrass others who beat them. I don't like those people.

  3. I think there are some achievements muppets will never get. Twilight Vanquisher. The Chosen Few. The Immortal. Conquerer of Ulduar. OK, maybe by T9 it would be possible to go back to Naxx & get The Immortal & Twilight Vanquisher even if you are useless, but I doubt many bad players will get T9 unless they grind heroics endlessly for the badge items. That will take them forever. By the time we're in T9 there will be new achievements for front end raiders and the Naxx achievements will have lost their cachet. I still mostly display my Hand of A'dal title because I'm damn proud of it. It took forever to get it and anyone else with it knows what I went through. The game is full of stuff like this. Anyone with a Netherdrake knows how hard they were to get. When I see someone on one even now I remember all that ginding rep. So Cat, I think all of us carry that star system around even if it isn't official. On my lock for example, in order to get my racial mount I had to go through different instances & spend a hell of a lot of money. At level 60 it was a huge deal. Very difficult. All warlocks who had one were immensely proud of it and acknowledged it with each other. Now you can just buy one if you're a lock. So it has no value to me anymore. In fact I don't ride it any more as it just attracts rogues in BG's.

  4. I actually think this is a good idea. But I still think people really need to not care so much. However, if you really think that people will scan through your achievements on that regular a basis, and see that you got some boss down in some raid when it was challenging to do, and then thinks better of you for it, and you also feel better for it. Sure, I guess, why not?

    If you think however, that this is a legitimate way of checking a players ability. Then no, this is a bad idea. There is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing about the current achievement system (or this proposed one) that gives you any indication of a players skill. Achievements are easy to get. You can go afk in a raid and let the others get the kill and you still get the achievement for it. It means nothing. So if this is a vanity thing, like I said, sure why not? If it's a mecahnism for checking other peoples ability to play, sorry I don't think it works at all.