For those that aren’t forum sponges like I am, you may have missed a blue post by Vaeflare this week indicating Blizzard’s plans to make achievements accountbound at some point in MoP. Neth later posted that people probably shouldn’t get their hopes up too much since it’s still a work in progress, but ultimately this change is going to be a revolutionary boon for the entire playerbase.
It’s no secret that for the last few years WoW has been a major player in changing what people think of MMORPGS in general. Other games definitely add new ideas to the mix, but things like Looking for Raid, cross dungeon grouping, etc. are huge steps forward for online gaming in general. (Even if it took them forever to add transmogrification which has existed in some form or another in other games for years.)
The major arguments I’ve seen against accountbound achievements are that people want characters to feel like their own entities. Why should a brand new level 1 draenei have the kingslayer achievement that person has on their main account? It’s a valid complaint to be sure, but as someone who has major issues getting attached to alts I think this is going to dramatically increase the amount of characters I get to max level.
My topic alt rolling pattern goes like this:
1) Get excited about race/class combo, debate rolling one.
2) Roll said race/class combo. Feel really pumped about leveling until around level 20.
3) Leveling starts slowing down around this point as the reality of playing another character sinks in. I start to think to myself about all the stuff my main has that this alt doesn’t. Titles, mounts, etc. Things I’d have to re-earn if I wanted them on this new character.
4) If I make it to level 30 it gets even worse as friends ask me to do heroics on my main. Now the reality of having to put all the work from my main into this alt again is sinking in. Usually around level 35 I abandon the character for good knowing that I won’t want to bother with it and will always want to play my main due to the work I’ve already put into her.
When we create alt characters, particularly on new servers, they are essentially thrust – naked – into an already established world that has existed for 7+ years. For some this is fun, but to those like me who have already been in this world for that long and experienced mostly everything – it’s not really fair that I end up starting from scratch yet again. Sure, I can maybe mail myself some gold or some heirlooms, but when I look at the empty achievement tab I die a little inside.
Spread across my characters I have a PVP title from vanilla, a hand of a’dal title, the zhevra mount, several tabards that can no longer be acquired, a large amount of achievement related mounts, etc. These things that I have, by all rights, earned, are inaccessible to me as the person who earned them unless I am on that character specifically. I’m sorry, but that sucks. It also makes it incredibly hard to get attached to my alt characters.
At this present time there is no way to ever fully “switch mains” because ultimately by doing so you lose more than just the gear or VP/JP you earned on your previous main. You are losing every hour you put into that character so that you can play a new one you may enjoy more.
Now imagine a world where you roll a new character and instantly have access to all those achievements you earned. Your titles, your mounts, they’re all still accessible to this character. You’ll still get to experience the fun of leveling, playing, and gearing this new character – but the sentimental aspects of your main are still there. How would this change leveling for you? For me it would definitely make it so much easier to trudge through it again because the gain is going to be far more than the loss – something that isn’t true currently.
So count me among those that are incredibly excited for this change. It’s a huge step forward for this game in terms of accessibility. Now I can roll with friends on other servers without groaning inwardly about how this alt will never be as good as my main.