So – achievements. They're a pretty neat concept for casual players as well as ... well, over-achievers. Fans of the upcoming new feature have already begun setting up for various achievements, farming rep, running old-school content and collecting gear and quest completions in preparation for the expansion's launch.
Among the high achievers is <Hells Fury> of Eonar-EU. "Unlike most guilds," writes officer Nerfs in a news tip to 15 Minutes of Fame, "it is not focused on raiding or PvP. We are instead focusing on the achievements that will be released with the pre-expansion patch and the expansion itself." Pretty cool idea for a bunch of folks with mixed-up schedules and piled-on work and school responsibilities! We visited with Nerfs yesterday to see how the guild is pulling it all together – and we have to admit, this sounds like a fun new way to play as a group.
Nerfs: An achievement guild is basically what it says on the tin. It's a guild focused on completing the achievements that are being implemented with patch 3.0.2 and the expansion. We're focusing on reputation achievements at the minute. Continual runs of Stratholme and Scholomance for Argent Dawn are common, despite the fact they're a pain in the ass.
Is this a new focus for an existing guild, or was the guild assembled specifically to focus on achievements?
Hells Fury was formed on June 15, 2007, with the intention of making a relaxing guild that offered players of all styles somewhere to go relax, level and be sociable without the worry of rules and regulations. After a month or two, the guild took a new turn as we attempted to focus on raiding. However, problems began and soon after the guild was in turmoil. Arguments were constant and people fell out with each other big time. A large amount of the players left to form their own guild, which I was a member of for a short period of time. After a month or so with the raiding guild, I returned to Hells Fury. By now, we realized that raiding wasn't for us, and many people became bored of PvP after the honor grind.
When the achievement system was announced, we realized that this was something casual and something we could achieve. We discussed the options we had, the pros and cons of each, and came to the conclusion that a casual but focused guild was the way forward. Thus, we became an achievement-oriented guild.
So is the focus all achievements, all the time?
We don't strictly focus on achievements. Our members can often be found in PuGs to Kara and ZA and anywhere being advertised on the realm forums or Trade chat. What we usually do is inform people in advance that we are going to do an old-school five-man or raid a few weeks in advance, and if they need rep or a boss kill for an achievement (e.g., killing Drakkisath in UBRS), they are welcome to come along. The reason the idea is not strictly enforced is because we try to keep the guild as casual as possible. Rules are kept minimal.
Do you have a tracking system in place for all the achievements?
As far as I know, there isn't a way to track who has what achievements in game without the Blizzard UI being implemented. I know that there is a web site that tracks achievements; the address escapes me at this point in time, though. I'm hoping that someone can develop a mod that allows guild members to see who has completed what and how many points they have, so people know what events need to be organized. I would also like to see a system such as Wowjutsu for achievements, although I can't really see this happening.
The main way we see what needs to be done is by seeing what the majority need. For example, I can guarantee that the majority of the high-level members in the guild won't have completed Molten Core or Blackwing Lair, so we'll be heading there. The only other way we know what to focus on is by asking around and finding out what people would like to do.
What are the most common achievements among your members?
The most common achievements at the minute are the Exalted rep ones. The other things our members are focusing on are mount, tabard and vanity pet achievements. The reason for this mainly is that people can do these in their own time and don't need the system implemented to know how well they're doing. Another reason these seem the most common is that, for a lot of the items, simply having money can get you the achievements. Since most of our 70s have maxxed professions, epic flying skill, etc., money isn't an issue for them.
What do you anticipate being the most difficult achievements to get?
From my point of view, the most difficult achievements to get for our guild will be ones such as the server-first kill of Kel'Thuzard in Naxx 25. The top raiding guilds on our server have already seen Naxx once and will have a vague understanding of how it work, allowing them to progress faster – that, and the fact we don't plan to attempt level 80 raids until well after the expansion.
Other achievements I feel will be difficult to complete, even at level 80, will be the ones from top-end level 70 raiding, such as killing Kil'Jaeden. From a personal point of view, the Loremaster title will be difficult to achieve. I myself have begun work on this, but even once the achievement system is in place, it will be very hard to identify where those last few quests are.
What achievement are you most excited about getting?
For myself, I am most excited about the quest- and faction-related achievements, mainly because this is more my style of game play. I know one of my officers is planning the 50-mount achievement for the Albino Drake, but that's probably because he has money to burn.
I think my guild members would like to complete achievements based around instances and heroics, such as the killing of five-man bosses, and later, of the 10-mans. Another idea that is becoming ever more popular within the guild are achievements based on old-school raids -- apparently some people really are that desperate to do Molten Core.
Chances are, our playstyles won't vary much. The majority of our members have school, jobs or families that are more important than the game. Of course, we will still be blasting through the content to hit 80 and go back and mop up the pieces after that. Most of the time, we will probably be leveling solo. The achievements will probably go on hold until 80, unless they can be completed en route (such as the 3,000 quests achievement) or completing all the quests in one zone.
You mention having gotten a certain amount of haters and flaming over Hells Fury's focus on achievements. What's up with that?
I put a post on our realm forums telling people what we were wanting to do -- and as per usual, the trolls descended upon the thread and were taking sly digs at us. People on the forums did back us up, giving us free bumps and the such, while members of the guild were doing their best to defend me. We have also had people telling us it's a good idea but not worth making a guild over, as people can do achievements outside raids. Our reply was basically "We know -- but what if achievements are all people want to do?" -- to which the trolls had a field day.
Anything else readers should know about what you're doing?
We're always willing to accept new members, no matter what your age, level, class, skill level or play times. Even if you just want to make an alt on the server to see what the fuss was about, we'd be happy to house you.
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