After Blizzard's big announcement about how they plan to improve guilds in Cataclysm, I've been examining the changes in detail. First, I wrote about the lack of guild improvements over the years and how the expansion will, for better or worse, change WoW guilds forever. Then I speculated on possible leveling system options and guild talents. This week, I'm going to look at guild achievements.
Here are the announced guild achievements so far:
- Working as a Team: Have a grand master in every profession
- We Are Legendary: Complete a legendary weapon
- United Nations: Become Exalted with all Northrend factions
- Insider Trading: Trade 100,000 craftable items among guild members
These are all solid and worthwhile achievements in my opinion. Insider Trading is particularly interesting. This achievement will take a long time for small guilds, but it's not actually difficult. Hopefully, someone placing items in the bank and someone else removing them will count.
It's a big enough number that you'd be crazy to sit there trading items back and forth for hours on end just to get the achievement. So, it's an achievement based mainly on two things: longevity and cooperation. Those are exactly the criteria I want to see for guild achievements.
Here are some others I'd love to see:
- First Anniversary: Celebrate one full year as a guild. This achievement should be retroactive, which is easy to do since the game tracks the day your guild was formed. (Just type /ginfo to see yours.) It should also scale with the number of years the game itself survives.
- Boss Killers: Defeat every boss. Obviously this one would have multiple tiers that expand with the game. The achievement should not discriminate between 10s and 25s to make it more accessible. There could be a separate achievement for all the 25s bosses. Blizzard has stated that guild achievements will only trigger when your group has a certain percentage of guild members, so there's no worry that one person tagging along for an Arthas kill would get credit for the whole guild. This achievement would also encourage guilds to run some of the leveling instances as a team with our shiny new Goblin/Worgen alts.
- Elitist Jerks: Defeat every Heroic boss. (Heroic in this sense means the new hard mode version of the Coliseum, assuming Blizzard continues this trend.)
- Slay Them All: Kill 1000 players in enemy cities. City raiding can be disruptive, but it sure is fun. It would be great to encourage guilds to undertake these forays more often. I don't think it should scale beyond 1000, however. No need to encourage a guild to take and hold a city for days on end, if that's even possible!
- Interstellar Death Squads: Earn an honorable kill on each continent of Azeroth and Outland within 60 seconds. This one would be much easier to accomplish post-Cataclysm.
- Decimation: Kill ten bosses within 30 seconds. It could be a happy accident, or you could coordinate it among members of all different levels.
- Weathered Friends: Among all members, experience all possible types of weather at the same time. Ditto here.
- Gathering Storm: Use Mining, Herbalism, Skinning, and Fishing to gather 1,000,000 items. It's a big number, but this one should take a long time to be a true achievement.
- Consensual Healing: Restore 1,000,000,000 health among guild members. Again, a big number will make it mean something extraordinary.
- Epic Guild: Equip your members with an average item level of 226 (or whatever). Some guilds, like mine, have a mix of players that like to raid, players that like to PvP, and players that just stick around for social reasons. While I don't think Blizzard should cater to all possible guilds, I don't think it should penalize guilds for being diverse, either. I know some hardcore raiding guilds that have nonraiding friends as members just so they can wear the tag. An achievement like this would only cause resentment and hurt feelings, as the players who don't actively gear up would be seen as a drain on possible achievements. The version I've given can actually be somewhat worked around if your raiding members can raise the average enough. A worse version would be something like "Equip an item in every slot of all your members with an item level of 226 or higher."
- Duel Citizenship: Earn an average personal Arena Rating of 2000 or higher. Again, don't penalize guild for being diverse or for being loyal to friends. No achievements should be possible purely by gkicking members!
- Wealth Beyond Measure: Collect 25,000 gold in your guild bank. Such an achievement would only encourage officers to hoard gold (and, in more sinister scenarios, fleece their own members for cash).
- Time Sink: Accumulate 1000 hours played among all members. Blizzard didn't give us personal achievements for time played for very good reasons that you can probably guess. Guild achievements along this line would be an even worse idea.
- Speed Clear: Complete the Baron's timed run at level 60, the Zul'Aman timed run at level 70, the Culling of Stratholme timed run at level 80, and whatever other timed runs Blizzard has up its sleeve for Cataclysm. Let me be frank: I hate timed runs. It's fine when they are quick and relatively easy to achieve, like the CoS drake run. But the old Strat run and the ZA run were a nightmare. One DC or unavoidable AFK and you were finished. Technology just isn't reliable enough -- and real life isn't ignorable enough -- for this type of achievement in an online game. Make all the absurdly difficult hard modes you want, just don't give us a timer. And especially don't give us achievements for those timers. Timers lead to way too much stress and drama.
At some point I'll write a column about guild currency, but this one ran too long, so I'll have to wait for another week.
What sort of achievements would you like to see? What achievements are you dreading? Tell us below!