Breakfast Topic: A random topic

Anne Stickney
A. Stickney|02.26.10

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Breakfast Topic: A random topic
a·chieve·ment - n.
1. The act of accomplishing or finishing.
2. Something accomplished successfully, especially by means of exertion, skill, practice, or perseverance.

The achievement system was introduced back just before the launch of Wrath of the Lich King. There wasn't really any purpose to the achievement system, although some achievements give pets, items, or titles -- the main purpose of an achievement seems to be just... something to do when you've got nothing else in mind.

Personally, I love the achievement system. I like being able to plug away at something tedious and somewhat mind numbing every now and again, regardless of the fact that those points really don't mean anything. What bothers me though, and has bothered me since the first cries of an achievement being too difficult to complete is the little voice in the back of my mind that wonders if people realize what an achievement is supposed to be.For an achievement to be an achievement, there must be some element that is working against what you are working towards, something that you have to overcome. To that end, some achievements take a tremendous amount of skill to complete. Some just take a really, really long time. And when you have an achievement that doesn't take time, or skill, something else has to be thrown in there -- which is where the random number generator comes in.

That's the one that seems to bother people the most -- the random nature of some drops being so utterly rare that it seems like an achievement is impossible. People cry foul and say that the RNG makes it too difficult to complete an achievement -- but by the very definition of the word, an achievement should be something that is difficult. If that RNG is removed, something must be put into place to make that achievement difficult again, either that or they should just remove the word 'achievement,' call it a giveaway and hand out pets and titles every couple of months for no reason whatsoever. By now, almost every really difficult achievement has been either culled, changed, or turned into a Feat of Strength rather than a simple achievement. Personally speaking, I think that nerfing an achievement or making it somehow easier to obtain cheapens the achievement itself, but that's just me.

So here are a couple of questions for you: What makes an achievement too hard for you? Would you rather the achievement system did away with the RNG factor entirely, and if so, what would you put in place to make those achievements something that is an accomplishment, rather than just a giveaway?
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