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WRUP: Another year older edition

Eliot Lefebvre

I'm going to take a momentary break from my usual pictures of men with hats to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart. Namely, the fact that today is my mark for two years with Massively, and I'd like to think that's kind of special. (OK, technically the anniversary is tomorrow, but it's easier to just mark off the start of October.) Time to start another year, and I hope this one involves more dinosaurs. (Any, for instance.)

But that's not what I'm here to talk about right now, neither anniversaries nor dinosaurs. No, I'm here to introduce another week's installment of WRUP, where the Massively staff members share their plans for the weekend as well as their thoughts about achievements and the junkiedom thereof. Jump on past the break for our plans, and let us know what you'll be up to over the weekend in the comment section!

Beau Hindman, F2P and Mobile Columnist and Contributing Editor
@Beau_Hindman: I will be switching to Glitch for Rise and Shiny this weekend. I'm sort of bending the rules of the column a bit because I am not really supposed to be so familiar with the games I pick, but I just had to since it just launched. I'll also be getting primed to stream some Milmo and trying to get a few quests done in RuneScape. If I am lucky, I'll be able to start working through the levels one through 20 in City of Heroes. I absolutely loved the alternate universe story line!

Achievements are usually the last thing on my mind when I play a game. I will usually come up with my own goals and try to achieve those... something like "traveling without speedy travel" or "raising the most mushroom babies" or something weird. I understand the appeal of achievements, but they just don't do it for me.

Brandon Felczer, Star Trek Online Columnist
@bfelczer: This weekend I am going to be playing "Make Everyone Jealous" -- it's this new MMO by Felczer, Inc., and the goal is to make everyone as jealous of me as possible. The first mission includes my going to Club 33 at Disneyland this weekend because it's my birthday! OK, OK, there is no Felczer, Inc., and there is no game, but I am actually going to Club 33, so I am very excited about having a great time out and about with friends and family. Unfortunately, I really won't be playing anything this weekend.

As for achievements, I am actually not a "junkie," surprisingly! I have extremely bad OCD, so I am surprised that I have not spent hours trying to get them all. But now that you guys mention it, I guess I should start doing them. Thanks for helping me succumb to my OCD!

Brendan Drain, EVE Columnist and Contributing Editor
@nyphur: I'll be lodging some time in RIFT this weekend as some friends and I start new characters together.

I dont really bother with achievements. It's always nice to get one, but I don't go out of my way to make them happen. I think achievements should be things that pop up naturally during play when you do something spectacular, not something you actively pursue for rewards or something you can grind toward.

Bree Royce, Senior Editor
@nbrianna: I'm hoping to poke my head into City of Heroes a bit, maybe with some Star Wars Galaxies crafting on the side. I'm also tooling around in Glitch (hot damn I love offline skill-leveling).

Definitely not an achievement junkie. I will usually only go for specific ones that reward me with something like The Perfect Title for my toon or a mount or something. Achievements annoy me for three reasons. One, they bring out the OCD in me to duel my lack of time, and the ensuing dissonance drives me crazy. Two, they often cover up a lack of real content in a game, encouraging us to run around doing useless things. And three, I'm contrary and hate having the terms of what counts as an achievement dictated to me. I'd sooner do without.

Eliot Lefebvre, Columnist Extraordinaire and Contributing Editor
While we're not getting the patch until next week, I'm still going to be playing Final Fantasy XIV for roleplaying and leveling in anticipation. I'm also going to log some more time in City of Heroes and continute my tour back through older PlayStation games on my PSP. Fairly standard.

Achievements are one of those things that I absolutely adore in theory and so rarely feel satisfied by in practice. Really, I like them better in single-player games with a defined endpoint, where they can essentially turn into a list of new challenges to approach if you've beaten the main game and want to stay immersed in it. In MMOs, usually the rewards for simple cosmetic items skew toward the insane. That's not to say I dislike them as a concept; I think MMOs just have yet to make very good use of them in a design.

Jef Reahard, Columnist Extraordinaire and Contributing Editor
I'll be poking around in Dawntide this weekend as well as Global Agenda and Age of Conan.

I usually don't care one way or the other about achievements. Sometimes I'll do them and sometimes not, depending on the game. I will say that the marriage of social networking and achievements annoys me to no end, like in Fable III where you're constantly seeing loading screen messages like "so and so on your friends list has killed 567 bats, you've killed 3!" Honestly, let me enjoy my own game already.

Jeremy Stratton, Runes of Magic Columnist
@Jeremy_Stratton: I've been branching out into Not So Massively territory by playing some MMOFPS games. It's weird -- I never really liked FPS games, and I have to make sure never to read chat when I play, but I'm actually starting to enjoy them.

Junkie may not be the best term to describe me when it comes to achievements, but I do enjoy them. I like seeing them in MMOs. I think it's unfortunate when you put a billion achievements in an MMO, you get the side-effect of their being devalued. It would be harder to try not to get an achievement in World of Warcraft, yet I like that they are in the game.

Justin Olivetti, Columnist Extraordinaire and Contributing Editor
@Sypster: Whatever time I can scrape together will undoubtedly be spent in Lord of the Rings Online's Rise of Isengard expansion. I have kinnies who are already at 75, and I'm still diddling along at 66. Slowest. Leveler. Ever.

I do love achievements, but I'm getting of the opinion that they really need to be tied to a reward system of some kind past being arbitrary points. City of Heroes and RIFT both have achievements that can result in titles, abilities and pets, but those are few and far between. I'd like to see more. Make achievement points a limited, spendable currency that can only be spent on fluff items, and I'll love you forever.

MJ Guthrie, Aion and Sandbox Columnist
Once again I venture into that thrilling and chilling game of "Real Life." This weekend, I shall take to the streets of NYC with my daughter, armed with only a water bottle and some cash. OK, and most likely a rain jacket. We will skill up on art appreciation, tasty food tasting, and sore feet, um, making. Any other games are pretty much out of the question. (Curse you, increased drop rates in Aion! Can I get a raincheck?)

I like achievements as something surprising that comes along, but I really hate ones where you know to get it you have to kill 20 gajillion zombies (or what have you). Basically, I am better off not knowing there are achievements, haha. Titles can be nice, but I don't go out of my way to get everything. If the reward is something fun, I will probably make an effort to acquire it. If it is a housing item, you better believe I'm going to fight till my last breath to get it! However, I really am more of a sucker for collections like in EverQuest II and... ooh, look! A shiny!

Patrick Mackey, Champions Online Columnist
@mackeypb: Rusty Hearts for me! It's a freaking sweet game.

I'm only into things that give me gameplay benefits, but I like achievements that are hard (not tedious) to get. Most of those aren't really present in MMOs; the "hard" achievements in MMOs are simply a matter of grinding and patience, which is annoying.

Rubi Bayer, Community Manager
@Rubi_: Undoubtedly some Guild Wars Winds of Change -- I'm liking this round of content so much more than the last. I've downloaded Dragon Nest and am trying to get into Glitch, so I'm anxious to check those out too!

I love achievements -- things I can pick up here and there during gameplay. The sparklies in RIFT triggered an insane gotta-catch-'em-all reaction in my brain, and I had a ton of fun collecting them. I think the appeal lies in my desire to see as much as possible of what a game has to offer. "What happens if I get this achievement? What do I get? Let's find out!"

At the start of every weekend, we catch up with the Massively staff members and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as: WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

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