I spent a few hours on the test server yesterday looking over the incoming changes that are slated for some time in September and decided I would write a few articles on each section explaining them and what I saw. Please keep in mind this is ONLY on the test server and therefor is subject to change. If you do not want to know what’s currently on the test server then you may also want to skip this post.
Before I start, if you’re using a custom UI please be sure to delete your two files that mention ‘journal’ in them, there are only two, from the testcopy UI folder. Other wise you’ll more then likely crash after you try to log in.
Second of all lets get this out of the way. The achievement system that is coming to EQ2 is almost (if not exactly) like World of Warcrafts achievements and we all know it, lets not beat a dead horse. This is something EQ2 needs VERY MUCH in my opinion, whether it is exactly like some other game or not. MMOs are constantly feeding and learning off of each other, don’t look so surprised. My only issue is that they’ve waited so long to implement achievements in EQ2, perhaps not realizing what a huge hit they would be in other games. People enjoy brainless goals to work towards, no matter how silly some of them may be. I know, that doesn’t mean EVERYONE out there will be rushing off to complete these, but I think it’s safe to say that a majority will be.
The achievement tab has been added to your quest journal, and from what I saw they act retroactively based on whether or not you were granted aa (alternative advancement) for that achievement in the past. Basically that means if you killed a mob or defeated a zone when you were at max aa (at any point in time since the cap has been raised a few times) OR if you completed said achievement BEFORE aa were in game, you will have to do it again. Once the system is in game it will be able to recognize whether or not you’ve completed it at the time (ie: If you were at max aa when you killed Woushi you will need to kill him again because there’s no direct record of you killing him for the achievements to recognize – however if achievements are in game, and you kill him, even if you are at max aa it will recognize that you’ve killed him at the time of the kill). Does that make sense? Hope so.
There are also what I would consider ‘fluff’ achievements like hug 100 players, or flirt or get fishing and drinking to 400, etc. Fun ones.
There are 8 sections for achievements, combat, exploration, general, quests, slayer, tradeskill, and triumphs. Most of those can be divided by zone, and if you click on the individual achievements, it will show you what you’ve already earned towards this goal and what you are missing. One fantastic feature is that collecting druid rings is an achievement. It also lists which ones you’ve already obtained, and which ones you are still missing.
You can earn points for completing each achievement, shown in the upper right hand corner. I’m not sure if you can use those points towards something quite yet – but – based on the number of achievement chains you’ve completed you will earn yourself (it will pop up automatically) crates of appearance gear for your character which looks pretty dang neat. I’ve seen three sets so far, one was a robe with a very TSO looking graphic, and two were armor, one in browns and the other in a black / blue / white shimmering colour.
My one concern with the achievement system is that if you are a fairly active gamer, and have been for the last four years – and if you’ve completed numerous quests, raids, and crafted through each of those tiers when you log in you may find yourself already earning 300+ achievements out of a total of (currently) only 489.
This may prove to be slightly problematic in keeping people interested in the achievement system. I think we need a lot more then 489, and I’m sure a lot more will be forthcoming. There were no achievements for any holiday events, moonlight grotto, frostfell and what not. I don’t personally know how difficult it would be (will be) for them to add that sort of thing, but I’d expect them to be coming in the future, perhaps closer to the actual events while this tides us over in the mean time.
Over all the new achievements are very polished. It’s something I’ve wanted to see implemented for years now and I think they have a real winner – as long as it’s not already too late. I think it will be fun, it will spur people into zones they may not usually travel to (splitpaw anyone?) and it will force people to work together towards a common goal. Casual and hardcore alike. I think achievements will mean much more to the casual player because a LOT of these are kill-to-complete, and it’s a prouder moment when the underdog defeats an encounter then when someone who has done it a million times before does. Of course that’s just me speculating.
I was also very glad to see the crafters not left out with the tradeskill achievement section.
What do you think, are you excited? There’s still so much for me to write about in other posts, and I couldn’t be happier with the majority of the changes (I know some avatar raiders out there would like to differ with me on that one, as they’re getting quite a few nerfs).
In the mean time, since I am NOT currently at 200aa it means that all achievements I work on between then and now will still count towards it when it goes live. Those that can be documented by aa in any case. I better get to Norrath!
Have a fantastic weekend, and happy gaming no matter where you find yourself.