So now that we’ve successfully cleared all the current content in the game, there’s a sense of “What now?” in my guild. We ended up taking a day off from raiding on Monday due to lack of content and if we clear Maly and Sarth 3D this Sunday (Sarth 3D isn’t exactly farm status, so no guarantee), we’ll probably do the same again this week. All this is leading to a sense that we’re kind of done for the time being since technically there’s no progression left to be had. This can result in a sort of malaise that will begin to erode at your guild base to the point where you might start losing out on raid nights because too many people have a “What’s the point?” attitude.
But is there truly no progression? When 3.1 hit, Blizzard implemented the achievement system in order to add a new aspect to this game that we love so much, but can get bored with at times. The system was great for us in that it gave us a new set of goals goals to accomplish in the game and great for Blizzard because it also gave us a new set of reasons to log on. Some of them are easy, but there are some that challenge even the most hardcore of raiders and will keep them coming back for more, gnashing at the bit to prove that they’re the best.
So last night it was decided that we would like to do a little bit gnashing ourselves and from now on all Naxx raids would be achievement raids in order to keep things fresh and to give us a sense of progression. First item on the menu would be The Immortal to the exclusion of all other achievements so we decided to start with the Plague wing since it’s one of the easier ones and see how far we got before someone died. Unfortunately, one of our raiders went afk and wasn’t back in time for Loatheb, so we started without him and it turns out that Deathbloom is a zone wide ability, killing him outside of the boss’ room and ruining our raid ID for the week. Needless to say, he was an example of what not to do while the guild is working on achievements (go afk for an extended period of time without telling us).
So after that went down, we decided we were just gonna do all the achievements we could while we were there and it was a pretty fun evening all in all. It didn’t really make us do anything different than we normally would, but seeing that little window pop up whenever we finished a fight was somewhat intoxicating. It wasn’t until then that I realized that the idea of making something more challenging than it needs to be just for bragging rights could actually be a version of progression for guilds hurting for content. Even though we missed out on our original goal of getting the Immortal, we still got quite a few we normally wouldn’t have bothered with. I’m particular proud we were able to get And They Would All Go Down Together in only two shots even though we missed getting Shocking because right at the end (I mean, literally when Thad was less than 1%) someone crossed polarities.
So are achievements the new progression once you’ve cleared all content? It sort of felt that way to me last night. I mean, what exactly is progression if not a goal that can be accomplished through increasingly challenging content? However, since we had already accomplished the hardest 25 man encounter in the game, were these piddling achievements really more of a mopping up what we’d already missed or could they still be thought of as progression? When I really thought about it, I saw that all that’s really left for our guild to accomplish as a 25 man raid group is the Glory of the Raider meta-achievement before it becomes trivialized by Ulduar loot.
However, there are some people who just aren’t interested in achievement for one reason or another. They show up for raids, get the job done, collect their loot and go home. They’re good raiders and you don’t want to fault them, but they’d prefer to just shoot through whatever we’re doing instead of wasting time and intentionally wiping over and over for what they consider a silly reason. And the problem is that since it’s not progression and they’re really not preventing you from doing the fight (just doing it a particular way), can you truly fault these people for being opponents to this? I know I was a little skeptical last night because I knew we were pretty much becoming unconscious at doing Naxx and if we powered through it we would have time to do Maly also which is the only fight left that has an upgrade for me.
So where do you stand on raiding achievements? Are they a form of progression or just a fun way to kill a couple of raid nights while you wait for Ulduar to come out? I know some guilds consider The Immortal to be srs bsnss and will rabidly chew out anyone who ruins the raid ID, but is that truly fair? Have they cost the guild progression?
And for anyone who cares, our full list of achievements besides the four horseman one I already mentioned were Momma Said Knock You Out, Arachnophobia, Make Quick Werk of Him, The Safety Dance, The Hundred Club and Just Can’t Get Enough. But Dueg’s all time favorite achievement, raid or otherwise?