Motivating Exploration

As I said, I would like to open some discussion about things that might help improve aspects of the game that people seem to historically complain about. One of the issues I’ve heard is that although we have a ton of areas, exploring them feels unrewarding.

Not every area can be chock full of top end best in slot gear for all characters and alignments. Given the number of areas we have we’d have to have hundreds of wearlocs to accommodate this influx of fantastic l00tz. Additionally not everyone is motivated by l00tz!

I have been farming achievement points in Diablo 3. I try to accomplish them in the highest difficulty I can, even if sometimes it’s normal. I am not suggesting that the Realms has to become Diablo, but I think that when we see a system that keeps people motivated and encouraged that it’s worth asking “can we replicate it”?

I believe the answer is yes! Quests exist, tagging exists. Some facility has to be created to display achievements and the tagging might need to be extended in order for it all to work but I don’t think it’s impossible.

Additionally it would breathe life into old areas as immortals and players alike suggest achievements for areas. I would thoroughly enjoy finding achievements and trying to create new ones.

What would it look like? Well I think that all achievements should be visible with their requirements spelled out. We have enough unsolved puzzles without adding more. If you create achievements correctly it might even hint to players that some puzzles exist without telling them how to find that puzzle. Achievements should be soloable predominantly. We have enough mkill situations that require groups, or some group play might be needed indirectly but let’s encourage the single player experience again so people aren’t frustrated waiting for groups to form.

Some examples?

    Find all items in pre-auth.
    Read all the points in the Geography room.
    Obtain a pair of lizard gaitors before level 4.
    Visit the recruiting rooms of the Guilds of Nature, Origin and Spirit.

I would also love to see groupings so that you could create an achievement whose requisite is completing a number of other achievements. For example you could create the “Darkhaven Explorer” which requires you to finish a number of achievements related to Darkhaven like visiting the library, lounge, the old guild homes, find Sonoria, and so on.

People like Loril have spent TONS of time putting in game quests into the Realms, maybe a system like this is a little more directed and gives someone something to follow … especially early on. An achievement might be to find a tourist by level 5 but doesn’t have to tell you that the tourist has a quest available.

Thoughts anyone?

7 thoughts on “Motivating Exploration

  1. An achievement system is what saves every game pretty much. I’ve spent too many hours farming to 100% completion on many of my Xbox 360 titles. Games like the Fable & Elder Scrolls series would be “one and done” for me without challenges to go back and complete. They allow me to _continue enjoying the game_ which is spot on with the goal realms is reaching at. For people in Realms that claim they’ve done and seen it all, would now have a way to PROVE that they can walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

    Shooter games require achievements too, just for different reason. Achievements help break the reptition of “shoot people with guns until you are high level or have unlocked the best gun.” Sure, those rewards are great themselves, but it’s better to have a way to break away from the grind. People who are actively running high end mobs, or only being active for quests, would have something to change the pace. They’d have goals defined and laid out for them. Currently, you could go to an area and have no idea what you’re looking for. You just read and start trying to solve the area from scratch. With an achievement system, your goals would seem more attainable. For instance, here could be an achievement for obtaining each one of Ravenhill’s items, or one achievement for all 3. Or think about timed kills. Kill X mob without fleeing. Kill X mob in under 4 minutes. Kill X mob within 7 minutes of killing Y mob. Kill X mob with Y mob still alive.

    Another cool thing about achievements is it makes the unfun things very fun and challenging. I’m not a huge fan of kids games, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t farm 100% completion on all the LEGO games too. All games that I played with my nephew and then after beating it, went back to while he was not home and finished out 100%. Achievements drive people to accomplish goals that would annoy or even anger them if they did them outside of such a challenge. I guarantee you I’d never unlock every character and every character variant in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean without that achievement sitting there taunting me, telling me it could be done and that I haven’t done it yet, but someone else on the internet probably has. Are they better than me? Hell no, I’m gonna show them.

    Since I started in about 2010 I’ve gone through an truly beaten 14 games versus the 50 or so that I’ve completed the story on. This number will only grow, as the most challenging ones are yet to come.

    With all that said, I think achievements should be attuned for both solo & group play. I think being able to kill Danbala within 7 minutes of killing Legba would be a fun thing for groups to go out and do. Another important thing is that achievement shouldn’t always be based on skill. They should be based on dedication & determination and some should just be cool.

    Here are a few I conjured off the top of my head:

    “We’re Not In Camelot Anymore”
    Defeat Sir Percival at least once in every zone to which he can teleport.

    “Mithril Hall Tag”
    Defeat Regis Rumblebelly after forcing him to flee 20 times.

    “Bartok’s Groove”
    Obtain an item from the Man Dragon while wearing rose tinted eyeglasses.

    “Adding Insult to Injury.”
    Defeat Lady Laralynne Ravenell after swearing within her presence.

    Overall, the achievement system is a great idea that I would definitely participate in. The only question I have about the idea for now is how to accumulate all the achievements collected by a person’s characters to one single pool. There will have to be a system for meshing the totals together, either online or in game.

  2. Tie loot into harder achievements. Loot progression so slow in realms. Other games… Harder zones… Better loot. Realms… 10 hour puzzles… 8 hour runs… Barely better loot upgrades.

  3. Something you can consider to tie in with achievements is something WoW has… Titles.. Make certain, hard to get achievements, award a rare title that gets tacked onto the player’s name (And only that toon. So if they want it on another toon, they have to do it all over again). You’d have to put in an option to change the title a player is using if they’ve earned multiple titles.

  4. I don’t think loot should be a direct result of achievements. Glory maybe. Titles definitely, as long as they are part of a scheme of achievements.

    Certain achievements shouldn’t be more desirable than others based on reward so much as they are based on personal preference. In WoW certain ones are, and they reward the higher tier of players very quickly without much true challenge for them due to their guild structure and dispensable power. Then afterwards, the lower tier continues to struggle for months focusing solely on the achievements gilded with rewards, while many other achievements are ignored.

    I think that all achievements should have equal value, regardless of difficulty. And any meta achievements on top of those should qualify as feats of strength and not have value, but rewards like titles or typical quest rewards.

  5. I’ve always found that achievements hold more value for me if they entail a good deal of struggle. There’ll always be those who get such achievements purely due to association with an Uber group. And certainly some of those will attempt to laud it over others, thinking it makes them hot stuff. It doesn’t. But wasting my time trying to convince them of that isn’t something I do. I just ignore them and plod along working on my own achieves.

    So certainly try and do an “all things being equal” type deal with achieves. But it’ll always come down personal values.

    As for Feats of Strength. To my mind they’re usually the ultra rare that almost no one can ever get (i.e. “Insane in the Membrane” from WoW), or merely the once very hard that’ve been made so easy due to game changes that the achievement has been pulled and convert to a FoS. Thus ensuring those who have it can keep it, and those who would seek to devalue it, by using new game changes to acquire it, cannot.

    Anyhow.. Achieves.. Yes.. Titles, yes. But not a title for every achieve. Only a few hard to get achieves.

    Maybe even tack in some long-term achieves. WoW has holiday events over the span of the game-year. Each has a set of achieves. And.. if you have the determination to get all the major holiday achieves, you end up with a nifty new mount. One that not a lot of players seem to have the patience to work towards (after all, it’s at least a year-long commitment. And if you miss a critical achieve, you’re stuck waiting a whole year to work on it again.).

    ok.. enough rambling.

  6. Hi. Firstly, I love the idea of game achievements. Secondly, I’ve played a MUD (A Smaug, even) which had this exact system. Achievements gave experience, could be easily tracked, and up to five displayed in your bio, and one displayed at the end of your title, behind your guild/clan/order tag. I loved the system, and spent hours looking for achievements.

    I would very much like to see this system here, and I’d be willing to devote some time to it as necessary.

  7. I love this idea, it sounds like a mix of quests that would fill the role of quest lines to guide people from level 1 to av, and traditional achievements like you see on console games.

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