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WoWApr 3, 2018 10:00 am CT

Raiding Hall of Fame added in Battle for Azeroth alpha

A recent Battle for Azeroth alpha build contained a pair of curious achievements related to a raiding hall of fame. The build introduced two guild Feats of Strength, one for the Horde and one for the Alliance. As the achievement text states, only the first 100 guilds to defeat G’huun from each faction will be able to earn it. Essentially, it brings the prestige of the Mythic raiding race directly into the game.

On one hand, I can see the appeal. High-end raiders love prestige rewards for their efforts, and ultimately, these are only Feats of Strength — badges of honor. It gives no tangible advantage over anyone else and does not translate to player power. But it’s still a reward, and something to strive for. On the other hand, I won’t mince words: These Feats of Strength seem like a terrible idea in a variety of ways.

First, these achievements undermine the major social feature previously announced Battle for Azeroth. Back at BlizzCon, the developers discussed the Communities feature. Communities are player-created social circles beyond a guild. Through Communities, you would theoretically be able to maintain a guild of your closest friends, but be part of a Community oriented around raiding. Or you could be in a PVP guild, a social Community, and a raiding Community. These Feats of Strength are, at the moment, set up as Guild Achievements. That means they can only be achieved if your guild accomplishes this task, not the player as an individual — or even achieved as a Community.

Second, Blizzard eliminated World First achievements (and achievements like them) back in Warlords of Draenor. Achievements for being the world first max level mage, for example, encouraged unhealthy behavior from the game’s players. Those who wanted these achievements were — intentionally or otherwise — encouraged to either find and abuse exploits for generating massive amounts of XP or force themselves into dangerous marathon gaming sessions. To discourage that aberrant behavior, and to get players to slow down and enjoy the game they were playing, those World First achievements were removed. With that in mind, reintroducing them in this format makes little to no sense.

High-end raiders who participate in the race to the top already often engage in unhealthy behavior without Blizzard sanctioning their activities. It isn’t unusual for players to call off from work at the release of a new raid tier. Or to play long, grueling hours to gear up and beat their heads against a boss in marathon play sessions. Trying to get those world first raid boss kills often involves exactly the same behavior as the world first max level achievements did. Players grind to max level as quickly as possible to start the endgame gear grind. Only in this case, it also comes with additional social pressure. Nobody wants to be the weak link in their raid team, putting an achievement in jeopardy because they wanted a full night’s sleep.

Let’s not forget how demoralizing it would be to end up being guild #101 to kill G’huun. Raiding guilds have disbanded for less.

Overall, personally, I have no horse in this race. I’m not a Mythic raider. Whether or not these Feats of Strength make it into the live game have no impact on my own life. I can’t see how their inclusion benefits anyone, though. They seem wholly contrary to the developers’ intentions over the last few expansions. Anything can change in alpha or beta testing. There’s no guarantee these achievements will go live, and I hope they don’t. But maybe I’ve simply become an old man who values his sleep more than a boss kill.

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