Let’s tackle achievements in Ashes of Creation- how they will be implemented and comparing it with similar systems in other MMOs.
Achievements in MMOs are usually little pop-ups that tell you you’ve reached a milestone or performed a unique feat. in ASHES OF CREATION, achievements will be taking a few forms:
- Personal achievements – rewarding you with titles, cosmetics and possibly even mounts
- Node specific achievements – managed and viewable in the Trophy Park
- Server-wide achievements – in the form of Leaderboards
Details on personal achievements are kind of scarce as they haven’t outright said that traditional personal achievements that you’d expect in an MMO will be in the game. The only mention of these personal achievements are from off quotes from various sources saying some achievements will reward players with prestigious titles and cosmetics.
Personal achievements are widely used as a form of content path for players to follow during their time in games. Offering the traditional ones such as level gates, world bosses and story progression. However MMOs in particular tend to use these achievements to encourage players to play more completionist style through what is known as meta achievement. These are one grand achievement which is obtained after multiple smaller but similar achievements are earned. World of Warcraft does this very well through these seasonal events like Christmas and Easter. Offering minor rewards for individual goals and one big reward in the form of a title for completing the set. Guild Wars 2 does the same thing, however it’s a little more integrated into their account progression as all achievements in Guild Wars 2 are account bound rather than character bound in Well.
In Ashes of Creation, it could be interesting to see achievements take on a form similar to Guild Wars 2 being purely account bound allowing you to play multiple classes and play styles whilst earning achievements across your account. An additional benefit for this style of achievement which is also similar in World of Warcraft is that it allows them to dynamically add various objectives to already existing pieces of content later down the line very easily.
THE TROPHY PARK
For node specific achievements we have what I assume is a buildable structure called the Trophy Park which is unlocked from level 4, the town stage and upwards. This is a place for plaques and medals to be displayed labeling the various achievements the node has obtained, when they obtained them, and who specifically obtained them. This can range from world boss kills to dungeon clears and even go as far as displaying who the richest citizen of the node is or who the strongest citizen of the node is. The possibilities are endless.
Additionally, relics are also a form of achievement for a node as these are unlocked over time and give the node certain abilities such as allowing crafters to tap into their power and create legendaries. These relics are a major mechanic.
Steven has stated that he is very much the kind of person who enjoys being able to display his achievements to others. For Ashes of Creation, this will be in the form of leaderboards. It is unknown whether this will be a website or an actual in-game UI as the concept is still in early development. Intrepid is currently planning on tracking and displaying on a leaderboard, dungeon clear times, world boss defeats, PVP kills, world firsts, legendary crafting etc. Basically if it can be tracked there may well be a leaderboard for it. Hopefully though this leaderboard system isn’t going to be used in a way that gates certain content from the more casual side of the player base by forcing people to recruit only people high up on the rankings like we see in most MMOs.
A game that tracks and rewards achievements very well is Black Desert Online. They offer two forms of leaderboard. The first one is the Guilds showing off which guilds are the most successful during node sieges and just the general prestige of their guild members as a whole. More importantly Black Desert Online has a whole unique UI leaderboard for keeping track of all the life skills in the game, PVP kills and highest level character. This leaderboard is tracked per person so the leaderboard on one channel will be completely different to the leaderboard on another. Allowing for players to stick to a channel, get to know their current leaderboard champs and aim to surpass them.
The rewards for placing high on these leaderboards in Black Desert Online are very unique and very prestigious. Depending on if you are first or fifth on the ranks, a small medal will display next to your name letting people know you are a badass on that field. To obtain these levels, you have to be very dedicated as everyone is ever increasing their own life skill progression alongside yours. So it is up to you to outperform them gaining more experience per hour. It goes as far as displaying literally every medal available in the game next to your nameplate. Really letting your character stand out without needing glow effects from rare armors.
As for rewards for achievements themselves, Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft offer your account achievement points. These are something to brag about as it shows your dedication to the game similar to the leaderboards just on a more personal level.