i know they like the competition, and its up to them if they do.
but keep it internal. the NFL doesnt require every human to play or watch the game. everybody in a country isnt required to be part of the olympics.
i have no problem if people want to compete, if they want to feel special cause they can move a mouse and tap keys faster then somebody else so be it.
i got a problem when people's start gloating over soembody else, which is the sole reason for a server broadcast of Server/World/Class firsts.
Analogy does not compute.
There are rewards for being NFL champions and Olympic gold medalists. People who don't care don't pay attention and people who care either attempt to be the achievers or follow (in the "watch closely" sense of the word) those who do, even paying for the privilege to do so (purchasing tickets).
Allowing people who want to compete the opportunity to do so hurts you not in the least, and would still allow those who purchased the game for the story experience to enjoy it as just that, without ever being forced to interact with those who wish to compete. I disagree with you, and BioWare, on this point.
By forcing people into following the story without the promise of competition, Bioware is losing (an albeit very low amount) of potential customers. That's their choice, however, and it's still a great game.
Also, there is absolutely no way to internalize "firsts" in servers without some sort of system-wide tracking built into the game. Anyone can verbalize they did it first without proof.