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Achievements System: The Answer to "There's Nothing to Do"

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion > Suggestion Box
Achievements System: The Answer to "There's Nothing to Do"

Inzi's Avatar


Inzi
06.01.2012 , 05:47 PM | #1
Why Do We Need Achievements?

I really enjoy SWTOR and I feel a lot of people are in the same dilemma I am: I need a reason to log on. The reason for the dilemma are varied and diverse ranging from “I’ve cleared all of the PvE content” to “There’s no reason for me to grind PvP anymore” to “My guildies aren’t always online and it’s hard to find something to do on my own.”

So how do we solve this dilemma? I believe that a well-implemented Achievements system will solve this problem for everybody regardless of their individual reason for having the dilemma. What achievements do is offer the much-needed carrot to approach and complete content that otherwise has no incentive.

Why Doesn’t the Codex Do This?

A quick answer to this proposal might be, “We already have the Codex, isn’t that enough?” Quite simply, it’s not. The biggest reason for this is the lack of reward. Secondly, the codex isn’t robust enough to provide challenges for a broad audience. As implemented, it gives die-hard explorers something to do, but no challenges for people who want to participate in activities other than questing and mob-killing.

What Exactly Should the Achievements System Include?

Things to Do

The idea is to encourage players to go out into the world and do things that are already in the game. It may mean doing things in a higher volume or in a different manner than originally intended. Here are some achievement categories and examples.

A. Flashpoints & Operations
  • Standard completion of various flashpoints and operations on various modes
  • Defeat flashpoint and operation objectives ideally (e.g. with nobody dying, with nobody taking dmg from X, within a certain time limit, etc.)
  • Defeat flashpoint and operation objectives non-ideally (e.g. without cleansing a debuff, without killing Mob Y, Killing Mob X before Mob Y, Killing Mob X and Y within a certain time period of each other, etc.)

B. Special Events
  • Participation in Events
  • Special feats completed during the event (e.g. infect 100 players with the plague, obtain the entire haz-mat suit set, participate in a Warzone while carrying the plague but without spreading the plague, etc.)

C. Crew Skills
  • Leveling Various Crew Skills (e.g. level # of Crew Skills to 400, level all mission skills to 400, level all crafting skills to 400, level all gathering skills to 400)
  • Pattern Acquisition (e.g. Obtain 10 orange armor patterns, obtain # of patterns, obtain # of dropped patterns, research # of patterns from reverse-engineering, etc.)
  • Crafting Goods (e.g. Craft # of critted items, create # of orange items, create # of items total, create # of item types, etc.)
  • Gathering & Mission completion (e.g. run # of missions, run # of missions with X result, gather # of materials, gather # of rare materials, etc.)

D. Pets & Mounts
  • Obtain Pets and/or Mounts by number or type (e.g. obtain # of animal pets, obtain # of mounts total, obtain # of total pets, obtain all mounts acquired in a particular method, etc.)

E. PvP
  • Open World PvP (e.g. # of kills in Outlaw’s Den, # of kills in Ilum, etc.)
  • Warzone participation and performance (e.g. # of warzones won, # of warzones completed, obtain a certain amount of damage healing or objective points in a specific warzone, successfully defend and attack points in a single Alderaan match, # of objectives defended, etc.)
  • Ranked PvP participation and performance (e.g. # of ranked matches completed, ranking achieved, etc.)
  • Duels (e.g. win a duel, win a duel while naked, win # of duels, win a duel in each of several planets, etc.)

F. Questing & Exploring
  • Quests completed (e.g. complete # of quests total, complete # of quests on a planet, complete # of Heroic quests, complete # of companion quest lines, etc.) (think Loremaster and Seeker here)
  • Daily quests completed by number & planet
  • Explore zones and planets completely (i.e. Explorer)

G. Codex
  • Collect all datacrons
  • Defeat epic enemies by name and #

H. Legacy
  • Overall legacy level
  • Legacy unlocks achieved
  • Races and classes represented

What You Get

As you complete achievements as listed above, you should earn points and rewards. Rewards can be for individual achievements themselves (i.e. you earn a title for completing a specific achievement), or for a group of achievements (i.e. you earn something for doing all of the planet questing achievements), or even by number of achievement points. The benefit to doing it by # of achievement points earned is that it allows you to obtain any reward you want through whichever method you enjoy most. The rewards are meant to be purely cosmetic and optional. Here are some suggested reward types and examples:

  • Unique Titles -- ex: Galactic Explorer (exploration), Cosmic Archaeologist (quest related), the Barbaric (PvP related), Player Created (total achievement points collected, this would be a major reward that would allow a player to create a title of their own choice, perhaps through a generator with multiple dropdown options to prevent abuse)
  • Social Gear – ex: gain access to iconic armor set through achievements
  • Mounts – ex: obtain retired models or unique models of vehicles through completed feats
  • Pets – ex: obtain special skins of pets
  • Vanity Items – ex: earn things like Sparkle Powder and other “toys." Ideas include ship modifications, cosmetic unlocks, and assorted random goodness like "a statue of chewbacca" (a guildie wants that one)
  • Legacy Perks – ex: some legacy perks should be unlockable by achievement rather than legacy level or credits, Gain 10% crew skill mission completion by completing Crew Skill achievements, Gain XP bonus gains for completing questing related achievements, etc.

How Can this be Achieved?

A. Integration into Legacy System
Some very good rewards are already in place as Legacy Perks. These could easily be rewards for achievements instead. This would be a quick easy source of rewards already implemented in game, the method of acquisition would just change. This would also allow the Legacy System to be more active than passive. As it stands, you gain Legacy XP which is really pretty meaningless (there’s no advantage to being Legacy 50 for example) and you just click a button to get what you want.
B. Codex
The game already has the beginnings of a really good Achievements interface. The Codex is currently a good starting place and with some tweaks to structure and organization, could serve as a really good foundation.

Short- and Long-term Goals & Obstacles

Obviously it takes some effort to implement a system like this. The benefit here is that a lot of the framework is already in place and the rewards can range from simple and easy things to more complex. The goal is to spark interest in enjoying the content that already exists in game and reward people in the process.

Problems to tackle for initial implementation include restructuring the Codex to make it easier to navigate. As it stands, if I want to figure out what beasts I need to kill in Tython, I know what NUMBER from the Codex, but I have to go to an external website to find out exactly WHICH beasts they are. In addition, generating rewards will probably be the largest amount of work here. A quick start can be simple recoloring or reintroducing items that already exist in the game.

In the short-term, an effective and easy implementation could be to use the already-existing Codex and create rewards for completing entire categories. This is not a clean, pretty implementation, but it WOULD be just enough of a carrot-on-a-stick to give people something to do.

In the future, the Achievements System should be more robust with a lot more of the features and achievements described above. When done properly, it will allow for expansion in both breadth and depth to ensure an epic game experience.

Conclusion

Overall , I understand that this system would take a lot of effort to implement perfectly. However, the net result should be an increase in activity across multiple facets of the game. This means more of the game that Bioware has worked so hard to create will actually be enjoyed by a larger audience. I fully believe that this would be a worthy investment of time and resources for SWTOR.
A home for busy adults seeking high level PvE in a respectful, mature atmosphere.
Ferne R'y | Sage

Wugan's Avatar


Wugan
06.01.2012 , 06:01 PM | #2
I approve of this message. People need things to do in the game if they are going to log in once the Operation is cleared or they have geared up in PvP. If more people log in, the servers feel busier, the game becomes more alive, and more people stay subscribed.
A home for busy adults seeking high level PvE in a respectful, mature atmosphere.
Wugan --- Sage

redheadedtim's Avatar


redheadedtim
06.01.2012 , 06:03 PM | #3
Agree that the current codex does not qualify as an achievement system. I really like WoW's achievement UI, and I'm just talking about the one in game for yourself, not any web interface or what have you that might be out there. In order to be an achievement system, there has to be some way of knowing how close you are to achieving. SWG had collections and while you didn't know about collections before unlocking them, once you did, you had an easy to tell way to see how far you were and what you needed to do. The codex functions great as a lore repository, but the Bioware person who thought it qualified as an achievement system was being overly generous (IMO).

Personally, I would vote for keeping codex as is, and implementing a new tab or UI element for achievement tracking. Implementing a new one (whether tab or new ui window) would lower the chance of a bug causing issues with the existing codex/mission log/lock out/etc ui elements.

As an fyi to anyone who isn't sure that achievements would generate much interest, I encourage you to check out wow insider's achiever column. That may not be the exact title, but it's a good example of how a simple feature can spur enthusiasm and interest.

Inzi's Avatar


Inzi
06.01.2012 , 06:07 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by redheadedtim View Post
Personally, I would vote for keeping codex as is, and implementing a new tab or UI element for achievement tracking. Implementing a new one (whether tab or new ui window) would lower the chance of a bug causing issues with the existing codex/mission log/lock out/etc ui elements.
I agree that IDEALLY the Achievements System should incorporate the codex but not be composed of the codex, if that makes sense. There should be achievements FROM the Codex, but the codex itself is not the interface. However, if it makes it easier for Bioware by just adding to the codex, I could be happy with that as well. As long as it fulfills the basic premise of "reward us for playing aspects of the game that we otherwise have no real reason to."
A home for busy adults seeking high level PvE in a respectful, mature atmosphere.
Ferne R'y | Sage

mikphobos's Avatar


mikphobos
06.01.2012 , 06:09 PM | #5
i agreed with you OP!
BW hire this guy if your devs cant pull the idea, the community have so much good ideas, wonder if BW will listen some... sigh

jgelling's Avatar


jgelling
06.01.2012 , 06:10 PM | #6
I'm forced to agree with any message laid out in pretty colors and bullet points.

KnightAethorr's Avatar


KnightAethorr
06.01.2012 , 06:12 PM | #7
Sounds good, I don't know if you included stuff about alignment/faction specific objectives. One of the many things that was cool in SWG (I know, I know), was the fact that for certain main story points you could get one of several achievements based upon your choice.

For example, (spoilers incoming), in the Jedi Knight story line, on Taris you have the option for capturing the head spy master for the empire (lightside), letting him go (lightside), killing him (darkside). If the achievement system could track those type of choices and give titles/fluff for doing certain actions etc.. I think that would enhance the system greatly in addition to the great stuff listed above.
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MasterofMagina's Avatar


MasterofMagina
06.01.2012 , 06:14 PM | #8
Support, this game needs that, while no friends online, better than jumping in fleet.

MajikMyst's Avatar


MajikMyst
06.01.2012 , 06:18 PM | #9
I find it hard to support anything that will end up like the WOW system.. I refuse to show a 'cheevo' as a license to raid something.. I hate people that think they are better than you are because they have some 'Cheevo' you don't have because you have a life..

I think any achievement system is a very bad idea and not good for the community as a whole.. Anytime you are giving the people that have no life something to do and something to hang over the head of those that have a life is not a good thing.. Nobody should celebrate living every waking moment playing an MMO..

If you are married and both your wife and you play.. Then you should get a cheevo.. 'God among men' the best player in the game period.. Make one for women too that have husbands that play.. That should be the only cheevo in the game.. It is the only one that matters..
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LilSaihah's Avatar


LilSaihah
06.01.2012 , 06:28 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by MajikMyst View Post
I find it hard to support anything that will end up like the WOW system.. I refuse to show a 'cheevo' as a license to raid something.. I hate people that think they are better than you are because they have some 'Cheevo' you don't have because you have a life..

I think any achievement system is a very bad idea and not good for the community as a whole.. Anytime you are giving the people that have no life something to do and something to hang over the head of those that have a life is not a good thing.. Nobody should celebrate living every waking moment playing an MMO..

If you are married and both your wife and you play.. Then you should get a cheevo.. 'God among men' the best player in the game period.. Make one for women too that have husbands that play.. That should be the only cheevo in the game.. It is the only one that matters..
Stop using ellipses. You abuse ellipses.
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