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Breakfast Topic: Do you object to the idea of nerfing achievements?

Breakfast Topic Do you object to the idea of nerfing achievements
I've never adjusted to the idea of nerfing achievements. Frankly, moving the goalposts ticks me off. I was rolling around Wowhead today checking titles for another article when I ran up on a patch 5.1 nerf I hadn't noticed (details in a moment), and I got steamed all over again. Players have traditionally accused nerf objectors of too jealously guarding their status and exclusivity. I'm sure that's a factor for some players, but I think it misses the larger point.

Some players struggle with the idea that they feel cheated when achievements are awarded on an easier scale after they had to do something the hard way. I don't. When I put in hours and hours toward a particular goal, I want the reward to represent that effort. It doesn't matter how large the winner's circle is; we'll all earned our places (and our rewards). What ticks me off is finding myself standing next to someone who put in considerably less effort to achieve the same reward -- not because they have it too but because it no longer represents the amount of work I put in.

Just look at the top comment on Wowhead's thread about the patch 5.1 nerf to the Beloved title (getting 60 reputations to exalted, which formerly required 70 reps): "I finally got this after around 2 years worth of work on and off. I feel like the recent change almost makes me a cheater compared to those who were working the 70 mark." Nothing personal, guy, but we feel that way too. Let me tell you why.

I've heard some say that the supposed prestige of earning something under the original rule set makes a difference. Really? Either you have a thing, or you don't. When I earn an Epic Widget, I don't care that I got mine months before Newbie Dude did, before some particular patch or expansion. That's not what makes it epic. What makes my Epic Widget epic is what went into getting it. If Blizzard later lowers that cost, by definition, they've cheapened my widget. They've devalued something I felt was important, something I placed value on.

What about those players who enjoy the opportunity to slide under the bar more easily once a little time has gone by, especially when the passage of time renders the content in question unreasonably inconvenient to access? I can't speak for them, but I can speak for myself -- and even when I'm the one who's late to the party, easy-mode achievements don't offer enough bang for my buck. Give me the real thing, or let me move on to more contemporary achievements. With limited time to play, a Mildly Epic Widget just doesn't hold much interest. Thanks, but no thanks.

Where do you stand in the matter of moving the bar on existing achievements? Do you believe that achievement nerfs devalue the efforts of earlier players? Despite the merits of attempting to tweak the game to achieve somewhat more democratic access for latecomers, would you agree that sometimes being a latecomer means you simply missed the boat?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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