I have a love/hate relationship with achievements and have cycled through phases of both obsession and apathy. I enjoy working my way down a list, but I try to remind myself that it’s healthier for me to be a connoisseur rather than a collector. I will never get them all done and some would take me into areas of game play where I don’t enjoy going. It’s a dubious claim. Most of the things I love I didn’t actively choose to be passionate about. I stumbled into piano lessons when I was five and I was thirteen before I realised just how much I loved music. I always loved books and reading, but I never thought I would enjoy reading sci-fi until Chris started reading me short stories when I had headaches. Sometimes the doors other people open for us lead to the most interesting of places that would never have been discovered and in WoW, achievements can play that roll. I really enjoyed hunting down the books for the Well Read achievement, it was definitely one of my favourites to lavish time on. I really hate the Loremaster achievement, don’t think I’ll ever get around to finishing it.
Like most things in WoW, the goal isn’t for everybody to do or have anything, but to create an interesting world with some variety in it. I’m happy with that. I won’t be chasing down a hundred mounts or small pets, I rarely sport a title and I don’t compare. I don’t inspect other characters, I have name plates turned off permanently (and even tooltips sometimes) and the only time I pay attention to achievements are when about once a week I have a quick glance at the armory pages of a few friends to keep up with what they’ve been doing in game. The titles and tabards and mounts and pets that are rewarded are fun and there are a few that I really wouldn’t mind having, but probably will never get around to. The Twilight Zone is one of the few I really would like to go back and complete after spending so many hours wiping on it and so very nearly getting it at what now feels like a very long time ago. But there’s always new and better things to do and when it comes to a choice between achievements or progress, the first falls by the way side. And I only have so much time to play. It’s a struggle to maintain a regular raiding schedule and most of the time, my play time goes towards raiding and peripherals – food, flasks, gems, enchants. The time that I have left I prefer to spend on the more simplistic things; fishing whilst turning up the ambient sounds and turning off everything else, picking flowers in the Storm Peaks whilst using WoW as a glorified instant messenger, leveling a low-level alt through an area I skipped the first time around or dabbling in the auction house to keep pocketing my weekly profit without having to do any work. If I were to spend the time instead on achievements, I don’t think WoW would be fun anymore.
I’m a sensible and logical person. I practice my tanking by soloing or duoing dungeons that will also provide reputation. I respec my off-spec quite frequently from bear to boomkin to kitty and work out rotations and macro’s whilst hitting outland or old Azeroth to kill ogres or naga. And occasionally when I get bored of my routine, I’ll pick a random achievement that’s almost completed. I’ll buy a mount, run an heroic to get an achievement towards Glory of the Hero or next on the list – hunt down the last 8 quests in HP for To Hellfire and Back. I do enjoy post-achievement WoW more than pre-achievement WoW, but I’ll never be an achievement junkie. I’ll never get most of the pvp achievements because I like hanging back as a pocket healer and rarely kill, defend or assault anything and when it comes down to it, having fun is more important than getting an achievement. This is my leisure and play time, I don’t want it to feel anything remotely like work. Except maybe for What a long strange trip it’s been. I want my pink drake.