Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Are achievements a virtual barrier for casuals?

Everybody these days is talking about Ferraro (or whoever he, she, they are) and the whole story of posing as another person - as far as the real life pictures are concerned. You probably have read it, you probably have an opinion as I do. But I'd rather not talk about it, I am just mentioning it so that I do not seem completely ignorant of what happens out there :p. I wanted to make a fun post, portraying myself as a blond bombshell but I think I'll stick to more serious matters...

While I was reading about the aforementioned `scandal' and doing my dailies an old friend from the past, recently transfered in Silvermoon, whispered me. He mentioned something that - what a coincidence - one of our council member mentioned a couple of days ago...

That achievements will eventualy be the downfall of the casual raider...

Both players touched this subject from a different angle. An observer and a victim. Our coucnil member mentioned that he felt that the current trend of being accepted into pugs only if you have completed the relative achievements cuts-off new players from the entry level instances. Likewise, my old friend mentioned exactly that. Not having the achievements does not help him much into participating in Naxx pugs. Mind you, I am talking about people that due to real life commitments are not in a guild, do not have a set playing schedule and try to do the odd instance now and then. People that have accepted that they can not be part of anything a tad more systematic than a mere casual presence into the game.

I must admit I have never thought of this virtual barier before but I do admit its there and its blocking people to catch up. Or even try to. Its perfectly acceptable in my book not to be able to raid as often as I do (which is not that often btw...). As it is perfectly reasonable to try to gauge the people that participate into a pug. But being blocked even out of pugs due to those ruddy achievements is...well, there is definitely something wrong here...

The only way I can imagine someone would `bypass' such virtual barriers is to have friends that are willing to go the extra mile, organize pugs and get that `slacker' the chance to get some descent gear. Of course for that to happen, that 'slacker' must have been a good and pleasant player to be with, someone on your `dearest friends/list'... and not someone that would fit Gevlon's M&S profile. And that is when the social norms of this game come into play...

4 comments:

Barrista 2 June 2009 at 22:36  

I think more serious raiders are the barrier to casual raiders or even to new 80's running a heroic.

Even if there were no achievement system in place, there would always be a new set of 80's, although the number of them will decrease over time. Those who have been 80 over a longer span of time will be less interested in running a heroic. If they do run a heroic, they want it to be a quick run for the daily. Or maybe they'll run a friend through. In either case, they want everyone else to be well geared so as to make it a quick and easy run. Bringing someone in quest/rep blues is not something they are interested in.

Lance 3 June 2009 at 09:34  

I am not talking about old raiders here. I am talking about people that are not, lets say for the sake of argument, Ulduar-level raiders but those that are Naxx-level. I.e. those that have an interest in gearing up in those instances. These can be alts, casual raiders etc.

In that subset there are to categories. Those that have been fortunate to obtain the said achievements and those that have not. The latter are the victims of my original post. They are blocked from the content that is appropriate to them, due to not having obtained that achievement. I appreciate these achievements are easy if one is half-descent (or the group is indeed half descent) but... you have to be there in the first place to obtain them.

In those victims there are often quite capable players that can be even better than those that appear reluctant to admit then in a pug because the former do not have those achieves.

apokteino 11 June 2009 at 23:27  

the majority of PUGS (and i haven't been in too many) do gear checks or have you link achievements so that they don't get stuck with terrible players that have no experience on the encounters. i honestly don't blame them at all. granted the gear someone is wearing and the achievements they have done (or been carried through) is far from a fool-proof way to weed out the bads... but it's a start.

now is this going to completely keep ppl without gear/achievements out of PUGS? no way. i pugged hodir the other night on my alt mage who has incredibly bad gear. all i did was tell the raid leader i knew the fight and if i wasn't top 5 on dps after the first attempt he could boot me. and i wasn't! =D

there are always going to be opportunities for people out there who don't play WoW like it's their part-time job.

Lance 12 June 2009 at 09:28  

The opportunities may be there but a person who has limited time anyway may not find them easily. Our server - which has a 1special' attitude towards raids to to its extreme bias towards PvE is a place where people do not get into PuG because they have not completed the [Epic] achievement.So there are `degrees' to what I said and in the server I am playing I am afraid its becoming more common.

Plus, you had to talk your way into the raid with a raid leader that was either curious of whether you would pull it through, desperate for a dpser or simply what others consider reckless. Not many people are like that...

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