I tend to only read about games I'm actively playing, so I go through periods of time where I'll read a ton of stuff about World of Warcraft and then there will be periods where it's like the game doesn't exist at all. I pretty much haven't played the game in over a year except for a brief time when they gave me a free week last summer and I used it to discover the guild had been hacked. Anyway, earlier today a post showed up in my Blogger reading list from a crafting blog. The post itself wasn't about much of anything, just an explanation of why she hadn't been posting more often, but there was a comment that caught my attention...
It would seem Blizzard announced a few months ago at Blizzcon that the next expansion wouldn't have the now standard realm first achievements for doing things very fast at expansion launch. I went searching to try to find an explanation and pretty much only found people on the internet yelling things at each other. People who didn't like those achievements insulting the people who did. People who did sniping back. Not very much actual information about much of anything. Thanks internet.
Anyway, it sounds like WoW has been doing a bunch of fake server mergers or something such that you play with people on other servers all the time which seems to negate the whole idea of a 'realm first' since you'd be working with and against people from lots of different realms. It also sounds like they might well be making this expansion take longer to level (it's back to 10 levels instead of just 5) and having a Blizzard encouraged excuse for people to play for days on end is probably not too wise?
Personally I've always liked the idea of realm first achievements. I have 5 of them from the last couple expansions, after all, and I had a lot of fun trying for them. On the other hand I also tried for the realm first 'all the reps' achievement last expansion and it totally burned me out. Mostly because it involved doing all of the daily quests every single day for months and there were a LOT of stupid daily quests. Apparently they're not putting any max level daily quests into the next expansion which is fantastic news to me! They're putting in some sort of RTS/player housing thing which will probably fill a similar role of giving 'casual' players something to do every day which sounds pretty sweet.
It makes me a little sad that they're removing the realm first stuff because even when I wasn't doing them myself I'm always intrigued by what sorts of things people would do in order to win them. Having out of party people healing you, or kill monsters you tagged, or finding a mob worth too much experience and just grinding it for hours and hours on end... This is probably why I like watching speed runs so much! Anyway, it's unfortunate that they're taking these things out, but realistically it's probably for the best. People are still going to play a ton at expansion launch anyway, I don't know that Blizzard really needs to trick people into playing even more in an attempt to get one of a very small handful of achievements.
Doing all that reading makes me want to play again! Well, mostly they make me want to play the new expansion which doesn't even have a release date... But I'm totally in when it comes out!