Friday, May 11, 2012

Big effin deal

So there's a new controversy going on about a Feat of Strength (an achievement on steroids) that Blizzard is apparently handing out to all those who were selected for the closed beta. In theory I am one of those and I assume I will see that achievement when I log into the game. Thing is, I don't care.

It looks like many people are up in arms over the fact that Blizzard has the nerve to hand out these unique achievements only to people who were invited in the beta. Being a Feat of Strength makes this even more valuable and practically a one-time only occurrence. Well, whoopty-doo. I'm on Blizzard's side on this one. They are free to hand out these achievements to whoever they damn please. Yeah, there were comparatively few people invited to the closed beta but that's why it's closed. Whining that you didn't get the achievement because you weren't invited in the beta is like whining that you didn't win the lottery.

Frankly I don't even know why there is a controversy. The very definition of "Feat of Strength" points towards a unique set of conditions that must be met, at a single point in time, in order to qualify for it. I don't remember anyone in WoW crying about the many Feats of Strength that were handed out over the years. I had a couple of those myself. If you weren't in the right place at the right time, no Feat of Strength for you, it's as simple as that! You win some and you lose some, that's how it is.

Not that it makes any difference. Personally I don't give a damn about achievements that don't confer a bonus of some sort. Like a pet or a cosmetic thing or whatnot. In WoW it made sense (for me) to complete certain achievements, especially the ones for collecting increasing numbers of pets, simply because they rewarded you with yet another pet. Then there were also tabards. But in Diablo 3, apart from sigils and banners, I don't think there's any "material" advantage to these achievements. I wouldn't mind an unique armor dye though...

Speaking of banners, that's another feature that seems tacked on to the game without bringing a lot of utility. I tried creating a banner in the beta but I quickly gave up and ignored that aspect completely. Sure, you can place banners on the ground, in the game, and everyone in your group will go OOOOOOOH AAAAAH. Or not.

I guess the devs were at a loss on how to give characters some form of customization. Their physical features can't be changed (useless in this game anyway because you can't see their faces) and character names aren't even visible for others to see when you're in a group. So they came up with the concept of banners. I'm perfectly fine with the existence of banners but I doubt I'll spend much time playing with them. I even gave the "unique sigils competition", that ran until recently, a pass. Another thing that I found annoying about them banners is that you can't create a different one for each character. One banner applies to all. Now I might be wrong here (and I hope I am) because I simply couldn't pay much attention to this feature. Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

Circling back to achievements in general, they can sometimes be a pain in the ass. A few times during the beta some genius in my group decided that he wanted to complete some achievement or other and he was pushing the rest of us to play in a certain way so he could get his lousy achievement. First of all, I was like, dude, it's a fricking beta, fuck achievements! Second, attempting more complex achievements in a group filled with strangers is poor form. One of these guys, for example, was trying to get the achievement for killing the Skeleton King without killing any of the skeletons. Tough luck buddy! The rest of us needed the health orbs so we killed those skeletons as they came.

So, kids, get over it. You didn't win the lottery this time. Better luck next time! Now I'm off to cry in a corner because I didn't get a Feat of Strength for pre-ordering the game a month before release.

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