achievements

EVE Evolved: Getting new players to stick with EVE Online

EVE Online has the odd distinction of being one of the most impenetrable MMOs on the market today and yet also one of the stickiest. Few new players make it past their first week or month in EVE, but more of those who do scale that infamous learning cliff tend to stay for several years and become part of the community. Many of the most active veteran players have even admitted that EVE didn’t really click for them the first time, and for some it took them several attempts before they finally got hooked.

This anecdotal evidence seems to mesh quite well with CCP’s own brutal retention statistics, as we heard back in 2016 that over 1.5 million people had signed up new accounts that year but just over 50% of them quit within the first two hours. Even after the free-to-play option was added to eliminate the biggest barrier of entry for new and returning players, retaining more of those players in the long term is still proving difficult. So what is it that prevents new players from really clicking with EVE even if they want to, and what can be done about it?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at some of the factors that make EVE difficult to penetrate, the importance of joining a corporation, and a few things CCP could do to help with player retention.

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World of Warcraft player knocks out every achievement over six years

For most of us, achievement systems in MMORPGs are either ignorable annoyances, occasional goals, or amusing distractions. For World of Warcraft player Xirev, they became an obsession.

The Swedish player, who mains a Blood Elf Fire Mage, announced this past week that he was able to complete all of World of Warcraft’s 3,314 active achievements. The herculean task took him six years to do, which began as a way to earn a mount and riding skill that he could not afford. This sparked an interest in achievement hunting, which ramped up to where he was putting in 10 or more hours a day into the game during the Legion expansion cycle. He has become the first player to get all of the achievements through Legion, which has also netted him 424 mounts and 29,210 achievement points.

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Skyforge prepares to roll out its achievement system and asks for more ideas

Achievements! They’re how you track your overall progress through the game, see how many bizarre things you’ve accomplished, and sometimes even earn some fun stuff along the way. So that’s all good. And they’re coming to Skyforge soon, so you can start grabbing some achievements and possibly investigating corners of the game you’ve never had reason to dive into. Or you can quantify your accomplishments as a player based on the stuff you’ve already done, one or the other.

But how can you be sure that the achievements will cover everything important? The answer is that you can’t be sure, but you can take part in the new contest to come up with achievements and send them in. Winners get Argents, special headpieces, and the respect of their peers… by having the achievements added into the game when the system goes live. Although we suspect “win the contest to have an achievement added to the game” is not going to win or be added.

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The Daily Grind: How did you do with your 2017 MMO goals?

The year is slipping onward, and while there’s still a few more days in the year, odds are good that your big goals are either done or no longer getting done. And whether they were formally written down, you probably had goals for MMOs this year. So the question is, how did you do with them?

Personally, I did all right. I wanted to try out more titles, which I definitely did; I wanted to hit 70 with all my jobs in Final Fantasy XIV, which I did quite quickly; I wanted to get class mounts in World of Warcraft, and I’m well on my way to having the full set. As a whole, my MMO goals went pretty well, and the only real losses were some roleplaying goals not quite materializing. I can live with that.

What about you, dear readers? How did you do with your 2017 MMO goals, however loose they may have been?

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The Daily Grind: What’s your latest MMO achievement?

Achievements in MMOs are a nice way of marking off things that you’ve done, but there are no achievements for personal goals. You do not, for example, get an achievement for finally finishing your glamour in Final Fantasy XIV. There’s no achievement for finally getting a piece of gear you wanted for transmog in World of Warcraft or for getting a mount drop you’ve been farming for ages. There’s no achievement for beating the dungeon that you struggle with in Secret World Legends or managing to get a guild started in EverQuest II.

No, these are all personal achievements, and today, we want to hear about them. What’s your latest MMO achievement? Not necessarily an in-game achievement, just the most recent goal that you’ve been working on and finally finished. Acquiring cosmetic gear? Beating content? Finishing part of a long-term project? Let us know about it!

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World of Warcraft Demon Hunter solos normal Gul’dan

A Demon Hunter should be able to kill demons. That’s their one job description, and so it should be no surprise that World of Warcraft’s Demon Hunters are actually very good at killing demons. But most of them are not nearly as good as Mione, a name you’ll find in no lore compilations who still deserves a nod for soloing normal-mode Gul’dan.

Yes, solo. As in “big boss of the second full raid of the expansion taken out by a single dedicated player.”

Obviously, gear has improved somewhat since Gul’dan’s release, but the fight (which is watchable in sped-up form below) still took over an hour to complete. “Doesn’t Gul’dan hit enrage at 12 minutes?” you ask. And you’re right, he does. He enrages, and Mione deals with that mechanic. Go ahead and watch the video, then check out the video description to see how this was accomplished, including waiting out the enrage. The notes do mention that the “real” fight (after the enrage happens and falls off) “only” took 27 minutes, which is… still insanely impressive.

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The Stream Team: Sabotaging Secret World’s castle

Massively OP’s MJ is back home, and that means she’s back in The Secret World! Last time in her sabotage adventures, she left off ready to storm The Castle. Today she gets to do it. Who wouldn’t want to prowl through an ancient castle filled with vampires? The Castle is one mission she hasn’t done at all, so she is not sure what to expect. Can she make it through the vampires alive and unseen? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ tries to get closer to The Unseen achievement. As a bonus, we can talk some about Secret World Legends!

What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 8th, 2017

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The Stream Team: Many Secret World sabotage missions down, 10 to go

Ten. Just 10 more. That’s how many sabotage achievements Massively OP’s MJ still needs to earn to get her Unseen title and reward in The Secret World. Last week was another good run, but she’s not about to rest on her laurels; she’s bound and determined to finish before Secret World Legends launches next month. She’ll start with another visit to Dr Varias in Transylvania. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to see how many MJ missions can check off her list tonight.

What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 18th, 2017

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The Stream Team: Sabotaging The Secret World’s Egypt

Massively OP’s MJ has only completed one sabotage in The Secret World’s Egypt, so she’s heading there to work on more. That Unseen achievement isn’t going to achieve itself!  Besides, a nice romp through some sun and sand wouldn’t be a bad thing either. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m.as MJ tests her sneaky skills once again (while the Fail Counter looms hungrily).

What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 11th, 2017

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RIFT changes achievement assist policy, promises to ‘bring back quality’ in 2017

Due to a spike in customer service tickets asking for help with RIFT’s achievements, Trion Worlds is changing its policy in how it will handle such requests.

In a post on the forums, the studio said that its CS team has always been “incredibly generous” in handling such requests, but that players have started to take advantage of that. As such, going forward the company’s customer service will only handle achievements with known bugs while the devs make a concerted effort to fix these issues. Additionally, players can petition for assistance with other achievements, but those will be reviewed individually and have a limit of being addressed once per six months.

“At the end of the day it falls on the development team to make sure we get these issues resolved much faster then we have in the past,” Trion Worlds said. “Our focus for 2017 is bringing back much of the quality that has been lacking in our updates as of late. Achievements are definitely included in that list.”

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Chaos Theory: Our guide to The Secret World’s Unseen achievement

For the last couple of months, I have been focused on trying to acquire The Unseen achievement in The Secret World. Why? It isn’t anything anyone needs to do to complete the game or to even experience all the content; you can finish every associated mission even if you fail its achievement. However, it is a little extra that celebrates one of the unique offerings of TSW — the sabotage mission. It is also quite the challenge. (And by challenge, I mean something that will likely have you tearing your hair out at times.) It tests your abilities to conquer objectives through something other than brute force or a twitchy trigger finger. For that reason alone I simply must give it my full support. That, and it taunts me with its so-you-think-you-can-win-huh vibe. I must beat it; I cannot let these missions get the best of me! Also I really want the cool title and ninja face mask you get as a reward.

Since I have been running some of these missions a few times, I’ve learned a few tricks to completing them, including ways to reset them at times so you don’t have to wait out the mission cooldown to try again. These are tricks I am willing to share so maybe you can learn from my mistakes instead of making your own. You can be on your way to becoming a master of stealth. Even if you don’t want any hints per se, this guide will lead you to all the missions and those who give said missions.

Warning: This may contain spoilers! All hints and any mega spoilers will be hidden behind a spoiler alert.

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The Stream Team: Sabotage in The Secret World’s City of the Sun God

As MassivelyOP’s MJ continues her quest to get The Unseen achievement in TSW, she has run into a few snags. So to brighten her day, she’s moving on to enjoy some sunshine — in City of the Sun God. OK, so maybe there is some soot and ash in the air as well, but it isn;t as gloomy as Solomon Island. And there are two sabotage missions to complete there, Halls of Lost Records and Emergency Procedures. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. as MJ tries to sneak her way through CotSG.

What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 8th, 2016

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