[GW2] 59-123% Completion

Just to make me look silly, between the time that I wrote about meta-achievements and the time that I posted, the new GW2 update went live and did something different with a Living Story meta-achievement. There are 13 achievements, and you need to complete 16 to get the meta-achievement.

Someone in guild chat wondered if they were hiding achievements for later parts of the story, rather than showing them all in advance like in earlier Living Story updates. This is possible, but the explicit answer is that there are now Living Story daily achievements that count towards the meta-achievement. If the event is live for two weeks, with a Living Story achievement each day, you now need 16 of 27, and some things you do will count for two or more achievements.

What does this do to players’ incentives?

  1. You cannot do everything on Day One and then just ignore the new content. You must play the event on multiple days for completionism. This should spread participation somewhat. The Queen’s Pavilion is a massive zerg, but I cannot say if this is a smaller crowd than would be expected from other events, lacking an indicator of how overflowed the instance is. Also, while participation usually drops until the last-minute rush to finish rewards, Living Story content does seem to be in continuous use at least enough to keep it playable for the duration.
  2. It will provide an incentive to repeat Living Story content for the extra achievement point. “One achievement point” is a surprisingly powerful player motivator.
  3. It will steer players towards the living story somewhat more, to the extent that the daily achievements motivate people. Previously, except to the extent that completing an achievement overlapped with your dailies, you chose between completing dailies or playing the Living Story, and you exhaust overlapping Living Story achievements quickly. Relatedly, I note that completing a Living Story meta-achievement is now a monthly achievement.
  4. It provides an extra incentive to try everything.
  5. It creates a Schelling point for Living Story content. This is less relevant for the Queen’s Jubilee, which is mostly centralized, but this will matter more in events that are dispersed. Strangely, this is the opposite of what was just done by creating a generic Daily Activity achievement, rather than pushing players towards one the way the GW1 Zaishen dailies created a critical mass for the daily PvP map. That circle seems to have been squared by limiting what activities are available each day.
  6. It creates a disincentive to try everything on Day One. If you can reasonably expect that most/all Living Story achievements will double as daily achievements over the course of the event, and let’s assume that you are the kind of person who is motivated by achievements, then you can wait on trying new things that are not the Living Story achievement of the day. I could get paid twice for doing X tomorrow, so why do it both today and tomorrow for the same reward? This is currently reduced because we do not know exactly what to expect yet, but it could have a greater effect on future events.

There is a tension. The most efficient way to complete most things is “all at once.” You enter the Queen’s Pavilion, get a rhythm going, and do not leave until you have everything you want from the Pavilion. That sort of farming can be efficient, unhealthy, and unfun, especially if you are driven by the extrinsic motivation. Dailies provide an incentive to do things over time instead of all at once. Given the number of people who have already completed the meta-achievement, I cannot say that the game has struck a balance in those incentives.

: Zubon

10 thoughts on “[GW2] 59-123% Completion”

  1. I’m not certain about this, but I think that as far as the extra achievements are concerned you can get all those in the Pavilion. I did one that required you to represent Lion’s Arch for 100 kills there so there may well be dailies for all the factions.

    The Pavilion is also there for a month, not two weeks, so who knows how long the Achievement will be achievable.

    I also suspect you’re assigning far more intent to the design than was actually installed.

    1. Not all the Pavilion, as some have been outside and one has been in the Gauntlet. Also, the dailies representing Lion’s Arch and Rata Sum were set at 50 kills, while you need 100 for the meta-achievement.

      Good note on the month. Living Story dailies could switch to the next Living Story when it comes out.

      The beauty of analysis is that one need not assign intent. One looks at likely effects, which sometimes align with intent, sometimes are happy accidents, and sometimes are object lessons in unintended effects.

  2. I’m pretty sure one of those new dailies was to complete 3 quests given by a balloon pilot.

  3. Given that I feel the balloon events are probably stronger – certainly more interesting – than the Jubilee instance, I’m quite happy for the dailies to allow me to minimise my time following the zerg, not being able to see anything, and not really having a lot of fun. Which I suspect is the point – the meta-achievements provide a certain amount of carrot, but after you pluck the easy and the fun achievements you’re left with the ones forcing you out of your comfort zone and the tedious ones. Given they have a system for rewarding you for going out of your comfort zone now, with the achievement points, and time-limited achievements work better than ArenaNet expected in driving players, there’s just the tedious ones. And now every day there’s a new opportunity to skip a tedious achievement entirely!

    For some, killing 600 enemies in a day or two is not tedious, and these people are aliens to me.

  4. Quick note on the generic Daily Activity achievement. It does actually push players to a specific activity, you just don’t know which one it is until you check the NPC in Lion’s Arch. I found that out the hard way when I wanted to play a game of Keg Brawl and I was told it was not available because Southsun Survival was the activity for the day.

    The system is nice in that it is expandable, but limiting in that, unlike the Zaishen daily missions, you can’t do anything other than the assigned daily. I am hoping maybe that can change in the future and they use a more specific achievement if they want to funnel players to a particular activity.

    1. That is what I meant, yes. Last month, it was “here is the favored activity of the day.” This month, you are free to choose any activity, but the menu of activities is reduced to one (?) each day. It is like they had two designers on the project and they did not get along.

  5. Heh…. oh the innovation never ceases at ANet… players doing content too fast? Make them do it over and over again! Even better make them WAIT to do it over and over again!

    This isn’t half as bad as “bears bears bears” but being obviously the same sort of disappointment, I can’t not comment. ;)

    DISCLAIMER: Of course GW2 Is still much more wonder and glee than disappointment!

    1. Actually, if you look at it a different way, making the living story dailies count toward the meta-achievement gives you more opportunities to get those 16 points and makes less of the event compulsory. If you tired of the Crown Pavilion quickly, don’t go back! You don’t actually have to get 100 kills for every faction, because for at least a couple of weeks you can keep an eye on dailies and do other things there to make up for achievements that didn’t appeal to you.

      YMMV of course, it depends on a number of experiential things like how driven you feel to finish the meta quickly, how important the meta is to you, how often you complete dailies, etc.

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