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With the Wrath of the Lich King expansion just around the bend, the excitement for many WoW players is increasing on a daily basis. Included in this bunch are undoubtedly many roleplayers who are eager to expand and continue their adventures onto Northrend and through whatever else the expansion has to bring.
Thankfully, we didn't have to wait long before getting a small taste of what Blizzard has in store for improving the future of WoW. With the last patch, one addition came to us in the way of Achievements. One way to describe them would be as 'mini quests', goals that are not received from NPCs, yet still bestow some amount of experience points when completed. At current count, there are 750 Achievements divided amongst nine categories to venture through, and Blizzard says more are yet to come! For roleplayers, many of whom have long been working on their own achievements, in pure RP style, these extra achievements do well to either supplement your character's direction in life, or may also become their primary focus for it.
One of the nine Achievement categories is called Exploration, and tracks what zones your character has been to, and what important locations within each zone your character has discovered. From the view of an adventurer, this may be one of the best achievements a player / character could make RP use of. Since the connotation of adventuring is very well understood to mean exploring new areas, a character following the Exploration achievement path can possibly count on never coming to a standstill.
I have a night elf rogue character that I have long been roleplaying as a cartographer. When seen in public, he usually hands an armful of various sized parchments, or is sitting at a local inn at a table covered in maps and ink bottles. His being known as a cartographer is of course merely his cover, since the proper way to roleplay a rogue is to never be known as a rogue. His true duties are roaming the lands, finding every path and trail that exists, locating every known and unknown area that is, and mapping them out. He then freelances his knowledge and maps out to those who seek passage from one place to another, to those who are looking for treasure or ancient ruins, or who are simply willing to pay his price to go into these dark places and bring them back what they want.
Roleplaying this explorer type of character has never been boring. One reason is that, up until now, I've set my own goals for what area to have him explore. With the new Achievements in game, it's only going to be easier to track where he's been, with the added benefit of receiving some award for public display. With something to show for all the work done, his renown and reputation has the best possibility for true growth now than ever before.
Exploration is not the only Achievement with a huge amount of RP potential. Another one that has caught my eye is named Well Read, and can be found under the General category heading. It requires the finding and reading of forty-two in game books spread throughout the world, and is I think perfect for roleplayers with intellectual and highly learned characters. That many books is enough for a character's life story alone!
The Reputation category has a few not to be missed as well, ones that award an actual publicly displayed title, and others where the title can be roleplayed. Hero of the Zandalar Tribe, The Burning Crusader, and Chief Exalted Officer all can be fitted to a character so inclined, either as a complete storyline, or only a segment.
Included in these Achievements are a good many future goals, things players can look forward to earning in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Take some time and read them thoroughly, maybe do some planning ahead now for probable storylines you may wish for your characters to encounter once WotLK goes live.
Almost all Achievements are retroactive, meaning the accomplishments your character had done before the Achievement system was implemented do count towards completing it. This may give rise to some roleplayers rolling up brand new characters, just to get a fresh look at adventuring with one or more specific Achievements in mind for their story. In my case, one of the Achievements was just the spark needed to give me a new range of ideas for a level fifteen Paladin I've been struggling with.
Other aspects to take into account are the guild leader looking to spark some roleplaying within their ranks, or for the enterprising roleplayer who loves to create their own quests. Gather a group or an individual offline and discuss what Achievements are best in line with their character's personality, and develop a story around them. The Achievement is defaulted to broadcast that character's successful completion over regular chat channels, so the guild leader / quest giver can be notified of when that happens, thus acting as a check system to see that the quest is done. And besides, a group of roleplayers getting together to work off a fishing or cooking Achievement is going to be much more fun than doing it solo!
So there are just a few ideas about roleplaying with the new WoW Achievement system. It's still quite new, and as Blizzard has stated, not yet finished, which makes it safe to say there may be a whole lot more roleplaying potential down the road. Have your own RP ideas that you're using and want to share with the roleplaying community? Please don't hesitate to post them in the Comments section here, or send them directly to me at RoleCraft at gmail dot com. Role on!