Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Would you like to be Little Grey?

He’s been the topic on everyone’s lips the last week: the Taiwanese player rumoured to be called “Little Grey”, who has done all available achievements in WoW.

You could question if it’s even possible to “beat the game”, since there’s always something else to do – if nothing else you can level another class or experience it from the opposite faction’s point of view. Nevertheless I believe that most of the community will agree that Little Grey is the one who has been closest to play WoW to its end, even though this will change instantly with the next incoming patch.

What is so impressive about this is the diversity of his deeds. If you’re going to collect every single achievement in the game, you can’t just be focused on one aspect. You have to be a hybrid player in its modern sense, who can compete in any area with the specialists.

This guy is obviously a skilled and dedicated raider. No matter how big support you have from the guild, you need to be good in yourself to get the undying titles in for instance ToC25hc. He also has to be a good PvP:er, a pet collector, a faction grinder and a business at AH to be able to afford the most expensive vanity mounts.

Not envious
We’re scratching our heads, asking: how is it even possible? But we have no reason to doubt it. We can only say “well done” and “congrats”, hoping that someone like wow.com will be able to get in touch with him for an interview with some answers on our questions. How did he manage? Did he have fun? Where does he find his motivation and – above all – the time?

My question however is: are we envious of Little Grey?

I know I’m not. Not at all.

Sure, there are some raiding achievements I’d really like to do. Clearing ToCGC25. Killing Algalon. Getting one of the undying achievements. Things to strive for and be proud about. But I can also live happily with a lot of the gaps in my achievement record. I’m even glad they are there.

As long as I have achievements left to do, I know I’ll never run out of things to do in the game. Sure, we can always come up with our own challenges, soloing instances, levelling in new manners – naked, pacifistic, undying and such. Even if they’re not labelled as achievements. But sometimes we’re just void of creativity, and want the game to give us some suggestions about what to do next. And in those moments the achievements come in handy.

I haven’t earned my Chef hat yet, I’ve never declared war to the goblins in Booty Bay, and there are tons of creatures in need to be hugged – or killed. Despite of the Pilgrim event, I still haven’t done the turkey speedkill. I want to kill some rare spawns and read all those mystically appearing and disappearing books in Dalaran. I have yet to join a raid against the horde cities.

As a matter of fact I feel rich! I’m rich on potential game experiences. No matter how much I admire Little Grey, I’m equally thankful I’m not him. Reading about him I can't helping thinking about the title of a SF short story I read once upon a time: "After You’ve Stood on the Log at the Center of the Universe, What Is There Left to Do?"

Eleven hugs
And as if this wasn’t enough to keep me from getting envious, I only need to look at the statistics. Since they started to take records last year, this guy has killed 392 006 creatures, given out eleven hugs and waved ONCE.

I on my hand have killed 133 086 creatures, hugged 155 people and waved 207 times.

I need to work on improving my hugging.


Klepsacovic said...

What's there to do then? While he could enjoy just playing, constant external rewards will tend to remove internal motivation. In other words, chasing and getting so many achievements will tend to make play itself be perceived as less fun.

Sephrenia said...

You got me curious...

I have killed 136077 things, of which 119935 were creatures. I died 3225 times myself. The Mum in me handed out 686 hugs and 67 waves. I think there would have been a scary number if it counted kisses too :)

I have a few more pets than him - poor thing only has 98 - I have 115. (It would amuse me to have a 100 pet achievement).

I am quite happy with my number of achievements. I will work on a few more of them as I go, but I would hate to have done it all. One of the things I LIKE about WOW compared to other computer games is that there isn't really an end.

Carra said...

They're just achievements. Fun things to see one if you suddenly get one but actively pursuing them is nothing for me. Why spend hours to get one record switched in a database?

Now, out of curiosity:
-Scia killed 52.923 creatures.
-Scia hugged 40 times
-Scia waved 11 times
-Scia facepalmed 0 people

This should be a complete record as she's a deathknight and thus created after the statistics went online.

Magma said...

I think this guy needs to get a life, myself. Some would say "but you're just jealous". Yes, I am. However, the difference is, If someone came up to me and offered me all the achievements done if I just sacrifice a piece of my life span that is equivalent, I would say no. If I could get all of them with little time lost, then sure I'd take them.

Anonymous said...

Like ive been saying for ages, Achievements are placed in game to extend the time between content updates, it keeps the mindless majority happy and warm.

Cacknoob (None of my chars have +2500 achieve points)

Jim said...

There are certain "achievements" that I am quite embarassed by. I really do not want other people to know that I have completed 2000 daily missions or caught 5000 fish (if such an "achievement" exists).

It is a function of having achievements at all that we inevitably end up with this discussion. And it diminishes the "achievements" of people who make up their own challenges - 40 Shadow Priests against Onyxia, Ulduar in Blues, etc.

In short, I would not like to be Little Grey. I do the things that I like, tolerate the things that help me accomplish my main goal, and largely ignore the rest.

Voodoo said...

One of my favorite things about this game is just that - having a list of fun "To-Do's" I know I will never have all the acheivements done that I want, let alone ALL of them but that is ok - I still cheer myself when I get the achievement pop-up, tick one off my list, and move happliy onto the next one!

Twan said...

I agree with Voodoo. It gives me a neat little list of persuits during my down time.

Elnia said...

I don't have any conceptual problem with the achievements but I do think they can be limiting. I still remember the time I manged to take down a mob seven levels above buy running around kiting and rooting. I burned every CD and pot and almost went out of mana. It took me at least five minutes. While there was no achievement box that sprung up for that I still had a lot of fun; it really tested my knowledge of my class because I threw everything at that mob.

The problem with "what gets measured gets managed" is that it's easy to fall into the trap of only managing what you measure. There are many worthwhile things to do in the game that do get measured by the official achievements there are also many worthwhile things that don't get measured as well.

Larísa said...

Yeah, I think you’re right. If you get used to constant external rewards you’ll probably find it harder to find up your own internal motivation and enjoyment.

@Sepherenia: exactly my view. The thought of having done it all and getting to the ”end” isn’t attractive at all. Even though I bet he’s busy now that the patch has come out.
You’ve obviously a better Mum player than I am!

@Carra: I’ve never made a facepalm either! It just doesn’t come natural to me.
Now I hope to see you online a bit more once the patch is out… Let’s bring up your hugging statistics!

Are you really jealous when you think closely about it? I’m not. Not for the total. Maybe about a few special achievements that I wish I had (or I rather wish I was such a good player that I had them). But I don’t envy him having done it all.

@Cack: They should totally make some achivements connected to IF bridge performances! And… where are you? Have you unsubscribed gain?

@Jim: come to think of it, I would give you right. There are a few achievements which are rather embarrassing than flattering… Hm. Might make a post about it one day, if I’m in a confessing mood.

@Vodoo: the pop-up, yeah. It’s a silly ape-subroutine related thing, as Gevlon would call it, but the flash gives me a brief moment of pleasure. Even if it’s a useless, non-impressive achievement.

@Elnia: oh yes, I agree. It’s so easy to forget about those non-measurable things. I think Gevlon’s latest solo-low-lvl-instances is a good reminder and inspiration to initiate that kind of projects.