Achievements are self-contained game goals that offer challenges, satisfy goal-oriented players, and allow others to see your accomplishments in World of Warcraft. They were added with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
World of Warcraft's achievements system launched with 749 individual achievements covering every aspect of gameplay, including world exploration, PvE, PvP, professions, and character development; from the purely whimsical to the truly epic, there is something for everyone. Some achievements come with in-game rewards such as mounts, tabards, vanity pets, and titles. All of these rewards are purely cosmetic.
The achievement list is expandable so additional achievements are continually added with each new World of Warcraft content update.
The achievements window
Beginning with patch 3.0.2, players saw a new button () in the micro menu at the center of your main action bar. Click that button to bring up the achievements window or use the default bound key of Y.
The top of the window displays the total number of points you’ve received for completing achievements. Below, each achievement appears with its name, description, point value, the completion date, and a progress bar (if applicable). Some achievements expand to display a list of individual components, highlighted to show which parts you’ve finished. You can also designate which achievements to track as you play, similar to the existing quest tracker. An important design goal is to provide players with everything they need to know to unlock an achievement.
At the bottom of the Achievements window are the Achievements and Stats tabs. The Statistics tab shows a Statistics panel with additional statistics based achievements.
When achievements first came out with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, they had to be earned by each character that you played, which due to some rewards and the amount of time used to earn them was believed to set people to only do them on one character (usually their main one) and would become often times an incentive not to change mains, due to all the hard work that was put into earning everything on their current character.
In Mists of Pandaria, most achievements will be switched to an account-wide system that will share achievements among all characters on the same realm. As such meta-achievements may be earned by multiple characters, but individual achievement criteria will not, one character must complete the individual achievement required by the meta.
There will also be a few account-only achievements, which are placed into two categories: Those not possible to earn on one character and those just brutal to complete on one character.
Achievements that reward companions, mounts, titles, and tabards will likely be part of the account-wide achievements, but will likely have level restrictions placed on the rewards as to prevent characters having such things before intended.
World of Warcraft's achievements come in several varieties. Some simply require specific actions to unlock, such as getting a haircut or defeating a member of each race in your opposing faction in PvP. Others involve a progress bar and require you to do something several times — such as give out 10 hugs. Some achievements are progressive; for example, once you complete an achievement to collect 10 vanity pets, you might next be asked to collect 25. Finally, meta achievements unlock when you complete other achievements — unlocking all World Exploration achievements (see below) unlocks a World Explorer meta achievement. Some achievements, including those that involve quests, honorable kills, items currently in your possession, skills (including professions), exploration, and reputations, are applied to your character retroactively.
To help keep track of all the different achievements you can unlock, players find the following categories in the achievements window:
- General: These achievements tend toward the whimsical, including getting a shave and haircut, obtaining a certain number of tabards and mounts, falling from a great height, and more.
- Quests: Quest-based achievements include completing a certain number of quests and completing specific quest lines. This category contains zone-specific subcategories.
- Exploration: You’ll earn achievements by exploring each zone in the game — and get meta-achievements when you fully explore a continent. This category also includes related achievements such as defeating rare mobs and discovering treasures and lore objects.
- Player vs. Player: This includes arena, battleground, and world Player vs. Player objectives.
- Dungeons & Raids: Every end boss of every raid and dungeon in the game grants its own achievement. This category also contains achievements for killing instance bosses within certain time limits, without the full amount of players present, or succeeding in certain other special conditions.
- Professions: Advancing to each tier of mastery in a profession earns you an achievement, and there are specific achievements for secondary skills.
- Reputation: This set of achievements includes attaining exalted reputation with each faction in the game.
- Scenarios: Introduced in Mists of Pandaria, these are rewarded by killing bosses or completing tasks within Scenarios.
- World Events: Seasonal events such as the Midsummer Festival, the Lunar Festival, and Hallows' End have specific achievements of their own. Brawler's Guild and Argent Tournament achievements are also found here.
- Pet Battles: Introduced in Mists of Pandaria, these involve collecting, fighting with, and leveling companions, through the Pet Battle System.
- Feats of Strength: Accomplishments that players may find difficult if not impossible to complete, including many that are no longer achievable in game, such as those granted only during certain special events. These are not worth any points and are not shown on the summary section.
- Under another tab
- Guild: Introduced in Cataclysm, these are credited to the guild as a whole rather than to the individual.
- Contains many of the same subcategories as seen above.
Feats of Strength
Feats of Strength represent the past glories of Azeroth, and as such, players will find them very difficult — if not impossible — to earn. They’re worth no points, and unlike normal achievements, unearned Feats are not displayed in the achievements interface. Feats include old-world player vs. player ranks, obtaining rare mounts, special titles, and more.
- List of Feats of Strength achievements
It’s great to be able to see your own achievements — but it’s even better to let the world know what you’ve accomplished. By right-clicking other players and selecting the appropriate option, you can compare your achievements to theirs. Every time you earn a new achievement, your accomplishment is announced to your guild and everyone in your immediate vicinity — and the custom achievement animation and sound effect are unmistakable. Also, your achievements are viewable on the Armory, allowing you to track and show off your accomplishments via the web.
Although completing achievements does not give characters any benefits for combat or skills, certain achievements do grant the character vanity pets, vanity items, very fast mounts, new tabards or new titles.
The real reward, of course, is the properly conditioned player hearing this sound:
/script PlaySound("ACHIEVEMENTSOUND") /script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Spells\\AchievmentSound1.wav")
which instantly produces an immense feeling of satisfaction and well-being in the test subject.
New characters are not normally able to see or use the achievement system until they are level 10.
However, plenty of achievements are obtainable prior to level 10 (such as opening an account bound companion like ), and earning one will unlock the achievement interface no matter what level.
It is now posible to open the Achievement window without any achievements by using the following macro:
/script AchievementFrame_LoadUI(); /script AchievementFrame_ToggleAchievementFrame(stats);
Confusion before release
There were many players who were confused by the fact that we weren't going to be able to "spend" achievement points on things - the way gold or honor points were spent. However as it turned out the points earned were like the points won by a team in a real life football game - they may attain a score of 7 points, but "spending" those points is a non-issue. This issue was vocal in its time, but is largely forgotten now.
Patches and hotfixes
Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Added