Back when Blizz announced achievements, I kinda rolled my eyes. "Oh boy...one more ruler in the giant epeen measuring contest," I thought. So not for me.
If history has taught me anything, it's that I'm very good at lying to myself. Especially when it comes to making myself feel like I'm somehow above something.
Actually, that's not accurate. In reality, I'm horrible at lying to myself. What I'm really good at doing is telling myself those lies. Which is different. Because they're horrible lies. They never hold up.
I remember when I told myself I was way above watching cartoons. This started when I was 12. I missed a lot of great cartoons throughout most of my teens.
I used to tell myself I was above playing an MMO...
Anyway, all it really took to get me to admit I was a big, fat liar was to get a few achievements accidentally. You know, the ones you inevitably get just by playing the game. The little fanfare and the flash as the achieve pops up on my screen...it's like a drug. Not quite as rich as the leveling ding but oh so much more frequent.
Then the worst part happened. One day I noticed I was in 3rd place in the guild for Achievement points. A cage door in my brain swung open. Turn-everything-into-a-competition Saniel came out to play.
The thing about TEIAC Saniel is that he's like a cat prowling around. You really have no idea he's there until he's on top of you, smiling a smile with way too much fang involved for your comfort. TEIAC Saniel doesn't like to make his presence known while he's on the hunt. What kind of cat would intentionally make his prey harder to catch?
TEIAC doesn't every really go back in the cage, either. He may lay low for a while every now and again, but once he's out, he's out. I did eventually claim first place in the guild, but I had to keep going. There was more I could do. Always more.
I hit a milestone (or a new low, depending on your viewpoint) last night. Two nights ago I got my 9000th achievement point. I was excited because I knew there was a Feat of Strength involved with that. But then it didn't come.
Egg on my face.
Wait, what? Why not?
Oh, the achievement is for having OVER 9000 points. Well...crud. What haven't I done that I can knock off quick?
I spent the next hour or so flying and teleporting all across Azeroth, spreading my love among way too many critters for me to be okay with it. But the Achievement! The rush! I needed that fix! (Getting creepy yet?)
Eventually I ended up in Uldum with just one critter left to love. But I couldn't do it. Not because of some kind of performance anxiety or the fear that accomplishing the big goal would somehow leave me feeling empty. No. It was because there were only four other guildies online by that time. And some things just deserve the proper audience.
Hey, why should I pretend I'm not some total bitchin' rock star from Mars?
So I logged out, flying just above a Mac Frog. Then last night I logged in, still there, and still with a Mac Frog within sight. What's more, there were about 20 people online.
The Mythic Roadblock
4 days ago