One life to live #37: Betamaxed or how I learned to stop caring about achievements

As a DiabloWikiHardcore purist I tend to stay in my own world. Upon release I will only venture into softcore to reach level 10, or to play when I can’t access my Hardcore character (a real problem during the beta). I’m not an DiabloWikiachievement hunter but I get the appeal of it. It’s shiny, it has a nice sound effect, and it’s a reward for your effort (or blind luck). While I may not need to clamor after them, I don’t like when things are withheld from me. During my entire beta experience I could get every achievement but one (technically two). It had nothing to do with skill, or luck, and everything to do with what I was trying to avoid…death.



That achievement was Life Saver and involved resurrecting one of each class. Due to it being Hardcore you are already trying to avoid death and since it is beta you aren’t dying much anyway. However the real kicker is that you can’t resurrect a dead Hardcore character. So…how does a Hardcore player get that achievement? It’s simple…they don’t. The real kicker is that achievement was the last  puzzle piece in the  larger achievement Overachiever. With small cosmetic awards being rewarded for achievements losing out on these can be detrimental for some.  With the end of the beta now a reality we have to wait for release to answer a pressing question. Will we have achievements not unachievable in Hardcore?

I don’t care how hard an achievement is, whether it’s soloing Diablo naked, listening to every story Cain has to tell, or playing a Demon Hunter (Ha!), someone in Hardcore will achieve it at some point. That’s what I love about Hardcore, we can do everything softcore can, and if we are challenged we will figure out a way. However, achievements like this don’t allow for any of that. There is nothing the Hardcore community can do to rise above something that is unattainable. Hardcore players will defeat Diablo, survive crazy situations, and beat DiabloWikiInferno, but they won’t have all their achievements for doing so? That seems wrong.

However, on the flip side of the coin the beta itself was not intended to house Hardcore. Hardcore was implemented a long time after achievements were. Perhaps those achievements were only there as placeholders and not as a significant sign of things to come.

What about Hardcore only achievements? Should we be rewarded while our softcore brethren are not? Yes and no. Should there be rewards for clearing Nightmare, Hell etc. and not dying? Of course, but I think those could be done in softcore as well. Perhaps those achievements could be a nice transition into Hardcore for those who might have been hesitant. Ultimately the best thing is to not penalize players of either mode. Keep the achievements separate and not contingent on ones in other modes.

What are your thoughts on DiabloWikiAchievements in Hardcore? Sound off in the comments below!

One Life to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth and published weekly. Post your comments below, Follow me on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly.

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41 thoughts on “One life to live #37: Betamaxed or how I learned to stop caring about achievements

  1. There will be an achievement called Big Spender which is to buy an item for $250 on the RMAH, which isn’t available on hardcore… *watch as rage ensues*

  2. i’m still hoping you can get an achievement for the world first hardcore death. Kamikaze!

    • hah “HC NOOB achievement” – Slain with your 60lvl HC character by the first mob in the game on Normal 😆

  3. I was against Life Saver since achievements came out because I think it’s a design flaw to reward failure – in so much as achievements are a reward.

    • How does Life Saver reward failure? I think it’s the opposite, it rewards player for helping others. I hope there are more achivements like this. For example, something like heal other players for one million health for Monks.

      • It’s a failure because it does not fit one of the two definitions of ingame achievements: 

        1) To reach a certain milestone (story wise, level wise, crafting wise…)
        2) To go above and beyond to accomplish something

        This achievement takes no skill, isn’t interesting in any way, can be done by anyone with 2 minutes and the will to do something antilogical.

    • i agree.. the only way i was able to get these achievements in the open beta was to tell my brother to die to revive him 5 times, and vice versa for him. even for softcore its a stupid achievment

      • Umm, maybe because the achievement is not meant to be unlocked this way? I think Life Saver is meant for later stage of a game or even possibly later difficulties. But yeah, it cannot be achieved at level 1 regulary because the game is so damn easy at the beginning, so let’s bitch how bad achievement it is.

        • these achievements were for beta only.. yes this might be in the actual game, but im 100% sure that “betamaxed” is NOT going to be in the actual game.. putting this achievement in the beta is like putting “die 1000 times” in the actual game.. you may never get something like that if you play correctly unless you try to get it..

  4. One life to live #37: Moaning about unfair achivements or story of Xanth’s butthurt

    • +1
      Gotta love the mind of the typical anti-social hardcore player lol. To them it is impossible to get that achievement because creating softcore characters is an act beneath their holier than thou hardcore only playing selves. Please do get over yourselves.

    • Indeed. Reading this was unlike reading his other pieces, which were pretty informative. This whole thing was him crying about not getting all the achievements in the game because he’s unwilling to play more than a narrow part of the game.

      • I disagree.  I mean, how much is there to talk about right now?  The game is about out, beta is over, and we’ve talked about everything at least twice.  He makes a good point but also takes the stance about, “should we care?  Should I care?”  I didn’t read that he’s complaining, but more like he’s just throwing the idea out there.  Even though I don’t care…

  5. I was going to instantly reply saying there will be HC-only achievements but you seem to have indeed covered that already at the end, :p.

    That being said, there will be HC-only achievements.

    To allow an achievement like surviving on one life ’til the end of inferno in SC would diminish that achievement for the simple sake of equality as you could simply power a character to the last areas of inferno (theoretically), all the while not caring about death, and then gear up your new chars for their runs through. If they die, no biggie; drop stuff in stash, start again. To diminish the value of achieving something like this in HC would far outweigh the perceived value of having everything achievable by everyone.

    As a very set-in-my-ways gamer myself, I can certainly understand and respect your sentiment, but the simple reality is that you can still achieve everything regardless of whether HC or SC is your focus but there will inevitably be cases where you’ll have to play in your non-preferred mode in order to achieve everything. It’s sort of like saying that you’re a Wizard purist who won’t play any other character, but then feel robbed if there is a meta achievement (such as Betamaxed) that can only be earned if you have maxed out all chars.

    All of the above taken in to account, Life Saver was most certainly still a pain in the ass during the Beta! Though it is worth noting that this is not a reward for failure – you’re resurrecting someone else who has failed, not failing yourself.  😛

  6. Life Saver didn’t encourage helping other players, it encouraged people to get on forums and friend people for the specific purpose of making Life Saver farming games.  For the most part nobody legitimately died in the beta.

  7. Hardcore mode will not have a RMAH, therefore I fully expect HC mode to have hardcore-only achievements.

    Also, it’s more than likely (and has been stated by the Dev’s) that Hardcore players will have rewards that are even more awesome than softcore characters. Which makes sense as Hardcore will be a tough-as-nails sort of mode.

    Anyways I prefer there be softcore and hardcore specific achievements as it’s really only fair to the players that choose those modes of play. If you think about it hardcore players take a much higher risk than softcore, and thus deserve better rewards as a result.

  8. 1) Of course there should be HC-only achieves.  Making different achieves for HC and SC gives players reasons to venture into each mode.  Yes, SC players can beat each difficulty without dying, but there’s no risk involved.  I can brag until I’m blue in the face about beating Inferno without ever dying in SC, but who cares?  If I manage it in HC, I won’t have to brag; my achievement list and my banner will do all the talking for me.
    2) Any player can technically get every achieve.  You could have gotten Life Saver…  you simply chose not to because it would “tarnish” your HC philosophy.  It’s not Blizzard’s fault that said achieve was unattainable to you; that was a decision you made to pass it up.  But as you say, you’re not an achievement hunter, so I understand your choice.  The point is that, for those that are, every person has the potential to earn every possible achieve.  You just happen to be someone that doesn’t care enough to modify your play style to do so.

    edit: Hmm, ninja’ed pretty hard by Xariov. Congrats to them for stating it in a less accusatory manner, as well.

  9. I was a bit annoyed (not hugely) by the life saver required for Betamaxed as well. But if SC-only achievements are all ones that can be attained by level 10 I don’t think its a big deal (life-saver certainly can).

    Although, for the record, I think its entirely possible that there will be sc-only achievements that will be impossible for dedicated HC players.

  10. One thing really stood out in all this hurt HC player kind of rage. “We will beat inferno on HC”. I would say good luck with that, since even devs say Inferno is not tailored for HC chars. I can already see the rageposts of HC players, who lost their character, on which they spend over hundred of hours,  on first champion monster in ACT I. I will open a bag of popcorn and watch the show when it happens.

  11. what i dont like is that it seems that so many people are going for hardcore first.. i would absolutely hate to play hardcore first. 80% of hardcore players will die before act 3 OF NORMAL.. 95% before nm, and 99% before hell… no one will beat inferno on their first hardcore run unless they have beaten inferno on softcore. unless blizzard is overhyping the difficulty, you will not only have to be super geard to be inferno, but also have to completely understand all of the monsters as well.

  12. “That achievement was Life Saver and involved resurrecting one of each class. Due to it being Hardcore you are already trying to avoid death and since it is beta you’re weren’t dying much anyway. However the real kicker is that you can’t resurrect a dead Hardcore character. So…how does a Hardcore player get that achievement? It’s simple…they don’t. The real kicker is that achievement was the last  puzzle piece in the  larger achievement Betamaxed.”

    Yeah thats the kicker, but isnt that really aiming for Overachiever achievement status than just Betamaxed if I am not mistaken. And it wasnt really hard to get Overachiever anyway, if you wanted it and didnt get it then your playing the wrong game.

    • This is correct: It was easy for a Hardcore character to achieve “Betamaxed” – that was just for having a level 13 character of each class. The achievement Xanth means to refer to is “Overachiever”.

  13. btw, does anybody know if there’ll be a way to turn off achievements completely in D3? I couldn’t care less, and would rather have them disabled than covering a portion of the screen during a hairy situation that could cost my character’s precious life.

  14. Xanth, I take it you aren’t very familiar with achievements in World of Warcraft or Starcraft 2?

    Blizzard doesn’t design achievements that everyone will unlock with a couple playthroughs of the game. Instead, they design achievements that require dedication in every way to play, if you plan on unlocking all of them. WoW featured a ton of achievements for just about every aspect of the game, from rated PvP arenas and hard-mode raiding to participation in their yearly Christmas event. To get all the achievements in Starcraft 2 you’d have to win thousands upon thousands of online matches, playing in a variety of ways.

    Sure, Diablo 3 is a different game with different design goals, but Blizzard’s achievement philosophy thusfar hasn’t been that everyone should have a shot at every achievement, but rather that anyone, regardless of how they want to play, will have something to strive for. There will be exclusive hardcore achievements, as well as exclusive class achievements, exclusive multiplayer achievements (no one has mentioned how Life Saver is impossible for people who view D3 as a single-player experience), etc. 

  15. What is this to discuss?

    On your way to lvl 10 at first play, just ask someone politely/get a friend to die with each class. Ressurect. Problem solved. Achievement complete. Stop acting elitistic and move the f* along.

    On the other hand, I also hope ressurection gives an XP bonus, to encourage people to continue ressurecting past the amount needed for the achievement. 

  16. For me, achievments strictly SC or HC is a good point.

    It’s a way to drive players in every way possible of the game.

    I really like achievments and in case of Diablo 3, I’m gonna try to catch unlock them all  😀
    I can even say that achievments will influence my way to play the game (SC / HC / gold use / … etc) 

  17. Xanth: “Should there be rewards for clearing Nightmare, Hell etc. and not dying? Of course, but I think those could be done in softcore as well. Perhaps those achievements could be a nice transition into Hardcore for those who might have been hesitant”

    That’s actually a pretty good idea. It might bring some new players who realize how much more enjoyable this game is, when there is risk involved. Nothing like being locked in Duriel’s chamber for the first time in HC mode. Really gets the heart pumpin’! More HC players is always a good thing – it puts the mode higher on blizzard’s priority list!

  18. There will probably be harcore achievements that aren’t available to softcore players as well…

    • There definitely will be achievements for leveling or getting to certain points in HC.

  19. Make a softcore character.
    Get a friend
    Ask him to die 5 times (takes 5minutes)
    Rez him
    Get achievement
    Go back to hardcore
    Stop crying

  20. Hardcores we got problems too. We’re just like youuu, except we’re hard hard hard hard. Softcores better open their eyes, and realize that we’re uhh.. hmm

  21. I do achievements when they’re fun. I once did a contest for 360 achievements (with actual prizes) and rented some awful games for achievements, that was the only time getting achievements was an actual chore and I never want to go back to that.

  22. A highly unlikely thought, but if that achievement were to remain for hardcore, would that imply that if you were slain would you be revive-able for 10 seconds before incurring perma death?  😯

  23. I never played hardcore and probably never will but I DO try avoid dying. I blame it on my pen-and-paper RPG background 😉 Of course I would never measure up to the guys (and gals) who take the real risk in hardcore but it would be nice to have a softcore achievements for completing whole difficulty level without dying.

  24. Regarding life-saver. People will form groups and die on purpose to resurrect each other in every required combination. Mark my words :P. It’s not an achievement; just one of those things you need to quickly cheese through to get shiny numbers.

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