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November 21, 2018



Achievements can have various functions—challenging players, providing creative limitations or showing various parts of the game a player could otherwise miss. I will focus on commander specific achievements since other achievements in Co-op (levels, difficulty, missions, ascension, and mutations) are fairly boring incremental achievements.

Commander achievements

Commander specific achievements will often serve as an extended tutorial helping you master the commander. They will direct you to the main strengths of each commander, encourage you to take advantage of those strengths and optimize your play around them. Achievements can also point out strategies that might not be readily apparent.

The majority of commander achievements are of two simple types. The first type encourages you to play to the strengths of the commander by requiring you to complete a certain task over several missions. This gives you enough time to get familiar with those commander strengths. Raynor's Feels Good, Man achievement is a good example of this. The lesson is simple: medics are good, and they can also heal allies.

The second achievement type rewards players for getting better at using tools that the commander has available (e.g. calldowns or heroic units). In this case it makes sense to limit the task to one mission or one calldown usage. For example Raynor's Hyperactive achievement encourages you to learn how to get the most out of the Hyperion calldown.

Swann's achievements work in very much the same way. We are taught that we should use Vespene Harvesters and encouraged to learn how to use Laser Drill effectively.

Combining both of these achievement types is important. Having only the first type that spans across several missions can feel like a grind without actually challenging yourself and learning anything. An example of this is Han and Horner's Did It Work? achievement. Magnetic Mines are free, and players don't need to detonate 5000 of them to realize they are useful. The achievement is not even for 5000 kills which would encourage using them better. This achievement did not work.

Buy Buy Buy (Buy Buy) is an excellent achievement because it shows you the strength of heavily investing into gear and makes you optimize Tychus' buildorder.


Devolution Retribution is a strange one. Five hundred kills in a single game are too many for any normal mission. Both cumulative 500 or 50 in a single game could work. But it's unfortunate that the more interesting Avatar of Essence gets this achievement while Avatar of From is less flashy, underperforms and gets no achievement. You also have to kill devolved units yourself which doesn't promote cooperation.

Zagara's Queen of Destruction is too generic. What does it teach you exactly? That you shouldn't get carried every mission?

Alarak would benefit from an achievement encouraging using Ascendants as it's not obvious how good they are. Trying out new strategies is not easy, but achievements can help to motivate players to do so (more on it here). Something along the lines of "Power Overwhelming: Deal one million damage with Ascendants" might work and could be completed in just few games on Oblivion Express.

Stukov could use an achievement for Bunkers and how to use them effectively. Perhaps something like "Free Army: Spawn 100 Infested Troopers at once".

Abathur would benefit from an achievement focusing on getting an Ultimate Evolution under 4 minutes. It would show one of Abathur's biggest strengths. Many players are still not aware of it.

Raynor could use an achievement encouraging using multiple Orbital Commands.  New players often won't realize how strong his macro can be.


I think achievements in Co-op are in a good shape. Most of the time they direct players into using commander's kit and getting better at it. There could be fewer grindy achievements, but both types have their place. I would like to see more achievements that direct you at exploring true optimal strategies. I mentioned few commanders, but even Zeratul would benefit from an achievement related to projecting his static defenses.

Interesting reading materials:

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