History - Achievements Go Live

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This system has now been made live! Merry Christmas to all of you! Enjoy your free 
XP, those of you who have been awarded with legacy achievements, and I hope they 
give the rest of you something to aim for!

So, first of all - a few words of warning: It's unlikely that everything in this 
system is working perfectly at the moment. It's been a pretty short development 
cycle, and a lot for people to actually test and examine. It ties into a large 
number of different systems in the game, which is why you'll have been seeing 
runtimes in the weirdest places - mostly because I temporarily broke the handler 
with a change! There will most likely be the odd thing that doesn't work the way 
it should - please report these if you find them - I'll be paying attention.

I also don't guarantee that achievements will remain in their current categories, 
or with their current achievement values. We will adjust these up and down as 
needed. This is also the case with XP awards - I reserve the right to adjust 
these as we assess the game impact.

So, how do you start reaping the rewards of your playing?

First of all, let's talk about what achievements are - they are rewards for 
doing well within the game, or for persisting for a long time with the game, 
or for just doing things that are a little bit creepy and kooky[1].

They are not a replacement for the quest system - while sometimes they do require 
you to do something you wouldn't normally do, usually they are rewarded from simply 
playing the game. They have no puzzle elements, and they are Completely in the Public 
Domain. Chat about them as much as you like. The policy on quests remains the same, 
but achievements are for everyone to talk about and compare.

Your participation in this system is partially voluntary. You can't switch off 
achievements entirely, but you can hide your participation from other people 
using the web interface (https://discworld.starturtle.net/lpc/secure/achievements.c), 
and by using the achievements command (syntax/help achievements). 

But enough of that - on to what you have to do to get your achievements.

Where possible, the system will give you the achievements automatically - 
when you advance a skill for example, it will check to see whether or not you 
have become eligible for all skill related achievements.

My first suggestion is that you take a look at the web interface, and hide any 
achievements that you don't want people knowing you have. Using the achievements 
command, you can also choose to hide by entire category (for example, I may want 
to hide all of my wealth related achievements). Hiding by category always over-rides 
the state of individual achievements.

Once you've hidden anything you don't want people to see, you can use the command 
'achievements legacy' to cause the system to start checking each of the achievements 
for which you have gained. This can take a while, because it does it on a timer 
rather than award them all at once. You'll get an inform for each achievement you 
gain, telling you what it is, what the story is (much like a quest story), and how 
much XP you gained from it. If you want more details, use the 'achievements 
details <name of achievement>' command, which gives you a bit more info (the 
same info that is available by clicking on the web interface). Note that we 
can't award every achievement retroactively - sometimes because we haven't 
tracked the data, and sometimes because it's just awkward or CPU intensive to 
query it algorithmically. Where we can reasonably award legacy achievements, we 
have - if we haven't, even if the data is being stored, it's usually because 
there is a code-side reason.

After you have been awarded with your legacy achievements, you're part of the 
system and can play normally - all of the achievements record your progress, 
so if you think you should be progressing in an achievement and yet you see 
no changing in your progress meters, then please send in a report. Note 
though that some of these achievements work with Big Numbers, and progress 
is accurate to one decimal place. It may take a bit of time for you to nudge 
the progress upwards on higher level achievements!

At the moment, there is a note of who is the first to reach particular 
achievements. In cases where there are more than one of these in the next 
few days (as in, achievements that people have obviously obtained through already 
meeting the requirements), this 'first' tag will be replaced with the text 
'Great A'tuin' to reflect the fact we don't actually know who was first and it's 
unfair to give the plaudits to the person who happened to be quickest when checking 
their legacy achievements.

These are not the entire set of achievements that will enter the game - more are to 
follow. The responsibility for the development and testing of achievements resides with 
individual domains, so if you want to see some more Am/Forn/Klatch/Sur/Cwc related 
achievements, I'm not the one to badger about it!

Our intention is for the balance of Achievement Points to be equal across all guilds. 
We're not there yet, but we will be addressing this. Those guilds who may feel a 
little hard-done by because they don't have quite as many points as another guild 
should take comfort in the fact this is a temporary state of affairs! The team 
in Guilds who are working on these have done a fantastic job in producing achievements 
to an extremely short time-scale[2]

We'll be adding more achievements as time goes by, so you should feel free to 
suggest these. Achievements should be available for every combination of guild, age, and 
playing style. Our only real-world restriction is that we need to make sure they
 don't become so common as to give you XP for just walking down a street. Er... more 
than you already get from exploration experience, that is.

As a last point, while I am the one talking most and posting about it, and alas 
the one who is responsible for most of the runtimes (and probably the occasional 
MUD lockup[3]) you have experienced, I want to stress this isn't an individual effort. 
The guilds domain in particular have done a Damn Fine Job in providing their initial 
offering of achievements, and the Playtester domain has been outstanding in 
providing valuable feedback, suggestions, and bug reports. Other creators too 
are deserving of special credit, and while I don't want to name names[4], I am 
sure they know who they are!

Good luck,

[1] Or mysterious and ooky
[2] Two weeks from conception to deployment. Why the hurry? Well, why not?
[3] The forensic evidence vindicates me! For some of these!
[4] Because it means I'll invariably forget people because I am old and senile.

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