Tom’s finally written this up, so I can finally blog it.
I am blessed with the good fortune to be in a fantastic World of Warcraft guild. I have the double-blessing to be the guild leader, though in point of fact it’s more of a functional anarchy. But we have a wonderful array of creative and exciting members who enjoy pushing the game in directions it’s not meant to go—we’ve had in-game formal-dress dinner parties, two characters went off on an in-game tour of the world’s beaches and sent (real) postcards back to the rest of us, we did a naked gnome steeplechase, and as regular readers know I turned into a virtual geographer for a while last year.
Tom has taken things in a different direction, he’s produced something genuinely useful. Well, useful to WoW players.
Late last year WoW introduced an Achievements system, like the Xbox 360 achievements system gone mad, or Boy Scout merit badges. Right now there are 939 achievements to be got in the game, and of course within any guild there’s competition to see who’s done what, to be the first to finish the big chains, to get the exclusive tabard or vanity pet, or the ability to put the word ‘Elder’ in front of your name, or the surname ‘Jenkins’ after it. There are very few tangible benefits to completing achievements, it’s all about the bragging rights.
Tom has, in a sentence, worked out how to scrape a guild’s Achievements updates from the Armory (a website where you can see the stats, equipment and accomplishments of game characters and guilds) and turn it into an RSS feed. And here he describes how he did it, and how you can do the same thing for your guild.
It’s very cool. If you’re in a guild, it adds a pervasive element to gameplay that wasn’t there before: you may not be playing, but you can keep passive tabs on what your guildmates are up to.