When I spoke with lead "World of Warcraft" designer Jeff Kaplan yesterday about the game's new Achievement system, he revealed that eventually players will have a Blizzard Account that shows Achievements from other Blizzard games they've played, including the upcoming titles "Diablo III" and "StarCraft II."
"Eventually, our plans are for the Achievement system to become an account-based system," he explained.
When the new Blizzard Accounts are active, a player's 'WoW' points can be added to an overall score dubbed an account holder's "Blizzard Level." "It's basically a gamerscore," Kaplan said, when I made reference to Xbox Live's Achievement system. "For now the points are just a 'WoW' character score. As we graduate to that Blizzard Account system, which is right on the horizon, it will switch over to a Blizzard Level."
He added, "Your 'WoW' score would be just one factor that will go into your Blizzard Level. And rather than call it a 'score,' we just wanted it to be like you're leveling up on Blizzard games... You'll have this Blizzard identity, and you'll be able to see things like 'Oh, this guy was great at Diablo III, but he never played Starcraft and he was mediocre in WoW.' That sort of thing."
In the interim the new Achievement system -- which will launch upon the release of the "WoW" expansion "Wrath of the Lich King" -- will be tied to the current "World of Warcraft" armory website in addition to the in-game Achievement interface.
The Achievements planned for the "WoW" are now character-specific, but Kaplan hopes to add account-specific "WoW" Achievements in the first content patch for "Lich King." "Things like, 'I have a Horde and Alliance character at maximum level' or 'I have three max-level characters,'" Kaplan said, citing examples. The account-level Achievements will also include ones based on different classes and professions. "For 'WoW,' it'll let us do a lot of really cool Achievements, and we can start doing those once Achievements exist at the account level."
Testers who are currently in the "Lich King" beta have already gotten a taste of the new Blizzard Account system. Those who are invited to play in the beta are required to make a temporary Blizzard Account that's tied to their 'WoW' accounts, though it will only be used for the beta and won't function as actual Blizzard Accounts currently in use for Blizzard store purchases.