During an interview with MTV, Jeffrey Kaplan, lead WoW designer, spoke about the inspiration behind the WoW achievements system, but also explained how it differed from existing systems in other games.
In WoW, players will be able to track their progress on achievements, by way of a progress bar:
“You’ll be playing a game and it’ll say, ‘Destroy all the billboards out in the city’ or whatever. And you think you’ve done it all, but the Achievement didn’t fire off and you’re like, ‘Okay, which billboard did I miss?’ And the only way to get it is to go back and do it all over again. So we just wanted to give players some visibility.”
Another feature is the retroactive rewards aspect. If you have competed certain achievements in the past, you will be rewarded them the first time you log in to the game once Wrath of the Lich King has been launched.
With the new system, players will also have access to a lot more game stats than before, like how many rats they’ve killed in cities, how much damage their character has ever done and which emotes they’ve used.
This looks like it’s set to be a major improvement for the game, and one that will add a whole new fun-filled activity for many players.