As for the achievements themselves, they’re not too challenging but are at least interesting enough to this mediocre player a sense of accomplishment beyond the usual “Yay, I killed 100 of something, now can I please never do that again?” feeling you had far too many times with the achievements in Season 1. I do sort of miss the meta-achievements and feeling like I was progressing toward something bigger rather than getting a bunch of smaller, individual rewards, but I guess there has to be some trade-off.
I’m sure that some players whipped through the story and achievements on the first day and “finished” the new content almost as soon as it appeared. Admittely, Dry Top is a small zone and, even with the new achievements and the need to repeat instances, it can all be explored in a fairly short period of time. And some people will complain that the achievements are too easy and don’t represent the application of any significant skill.
Both of those points are probably true, especially to veteran players, but I don’t think, especially at the start, that the bonus achievements need to be as difficult as beating Liadri. ArenaNet’s going to see how people fare at first and make future achievements easier or harder based on feedback and whatever completion data they collect. As with any part of the game, achievement difficulty tuning will take time to get just right. In the meantime, let them be a little on the easy side to give people a good feeling about the new content. It’s a little like how the first levels of an MMO are meant to be easy, to get you a feel for how things work and to build up your confidence.
I do wonder, though, how the story Journal and achievements will work with big, self-contained events and content, like the Twisted Marionette or Tower of Nightmares. I worry that, when group-based content comes along, people will be so focused on achievements that have little to do with actual completion that they’ll disrupt their groups to complete them. I suppose that was a risk with the old method, too, but now that achievements seem to have added importance and individual rewards, it’ll be intriguing to see how it all turns out.
In any case, I think the story Journal is a solid improvement over the previous method of achievement and story tracking for Living Story and I look forward to seeing what ArenaNet does with it in the future. Hey, maybe achievements like this could get people access to precursor crafting? HAHAHAHA, OK, sorry about that. Silly me.