Something's been bothering me the last week or so, and it took me till this evening to realize what it is. Rather than sitting down to my computer and asking myself "what should I work on that is most needed by the project," I found myself considering "what can I work on that will better increase my Achievements score?"

Achievements can certainly be a great benefit to some projects, but I am ashamed to say they have had a detrimental effect on the way I approach contributing to a wiki. Rather than focusing on areas that are in need of attention, I was instead motivated to pursue my own self interests. I fear this will be the case with many who contribute to TORWiki, and with that in mind I would like to propose that we remove Achievements from this project.

My concerns are twofold. First, I've come to the conclusion that Achievements breed a sense of competition that is detrimental to wiki communities. We are supposed to be collaborating to create the best database on The Old Republic that can be found on the internet, not striving to one-up our fellow contributors. Though this is a challenge that relatively small and well established wiki communities can likely overcome, I believe this effect can only be magnified among new communities that are just beginning to form, such as ours.

Second, I fear that this may result in an intimidation factor for prospective new contributors, that may ultimately run them away from our community and project. There are several games that I have considered playing, for example, that I would have tried save the fact that an Achievement ranking system was included as an addition to the game play; upon seeing the point levels older players had achieved, and realizing the mountain I would have to overcome in establishing myself in a similar manner, I opted to not even give the game a try. I can easily see a similar situation arising as new contributors to TORWiki look up the point values attained by staff and older community members, and realizing that they stand little chance of matching those totals. I would hate to lose a potential contributor to the project over something so trivial.

Though Achievements certainly do have potential for motivating a wiki community, after observing the effect they've had on me, and considering the repercussions that may result should they remain, I truly believe they would to more harm on TORWiki than good. For these reasons I recommend we nullify this situation as quickly as we can, and remove Achievements from our community.

-- HA

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