Is this man the best WoW player in the world?

Zoltan of the EU Aegwynn server has passed 10005 achievement points. As well as a fearful amount of grinding for all the reputations, that involves speed levelling (realm first level 80 dwarf) and some pretty darned hardcore raiding and arena (PvP), including being in the realm first kill of Algalon.

So is he the best WoW player in the world?

It’s an interesting question, because it has never really made sense to ask that of an MMO before. We’ve tended to be focussed on our own servers and communities. We’ve also tended to use our own personal (private) rankings to decide on the best players and guilds on our servers – an achievement-hunting guild could have a terrible local reputation, or an awesome one. You won’t know if you don’t run on that server.

Blizzard has been picking away at this global high score table idea with PvP rankings for arenas for a year or two.  After implementing the tournament realms (where you can transfer a character from any server if you want to take part in the big tournament events), and the growth of external PvP events, we had some context in which to discuss the best PvP players and teams. They actually had a chance to fight each other and score points from doing so.

There’s always been some interest in which guilds picked up the world first PvE kills, which servers were the strongest for raiding and/or PvP, and so on. But now, with achievements, there’s a way to simply compare players globally. I’m guessing that for achievement junkies that is part of the appeal.

Either way, it’s an impressive set of achievements. Lunatic, for sure, but impressive. Everyone else, you can stop playing WoW now! This german guy has won the game.

And achievements still chafe me. They measure only what the company thinks they should measure. There are no metrics for being a great raid or guild leader, helping newbies learn how to play or make enough cash to buy their flying mount, or making people laugh. No metrics for being smart enough to cut back your raiding when it was affecting your relationships or for roleplaying.

We’ll just have to decide for ourselves who the best players are in those categories.

(edited to add: And the bar for completing most achievements has recently been raised.  Best WoW player in the world redux.)

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30 thoughts on “Is this man the best WoW player in the world?

  1. I fear his fame will be tainted. You know what people think about players who spend an awful lot of time playing MMOs. They wonder if they did something else than playing a game. And they are not always just jealous, they know how much effort and time it takes to get all this done.

    I do not think that the ability to finish an awful long to-do list is a good measure for “skill”, but rather for time spent and the so called “dedication” of a gamer.

    I am with you on achievements, I think they harm gameplay and the world feeling of MMOs. The notion that they give players “something to do” in this virtual world is robbing it of its flair, if it had any, that’s it.

    I already played MMOs and they were fun without tons of pages with statistics and leaderboards and achievements and all that. I also fear this is not what MMOs are about and should be about, rather the wet dreams of over-the-top achiever type players.

    I must also admit I never asked myself the question who is the “best” on my server, of my class, worldwide and whatever. It somehow has a childish and immature touch and feels totally opposed of my idea of MMORPG.

    We could also ask who is the best individual human being on earth, and this question would just be about as hilarious.

  2. I suspect achievement chasing may also be super manly, but Casperle only has 9955 .. obviously a slacker.

    Note: If only I had an iPhone I could check all those armoury stats WHILE ON A TRAIN!!!

  3. He has some really good achievements. But the achievement system itself is wrong, as most points can be gained without any respectable effort.

    Practically all non-raiding and non-PvP achievements are simple grinds and even a 10 years old could do them with enough time on his hands.

    You know what would be interesting? To put /played to armory and instead of points, list points/time on the top page. That would show skill from no-life.

  4. Grinding holiday achievements doesn’t make you the ‘best player’.
    A lot of achievements, especially pvp ones, are incredibly easy to get if you play the game in the middle of the night.

    Is someone who has 10k achievements any better than someone who isn’t bothered about achievements but has 10 characters at level 80?
    It’s all subjective.

  5. /concur with *vlad*

    Best Quake 3 player can be objectively gained. Best Mario Kart racer can be objectively gained.

    How can any MMO have an objective way to have a person be “the best,” especially in regards to PvE which relies on support of a guild/alliance/etc.?

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  7. Define best. He’s certainly one of the most well-rounded players (downed Algalon, multiple 2000+ seasons in Arena, holiday achievements), and I’d definitely want him in my raid or on my arena team (assuming I spoke more than passable German).

    Ultimately, the goal of WoW is to have fun. If you have that fun getting 10K achievement points, that’s great. If you have that fun being a world-first raider, that’s great. If you have that fun clearing Naxx with your buddies while drinking, that’s great too. Having fun isn’t exactly zero-sum.

  8. I have a former guildie who has a real shot at being the US’ first player at 10k achievements. He is a crazy man. And I say that with love.

    I am still unhappy that so much of my raiding and instancing was not credited when the achievement system rolled into place. I wasn’t about to go back and redo all my vanilla raids and instances in the small window of time before the expansion. And I rarely had kept super outdated items in the bank other than a few tier sets. And do tell me how one can have Rags’ T2 pants and no MC achievement?

  9. Depends on how you rate “best” I suppose. Thing about WoW is (and I’ve said this before and people go ape at me for it) that a lot of is purely based upon time. It’s not actually that hard to be the first people to get to level 80 for instance, you just need to sacrifice your real life and plug in the hours. Maybe that sounds a little bitter of me but I don’t think something like that is a true measure of skill.

    Achievements are also a cunning mechanic introduced by Blizzard to encourage people to play more and accomplish mini-goals. They are pretty one dimensional.

    And yeah, I’d love to see achivements for roleplaying or grouping or actual ‘social’ things too 🙂

      • It depends on whether you see achievements as a way to record your character’s history or as a minigame to be won.

        I actually think there’s more that can be done with the basic achievement game to address other playing styles. For example, it would be fun to have a record (maybe with pictures) of interesting things my character had done during it’s lifetime. I just dont’ really include 50k PvP kills as one of the interesting things.

      • *Achieving* should apply to the *Achiever* playstyles. If you’re using Achievements to incentivize “other playstyles”, you’re missing the point and possibly even diluting those other playstyles. If they wanted to Achieve, they would do so.

        We don’t need everything in these games to be an Achievement.

        Wanting a way to record history is fine, but it’s entirely different from setting up Achievement overlays on everything.

      • I don’t entirely agree. They have achievements for getting to level 80 and completing the various instances, for example. There are also achievements for completing some of the questchains. In a sense, the history of the character is a history of its achievements.

  10. Aw thank you! It does feel an awful lot like an achievement!

    I shall call it the “Return to Your Roots Achievement: You go and remember why you started playing this game in the first place.”

    • While I agree that he has done some pretty spectacular work in his life time, I doubt many of the speculative billion, not 3(your own source indicates this), people that he has saved from starvation have reliable internet access. Most of that number would be in third world countries and countries with high population densities. So to say that half of the people reading this blog are alive because of him is a huge stretch, especially since the approximate world population in 2008 was 6.7 billion. Also, there is no way to quantify the effect that the proposed food shortage that he saved us from would have affected birth rates. He certainly has me beat though.

  11. Like the above says these achievements are based on grinding or group/raiders being good.

    Just like heal/damage leaderboards in the bg’s have nothing to do with the best. Thier just spamming dots or group heals. The best players lock down other cd’s on arenas to win a match, they keep others alive with shields and hot’s while 3 are certainly dead and choosing the right person to expend cd’s and they all barely survive.

    We know these people well and that makes the best player, not grinding or playing when the worst players are on.


  12. This guy has no life, no kids, no wife. You have to be the biggest loser in the world to spend your “life” playing wow. WoW is fun, but not that fun or important to anyone. Try putting some effort into something else that has value.

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  14. Okay guys, listen up. The so called “skill” most of u are talking bout,r the and how you just need to spend alot of time to be the “best”. Well you can’t just be the best, atleast not of all and nor in PvP, there are LOADS of categories that you need to consider, but the only one i will talk bout right now is PvP. PvP, just because u got all the achivs in arena and all the bg’s dosen’t mean ur the best, example: A player that just won a tournament might not be as good as the one that came out as the 5th, but reason he won is that he didn’t fight him, he would have no chance and would’ve been totally obliterated if he had met the 5th guys tacts, but because he didn’t he won because his tact was better than those he met in combat. If this was too hard to understand, short version: You might be good but someone will always be better, because you didn’t have a counterattack on their tact, but on many others.

    In other words, to find the best PvP’er EVERYONE would have to meet each other, so one (for normal duels) two, three or five man teams would have to battle bout two million other teams to find the best team of ’em all.

    Hope you all understood this and thanks for reading :)).

    (I know this “forum” and onversation is a bit outdated, but just writing for future people that read some of ur comments and wonders, and then of course, i was bored ^^.

  15. its obvious to me who hasn’t got a life hahaha tell the german fat spotty nerd to get a job,girlfriend or even part of an existance beyong the game. go figure the germans would be the first, ((group attack deleted — please keep your comments on topic))

  16. how come u didnt realize that the guy who asked about 10005 guy, wrote this thing himself???

    obliousely he wanted to feel credited for his achievements

  17. Achievements sucks…

    You can get achievements out of your ass if you have time to do that. Its just a matter of time

    I bet this guy dont have a girlfriend bitching about going out or something…neither has a job and probably lives with his parents

    I doubt he is younger than 20yr since he has pvp achievements that are hard to get…realm first and stuff is meant to be fun, but sometimes turn into a fucking disease

    Who in the blue fuck invented the achievement system? I mean…its almost criminal.

    This guy lost his life to world of warcraft. I think that is crystal clear isnt?

    He obviously dont study and dont have a job. Its economicaly innefective for his country

    In other words…a waste of skin. Achievement hunters, you can kiss my ass if you dont like me, i dont care

    He can know a lot about wow, but he dont know jack squad about living

    Sad, really. WoW should be taken more seriously by the authorities. Its fucking people up

    End of history. Fu if you dont agree

  18. On the WoW armory page, and even on the link in this post, it says that zoltan is a level one, How does that even work? You cant even do pvp at lvl one.

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