A lot of the achievement rewards are... rather lacking, when you get down to it. The majority of them seem to just give a timed experience bonus and that's really a rather lackluster reward as soon as you hit Aspect, imo.
I'd really like to see a lot of the upper-division achievement rewards changed to minor artifacts or artifact fragments, as from the promotion we had a while back. Achievements would be more worth getting and, and this is the important part, I think it could really help to resolve some of the late-stage IRE feeling, where new players are diving into a game filled with players who have played for years and thusly have years of investment into artifacts and such. Instead of it being "Well, if you want to not suck at tanking prepare to drop the $$$$", it would be "Well, if you play the game and accomplish these things, you can get some decent 'starter artifacts'.
I'm thinking things like...
- Hit PK Level N (where N is decently high, 80-85 or so) and you get a token for a level 0.5 artifact weapon/collar that does +5% damage, and which can be upgraded to a full L1 weapon for, say, 100cr. (strangely, that is exactly how many credits they'd get for deciding to pick up an elite membership...)
- Kill some combination of bosses, get a 5% surcoat, upgradeable to a full surcoat for ~300cr. Maybe do a 10% version at 100 credits(elite membership amount!) and that goes to 15% for 100 more(keep the elite for another month).
- Offer up a certain amount belief to a sect, gain a noteworthy amount of lessons.
- Harvest X shards from a shardfall area, gain a fragment of a con belt.
- Hit quest level M, gain another con belt fragment. (questing is more involved than bashing, almost certainly involves asking your city questions, etc)
- 500 caravan plunders, a con belt fragment.
- Participate in a Coliseum(not city arena) arena event on X different days(instead of queueing for 30 in one day, they'd have to farm 30 across 30 days) for lessons.
- etc, etc, etc
These examples were chosen to meet two specific criteria.
- Tasks: The biggest problem with achievements like the 100k and 1,000k mob kill achievements is that not that their required activity is so unbearable, but that they are, by nature, solo achievements. I couldn't bash with Aulani when she was hunting for mob kills to get her 100k silver bracelets, because every kill I got hindered her achievement progression. This is pretty terrible design. The big rewards are either stupidly solo achievements like mobkills, or things like the Legion that take excessive amounts of time from your organization because they have to organize all those boss kills in short order. This is a problem because the rewards that benefits the new players the most and that might encourage them to stick around are locked away behind achievements those new people are unlikely to reach.
The tasks here were specifically chosen to be things that requires some form of interaction with the game beyond bashing, preferably interaction with other players. Getting people involved in the game that way is far more valuable than getting them to bash to 100k mobkills without talking to anybody and so those are the achievements that should be rewarded with nice things. Instead, we get bracelets on "grind alone for hours and hours" and a few crappy hours of double experience for things like "harvest 1000 shards in the shardfall conflict system" and "learn how to fight and kill 100 players" and "attack and plunder 1000 caravans". This is wrong and backwards and stupid. Encourage the things you want people to do, like fighting, sects, and getting involved with the playerbase. Don't encourage the crap you don't want people to do, like AFK bash.
- Reward: The rewards are chosen to help address the imbalance in artifacts between the newer players in the established players by providing either weaker powered items that upgradeable or fragments of an full power artifact. The former give the player an immediate benefit while lowering the investment necessary to get the full-powered version. Once you've gotten them to open their wallet once, you can probably get them to open it again. The latter make the full-power artifact cheaper(they can just buy the rest of the fragments) and they encourage players to do more than one thing(free con belt means putting a lot of time into things A, B, C, D, and E) and spend their playing time interacting with other people(good luck caravaning alone, people who are not Shou).
I remain convinced that once you get somebody started enough to make some kind of investment you've got a far better chance of getting them to buy credits in the future; it is the first purchase that is the hardest to talk yourself into. I also believe that the best way to encourage that first purchase is to get them involved with the playerbase. On top of that, I also believe that one of the best ways to keep older players interested in the game is to keep them involved with the newer players, so that it's not always the same old group of people. Towards this end, I suspect that you'd be much better off using achievement rewards to promote things like caravans, FFAs, boss kills, and other such things instead of boring crap like smithing and bashing.
"On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."