I hate achievements. I am a “completionist” and I hate achievements (okay, most achievements). One may ask “Nocte, why do you have so many achievements if you hate them so much?” (I really don’t, but that’s beside the point). Allow me to explain. There are three kinds of achievements, in my opinion.
1. The normal-gameplay achievement:
These achievemets are the ones that anyone who plays the game, regardless of skill level, will ultimately obtain. For an example (and to connect this marginally to the Elder Scrolls), look at the Xbox achievements for Oblivion. Every single one of those are obtainable by completing main quests or faction quests. They take no extra effort aside from the player, and are granted through normal gameplay. These achivements seem silly to me, because they reward me for playing the game (which should be rewarding in and of itself), yet I always seem to get them…
2. The grinding achivement:
These achievements are the ridiculous achievements that require repetition of the same or similar actions. As an example, consider the achievements “Defeat 100 ‘X’ enemies”. For an Elder Scrolls example, look at the Skyrim achievement “Reader”, which requires the player to seek out and read 100 skill books. I tend to ignore these achievements, because grinding is not my thing (I get enough of that in JRPGs).
3. The exploration achievement:
These achievements are my favourite (lesser of three evils), and the only achievements for which I will excessively work. These achievements reward the player for finding unique locations in the game, or creating a unique event that not every player would encounter. The biggest example I can always think of (though not an ES example) is the Half-life 2 achievement Vorticough in which the player finds an alien singing in a cave. It takes a little effort to get to the cave, but the player is rewarded with an adorable in-game event (and the achievement too, I suppose). Depending on the in-game reward for completion, I will actually try for these achievements.
So, there you have it. My rant on achievements and why I dislike them so much. That being said… I am always willing to brag about the ones I DO have! 😛