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Rework the social network achievement
Tyranisaur
post Jul 4 2020, 08:14 AM
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I think the social network achievement in its current form is a bad achievement. To get it you have to be added to 75 other users' pal pads. Considering that each user can only add up to 48 other users to their pal pads, the only logical conclusion is that only "popular" users can get this achievement. That is not an inclusive achievement. Furthermore, I don't think the defining property of social networks is popularity, therefore I don't think the current version of the achievement is representing its namesake.

Instead of being a popularity achievement, I will propose to have the achievement be based on the concept of degrees of separation. There is an idea that all people are separated by six degrees of separation.

In particular what I propose is to change the achievement to unlock when you are 2 degrees separated from X number of users. And by that I mean is that if you look at all the users you have added to your pal pad, and list all the users those users have added, you get a list that contains X or more users. Exactly what this number X should be would probably probably need to be investigated because it depends on the degree of how much users are adding the same users to their pal pads, but something like 100 to 200 sounds appealing.

My motivation for making this suggestion now is because of Gryphaena's recent passing, and since Gryph was passionate about helping users get the social network achievement, I felt it was appropriate to contribute this proposal. A part of this story is that I never felt a commitment to helping users get the social network achievement, because I felt it undermined the integrity of the achievement to let users unlock the achievement this way. I felt that if I add a user to my pal pad to let them unlock the achievement, and later remove them from my pal pad when they have unlocked the achievement, then my adding of those users are not legitimate pal pad adds. Also, I feel like some achievements should not stay unlocked permanently. Honestly, the social network achievement is one of those achievements. Other candidates for behaving this way are ones that involve doing such things as filling the pokedex, obtaining all the trinkets, completing all the explorations etc. Whether a new updated social network achievement should behave like this is unclear to me, but I feel less of a reason for it to do.

I feel like goals like helping 2000 users get the social network achievement is an achievement for the site itself and not an achievement for the users that get the achievement through the help of such community movements. When achievements are well made, then for me to help someone get that achievement would mean that I helped someone achieve something, not that I gave them the achievement for free.

I feel the most important aspect of social networks, and the social aspect of the site that we should highlight is friendship, and that we have different people we feel connected to. Being popular or "going big" might be something some us strive to achieve, but I don't think we should highlight that with its own achievement. I don't think we should have achievements where achieving it logically goes at the expense of someone else being able to achieve it.


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