It seems to me that achievements in games are here to stay. I for one can't stand them. Please, please, please have an options button to turn off achievement notifications and tracking.
In my opinion if you need achievements to suggest how you're supposed to play minecraft, you shouldn't be playing.
Survive, Explore, Build.... as you see fit.
If discovering a new cave or placing the final stone on your palace isn't reward enough you probably just don't get this kind of game.
To be honest, I'm of the opinion that achievements are a creation of the big game publishing companies to stifle replayablity in games. I figure the idea was that by telling a player what they're supposed to accomplish, and "rewarding" them for doing these things(gamerscore) the player will then become accustomed to receiving this reward and once they exhaust the rewards in the game they already own they will then feel the need to seek additional rewards by shelling out an additional 60 USD.
To me, minecraft stands for everything achievements is against, namely giving me YEARS of re-playability and satisfaction from a single point of sale and for that I will one day give Notch a huge hug.
well, I'm probably gonna catch some flak for this thread. I'm honestly not trying to troll, I'm just not very good at vocalizing my opinion.
Achievements currently acts like a player guide that informs a new player on what they need to do, or should try to do.
The first achievement is "getting wood", a very important step for any new player that have just spawned as you won't survive your first night without it. Besides if you never collect any wood you will also never detect the crafting part of minecraft since pretty much everything you can craft begins with a simple log of wood.
The next achievements is about making simple tools, baking bread and so on.
The game needs to have some kind of learning curve for new players when it comes out of beta version. It can just as well be in the form of achievements.
However I do believe the achievements should be changed a bit so that they shows a new player the more important steps with a small hint on how to do it. Maybe something like:
"Getting wood" - collect wood
"Putting craft in minecraft" - use planks to craft a crafting table
"Let there be light" - use sticks and coal to craft a torch.
"Knock knock" - Use 6 planks to make a door.
and so on
The hints on how to do things could be more or less detailed, but for the game to be fun for new players there should be a way for them to figure out what to do without going to the wiki where they will be shown every crafting recipe in the game. The achievements should probably also say something about how to use the crafting table as most new players seems to be confused about that when they first starts out.
So unless another player guide is added the achievements needs to stay in the game, but the pop-up for completing an achievements could be toggle-able in the menu. That way they will still be there as a guide, but experienced players can choose to just ignore them.
Once a new player have been guided to make a basic house with a crafting table, torch and a door that can be closed, then the achievements can become harder to do. There is no need to inform a new player on how to make a furnace and how to smelt ores. With just a few basic tools and a shelter the player can have fun for days before they find out that there are even more to the game.
There is also issue of not being able to mine coal with a wooden pickaxe that needs to be sorted out at some point. For a new player there is no way to know that a better pickaxe is not only quicker and more durable, but also needed to collect some ores. The player needs to either be told or there needs to be a clue that indicates this. Remember that a new player will not even know that what he is seeing is coal, all the new player sees is a block with a different texture that is a bit harder then normal stone and that does not drop anything when breaking (unless the right pickaxe is being used).