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The Effect of Achievements on Gaming

APZonerunnerAPZonerunner Registered User
edited November 2007 in Games and Technology
There's a bit of a story behind this thread. Warning: Long post that will take time to get to the point ahead.

Tomorrow I'm off out to pick up some new releases. It's quite a big day in the UK for new releases, especially in the wake of Halo, Skate, FIFA and PGR4, all of which I bought. Tomorrow Eternal Sonata, Phantom Hourglass, Orange Box and Football Manager 2008 all hit stores. I want every single one of them (though if any particular one is a mistake, do tell me now.) I'm thinking jesus, that's a bit of a big hit. Even with my mate's staff discount of the top, that's still ridiculously expensive.

Still, I thought - I just bought a PSP Slim for FFTactics. And now I've done the Pandora battery trick and got my firmware ready for homebrew on the slim, I don't need the Phat PSP anymore. So I'm gonna go and trade that in, prodviding the price is fair. Then I turn to look at my 360 library. With the 360 I've perhaps been more outwardly crazy in my purchases than I have with any other console before it. This is due to a mixture of things - my websites really started making a handsome profit and I was also working weekends outside of my studies, and my Uni gave me some grants and bursaries as well that I never have to pay back.

Anyway, case in point, I own almost 40 360 games. Some were full price, some discount for some reason; some were free press copies. So I'm looking at them today and thinking I should get rid of some of these too, there's lots I will never play again...

But I can't. Despite the fact I'm content that Stranglehold was mediocre at best and has nothing I'd ever go back to, the fact I have only 300 gamerscore in it taunts me and being a completionist and a perfectionist I totally want to go back and get more. But at the same time I also know that I probably won't ever play it again to get the points, even if I find time to play it. Same for Overlord. And Bioshock (yes, I know... D: away) Even Sonic the Hedgehog sits happily on my shelf just in case one day I manage to play it for long enough to get an achievement before the game makes me vomit.

tldr; So essentially the fact that I've performed so abysmally in terms of achievements is stopping me reselling these games, because I know I should play them more.

In some respects this is a damn fine thing. Achievements are encouraging me to play my games more and to their fullest. In other respects all I can think is fuck this score system. Other games aren't an option for me to trade in - stuff like Saints Row and the Samurari Warriors titles are press copies with the giant yellow strip saying don't resell on pain of death on them. In games like Viva Pinata or Oblivion I have all 1000 or 1250 points, but I wouldn't ever trade the game in because I love it too much; but there I'm getting off point.

tldr #2
Achievements have definitely changed the way I play by a hell of a lot. I think I certainly play more often because of it, and I often strive to do things outside of the linear story path of a game like Blue Dragon or Overlord in order to pick up points. While the score means nothing it's nice to have a measure of how you're doing on a wider scale.

This little trade in debacle helped me realise though that they've become important to a scary degree; to the point where what games I keep and get rid of is directly effected by the points. There was that news story a few days ago that games that don't hide their achievements sell better than games that do and in a way I can see why.

Basically I'm just looking to get a little PA-Discuss-on going. What are your guys' experience with the points? Has it changed how you game? Are they good or bad? I know this has been done before but realising how I've been bitten by the bug has made me particularly curious. So, uh.. discuss.

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  • Hotlead JunkieHotlead Junkie Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Dude, chill, no one cares if you got 1000 achivement points in a game. I usually do acivements if they are-

    - not too out of the way of my usual playstyle, eg, Stranglehold's 'Stay Dry/take a different path' or 'Destroy an entire T-Rex' achivements

    - Fun to do, such as Bioshock's 'Irony' Achivement

    - An excuse to play more of the game, such as saving 50 survivors in Dead Rising

    But mostly they are just a fun way of getting randomly told 'Hey, you just caused 75 million dollars worth of damage!' in Stranglehold or just being told I'v killed my 50th guy as I ride around on rollcarts

    I never specifically try to get 1000 points, but, in Dead Rising for example, they were fun distractions when I had to wait a long time, doing nothing on the third day so I thought I'd get the 'Clothes horse' and 'perfect gunner' and other similar achivements instead of hanging around doing nothing for the next (realtime) 2 hours. I usually think of zany ways to play games like most people do when they get tired of playing the same game the same way, but just want an excuse to keep playing so achivements are just fun suggestions on more ways to play said games.

    I love Dead Rising but fuck it if I'm going to try the Zombie Geonicder or 'last 14 days in infinate mode' achivements just for a few measly points (yes, I'm aware you get some items in DR for doing those but I don't really care about those).

    I'll usually be more focused on achivements on the second runthrough of the game, Bioshock is great for this.

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  • APZonerunnerAPZonerunner Registered User
    edited October 2007
    That's my problem, really; I'm sowhere in between. Like you, I cannot be arsed to get the achievements, but at the same time I also want to keep the games just in case I change my mind and go for the full point quota.

    As it is, by the way, I decided to get rid of Stranglehold, Shadowrun and Spiderman 3.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    achievements are the new score.

    Man, remember back when scores were a big deal? I remember when gamepro used to run high scores.

  • Hotlead JunkieHotlead Junkie Registered User
    edited October 2007
    It might be interesting to point out the one thing I really hate in games is level grinding. Doing something boring over and over again just to get a number higher is very low down on my list of fun things to do with my gaming time. When I go for an achivement, it's more like 'Hey, I bet this would be fun to try/a good challenge' and if/when I do it, I get told and it feels good. Simple as that.

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  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I dont think i've ever even looked at the achievments for any of my 360 games, let alone gone out of my way to get one while playing. They just dont serve much of a purpose to me. So some guy picked an arbitrary goal to stick in the game, meh.

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  • PolagoPolago Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Achievements are like taking a course in University for history.

    Sure you can learn history yourself just as easily, if not quicker, cheaper, and at your own pace, but nothing's like having grades stuck in your face as a motivator to get shit done.

  • Xenocide GeekXenocide Geek Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    i think achievements are pretty stupid.

    it's cool in some instances, say, multiplayer games. i'm alright with that. (example: team fortress 2)

    but having "achievements" in single player games, that you get for doing something 'out of the way', or something a bit differently - only getting headshots, etc, takes some of the fun out of playing a game your own way.

    to sum: fuck achievements.

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  • PancakePancake Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I really like achievements, even if the number doesn't mean anything, but there has been a downside.

    With some games, it's gotten me to play them a lot more than I ever would have otherwise to get some achievements, but once I have a large portion of the achievements, I tend to lose all motivation to play it anymore. Sometimes I honestly feel like the only reason I play my 360 games is for the achievements.

    But I've noticed a strange thing that actually started with Xfire and then only increased in intensity with the 360. As long as I'm playing a game and the time I spend playing it isn't recorded or there are no achievements (or any left to earn), I feel like I'm wasting my time. It's really stupid, I know, but I still feel that way.

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  • Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I don't like the acheivements. I don't have a 360, but any game that has something in which I have to do 100% of something, or some incredibly stupid challenge for just a message saying I have achieved whatever it was... yeah, it just isn't worth it. It depends on the game, but come on... some of the shit is just stupid, like Dead Rising's Kill 50,000 Zombies. It's not hard or anything, just stupid.

  • RancedRanced Default Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    actually no nevermind

    itt we hate fun optional things

  • Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I really like the achievements in World in Conflict or UT3. I mean, shit like get 20 kills in a row, or nuke your enemies 8 times in 8 battles in a row is challenging and will actually mean something when you get it except not really because they do not add senseless points into a pile that doesn't do anything/

  • RancedRanced Default Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Yea, it's pretty lame when companies cop out and give you all 1000 points for simply beating the game.

  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    I don't understand it.

    If a game isn't good enough to complete it on it's own merits, then why does gamerscore matter so much?

    If a developer releases a game that only has a black screen and slowly and randomly flashes a direction or a button that requires you to press it at the same time, and gives you achievements based on you simply reacting... Even if it takes 20 hours to get them all, would you still do it just to say you did it, for the sense of accomplishment?

    Sonic 2007 is slightly more engrossing than the retarded situation I detailed above. But not so much that I don't think my point is lost.

    If someone wants to, they can come mow my yard for me. Will take about two hours. I'll even create a website for you so you can proudly show your charitable work to everyone on the internets, a much broader audience than just 360 users.

    Maybe it's an obsession similar to my rabid collection of vinyl records. But even then, I'm still a big muddled about it, since my vinyls are something tangible and can be enjoyed after I obtain them.

    "I think I'll listen to this one tonight."

    I wonder what would happen if a developer created an achievement that simply could not be unlocked. Would there be backlash? Complaints that someone isn't getting what they paid for? That would be really interesting. I like achievements, I think they are a novel idea and comparing my games and my progress in them to some random goon on the internet is oddly satisfying. It adds a bit more pride in accomplishing tasks in game, but I never think of them outside the context of the game world.

    But I'm gonna be a realist here and stick with the philosphy that, no. Achievements will not force me to finish a bad game when I can trade it in for a much better game. That's stupid.

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  • DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2007
    I think Achievements themselves are a stupid fucking idea but theres no denying their addictiveness. Its like any form of competition or gambling, wanting to win and be on top. Guys at work rent out crappy games like Meet the Robinsons just to get the points easily.

    I myself am looking forward to Home for these 3D trophies.

    ...it's in the shape of a giant c**k.
  • SithDrummerSithDrummer Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    i think achievements are pretty stupid.

    it's cool in some instances, say, multiplayer games. i'm alright with that. (example: team fortress 2)

    but having "achievements" in single player games, that you get for doing something 'out of the way', or something a bit differently - only getting headshots, etc, takes some of the fun out of playing a game your own way.

    to sum: fuck achievements.
    I'm pretty much the exact opposite: for multiplayer games, I don't want to see achievements. If it's a team game like TF2, it either introduces incentives to do purposeless things instead of helping your team, or it rewards you for doing what you should already be doing. I don't understand the purpose. And if it's a non-team game, it just feels like /stroke ego, which I generally am not a fan of anyway.

    Single player games are fine, because often it gives you a bonus for doing things in unique ways, and encourages multiple playthroughs. Of course, the latter part falls on its ass if it's a bad game, or if the achievement is too hard to unlock, but then again, I don't really care about ego anyway, so whatever.

    It's an easy game to hate
  • CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I like achievements in theory, although I do think gamerscore is completely arbitrary. For me, it's a personal thing entirely. I also enjoy when you actually get tangible stuff from achievements as in Halo 3. More of this, please. But I don't think many games have managed to do it right - although I must admit Episode 2 came pretty close, as a recent example.

    But I really hate it when achievements are completely out there, and require more luck than skill to perform. It completely defeats the purpose, in my opinion. See Halo 3's Lone Wolves achievements. Furthermore, there are achievements that are just plain ridiculous, such as the majority of Guitar Hero 3's or Gears of War's 10.000 kill achievement. I think that's just missing the point; they should be fun to get, and make you feel good rather than "thank God that's done with". If I don't feel like I get any personal satisfaction out of getting one, I won't bother.

    But it's still a pretty new phenomenon, so it can hopefully only get better.

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I've been waiting for a thread like this all my life.

    I have 18,071 gamerpoints. This, in fact, makes me much better than so many other gamers, especially all of you. Well except for that bastard APZoneRunner who has more. He'll rue the day he got more gamerscore than me. I don't know what day that was, but a good rueing is in order I think.

    I feel bad for people with low or - gasp! - no gamerscore. What empty lives you lead.

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  • mescalitomescalito Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Weren't the idea of achievements supposed to allow you to buy stuff on xbl? What happend to that? Or am I just wrong?

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  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    Its like any form of competition or gambling, wanting to win and be on top.

    Even then it's suspect. Several times in Halo 3 and Shadowrun I was asked if I wanted to join a game and get achievements. Basically, "Hey, would you like to come cheat with us?"

    A friend of mine bought Halo 3, and was a bit let down by it. He remarked that, "I'm just gonna get all of the achievements and then trade it in." A day later, he had 1000 points, and I know for a fact that he's not good enough at multiplayer to get half of the Lone Wolf achievements on his own, and that he simply got in a game with some others that he knows to get them.

    Even using them as a form of competition is fruitless.

    QlBGc.jpg
  • MistaCreepyMistaCreepy Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Dont own a 360 but theyre in my orange box games on the PC and I could care less about them... I was never the kind of kid to brag about high scores anyways.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Drez wrote: »
    I've been waiting for a thread like this all my life.

    I have 18,071 gamerpoints. This, in fact, makes me much better than so many other gamers, especially all of you. Well except for that bastard APZoneRunner who has more. He'll rue the day he got more gamerscore than me. I don't know what day that was, but a good rueing is in order I think.

    I feel bad for people with low or - gasp! - no gamerscore. What empty lives you lead.

    my gamerscore is pretty low. But I honestly dont have too much time to play games in college. Although, recently I've been trying harder.

  • Hotlead JunkieHotlead Junkie Registered User
    edited October 2007
    I wouldn't be as proud as I am of beating Resi 4 on pro without using a merchant if it was actually an achivement. I kind of liked the idea that it 'couldn't' be done and I was all "I'll show them.... me..... LETS DO THIS THING!!!" and when I pulled that off and other similar 'personal achivements' I feel great. I'v never felt as good getting an achivement as I have done after beating one of my own challenges. I guess it's because I KNOW this crazy gameplay style CAN be done if there is an achivement for it. Not sure what I mean by all that but I thought I'd voice my opinion.

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  • RancedRanced Default Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Eh :|

    I don't get achievements to brag to people, I don't think anyone here would actually do that. I get achievements because it gives some games a sense of completion.

  • MonaroMonaro Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Funny this came up now. A work mate of mine has Oblivion, and has a pretty high gamerscore on it. Then, when he looked it up again, he noticed it was no longer as complete, which annoyed him. Why? Because The Shivering Isles came out. Now he has the urge to buy that to keep his score up.

    Cunning way to entice more people to buy add-ons?

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  • themocawthemocaw Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I like them when done right. It reminds me of my old days playing infocom text adventures, where they usually had a section called "Have you tried. . ." and they'd list crazy things you can try doing, like, "punching your wife in the face," which usually led to a humorous interlude with you getting arrested by the cops for domestic abuse and then raped in prison by a big inmate named Anzio or something like that. Like Portal's achievement, "destroy every security camera." I didn't even know you could destroy them, then I was all, WOAH! and had fun detaching as many of those things as I could.

  • UrianUrian __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2007
    The whole thing about Achievements and gamerscore is hillarious. It's just a way to measure who spends more time at a game, it really means absolutely nothing. People with more free time will have a higher gamerscore, and that's all there is to it.

  • Recoil42Recoil42 Registered User
    edited October 2007
    mescalito wrote: »
    Weren't the idea of achievements supposed to allow you to buy stuff on xbl? What happend to that? Or am I just wrong?

    Originally, yes, that was completely the plan, but apparently, it got nixed, due to being too close the grey area in terms of gambling. They weren't really sure what the legality of it would be, and plus, you'd have to figure out the whole money side of things, so it just wasn't worth it.

  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    now people have to pay 10 bucks for a simple background image that took 5 minutes to whip up. a much better plan

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  • Recoil42Recoil42 Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Wren wrote: »
    now people have to pay 10 bucks for a simple background image that took 5 minutes to whip up. a much better plan

    If by ten bucks you mean 50 cents, then yes.

    Not that I agree with it, even then. But yeah, way to exaggerate the prices.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I do it for fun, and to have the game recognize that yes, I did do this or that. Sometimes they really suck (i.e. complete the campaign on easy/medium/hard, win 1,000 ranked matches), but certain games really shine, like The Orange Box.

    Achievements encourage me to do things I would otherwise not do, and challenge myself a bit. It also squeezes out every ounce of replayability that the game has (unless the achievements suck, as mentioned before). The only achievements I refuse to do are ranked multiplayer achievements. I understand that this is so you can't "cheat" for the achievement, but ranked play sucks.

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  • Sprocket FlossSprocket Floss Registered User
    edited October 2007
    I'm pretty mellow about the whole thing since I pay no attention to achievements whatsoever. I don't think it's possible for me to be any less interested in them.

    I'm well aware that I just killed a boss/made it to level 50/pushed a pram in front of a truck/ate 63 cheeseburgers. I don't need to have it pointed out to me.

    Sounds like you guys are doing it the other way around. Playing a game to get the achievements instead of getting the achievements in the process of playing a game. I guess I just never tied them to a sense of completion. If I was inclined to 'master my file', it'd be under the provisions of the game. I don't give a flying fuck what my Xbox thinks is an achievement.

  • DangerousDangerous Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I think achievements are kind of neat, but not something I'd go out of my way to get as nobody else will even give a shit and they don't increase my enjoyment of the game at all.

    I like unlockables though. Beating the game a certain way to earn a fun extra like new costumes, weapons or vehicles. Just a little tag on my profile that says I did X Y and Z in a game doesn't so much for me personally though.

    Team fortress 2 on PC has a few achievements and I glanced over them. Win 20 games, play on a team of 8 or more people from your friends list, play a complete round with every class, etc. Kind of cool but I'll probably accumulate them just by playing for a while, nothing there I'd really strive for.

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  • jwm2jwm2 Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Imo achievements are good and bad. They can add extra incentive to games once they've been beat or they can detract from the game due to people who only want a higher gamerscore. Personally i couldn't careless, but i give props to ms for coming up with the idea.

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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Achievements both release me from a sense of OCD in games, and shackle me tighter to it. I can rest easy with my 1000/1000 on Bioshock. It was fun, I love the game, I earned it quickly.

    My 1000/1000 on CoD 2. Godfry fucking daniels. That was hellish. Only achievements if you were on veteran. No saving, and several times I'd just plain be at a checkpoint that was impossible for a while.

    Also, the entire fucking Wermacht aimed at me and only me.

    But, on the whole, achievements give me a sense of completion that I like, give me cool ideas for a fun challenge, and are a quick way to say "I really liked this game a lot."

  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I like achievements because I'd never be able to adhere to some guidelines without the game telling me that I've succeeded. Like the "Only One Bullet" achievement for Episode 1 (waiting for HL2 and EP1 achievements for the PC), I'd say, "Fuck this... pistol bullets don't REALLY count."

    And you can have achievements for things like "kill every grub," which isn't really something you could challenge yourself to without a walkthrough.

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  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Drez wrote: »
    I've been waiting for a thread like this all my life.

    I have 18,071 gamerpoints. This, in fact, makes me much better than so many other gamers, especially all of you. Well except for that bastard APZoneRunner who has more. He'll rue the day he got more gamerscore than me. I don't know what day that was, but a good rueing is in order I think.

    I feel bad for people with low or - gasp! - no gamerscore. What empty lives you lead.

    yes, but you also have OCD. Dammit man, if only i were obsessively driven to get the points.

    Personally, i've never been one to chase high scores, unless the game is something special and i want to play it over and over again to improve myself (not many games. I can play repeatedly for enjoyment, but rarely over a number). Achievements, i don't really care for as such, in that i won't go out of my way to perform a certain action just to get the extra points. I will, however, do it if it looks fun, or is something i feel is within my grasp. And there is a certain degree of satisfaction that comes with seeing that notice pop up. Basically, while i don't exactly care for them enough to go chasing the points, i do like having them there as a measure for my completion of a game, and as a guide for things i could be doing.
    And i hate ones that are Live-only.

  • The CheeseThe Cheese Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Fuck ranked play achievements.

  • ProhassProhass Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The only achievements i dislike are ones you get for like completing levels or something. Theres nothing worse than during an immersing cutscene getting the "you got this cutscene" achievement flashing on your screen. But im all for crazy shit like "dont touch the sand" in HL2 and all that, thats cool and rewards you for doing the crazy pedantic shit I often do naturally. It makes me feel less crazy. But I dont need to be rewarded for progressing through the game with anything other than progress through the game.

  • VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I hate to admit it, but I love achievements, just wish that gamerscore was useful for something other than e-peen (like coke points or something like that)

    EDIT: except for the insanely hard impossible to get achievements, like beating smash TV without having to continue or being the best in the world. Fuck that noise.

  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Prohass wrote: »
    The only achievements i dislike are ones you get for like completing levels or something. Theres nothing worse than during an immersing cutscene getting the "you got this cutscene" achievement flashing on your screen. But im all for crazy shit like "dont touch the sand" in HL2 and all that, thats cool and rewards you for doing the crazy pedantic shit I often do naturally. It makes me feel less crazy. But I dont need to be rewarded for progressing through the game with anything other than progress through the game.

    I dunno, i take those as freebies to get you going. Like, i've been playing PGR3 a fair bit, and yet when i look at my score and see i've hardly got anything for it, i think "oh.. okay". Now i don't know what PGR3's achievements are given out for, but certainly not the normal play i've been putting in, and that bothers me a bit. I'm not asking for everything to be given out just for completing the game, like i said, i don't really care for having the score, but more using them as a guide for completion (as in, not just finishing the story, but seeing everything the developers want me to), or suggestions for how to get more fun out of the game. But to have them be entirely those, you'd get a whole bunch of mundane things tacked on, just to bulk it out.

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