Achievements - The Good, The Bad, The Unreasonable

CriticalGaming

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Recently I have become something on an Achievement Hunter. I've always liked the idea of achievements and with Playstation's Platinum system they seemed like good markers for completionists to reasonably call a game 100%'ed. I've not been a person to 100% games in most cases, with very very few exceptions, mostly due to my busy work schedule and simple lack in time to really dig that deep into most games (unless absolutely, utterly exceptional).

However a few months ago I got my first Platinum in Bloodborne, and since I've gotten the one, I have gone on to earn 6 more in other games like Diablo 3, OG FF7, DBZ Kakarot, and a couple others. Currently I'm working on MK11 for reasons I'll explain in a moment.

One Platinum on the list I mentioned above is DBZ Kakarot a game, which you might remember from the V1 forum in my impressions thread, that I didn't like very much. So why the hell did i bother getting the Platinum in it? Simply really. It was easy. That game gets you 95% of the way to the Plat just by beating the main story, and the few other achievements remaining are either done along the way or mostly done by the time you beat the final boss. When I finished the story I found I had only a little bit of clean up and a "super" boss that was piss easy allowing to get the Plat in another 30 minutes of playing.

Which leads me to my discussion point with this thread and why I'm currently working on MK11. Achievements are strange things because there doesn't seem to be a universal rule for them in games, except for the fact that every game has to have them these days (except Nintendo, but even some of them have in-game milestone style ones). What I mean though is that if you go to Psnprofiles.com and look at some of the trophy lists, you will see a wide range of things games except from the player to earn that shiny Platinum. Some require you to simply beat the game with maybe a few special feats along the way like DBZ Kakarot. Others require you to defeat god while standing on your head wearing a blindfold.

Mortal Kombat games for example, have been notorious for requiring absolutely STUPID levels of autistic dedication in order to earn that Plat. MKX for example required you to sink 24 hours of playtime on each character in the roster for a single achievement. Other fighting games require you to be an online god beating stupid numbers of other players in a row in order to get their highest achievements.

MK11 however, requires none of that. Not only does MK11 not require any of the normal craziness present in the previous Mk games, but it also has no difficulty requirement. Something it and God of War 4 share. Which I am in favor of and helped me decide to give fighting games a serious try with MK11. You can play through just about everything on Very Easy because the achievments don't care about the difficulty.

That's what I think a good list of achievements should contain. While the very term achievement is the completion of a difficult task, I think it is important for gaming to have reasonable expectations for players. Of course challenge for an achievement doesn't have to come from ball busting difficulty, it could just as easily come from a time investment.

What I want to know fellow forum folks, is what makes a good achievement in your eyes. Do you want achievements to come from crazy tasks that make the badge something to notice, or would you rather the list to be...well "achievable"?

Personally because i'm into achievement hunting now, and I still don't have a lot of free time, I look for lists that are straightforward and don't require too many (if any) crazy feats. Persona 5's original trophy list was a giant asshole, requiring a huge collectathon that required multiple playthroughs of the 100 hour RPG. However Persona 5 Royal's list took all of that out and was 100%able with a single playthrough, assuming you knew the story choices to make. Thus that was the edition of the game that I platinumed. God of war 4 was another game that I felt was fair enough with it's ask in terms of the trophies. While super hard difficulty was there, it wasn't a requirement for the platinum and you could beat the game on story mode and get all the achievements. However that didn't remove all the challenge from the list entirely as even on Story mode difficulty the super bosses where quite a pain in the ass. I like the lists that maybe have one or two real tests in them, but the rest of it is straight forward enough that they can be done if you try to aim for them.

Using MK11 as an example again, my biggest challenge is going to be completing that fucking tutorial combo, because everything else in the game is merely a test of time not EVO-level skill. Play 50 online matches? No problem, I don't have to win I just have to show up. Do every fatality on every character? No problem it's just a matter of doing it because very easy barely fights back. All other achievements follow this pattern of simply taking the time to do them. And that's what I like, turns out....I like checklists.
 

Silvanus

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I've got about 98% progress towards the platinum trophy on Final Fantasy XV, and the one standing in my way is "Survival Expert", a fucking bronze which requires you to max the Survival level.

Survival levels to an extremely limited extent through camping after doing stuff, but mostly just by walking. Walking and walking and walking.

With everything else in the game completed-- the main story, all optional dungeons, every other trophy-- I'm at Survival level 7 out of 10. Which wouldn't be too bad... except the distance between each level increases massively as the levels increase, meaning that apparently the amount of walking required to get from 9 to 10 is just about the same as what it takes to get from level 1 to 9.

Absolutely ludicrous. The guides online just advise you to attach a rubber band to your controller analogue sticks in such a way that Noctis is just running in circles without any input required, and then leave the console on and go to bed. And then repeat this for multiple days.
 

CriticalGaming

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I've got about 98% progress towards the platinum trophy on Final Fantasy XV, and the one standing in my way is "Survival Expert", a fucking bronze which requires you to max the Survival level.

Survival levels to an extremely limited extent through camping after doing stuff, but mostly just by walking. Walking and walking and walking.

With everything else in the game completed-- the main story, all optional dungeons, every other trophy-- I'm at Survival level 7 out of 10. Which wouldn't be too bad... except the distance between each level increases massively as the levels increase, meaning that apparently the amount of walking required to get from 9 to 10 is just about the same as what it takes to get from level 1 to 9.

Absolutely ludicrous. The guides online just advise you to attach a rubber band to your controller analogue sticks in such a way that Noctis is just running in circles without any input required, and then leave the console on and go to bed. And then repeat this for multiple days.
This highlights a little bit of a flaw in the "time investment" type of achievement. A good time investment achievement would be something that comes from playing a lot, but not coming from doing something that requires almost not-playing. for example walking for X miles or whatever.

I do wonder if the achievement would pop during a NG+ playthrough, or if it is any easier to get with the extended Royal Edition.
 

happyninja42

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What I want to know fellow forum folks, is what makes a good achievement in your eyes. Do you want achievements to come from crazy tasks that make the badge something to notice, or would you rather the list to be...well "achievable"?
I'm not a huge achievement hunter, since the majority of them are insane busy work that frequently boils down to "run around and collect all this shit we hid." But I do enjoy getting some of them. It's usually ones that are based on particular types of play style. Like say, suddenly seeing a pop up "Mightier than the Sword", and it's because I resolved X number of potentially violent situations with social checks. Or by accomplishing a specific quest in a way that was considered the more difficult way, for example requiring you to have found some hard to obtain information first, to give you another option on how to resolve things. Or things like "Floor is Lava", where you get an achievement for finishing a mission in a game that uses parkour mechanics, and you never touched the ground during the entire mission. Stuff like that.

I like achievements like the standard Pacifist, Ghost ones, as those appeal to my preferred playstyle, and they are generally not ridiculous to try and complete.

But stuff like "Defeat 100 Enemies on Ultra Spank Me Hard Mode in a single combat chain without taking damage, while standing on your left foot, stroking your balls, and wearing the Combat Mackerel outfit".....yeah screw those kinds of achievements.

I don't find those fun, where they just make you Dark Souls yourself against a brick wall 5 billion times until you pull it off, purely due to twitch reflexes. I don't find those terribly satisfying or enjoyable.

Basically if they are the kind of achievement that acknowledges a particular style of play, or acknowledges a particular effort made that might be outside the normal route, or if they are just challenges, that the challenges are reasonable to obtain. Those are the kinds I like.

I also like it when they actually reward the player in-game for doing them. Like they tie the achievements to the game itself. The inFamous series did this well, in that it had the collection achievement to find all the power fragments, but gaining those earned you XP, and allowed you to increase your power pool, letting you use more powers before running out. I enjoy that a lot.
 

FakeSympathy

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I personally loved the achievements for single-player games, but couldn't stand the multiplayer ones. In singleplayer, you can trigger the achievements by your own effort. But multiplayer, everything happens by a chance.

For example, there was an achievement in Battlefield 3 called "Complete Warrior". You have to get a kill with the following weapons in a single life: Assault Rifle, Jet, Tank. For all the times I had blast playing with my friends, I could never get it. First off, Jet controls were atrocious with a controller on Xbox 360. Second, As soon as the match started everyone spammed the spawn button on the vehicle, often giving me no chance to get it.

Overwatch also has some ridiculously hard achievements that can only happen by pure luck or if the enemy team lets you. Kill the whole team using Lucio's soundwave? Yeah, because that can happen so often.

Make multiplayer achievements feasible, not unreasonable
 

Chimpzy

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Like many gaming-related things, my favorite is an achievement in TF2, which is also one of the most unreasonable ones I know (that isn't of the "do X an absurd number of times" type)

Tune Merasmus's Multi-Dimensional Television

To get this achievement you need to:
  • Play on the map pass_brickyard, which is a Passtime map, a mode basically nobody plays
  • Have at least 9 players in the server, of which 5 must be on RED and 4 on BLU
  • Have one RED player stand on a specific spot on the RED side of the map marked by a guitar prop, while a BLU player does the same on their side of the map
  • A secret goal will open on both sides. A third player must now score a goal in one of these goals
  • This open a door marked "private" in both teams' spawns which has a teleporter inside to a hidden room
  • The 5 RED and 4 BLU must now enter this hidden room. The RED players must have one each of: Pyro, Soldier, Medic, Heavy and Sniper; while BLU must have one each of Scout, Demo, Engineer and Spy
  • Inside this room is a TV with a plug in the back. This plug must be shot so the TV will turn to static
  • Each class must now stand in a very specific spot in the room marked by little bits of dirt on the floor
  • Once all these conditions are met, the TV will light up again and the achievement will trigger. You also get two hats for it.
It's technically not hard to do, just extremely unlikely unless you have 8 friends with mics willing to help you get it, or you're savvy enough to write bot scripts for it. I mean, TF2 is the only multiplayer FPS I've played where in pubs occasionally everybody on both teams will just stop trying to kill each other and gather around to do taunts at each other and try silly stuff, so you could feasibly get this organised in a pub, but ... no, just no, not likely.
 

Dalisclock

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Like many gaming-related things, my favorite is an achievement in TF2, which is also one of the most unreasonable ones I know (that isn't of the "do X an absurd number of times" type)

Tune Merasmus's Multi-Dimensional Television

It's technically not hard to do, just extremely unlikely unless you have 8 friends with mics willing to help you get it, or you're savvy enough to write bot scripts for it. I mean, TF2 is the only multiplayer FPS I've played where in pubs occasionally everybody on both teams will just stop trying to kill each other and gather around to do taunts at each other and try silly stuff, so you could feasibly get this organised in a pub, but ... no, just no, not likely.
I mean, you pretty much have to have everyone in the match working with you to get that one, it sounds like, so it's like the most OCD of achievements combing a lot of cooperation to boot.
 

SckizoBoy

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It's technically not hard to do, just extremely unlikely unless you have 8 friends with mics willing to help you get it, or you're savvy enough to write bot scripts for it. I mean, TF2 is the only multiplayer FPS I've played where in pubs occasionally everybody on both teams will just stop trying to kill each other and gather around to do taunts at each other and try silly stuff, so you could feasibly get this organised in a pub, but ... no, just no, not likely.
Pub?(!) As in 'public house', beers on tap, landlord and dartboard, that sort of pub?

Good grief what sort of pub is set up to host LAN parties, I'd love to have that as my local.

Anyway, OT. Playing Total War: Warhammer II and achievement hunting is a massive slog. Most of the achievements are alright but ridiculously petty and just unit/building/level grinding, but there's a set for all the races, and that's a lot of play time to get through. Bugs notwithstanding (like why isn't the Loremaster of Hoeth triggering while I've got the Tiranoc/Lothern equivalents?!), Mortal Empires exclusive players (basically what I am) are essentially locked out of a set of achievements (including kinda fussy ones like Magma Master) that can only be obtained by long play time in Vortex (and this includes a lot of achievements you'd think would be available on Mortal Empires). Literally, can't be arsed.
 

Dalisclock

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I don't mind if achievements are either finding secrets or doing something that requires some skill/creativity.

For example, LIMBO has a series of glowing eggs you can discover if you poke around enough through the game, and there are relatively frequent checkpoints so you can go back and replay a specific section rather then the entire thing in one go. Or I believe dishonored had an achievement where through using the time and posses powers you could get an enemy to shoot themselves by freezing time as they fire a weapon and then moving them in front of the bullet through posession(which is cool if requries a ridiculous amount of planning to pull off).

I'm less thrilled by the collectathon ones or the ones where you essentially have to do perfect for the entire game(Steel Soul run in Hollow Knight, One Life mode in Ori and the Blind forest) but I'm more open to some of the ones where some luck, creativity and really, really careful planning(and game knowledge) allows you to pull off a really unlikely win. I've read EU4 has one where you start as one of the smallest, weakest provinces in the game(the Ryukyu islands) and conquer the entire world with it.
 
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BrawlMan

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I personally loved the achievements for single-player games, but couldn't stand the multiplayer ones. In singleplayer, you can trigger the achievements by your own effort. But multiplayer, everything happens by a chance.
Same. It's why I usually do not touch mp for a reason. I got most of the achievements for the games I do play. Just recently, I'm at 82% for tropies on SOR4.I got all of the trophies for DmC (2013), ironic enough. I am usually not a 100%er when it comes to this stuff, because I do not have the time.
 

Specter Von Baren

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I like achievements that encourage you to try different things. An example would be if you're playing some kind of deck building game for there to be achievements for going with different builds somehow. I'm also a fan of fun achievements that are just for finding little Easter eggs.

Spyro and Ratchet & Clank were also great with their achievements, it was fun to have to figure out how to even achieve some of them since quite a few of them were almost puzzles in their own right and they even unlocked stuff so they weren't just a gold star.
 

Dreiko

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I am very old school in this area. Have been since its inception early last gen too. I want my achievements to be narrative or somehow included in the actual game. I don't care for an external trophy giving me a pat on the back cause I killed this boss in under a minute. It feels like I'm being manipulated into feeling rewarded for doing something underwarding and when I do something rewarding it's already rewarding so the fact that I also got a trophy for it pales in comparison. You can do something like the system in Star Ocean 3 where it had an in-game proto version of achievements. That I'm fine with.


There's basically never a good time for an achievement but either times where you feel "whoa this was awesome!!!! oh and I got a trophy I guess" and a lot of bad times where you feel like the game is condescending to you for doing something basic and simple. Anything special you do that is indeed an achievement is more than enough by itself.


You can see this by checking out the % rates of how many folks have gotten a trophy. A lot of them can have something of a 90% obtaining rate. How the hell is doing something 90% of everyone who played this game also did something I'm supposed to make me feel proud lmao.
 

Catfood220

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Multiplayer based trophies in a single player game can fuck off. It is unlikely my attention will last long enough to get all of those. Having said that though, I got the platinum for Uncharted 3 when the trophy list had just two trophies for multiplayer.

My own person standards for going for platinum trophies is, well, if it is easily achievable. I mean, I don't mind the odd grind or the odd collectathon is its reasonable but for example in The Saboteur, one of the trophies was to collect everything. The map was covered, absolutely splattered with collectables. Fuck that.

I also hate pointless achievements, such as the ones that were awarded for starting the game. *ding* "Well done, you pressed a button."
 

Dalisclock

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I also hate pointless achievements, such as the ones that were awarded for starting the game. *ding* "Well done, you pressed a button."
You get an achievement for dying in Dark Souls.

You know, for reasons.
 

Chimpzy

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Pub?(!) As in 'public house', beers on tap, landlord and dartboard, that sort of pub?

Good grief what sort of pub is set up to host LAN parties, I'd love to have that as my local.
Alas, no, not the beer-swilling sort. "Pub" is jargon for "public match" i.e. a match played with randoms. Which if you're playing in for example Europe makes it only harder, because there's bound to be some players who don't speak any language you know and of course the mandatory one or two each of the cyka blyats and/or edgy 12 year olds. I fear the man who can organize that into agreeing on anything.
 

Yoshi

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Pointless.
All achievements are good for is giving the player a digital pat on the back saying "good job" .

I'd rather be rewarded with something actually cool.
like an exclusive skin, level, character, etc, etc.
 

laggyteabag

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For me, the perfect achievement is one the one that encourages new ways to play - like complete a certain level, but only using a certain type of weapon, or not using vehicles or something like that. For games like Halo, where I have played each game's levels dozens of times, its great to be able to mix things up.

I dont necessarily mind hard achievements, like complete the game on the hardest difficulty, or within a certain amount of time etc. Even though the more extreme versions of these arent for me, again, they can encourage new ways to play, like specific tactics or even speedrunning techniques, and they challenge you on how well you can pull them off, too.

The ones that really bother me, though, are the grindy ones. Things like the "Seriously" achievements in Gears of War. These dont necessarily encourage new ways to play, and they dont even necessarily challenge you, either. If anything, you either spend dozens or hundreds of hours hoping that they unlock naturally, or you just find a really efficient way to unlock these, and repeat it over and over again. Its not fun, its not challenging - its just boring.
 

SckizoBoy

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Alas, no, not the beer-swilling sort. "Pub" is jargon for "public match" i.e. a match played with randoms. Which if you're playing in for example Europe makes it only harder, because there's bound to be some players who don't speak any language you know and of course the mandatory one or two each of the cyka blyats and/or edgy 12 year olds. I fear the man who can organize that into agreeing on anything.
Had my hopes up for a while, and now they come plummeting back down. Though I don't think I've ever heard of public match being abbreviated that way before. Probably because of the misinterpretation I demonstrated. -.-
 

Dalisclock

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The ones that really bother me, though, are the grindy ones. Things like the "Seriously" achievements in Gears of War. These dont necessarily encourage new ways to play, and they dont even necessarily challenge you, either. If anything, you either spend dozens or hundreds of hours hoping that they unlock naturally, or you just find a really efficient way to unlock these, and repeat it over and over again. Its not fun, its not challenging - its just boring.
Saints Row series has time based achievements. SR3 has "3 and 30" while SR4 has "4 and 40", which unlock after 30 and 40 hours spent in game respectively. Fortunately it doesn't have to be in a single playthrough.

Don't get me wrong, I love the series, but the games aren't that hard or long and while 3 and 30 isn't too bad, 4 and 40 requires either spending a lot of time just doing everything in game(All the required missions plus all the major side activiities before going onto all the piddy stuff like collecting and getting all the upgrades) or playing through the game a few times. It really doesn't take long in those games to get to a point where you're particularly OP for all but the hardest missions in the game and a sub-20 hour completion time is fairly normal(even a completionist run of SR4 is around 35 hours).
 
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Elvis Starburst

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I used to kinda like them many years back. My Xbox360 gamerscore was pretty good cause of it. Nowadays I can't be bothered to care to do any of them. I only try to get all of them for games I actually really enjoy, like Burnout Paradise and Hollow Knight