Why Completing All Objectives And Finding All Secrets Are Meaningless

Elementary - Dear Watson

RIP Eleuthera, I will miss you
Nov 9, 2010
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This is what turned me off COD when I played the multiplayer. It was fun to begin with, but what is described in the article is all I was doing... playing longer meant more guns, accessories and the like, and doing certain things with them unlocked more... but then all I found I was doing was using equipment that I didn't like, just to unlock more bits I didn't want!

I had the most fun when I used a particular set up... but then I wouldn't progress, and this Catch 22 was what made me stop playing it. I guess you could argue that playing different unfamiliar styles increases challenge, but I think it also takes away what I wanted from it... the fun.

I like progress to be when I feel I am getting better and acomplishing something, not when I have to go out of my way.

A good game for progress is Ace Combat... You need to get the best scores on the missions in the hard modes to unlock all the aircraft and colours and trophys for the Aces. The Aces are cool because they are hidden in the missions, and act differently to normal enemy aircraft. This adds a replayability challenge that gets harder and harder... not only that, but the money you get from this replaying allows you to actually purchase the aircraft and weapons you unlock, and you are not just getting credits for the sake of it... The reward for doing all that was being able to play as those unlocks in the multiplayer (this was for the split screen when I was younger). I don't know whether it was just because I was younger, but I liked that feeling of progress.

SmallHatLogan said:
But finding all the collectibles in something like GTA or Saints Row. Ugh, what a bore. Who wants to be hunting around every nook and cranny for hidden packages when you can be engaged in high speed chases and airport shootouts?
I definitely agree with you here... for things like Saints Row/Mercinaries and Just Cause. Crackdown then took it to an extreme! You kinda needed to get the collectables too in order to unlock the good stuff in the game... this just made it annoying!

GTA on the other hand I thought wasn't as bad... (well, not in the latest one, before that it wasn't good!) At least it unlocked stuff that just made the game more convenient! Not easier as such, just convenient. Weapons at your safehouses and the like. The rest of the collectables were more challenging... all the unique jumps, flying challenges and sub parts felt more like mini missions than just collecting crap!
 

DoPo

"You're not cleared for that."
Jan 30, 2012
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Nimcha said:
Agreed. I really don't know why for example people criticize Dragon Age Inquisition for having too many sidequests. Have people become so conditioned by achievements that they see them as requirements?
I've not played DA:I and I don't know the specifics of how the sidequests were handled but my impression wasn't that people said "There are too many sidequests we have to finish" but rather "There are too many sidequests instead of actual interesting content".
 

LadyMint

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Apr 22, 2010
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You know, as I got older, I found myself doing less and less of the compulsive collecting without a definable reward behind it. Back when I was addicted to World of Warcraft I was content to get everything on a checklist just to see that sparkly Achievement light up for me. Now, if a game doesn't have some bonus or other reason for making me get X amount of something, I don't bother. I breezed through Assassin's Creed 1 in less than 24 hours because I didn't see a reason to grab the flags and just went on to complete the story.

For me, a more recent example of "game I feel compelled to complete 100%" is Murdered: Soul Suspect. The things you do in that game are noticeably repetitious; however, once you've collected all of a certain item in a level, the game rewards you with a different ghost story in each area. That makes it far more worth my time than if I was simply getting Steam achievements for doing it.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

Henchgoat Emperor
May 15, 2010
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I'd like to see games use the extraneous portions of them to tell stories more often. Like how certain game's collectibles actually give you pieces of the story that aren't necessary but are mostly interesting, and 100%-ing them actually gives you a different ending maybe? Also I'd like to see LESS of extraneous collectible crap and more content thats worth having. Spend that time of development adding in those damn features you always cut before launch after promising us them... do that and we won't have to worry about the bullshit or replayability, the game will be replayable on its own.
ACIV maybe has the best diversion ever, and its a central game mechanic... being a fucking pirate.
 

silasbufu

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Aug 5, 2009
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I completed a shitload of sidequests in Dragon Age Origins, because finding their location by reading codex stuff, that gave only slight hints, was pretty awesome and I felt like I actually DID something ( loved the ones from Circle of Magi with the summonings) . I did not, however, collect any feathers in assassin's creed games because that was a pathetic way of pushing some extra content. You have to draw the line and know when you have stopped doing stuff in a game for fun, and just doing it as a chore (to get that sweet *but empty* 100%).
 

Qvar

OBJECTION!
Aug 25, 2013
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Similarly to what somebody has already said, the golden age of completionism was the N64 era. OoT, Majora's mask, Banjo Kazooie, Golden Eye, Perfect Dark, Blast corps... They damn sure knew how to make 100% completion to be interesting.

I think the following factors prevent most people from being completionists anymore:
- Games flooding. Back then, we had a handful of games, and had to replay them again and again and again, so a lot of time could be spent on each of them. Nowadays, with so many sales, there's always some other game waiting in your library to be played. As an example: I have 25 games for my old N64, and consider that a lot. I have 394 PC games, and that's only in my steam library. I don't even bother to finish them if they don't charm me during the first hour.

- Obvious padding. Or trying too hard to convince you to go chase them. Those old N64 games used collectibles that were of some other use than just telling you "collect this shit if you want to say that you've done everything that there was to do". Even the skulltullas quest had a (meaningless at that point) reward.

- The games generally being bad. If I don't LOVE your game, I'm not going to bother collecting all your useless crap. Hell, even if I love it, I'm probably not going to do it because the 2 reasons above make it look like a chore. Of all the 394 steam games, I only bothered with 100% on Dark Souls and Thomas was alone (and this one because it only required 5 or 10 additional minutes). Meanwhile, I have 100% completion on most of my 25 N64 games.

Therumancer said:
I applaud you sir.
 

Callate

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Dec 5, 2008
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What's almost worse is the "collect 100% or you'll never see this tiny piece of content that we're holding just out of arm's reach." Some cutesy video, the "true" ending, etc. If the game play isn't compelling enough to make me want to spend four to five times as long as it would normally take to complete it on its own, barring off a twelve second video unless I prove my devotion and loyalty to a tired mechanic isn't improving the situation.
 

Thanatos2k

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FirstNameLastName said:
Thanatos2k said:
... This is why DLC is such garbage. You're literally told - "You can't get 100% in this game unless you pay more" and that is enraging to the completionist.
With all due respect, who the fuck cares? There are plenty of things wrong with DLC; the fact that people have to buy the DLC in order to get 100% is so far down the list I wouldn't even include it.
Completionists care. If you aren't one, you don't understand.
 

Westonbirt

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Nov 7, 2013
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That's why I really liked Super Mario Galaxy 2. Once you get to the boss, you win the game. Then you collect all 120 stars, at which point you get to go after 120 more, which unlocks the last galaxy, after which you can try it again but nonsensically hard. No unnecessary stuffing, it all unlocks more.
 

rosac

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Sep 13, 2008
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yeah, but can your game go up to 150%?

Spyro 3 could, and it was awesome.
 

SmallHatLogan

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rosac said:
yeah, but can your game go up to 150%?

Spyro 3 could, and it was awesome.
Somewhat on topic, I hate those arbitrary percentages that are over 100. Want to complete the map in Castevania Symphony of the Night? Get 200.6% and a winner is you. It renders the idea of a percentage meaningless.
 

zzrhardy

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Feb 24, 2015
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The catch with sandbox games, is that the person with little imagination will only glean a small fraction of the "content" that the person with a lot of imagination will. The difference being, are you seeing pixels on your screen or imagining the world beyond it?

And if your *sandbox* game session lack structure, whose fault is that?

As for gimmicks like collections and achievements, I don't see them as taking away from the genre. It is just some extra "fan service" to broaden the appeal and increase the market. Technically you don't even need a central plot or win condition at all in a sandbox game, but providing them on top of a solid sandbox is a win-win scenario.

More options, more punters, more money, more sequels.
 

FirstNameLastName

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Nov 6, 2014
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Thanatos2k said:
FirstNameLastName said:
Thanatos2k said:
... This is why DLC is such garbage. You're literally told - "You can't get 100% in this game unless you pay more" and that is enraging to the completionist.
With all due respect, who the fuck cares? There are plenty of things wrong with DLC; the fact that people have to buy the DLC in order to get 100% is so far down the list I wouldn't even include it.
Completionists care. If you aren't one, you don't understand.
Companies find many ways to make DLC a bad word, with many shady business practices. If you have a problem with season passes, or day one DLC, or over priced DLC, or any of the questionable practices, then fair enough. But if you're going to tell me that I should sympathise with people who are also angry at well created and well priced DLC just because they feel they have to pay for it and play through it for some precious number, then sorry, but I don't sympathise even the slightest.
I don't sympathise with someone who can look at fresh content for a game and think god damnit! Why do these companies have to keep releasing content for people to enjoy? Can't they just abandon the game and let me have my number in peace?
 

Thanatos2k

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Aug 12, 2013
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FirstNameLastName said:
Thanatos2k said:
FirstNameLastName said:
Thanatos2k said:
... This is why DLC is such garbage. You're literally told - "You can't get 100% in this game unless you pay more" and that is enraging to the completionist.
With all due respect, who the fuck cares? There are plenty of things wrong with DLC; the fact that people have to buy the DLC in order to get 100% is so far down the list I wouldn't even include it.
Completionists care. If you aren't one, you don't understand.
Companies find many ways to make DLC a bad word, with many shady business practices. If you have a problem with season passes, or day one DLC, or over priced DLC, or any of the questionable practices, then fair enough. But if you're going to tell me that I should sympathise with people who are also angry at well created and well priced DLC just because they feel they have to pay for it and play through it for some precious number, then sorry, but I don't sympathise even the slightest.
I don't sympathise with someone who can look at fresh content for a game and think god damnit! Why do these companies have to keep releasing content for people to enjoy? Can't they just abandon the game and let me have my number in peace?
You can count "well priced" DLC on one hand.

I have nothing against expansions. I have everything against overpriced additional content created solely to make money and annoy people who thought they were done with the game, rather than actually improve the game.
 

joest01

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Thanatos2k said:
FirstNameLastName said:
Thanatos2k said:
... This is why DLC is such garbage. You're literally told - "You can't get 100% in this game unless you pay more" and that is enraging to the completionist.
With all due respect, who the fuck cares? There are plenty of things wrong with DLC; the fact that people have to buy the DLC in order to get 100% is so far down the list I wouldn't even include it.
Completionists care. If you aren't one, you don't understand.
I guess an easier fix would be if they allowed you to sort the trophy list differently and list out the dlc separately? Both on your console as well as on sites like psnprofiles. Cuz, yea, I'm not a completionist, but it does bug me that the % for some games I have played the crap out of looks really low because I haven't played the dlc :)
 

jhoroz

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Collecting collectibles that actually add to the gameplay and story are not useless, but side quests and "busywork" that's just added there so you can tick off a box on a ling list of optional objectives you have to do is pretty pointless. I think Red Dead Redemption is one of the few games that actually compelled on 100% the game.
 

Atmos Duality

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ravenshrike said:
Um, that's exactly what it's aware of. SR1 was the only "serious" GTA clone in the series. SR2 went, let's toss serious out the window and just have fun with the parody aspect. SR3 hit the parody aspect a little too hard while yearning for mainstream popularity but missing the bar and was reminiscent of Dan Ackroyd drunk in his Santa suit in its patheticness. SR4 went so far past the event horizon that it looped back around to the awesomeness of SR2 while being in a state of meta-parody.
But I don't think that applies to all gameplay mechanics in SR4.
There's a difference between lampooning a mechanic, and just being lazy with it.

Like how the side mission mocking Metal Gear Solid ("Shoot the light. THEN shoot the guard.") is lampooning.
While the 1000 data fragment collection is firmly on the "lazy" side.
 

iller3

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Nov 5, 2014
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I was expecting a bunch of OCD forum ubermensch clubbers to pick this apart and just in general be super beta apologists for this lazy practice of adding quotas to content for the sake of quotas. I imagine Yahtzee was expecting that too before he even wrote this article b/c who else reads these otherwise? So I wonder if he wrote it anyway knowing it would fall on deaf ears, simply b/c it fills that type of reader's quota?

-2edgy4u