The time has come! If you've been listening to the podcast lately, you've heard about our upcoming achievements feature. And today, it's ready for your Xbox Live accounts and your World of Warcraft characters.
Start by going to your profile and hit the achievements tab. Once you're there, click the button marked Manage Your Accounts. From there, you'll be able to enter your Xbox Live account name or tell us the server and character name for World of Warcraft. After that, I suggest you go make a sandwich. Perhaps eat a banana, watch a few minutes of TV or something. Behind the scenes, we'll grab the data for your accounts, crunch a bunch of numbers, build some pretty bar graphs, and collect it all onto that profile page.
Once you're successfully processed, your games page will show everything you've been playing on those accounts and the achievements you've earned. You'll be able to see if you're above or below the Giant Bomb score average for each game. And we'll also give you a letter grade that quickly shows you how well you stack up against the rest of the Giant Bomb community.
The letter grades are pretty awesome because they work on a curve. So they'll fluctuate as more people play a game and they'll really let you know where you stand. If a game is really easy and most of the people who played it have most or all of the achievements, it's going to be harder to maintain a good grade. Check out my page, for example. After reviewing Ninja Blade, I earned 510 points, or 32 of the game's 50 achievements. As it turns out, that's pretty good. I'm ranked at a B for Ninja Blade. After reviewing Too Human, I went back in and farmed some more achievements, getting up to 790 points (35/50). Despite being played by over 300 users on the site (as of this writing), my 790 is still high enough to warrant an A rank.
And hey, how about all those games that I've completely cleared? If you collect every achievement in a game, you'll earn the coveted S-Rank for that game. The big S. The checkered flag. This signifies that you're the best of the best... at least until some DLC comes along and adds some more achievements. Even though we're just launching this today, I'm already looking at the various D's I have in games and thinking about what I want to go back to for more points.
There's more to all this stuff than just profile hooks, though. You can also go to a game page and view all the achievements for a given game. They'll be color-coded so you can see which achievements are totally common, which ones are a little tougher to come by, and which ones are downright rare in the Giant Bomb community. And if you need help getting a specific achievement, you can pop into a page for each achievement and post comments. Ask for help, answer some questions, or generally hang out and assist on pages like the Defeat Clarence Callahan "Razor" from Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
We've been really loving this stuff as we've been putting it together, and we think that you'll like it, too. So sync up your accounts and get cracking. But, obviously, we're not done yet. There are a few things we're working on to make this stuff even better in the near future. Here's a list of a few of the features that we'll be adding down the line.
- Support for European World of Warcraft servers.
- Support for Steam accounts and achievements.
- Way more stats, charts, and graphs.
- Your game grades will show in our game-specific boards, letting you know at a glance if a poster knows what he's talking about or not.
And, obviously, we'd love to have PlayStation 3 trophies in the system. The only reason we're able to have 360 achievements in the system is because Microsoft has built an API and a big website around that information. Sony's been building more and more stuff along these lines lately, so I hope they eventually build what we'll need to add their games to our system. That'll be awesome, because then you'll be able to compare your games with other players across platforms. A true multiplatform achievement/trophy/entitlement future! That's what we all need!
So go ahead and dig in, and be sure to let us know what you think. Thanks!