STEAM killed the Achievement Whore in me and all I can say is...

... THANK YOU STEAM!

For most of last year games were no longer exciting me like they once did and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why?

Were they no longer the life long hobby that they once were? No. I still listened to podcasts, still hit up my daily gaming sites for news and reviews still read my gaming mags and they still had that same allure they always had for me.

So WTF was going on? Why did the actual act of playing a game not feel the same as it once did?

I got my answer when I played Skyrim on PC/STEAM.

See up until I played the newest Elder Scrolls game on STEAM I had jumped on the bandwagon of being an Achievement Whore/Trophy Slut/ etc. I would play games like Halo 3 or Uncharted 2 like normal except I found myself always checking the achievement list rather than just playing. Example: lets say there's a certain part in Alan Wake where there's a certain achievement you can only get in this section of the game. If I didn't get that achievement I would then proceed to get myself killed, reload the game and try to get it again. I was literally waiting to hear that famous 360 'pop' or PS3 'chime' before I would continue playing said game. And it was ruining my gaming experience without me even knowing it.

So how did playing Skyrim on PC help? Simple, when you unlock a Steam achievement you hear nothing indicating anything happened out of the ordinary and the achievement pop up is about the size of a postage stamp and is down in the lower right hand side of the screen. I had played almost 60 hrs (of my so 124 hrs) of Skyrim without even noticing the lack of 'reward' that I was getting on Xbox360 and PS3. No pop, no chime, no endlessly reloading Skyrim to help feed my need for Trophies...no nothing. And you know what? I was having a ball playing the game. Gaming had finally returned to the place in my heart where it once was before I became an Achievement Whore. And I couldn't be happier!

Yes I still look at the achievements and trophies I've unlocked but I no longer read any of the descriptions of any of the locked ones cause I no longer care nor do I feel the need to chase them.

Thank you STEAM!

19 Comments
20 Comments
Posted by Rodent

... THANK YOU STEAM!

For most of last year games were no longer exciting me like they once did and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why?

Were they no longer the life long hobby that they once were? No. I still listened to podcasts, still hit up my daily gaming sites for news and reviews still read my gaming mags and they still had that same allure they always had for me.

So WTF was going on? Why did the actual act of playing a game not feel the same as it once did?

I got my answer when I played Skyrim on PC/STEAM.

See up until I played the newest Elder Scrolls game on STEAM I had jumped on the bandwagon of being an Achievement Whore/Trophy Slut/ etc. I would play games like Halo 3 or Uncharted 2 like normal except I found myself always checking the achievement list rather than just playing. Example: lets say there's a certain part in Alan Wake where there's a certain achievement you can only get in this section of the game. If I didn't get that achievement I would then proceed to get myself killed, reload the game and try to get it again. I was literally waiting to hear that famous 360 'pop' or PS3 'chime' before I would continue playing said game. And it was ruining my gaming experience without me even knowing it.

So how did playing Skyrim on PC help? Simple, when you unlock a Steam achievement you hear nothing indicating anything happened out of the ordinary and the achievement pop up is about the size of a postage stamp and is down in the lower right hand side of the screen. I had played almost 60 hrs (of my so 124 hrs) of Skyrim without even noticing the lack of 'reward' that I was getting on Xbox360 and PS3. No pop, no chime, no endlessly reloading Skyrim to help feed my need for Trophies...no nothing. And you know what? I was having a ball playing the game. Gaming had finally returned to the place in my heart where it once was before I became an Achievement Whore. And I couldn't be happier!

Yes I still look at the achievements and trophies I've unlocked but I no longer read any of the descriptions of any of the locked ones cause I no longer care nor do I feel the need to chase them.

Thank you STEAM!

Posted by IAmNotBatman

In some ways achievements killed Skyrim for me, ever since I got all of the achievements I haven't gone back. Am envious in some ways, but they can enhance the experience when used well.

Posted by mandude

I just can't stand how they're used. I guess achievements are more suited to games like Super Stardust or something where the challenge of getting an achievement is why you play the game.

Posted by Rodent

Very true. If used by the gamer correctly they can offer said gamer something to do once they've gone through and beaten the game. It gives them something to do with the game rather than sell it or simply put it on the shelf and forget about it. Sadly for me it became something that was ruining games for me.

Posted by nail1080

It's pretty sad that achievements would hinder your enjoyment of a game. Maybe you have other issues...

Posted by kermoosh

when i play games for the first time, i just turn my notifications off and don't check the achievement list. so i don't know about achievements that could spoil the game and i am unaware of their existence.

i played skyrim for 103 hours and i only looked at the achievements once, not even trying to go for any. achievements are like side quests to do after the game is complete

Posted by Karkarov

You mean you haven't out right disabled all achievement notifications already ;p. Did that quite some time ago on all systems, it makes like I am playing games just to play games again. You shouldn't want to do that weird crap like throw a tied up lady on some train tracks because you get an achievement for it (red dead redemption), you should do it just to mess with the game and have fun. If your messing and fun times lead to an achievement, great, but going out and doing strange stuff because you get an achievement for it sort of defeats the point.

Posted by nintendoeats

I went through this process about a year and a half ago. The next thing to do is kill progression systems. Because that's going to happen.

Clearly whoever though of achievements didn't understand the dangers of over-incentivisation.

Posted by Zirilius

@Karkarov: Except they could also extend the life of the games for some as it allows them to try and do stuff in games that they might not normally do in the first place. I know a few friends that simply just play a game start to finish. they never explored, never thought to turn left instead of right, or even try out other weapons in shooters simply cause they could just make it through the game with the defaults. With achievements they've begun to see the other path, see side content, and even come to love something other than the default weapon cause of this.

Achievements themselves aren't necessarily bad but it's an inherently flawed system (too easy or too difficult) that could use some tweaking. I also hate MP achievements but that's a different rant for a different day.

Posted by Willtron

STEAM.

Edited by NTM

I care least about Steam achievements, so much so that I don't care for them at all. They just don't seem to be as... Important[?] as the ones on 360, or the Trophies on PS3.

Posted by Rodent

@nail1080: Not achievements per say, more how I went about getting them. I still go back and read through all the ones I've unlocked in previous games and they help me remember games that way, but no longer am I play a game just to get an audio Scooby snack.

Posted by Ravenlight

I felt like the cheevos in the PC version of Skyrim were a great way for me to get more out of the game after I beat all of the main storyline stuff. But I probably would have ADD-ified by play experience if they were popping all up in my face like on 360.

Posted by Rodent

@Zirilius: Yeah I could definitely see Trophies and the like helping people explore the game more. But personally I try and explore every nook and cranny of a game regardless of there being a reward at the end or not.

Posted by Rodent

@Zirilius: @Zirilius said:

@Karkarov: I also hate MP achievements but that's a different rant for a different day.

Thankfully I rarely play online so that was never an issue for me...but yeah I could see that being a major time investment for those out there trying to unlock everything.

Posted by Demoskinos

I like achievements and I'll go for them but only really actively go out of my way on games I really enjoy. Currently trying to get all trophies in DMC HD collection.

Posted by Zirilius

@Rodent said:

@Zirilius: @Zirilius said:

@Karkarov: I also hate MP achievements but that's a different rant for a different day.

Thankfully I rarely play online so that was never an issue for me...but yeah I could see that being a major time investment for those out there trying to unlock everything.

I mostly hate great games that have crap multiplayer in it and being forced to play said crappy multiplayer simply to get achievements. That or they have ridiculously hard achievements that could only be attained by getting a group of people together to achievement hunt. Something like "kill the entire opposing team with one frag grenade".

Posted by Rodent

@Zirilius: Are you into Achievements pretty deep?

Posted by Zirilius

@Rodent: Nah not really. I'll browse through the list to see if an S-Rank is doable but I don't stress over not getting them.

Posted by believer258

One of the many things that I wish Microsoft would do is allow us to disable achievement notifications and sounds while leaving messaging and invites enabled. I do leave notifications off sometimes but I need them to see if I'm getting invited to anything or getting a message.