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Posted by EthanielRain (1563 posts) -

Ah, trophies. How wonderful you were to me when you first became a part of gaming. I enjoyed hoarding you, I enjoyed comparing how many of you I had to my friends and, perhaps most of all, I enjoyed that little "bwing" noise you made. It was a song of my accomplishment, a ballad that gave me gratification to hear. But like an old flame, you're nothing more to me now than bittersweet memories and wisdom gained. Your siren song - bwing! - no longer steers my hand.

For a while now, I've found myself actually finishing fewer and fewer games. This was easy to pawn off as a symptom of a fuller life - a more rewarding job and a loving family meant less time for games. But I've come to realize that it wasn't my career or family that was impacting my gaming, it was my hunt for gold (and bronze, silver and platinum).

Even before starting a game, I would look at the trophy list. God forbid there was one for completing a game on the hardest difficulty and I missed it. Not collect everything? Not complete Insanity difficulty? Not save before a critical path choice was to be made? Not on my watch! Instead of being a bonus for inventive play or as a sign of my deep enjoyment for a game, trophies became my reason for playing in the first place. I didn't feel like I had truly "finished" a game unless I got every trophy I wanted.

Playing games became more of a chore than enjoyment. My need for these non-existant baubles was so strong that I would be planning my second and third playthroughs of a game while I first played it...for games I didn't even like. I've played games for fun and as a social event for my entire life, until trophies came along.

More recently, I decided to completely ignore them unless it seems like they were made to be funny, in which case I look at them in hopes of a decent joke from the developers. I also like that they show anyone who is interested what my favorite and most-played games are. But otherwise they exist to me no longer. Unsurprisingly, I've circled around to actually having fun with games again. I've been finishing more and more of them as well.

I've missed out on what should have been one of the high points of gaming. Many amazing titles have come out that I missed getting any enjoyment from. I was too worried about popping certain trophies, and I can never get that back. But the current generation of consoles marks a new era, one in which I play simply to play. Bring it on, Sony. Bring it on, Microsoft. Show me the fun :D

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#1 Posted by LordAndrew (14608 posts) -

Anyone interested in giving up trophies forever should try logging onto PlayStation Home. Go ahead. I'll wait here.

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#2 Posted by EthanielRain (1563 posts) -

Anyone interested in giving up trophies forever should try logging onto PlayStation Home. Go ahead. I'll wait here.

Can't say I ever have...care to elaborate? :)

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#3 Posted by Zevvion (5965 posts) -

Oh, how I recognize all of what you describe. Except for calling achievements trophies of course, that is obviously blasphemy.

But yeah, I've stopped caring about achievements for about 99% of the time. I do still like to get them on games I absolutely love though. Examples would be the Mass Effect games, Mirror's Edge, XCOM and Dark Souls. But that's all of them really.

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#4 Edited by Justin258 (15620 posts) -

I've put in a few games where I thought "Yeah, I'm going to try for all of the trophies/achievements in this one!"

...but then I never got all of them. There are a few games where I got almost all of them, but usually just through playing the game several times (for instance, I got almost all of the achievements in the first Dead Space). I did get all of the achievements in RAGE, until they made DLC for it ages later, but then RAGE was pretty easy and its achievements list consisted of "find all the collectibles", "finish all of the sidequests", and "beat the game on the hardest difficulty", none of which required a lot of time or effort. Took me fifteen hours for that playthrough.

I actually spent most of this generation in the mood to play first person shooters. Fortunately, the games available were pretty accommodating to that mood. These days I'm playing RPG's like there's no tomorrow.

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#5 Posted by GunstarRed (6048 posts) -

Used to go crazy for achievements and I still sort of go for them, but I really don't mind all that much if I miss a bunch of them. The trophy system has always seemed kinda terrible with its weird leveling. I have gotten three platinums in the last year and I have only progressed one level. I prefer Microsoft's number system. 18% of level 17 doesn't seem as cool as saying "I have over 100,000 points."

I do think they're a cool way of extending the life of games, and occasionally make you play a game a different way or with weapons you wouldn't normally use etc. I don't think they need to be removed, but they are kinda pointless... more games should have stamps like a couple of Nintendo titles.

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#6 Posted by LordAndrew (14608 posts) -

@ethanielrain: PS Home was recently updated with trophies. One of them requires you to play it on 50 different days. And there isn't enough to do in Home to justify playing it once a day. Much of what is available is dull.

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#7 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

I've never had the problem of "needing" to 100% everything via trophies, and for something like Dark Souls II the trophies don't even come close to the amount of stuff you can actually do in the game for example so it doesn't really indicate anything other than following a blueprint. However there's a fair number of games that are simply made more interesting by the achievements available and others that are just really challenging and interesting (Vanquish is probably the best example in terms of a game that needs more content if you just play through it normally and provides it in droves if you're up to the task). Starcraft II (and HotS) has some really excellent campaign achievements (and some really terrible multiplayer achievements) and doing those made it entertaining going through the game multiple times. There's plenty of games that have garbage achievements though.

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#8 Edited by Zirilius (1700 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

I've never had the problem of "needing" to 100% everything via trophies, and for something like Dark Souls II the trophies don't even come close to the amount of stuff you can actually do in the game for example so it doesn't really indicate anything other than following a blueprint. However there's a fair number of games that are simply made more interesting by the achievements available and others that are just really challenging and interesting (Vanquish is probably the best example in terms of a game that needs more content if you just play through it normally and provides it in droves if you're up to the task). Starcraft II (and HotS) has some really excellent campaign achievements (and some really terrible multiplayer achievements) and doing those made it entertaining going through the game multiple times. There's plenty of games that have garbage achievements though.

SC2 and HotS have some of the best RTS achievements for a game period. those optional objectives are challenging to figure out and I always felt accomplished when completing them. . I still can't finish the "In Utter Darkness" hard achievement.

On topic I have never been an achievement hunter. I do have some S-ranks in Mass Effect 2 and 3 and a platinum in FF 13-2 but for the most part I haven't cared enough to try. I'd rather play a game the way I want to play it and then try to play games in a specific manner that just aren't very fun.

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#9 Posted by Hailinel (25785 posts) -

They can be fun to go for on occasion, but I have never platinumed a game and I always found the concept of achievement hoarding for the sake of it absurd. People that go out of their way to play shitty games just for easy trophies/achievements are beyond me.

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#10 Posted by Sterling (4134 posts) -

Anyone interested in giving up trophies forever should try logging onto PlayStation Home. Go ahead. I'll wait here.

People still log into that, lol.

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#11 Posted by MetalBaofu (1704 posts) -

The way I tend to handle trophies/achievements is to just play the game. I may/may not look through the trophies a bit at some point during play. Then, once I've finished the game, I may go and try to get the trophies that are left if there isn't many, or if it is a game I really enjoyed and want to replay again anyway because it has multiple endings or something(Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Infamous, other RPGs, etc.).

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#12 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

I tend to start playing a game for a few hours to get a sense of the systems, then take a look at the trophy list and very deliberately decide what I'm going to bother with and what I'm going to ignore. I almost never bother with trophies that require collecting 100% of something, because I know that the pressure of not missing anything is going to cause too much unfun anxiety. I have yet to get a single platinum trophy, and I'm totally fine with that. The idea that some people platinum games as a rule really weirds me out, but to each their own I suppose.

I've tended to find that the games in which I focus a lot of trophies are often games I'm not really enjoying playing. If a game has well-designed reward structures, I don't need an external motivation to want to do stuff. This is obviously on some level an issue of personal preference, but I do think it's telling that trophies are often a big deal in open world games. How many people would actually bother doing (let alone enjoy doing) 100% of the mediocre side content in most open world games if they didn't get an external bauble for it? Isn't that kind of messed up?

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#13 Edited by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

@zirilius: Have you tried spamming cannons? At some point you have 200 food worth of Colossi/Immortals/Stalkers and whatever fleet units you wind up using and don't have anything to spend stuff on, that's when you just put down dozens of cannons. You can hold out for a really long time but eventually they send like 250-500 corrupters or something well past the achievement being done and it's not possible to do anything about them. Personally I thought All-In on the ground version was the hardest.

The Company of Heroes "achievements" are pretty good on the RTS front as well.

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#14 Posted by Zirilius (1700 posts) -

@zirilius: Have you tried spamming cannons? At some point you have 200 food worth of Colossi/Immortals/Stalkers and whatever fleet units you wind up using and don't have anything to spend stuff on, that's when you just put down dozens of cannons. You can hold out for a really long time but eventually they send like 250-500 corrupters or something well past the achievement being done and it's not possible to do anything about them. Personally I thought All-In on the ground version was the hardest.

The Company of Heroes "achievements" are pretty good on the RTS front as well.

I'll have to try that but since its been awhile since I've played I'll have to get used to the level and difficulty again. Kudos!

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#15 Posted by Demoskinos (17457 posts) -

I like going after them myself but only for games that I'm already excited about playing. Good trophies/achievements can push you to play in ways you never thought of or complete challenges. They can be fun and rewarding but only if youre already invested in the game.

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#16 Posted by Neonie (438 posts) -

I've never obsessed over them. I like having them there for specific games (I would love some damn Recettear achievements), but even if I look at a game and go "I am going to get all of these achievements", and then I don't do it, I "meh" and I move on to other things. They are extras, and I've never quite understand the obsession with "100%ing" games or NEEDING to get all/certain achievements. It's a video game, it's meant to be fun, if you aren't having fun then give up. There is NO shame in giving up.

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#17 Posted by EthanielRain (1563 posts) -

You all make some good points, especially about achievements/trophies adding to a game. I've certainly had fun getting some and learned some neat tricks or new things in a game that I wouldn't have otherwise. Saying I flat out hate them isn't really correct...it's just making them a priority that was ruining my enjoyment.

@zevvion said:

Oh, how I recognize all of what you describe. Except for calling achievements trophies of course, that is obviously blasphemy.

But yeah, I've stopped caring about achievements for about 99% of the time. I do still like to get them on games I absolutely love though. Examples would be the Mass Effect games, Mirror's Edge, XCOM and Dark Souls. But that's all of them really.

Yep yep, I'm right there with ya <3

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#18 Posted by Slag (8157 posts) -

Well I like going for them, but yeah I can see how they can be draining if you feel compelled to get them.

You gotta have a healthy relationship with them so it doesn't ruin the fun of the game. I don't always do.

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#19 Edited by WickedFather (1694 posts) -

I despise them. I've said it dozens of times how they're ruining games and are actually clever marketing but the blind won't listen. Now I just start games and use a tool to unlock all the achievements before playing. I wish it would let me delete them afterwards like you can do with Steam.

If you go to achievement sites you just have thread after thread of angry people saying how soul destroying achievement X is. Nobody there is enjoying their games.

Please don't attempt to reply to this with some reason in your head why achievements are sometimes a good thing and make you approach things in ways you might not have.

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#20 Posted by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

I was totally GOING to get all the achievements in dark souls 2. But then i realized there were achievements for getting all the miracles, sorceries, and pyromancies. And some of them require HUNDREDS of pvp wins to get (or get to like NG+++ or something nuts like that) Then i said fuck it and stopped caring.

I'm really glad i never got into that whole "get all the achievements" thing.

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#21 Posted by Wired_Abyss (46 posts) -

Yeah, achievements/trophies are really boring now. I don't even vaguely care about them anymore, but I will share a story about my favorite achievement.

Shadowrun was a FPS that came out in 2007, and it had one achievement called Shadowrun Fever and it was a viral achievement. You got it by tea-bagging someone who already had the achievement. This resulted in players realizing one person had the achievement, and then the whole team would be crowding around, tea-bagging the poor guy. One of the funniest gaming moments I've ever seen.

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#22 Posted by beforet (3470 posts) -

I obsessed over them for a brief period. Actually S-ranked Final Fantasy XIII (oh fuck that nonsense). Frankly, Giant Bomb dropping the support did a lot to help me kick the habit. Also not having time to actually play games nowadays. School is too important right now.

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#23 Posted by emfromthesea (2262 posts) -

If I really like a game, I'll sometimes try to do everything in the game, and getting all the trophies falls under that. I wouldn't ever get trophies for the sake of getting trophies.