Reader Discussion: What do Achievements/Trophies Mean to You?

ReaderDiscussion1

In this Reader Discussion segment Fysh and I will weigh in on the seemingly controversial topic of achievements and trophies in video games. Everyone seems to share a different attitude in regards to earning achievements/trophies, whether it be positive or negative. Some people care a lot about gaining these rewards while others couldn’t possibly care less about them and there are varying reasons for both sides of the coin. It mostly comes down to the individual and what they really want out of their overall gaming experience which is why we thought this topic would be great as a Reader Discussion.

LadyCroft3’s Take

I’ll be straight with you, I am on the fence with this subject. On one hand I enjoy getting trophies and achievements since they fill me with a sense of accomplishment but on the other hand I hate that they are lorded over me by others in an attempt to show off their “gamer cred”.

Trophies and achievements serve a positive purpose at their core. As I said above they give us a sense of accomplishment when we hear that ping. They also push us to go further, beat the game multiple times, do challenging things and generally spend more time with a game. This is taking into consideration that you care about getting them at all. If you look over at my trophy card there on the right hand side of this page you’ll see that I only have 2 platinum trophies, one of them is for Telltale’s The Walking Dead which only requires you to beat the game to get the platinum and the other is for PlayStation All Stars which was another really easy one. As far as achievements go I only have The Walking Dead 100%’d (again) and I think I have four 100%’s for the Xbox 360 (which I am actually kind of proud of since they took a lot of time and effort). I like getting trophies and achievements but there are some out there that I don’t even bother with, which is why I even come close to saying I’m an achievement/trophy hunter.

achievement-wasting-time

The other side of my fence, if you will, has less to do with the actual achievements/trophies and more to do with the community. I really dislike it when people try to act like they are better gamers than others because of how many platinums or 100%’s they have. I mean sure, be proud because you deserve to be, but don’t try to tell me I am less of a gamer because I don’t really care about a number next to my name. To me, trophies and achievements aren’t even half of the overall gameplay experience so when folks say that they mean everything it just makes me think they don’t even care about the game itself – only the score they earned off of it. Another issue? Multiplayer trophies/achievements. You all know what I’m talking about. *cough*TOMB RAIDER*cough*

All in all I will remain on the fence. I enjoy achievements/trophies about as much as I find them annoying. I don’t want them gone, but I want people to stop treating them like they are the only thing that matters in a game. There are people out there who wont play older games that came out without trophies/achievements (such as Heavenly Sword) or games that don’t have a platinum trophy available which is pretty darn silly since who cares just play the game and have fun. We should play games to enjoy them first, trophies and achievements should always take the backseat to the gameplay experience as a whole.

Fysh’s Take

Personally, I think in general trophies/achievements serve to cheapen a game by adding artificial value and replayability. However, some of these can be fun and interesting, and maybe that artificial extra value isn’t always a bad thing. The problem is the over saturation of the cheaper ones. These of course being things like getting trophies for simply completing a level, getting a certain number of kills with certain weapons, having certain completion times, etc. These are either just pointless handouts, or simply a reason to compulsively monitor certain stats in a game. Things like this can be annoying when all you really want to do is play the game and enjoy it.

That being said, the types I think are more worthwhile are those earned for things like completing the game on the hardest difficulty, taking on extra challenging task that you might not normally think to do in a game, or finding all the secrets in a game. These provide incentive to get the most out of your game and add extra value by encouraging you to play in ways you might not have done otherwise.

Being a somewhat obsessive compulsive gamer I sometimes find myself wasting time trying to get trophies or achievements, and I have come to realize that it can hurt the game experience when this happens. I don’t focus on simply playing and enjoying a game when I get too wrapped up in trying to 100% it. But I do find some of the more interesting and inventive achievements to be fun and worthwhile. I always go for the hardest difficulty as well, so getting extra rewards for doing so is kind of nice. Should it matter that I get digital props for doing so though? I remember when I would beat games on the hardest difficulty and all I got for it was a sense of accomplishment and the right to boast to my friends about it. Of course there was no achievement I could point to prove I did it, but that was just part of the honor code of gamers back then.

Ultimately the bottom line is that achievements/trophies are simply meaningless fluff added to game these days for a sense of accomplishment and bragging rights. They can be fun, and even add extra value, but they can also be annoying and pointless. The simple truth is we as gamers can take or leave them when all is said and done. We don’t have to acknowledge them just because they are there, but if we choose to, we can take them for what they are worth and maybe get some extra enjoyment out of our games.

What’s your take?

  • What do achievements and/or trophies mean to you?
  • Are you an achievement/trophy hunter? Why?
  • What are your reasons for liking or disliking achievements/trophies?
  • Would you play a game right now that didn’t have achievements/trophies?
  • Do you strive for 100%’s or platinum trophies or not? Why?

Share your thoughts/opinions. Get loud, be heard, speak your mind! We’d love to read your feedback.

13 thoughts on “Reader Discussion: What do Achievements/Trophies Mean to You?

  1. I like the trophies you get as you play through a game. It helps me keep track of what games I need to beat. I have a large back log >_< I go for the Platinum trophies in games I think I can actually achieve. It has helped me beat a lot more games on the harder difficulties than in the past, but I play plenty of games without even attempting to get trophies. I play the game first. Then I'll decide if I want to try for 100% I really hate tacked on multiplayer in games so getting trophies in those modes is always annoying. I've only got 100% on Bioshock and Assassin's Creed's multiplayer modes.

    Like

  2. Great post.

    What do achievements and/or trophies mean to you? Not a whole lot. I don’t usually go out of my way to try and get a trophy unless I just really love the game.

    Are you an achievement/trophy hunter? Why? Not really. I have a little over 2,290 trophies… 14 of them are platinums. Of 188 games I’ve played on PS3, I have 100% completion on 15 of them. I don’t really care to hunt because even when I get the platinum DLC comes along and adds more trophies, usually multiplayer related, and it messes up my 100% for the game simply because I don’t care enough about trophy hunting to get some of the time consuming multiplayer ones.

    What are your reasons for liking or disliking achievements/trophies? I don’t have a problem with them. Some of them, the harder ones, I enjoy getting. The Last of Us on Survivor+ was one I really enjoyed because it was a challenge I was going to undertake regardless of the trophy and only 10% of the people who’ve played the game have done it. I have 31 of 34 trophies for The Last of Us, and the only thing stopping me from having the platinum is two multiplayer trophies. I must say that I’d like to have the platinum (because I have it for all three Uncharted games), but I don’t care to play the multiplayer that long.

    Would you play a game right now that didn’t have achievements/trophies? Yes. In fact I played Civilization Revolution the other day on PS3 and it came out before trophies. Don’t even think about it while playing. Assassin’s Creed is a game that I would have the platinum for if it had trophies… I did everything the 360 owners would have done to get 100% but I did it because I wanted too and didn’t care that there were no trophies for it.

    Do you strive for 100%’s or platinum trophies or not? Why? If it’s a game I really enjoy, and doesn’t have crazy or time consuming multiplayer trophies, then sure. But I have to really like the game. I’ve platinumed: WWE 2K14, Dragon’s Dogma, Saints Row IV, AC3, inFamous, inFamous 2, Spec Ops: The Line, all three Uncharted games, WWE 12, AC Revelations, AC2, and Smackdown vs. RAW 2010.

    I would have the platinum for AC Brotherhood, but I got it late and didn’t want to bother with grinding trying to get to level 50 and doing all the other stupid requirements in multiplayer. I was working on getting Black Flag, but then got swamped with other games and I haven’t gone back to it. There are other games I’m quite close to getting, but don’t care enough to do. I have to really get into the game and it not feel like a grind or a chore to get all of them.

    Like

    • Thank you, I enjoyed reading through your answers!You mentioned how it’s not really worth it to grind in order to 100% games there towards the end and I agree. There are a handful of games that I could get platinums or 100%’s in but I just don’t care enough to spend all the time it takes to get the few I need haha.

      Like

  3. I’d tell you my take Lady Croft, but I completely agree with yours. I even have the same amount of platinum trophies as you: The Walking Dead Season 1 and Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD.

    Like

  4. They are okay. I liked them originally but they’ve been cheapened a lot over time. First, by the really stupid, shallow ones that companies feel compelled to throw in. The sort that just serve as a means to direct traffic (things like ‘entered a multiplayer lobby’, for example). Secondly, by the sort of people who take them way too seriously.

    I prefer them when they are a straight-forward way for developers to point out how to take full advantage of a game and to reward players with a public star showing that they bothered. Collect all the collectables? That’s dedication! You deserve a reward and that reward is an achievement.

    I think that’s why I love Steam’s so much. Each achievement tells you its rarity among all owners of the game, and that’s it. You get to feel special and sometimes you really ARE special. It’s when people start showing off the quantity of achievements rather than pointing out the specific interesting/difficult/dedication-worthy ones they’ve accomplished that the whole mechanic sucks.

    Like

    • I concur, very well said. The trophies that are just for completing a chapter or playing a round of MP are pretty stupid and meaningless. The more challenging ones are the worthwhile ones and it’s not about the number you have but the quality of the ones you acquire. You mentioned how Steam shows the rarity among the community of each achievement and I’d like to note that the PS4 does that too, which is cool. So when I take the time to find all the collectibles or do all the side missions I can see that I am a rarity, which feels nice 🙂

      Like

  5. I really can’t be bothered with trophies and achievements. Back in the day, the only achievement was completing the game itself and, where relevant, completing it on the hardest setting. And a game’s replay value was determined by how much you enjoyed playing the game rather than how many obscure trophies you missed the first time around.

    Like

    • Well put, I remember the old days when all that mattered was having fun and beating the game, not how many achievements/trophies you earned. Replay value shouldn’t be gauged by the amount of trophies one has to get on the second playthrough but whether one even wants to play though it again, ie if the game is good enough to play it again.

      Like

  6. Hmm…I’m not as obsessed with getting trophies/accomplishments as much as I used to. Well, even in the past when I used to game a lot, I did try to get as many accomplishments as possible, but not too hard. But the feeling of accomplishment can be amazing if you have a great journey. Just one example was when I only needed one more trophy in Super Smash Bros Melee to get everything in the game. I accidentally deleted it. When I got everything in Brawl, I nearly teared up. Shallow, I know, but it was a great feeling, especially considering the challenges of getting everything xD

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s