Life as an Achievement Whore
I'm not (at all) into the Gamerscore scene, but after doing this Q&A and seeing a guy with over 131,000 points I am curious: is that as insane a point total as I think it is?
I had no idea this sub culture even existed, at least to this degree. Anyway my apologies for the self pimpage but I truly am curious if anyone has seen someone with anything close to that number.
Yeah, that's a lot of points. You can get 1000 per game, in theory. Most likely, he didn't complete every game to get all the points. So, I'm guessing he's heavily played 150 games or so...perhaps more. That's a lot of 360 gaming! My score is like 6k.
The most serious cases of achievement whoring are when people play through terrible games just to rack up easy points, or import games from other regions - some have seperate SKUs for Japan, Germany, etc. (and they might not be region-free, requiring you to import a new console as well).
There's actually some folks that have scores past 300.000 now. I think that's borderline insane, considering the time investment required. It does raise some questions...
I'm closing in on 32k. While I recognize that the points themselves are worthless, I do like how they have me thinking about games in different ways. You might get 50 points for completing a level using nothing but a wrench as a weapon. I would probably never have thought of that, so I'll try it to get the points and in trying, I'm playing a game in a whole new way. In that sense, I think achievement points are absolute genius. I just wish you could do something with them.
This will never happen: MS won't assign any value to them without controlling how games can dole out achievements. There are too many games that give out achievements for next to nothing (see: Avatar). Personally, I couldn't care less what my total gamerscore is, but I love achievements, especially the ones that, like you mentioned, make me try to play the game in different ways (like Wax On/Wax Off in Geo Wars 2).
Originally Posted by divorced
Thanks for the link to the article Mr. Abner. That was a great interview, and considering how many people here at Qt3 do write articles in various publications, I wish there was more self-pimpage going on, personally.
Originally Posted by William Abner
My own gamerscore is hovering around 35k right now, but that's mostly just because of sheer number of games I've played. I was just looking around my bookshelf the other day and realizing, "My god, I own almost 100 games for the 360". That is insane. I never thought I'd own that many games for one console. Plus I've played quite a few games that I've rented from Gamefly (though I try to use my Gamefly queue mostly for PS3 and Wii games, sometimes I do rent the occasional 360 game as well). But regardless, my point was that I'm not quite where these guys are, since I don't really concentrate all that much on getting achievements, but it is a nice bonus for me.
I did find myself nodding through most of that article, since I've also done things that are similar to those guys, like plan out a way to get all the achievements in one play-through, so I don't have to play a game multiple times. Mostly it's reading through a spoiler-free achievement guide before I start on a game sometimes where I make a mental note "Ok, so apparently there's a boss on level 3 that I need to beat within 5 minutes, so remember that".
Also, they mentioned using laptops, but what I do instead for some games is to use either the Wii or the PS3 browser to look up an achievement guide while I'm playing a game on the 360. So I'll get to a point in a game, then switch over to the Wii, and go to that point in the achievement guide and look up what I need to do for that section to get a tricky achievement. (That's how I found the hidden artifacts in Tomb Raider: Legends, and that's how I found all the collectibles in Condemned: Criminal Origins while I was playing those two games). It can also be really handy when doing something like looking for all the jumps in GTA IV: you just keep the Wii (or PS3) on the map that shows you where all the jumps are, and then you just switch video inputs whenever you're ready to look up the next jump.
One thing that I never even thought of doing, which was new to me when reading this article, is playing a game "off-tag". It makes sense now that I think about it. If I really cared about my completion %age, then knowing that I'd only get at most 200 GS by playing Escape from Butcher Bay in Chronicles of Riddick, it would make sense to play a game like that "off-tag". But the truth is, I was never at that level of interest in achievements and gamerscore.
Oh yeah, one more thing: I was really surprised to learn that all three of the interviewees were against the new policy of letting games have 1750 max scores once DLC is included. I would have thought they'd be all for it, like I am. But again, I just like getting achievements, I don't really pay much attention to the score. So it does make sense that allowing 1750 is more likely to lead to a feeling of the players that really care about percentage completion to feel exploited by DLC being assigned a gamerscore.
The no-self pimpage is one of Tom's very few rules and there's been bannings.
Originally Posted by Rock8man
The article was interesting as a look into an alien world - as was your post - I like achievements when I'm just messing about and something unplanned/weird happens and that nets me a humorous achievements, but I never play towards them, unless they're keyed to some gameplay unlocks. My gamerscore is around 4K and I own a launch unit.
I have a little over 13k now, but that's mostly because I rent games that I want to play but won't keep or ever play again. I really like the Achievements that push me to play the games in a different way. The Achievements that get doled out just for grinding kills in multiplayer or the ones that depend on a difficulty level annoy me.
Oddly, I care more about getting 360 Achivements than I do ones from Steam.
I thought you could use them to get discount for the junk on arcade XBLA or whatever it was called?
Late to the 360 party(summer 2007) I thought I'd never catch up to anyone so I focused on getting a good score ratio. Somewheres you can look up what your average score is per game. I try to get over 500+ per game so that way I can give myself a passing mark but sometimes games are just too much of a grind or too difficult for me(Rockband). My gamerscore is just over 9,000.
So is Will Abner going to get banned?
Originally Posted by Hanzii
Only if he doesn't fix his Blood Bowl tournament site.
I care very little about gamerscore, but have found myself checking the 360acheivments site lately to see if there are any easy ones to get while playing through. I'm only at 11,5k though with 111 games played so i'm not exactly a completionist....
No; MS has never offered anything like that. Gamerscore is totally separate to MS spacepoints. They've offered contests before that were tied to getting 'x' achievements, but that's as close as it's gotten.
Originally Posted by Foxstab
I've got about 23k in about three years of owning my 360.
Those against DLC awarding additional points are likely not so worried about their completion percentage per game. It is probably more due to them having traded the game back in (unfortunately from a time per GS perspective it is FAR more efficient to play a ton of games for the easier achievements and move on than try to max out the games -- the old 80/20 rule at its finest).
I've posted in another thread my feeling on GS -- personally I think the PS3's is better designed as it emphasizes percentage complete and while it still has a score it at least has levels and such to obtain so it's a little more fun.
Too bad the PS3's implementation on a per-game basis is so poor -- though getting better. Still some games with none, or with some but they use all the same icon, that sort of stuff (all having the same icon on the 360 used to be rampant -- recently I can only recall Prince of Persia and Conan falling into that annoying category).
If I recall the Old Spice Experience Challenge did have a points requirement, but again it was mainly for crap like T-shirts and the like.
Originally Posted by dogbert
Edit: Corrected name and added link. Also, later forms of this "challenge" were less focused on GS gain.
The vast majority of people playing _that_ many different titles, it's safe to bet, are doing one of two things: Renting or Stealing.
Originally Posted by Rock8man
They don't want extra points to be assigned to content you can't get on some unlimited use rental membership, or download from a torrent. At least, that's my interpretation.
Given where I work, having a Gamerscore of a certain level does equate to a certain bit of cred, at least when talking about games. But just because it shows you really are a gamer.
I'm not a GS whore, though like others, I do like it when GS gives me new ways to play through something. And it's just fun to get that little accomplishment as you work through a game.
I do find that GS has me do all my multiplatform gaming on the 360 or G4WL, though.
The trophies on the PS3 do nothing for me, oddly enough. I like the numeric representation better.
I have not once thought about achievements or gamerscore while playing a game, but playing for gamerscore isn't really any less legitimate then playing for score in individual games and there are tons of people who will spend forever on time trials in racing games or whatever
I like how my relatively low gamerscore can mask the too-much time I spend playing some games. 300 hours of Call of Duty 4 multiplayer = 200 GS points
I am an achievement whore and take pride in several of the games where I have earned high marks. I also try to avoid doing the 'easy route' by say renting Avatar for an easy 1000. My list is mostly comprised of specific challenge points I chose to accomplish, knowing how difficult they might be. Playing games I enjoy on the hardest difficulty, or performing unique feats, that are completely optional, is what I adore about the system. Though the entire reward is baseless, it is neat to have a running log of my accomplishments in a console cycle.
Some focus heavilly on the final score, but I tend to look towards individual game scores. It's also nice to have a few friends/rivals on the service to compare and contrast each game's breakdown.
And yea trophies don't really give the same value given how late in the cycle they appeared.
I completely agree with both of these points. When playing Infamous, I like seeing a trophy pop up, but it's not the same feeling as an achievement for some reason. It IS cool that you have to work to get to gold level and platinum and such. But overall, I often choose 360 games over PS3 mostly based on achievements. I happen to like the controller more too, but my main motive is those abstract goodies.
Originally Posted by DennyA
Heheh, yeah, and none of those 200 points are from the multiplayer. I also have a lot of hours in CoD4. That was another point made in the interview with those achievement whores: if your game is good enough to attract a multiplayer community through it's gameplay, then it will attract that community. Don't try to lure them in with bullshit multiplayer achievements. (Although I'm not opposed to having just a few, like 'play your first online game', etc. That way it's an incentive to get players to try multiplayer at least a couple of times, to get them to get a taste for it, and maybe they'll actually get hooked).
Originally Posted by gamadict
Another game like that which I've sunk the most hours in is Geometry War 2. There the incentive has nothing to do with Gamerscore, but with the high score table where some of you Qt3 bastards are way too fucking good. I've got a feeling I could spend hundreds of hours in that game and still not beat some of the high scores above me.
The highest from someone I actually know is Jeff Gerstmann with something like 85,000 gamerscore.
Mine is just at around 14,000, with my main excuse being that points earned on pre-release games are on a separate debug tag (which is the same reason why a writer's achievement list isn't a good reflection of how far s/he got in a game for review, since that review was most likely conducted on a debug). Occasionally, you get to review off of production discs like for Mass Effect, but in general, I'm not going to replay Lost Odyssey or Ninja Gaiden 2 or Wanted or Army of Two, etc. (I think Fallout 3 is the only game I reviewed on a debug that I played again on retail).
A friend of mine found out a way to get PS3 Trophies synchronized between retail and pre-release. That would help my 360 gamerscore a lot!
I'm not an achievement whore...except when it comes to RPGs and Hitman. In fact, I'm probably not an achievement whore at all, because I only buy 360 games I think would be fun to play. Real whores buy games only to get more points. Especially games like Avatard :)
Is that the way to tell? In that case, I'm not one either. But DennyA is! Heheh.
Originally Posted by EvilIdler
More seriously, there are lots of games on my gamercard that I didn't like. I either bought them from the bargain bin to try them out, or rented them. Usually I have a really low score in them though, because I found out early on just how boring/horrible/annoying the games are. Games like Turok, Blacksite: Area 51, The Club (that one is Tom and Dave Long's fault, I knew from the demo that I'd probably hate it, and I should have listened to my instincts), etc.
I usually try most first person shooters though, because you never know what will resonate with you that didn't resonate with most reviewers. Like Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, for example. Not a great game overall, but for a bargain bin game, just the first few hours of the game were worth playing before it got boring. Another one is Timeshift, which got middle-of-the-road reviews, and yet is probably the best single player shooter I've played this generation after Call of Duty 4. Maybe I'd even consider it better than Call of Duty 4, since it doesn't have some of that game's more annoying design choices. So trying out clunkers like Turok and Blacksite is a small price to pay for finding gems like Timeshift.
While I agree that playing for gamerscore within an individual game is as legtimate as playing for score in an individual game I do not think that playing for gamerscore across multiple games has any legitimacy.
Originally Posted by gamadict
There are just too many easy 1000 point games and with the churn that rentals allow and it skewing towards either those that have more time or more money (or both) it just isn't an accurate representation of anyone's skills, or any form of cred, or what-not to me. I've seen people with 30k points that I am far, far more wow'd by than 100k+.
Now, individual games, that's totally different. It's great to compare one's achievements with another person's for the same game. I also love achievements that encourage playing the game in different ways, to encourage collection, or even multiple playthroughs.
But in the end play however gives you the most pleasure.
Don't a lot of these guys do save-game hacking or something similar to get these scores? Maybe that was covered in the original article, I didn't read it all the way through.
It was done at one point but Microsoft began detecting it and banning people from Live for it. I have no idea how Sony intends to keep this from happening on the PS3.
BDGE and Rock8man don't know it, but they (along with RickH and Jim Preston) are the achievement barometers on my friends list. I can tell (or I should say, I think I can tell, not really knowing these guys) that we share the same philosophy of achievements in that we play games we like, but try to squeeze the most possible achievements from those games.
But I've never considered myself an achievement whore, per se, since as Evilidler pointed out I have yet to purchase a game just to fill out my score. I could give a damn about my score, to be completely honest. I'm probably closer to divorced's point of view, I like games that introduce a new angle, a way of approaching games that I may not have thought of. I've talked about this else (so won't stress the point) but the Orange Box is great for this.
I guess I look at achievements as a kind of scrap book. I can check out Pac Man: CE and think about all the time my wife (that's right, those aren't mine) put into it to get all the achievements. Or Fallout, which has probably taken more time than just about all the rest put together. My achievements are a source of pride, ridiculous as that likely sounds to many of you. They're my scrapbook, a memento of games I've enjoyed. I doubt they were intended as such, I sure never did, but I noticed that over about a year or so that they were a living document of things I had done, and it's appealed to me far more than I expected when I bought my 360.
You don't get banned from Live - your gamescore is just reset to 0 and they put a public tag on you (that I don't think can be removed) that says something like "I'm a gamerscore cheater!"
Originally Posted by Lynxara
Anyway, 100k isn't a lot. Check out these guys: http://www.trueachievements.com/site...aderboardid=23
I'm not really sure how you'd get over 300k - that's a lot of time and money.