Achievements/Trophies: How they hurt and how to prevent the scar? - TOGNick Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Achievements/Trophies: How they hurt and how to prevent the scar?

Woah, dramatic language there.   So it's no surprise but, Achievements and Trophies, have taken over the gaming community by storm.  Almost everytime a game is announced these days, gamers just have to know what they need to do to boost their gamerscore.  Not that this is a bad thing a scoring system to show how "hardcore" you are never hurts anyone.  We crave that quantitative data that allows us to measure up to our buddies, nemesis, hell maybe your mom.  But there is just something that I've noticed, and perhaps you have as well, which is the problem of the developers allowing us access to know what we need to do for our ego boost.

It's something that I noticed a while back during the boosting debates about MW2, and an idea I heard about why they are good all roled up in one.  When achievements first began, people were touting how they make us play the game a different way than what we would have normally, however if you purposely look at the achievements and always try to unlock them by forcing yourself to play in a certain way, have you not just there pigeon holed yourself in to playing in now a normal way? 

Would it not be better to play and try things on our own with no directions from developers.  Part of playing a game involves that certain level of your own influence in what happens to the characters.  If you were told that you have to complete a game using only stealth takedowns and you attempt to do this, have you not sealed yourself off right away to nights of frustration from trying to complete a game in a certain way?  Where is your own influence?

The reason I bring this up and to tie in boosting, have we not created a system where players will take easy ways out of raising their gamerscore, especially in multiplayer?  Think about it carefully, that booster in MW2, if there is an achievement for kills, is not only boosting his prestige or whatever it but also his gamerscore.

So the solution as I see it is not to eliminate gamerscores and trophies, but to hide them from us.  Let the players go out and fully explore a game before they unlock an achievement or trophy.  I think the satisfaction of unlocking something merely through your own exploration would be more enjoyable than getting frustrated trying to reach a seemingly unreachable goal, through nearly impossible means.

 

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