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XBox (Games)

360 Achievements More Popular Than Microsoft Imagined 117

Posted by Zonk
from the flaunting-those-sk1llz dept.
GameDaily is hosting an article looking at the phenomenal popularity of Achivements on the Xbox 360. Even the marketing team that came up with the idea is floored by the incredible popularity of what CliffyB referred to as 'nerd cred'. From the article: "Achievement points are changing the way gamers play. While the tendency had been for people to play a game through to the end and then toss it into a closet, many gamers are now going back and playing them again, this time to unlock achievements to boost their Gamerscore. Or if they only played the single-player version, to go back and play the multiplayer or online component. Or to go out and buy games they would not ordinarily have purchased. Or to rent games."
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360 Achievements More Popular Than Microsoft Imagined

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  • by guysmilee (720583) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:30AM (#17473870)
    Do i get points for running IE7 instead of Firefox? I better boot my other partition ...
  • Ah, validation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Control Group (105494) * on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:31AM (#17473872) Homepage
    The only thing that surprises me about this is that they're surprised - achievements are the first thing I said "wow, that's a good idea" to when I got my 360. It just seems obvious that in a hobby where people used to mail Polaroids of arcade machine high-score screens to each other (and to gaming mags) something like this would catch on like wildfire.

    The encouraging thing is that, so far, I haven't heard of too many games (and the ones that are guilty of it are from EA...no shock there) that have stupidly easy achievements included just as a way to encourage people to buy them ($60 for a meh game, but with a guaranteed 1000 points attached). My gamerscore is a paltry 4600 or so, but even I've been lured into trying certain things over and over just to get an elusive achievement.

    Looked at objectively, of course, it's ridiculous - but subjectively, it hearkens back to the console games the eighties and nineties, where you'd obsessively try to beat Facility in less than two minutes to get a new cheat code, or spend an hour jumping on Goombas to get 99 lives.

    Sure, the points can't be redeemed for anything - but since when have high scores in games, or unlocking all the secrets, or beating Mike Tyson, ever been redeemable for anything? Really, all this indicates is that, while the days of gamers striving for the number one high score have been supplanted by most games being story-based (or at least, game-completion based), there's still an attracting to having a number that says you're exactly this much better or worse than the next guy.

    Hell, haven't there been cases where a low slashdot uid has been sold on ebay? It's all about cachet amongst a certain type of geek/nerd/gamer, and they're surprised that a metric for providing exactly that cachet is popular?
    • Sure, the points can't be redeemed for anything - but since when have high scores in games, or unlocking all the secrets, or beating Mike Tyson, ever been redeemable for anything?

      IIRC, wasn't there a contest when the original Punch Out (with Mike Tyson) was first released where you could win actual physical prizes? (Of course, there were other physical prizes offered in the past, including some damn expensive jeweled swords and such in the Atari days, but it's Mike Tyson that triggered the memory of so

      • Now that you say it, I think you're right. Obviously, I never scored any swag that way, or I might have remembered it myself.
    • by backtick (2376) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:49AM (#17474182) Homepage Journal
      Hell, haven't there been cases where a low slashdot uid has been sold on ebay? WOOT! Really? :)
      • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@co[ ]ll.edu ['rne' in gap]> on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:05PM (#17474432) Homepage
        Don't think yours would be worth much, it's kinda high.
      • I've got six digits attached to my name (curse those last 5,494 people who clubbed up to screw me!), so it's not a market I've personally entered, but I'm sure I've heard of it happening.

        On the other hand, a quick ebay search on "slashdot" doesn't turn up any current auctions, which means the market may have dried up.

        Alternatively, of course, it could mean that the market is pristinely untapped. You should probably put your uid up for bid and see what happens.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ximenes (10)
        Some dude with a three or four digit uid sold his years ago. I've been waiting for the value of mine to improve with age.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          Reminds me of a sci-fi story where the "Number 8", the highest still-existing human since humans began numbering themselves, and essentially a god(dess) in abilities, had f***** up an experiment royally and destroyed a galaxy and all the people in it.

          If you want to improve your standing even more, tell 'em it's in binary.
        • by El Long (863542)
          Lysdexia tried the other day [ebay.co.uk] but bids only made it to the dizzy height of $1.04 so it's gonna be a good long while till mine is worth anything!

          On the other hand no-one on here should be without their copy of this [ebay.co.uk] fine tome - hurry, only 10,000 copies available!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      In the old Atari days, Activision had a program where you turned in a photo of a high score or some form of completion, and you could get a patch. The patches were specific to each game, with a few actually offering more than one for different tasks, such as getting one-hundred-thousand points or one million points in a game.

      Activision released a game comprised of all their Atari games, plus a few extras such as prototypes, freeware homebrew, and even a joke program (venetian blinds). In it, it also imple
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Saige (53303)
        Outpost Kaloki X has an update available that takes care of the bugged achievements - all 200 gamerscore is achieveable now.
      • I dislike the concept of achievements. I already have to keep my WoW character in top shape, now I have to watch after my gamerscore as well?! Seriously though, achievements have never affected the way I play games: first, single player once, then multiplayer if present, until I get bored, then forget and move on to next game.
    • by maxume (22995)
      You can run a little faster if you use the two controller setup, look a little to the side, and run a little to the other side.

      I was anything but confused when the controllers started having two analog sticks on the ps2/xbox/cube generation.
    • Facility: 1:42. Best time I've seen.

      It's all about the headshots and proximity mines.
      • by mike2R (721965)
        Facility: 1:42. Best time I've seen.

        ok I realise this is the final proof that I have no life, but.. Wow that's impressive!

    • > Really, all this indicates is that, while the days of gamers striving
      > for the number one high score have been supplanted by most games being
      > story-based (or at least, game-completion based), there's still an
      > attracting to having a number that says you're exactly this much better
      > or worse than the next guy.

      Ahh, I long for the days when you knew you were better than the next guy because a mouselook down showed his bloodied head lying on the metal catwalk at your feet. Outscoring the numb
    • by Sizzlean (820489)
      Those bastards at Atari still owe me badges for mailing in a picture of my high scores in Pitfall and Dolphin.
    • "The premise is very basic - you roll the ball up the ramp at varying speeds, in an effort to pop it into the score circles. The higher the score, the more prize tickets you get."

      "What do you do with the prize tickets?"

      "Trade them in for prizes that aren't worth nearly as much as you paid to play the game."
    • by rholliday (754515)
      Exactly! This isn't entirely a new idea, but it's an excellent execution of it. I've always been a fan of collectable items of accomplishments. In the games I've worked on I've always made sure something like that got developed. I called them Achievements in CORE MUD, and Survival Guide has its Trophies. A lot of gamers love this stuff, and I'm surprised it hasn't been tapped more in recent years.
    • ...by the Star League, to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Kodan Armada.

      It's because every one of us has this secret hope that our Achievements will be noticed by someone, and we'll be whisked away to fly a giant CGI starship [imdb.com] full of laser beams and death blossoms.

      Or is that just me?

      • by jafuser (112236)
        The fact that the parent is not modded up is a good example of how young slashdotters must be these days.

        Damn kids! *shakes a cane* =)
    • High scores are great and all, but total scores across all games available no matter how bad they are?

      Sorry, but that's like fucking every ill-tempered, ugly chick you can find and then bragging to your friends about how many times you got laid. If that's what you really want, then more power to ya.

      TW
    • Sure, the points can't be redeemed for anything

      That's an awesome idea. I'm sure there's all kinds of things they could think of in the form of downloadable content that they could reward players with. Sure, it's called 'unlockables' when the content is already there in the game, but this would allow them to develop the content later- if no one bothers to play the game much then the developer needn't ever waste that additional money developing bonus content no one was unlocking anyway.

      There are parallels t
  • Uh oh. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:33AM (#17473904) Homepage
    360 fans seem to have been bitten by something akin to the MMORPG "leveling obsession".

    Good luck, my brothers. Good luck.
  • Simple Explanation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by endianx (1006895)

    360 Achievements More Popular Than Microsoft Imagined
    Because Microsoft has no imagination ;-)
    (Sorry, couldn't pass that one up.)

    Having played many a MMORPG myself, I have seen how addicted people get to, well, just numbers. The goal is to have higher numbers than other people. That makes you special/better. Doesn't matter if the numbers mean anything or not.
    • by xtracto (837672)
      Having played many a MMORPG myself, I have seen how addicted people get to, well, just numbers. The goal is to have higher numbers than other people. That makes you special/better. Doesn't matter if the numbers mean anything or not.

      www.tacticsarena.com The son of a bitch game got me for more than one year... (a girl friend introduced me to it so it was cool). The more stupid thing is that each month your account gets wiped and all your points are completely removed unles you *pay* (however when you pay th
    • by Kelbear (870538)
      Yah, few people associate the achievement number with skill since it doesn't seem like there's any standard for doling them out. Though they may be impressed by particular achievements like the highest Geometry Wars achievements.

      Really, I'm satisfied even with the small somewhat easy ones. Just having that little bloop and the message popping up gratifies me, and I wanna see what "feat" I accomplished, since I'm betting I'm not alone in that I love to get achievements but don't actually pursue them until I'
    • Well, I'm certainly surprised. Microsoft aren't popular at all, so surely people could think up a 361st achievement which is more popular than them? Only to be able to imagine 360 achievements which are more popular than Microsoft is kind of poor going.
  • Arcade scores of yore. Even if you finished time Crisis, you played through it again to get that number 1 spot. That's one thing I'm glad MS bought to the table with the 360. I makes people actually play though the game for bragging rights.
  • Popular? (Score:4, Informative)

    by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:46AM (#17474144)
    I skimmed through the article to find the numbers and this is what I got:

    Of the four million people we have on Xbox Live, in one year they've unlocked over 200 million achievements; that's 50 per person.

    Now, when you consider that Battlefield 2: Modern Combat has 46 achievements, Dead or Alive 4 has 45 achievements, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion has 50 achievements, Gears of War has 49 achievements, Ghost Recon has 43 achievements, Kameo: Elements of power has 50 achievements, and Perfect Dark: Zero has 50 achievements it demonstrates that "50 achievements per person" is really not that impressive; a person could probably get that many achievements by casually playing a couple of the most popular games on the XBox 360.

    I could be wrong, but I suspect that there is a dedicated group (probably 200,000 or so) of hard-core gamers who will do nearly anything to boost their gamer score but the numbers Microsoft is avertizing do not imply that Achievements are all that popular.
    • Many of the achievements in all of those games are obscure and difficult to get. While there are certainly a number that are simple, most actually require some effort to get.

      I would suspect that for the average person to get fifty, especially when most only play a couple of games in a casual manner, is actually a surprising figure.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I don't doubt that in many of the games there are a lot of very difficult to obtain achievements but I was trying to point out that (like all statistics that use the mean average) they are easily manipulated by a small group of people. Suppose (for argument's sake) that there are 250,000 XBox 360 owners who have completed 24 games to obtain 48,000 points each and each of these games had 25 achievements (on average) giving each player an average of 600 achievements; this would mean that the rest of the userb
        • Re:Popular? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Control Group (105494) * on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:39PM (#17474970) Homepage
          Just a couple points of interest:

          First, each full game is supposed to have 50 achivements totaling 1000 points. This hasn't been strictly adhered to, but it's what's supposed to happen.

          Second, 360voice.com will give you a list of the top gamerscore holders that have registered their machines on the site (a sample of ~70,000). The top gamerscore is over 100k, #50 is almost 60,000, and #100 is almost 50,000. #35,000 comes in with a score of 3110 on 31 games played. The bottom of the list, of course, contains people who have scores of zero (though I did see one guy with a score of zero and twenty-three games played, which is at least mildly incredible to me).

          I'm not sure what this says, and I suspect the sort of person who signs up to have his XBox 360 "blog" about his gaming habits skews the results towards higher gamerscores, but it's interesting nonetheless.
          • by Duds (100634) *
            No, each game is supposed to have 1000 points but they can have UP TO 50 actual achievements.

            Some have as little as 5 and that's fine.
          • by prockcore (543967)
            though I did see one guy with a score of zero and twenty-three games played, which is at least mildly incredible to me


            Nah.. he probably doesn't own any games.. He can play all the XBLA demos (I think there are at least 23 of them), he can't earn achievements unless he buys the game, but for some reason, the XBLA trials count towards "games played".
          • From what I know the actual achievement rules are as follows:

            Full retail games: (those $40 and up at release)
            -anywhere between a minimum of 5 achievements and a maximum of 50.
            -total cumulative points must be 1000 or below (I'm not sure if there is a bottom end but the lowest I've seen is somewhere in the 600s)
            -individual achievements must be worth between 0 and 500 points

            Arcade or otherwise cheap games: (those below $20 and below release)
            -anywhere between a minimum of 5 achievements and a maximum of
        • by Cheeko (165493)
          Its also a matter of how you play certain games. I got Burnout for the 360 and was doing lots of multiplayer and online, with some minimal single player. Then I opted to unlock the whole game. I think I got to about 60% of the way through and only unlocked 1 achievment since I was just blasting through.

          At least in THAT game, the achievements benefit you playing WELL, not just playing through it quickly. After I stopped and started really going for the absolute best scores/times on every single track, di
      • by EvilIdler (21087)
        I've had a 360 only two days, bought three downloadable games and two more in stores.
        This has given me 22 achievements, and I haven't even started playing the two big games properly.

        A week with five downloadable games, played casually, would easily give you 50 achievements.
        • Most downloadable games do not have 10 "easy" Achievements. They only have 12 total since they're 200pt games, and many of them are hard. I got my 360 on Dec 11th and I've been playing casually since then and I only have 26 Achievements. Most of them have come from the easy Acheivements at the beginning of various games I've tried. I got a big chunk of my points from Call of Duty 2, which I finished, but only got 200pts from the whole game since the rest of the Achievements would require me to replay th
    • ...it demonstrates that "50 achievements per person" is really not that impressive; a person could probably get that many achievements by casually playing a couple of the most popular games on the XBox 360.

      Actually, that's not true. From my experience, 'casually' playing an XBox 360 game will get you less than 5 achievements, usually around 3 tops (although this varies by game). And the easy to unlock achievements tend to be weighted accordingly, usually accounting for less than 10% of the total achive

      • Exactly. Most of the achievement points in most titles are notably difficult (or at the very least, time-consuming) to acquire. I've put over 100 hours into Oblivion, and I'm still nowhere near having all the achievements, since I haven't worked my way to the top of each guild. DoA has an achievement for getting an "A" ranking in online play (also for lower rankings, of course), Kameo has achievements for practically perfect scores in online play as well as in single player, PGR3 has achievements for owning
    • by RexRhino (769423)
      Except that a lot of the achievments are too difficult for a player to achieve, or too tedius to attempt.

      For example, a lot of the acheivements involve playing the game at all skill levels... some involve beating the game using a single weapon. The average player isn't going to get 50 achievments on a game, they are going to get closer to 20.
    • by Morgon (27979)
      Well, at MyGamerCard.net [mygamercard.net], we host the Xbox 360 GamerScore Leaderboard [mygamercard.net] in which you can see that some people are taking more achievements for themselves than others.

      50 Achievements is still a lot. As other posters have mentioned, you're not going to get all of them for each game you play. Some require a lot of dedication, and some, like EA's early games, allow you to gain all of the Achievements with minimal work required.

      Achievements are definitely popular. They help boost game sales without a doubt. Not ne
  • My awesome idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sciros (986030) on Friday January 05, 2007 @11:53AM (#17474228) Journal
    Ok, I just wanted to throw this out there because otherwise I'll forget it. Personally, I was put off by Nintendo's pricing for its virtual console games for Wii. Way too high for me since I already have most of the games I'd want to play on the original cartridges and they still work. Anyway, Xbox 360's Achievements gave me an idea. Rather than paying $5-10 for a game title, players should be able to redeem a Nintendo equivalent of "Achievement Points." And the service would track what achievements were redeemed so players could only use them once. This way, in order to get more virtual console titles players would need to buy/play more games on the Wii. Nintendo still makes money, and gamers don't get the "I'm spending money on nothingness" feeling. Naturally this would require some tweaking so players can get a reasonable number of titles per however-many Achievement points, but I think it could work quite well.

    Imagine if Microsoft had a similar service (well, ok, imagine it had Nintendo's old games available on it) and had you redeem something like 1000 pts (random value) for a game download? I think that would be awesome, and would likely sell a lot of consoles.
    • by ookaze (227977)
      Nintendo already have a similar system.
      But it's different because the kind of people targeted by Nintendo is different.
      Nintendo has stars. You get stars each time you buy some game, and by doing some things on their official web site, where you must have an account of course.
      Until now, except in Japan, what you could get with stars was useless. Actually, it's still useless now.
      We are waiting for Nintendo to tell us if these stars can be converted to Wii points, which would be a good move.
    • by batmn42 (158573)
      It would work great for consumers-- if you play more, you get more games to play.

      But it would be a terrible idea for the business. "Spent" achievement points don't show up on a company's profit reports.

      Right now, Microsoft is winning on both sides of the achievements equation-- it costs very little for them to keep the Achievements system up and running, since they've already built in a tracking system, and it obviously (as they say in the article) drives both sales and rentals.

      Turning Achievement points i
      • by Sciros (986030)
        Nintendo was, for a time. I totally registered some games on their site for a free GCN disc of the old Zelda games. There we go, I just saved idk how much money on Virtual Console Zelda games. Then there was the bonus "Ocarina Master Quest" disc that they gave away along with Wind Waker (I forget the circumstances, maybe a preorder or something). Considering having folks download old games is probably costing Nintendo next to nothing, it wouldn't have been any worse for them than Xbox's system. On top of t
        • Considering having folks download old games is probably costing Nintendo next to nothing, it wouldn't have been any worse for them than Xbox's system. On top of that, they could have sold "Achievement Point" cards at retail stores that came with 5000 pts.

          In that example you are very literally buying a high score, which is a bad idea and defeats the purpose of Achievements. I also don't like the idea of "Selling my high score" for a game. A better idea is to tie specific achievements, to specific downloa

      • by Kelbear (870538)
        Also note that they're primarily selling games on a retail basis rather than suscription. They got their money when you bought the game, if you spend hundreds of hours getting achievements for a free game they don't get anything more.

        However, if you only play say 10-20 hours and then have nothing to do but go buy another game, they get more money.
    • by DeeDob (966086)
      This idea, in a perfect world, would be great.

      However, the video game world isn't perfect. All "achievements" arn't equal.
      Some EA games are really easy to obtain for exemple. That would mean more points to the gamers for which to get new games online (if i follow your idea).
      Because of that, you are right to say that people would buy more Wii games to get more online stuff. The only problem i see is that soon people would realize that EA games are more easy and buy mostly EA games because they give free onli
      • by Sciros (986030)
        I understand exactly what you're saying. However, I don't think it's necessary to think of my version of Achievements as being "worth money." Rather, they are worth "old Nintendo games." In a lot of ways, you'd be trading nothing for nothing (Nintendo probably doesn't really lose money uploading a 1-2 meg game to your Wii I figure.)
        • by DeeDob (966086)
          Nope. Nintendo WOULD lose a considerable amount of money.

          It would be another discussion altogether, but basically Nintendo competes for your leisure time.

          Every minute you would pass playing one of their "free" games would be a minute you wouldn't pass playing a Wii title.

          Just as XBOX Live arcade games actually competes with the 360 games on DVD, it is the same market. Giving a "free" game on Live arcade would actually remove time you would spend playing other games.
          • It could work for ad-games, like the recent Burger King promotion though. In that case everybody wins: gamers get a free, crappy, but probably funny game to play, MS gets paid, though indirectly through an advertising firm, and some company exec gets to claim he's "hip" and "with it" for his new ad campaign, which maybe even works: If you spend 40 hours with the burger king logo plastered in front of you, you're gonna think about whoppers next time you've got a craving for bland, fatty sandwiches.
    • Sounds like Animal Crossing for the Gamecube. Do enough work, and you could unlock playable NES games. Only problem was, you'd have to start up Animal Crossing to play them. Many other 'cube and DS/GBA games have done this, with the classic game being unlockable. Now, extend this through all of Nintendo's Wii titles, with the centralization of the VC - I LIKE IT!

      Oh, and for those harping on "it won't make them any profit"... Some of us, MANY of us in fact, bought Animal Crossing specifically for the dozen o
    • by GrayCalx (597428)
      Like some other repliers pointed out its good in theory but probably won't work or happen in the real world... why give away games people might otherwise buy. On the other hand, what about special Themes or GamerPics that are free to download after certain thresholds, 1000, 2500, 5000 or something like that. Minimal cost for microsoft to create and it gives a little weight to the achievements.

      Yet again, people are already going after high scores just for bragging rights so why would they need to give an
      • They actually sort of already do this. Some Achievements in games will unlock gamerpics for you. For example if you beat Insane difficulty in Gears of War you get a new gamerpic - though unfortunately the system doesn't seem to have any way of mentioning this so I'm sure most players don't know this has even happened. Of course with Live that's not even necessarily a bad thing, as sharing 'secrets' with other gamers is a big (and often ignored) part of the appeal of videogames.
  • While I understand that whole "high score" mentality, I wonder if this will ever become a gaming benchmark of sorts. In TFA it states that companies are making the gamers earn the points in some ways, but that can turn very easily especially if this phenomenon is as catchy as it sounds. I can see EA (EA is just an easy target) dumping tons of achievement points in all their games so that the gamers struggling for top positions will have to play just to earn easy points and that may cause other publishers
    • by dlZ (798734)
      I believe they're only allowed a certain amount of points per game (with it being less for the Live Marketplace games.) So even if they make it super easy to get them, they can't make the game have 10,000 points. So there's at least a little bit of balance. The hardcore achievement points people are going to buy/rent the games anyways, some of these players going as far as to have an import system also so they can play games not available in their area (you can have your live account on more than one sys
    • by Saige (53303) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [alegna.live]> on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:08PM (#17474492) Journal
      All Xbox Live Arcade games are required to have 12 achievements worth a total of 200 gamerscore. All retail games are required to have between 5 and 50 achievements, worth a maximum of 1000 gamerscore.

      And the issue with "easy gamerscore" was more prevalent near launch, as the concept was still new and not all the developers put effort into creating worthy achievements. The 2K sports games, for example, had ridiculously easy achievements in the 2K6 games - NBA 2K6 and College Hoops 2K6 each had only 5 achievements, and they are easy enough that you can get all 1000 gamerscore in a single game, and a lot of people have borrowed/rented those two because they're so easy. But if you look at the 2K7 titles, there are a lot more achievements, and they're not nearly as easy.

      If you check one of the websites dedicated to achievements (such as Achieve360Points.com [achieve360points.com], you'll see that games have really improved their achievements over time, as most games have a few easy ones that you get early on, a good amount that you get when you really spend time in the game, and then a few that are extremely tough - though the ridiculously tough ones such as getting #1 on the leaderboard have also disappeared lately, because they just result in people gaming the leaderboards to get there instead of actually playing.

      And I think it's just as impressive to see the websites that have taken advantage of having your gamer profile visible on the web, such as MyGamerCard.net [mygamercard.net], and created leaderboards and the like based on the gamerscore.
      • by JFMulder (59706)
        I've seen achievements ruin Xbox Live games. I mean, some people are playing on Gears of War to unlock the grenade tag achievement. They'll play over and over and over only with grenades simply to tag people. The problem is this is a pretty difficult strategy because a lot of people favor the shotgun and those grenade handling players become easy shotgun practice. I can't count the number of times I've killed someone who was just trying to tag me with their grenades just so they could get the achievement. H
        • I mean, some people are playing on Gears of War to unlock the grenade tag achievement. They'll play over and over and over only with grenades simply to tag people. The problem is this is a pretty difficult strategy because a lot of people favor the shotgun and those grenade handling players become easy shotgun practice.

          They will either stop when they get their acheivement, or simply get frustrated from their single minded strategy not working. What do you care though, it just helps you get closer to the

    • by miyako (632510)
      basically, each game can award a certain amount (I want to say 1000) points to the gamer. The game developers can divvy this up however they want. Basically, they could theoretically give you all the points just for buying the game, or they could make them all nearly impossible to get.
      In practice, the way that it usually works is that each game gives you a few points for every "milestone" in the game, a few points for relatively common things, most of the points on various difficult but not impossible th
  • The Achievements are definitely a great way to get people to keep playing a game they may otherwise have put down after awhile, but ultimately they are useless.

    It has come up in discussion with friends about how the Achievement system could be improved, and we all pretty much agreed on the points need to have some kind of value.

    Microsoft sells "Gamerpics" through their Xbox Live service. I'm of the mindset it's absolutely ridiculous to pay real money for a 1"x1" image that becomes associated with your Gamer
    • by nomadic (141991)
      The Achievements are definitely a great way to get people to keep playing a game they may otherwise have put down after awhile

      And this is a positive thing because...
      • by CeePhour (978089)
        Because a lot of gamers today start good games they never finish (if it's a bad game it doesn't apply as obviously you're playing for fun).

        What happened to the days of picking up a game and playing it through and through? These days the often wonderful single player campaigns are overlooked for multiplayer gameplay. In a game like Unreal Tournament this is fine, as the single player offers limited challenge and reward compared to human opponents and trash talking.

        This is a real kick in the pants for single
        • by Kelbear (870538)
          This is EXACTLY why I'm plugging away so much time into Geometry Wars. There's no goals otherwise, it just gets harder, then you die. If I get a good score, that may be nice, but it's no real benchmark without comparison.

          But since I can see my friends scores and their achievements, it's compelled us to strive for the next one, then the next.
    • by Saige (53303)
      Games have the abilities to award gamerpics through game play. There aren't many taking advantage of this, but there are a few - and I'd really like to see more use of it. It's not the same as what you're talking about - but it could cover some of it.
      • by CeePhour (978089)
        There are a few, like the Marcus Fenix gamerpic for completing Gears of War on Insane, and a few games come with the Gamerpics when you download or play them (XBLA has a few notables- but recently they have been adding "picture packs" for 190MSP [mspconverter.com]).

        It would really be nice to have more pics though, as once you get a solid Friends List going you start to see a lot of the same pictures (apparently I'm not the only one who doesn't like to pay Real Money/Billy Bucks for Gamerpics).
    • by trdrstv (986999)
      Why not have the Gamerscore (poins earned through Achievements) count as Microsoft Points that can only be used towards Gamerpics and dashboard themes?

      In a round about way you have that, but it's game specific. In Gears of War, 2 of your most difficult achievements (Complete the game on Insane difficulty, and getting 10,000 kills in ranked multiplayer matches) Unlock gamer Pics. Personally I like this method as it showcases at a glance you completed something difficult, and didn't just grind easy achiev

  • The achievements attached to video games are nice, and they give you milestones to shoot for in a game you enjoy. However, there is a downside to certain achievements that can only be unlocked in a multiplayer scenerio...

    Multiplayer Past: Avid players rack up countless hours honing their abilities to be god-like in their game of choice. Those that play casually can respect the fact that these players are very good and have dedicated time to becoming so.

    Multiplayer Present: Games with achievements base
    • by Reapy (688651)
      You don't even need two accounts. I was just surfing around looking for tips for rockstar's table tennis game, and just about any forum I ran into was full of posts "Help me get xx wins" and people exchanging gamer tags so that the two of them take turns losing to each other. I guess it just sort of shocked me since those were almost the ONLY types of posts I saw, and very rarely did I see one where a person was discussing how they actually play the game. Sad.
  • by C0rinthian (770164) on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:06PM (#17474462)
    I don't think there is any disagreement that Microsoft absolutely nailed their online service. I have a 360 and a Wii, and I find it rather disappointing that the online utilization of the Wii is so poor compared to Live.

    Just an example: Rayman Raving Rabbids - You can post your scores on an online leaderboard! To do so, you need to copy a code from the screen, go to your computer, and enter the code in a website. Come on, codes? Are you kidding me? This wonderful Wi-Fi enabled white box can't upload my high scores for me?

    I love the Wii, but damn, Nintendo needs to catch up with their online service.
    • Agree wholeheartedly with your last point. It's a shame that Nintendo didn't get their online "service" working for launch, and so didn't release any online functionality to developers. Rayman: RR would be a LOT better if you could upload your stats from the Wii and try to beat the scores of other players right from your chair.
    • Agreed. So far, the only useful item has been the shop. I really don't have the time for online gaming like I used to, but I would love to be able to jump on SSB for a few minutes and pummel someone that's half a world away. Nintendo needs to reduce the pricing on the classic games and get their online philosophy worked out.
    • This is Nintendo's first console to officially have an online component. IIRC, XBL wasn't originally as nice as it is today. Give it some time, and I hope that Nintendo will let their service mature.
      • by Pojut (1027544)
        not COMPLETELY accurate...

        the super nintendo had that crazy stupid modem thing the XBand (at least I think that is what it was called). Granted, however, this is their first one with it from the start and integrated.
  • silly? (Score:4, Funny)

    by bigdavex (155746) on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:31PM (#17474854)
    I'd say this is really immature and pointless, but I'm afraid it would adversely affect my karma rating.
  • by oni (41625) on Friday January 05, 2007 @12:46PM (#17475100) Homepage
    It's nerd cred, man! ... You can compare it to the feeling you get when you pull up to a restaurant in a Lamborghini. People go, 'Oooo, he must be somebody.'

    except that, presumably, number of achievement points is INVERSELY related to change of getting laid.
  • They add a new layer to the games. I went back to play CoD2 on Veteran for the achievement and found it to be a better game that way. I'm not sure I'd have done it otherwise. It also just gives you some goals to shoot for and not just run through a game.

    I'm borrowing a PS3 right now and they have a similar system. One place that it is better is that by earning their reward points you can unlock things like concept art or pics. The bad thing is that with no central identity I can't see which achievement
  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:23PM (#17476854)
    I really don't care about how many gamer points I have. But what I have found is that gamer points are a great way to figure out if someone really likes a game. Someone has unlocked only 10 points on an XBox Live game? Avoid. Someone unlocked all 200? I should take a look at it. Same thing with full games: someone unlocked 800 points in The Outfit? I'll take a close look at the game.

    It's essentially a way to see what my friends are playing, and how much they've been playing it. Works as a great way to figure out what I should I buy.
  • Even though I don't have great reflexes or anything, it's nice to know that after 61 levels on endless mode, my rank is better than 8000 ...in Bejeweled 2 :)

    I don't know if that's world or just US, but it's still a nerdy accomplishment.

    Oh, and I stopped because I let my 360 shut off for power saving without saving my game last time, so I couldn't resume. But I know if I want to start over and play it for weeks, (you try doing more than 10 levels a day, every day, without going crazy) I can get 550 levels, w

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