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Monday, March 29, 2010

A Light-Hearted Achievement Whore Story

Well, well, well. Just when I thought that all the achievement whoring would not show up on my doorstep anymore, I now fully realize when it comes to "chie-ho", it's really never over until it is over. Besides, we are still in March and this is in fact the official Achievement/Trophy Whore Month. Though my anecdotes involving these sad individuals are normally filled with anguish, disbelief, and desperation, this particular tale is a little bit different. Well, the desperation to whore for achievements is still a big part of the story but at least I got a really big laugh out of the whole thing.

So I logged on to my Steam account earlier this evening and I noticed that someone had invited me to become a Steam friend. Since your Steam account name is not necessarily your X-Box Live gamertag, I was sure that the person who invited me was this cool guy I just met a couple of days ago on Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Chaos Rising. I really, really enjoy playing this game with this guy because he doesn't give a damn about achievements and the only reason why we play is to experience all the different facet of the games without worrying about whether or not we would be awarded with that silly popping noise when we are done with a session of play. So I accepted the invite and left my Steam account online while I was writing the previous entry for this site. Then, I noticed that my "new friend" was online so I sent him a message asking him if he would like me to join in on a game of Last Stand. He responded with a no and said that he wanted to play campaign instead because he needed to unlock some achievements. My blood ran cold when I saw that message of course because after playing that game for two days with this guy, that was the first time he made a "chie-ho" reference. I responded hesitantly with an "Okay..." and with that, he proceeded to explain that he needed 16 co-op missions from the original campaign and 6 co-op missions from Chaos Rising. At this point, I was totally confused but since the guy had been such a great chap, I thought that I would at least humor him with a mission before telling him that I had to go to sleep. Then, the guy proceeded to ask me for my X-Box Live account name. I was a bit "hurt" because I thought that he should know me by then but I quickly concluded that perhaps he never really cared who he was playing with before. So, I gave him my gamertag and told him that I was already on his friend's list.

When I finished with my article, I told him that I would be online soon. When I got to the game, I saw that the friend I have been playing with was already online, playing Last Stand and there was a new friend invite on my dashboard from the guy whose gamertag matched the Steam user name whom I had been talking to earlier. I almost died of laughter when I realized that I had mistaken the "chie-ho"for my pure gamer buddy! I quickly joined the Last Stand game with my friend and sent an apology message to the "chie-ho". That is right... An apology message. I stated that I had truly mistaken him for someone else and since I had made a commitment with a friend to play Last Stand, I would have to play a co-op campaign with him another time - which should translate to "never" of course!


A Last Stand run with friends is "chaotic good"!

Okay, that was definitely a hilarious form of "chie-ho" encounter. I just hope that with the passing of March, I will not have to directly deal with these people anymore.

4 comments:

Blake said...

I gotta say that there is another aspect to the matter.

Before trophies/achievements came out. If a game had a list of things that you could do within the game,things such has unlocking costumes, levels,items. I always wanted to do them.

So games like GTA Vice City, San Andreas that had a game completion of 100% or DOA Hardcore had you unlocking all the different costumes with hrs of matches and Silent Hill with its multiple play throughs to get different endings and get the secret weapons.

Were all things that I enjoyed doing without any acknowledgment of what I had done besides my own satisfaction of playing the game to 100% completion based of the parimenters given by the game.

So what do you call someone who plays the game until they discovered, finished, completed everything there is to do in a game when there was no Achievements/trophies involved?

I know for a matter of fact that this all stems from my up-bringing by my parents not buying me a new game until I have finished the one that I had. We didn't have alot of money to buy a new game because I got bored with or stuck with the current one.

So every game that I owned I played the hell outta it, I could play most of them with my eyes closed. Mainly because there were times I got stuck and didn't know what to do, so I would back track, restart the game, look for everything, try everything to make it past that part where I was stuck. Bosses were done again and again until it was burned to memory.

For me trophies are an extension of what you can do in a game.Task that if you want to take your gameplay further,can be tested!I always play a game for what it is and enjoy it that way. But after I have completed the game, I like to go back and see all the things I missed and possible task that I could attempt.

Yes, there are people out there who play everything under the sun just to raise their score. But some, like myself, do it because I enjoy doing the task listed on games.If a game is good, I gladly go back and play it again.

This is just another perspective on the matter to what you have all ready listed.

(sorry, I don't think it posted on the first time around-so if it gets posted twice, didn't mean too:))

Loner Gamer said...

There are always two sides to a coin. I never have a problem with people who casually enjoy unlocking achievements and trophies but there are something very telling, at least on my side of the coin, when people are too insistent on unlocking achievements/trophies like in the stories I have featured this month.

Going through a majority of these achievements and trophies, it is easy to see that most of them had nothing to do with the actual games they inhibit. A good example would be "chies/phies" that ask you to do things that you would not do naturally in the scope of the actual game. My main gripe with their design is this: do they give you in-game rewards? Mostly, no. When you can have a player jump 200 times just to get a "chie/phie" unlocked without getting anything inside the game, you know there's something wrong here. Another example that I have observed in the past is this: some people would actually play a certain section of a game repeatedly from a save point just so that they could unlock the multiple "chies/phies" that are attached to the character-altering or story-altering triggers during certain pivotal points of the game before continuing to play the game. They are not doing this because of the enjoyment they get from the actual gameplay - it's all because of their need to unlock the "chies/phies".

I like your description of GTA, DOA, and Silent Hill. Those are great examples of pure content-exploration of a game. Notice though that discovering all there is to do in Vice City, unlocking all the sexy outfits in DOA, and seeing all those goofy endings in Silent Hill provide you with something rewarding in-game. Gamers should ask themselves this question - Am I trying to get to all the contents because of what is listed on the "chies/phies" list or are they just playing the game to completion because they are enjoying it? Some "chies/phies" are deeply integrated into the gameplay itself - if not, I would not have "chies/phies" myself - but there is a fine line to be crossed here and I see where players are addicted to the idea of playing for the "chie/phie" more so than playing to enjoy the game. In the case of the "chie-ho" in this article: He wasn't excited to play the game because he wanted to enjoy the content again. Instead, it was the desire to see some "chies" unlocked that got him going. While I was giddy for some co-op fun, he was anxious to get a list of "tasks" done.

The most tragic thing, at least for me, when discussing chies/phies is that in their most basic forms, "chies/phies" are a great idea but the culture that they have created in the current gaming world is not a great one.

Blake said...

Yes, I agree that the culture it created has its dark side.It makes playing with certain people not fun at all.

But for me, it also creates a new level of enjoyment has well. I enjoy ticking things off from a list.

People get different things from games.

I have a friend who must play every new game that is released that week. So he will buy a game, beat it and bring it back for full trade in value on another game. So his game library is pretty spares, but he has played(finished) more games than I will ever have in my lifetime.

I have a friend who plays nothing but Left 4 Dead 2 and Battlefield and Street Fighter 4. To him those are the only games in existence. Trying to convenience him to play anything else is pointless, he gets all he needs from playing the same 3 games for the most of the year.

Then your gaming life where you own 2000+ games. (Quite a collection, very impressive)

So my point is that we all get different things out of video games. I am happy with a friendly online match with friends and chit chatting about the gaming world. Its a great way to experience everything through different people.

But yes, there are always people who take things too far in every aspect of life and it those that make it bad for others.

Loner Gamer said...

Video gaming does mean a lot different things to a lot of different people while "Chies/Phies" are capable of sucking the life out the signficance of the actual gaming experience and turn it into a something else.

That one friend of yours definitely need to consider renting games. Trading in games to me is another unfortunate tragedies in video gaming: You bought it full price and then the store buys it back from you for some measly amount when you can sell it yourself to get a better return.

There used to be a time when I would shop at GameStop and EBGames and it always breaks my heart whenever I see little kids, accompanied by their moms/dads, trading in a bunch of their video games. Scarred me for me life.