Friday, March 12, 2010

Night of the Achievement Whores

I have encountered many failures when it comes to finding a X-Box Live friend who would want to play Culdcept Saga with me. I have been meaning to write about this new incident that happened last week but I thought that I would give it a rest for several days so that I could write about it more intelligently and with minimal emotional outrage.

Earlier this week, I got a message from someone on my friend's list whom I haven't played with in a while asking me if I would be interested in playing a 2 vs. 2 alliance match on Culdcept Saga. I am sure you have guessed it - I said yes immediately and soon after, I received a party and game invite. Apparently, it was me and my friend against these two strangers but I was okay with that. I knew at that point that those strangers were just looking for another win to add to their "win count" achievement but whatever, I just wanted to play the game after being away from it for so long. It was evident during the game that the two opponents we were battling knew each other really well with their decks being very supportive of each other's strategy. Losing was imminent but I played the game with smarts and I never regret playing with skills in a desperate battle. Here's what got to me though: my friend wouldn't listen to a single advise that I provided him during the battle - the other team pretty much talked to each other throughout the whole game. So, I sent my friend a message about going into a different chat to talk about strategies in which he responded negatively to. He stated that doing that would be practically pointless. After that, I pretty much just let the rest of the game played out with my team losing of course. Here's the more disturbing part: With every stupid move my friend made, I could hear the other team members chuckling and they were making snide comments to each other which didn't seem to bother my friend because sometimes he would chuckle along with them.

When the battle ended, all of a sudden an achievement-unlocked icon popped up on my screen and then I heard some hurrahs and cheers from the other ends of the mic - Apparently, everyone received this achievement that was unlocked with a single play of a 2 vs. 2 match. In other words, the only reason why the other 3 were playing the game was because they wanted to unlock that achievement! The strangers also got a bonus of keeping their win count towards another achievement that they were apparently working on. All of them then started a discussion about trying other things to unlock other achievements and I left them to their musings and celebrations. I have never cared about achievements (and trophies) ever since their introduction on the X-Box 360 and this is one of the reason why I think that it's a bane to gaming: It makes people play a game not to really play the game but instead, they play the game to get this "reward" that really doesn't add to anything in the game. In-game achievements where unlocking it would unlock other features in a game is what should be implemented in video games instead of this faux accomplishment phenomenon. I think I am done with looking for a Culdcept Saga buddy. I will not be looking for one anymore and just let nature takes it course - maybe I'll meet him/her/them in the future but then again maybe not but I really don't care at this point.

Who cares about fun when there's an achievement to unlock!
Some of the game's achievements are related to unlocking bonus costumes
for your Cepter, which is explained in-game. People should work on those.

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