Guest Writer: Trophies Part 2

So yesterday Boomshanks guided us through the Good of trophies. Today he finishes up his epic tale of trophies with the Bad and the Ugly.

The Bad

Broken/Glitched Trophies

There is nothing worse than fulfilling the requirements for a trophy only for nothing to happen. Trophies are there to prove to the world you did something important within the game. You reached a milestone, so to say. It’s not the trophies themselves that are important, it’s the milestones within the game you have achieved. That’s why it’s extremely annoying to stumble across broken or glitched trophies.

There are two ways to deal with broken or glitched trophies. First there is the choice to play the entire game up to the point where you should have gotten the trophy and see if you will get it now. This can be extremely frustrating if the trophy in question is one that can only be gotten fairly far into the game. The second option is deleting the game or save data and reinstalling it afterwards. This also has you fulfilling the requirements for the trophy again, resulting in the same or even more frustration.

Broken or glitched trophies can turn out positively however. For example, in Resistance 2 you only have to complete the final chapter on the hardest difficulty to get the trophy which would normally require you to complete the entire game on said difficulty, or They Really Love Me from Singstar which had absolutely ridiculous requirements and is now accessible for everyone.

In general broken or glitched trophies are a pain though. Even getting a random trophy out of nowhere can be annoying as it destroys the concept of trophies as a whole. A lot of people can’t be arsed to play an entire game again for one glitched trophy, with the added uncertainty if the trophy will unlock this time. It’s no fun, it’s unfair, get rid of it.

Huge Grind Trophies

Everyone knows these trophies. They often require you to get a cumulative of thousands of kills or points and are often the last trophies required for the platinum. They are the complete opposite of exploration trophies and, when seeing one, I can’t help but ask myself “How will getting 10.000 kills enhance my gaming experience”? The answer is of course that it will not. Instead it will just be the same old thing over and over again until the trophy pops. I’d rather the developers let us gamers choose which parts of the game we like most and are willing to spend most time on.

I really can’t fathom why developers would put grind trophies in a game. Sure getting them is showing devotion to the game, or trophies as a whole, but this goes at the cost of the fun. Usually these trophies leave people hating the game in question. Ask anyone who has recently gotten the 10,cc000 kills trophy in Resistance 2 if they still like the game. I bet 90% will say they are absolutely through with it and will likely never touch the game again. Well done developers, you’ve certainly killed the fun part there.

Grind trophies completely suck up precious time which would otherwise be spent on other games and fresh experiences. Instead I’m forced to do the same thing until I have reached a magical number some person decided would be good for the trophy. I can understand devotion but destroying the fun people had in playing your game doesn’t seem a good idea to me.

Online Trophies

If it were up to me all trophies would be about the offline part of a game, except for games who only feature online. Online trophies are generally the ones that are questioned the most whether they should have been included or not. They are the trophies which put pressure on me as a player because it sets a time limit in which I can obtain the trophies. For a lot of games the online aspect gets pulled after a certain amount of years which means you have to get the online trophies before that or you’re screwed. This doesn’t work well for me as I usually don’t buy games on launch day and I don’t go into the online part of a game until after I have completed the story.

Furthermore, online trophies make me dependant on other people and I absolutely hate that. Dependable trophies would have been a whole new category were it not for the fact they are always online (duh). Trophies such as Bling Brigade, for WipEout, which requires you to be in an online race with all players in campaign skins are probably fun to make up but they don’t work. It’s almost as if the developers want you to boost to get the trophies, but that can’t be the point. FIFA 09’s Duo Hedgeidecimal is probably the worst in this. Getting 20 players in a single online match is never, ever going to happen in a lifetime, so don’t include it.

The absolute worst online trophies are the grind trophies which require you to get to a certain rank or get this many kills online. It’s a vicious double whammy of bad thoughts which results in the most agonizing of trophies. The number of players keeps shrinking as time passes leaving me other players who only need those final kills or points for the platinum. The experience in itself becomes flawed and self-determination has to drag me to the finish line, be it in a terrible state. Exploring the online aspect of a game is fine but players will decide for themselves how much time they are willing to spend on it. If they like, they like it. If not, well then don’t force them to. These aren’t even the worst I’m afraid as there is one class of trophies which really makes my blood boil. This can only mean it’s time for …

The Ugly

Unobtainable Trophies

These really make me put on my rageface. They are the absolute worst of the worst as they alone make for an unobtainable platinum. I know there could be a huge discussion here as to what is fair and what not, but this is how I feel about it:

Imagine you go to a store and buy a bowl of candy. Now this candy has to be eaten which is exactly what you plan to do. You tell yourself that if you eat all of the candy you can have a biscuit as well. At first everything is going well but then a stranger comes along. He takes one piece of candy and holds it up real high, out of reach. You think this is unfair so you kindly ask him if he could put the candy back in the bowl as you bought it. He, however does not respond. You kick and scream but the stranger will not yield. In the end you are left with a feeling of being betrayed and having something taking away from you. There is nothing you can do however, so you eventually accept that you will never get the biscuit.

But I do want the biscuit, dammit. Most developers can’t really care for trophies so putting in a trophy that will only be attainable for a month or so is fine with them. Everyone that even buys the game after that time will simply be out of luck. Though there aren’t many unobtainable trophies they are there which is frustrating. Even patience, skill or devotion won’t help, so you will always be left looking at an incomplete number in that picture perfect trophy list of yours.


  1. I agree with you on some aspects, especially the grind trophies and unobtainable stuff such as certain games whose servers have now been pulled, only thing i could say is i got bad company 2 plat – rank 22 was last trophy but i keep on playing lol

  2. Tiger woods 11 is the worst for unobtainable. Play in a full 12v12 match is impossible. I posted on every forum imaginable, letting everyone know i’d be opening a lobby so come join me at x time to get the trophy. Most i got at any one time was 8 out of 24. Any trophy that requires x amount of players in a game, or play with x amount of people off your friends list are unfair, and badly designed. I’m happy with online trophies if it’s a game i’m going to play a lot online. I personally think games should be allowed 2 platinums, 1 for online trophies and 1 for offline. That’d solve the problem.

    • Motogp is guilty of that too… Win a race against a full grid of human riders….great, the maximum number I ever came across in one race was 10, and half of them went and quit out after the first couple of turns. I really wish trophies would be offline only!

      • We don’t need them to be offline only. We just need 2 seperate trophy lists for each game, with 2 seperate platinums. 1 online, 1 offline.

    • 12v12 in Tiger was one I’d managed to stumble upon one evening during the first week of ownership. As soon as the trophy popped everyone was quitting and left just me and a few others playing. Totally pointless in my opinion, at least make us all complete the game first

      • the other problem with it is that everyone who wants it got it in the first week or so after release, leaving people like me who picked it up late little or no chance to get it.

  3. i hate all online trophies and when the DLC trophies decreases the progess towards the plat yes dragon age i’m looking at you.

  4. Grind trophies are the worst … AWP and $5 million on GTA anyone??

    • Hm have to think back but do you not get 2x2million from playing through Gta anyway?but overall i agree Gtas trophies are a little over the top tough.

      • its online ….. grinding all the way

  5. The thing I hate most about broken trophies is that it can leave you in confusion…
    did you do something wrong?
    what should I do now to complete it?
    did you miss one blast shard? (or whatever you are collection)
    do I really have to do all this again!?
    and Boomshanks… what do you think of a grinding RPG like disgaea 3? you have to grind a lot to be able to defeat the level 9999 pirates… but to me it seems more that it is part of the game to grind… so would you say the developers are ruining the players experience because they have to work there team all the way up be strong enough for the hardest enemies?

    • Well the thing about Disgaea3 is that it’s basically a grind game. I’m actually happy all of the trophies are for things to do outside of the main quest, though some trophies are a bit too extreme, such as the 255 combo trophy.

      And don’t get me started on the freaking blast shards :P

  6. I agree with all of this, great article.
    Online trophies are ok only if they are achievable without any outside influence. Ones that require you to be the top 10 of the day or whatever are crap. What if loads of people buy that game and are awesome. I might be perfectly capabale of beating the single player on the hardest difficulty but there are always people, that some might call losers, who dedicate their every waking moment to being the best.

  7. I managed the FIFA 09 trophy but that took a hell of a lot of organisation. There was so many failed attempts.

  8. Here is a tough trophy do 255 damage in one hit with the main character on dragon age. It is impossible, believe me i have tried.

  9. I hate most online trophies. I don’t have 5 friends who own Bad Company 2 so i can’t knife them or 8 friends who own Burnout Paradise so i can’t meet up in wildcats baseball stadium so will never get that trophy.

    I’m currently working on my UC2 platinum and i’m glad that there is no skill required online trophies. The only problem i have is finding all treasures which ill never do without a guide.

    • Burnout paradise online trophies are crappy i agree with you there :P

    • the elusive baseball park… i’ve tried to lure players i don’t know into it. never worked out.

      • if you want the burnout baseball field trophy we could set up a meet specially?? I have the trophy but would be willing to help out…haven’t played burnout in ages

      • You can glitch that trophy, I admit I had to, it was the only one I needed to platinum. Even with the glitch it took some time!

      • Have set up a Burnout meet for Friday if anyone is interested. If you sign up please show up as that is the only trophy that i need for the plat.

    • I managed the Wildcats Stadium trophy *reasonably* easily, admittedly only a few days after the trophy patch was released.
      I just went into the online Freeburn mode as host, found the challenge for the stadium meet up and activated it.
      Any players who made no attempt to get to the stadium was harshly booted from the session.

  10. Unreal Tournament and Warahwk…impossible to get platinum without a help of a friend or if your so good at fighting godlike bots on UT

    • Oh god… I’ll need to log over 1,000 hours on Warhawk for that platinum, and I’ve managed half since release.

      • Warhawk was actually the game that made me realise that getting 100% on all of my games is actually impossible and is the first game I have given up on getting the platinum

      • It doesn’t help that Unreal Tournament’s trophies were implemented long after everyone stopped playing the game either.

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