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

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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.

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36 Comments

  1. i hate online trophies, i really do.
    and the grinding ones; it baffles me how a PSN game like UNO, with such a high price and so little trophies, asks of you to be top 50 in the world to get one!

  2. I’m not a fan of most online trophies especially with grinding (killzone 3) but some games might be cool with them if u play a lot online, COD maybe. Be interesting to see how MoH online trophies fare.

    • The MoH trophies are not to bad only 1 I can see as a problem is the trophy for using each of the offensive support actions in a round.

  3. When thinking about the glitched trophies only one really comes to mind for me, It is a missing riddler trophy in Batman: AA stopped me from getting my plat since I couldnt have been bothered playing the whole way through again for the trophy.

  4. I got all 100 feathers in AC2. Boom no trophy :|

    • That puts me off wanting to bother myself.

  5. Hey boomshanks, in regards to Resistance 2 (got the plat at 10 to 3, not going to touch it again (not unless there’s a meet, and I can be bothered).
    I find it more entertaining than Warhawk though if I’m honest, (probably because in Resistance the platinum’s more achievable, and the kills are more bloody), except when you get those people with wraiths, they will forever haunt me.

    Time to play other games now, whilst waiting for Resistance 3 (hopefully Insomniac don’t set a few trophies so high, 5,000 kills will do nicely).

    • I hate those Wraiths to death. Stupid, unbalanced weapon imo which is why so many people use it, aaargh. With Resistance 2 I have my up and downtimes. Sometimes I love playing online and sometimes it’s a stupid grind that I don’t really want to do. Congrats on the platinum though. With the speed you were ranking up kills it was only a matter of days before you got it.

      I’m very interested in Resistance 3, defeinitely a must-buy for me although I hope they won’t put a Killing Machine trophy in this one :p

  6. Good read Boomshanks, I especially agree with the section on online trophies and find it easy to relate to your article.

  7. Totally agreed there — good idea would be to make the 100% only for the offline trophies — and like once you click on a game you can get sub headings like offline, online, dlc etc. and only the offline ones can give the platinum. like a bonus feature if you get 100% in all the sub headings then you could get like a gold star on the game picture. sorry if someone already mentioned this

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