Updates Wednesdays

Comic 450 - Bragging Rights

Posted on Wednesday, the 24th of February at 12:00 AM, 2021 in 2021

Author Notes:

DanVzare Wed, 24. Feb 12:00 AM, 2021 edit delete
Achievements are just the modern equivalent of high scores. I thought high scores were pointless back in the day, and as such I see achievements the same way.
I mean sure, if you really like a game, and want an excuse to play the game for a few more hours, achievements are brilliant. Even more so if you're the kind who likes to complete 100% of a game. But for me, all they do is pop up every now and again, to remind me that I'm playing a game, no doubt in a pitiful failed attempt to try and give me my daily dose of dopamine.
The same used to be achieved by high scores for people. But then somewhere down the line, people grew wise to it. Probably because it requires effort to constantly beat a high score, while doing something as simple as "Complete Chapter 2" is something anyone who is playing the game will eventually do.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that going out of your way to get all of the achievements in a game, is like getting your name to number 1 on the high score table.


Geeky Meerkat Sun, 28. Feb 8:05 PM, 2021 edit delete reply
So achievements as they are used with most games actually do provide some useful information to developers.

For instance, if I look at Skyrim SE's global achievements I can see that only 65.2% of players have the Unbound achievement. You get this achievement by finishing what amounts to the tutorial area. So this tells us that for some reason almost 35% of people that have purchased the game stop playing before they've ever even finished the tutorial (or perhaps they install mods thus disabling achievements).

Be it mods or player retention, this can signal to the developers that something is not "fun" in that part of the game. Perhaps it has something to do with a 3-minute cart ride that can't be skipped. Considering that the original Skyrim has 88.9% of people having obtained unbound, this suggests to me that many people as soon as they installed Skyrim SE tried to get their favorite mods working.

On the flip side and looking at it from the player perspective, those early game "finish chapter 1" achievements feel like nothing more than participation trophies. At least hi-scores bring an aspect of competition to a game. Can I beat my friend's hi-score? But ya if you aren't competing against anyone (even your own previous hi-score) then that too is rather pointless.
DanVzare Tue, 2. Mar 3:21 PM, 2021 edit delete reply
Very well summarized. :)