Jake

Idle Thumbs 196: Ode on a Grecian Hat Sale

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I agree with Danielle that the best achievements are the ones which inspire you to do something different, because for a lot of people, they often will play the game the same exact way, however, with that kind of achivement, they might try something new. This does not mean that it could backfire, at least I know a few people that due the fact they will complete every  single one, they might hurt the playing experience for themselves.

 

Overall I don´t look much after achievements, at best I give a quick look that the list, see what might be doable or could be cool and without much troubles before I start play something.

 

Now a fun thing: with Dragon Age Inquisition, I did had to use Origins after a very long time, but at least for a while, whenever you gain a achievements, the origins overlay will play what could be best described as "hellish sound" that freak me out, I had just upgrade my computer, so I freeze for a couple seconds worried that might something go wrong with the motherboard, until I noticed I had gained a achievements. Later I did turn off the sound and the overlay. Also maybe because I have no friends in Origins and almost no games there, I could care less about achievements there, on Steam is another story, but I again I don´t mind it very much.

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Chests not dropping any more doesn't really matter that much, they changed it so you just buy chests off the store instead of keys for chests. The chests were worth 3 cents on the marketplace so it was just a hassle if you wanted to burn money on keys. That was changed a long while ago anyway, you guys got an email from the hat baron about it then.

 

The 3 month delay on selling items from chests is really weird. A clockwerk set that came out 3 months ago was 2-3 euros before February 1st is 4 cents for each of the 5 pieces now.

I was typing my post on my phone and the bus showed up so I had to finish in a hurry, but yeah I wanted to say all this, too.

 

Henroid: I suppose partially, but also, I don't think Valve gives a shit about those people. Valve still makes money off of those sales. Also most of the time you're not going to be getting the special Rare or Super Rare items (see below for how chests work!), so those resellers don't actually tend to make money unless they get really lucky. I think the goal is just to make the items more "special". Fewer people are going to have those items for the first few months, and so it makes it much cooler to be the one who DOES have them through opening chests. (YMMV on definitions of "cool" in regards to in-game cosmetic items...)

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I don't understand the whole achievement/trophy chasing thing - it rarely if ever translates to free games or anything like that, right? I was playing Portal 2 co-op recently, and my mate insisted we spend 15 frustrating, dull minutes trying to get the achievement for jumping through all four portals in one go. Eventually he had to go find a youtube video and follow that. Mindlessly following external prompts for zero reward - it's like a rat in a maze without any cheese at the end.

Why do you need a reward to do something fun? I mean, you didn't find that fun, but I would have.

 

This reads like all those people I used to play WoW with who refused to do anything in the game unless they were guaranteed a chance at sweet loot. Really ruined that game for me for a while. "If I'm not getting anything out of it, what's the point!" I dunno, it's fun? Geez.

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I always saw achievement chasing as a way to add more game to a game. I can beat the game sure, but here are a bunch more optional objectives, more things to do. Achievements were super great when I was in high school and had lots of time for games, but not a lot of money for them.

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Is the delay on sales meant to be a strike against people who are trying to make a living on digital goods sales?

 

I very much doubt it. Valve makes money on every transaction so unless they uncovered a way people were laundering money or something insidious I would think they'd like to encourage sales.

 

Twig, which part would you find fun? Doing something to get the gold star very often isn't fun for me. Doing an achievement because undertaking that method of play would be fun is good. Trying to get something by rote because the goal is getting the achievement is usually not. It sounds like Ben's friend's motivation was "get a pop up notification" rather than "do a creative thing".

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Why do you need a reward to do something fun? I mean, you didn't find that fun, but I would have.

 

I was counting fun as a reward, one which we didn't get. It was an example of someone getting an achievement for its own sake, without enjoying doing it or gaining any material benefit.

 

As others have said, achievements can be fun, it's people doing them when they're not that I don't understand.

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Why do you need a reward to do something fun? I mean, you didn't find that fun, but I would have.

 

This reads like all those people I used to play WoW with who refused to do anything in the game unless they were guaranteed a chance at sweet loot. Really ruined that game for me for a while. "If I'm not getting anything out of it, what's the point!" I dunno, it's fun? Geez.

 

Why do you need an achievement for doing something fun? Shouldn't you just do this thing you find so fun?! HUH?! :(

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I like achievements when they're akin to something like clicking a unit a bunch of times in StarCraft.  Random, cool things the developer recognizes that not everyone will do but can act as a reward for the people who actually do it.  Unfortunately achievements can also ruin those moments if you see the list in advance of doing the thing and lose all the surprise.

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It would be fun to work to figure out how to jump through all four portals at once in Portal 2 co-op. Quite possibly a good achievement, depending on how difficult it is to actually do that.

But:

Eventually he had to go find a youtube video and follow that.

At that point, you're just collecting doodads to finish collecting the doodads.

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Why do you need an achievement for doing something fun? Shouldn't you just do this thing you find so fun?! HUH?! :(

Yes? This doesn't really disagree with anything I said.

Some of the things me and my small group of friends used to do in WoW later became achievements and suddenly everyone wanted to do them.

 

You're all reading way too much into what I said, though. I said: that achievement would be fun. I did not say: the way you did that achievement sounds fun.

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You're all reading way too much into what I said, though. I said: that achievement would be fun. I did not say: the way you did that achievement sounds fun.

 

Yep, and I clarified that I was criticising the way we did that achievement, not the achievement itself.

 

OMG NEW PAGE! HOW EMBARRASSING AND EXCITING AND UNUSUAL!

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Some people who play games like achievements.

 

Some people who play games do not like achievements.

 

Some people who play games are indifferent to achievements.

 

Some people who design games like achievements.

 

Some people who design games do not like achievements.

 

Some people who design games are indifferent to achievements.

 

And anyone who disagrees with any of the above groups is somehow wrong and they deserve to be shunned/mocked/ignored/threatened/etc.

 

There. Glad we got that all sorted out.

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Yep, and I clarified that I was criticising the way we did that achievement, not the achievement itself.

I know!

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Some people who play games like achievements.

Some people who play games do not like achievements.

Some people who play games are indifferent to achievements.

Some people who design games like achievements.

Some people who design games do not like achievements.

Some people who design games are indifferent to achievements.

 

And anyone who disagrees with any of the above groups is somehow wrong and they deserve to be shunned/mocked/ignored/threatened/etc.

 

There. Glad we got that all sorted out.

 

Are we allowed to say which group we belong to and why, and speak to our befuddlement at why people would be in some of the other groups?

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Can next weeks episode just be Jake saying "raspberry pie" on loop for an hour, thanks

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Can I be in more than one group? More than two?

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Sometimes I like achievements. Sometimes I dislike achievements. Sometimes I don't really care about their existence. This is all as both a player and a designer!

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Are we allowed to say which group we belong to and why, and speak to our befuddlement at why people would be in some of the other groups?

 

I suppose you could, but why would you do so knowing that you're wrong for some arbitrary reason?

 

 

Can I be in more than one group? More than two?

 

No. You must only ever have a single (probably incorrect) opinion, and if you ever change your mind, should be subject to even more scorn than before.

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I suppose you could, but why would you do so knowing that you're wrong for some arbitrary reason?

 

To be a hipster?

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My dislike of Valve more or less comes down to the thing they talk about in the podcast - they have 300 people there. What the fuck are they doing? Why is the most interesting thing about them their organisational structure and not their output? Particularly because that organisational structure has huge downsides - they can't function if they give developers their own offices, but devs function significantly better with their own offices.

 

I largely think they get given a free pass because they run Steam and so they're part of the infrastructure, and they're willing to talk about their crazy ideas, while everyone ignores that their ability to bring them to market is really poor. They're a company sustained mostly by hype, Steam revenue, and divested Microsoft stock options, and because of that they don't have to play in the same world as people who have to make good games to survive.

 

Rayman Origins, for example, is a beautifully presented, flowing platformer. But so much time, level design and screen space is given over to the collecting aspect of it that it really drags down the overall experience. So many rules and collectible variants and exchange rates and unskippable tottings-up and locked character rooms. 

 

I think the case for focusing on the core gameplay is frequently overstated. Take Tetris, for instance. I've played Tetris, I like Tetris, I'm done with Tetris. It can't engage me on the level of making tetrises any more because it's routine. I need some kind of meta-structure over the top of Tetris for it to be any fun.

 

There's a lot of games and game-ancillary things (like gamification) that do something similar - take an uninteresting or simple interaction, and layer multiple reward systems on the top of it. Does it go too far? Absolutely. Does it work? Absolutely.

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Yes? This doesn't really disagree with anything I said.

Some of the things me and my small group of friends used to do in WoW later became achievements and suddenly everyone wanted to do them.

You're all reading way too much into what I said, though. I said: that achievement would be fun. I did not say: the way you did that achievement sounds fun.

I was just joking... :sad:

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Does it work? Absolutely.

 

Sometimes.

 

Also - I may be misunderstanding, but I find your dislike for Valve a little odd. It's because they've been so successful that they have the freedom to make mistakes now? I don't see how that would lead you to dislike them...

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Sometimes.

 

Also - I may be misunderstanding, but I find your dislike for Valve a little odd. It's because they've been so successful that they have the freedom to make mistakes now? I don't see how that would lead you to dislike them...

 

I feel like they haven't been successful enough given the supposed talent there. It's like feelthedarkness said back on page one - it's odd how little they've managed to put out in the last decade, and how much of it is refining other people's ideas instead of creating their own. They bought Team Fortress, they bought CounterStrike, they bought Portal, they bought Left 4 Dead, they bought DOTA... they're like a publisher that just doesn't outsource, one that has the money to just buy out competitors instead of trying to out-compete them.

 

So why do we expect that Valve are working away on the next great game idea? They're not, and they haven't for a decade - the next great game idea is going to come from the team they buy, and yet people act like they're not EA with better PR.

 

I don't have a problem with Valve, per se, I have a problem with everyone else's perception of Valve.

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I feel like they haven't been successful enough given the supposed talent there. It's like feelthedarkness said back on page one - it's odd how little they've managed to put out in the last decade, and how much of it is refining other people's ideas instead of creating their own. They bought Team Fortress, they bought CounterStrike, they bought Portal, they bought Left 4 Dead, they bought DOTA... they're like a publisher that just doesn't outsource, one that has the money to just buy out competitors instead of trying to out-compete them.

 

So why do we expect that Valve are working away on the next great game idea? They're not, and they haven't for a decade - the next great game idea is going to come from the team they buy, and yet people act like they're not EA with better PR.

 

I don't have a problem with Valve, per se, I have a problem with everyone else's perception of Valve.

 

I thought EA had other issues that Valve doesn't, or at least did in the past: http://ea-spouse.livejournal.com/

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