I’ll admit it, when gaming I’m a fairly anti social sod. I’m fine when I’ve got friends over and wanting to game, but when I’m playing online I really can’t be bothered to get to know people because sadly in many cases they turn out to be immature idiots, or even worse immature idiots that go ‘OMGZ it’s a gurl on the interweb :o’ cue me blocking instantly 😉
I’ve played my fair share of MMORPGs but the more I’ve played, the more of a loner I’ve become. In my EQ1 days I’d play with random groups all the time and it was great, but with the days of WoW, I just don’t want to do quests or raids with random people, usually out of fear of them completely mucking up and wasting my time.
This has extended for me with XBL, and in a strange sort of way I become a bit shy about talking much on there which doesn’t help the matter.
But along comes the knight in shining armour to near force me to play socially.
The online achievement!
I rented NBA Live 06 a little while ago, I got 960 points with no problem at all. It’s an incredibly easy game to get points on, however the final 40 points require you to play an online game and win.
As this game is comparatively old for a 360 game, and most importantly, pretty crap for a basketball game. It was impossible to find anyone online to play a game with at any time, plus knowing my luck they’d be amazing and beat me and I still wouldn’t get the achievement!
Enter X-Box Achievements.org a forum devoted to finding the best ways to get certain achievements and devoted to matching up online players with the same aim: to acquire the online achievements in the fastest time possible. The key thing being here is as it’s a community, for the most part people are fairly reasonable. Everyone wants the same things so I guess it forces everyone to be nice because you don’t really want to get a bad rep on the board as someone that buggers off once they get their achievement or is abusive on voice comms.
So I sign up, enter the NBA Live 06 forum and add a post to the thread of people looking for online games. And I meet up with this guy Krazy Bass Ted who according to the profile is the same age as me and in Durham. We arrange a game and spend most of the night ensuring that we both get the achievement.
I say most of the night because EA are crap and their servers are incredibly laggy and slow, so a short game manages to turn into nearly an hour for each game, and we both need the achievement! But we get it sorted, while we’re playing we exchange messages and it’s good fun. And a nice sense of accomplishment.
This is happening for all sorts of games.
Gears of War has the ‘Seriously’ achievement where you need to gain 10k kills in ranked games and there’s people arranging meet ups to do that right now
It’s a nice thing to see. Some may see it as cheating in the case of the GoW example, but when it comes to games like NBA Live 06 I think it’s good, it means people still get their achievements when ordinarily people wouldn’t return to such shoddy online games.
MS seem to have really cottoned onto a good idea here with achievements. It’s fairly safe to say it has been one of the biggest revolutions in recent years imo, only beaten by the Wii’s ability to get families involved. But it’d be impossible to compare them.