What Gaming Achievements Do You Like?

Gaming Achievements

The main point of this post is for me to ask you, “What gaming achievements do you like?” Feel free to skip the rest of this blog and just put your comments down below.

Even before video games tracked achievements for us, we often devised our own, unofficial ones. Win Space Invaders after shooting up all your defensive structures. Avoid activating any huts in Civilization. Keep Dogmeat alive all the way through Fallout 1.

The success of achievements on Steam has now made the concept ubiquitous in video games, and you can find them in tabletop games. I even know RPG GMs who come up with their own achievements for players who do something in especially spectacular fashion. This is one of the reasons games like the current edition of Fading Suns give players rewards when their characters do something especially cool or move the story forward on their own initiative.

Proponents of gamification point to achievements as one way to drive user behavior the developers want to see. In video games, achievements primarily stimulate replayability. In other apps, they might reward social interaction between members of a team, employees to comment on corporate wikis, encourage fitness app users to reach new health milestones, and so on.

Achievements also have a competitive aspect. Many players like to be the first to unlock or discover achievements, and there are entire web sites devoted to recognizing people who have unlocked all the achievements in certain games. 

However, I have never seen a list of what kinds of achievements players prefer. As a designer, I want them to try playing my games in the way I consider fun, which is why I give achievements for winning the game, and then more achievements for winning multiple times. I also want them to try different aspects of the game, which is why I give achievements for winning in different ways or as a different faction. I also want them to play my games in nontraditional ways, so they even get rewards for losing or trying paths that do not clearly lead to victory.

There are certainly achievements that have left me shaking my head. I remember earning an achievement in Tabletop Simulator for having played my first hour without flipping the table – something which I had no interest in doing and which I still have not done.

So, I ask again, what kind of achievements in games do you like?

Here are the achievements we included in Noble Armada: Lost Worlds:

  1. Knight – Win one mission (other than tutorial)
  2. Baronett – WIn three unique missions (other than tutorial)
  3. Baroness/Baron – Win eight unique missions (other than tutorial)
  4. Earl – Win 15 unique missions (other than tutorial)
  5. Countess/Count – Win 25 unique missions (other than tutorial)
  6. Duchess/Duke – Win 50 unique missions (other than tutorial)
  7. Lion Rampant – Win 10 unique missions as Hawkwood
  8. Mantis Warrior – Win 10 unique missions as Decados
  9. Defender of the Faith – Win 10 unique missions as Li Halan
  10. Tahir’s Path – Win 10 unique missions as al-Malik
  11. Estancia – Win 10 unique missions as Hazat
  12. Inquisitor – Win 10 unique missions as Church
  13. Skirmisher – Win 3 skirmishes
  14. Pious – Win the Church Campaign
  15. Conqueror – Succeed in Seize Station Mode
  16. Bold – Engage four enemy ships with just one Explorer in Skirmish mode
  17. Mammonist – Win a mission with more than 3000 firebirds
  18. Impetuous – Win a mission with exactly 0 firebirds left
  19. Varlet – Lost one mission (other than tutorial)
  20. Neer-do-well – Lost three missions (other than tutorial)
  21. Blackguard – Lose 25 missions
  22. Delusional – Lost a skirmish with one Explorer against four enemy ships
  23. Possessive – Own 10 weapons not assigned to ships
  24. Grease Monkey – have four ships and all four crews at full experience
  25. Drill Master – have four ships and all four marines at full experience
  26. Unyielding – Kill 10 ships in one session of Onslaught Mode
  27. Boarder – Capture five enemy ships by boarding
  28. Marksman – Destroy 10 enemy ships at range

2 Comments to "What Gaming Achievements Do You Like?"

  1. Rik Briscoe's Gravatar Rik Briscoe
    January 25, 2024 - 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m gonna expound on my Facebook comment a bit.

    Achievement – a·chieve·ment
    noun: achievement; plural noun: achievements
    1. 1.
    a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill.
    1. 2.
    the process or fact of achieving something.
    “the achievement of professional recognition”
    2. 3.
    a representation of a coat of arms with all the adjuncts to which a bearer of arms is entitled.

    So, basically, a player “did something.”

    In game achievements should always be a mix of learning, proficiency/mastery, and EPIC/LEGENDARY accomplishments.

    The base feeling of this is like a participation trophy, but this should probably be categorized in “Learning Achievements.” I also feel that this stage should NEVER be skip-able nor monetized in any way. Some games excel in teaching you how to play, even give you reminders, see Titanfall 2. Other games simply give you the “sink or swim” mentality, and even give you “pay to play skip options,” see Destiny 2 Lightfall.

    Let’s say you’re playing a game called “Goat Killer.” The object is to kill goats. You play for 100 hours, that’s an achievement. You kill 50,000 goats, that’s an achievement. Blah achievements.

    Now, you play “Goat Killer.” You play 100 hours without dying, THAT’S an achievement! You kill 50,000 goats with a pocket knife, THAT’S an achievement! THIS feels like you truly achieved something within the game.

    The stock proficiency/mastery of a game should show achievements. This shows constant progression and growth, the things that I think we all ideally strive toward. Some call it “the grind,” and repetition can be monotonous, but like working up to that Doctorate, it proves mastery. I also have to think of this like a beginner walking into a dojo. It’s not the Master’s ego that dictates your progression, it’s your ability to demonstrate what you’ve been taught AND build upon it to hopefully achieve a Master status one day.

    Games treat this segment in a multitude of ways, and you can’t call any of them 100% right, because for some, even these types of achievements are out of reach. I’m gonna pick on a couple of big boys for this one, again Destiny 2, and Red Dead Redemption 2.

    Destiny 2 first. You get this amazing EXOTIC weapon, their top tier stuff, and as you go about using it in the most basic grinding, you get this thing called a catalyst, which is very specific to this weapon, and once completed, it unlocks the most awesome EXTRA FEATURES of this weapon. Cool!!! It’s a 3 stage process. Okay. Step one is completing certain missions, basic stuff, no problem. Step two is killing an unknown number of NPC’s tracked by a % bar, again, no problem. The third and final stage to unlock this requires you to kill 250 players in PVP situations – HUGE PROBLEM. Even with the best weapons, some players lack the skills to do this task, and I’m “some players.” I can’t do PVP in this fashion, it goes against my nature as well as my skill set, since I’m more defense and support oriented. So, these types of achievements will forever be out of reach for me and others.

    Red Dead Redemption 2 time. Achievements tied to story progression. Makes a lot of sense, really, but the glitchy experience of how my PC combat interface has been, simply means redoing the same mission 5-15 times to get past it, so I can’t call it fun after a certain point, and simply free up 119 Gb of HD space.

    I’m gonna hear flack about those two, calling it a skill issue, and to a point, they’re right, but not totally. See, I KNOW my limitations, just clocked 61 revolutions around the sun, and I don’t have the twitchy skills I had even 15 years ago, BUT if a game is going to tie certain things to proficiency/mastery, there needs to be paths to completion available to ALL player skill sets and limitation, and not simply “Oh, it’s a FPS, but you have to be able to be a master of ALL situations to get that achievement.” That’s not simply proficiency/mastery, that’s strongly seated in EPIC/LEGENDARY achievement zone.

    My manager at Babbages and I both had the day off, so we got a case of beer, and proceeded to beat Super Mario Bros. There is no save feature, but we both had game strengths the other lacked, so it made this achievement possible. It’s nice to be able to look a customer in the eye and truthfully say that you beat Super Mario Bros. Kinda gives you some credibility as a gamer and not just some sales person, and at the time, this felt like an EPIC/LEGENDARY achievement in the late 80’s.

    Now, the skill, hardware, and internet connection decide if you can do such things or not. It’s a raid or team based thing, and again, all “me” issues. I can admire such things from the numerous videos on YouTube, but not gonna happen for me. And things like this CAN’T BE FOR EVERYONE. If everyone could unlock a device with access to the sum of all the world’s knowledge and opinions, it just ain’t special anymore. Not everyone gets an Infinity Gauntlet, doing otherwise vastly cheapens it. “Preorder our newest installment of Game Gobblers, and get this super special “wand of regret” (that next month will be free for just any bozo playing our free world content), for the low price of $59.99!!!” I mean, this never happens, right? These should be the true “a hero’s quest” items/rewards.

    “You just unlocked the Bobby Sipowitz Achievement.” Nothing in the games explains this. You Google it. Bobby was a mid player at best, but while on crack, crystal meth, and enough Adderall to kill a herd of elephants, he killed the Level 1-5 Bosses in one session, with one life, in record time, and died later that night from an aneurysm. Uh, maybe I need to take a break.

    I get than no single game can be everything to all people, and I’m old, so maybe a lot of this is sour grapes, or just tastes of toothpaste and orange juice. I guess I’m saying that you should classify things within the games correctly, so players know what to work for, and stop the bait and switch BS it feels like. Less confusion, just use your words!!!

  2. Rik Briscoe's Gravatar Rik Briscoe
    January 25, 2024 - 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Since my first comment felt more like a rant, these are the achievements I like.

    When you’re playing Assassin’s Creed and you’re rewarded with that panoramic view once you reach the very top of a structure.

    When playing Golf It!, you get the most random awards. Silly, but I like it.

    Almost ANYTHING in Goat Simulator 3!!!! You can’t stay pissed playing this game.

    Getting a NEW Legendary gun in the Borderlands series.

    Any game that laughs WITH me and not AT me.

    Getting those oddball achievements in Destiny 2. The moths on Savathune’s home world, the bunnies on the moon, and the star cats in the Dreaming City, those kinda things are my jam.

    Completing puzzle games puzzles without cheats. Maybe one day I’ll be smart enough to actually do this one.

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