Synyster Graves

Random Events

by on Aug.12, 2011, under Ridiculous Achievements

Borderlands - It's so realisticBorderlands - The LubricatorBorderlands - Bobble-TrapBorderlands - What a party!EDF:2017 - All Weapons AcquiredRead Dead Redemption - In A Van Down By The RiverL.A. Noire - Auto Fanatic

The above mentioned are but a few of the achievements I’ve stumbled across recently that require random events to be triggered in order for you to complete the achievement. It’s an absolutely absurd idea to put something like this in a game as an achievement, as it’s not really an achievement at all by definition. Jumping on the back of a random event doesn’t involve any skill what-so-ever, and ‘being in the right place at the right time’, when you don’t know where ‘the right place’ or when ‘the right time’ is, can hardly be called an achievement, it’s more blind luck. Programmers that put this element of chance into their games should have differing degrees of torture applied to them depending on their particular game/achievement’s failings.

If something happens ‘randomly’, and the percentage chance of it happening is programmed at less than 100% (which it always will be), then technically there is a chance that it will NEVER HAPPEN AT ALL…. ever. Especially if, for example there is a ‘rare artefact’ lets say, and in our fictional game this ‘rare artefact’ has a 1% chance of appearing for you in any given level. Fair enough you may have to play a level 100 times for it to appear, but statistical maths doesn’t always work like that. That’s why it’s called ‘statistical’, and something with a 1% chance of happening has a very good chance of never happening for the rest of eternity.

I understand why game developers, especially of sandbox games, put collection missions and/or achievements into the game, they want the gamer to explore every inch of the landscape that they have worked over night and day for the past however many months to make just perfect. There’s an element of arrogance here, but if the game is good, then it can be totally justified. Plus most collection missions involve finding items that are in a fixed location (CD’s in Saints Row 2, Treasure Chests in Lego Indiana Jones), but random spawn or random drops are just plain stupid, as if you want to collect all these items, or even worse if you need them all to progress in the game, will mean that you have to sit there and grind for hours upon hours and it just makes the game not fun anymore.

So in conclusion, for the love of God developers, please don’t put achievements related to stupidly random events in new games as it just ruins the gaming experience and makes people resent you and your game. Everyone loses.

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