The wonderful world of gaming milestones and awards. Microsoft started with Achievements on the Xbox, and then Sony added in their take to the rewards system on their console a couple years later – trophies. Both of which have swept the gaming community in the past few years, they make you play harder, complete more, compete more, and just simply get more money out of your game. Both are fantastic, but both also really need some work, Xbox gamers out there can probably relate to this article quite a bit, but I’m only going to focus on PlayStation’s Trophy system since it’s by favorite awards system, since I personally know trophies inside and out, from top to bottom. I know how achievements work, but I don’t know every little, tiny official nook and cranny that Microsoft may or may not have with the system, so to avoid confusion or mistakes regarding the achievement system, that’s why.
The title of this article may shock you, because the trophy system is honestly a very well built system that has had some nice improvements over the year, and it is my favorite system over all consoles for many reasons, but in all honesty, it is actually hugely limited as to what it could actually do, what I envision it to be one day. If you find the trophy and achievement systems on Microsoft and Sony’s official consoles to be the best that they can be right now, then I really advise you to read this article. I used to think they couldn’t add much more to the trophy system than it has already, but then I started thinking…
Let’s Start With the Basics
Let’s get the small things out of the way, the things that should really be added soon because in all honesty, these are no-brainier things that should be added already. One thing I always have wanted is a progress meter! Why do I have to make a mental countdown, or in more complicated situations, an actual count on a piece of paper on how many enemies I have killed out of 50 with a knife? Why is this not here? Game Center on the iPhone even has this! Also, why don’t my trophies automatically sync to the server right when I get them? Why can I not delete trophy lists for games I have at zero percent, or games with low percentages that I don’t want to play? Why aren’t game percentage and add-on DLC percentage different? There are many no-brainer things like this that I’m still waiting for, and hopefully make it soon, but am I crushed if they never make it? Not really, but I may as well get these things out of the way.
Websites Can do this, but Sony Can’t?
Something I have always found seriously interesting is that non-official trophy websites are actually taking people’s trophy statistics and seriously doing the most impressive things with those stats. For example, you have a website like PSNProflies.com (definitely check them out, awesome site), who are taking simple time, date, and stats of totals and numbers of people’s trophies and showing some seriously awesome stuff with the stats, for example, they actually have a universal trophy leaderboard that shows many people’s scores on it, and all of the top players on it too. Did you know that the top trophy collector just hit level 100 (1%) today and the person in second place has the most platinum trophies? 628 of them to be exact (and that person cheated to get there). Cheating is another thing, this non-official website has software that is able to detect cheaters due to their time in-between getting trophies or maybe getting one trophy before another that may be an impossibility because of loading save files and so forth. Then this website goes in and marks the games they cheated in with a big, red line across the specific game, and also taken off the “clean” leaderboards, showing only legitimate players.
When going to your profile on this website you are presented with your world rank, your country rank, your completion percentage for all of your total games, amount of games you have 100 percented, the website colors your game names based on if it completed DLC, or a full game that is completed or platinumed. You have the option to arrange the list of trophies in numerous ways, you have the ability to see the rarest global trophies that you have, you can see specifically all of your platinum trophies, the website even takes the trophy point system into huge use (bronze is 15 points, silver: 30, gold: 90, and platinum trophies are 180 points), you can go and see the games with the highest or lowest completion rates, you can see certain milestones (40th platinum, etc), you can go and view graphs and charts that relate to how many total trophies you’ve gotten depending on the time of day, or day of the week, the graph breakdown of total bronze, silver, gold, platinum trophies next to one another, *inhales huge gasp of breath* … and the list goes on and on and on, what I’m getting at is this is absolutely impressive, non-official websites have voluntarily done this, and that means this website is not the only one, only my personal favorite. It’s absolutely crazy, and most of these features are not even close to being on the PS3 or the PSVita, none of them. Heck, even Sony’s trophy section of their official website is very basic in comparison but still has things that the consoles do not.
My question after all of this is why? Why doesn’t the PS3 or Vita give you stats, leaderboards, numbers, charts, and information that many people find so beneficial, why isn’t the huge, thriving community that is sectioned on all these different gaming websites all connected over PSN instead? Why does the trophy community feel so advanced and connected on Internet websites, but so disconnected on official Sony consoles, websites, and applications (still waiting on a PSN app, by the way). My issue is, all of these things should be implemented already officially, even if Sony has to buy a community website to do it, I don’t care, it just needs to be done eventually! Same goes with Xbox Achievements, there are so many of these things listed that are not even on Microsoft’s console either!
Forums and Guides, Surprised?
One thing that is massive with the trophy and achievement communities are the guide websites, these websites are filled with people that are so organized, knowledgeable, and so willing to help that some even construct and entire guide for helping out other players, this guide is then double checked and made better by commenters of the guide, and don’t even get me started on how helpful YouTube guides can be, these video’s are also embedded in forum guides. These websites are absolutely amazing and helpful, never have I been lost for an answer, every answer is there for me, even for those games that may be completely unheard of.
Here’s the issue about these forums and guide websites though, I have to open up my laptop or wake my iPhone up and type the trophy guide I am looking for on Google and then find a website. I always wondered what happened if the process was cut-down by a major margin. Why not when I’m looking at a trophy on my PS3 or Vita’s trophy list, can I not select it and find this huge database of player comments, guides, ratings on the guides to bring the best to the top, video embeds from YouTube (or what would be even cooler, made right on user’s PlayStations), and much more – A huge, official PSN, living, breathing center of information for one, single trophy.
If you think that sounds crazy, the Wii U is basically doing this right now! Nintendo doesn’t have an awards system, but if you’re stuck in a level and keep dying, you can pull tips up right on your gamepad and find detailed instructions from other players over the Nintendo Network who have also had issues with that part of the game. Same basic thing, but the only thing is, is that I want to see that a bit more advanced on PlayStation.
Coming From a Huge Fan…
I am a major fan of the trophy system that Sony has put into the PlayStation, in fact I find it a little bit superior to achievements based on the leveling system, platinum trophies, and several other things. Coming from a huge fan though, I am really starting to see what really needs to be added here. I have spent days upon days cumulatively getting these shiny trophies, I’m level 18 with 39 platinum trophies, you can even see my profile here. I am what you would call a “trophy whore,” and after years of going on Internet websites to get all this information and tips, it has finally clicked in my head as a question as to why this isn’t just inside the console and officially on Sony’s websites already. That’s why I wanted to write an article and spread a word. I realize that the trophy system is amazing as it is now, but I now realize just how basic it really is and how massive it can eventually be. I hope to get Sony’s attention by writing this article by putting it into the mind of others like myself so they too can spread the word. Here’s hopes that we will see this on the PlayStation 4 (along with a similar thing on the next Xbox). What it would be to one day have the trophy system be taken seriously, maybe to where Sony would have a worldwide leaderborad where they even spot cheaters too, one can dream…
That’s basically what I think, but what do you guys think? Any more ideas on how they can make an even better system? Please drop a comment below and let me know!