Trophy Hunting Primer: Boosting 101
- Posted February 1st, 2013 at 12:55 EDT by Dane Smith
- 2 Comments
Welcome to PSU.com's series on the world of Trophy hunting. Join our hosts Skip Williams and Max Platinum as they give you the inside scoop on how to achieve success as a Trophy hunter and take your game to the next level. From trying to beat your friends, to going to the top of the world rankings, they bring you the in-depth analysis found no where else.
Disclaimer: All likenesses used are for parody and/or satirical purposes.
Skip: Welcome everyone to another exciting episode of Skip and Max’s Prime Time Gaming. As always I’m your host with the most Skip Williams, and with me is the doctor of trophinomics Max Platinum. How are you liking the new studio, Max?
Max: The energy drinks here suck compared to the other studio but at least we won’t get busted for using illegal immigrants as our support staff. Why the other place shipped in Mexicans over the Pacific was beyond me. It is no surprise it went bust with hiring practices like that.
Skip: Tonight’s episode is a very controversial subject so for those who have a weak stomach please take the next…3 seconds to turns the channels. Boosting, some people do it and some people don’t. It is a hot topic in the Trophy scene. For the rookies and Nintendo gamers watching, what is boosting Max? I’m assuming it has nothing to do with getting your car engine started in the winter time.
Max: Simply put Skip, it is playing a game co-op with the sole intention of getting the Trophy. The game is not played as the developers intended and boosters work together, even though they are against each other in the game, so each other can get the Trophy as easily and quickly as possible.
Skip: Isn’t that cheating, Max? If the requirement is kill three enemies in three seconds and the other players are just huddling in a group for you to frag them, where is the honour in that?
Max: That is where the controversy comes from in the Trophy community. One group of people believe that as long as the person did not hack the Trophy, and it was unlocked through legitimate means, then it is all fair game. Yes, the creators most likely did not intend for your group to just huddle around a camp fire and watch you plant a claymore under their feet so they explode when one of them takes a piss to unlock the ‘weenie roaster’ Trophy. But for these people trying to do the Trophy legit is like asking Bethesda to make a game without bugs, as if they have perma-crabs or something. Too many Trophies to earn and too little time to hear them ding.
Skip: Where is the skill in having your friends just line up for head shots for you? Aren’t Trophies supposed to be an indicator of a person’s skill at video games?
Max: That is what the purists would want you to believe. They are another vocal group who play the game legit. If it means being strung out on Monster energy drinks, or liquid cocaine as I like to call it, for days grinding out really boring multiplayer on dead servers, well best of luck to them. Is it the most efficient use of time? No, but they don’t care because they are having fun doing it, and they will have pride they achieved their shiny platinum without any help, despite it taking five times as long.
Skip: How is it different than hacking the game or abusing save files? They are both ways at getting Trophies through means the developers did not intend.
Max: Hacking is hacking. The person is not playing the game, but instead using some kind of program to unlock the Trophies. Boosting might be having friends line up for an execution but at least the gamer is pulling the trigger and investing time. Hacking is just doing nothing. Save file abuse is a tricky subject because it depends on how you define save file abuse. If you mean using your own save files to redo portions of the game without having to redo the whole game again, then that is a legitimate method.
Take Fallout 3 and the karma Trophies. If the intention is only to get the Trophies then playing three walkthroughs will take a long time. Instead, people save before each karma level, get one Trophy, reload, tank their karma and get the next Trophy, reload, repeat for the last one, and finally reload and continue with the game as if nothing happened. Taking other people’s save files and using their walkthroughs is considered cheating to the majority of the hunting community. It is as close to hacking without actually hacking as you can get.
Skip: But what is the difference between just reloading your own save game and loading up your friends? Aren’t they the same thing?
Max: If you want to get technical Skip, yes they are. But the difference is you did the work vs. your friend or colleague doing the work. Why play the game yourself if you can just load a friends Mortal Kombat data, do one fatality and see a quarter of the Trophies ding? Is it a complex issue? Most definitely, and that is why there is a lot of debate around it.
Skip: For the hunter who wants to raise in the ranks the fastest what should he or she choose when it comes to this debate? It seems to me that the quickest way is to boost.
Max: You are right, Skip. Boosting is the quickest and most efficient way to rise in the ranks. Ever try to get the Fallen Idols Trophy in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City without boosting? Well, unless you are a crack shot you are going to have hard time getting it without one of your teammates killing one of the characters before you can first.
Skip: For the gamer who is about to boost his first game, what are some of the rules, the etiquette to follow to ensure things go smoothly? We can assume someone who cuts and runs won’t have many long-term boosting friends will he?
Max: You are exactly right with that one. Rule number one is to reciprocate. You are not Mr. Moneybags playing Monopoly so don’t quit the game once you get your Trophy. Wait until everyone else in the group has gotten the Trophies that were agreed upon, or if that is not possible due to a long grind then let everyone know you’ll leave in a while. The best boosters will call upon the hunters they know won’t cut and run, making everyone’s lives a lot easier. But this is just common sense. The next rule is don’t be a textless friend spammer.
Skip: What is that, Max? I thought boosters need lots of friends in order to boost the Trophies from numerous games that not everyone would have?
Max: Right, but there is a difference between putting a message saying why you are messaging the person as opposed to just leaving it blank. Am I expected to message you, Skip, if you add me as a friend and ask you what game you wanted to boost? No, don’t be ridiculous. Say the game in the message. It is as simple as RE:ORC Boost and now the person won’t block you for being a spammer or ignore you.
Skip: I keep trying to get the four hero kills in ORC but one of the guys keeps killing them first. Why is he doing that?
Max: This brings us to the third rule, well, more like rule 3A and 3B. Always have a plan. Don’t act like a chicken with your head cut off. Don’t be shy talking to the other boosters, even if their Trophy haul is better than yours. Discuss how the session will go, what is needed to be accomplished, and who is doing what. This way time is not wasted and there are no misunderstandings. Remember rule two. If they have a professional attitude or are generally a decent human being then they will stick around until everything is finished so don’t freak out if being first in line doesn’t happen.
However don’t be a douchebag so always follow rule 3B which is never be a douchebag. Follow the structure the group laid out for the game, wait until everyone has their Trophy, and don’t act or talk like a jerk. Professional boosters don’t want to wait five minutes or redo a mission because you were screwing around and not sticking to the plan. You’ll soon find yourself kicked and left needing to find others, with an inbox full of nasty messages telling you to stop being a douchebag. For a new game like Call of Duty that will be easy, but just try being a douchebag while boosting a rare game like Front Mission Evolved…it is not a pretty sight. I still have nightmares about that game to this day.
Skip: Nightmares from boosting a game? You aren’t high right now are you Max?
Max: I’m always high, Skip, always high from dinging. I have a daily quota that is always being upped because I can’t get the same rush as before. I fear I’ll reach a point where I’ll have to personally fund the development of Disney games so I can get one days fix.
Skip: The definition of a Trophy whore, ladies and gentleman. What is the last rule, Max?
Max: The last rule is pull your own weight. Unless your job is to actually doing nothing then don’t do nothing. I remember an intense White Knight Chronicles boosting session where one girl in the party decided to just call up a friend while we were doing all the work, and then complain about us bitching at her to do her job. Rules 3A and 3B were broken worse than a bat used by Bo Jackson when striking out. But it did give us a week’s worth of jokes.
Skip: Thanks, as always, for your insightful commentary Max. That is all the time we have on the show this week. Remember to follow the rules and boost in style. Max has a quota to keep, although one day I think we’ll find him trying to sniff the console for his fix at this rate. Live from the Tokyo Dome, for Max Platinum I’m Skip Williams saying good night and good gaming. Tune in next time as we discuss the top five easiest platinums.
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BlindMango | BlindMango
- 6:18pm EST - February 1st, 2013
As a trophy whore, I appreciate these articles Dane, awesome!
- 1:40pm EST - February 7th, 2013
Another great article regarding the fine lines between all the trophy controversy. And I love how these articles address all of the points regarding the matter - I often have a particular point in mind while reading through, only to have it mentioned.
I understand how boosting is a controversial matter, personally being one of those people that doesn't agree with the idea of it due to it kind of being 'cheating', although in practice I often resort to it myself if I feel a particular trophy is too ridiculous - so in a sense I kind of have double-standards. I do feel bad for not achieving the trophy in the 'correct' way, but at the same time, why bother doing it the tedious, 'legitimate' way when you know that most of the people with the trophy boosted? One thing I do not condone is hacking, which is cheating no matter what way you look at it; at least there's a fine line for boosting.
Although, in the defence of boosting, it is justified in the sense that it is different to regular singleplayer trophies; singleplayer trophies are the same for everyone around the world, as they are entirely dependent on the individual's skill, due to being pitted against the game's AI - everyone's on the same playing field. However, multiplayer trophies that require you to fulfil certain criteria against another human being are completely different, often requiring a lot more luck than skill. For example, one player may be particularly lucky and be against some very poor players, making a specific trophy exceptionally easy to obtain, whilst another (especially later on in a game's life cycle when only the 'hardcore' players are left) may be against players that are so good at the game that obtaining the same trophy is more or less impossible. Not everyone is on the same playing field as it is entirely dependent on the skill of the players you are against, therefore meaning that two players earning the trophy 'legitimately' didn't necessarily have to demonstrate the same level of skill in order to fulfil the criteria. Because of this reason, I personally condone boosting as it is simply removing the idea of everyone not being on a level playing field by eliminating the factor of luck - and those that boost are still fulfilling the criteria, albeit in a more controversial way.
Besides, boosting often takes longer, and takes more organisational skill that achieving a trophy 'normally', it just removes some of the skill involved. So sometimes, it's an even sacrifice of time for skill.'
Hacking and game sharing, however, are never an option and are not acceptable, and should always be punishable by banning of a PSN account.