Trophy Hunting Primer: Online Trophies

  • Posted February 15th, 2013 at 06:55 EDT by

Welcome to PSU.com's hit 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: We are here live at the Tokyo Dome in the NGN studio. Welcome back fans and viewers for this week’s episode of Skip and Max’s Prime Time Gaming. I’m your host with the most Skip Williams and with me as always is the doctor of trophinomics Max Platinum. Tonight we have a cautionary tale as Max and I discuss one of the most controversial topics in the Trophy hunting scene: Online Trophies.

Max: The bane of platinum hunters, PPSers, 100% achievers, and basically anyone who cares about getting every Trophy a game has to offer. Online is a tricky subject because this is not 1994. Online gaming is a main function for a lot of games, and offers an endless amount of potential at what can be achieved. Just look at what CCP is trying to do integrating EVE and Dust514 together.

Skip: So Max, what is the big controversy with online Trophies? Where does all the hate come from? After our discussion about boosting, online Trophies should be really easy to get, right?

Max: Alas my dear Skip there is more here than meets the eye. There are three parts to this problem which are server shutdowns, dead servers and online passes. Currently, sometimes a game is afflicted with a shutdown or an online pass, but in the future games will be afflicted with both which is something a lot of people in the industry have overlooked or do not realize, and that will have an adverse effect on more than just Trophies.

Skip: Why would a server shutdown be a problem for getting Trophies? Obviously it means the Trophy would be impossible to get but is there more to it than that?

Max: As you stated the big problem is without a server and no online, online trophies would be impossible to get. But it’s not so much that a server closes that is the big issue but that the majority of online Trophies are either super easy or super hard, which makes a server shutdown even more of a slap in the face to the gamer. Why bother having them in the first place?

Let us use Hasbro Family Games Night as an example. There is one online Trophy in the entire game and requires you to simply play one online game. But the server has been shut down which makes the platinum impossible. Imagine you are a PPSer or 100% achiever, you buy the game cause you want an easy platinum for a change and bam, server is shut down on you. 100% is impossible. The platinum streak is gone. All that hard work is essentially ruined because of one Trophy that takes 5 seconds.

Skip: Isn’t that the price you pay to play the game? Servers cost money to run so why would a company spend money on a game’s server that no one is playing?

Max: I’m all for making a dollar and that is why companies have started putting in online passes, so they can recoup some of the cost of the servers as well as from used game sales. But online passes have their own problem for Trophy hunters, and even non-Trophy hunters, in that they are region locked.

Skip: Why would online passes being region locked pose a problem for a Trophy hunter?

Max: Skip, where are we broadcasting from?

Skip: Uh, Tokyo?

Max: Are you Japanese?

Skip: Not that I know of.

Max: What region is your PSN account?

Skip: North American/Canadian, why?

Max: Ever wondered why you couldn’t play Dead or Alive 5 when you bought the game here in Japan?

Skip: Cause the online pass wouldn’t work because the code was for the Japanese PSN store. But I just went and made a Japanese account and it worked.

Max: That’s because you don’t play for Trophies. You don’t care if Trophies unlock on multiple accounts. For a Trophy hunter their profile is their pride. So unlocking Trophies through multiple accounts is not something they will do. The ‘make another account’ explanation is what everyone says when people complain about online passes but did you know not every countries account can be made as easily as a Japanese, UK, or US one? Take South Korea for example. Korean PSN accounts require a registration number, something foreigners cannot get, which makes games with online passes there completely useless.

Skip: How many foreign gamers live in South Korea though? That is pandering to a very small minority of gamers who live overseas in a different country.

Max: It may be a small minority but it is a fact that is often overlooked by companies when they make online Trophies and online passes. They essentially alienate a potential client base because of all the red tape and country regulations surrounding the PSN stores. Even buying a game on EBay or while on vacation becomes very tricky. Maybe you are in London and see the Mass Effect trilogy brand new and cheaper than back home. Any rational and normal gamer pre-online pass would buy it in a heartbeat if it was on their wish list. It’d only make financial sense. But now gamers have to be wary if there is any DLC or online with games because of region locking.

Skip
: Let’s put aside online passes for the moment and delve into the middle ground of this issue. What is a dead server and how do Trophy hunters get around this problem.

Max: A dead server is any game that has zero people, or close to zero people playing it online. When a game is first released there are always lots of people online to play it, so finding people to play is not a problem. Rooms fill up fast and it should be just a matter of finding good boosters to play with. But a year or two go by and suddenly there are not so many people playing it anymore. Again, this might not be a problem with a massively popular game like Call of Duty but less popular or niche games like Front Mission or Ghostbusters (before the servers were shut off) would make finding boosting threads necessary.

Skip: What’s a boosting thread? I’m guessing it’s like a Craig’s List ad or something?

Max: Well, it’s not as seedy as a one night tryst in a rundown motel off the highway with a chance of getting the clap, but it is similar that it is an ad thread for finding boosters. There are a lot of trophy hunting sites on the internet and all a hunter has to do is find that particular game’s boosting thread, give their PSN name, say they want to boost, and wait for people to add you. That is the lazy way though, and a classic rookie mistake.

Skip: What is the Max Platinum certified way to find a booster?

Max: Of course put your name on the thread but don’t just add it and wait. You would be surprised how many people just add their name and wait for people. I’ve put my name down lots of times for various games, wait a couple days, and see a laundry list of people posting after me who beg for boosters but never bothered to be proactive.

Skip: You mean like how you got the phone number from the girl at the flower shop down the street?

Max: Well, my regal charm did most of the talking, but yes, be proactive. Don’t just wait for others. Add everyone from the list who posted before you.

Skip: Didn’t that girl slap you in the face on the first date? Someone put up a picture of that around the office.

Max: She just didn’t like my cologne.

Skip: And the law suit that was filed after you bought her flowers that she was allergic to, sending her to the hospital.

Max: No one remembers the strike outs, only the home runs.

Skip: What does that have anything to do with this topic?

Max: Sometimes a person will decline your friend request, even if they are found from a boosting thread, but so what? It’s not the end of the world, and more often than not the person will accept it if you ask them.

Skip: How did that lawsuit end up, Max?

Max: I’d rather not talk about it.

Skip: That bad, huh?

Max: My name almost got changed to Max Bronze, enough said.

Skip: If Max Platinum was in charge of making the Trophy list for a game would you include any online Trophies?

Max: No, not unless the game was not on a server and instead peer-to-peer, and even then not make them so difficult or tedious that it is like trying to pull teeth from a screaming five year old in the dentist’s office. What is the point of adding a level 20 Trophy when it takes 40 hours of boring grinding to reach it? Does it add life to the game? Not really unless it wants to be called an unlife.

No one waiting around the game’s lobby is not as big an issue as long as a boosting thread is found. There are work-arounds, alternate ways of getting the job done. But why spend the money on a game from the past when part of it is unplayable, especially in this current industry push for online co-op games and modes.

Skip: Interesting philosophy, Max. Maybe a company will give you a call to work on their Trophy list?

Max: I already have my Max Platinum seal of quality stamp made.

Skip: Doesn’t that kind of look a lot like Nintendo’s?

Max: No, theirs is brownish gold. Mine is platinumed coloured.

Skip: I think Max Bronze is going to get sued into Max Copper very shortly. That is all the time we have this week, fans and viewers. Assuming we don’t get sued by Nintendo, join us next week when we give you our top five hardest platinums. For Max Platinum, I am Skip Williams saying good night and good gaming, live from the Tokyo Dome. Uh Max, the Boss wants to see you. I think Nintendo called or you’re being sued by someone else.

Missed an episode of the program? Check out the back issues to get up to speed. Have a comment about the series? You can reach the author here or at Dane.Smith@psu.com

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