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I guess I just like liking things

I, like most folks, enjoy lists and summations. Any time you boil a bunch of stats down into an easily-digested format, I’m all for it, especially if it’s not terribly important. A “Facts about cats” infographic is a great idea; a “Ways people were tortured for their convictions” one, not so much. So something that ties into my XBox achievement history and gives me stats and info about it is really right up my alley. I’ve tried a few different ones over the years (including one that had gave my XBox its own blog where it would update on what it was doing, a blog that ultimately got me in some hot water with the woman I was dating at the time), but I haven’t stuck with any of them long-term.

TrueAchievements, however, is something I’ve really taken to. Not only does it look at my gaming history, it does some interesting things with it. From their About page:

We’ve decided that an achievement’s difficulty can be accurately approximated by using a formula based on how many people have that achievement compared to how many people own the game. We also understand the phrase ‘accurately approximated’ is a contradiction in terms but are refusing to remove it on the grounds that it sounds impressive.

From there we multiply the original points given to the achievement by our difficulty score and end up with the TrueAchievement score for that, for want of a better word, achievement.

It’s based on the idea that “achievements with similar point values aren’t all equal.” If you read that whole page, you’d read the example they give of The Simpsons Game’s 5-point achievement for hitting the Start button versus the 5 points for completing 10 side missions in Just Cause. It makes a lot of sense and it’s interesting, but that’s not even what I like most about the site.

Once you’ve created your profile and it’s had a chance to look at your gaming history (your XBox profile needs to be public, the site doesn’t need any special permissions or access), you can do things like compare your stats to friends (if they have also signed up), see what you’re missing for a particular game, and help you figure out how to get what you’re missing. There are also charts and graphs generated by your progress and everyone knows that charts and graphs make everything better.

Two lists that I like are “Best Achievements” and “Best Games,” both from a “value of achievements” perspective. The “best” achievement I’ve earned, based on its value determined by the above-mentioned process, is one entitled “Game 100% complete” from the game Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy.” Its worth in GamerPoints is 180, but in TA points it’s worth 393. Considering how much goes into earning it, I’d have to agree with its worth. My “best game” is Tomb Raider: Underworld, and that’s in spite of the fact that there are two achievements I haven’t earned in it yet.

The feature I’m currently enjoying the most is the Win Streak list, which tells you your longest achievement winning streaks – as in, how many days in a row you have earned any amount of achievements. Back in November of 2013, I had a streak of 21 days. Two weeks ago I happened to notice that I was currently on a streak without even realizing it. I saw how close I was getting to breaking the November 2013 one, so I altered my playing schedule a bit to see if I could top it. I’m now on a 31 day streak and still planning around keeping it going. I don’t consider myself an “achievement hunter,” necessarily, but I do like to get them, especially in games I enjoy. This has changed my habits a little bit, but kind of for the better? It makes me stop playing after I’ve gotten my achievement (or two) for the day. I don’t know how much longer I’ll keep at this, but I’m enjoying it for now.

The more people that sign up for the site, the more useful it becomes, both for them as a whole and for me personally. If it sounds like something you’d enjoy, feel free to mention my gamertag (MadMup) in the “referred by” section of the sign-up process. It doesn’t earn me money or anything, but it will make it easier for us to compare and it makes my newsfeed a lot more interesting to read. So, yes, this has all been a plea for you to make my life more interesting. Help a brother out!

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