News Article

Talking Point: Will Someone Please Frag Online Exclusive Trophies

Posted by Sammy Barker

Trophy locked

We had hoped that the backlash to Tomb Raider’s undercooked (and unnecessary) multiplayer mode would have strong-armed adamant creator Crystal Dynamics into reconsidering the upcoming PlayStation 4 port’s Trophy roster, but a leaked list detailed late last week has confirmed that the studio paid less attention to the feedback than Lara Croft in a common courtesy class. Unfortunately, it’s not the only offender. Despite the constant cries of console gamers on forums and in articles just like this, developers continue to attempt to bolster the lifespan of box-checking competitive components by locking a significant portion of digital trinkets behind stagnant online sub-sections. Isn’t it time that it stopped, though?

According to popular walkthrough website, it takes approximately 40 hours to earn the Platinum Trophy in Britain’s bustiest export’s revival romp on the PlayStation 3. The site estimates that you’ll spend more than half of that time attempting to blast your makeshift buddies in the face, as you’ll need to reach Level 60 in the title’s shoot-a-thon to snag the silvery blue prize at the end of your grave robbing pursuit. But the intrepid site has more words of wisdom for wannabe gold diggers: make some likeminded mates, as the multiplayer mode is deader than Tutankhamen, and its online awards are subsequently impossible to attain through organic means.

Given the smaller install base, we fully expect the next-gen iteration’s deathmatch arenas to be more deserted than an East End snooker emporium within a month of the adventure’s re-release, so why do studios insist on defacing the already dishevelled features of those addicted to the pursuit of petite PNG pictures? One could argue that those arranging tedious boosting sessions are the architects of their own demise, and it’s a comment that’s difficult to counter, but shouldn’t it be the developer’s responsibility to ensure that those aiming to 100 per cent complete a title have the most enjoyable experience possible? Interactive entertainment is apparently escapism, after all – it’s not supposed to be the type of torture that would curl the lips of Grand Theft Auto V protagonist Trevor Phillips towards the sky.

Interactive entertainment is apparently escapism, after all – it’s not supposed to be a type of torture

It’s perhaps telling that the most popular online property on the planet doesn’t feel the need to saddle its single player component with killstreaks and prestige. You can Platinum the majority of the Call of Duty titles without ever needing to connect to the Internet, though recent entries have required you to buddy up in additional co-operative components. Nevertheless, this speaks to the quality of the core competitive action itself, as the slew of perks and weapon unlocks available in these online options offer enough incentive to keep players engaged. Considering the non-existent communities of neglected multiplayer modes such as the one in BioShock 2, it’s clear that adding unachievable Trophies to a title’s roster doesn’t result in the type of staying power that some studios expect.

And yet these companies continue to repeat the same old mistakes, saddling solo centric escapades with system-wide rewards that no one wants to earn. It’s understandable if a multiplayer exclusive experience such as 256-player first-person shooter MAG attaches its trinkets to kill-death ratios and commander ranks, as it’s unlikely that anyone without a penchant for server-side matchmaking would invest in such software anyway. However, we fully expect those fond of sailing the seven seas in solitude to feel more disgruntled than Black Beard without a bottle of Captain Morgan when the next inevitable instalment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise forces you to earn an outrageous quota of experience points rather than search for shanties in serene silence.

There are ways to encourage the adoption of online components without making an entire fanbase rage. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves included a couple of copper cups for those that played a single match of its various multiplayer modes, while oft-criticised (but still outstanding) successor Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception incorporated an entire roster of DLC awards for those addicted to its online experience. But critically acclaimed developer Naughty Dog is not infallible, as survival horror successor The Last of Us’ tense SOCOM-inspired competitive extra encouraged you to reach the conclusion of two complete Factions campaigns in order to unlock the top undead trinket. That’s a sizeable investment for a game all about its single player campaign.

Trophies and achievements are still in their infancy, so it will take time for developers to learn the optimal way to employ them in their games. However, they’ve existed long enough on consoles for studios to understand what people actually enjoy. Given the tears and tantrums regarding the abovementioned Tomb Raider reveal, we suspect that we’re not alone with our complaint. And while we can appreciate that ignoring trinkets in their entirety would eradicate any issues with online-based awards, we really shouldn’t have to overlook an otherwise enjoyable completionist experience just because developers are terrified that we’ll disregard their unwanted multiplayer modes.

Are you frustrated with the repeated emphasis on online Trophies, or do you just not care? Is there a better way for developers to extend the longevity of their competitive components, or do you think that we’re consigned to a future of multiplayer awards? Earn one million experience points in the comments section below.

What are your thoughts on Trophies that can only be earned in multiplayer? (65 votes)

There are few things worse than a Platinum that makes me play online


I don’t really care whether developers include them or not


I actually like multiplayer trinkets as they encourage me to keep playing


Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (29)



ShogunRok said:

Definitely a practice that's at its worst when you need to play a pointlessly implemented multiplayer mode that no one makes use of.



Splat said:

I'm more frustrated that pretty much every freaking game has to have some kinda multiplayer mode...

I think it's a law that every games has to have bad versions of COD free for all and team death match.

I got all the SP trophies for Tomb Raider but there is no way I was going to force myself to play it's awful multiplayer just for trophies. And that is coming from a pretty big fan of trophies.

The worst is when you get a game that no one is playing online any more and there is nothing you can do.



get2sammyb said:

@ShogunRok Agreed, although I'd add that I quite like the multiplayer in Assassin's Creed, but still don't want to have to invest 20 hours into it to get those Trophies. I don't have the time for starters. Does anyone?



ZeD said:

I do not mind the ones where you get a trophy for giving the multiplayer a go but ones which require more than the single player game's length to complete are just bad! Some times I have walked away from playing a game because it has stupid online trophies.
I think this is why it took me so long to play Tomb Raider on the PS3. I know this should not stop me from playing a game but sometimes it just really p**ses me off that developers put these damn multiplayer trophies in. I honestly think it is really lazy of them. They should be some for looking deeper into the main game. Heck, I sometimes dislike games where you get a trophy every step throughout the story! Lego games do it right & about 70% of Assassin's Creed's trophies (but still they have damn Multiplayer ones!)

You know who we can blame for Multiplayer in everything? EA! I am shocked that Dragon Age 2 was single player only!



Reverend_Skeeve said:

Good article, and I couldn't agree more...I hate achievements/trophies that force you through the MP to get them. I'm not a die-hard completionist, but I like trophies and at least the idea I could get all of them a game has without playing the MP.

I mostly play and enjoy single player, campaign-driven games, because many people in online games tend to be jerks...that, and also I suck at online gaming.

Also, I agree with @artemisthemp and others that many games seem to have a tacked on mp mode "just for the sake of it". So yes, please, make the MP optional by keeping the trophies to the single player side.

I'm with @ZeD...sometimes I walk away from games or dislike them because they want to force the mp on me through trophies.



UNC5052 said:

Depends on the game. I wish there were more for games like Battlefield, which is multiplayer focused, but for something like Tomb Raider, I don't like online trophies, unless they are not very time consuming.



DrJoeystein said:

Totally agree when it comes games like these, Sammy. Like with what you mentioned about Uncharted 2, needing to earn a few copper trophies to get the Platinum is fine. After all, the multiplayer is a lot of fun! And even if it wasn't, sinking a few hours into getting those trophies wouldn't bother me that much. But the ones that require you to get to the max level and complete ridiculous challenges in multiplayer...they've got to go.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood was when this brought me to a boiling point. In AC2, I played for hours to unlock the Platinum trophy. It was an incredible feeling to eventually earn it, so I planned to do this in Brotherhood. However, when I found you have to earn trophies in the multiplayer mode to get the Platinum, I didn't even bother attempting that. I love AC, but I'm just not a big fan of the multiplayer, and I wasn't able (or should I say motivated?) to get the Platinum for that game. And Tomb Raider was the same. -_-



ReigningSemtex said:

I enjoy getting trophies for games I truly enjoy I feel sometimes I play game modes I wouldn't have tried out otherwise and get more out of my game but playing something that's as horrendous as the tomb raider multilayer is not my idea of fun. Didn't I read that tomb raider definitive edition has all multilayer dlc included yay loads of maps and no people playing them. I don't think I will be getting the platinum for tomb raider



Paranoimia said:

Hate online trophies with a passion. I absolutely LOVE The Last Of Us, but it may be the first Naughty Dog game that I don't get the Platinum for, as I just can't be bothered with the online.

I can just about tolerate those like in Uncharted, where you just have to give the game a go in various modes - but I don't have the time or patience to do lengthy online segments.



KelticDevil said:

I actually hate the online trophies in the Uncharted games. Sure you can get the Platinum with very little online play. But when I get 80% of the original trophy list, the they release 5 multiplayer DLC packs, all with trophies, now I have around 49% in UC3. And I have no interest in playing that game online.

Another problem with online trophies is when companies shut down servers so they become unattainable, such as the Resistance games now. And yes, while I liked BioShock 2, there was no need for a multiplayer mode at all, much less with trophies. Arkham Origins is another recent example of a horribly tacked on multiplayer that doesn't need to be there.



omnyoto said:

I loved Farcry 3, got all the SP trophies. No plat. for me. Damn MP/ co-op.



Batman said:

I despise this. The only multiplayer I endured for a platinum was Assassin's Creed: Revelations. I had a miserable time.



Stuffgamer1 said:

Online Trophies are getting so bad, they affect my purchasing decisions. Sony permanently lost my potential interest in Resistance and Killzone with BS MP Trophies, and I'm DEFINITELY not interested in giving Tomb Raider another go-round with the exact same Trophy list. The Trophies in AC: Brotherhood are the SOLE cause of my hated of the series at this point...I finally got that Plat with boosting buddies, but by that point I had zero interest in moving forward with the series, which really sucks because the single-player (starting with II) is so good! But no...I think of the series, I burn with hatred. Does that make me over-reactive? Maybe, but so what? It's still on them to provide a product I enjoy, and if I have these kinds of feelings because of their game, then guess what: THEY FAILED.



moomoo said:

Why should this matter? They're just trophies...

It's not like they're hiding single player content behind multiplayer trophies. All it means is you won't get a platinum trophy if you don't touch online. Why should that matter when trophies really don't mean anything outside of bragging rights. All that should matter is that you had fun with the game...



naruball said:

Guess it's a way to force people to buy the game at launch when there are enough people playing online. I always buy Naruto games at launch, because of fear of the online community being dead in a month or two or only hardcore players competing (which is not fun for me, as I'm pretty average at fighting games and hate spammers). At the launch of the game, there are all kinds of levels, so it's more fun.
I'm really glad they dropped online trophies with Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (hated forced multiplayer in 2).



naruball said:


I still consider Naruto: UNS 2 a 10/10, but I'm glad they dropped the online trophies. I only platinum games that are my favourite (e.g. all Naruto games), because I feel like I haven't completed a game until I get a platinum (only have 9 platinum trophies though).
Ni no Kuni was one of my favourite games, so I spent an insane number of hours grinding just to get a platinum. With the rest of the games, I just play for fun. But with some, I just have to beat them completely (even some psp games that don't have trophies).
Then there are people addicted to trophies (and I mean a lot of people). Telling them to just enjoy the game isn't gonna work. I think developers should listen to people's feedback, even if it's something seemingly meaningless to you or them.



Bad-MuthaAdebisi said:

I couldn't care less for trophies really. If I hear that a game has a particularly good online multiplayer mode then I may give it a go, but even then only if I really like the game anyway. I've yet to get into any multiplayer on ps4 other than dcuo.



Gemuarto said:

I think that it's time to sell MP and SP separatly and with different set of trophies. And YEAH, nobody cares about MP trophies anymore. I beat them from Killzone: Mercenary and The Last of Us, but that's it... No more I will do that again. Sometimes, I don't buy games because of MP trophies =))). Because I think that developers who add MP trophies are morons and their game will be meh =). And it's sad when developers take time and resources from SP and create MP, instead of more detailed and polished SP.



dynasty889 said:

@Gemuarto I fully agree with you Gemuarto. They should sell the standard versions of the game [without MP] on the retailer's websites and the PS Store, and if people want to buy MP, they can go onto the PS Store and buy the MP Expansion Pack. The SP version will have the standard trophy set to collect, while the MP will basically be classed as a DLC trophy list. [if that's what you mean..]



Weskerb said:

@omnyoto I've got the plat for FC3 and I didn't play the MP at all. There are trophies for the coop, which is fun and easy, even playing with randoms. Give it a go!



Martinthemonkey said:

If there has to be online trophies then Far Cry 3 is a good example. 6 fun CO-OP missions was all it took for a Platinum.



Spidernoir said:

Keep your multiplayer out of my Action-Adventure games, unless it makes sense (Last of Us).

I hate MP trophies unless it's co-op missions that add fun to the factor.



Vorlon said:

Can't agree about Bioshock 2. Great MP mode. I was going to buy Tomb Raider for PS4 untill I saw the trophy list. Now I am doubtful. I do like co-op online trophies (Red Faction Armageddon, COD Survival or Extinction) and I can understand trophies for trying the MP, but like many people I hate having to spend weeks for leveling some tacked on MP.



Giygas_95 said:

Can't stand 'em. I was one trophy away from platinum in one game but couldn't get it due it being an online trophy that I could just never get to work out right. I've since given up on trophies. I just want to play the game!

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