In recent years, Sony has had the habit of shutting down its multiplayer servers, especially with its first-party PlayStation 3 games. The worst thing about not being able to play a substantial part of these games anymore is the fact that it renders the multiplayer Trophies unobtainable after the servers are shutdown. In May 2019, Naughty Dog announced that the multiplayer servers for some of its biggest games – Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3, and The Last of Us (PS3) – would be shut down on 3rd September that year.
As an avid Trophy hunter myself, this sent me into a frenzy as I looked up the Trophy lists for each game and whether or not it was easy to obtain the Platinum Trophy. The only two multiplayer Trophies required for the Platinum Trophies for both Uncharted 2 and 3 were ‘Thrillseeker’ and ‘Buddy System’ which requires the player to complete one competitive multiplayer game and one co-operative multiplayer game, respectively. While that was easy enough, both games had an onslaught of additional multiplayer DLC Trophies. These weren’t required for the Platinum Trophy, but in the case of Uncharted 3, my Trophy list would only show a 51 per cent completion score. Like many others, I wanted that 100 per cent completion.
On PlayStationTrophies.com, I found a thread where other users would post that they were interested in working together to obtain the multiplayer DLC Trophies. This led me to a Discord group dedicated to obtaining the multiplayer Trophies for Naughty Dog’s games.
The Discord group was around even before the announcement of the shutdown. One member in the group, Paul, said to me that “before the announcement, it wasn’t hard to organise a session. There were usually just enough people” and “it was pretty positive with plenty of people willing to help”. Paul also noted that “after the announcement, the Discord group blew up”. The Discord group is split into different channels, usually one dedicated to each of the multiplayer game modes, such as Elimination and Plunder. Due to the different channels inside the group, as more users began flooding in because of Naughty Dog’s announcement, it was much easier to schedule sessions but not hectic: “There was less planning ahead of time. Before the announcement, we would have to plan out a time and number of players. After the announcement, that wasn’t necessary since there was always someone playing every mode at any given time.”
Both Uncharted games had DLC Trophies that required players to win a certain amount of matches in different kinds of game modes. In order to maximize efficiency to work towards Trophies, members of the Discord would try and rally up the minimum six players split into two teams in order to start a match. However, the ideal goal was to gather 10 players to “lock down” the lobby, preventing random players from entering the session and interfering. The session would then operate in “cycles”. For example, in the Elimination channel, if it was Team A’s turn to win a match, Team B would commit suicide by either jumping off the map or throwing grenades at each other. Everyone on Team A would be one step closer to the ‘Still Alive’ and the ‘And Stay Down!’ Trophies, in Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3, respectively, which require the player to win 50 matches of Elimination.
Another member of the Discord group, Wip3r, told me, “the key was understanding that we were all there for a common cause, so if anyone made a mistake we all knew it wasn't intentional”. In Uncharted 2, the most time consuming Trophy to obtain is called ‘Cold Blooded’, where players have to achieve 2,500 kills across their lifetime in the game. With the ‘Cold Blooded’ Trophy specifically, one player from each team would kill the remaining four players on the opposing team, usually with the opposing team’s players literally lined up to get shot. Both Team A and Team B members were assigned a number. A1 and B1 would have the first turn to kill the remaining members of the opposing team. The next match, it would be A2 and B2, and so on, until A5 and B5’s turn, which would end the cycle.
Since the group worked in cycles, it was sometimes frustrating to see other members not co-operating: “Then there's that five per cent of boosters who all I can say are selfish leeches, quitting after their turn before a whole cycle ended, or not being in the game while others were playing and they were watching movies on Netflix just spamming X,” Wip3r continued. If a player left the session before the cycle ended, then that could invite an unwelcome random player into the lobby which would mess up the entire session. There was sometimes a person waiting to get into a session, so the problem wasn’t always that the session would be infiltrated by a random player, but both Team A and Team B have to actually find each other in the matchmaking lobby and match with each other, which sometimes took up to 30 minutes to an hour.
While Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3’s DLC multiplayer Trophies were largely the same, the latter introduced Trophies for completing different sets of treasures. Treasures were random drops from opponents the player eliminated, and the drop rate for each treasure was all over the place. The Discord group had a spreadsheet that detailed the different farming methods and maps suggested for certain drops. If players reported getting a certain treasure on a specific map, they would be free to update the spreadsheet. However, the information in the spreadsheet was not considered 100 per cent fact, or was proven to be the only way to obtain a specific treasure. It truly seemed like the drop rate of the treasures and which specific ones were dropped on certain map was completely random.
Uncharted 3’s DLC also had some tough co-op Trophies, “those were the hardest and most nerve wracking. I have to thank the community for ‘Overseer’ and for ‘Triumvirate’. A couple of players helped me even after already getting [the Trophy] themselves,” Paul told me. The former Trophy that Paul referenced, ‘Overseer’, is one that many players had a difficult time with. This required a group of three players to protect a statue from three waves of RPG wielding enemies without the statue losing a single bar of health on the highest difficulty: Crushing. The Trophy required quite a bit of planning, including knowing where the spawn points were for each specific RPG enemy. The players also have to be prepared for the random “armoured” RPG, which took more firepower to take down and could spawn at any of six RPG enemy spawn points. Any small mistake could potentially lead to another, which would most likely result in the statue losing at least one bar of health, thus negating the opportunity to earn the Overseer Trophy at all for that session.
One particular member in the DIscord group, Wouties, helped me when I was struggling to get the ‘Overseer’ Trophy. “Because of my past experience with the co-op, as I had already played it before [DLC] Trophies were added to it, I was soon to be the ‘go-to-guy’ in my boosting groups to get the co-op Trophies done”, Wouties told me. I spent days unsuccessfully attempting the Overseer Trophy, and eventually I asked Wouties for help: “I have prioritized the people that actually attempted the Trophies before. I often kept a close eye on the Crushing channels, and I would notice that some players struggled for days on, for example, ‘Triumvirate’, I would gladly assist them and we would get it on our first try. I like helping these people, because they had some experience with the level and know about the tactics, and they know that these co-op Trophies are quite difficult (otherwise they would have gotten them already). People I don't like are people that simply expect me to carry them through the entire level, without doing any research prior to that, and never even attempted it themselves.”
I saw many players in the Crushing channel who had success obtaining the Trophy when doing their attempts with Wouties. On the flip side, he also saw that I at least tried to understand the basic strategies on tackling the Trophy. As a result, Wouties was much more inclined to lend me a hand. On my very first run with him, I finally obtained ‘Overseer’!
Lastly, after getting all of the multiplayer Trophies for Uncharted 2 and 3, I turned my attention to The Last of Us. The multiplayer portion of the game is ‘Factions’, where players choose to either side with the Firefly or Hunter faction. The player then has to survive a total of 12 in-game weeks, or 84 matches, to complete the faction’s “journey” (1 match = 1 in game day, so a total of 84 matches). The caveat here is that on certain days of the journey, there is a 100% Risk Mission. The player would choose a “mission” and has to complete it within three matches or else the player’s entire faction would wipe out, resulting in having to start the 84 match journey all over again. This wasn’t difficult at all, as it only required communicating to the Discord group that you had a 100% Risk Mission and needed to complete it. Usually, it was recommended that you pick a very easy mission, such as defeating three opponents with melee attacks. The other players in the session would just stand there and let you beat them down until you completed your mission. Completing the journey twice for both the Firefly and Hunter factions would earn you the corresponding Trophies.
In my experience, the multiplayer Trophies in this game was a cakewalk compared to Uncharted 2 and 3. Wip3r agreed with me: “In two hours or so I had all the map related Trophies. Then it was all going through both journeys, swapping wins between the two teams and just being careful with the 100% Risk Missions.” Paul also shared the same sentiment: “Well, it was much easier and less stressful that's for sure. I did a couple of [in-game] weeks [in Factions] before I focused completely on Uncharted 3. After I finished Uncharted 3, I had about a week and a half before the servers closed and it took about three days to do the remaining Firefly and Hunter journeys.”
Ever since Naughty Dog announced the server shut down for these games, it was interesting to see how everyone came together to work against the clock before the multiplayer Trophies, and thus the Platinum Trophy, became unobtainable. Players had plenty of time to get these Trophies, with the servers having been online for almost a decade. However, for those who got started when Naughty Dog announced the shutdown, the past three months were consumed with these games: “It took me like one month and three weeks to boost all Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3, and The Last of Us multiplayer Trophies while working too, so it was quite time absorbing...almost all my ‘non-working awake time’ was dedicated to the three games,” said Wip3r. Nonetheless, earning not only the Platinum Trophy, but the coveted 100 per cent completion next to the game in your Trophy list, feels incredibly satisfying.
Have you ever raced to obtain the multiplayer Trophies in a game before the servers were shutdown? What lengths would you go to for that all-important 100 per cent completion? Find some likeminded friends in the comments section below.