I remember that cold December day in 2009 when I was directed to TrueAchievements, I was in a thread about Gamerscore / Trophies and their effect on gaming habits on the NeoGaf forums and U2NUMB
told me about a site that adjusts the difficulty of Achievements. Back then I was making my own excel spreadsheet for me and a few of my friends... I would take the average score for a game from the now closed MyGamerCard.net then take the inverse and multiply by our current score. It kinda assigned a difficulty rating from 1 - 10 for most games on the Xbox 360... average score is 500, then the rating was 2, average score of 100... difficulty was 10. I updated the spreadsheet each week and distributed it to my friends, I even made weekly gains charts and such. It was a really nice competition among friends and we would never even think about the notion of cheating.
Since we joined TA I've always noticed a kinda down-swing to my TA score. The longer a game is out, the more people will complete it, there is a point where that number increases faster than new players and then a game hits it TA peak... so to speak. I have several high TA Ratio games with an overall TA Ratio of ~ 1.85 and when a cheater appears on the site I usually get hit with a 200+ point drop overnight, then another shows up and I lose another 150+ TA score. It's a constant tug-of-war with my score, and my friend AYU X360
feels the same drop, or worse... his overall TA Ratio is 2.08. It's been a long time since my accurate score has been represented on TA and there is really no solution to remove these cheaters. Regardless of the rules there is an Investigations Team that deals with the cheaters, from my experience of reporting cheaters I've noticed that if a member won 13,000 Achievements in 1 day or they somehow won 10K online matches in Armored Core For Answer
offline, they will be removed in ~ 1 week.
So what makes people cheat? If you cheated, why even join TA? What is considered cheating? It's no secret that my friend AYU X360
and I gained these Achievements
By trading wins in ranked matches... a.k.a boosting. I read a site-news story not long about about changing the cheater policy for TA and I was surprised how many people thought boosting was considered cheating? TA allows you to create "boosting sessions" why would they consider it cheating? There are dozens of Gears of War sessions for these Achievements.
It's safe to say that boosting is not cheating. What about glitching? There was a method of gaining EXP in Aliens vs. Predator
in the Marine Campaign when the game first released. I remember telling my friend that the story missions gave EXP and I inadvertently stumbled onto this glitch by backing out of a ranked-match and then going straight into campaign. I obtained these Achievements with relative ease:
Or when I stumbled onto the 17 second Tag Match glitch in Rumble Roses XX
by trying to create a character that can land 3 lethal moves quickly... it still took over 100 hours of loading screens to obtain these Achievements:
I spent more time in loading screens than the actual game... but I put in the time. Is that the factor that determines if it's a cheat or not? Then why is a game like Fallout 3 (PC)
not considered cheating? Enter a command and BAM! 72 Achievements unlocked! What about consumables: In Record of Agarest War
you can literally BUY these Achievements from the marketplace:
All of these Achievements have > 2.0 TA Ratio and you can purchase PP from LIVE and use it to raise each attribute > 150. Is this considered cheating? In the future will all games have Buyable Achievements? What would be the difference between that and Game Saving? The Publisher allowing it by paying them $$$ isn't that extortion?
Where do you stand on cheating?