Mission Creep: How TA has ruined my gaming and how I plan to save it
Mission creep: the gradual broadening of the original objectives of a mission or organization
When I first got a 360 and throughout that generation, I was not aware that there was a community surrounding achievements and I treated getting them like solo scavenger raids: I would take what I could, ignore anything that I couldn't and would be happy with my takings, move on to the next thing. As far as I was concerned there was no way I was going to get 10,000 kills and all the awards for things that no normal person would do in Battlefield Bad Company so why bother ?
Then many years later I discovered TA and it changed everything. Suddenly I found it was feasibly possible to get those kills and awards (which I have done). Now that I saw it was possible to 100% every game or at least check beforehand and ignore if I couldn't. it has affected how I game massively. No longer do I just "start" a game, I am taking a calculated risk. I am thinking "are the servers going to close ?" "if I don't complete this now will there be issues down the road ?" "am I going to regret starting this and having to begrudgingly complete it ?" and on and on and on.
It then came a personal vendetta. I had jumped from gamertag to gamertag but now I wanted to get all the achievements in the games I associated with both great and awful times on my main email I've had for the past 22 years. I wanted to be where I felt I needed to be, to right the wrongs of my digital past. I even accidentally started 2 games with unobtainable ones, which I got all the possible achievements and then went through all my 100% games, starting them up so that those 2 games would be pushed right to the bottom of my Xbox profile achievements list out of sight.
It has reached the point where I don't play games, I play with metadata and systems, finding the most efficient way to complete a game without stepping so much as a pixel from the path towards an achievement. It has reached the point where the only genuinely gaming pleasure I get from my One X is playing the Original Xbox games. I'm currently getting all gold in challenges and arcade in Timesplitters 2 just because I want to and not because of some addictive system that Microsoft has essentially left to rot for 17 years.
My plan is that of managed decline to revert my mindset to how it use to be. I am going to start by bouncing around games like I used to. The first stage will only involve games with no flagged achievements to ease my mind into things. I will keep piling on more and more games until it inevitably becomes I won't be able to keep up and something becomes unobtainable. At this point I will be able to throw all caution into the wind and go back to my scavenging days with not a care in the world.
In the meantime I will continue to lobby via social media for Microsoft to implement fixes to the achievement system. I have been doing this for over a year now (alongside other people) so I'm not expecting this to happen soon. I will therefore from today start the decline and see if the two meet halfway but I'm not waiting around for it any longer.