Hitting 500,000 GS, What have achievements done to Gaming.
As always, im your blogger, Mikhail Krauser, and for those of you who have followed me have seen that i've recently joined the 500,000 Gamerscore Club. It was 10 years in the making, but it made me reflect quite a bit on my gaming history and habits. So I felt like I should share some stats and some opinions and kind of explain why I get achievements, what's next for me, and how my journey played out. I've added all the stats at the bottom if you wanna jump to the numbers.
A little back story into how I came to be a gamer, I recall playing games at a very young age, past the age of cartoons and trying to hold my big ass head up, and living in a small appartment with my mother. We didn't have much, but through persistence and saving up, even though she struggled she somehow pulled together to buy me my first system, a Nintendo 64. Now I think I had an NES before this with Mario 3, but my memory on it is hazy. I didn't have many friends at school, and my mother was fairely protective, so it was me and the games.
Time went on, my uncle who worked at Blockbuster bought me a subscription to Nintendo Power every year, and would let me use a free rental to rent a game every week. So I was lucky to experience many games and whatnot from that era. Those were the days... The days where it felt like days were super long, where I could spend hours playing games and be completely enthralled in a story and invested. To admire the colors and explore... The days before achievements... The days where we played the games we liked over and over. Sure, I got a gameboy and pokemon eventually and all that... But being introduced to Zelda Orcarina of Time, Turok which I would use all the cheatcodes on and just knock bodies around for hours and off ledges. Then my 2nd favorite game of all time Resident Evil 2 when mom didn't know what it was. Conker's Bad Fur Day and Jet Force Gemini, Majora's Mask, Goldeneye, playing Perfect Dark with my step brothers against bots with the Farsight. God those were the days.
As time progressed, I eventually got a Playstation 2. To this day, I feel that console regardless of nostalgia was one of the best systems I ever owned. I remember getting Final Fantasy X right away and spending hundreds of hours playing it. I eventually moved into playing SOCOM 3 and Combined Assault online. At this point, I started working at Blockbuster and got to play all the games I wanted. We played Syphon Filter The Omega Strain online and screwed around with tazers, I got to play a ton of RPG's tha I got fully invested in. Even games like Project Snowblind and some lesser known or not overall great games I got invested in. But it was mostly SOCOM, Final Fantasy, and a magical game called Monster Hunter. This game blew my mind! Looking back there wasen't much content, but you would create weapons and armor to fight dragons and dinosaurs, and create armor and weapons out of their bodyparts, and every level was a boss fight... To this day I still play the franchise, and have about 22,000 hours across all the games. I've played every itiration available in North America and can say that in high school with our PSP's and my large group of friends that would play every weekend, we just got fully invested and loved it. I miss having a group, but we get older, life happens, things continue... It goes from there. We'll touch on that a bit later.
Eventually I got an Xbox, because me and a good friend would spend every weekend playing Halo one... Then Halo 2. Eventually Doom 3 got announced and I was hyped even though I never played a Doom minus Doom 64 which I recall making me feel motion sickness which was the only game at the time that did... And gotta say, I picked up Sudeki as well which was fun but only played maybe 10 hours, and tried KOTOR and hated it due to how it played (Which now I find it amazing), and beat Advent Rising and was pissed the other two got cancelled... But the Xbox didn't impress me much. Ok... Crimson Skies was cool... But beyond that, I was a playstation guy.
Then the day came, I tried Gears of War. In those days, the 360 had just come out, the game was freakin' cool! And my friends and me would play. Welp, just so happened that I saved up, and bought myself a week before christmas and xbox 360 with Gears of War. My parents were pissed... But I haden't known that a few days later I opened a brand new and super expensive PS3. Cool! I had both systems! I coulden't wait... And then it all happened.
I got to play Gears as much as I wanted, but sucked at the online, my cousin had a 360, and we all got Call of Duty 4, and played it for hours online, the days where you're a stupid teenager and wanted ot be in a clan and all that? Yeah. That was it. And we wrecked! But what about the playstation? I slaughtered the first Resistanc and thought it was cool... Meanwhile Killzone 2 was on the way, and so was LAIR. Holy shit, I loved the first Killzone, I never played an Uncharted yet, but I didn't really care for Tomb Raider type games at the time. So I preordered at full price LAIR and Killzone 2. I got the grey Owned by Playstation shirt for my preorder... And literally 2 hours into Lair, my broken little heart was done. It was garbage, the motion controls sucked. Yeah at the time it looked amazing, but there was disappointment 1. Then Killzone 2... And the graphics werent as good as the trailers, and having to fight enemies you coulden't shoot like in CoD but had to get around them to shoot glowing bits... I hhad lost complete interest. Folklore... I haden't given enough of a chance, but didn't appeal to me. I never was interested in HAZE but people lost their shit. MAG eventually came out, and the was unplayable due to server shut downs. Sure, I had to pay for the online of Xbox which at the time credit cards were a scary thing, and it was expensive, and why should I have to pay to play online on top of internet... But the PS3 was a bunch of screaming 12 year olds (not that I was probably any better), and the community was a bit more mature on the xbox side of things I found.
But what was this? I... I just got points for something... I unlocked an "achievement". Here is another factor I got pulled into. At first, I was like "COOL! I wanna get these in games I really like" but then I saw stuff like "Seriously" in Gears of War for 10,000 Ranked Kills and I was like "Hahahah yeah... no." (BTW I do have the achievement... And resorted to having 3 xbox 360s while a friend had 3 as well and boosting 10 hour days for like 3 days in a row with eachother to knock it out... Not fun at all)
Meanwhile trophies on PS3 weren't a thing. Even when they came out they seemed like a desperate attempt at following microsoft. Sure the 360 didn't have a bluray drive, and yes, the playstations internals had always been better between ps3 and 4 up until Scorpio, but a few flashy graphics or framerates (minus Naruto Storms exclusivity) didn't do much. Granted now id love to go back and play a lot of JRPG's I missed or variants, but alas, I work a lot too and have had very bad gaming habits in the last several years.
Anyway getting back to my point, I loved getting them, but wasen't obsessive. Then Chad at my work (Blockbuster) had a whopping 15,000!!! (Back then it was a ton) and we didn't have TrueAchievements or XboxAchievement really, and if XA was around it was in its infancy, and you coulden't make sessions, you'd have to ask people online over mic/message or scout forums. No. He was researching but doing it all legitimately. And to some degree he was a bit pompous about it, so that fueled me to go "Ah yeah? I have competition now, time to chase"
That chase lasted a few years actually. 2 or 3. He was the first person I knew that hit 100,000. I did shortly after, then boomed by him. But in that time, I met some amazing people, like Rotorschnee, DieSchlinge, ShotgunBilly... I had made some close friends, some that I would talk to nightly. We would boost, play, encourage, do competitions. I would get overbearing or underenthused, and they would too. But it was like an online family. That right there is probably one of the best things that came out of this, was the fact that we had created real connections. Since then Shotgun has disappeared off the face of the earth, and not just isn't around, but all his accounts are completely gone, and Rotor and DieSchlinge have been hugely successful in publishing books and research and have done well for themselves and I coulden't be prouder. We catch up here and there, but we're all busy.
So what do I truely think about achievement hunting. Well... It's a mixed bag, and comes down to how each of you handle it individually. Let me explain what the last 10ish years have done to me and how gaming played a part in it.
Achievement hunting has been both good and bad, when I was in highschool... I always worked too, but I could spend 10-15 straight hours gaming no problem. And I was boosting a bit already around the age of 18 or 19, but I was still enjoying games. I was still playing CoD online trying to get to 10th Prestige with my friends and didn't care that I wasen't earning points. Shortly after life took a turn. I had a bad breakup, lost my job shortly after, spent several months not working and with someone who wasen't all that kind to me. So I got really into achievement hunting. It distracted me from my problems, when I was depressed. Well things started changing, got rid of her, got a new job, met someone new, started college for Game Development. And things were decent, but the course I took was only in it's second year. I took off after the first semester from a flawed course where my labs were 100% but my theory was 40% (teachers were printing tests from another colleges website, but instead of removing content we haden't covered, he would strike questions from the test with a less than 10% answer rate, unfortunately we had programmers in the course). Well after that I was living with my girlfriend, her mom, and her sister, and her sister found a boyfriend and he had some issues in his living situation, so we got a townhouse. Things were fine, but her sister who didn't work and was going to school started calling shots, me and him were the only two incomes in the house and if I would start a load of laundry, she'd come take the detergent because "he" bought it. Needless to say I lost my temper a few times and dove hard into achievements again, boosting all the time, my girlfriend was a good girl, but her best friend wasen't and was constantly causing issues, so I shut everything out. Eventually I told them they were all to be on their own, and my grandmother moved from her place and I jumped in renting my first private appartment. My girlfriend moved in, and things were good, I lived next to Kashimaru Krauser, and we continued gaming, had some late night deep convo's etc.
I eventually built a PetSmart and started working in it, I met Candy who to this day is my best friend, and was working full time. I was offered a position for maintenance with slightly less hours but more pay. I took it. Well then I got cut down to 5 5 hour shifts, then 3 3 hour shifts. Me and my girlfriend had to go on assistance, she coulden't keep a job longer than a month, we were going to a food bank... I had a lot of games and stuff so I started completing them to not do anything else. It got to a point that I was checking to see if we had change to see if I could afford a 2L of soda as a treat here and there.
Well, one day I went to work, and not having found anything else after months, they told me I didn't have to be there today. I wasen't fired, but there was a miscommunication. I was struggling with my tendantitous for a while, and walking in -35 degree weather in the middle of winter in work boots walking roughly... 16 blocks which took about 50 minutes as sidewalks were never plowed. I don't remember how many times I slipped on ice and hurt myself. Especially at 4 in the morning, itd be easier to walk down the roads. So we had nothing, i'd leave my debit card at home and not eat all day except for a bowl of cereal or spaghetti when I finally got home on longer shifts etc... We coulden't afford our next rent, and I wasen't sure what to do. The landlord was an amazing guy named Larry, a retired cop and very compassionate and treated the whole family good as my aunts and stuff rented from him. I came home, and my girlfriend who had started smoking a bit of weed with her friend, was baked out of her mind with our friend Dave and had ordered pizza which "Dave would pay back."
I threw her out that day. Moved back home, and started over again. However, in that same week, I started at GameStop. This was where my life took a very real and weird turn. I worked there for 4 1/2 years, working part-time then having to fill in for absences, I was the call in guy, and eventually acting ASM, then took over after a long process as Assistant Manager, I didn't game nearly as much after this, but I was in a 4 year relationship that ended after her laziness and fits got the better of me, and I suddenly was pulled into DJing and working at a bar as a chef, DJ, bartender and security and even was training in MMA. Quite a turn right?
Anyway, things with GameStop finally came to an end the night Fallout 4 came out, I was working the DJ business and at the bar, things took a turn at the bar, left there, kept DJing, and now got a job at a great company I love, that pays great, is unionised and has full benefits. Im very lucky. But what happened with the gaming in betweem?
Well... I kept chasing goals, did the GTASC, was gaming off and on, but for me to sit for extended periods of time after working fulltime at GameStop, then the bar and DJing weddings? I have a hard time sitting still. But as much as it was a venture to keep my mind sane while life threw it's garbage at me (some of it self inflicted) I also stopped enjoying gaming. Whether it's residual or subconcious awareness of it being a vice to deal with issues, or whatever... I stopped playing for fun and had to complete and buy cheap games for points. It became a job, not an escape. Doing boosting sessions over and over, loosing sleep, and I don't even have someone that im competing with, it was all personal goals or a desire/addiction/need i've created. However I met Justin at GameStop, our xbox rep, who was the 1st Canadian GameMaster (you see them on the xbox dashboard) and invited me to the streams, with support and whatnot I got invited and got my hoodie and hat and became the 2nd Canadian GameMaster ever, so I started streaming for Xbox directly which was awesome! Eventually I got interviewed with TA and applied to be a Game Information Team Member (which ill be more proactive with took about a month off). It's been a journey for sure!
But when I hit 500,000... I realised something. It felt like a weight was removed. I was so busy chasing that number that my next number is what... 1,000,000 Gamerscore? Sure i have more options and will probably hit it faster but it took 10 years to get here. I don't care.
Now don't misunderstand me. I love achievements. I love getting all the achievements in my games, especially the games I love. However, all these years i've been getting games I love and shelfing them. I never played a Fallout yet I own em all and the Game of the Year editions. I was conciously putting aside long games and RPG's that I know i'd love and enjoy, because I could beat 10 crappier games for points, and to keep raising that score. And spending so much money on getting crap for points. But now I feel like it's finally over. These games (bar server closures) are gonna be here, 360 games aren't worth trade credit anymore which used to be another excuse. So screw it.
So im excited to return to enjoying games, to getting invested and spending 100 hours on one game versus 100 1 hour games that I hate. I used to sit here and debate which "easy" game I wanted to complete and cycle my list ofr hours, now the irony is that as much as I wanted to get achievements fast, my gamerscore's probably gonna skyrocket and ill probably actually play more now. I miss the days where I would play one game constantly, until I slaughtered it, and then still pop it back in here and there. I've lost touch with my enjoyment of gaming. Sure some games came along like Resident Evil 7, the Naruto's etc that I friggin' love... But im constantly stressing or confusing myself over what I should be doing... And I shoulden't have to feel like that... And I don't think im alone in the achievement community. The irony is im fighting so hard to hit goals, but I don't really care what other people have. I certainly am happy when they reach their milestones or goals, but I never have that "I need to be better than you" mentality. I'd love to be first in the world in Survival Horror, but not because I want to be better than anyone else, but because I enjoy the genre.
So what's next... Well, I think as much as ill probably finish some fast games or whatever here and there and still boost occassionally. Im super excited to focus on what I want. I don't feel that need anymore to jump, and my life is in a good place. Moving soon, building a stream setup and studio, and even if it never takes off, im doing it cause i'd like to do it.
Im excited, im looking forward to all this gold i've been waiting on, and to rediscover that excitement of tracking a game for months before release to get it day one and just lose myself for a week. It's almost like the adventure's just starting and im going to find a part of my youth that has long since died. Im excited to play the same shooter online day after day or grind on something. Im excited for Monster Hunter Worlds to come out and sink 500 hours into it in a mere 2-3 months and be involved in a game community that's isolated and we make our lives and world for a while. I may work a lot, but I have a lot of time to live. I own a car now, and my schedual is fantastic. I plan on being a part of the GI team more like I used to, I plan on maybe attenting a gaming expo or con... Im excited to rediscover what I loved about gaming growing up, and hopefully you guys will follow me along that journey. Ill probably be hosting on both mixer and twitch (www.mixer.com/mikhailkrauser www.twitch.tv/mikhailkrauser)
And with that, I hope a lot of you remember to enjoy what you do, whether it's games, cooking or something a bit more health concious. Remember to take breaks, to walk away for a while, try new things, don't hold your emotional problems in and share them, be blunt and know what you want. Be a part of your community and support one another, and if you're not enjoying life, you're wasting time and doing something wrong. Things can always get better. And as much as this was probably just a crap ramble, I hope people can relate it to aspects of their life.
In closing, achievements are a good thing. They're goals you accomplish. But it is difficult to feel like (for me at least) they're optional. It's an itch you can't scratch till they're all done. They're a blessing and a curse, but I like having them still.
Some stats, as of writing this (09/11/2017) I have/am:
19,898 Achievements out of a possible 40,551 (49.07% Completion - 20,653 remaining)
500,000 Gamerscore out of a possible 1,004,505 (49.78% Completion - 504,505 remaining)
917,073 TrueAchievement Score out of a possible 2,467,573 (37.16% Completion - 1,550,500 remaining) [Next Goal is 1 Million TA]
If all achievements were worth 10 Gamerscore, the Standardized Score would be 359,318 points.
370 Completed Games (All Achievements earned, this includes any released DLC)
Been on TrueAchievements since July 31 2011 (6 years)
Been on Xbox Live for 10 Years
Trueachievement Score Position: 352th
Gamescore Position: 447th
Games Played: 533th (1,058 Played though I still have many I havent)
Completed Games: 697th (370 Completed)
Survival Horror: 248th
Survival Horror (All of Canada): 10th
Survival Horror (Ontario): 5th
Fighting (All of Canada): 38th
Fighting (Ontario): 17th
Some Personal Stats (Best Days, Best Achievements, and Best Games for Points)"
Best Achievements in Detail
Achievement Game TA GS Ratio
1. 100% SpeedRunners 1,609 130 12.38
2. Complete all Scenarios 2006 FIFA World Cup 1,027 500 2.05
3. All Requirements Achieved A.O.T. Wings of Freedom 804 100 8.04
4. Master Zoologist ARK: Survival Evolved 799 100 8.00
5. Hero Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes 771 200 3.86
6. Four of a Kind Project Spark 768 100 7.68
7. Medal of Honor Battlestations: Midway 767 150 5.12
8. All Stages Cleared (Inferno) Earth Defense Force 2017 712 300 2.38
9. Mastermind ZHEROS 711 120 5.93
10. Collector Naruto: Rise of a Ninja 708 100 7.09
Best Games in Detail
Game Ach won Total TA Total GS Ratio
1. Project Spark 148 9,613 2,300 4.18
2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection 264 6,252 2,335 2.68
3. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition 87 5,606 2,025 2.77
4. Goat Simulator 85 5,438 2,375 2.29
5. ARK: Survival Evolved 32 5,131 1,450 3.54
6. Max Payne 3 67 5,034 1,665 3.02
7. Mortal Kombat X 73 4,687 1,500 3.13
8. DOOM 52 4,549 1,540 2.95
9. Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because IDK 46 4,202 1,000 4.20
10. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars 50 4,169 1,000 4.17
Best Days in Detail
Date Ach won Total TA Total GS Ratio
1. 22 Jun 2017 90 5,315 3,250 1.64
2. 25 May 2016 92 4,615 1,365 3.38
3. 18 May 2017 76 4,100 3,413 1.20
4. 19 Jun 2017 81 3,831 1,940 1.98
5. 03 Jul 2016 54 3,440 1,260 2.73
6. 28 Sep 2009 44 3,405 3,080 1.11
7. 27 Dec 2016 35 2,784 2,065 1.35
8. 19 Jul 2017 8 2,764 560 4.94
9. 27 Aug 2016 36 2,644 2,100 1.26
10. 21 Nov 2016 23 2,422 1,630 1.49
Milestones for Mikhail Krauser
Milestone Type Milestone Value Date Obtained
GamerScore 500,000 10 Sep 2017
Completed Games 370 10 Sep 2017
TrueAchievement Score 910,000 26 Aug 2017
Achievements Won 19,750 23 Aug 2017
Completed Games 365 23 Aug 2017
Games Played 1,050 17 Aug 2017
Completed Games 360 02 Aug 2017
GamerScore 490,000 27 Jul 2017
Achievements Won 19,500 21 Jul 2017
TrueAchievement Score 900,000 19 Jul 2017
My Favorite Xbox Games:
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Resident Evil Franchise (Especially 7 and Operation Raccoon City... And 2 Remaster when that comes out)
Final Fantasy XV (& Franchise)
Attack on Titan
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Mortal Kombat X
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Guilty Gear 2 Overture
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
The Darkness Franchise
The Evil Within
The Godfather Franchise
The Witcher Franchise
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Condemned: Criminal Origins
Earth Defense Force Series
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon
Gems of War
Grand Theft Auto V
Halo Wars Franchise
Just Cause 3
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Marvel Vs. Capcom Series
Ori and the Blind Forest
Red Dead Redemption
Red Faction: Guerrilla
Silent Hill Franchise
Sniper Elite V2
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Zeno Clash Franchise
Zone of Enders HD
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
Armored Core For Answer
Assassin's Creed II
Blades of Time
Crash Time Series
Crazy Strike Bowling EX
Deadliest Warrior: Legends
Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon
Dragon Age Inquisition
Dragon Ball Franchise (Xenoverse Especially)
Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors Franchise
EA UFC Series
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
Far Cry Primal
Fist of the North Star Franchise
Fragments of Him
Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax
Halo 3: ODST
History Channel Games
Hot Wheels Games
James Camerons Avatar
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
Lost Planet Franchise (Especially 2)
Mass Effect Franchise
Max Payne Franchise
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Need for Speed (2015)
Rise of the Guardians
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Series
Wanted: Weapons of Fate
My Least Favorite Xbox Games:
Hail to the Chimp
Attack of the Movies 3D
Conflict: Denied Ops
Doodle God: Ultimate Edition
Doritos Crash Course Series
Emily Wants to Play
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Fast & Furious Showdown
Frontlines: Fuel of War
Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight
Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear
Hour of Victory
Layers of Fear
Left 4 Dead Franchise
Man vs Wild
Men in Black: Alien Crisis
Mr. Pumpkin Adventure
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
Pimp my Ride
Prey (360 Original)
Skyling: Garden Defense (not bad at all just was frustrating at the end)
Soldier of Fortune: Payback
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty
Other Favorite Games:
Zelda Orcarina of Time
Zelda Majora's Mask
Jet Force Gemini
Final Fantasy VII,IX,X,XII
Posted by Mikhail Krauser
on 11 September 17 at 20:00
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