If you're looking for fancy algorithms and graphs or even pie, then this may not be the blog for you. Of course, I wish I had the motivation to compile such a blog, but I'd rather use my words. I might sprinkle in a few numbers, but don't hold your breath for anything more than that. I'm a simple kind of man.
ELIMINATED! Team - 6th | Solo - 26th
At any rate, I was recently eliminated from the GTASC. I'd like to think if I had more free time, a money tree out back, an assassin for hire and other benefits that my competitors had, then I would have reached the final week in both contests. Unfortunately, by going on vacation at the most critical time of the contest, having sudden back issues, a brief family emergency and other engagements (like working and meetings) -- the cards were definitely stacked against me from the get go. I just had too big of a hole to dig out of.
You know what though? If I had the chance to alter that time line as if I was in an Assassin's Creed
game, I simply wouldn't. I really enjoyed spending time up in Ohio with my good friend, YoJimbo Jim, and his wife. And, while I may have had a bit too much to drink during a Christmas Party for work late last week that hindered my plan to game throughout the night, I don't regret any of those decisions in the slightest. If I'm completely honest with myself, let's say our team reached the final week or even won the competition. The satisfaction of being victorious would be short-lived and probably forgotten the following 48 hours. Perhaps if it was advertised where it was a big deal on a grander scale and had a decent prize for reaching the top, then perhaps I'd feel disappointed on losing out. That just isn't the case here. It's not like we're getting paid to game in a way that's not natural. I wouldn't find any of that enjoyable in the slightest and let's not forget to mention the eventual regret from the amount of money that was undoubtedly put into the piles of games played. In fact, whoever does well in these kind of contests are actually putting money in other people's pockets.
While the camaraderie was lacking on the team I was on this year compared to the last one, I still enjoyed the experience, so I'm not trying to knock on them at all. Just a simple fact. It's hard to top whoever popped your cherry first. Ha.
Personally, I thought I did one heck of a job putting up the amount of score that I did while away from home this past week (around 17,000 TA - personal best, I think). In fact, according to my stats, I had some of my best days these past two weeks as well. Not too shabby.
Unfortunately, the back issues is what really did me in as it limited to what I could do on Kinect (which is something my game plan depended on) and pretty much everything else in general. Jim and even Dawn could attest to that. I kept bugging them about those pieces of candy called Ibuprofen. Now, I obviously aimed to do better, but it wasn't my full effort.
I could have easily coughed up over $200 and played those quick Indie games to stay in one week longer, but I opted not to. I wasn't that desperate and we all have our tolerances, don't we? Knowing that my competitors heavily relied on those purchases makes me that feel much better. Those remaining had to go to drastic lengths to avoid elimination. Plus, that $200 could go towards something more useful, like, better games for instance. Du-uuuh!
In fact, the most I spent for this contest was $22.95 and that was to subscribe to GameFly (two titles out at a time). In the fashion I did things this year, I find my efforts more than admirable.
At the risk of acting like a poor sport, I'll share my thoughts on the whole experience. First off, I'm appreciative of all the effort that went into organizing this event, but I think after my first year competing, the "honeymoon" phase wore off a bit this year. I'm not sure if some experimentation played a factor this time around or not because I felt like the structure in regards to eliminations wasn't done right in my opinion. I think they got it backwards. There should have been more eliminations in the beginning and then dwindle down that count as the year went on because let's face it: you could have survived on inflation alone during the first half of the contest.
With that said, I probably wasn't very conscientious of the cut off until when November came around. Anyway, after competing in consecutive years, I'm realizing that this contest isn't a true representation of skill. Maybe minimal skill, but I'm being generous by saying that. I feel like it would ruin my gaming hobby if I spent all year stockpiling achievements. It sounds like waaaay too much work and not satisfying in the least. I'd rather pluck my eyes out than do any of that.
Another part of the contest that I find unbalanced is that whoever wants it bad enough are the teams that spend the most money. I shared this story with someone yesterday on how this contest reminded me of the first car show I ever went to. My friend who was very knowledgeable about how a car gets voted on and what not. At the end of his quick overview of the event, I asked him, "So, it's basically who has the most money that usually wins, huh?" And, he replied, "Pretty much."
I mean, the strategy and planning that goes into preloading can be commendable, but I just view competitions a bit differently, I guess. I would prefer everyone be on an even playing field. A contest like this has too random of an element for my tastes and it just can't be judged consistently for unfair behavior.
Plus, when it comes to preloads, there's that risk of corrupted saves and general "bugginess," which I just read in another blog - it actually happens to the "experts" despite what they may have said previously when this was discussed in the GTASC forums.
(I'm being mindful of the no call-out policy, so that's why no names are being stated)
Speaking of that forum, I've avoided it like the plague for about a month. It seems like that place has become a breeding ground for poisonous behavior and that really puts me off too. I just couldn't deal with those idiots anymore. It just made my eyes hurt reading what some of them had to say. When they act like they're the best gamer in the world, it's quite laughable. Perhaps the best "stock piler," but certainly not a quality gamer. It's not that impressive to me. And what happens when they win? Yep. I don't need to say anything further. It's a hallow victory in my eyes after all of the effort and money that was exhausted to stay ahead of the pack.
Unlike what happens in that forum, I had a healthy conversation with a few others about who may win this year and we're all a little disappointed since we'd rather have a better sporting team represent TrueAchievements. However, like I said, after 48 hours pass, all of it will be forgotten, regret will probably sneak in while any sense of accomplishment will be lost. Plus, sports analysts say this all of the time: no one is a true champion until they defend their title. I don't think that's ever happened in the GTASC, so unless a team repeats and defends their "title," then it just becomes a minor feat.
At the end of the day, I know the entry fee is free, but the prize isn't worth the stress that some of us obviously put ourselves through. It's borderline ridiculousness. Maybe it's just me, but I just don't get the appeal (although the donations during the year was incredibly generous and just downright awesome). Maybe I'm just not in the loop or as absorbed into gaming like the others are. To each their own, I suppose. I enjoy having balance in my life and would rather not neglect life's priorities either.
While I don't want to rule anything out, but it's doubtful I'll be competing in any type of gaming contests going forward. Under the right set of circumstances, I may partake, but it's going to have to be very appealing to enter.
Outside of contests, it's clean up time, that's for sure. Time to hit the ground running, put my nose to the grindstone and deal with one game (or two) at a time. Currently, I have a few projects lined up and since starting Rare Replay
, a few more games showed up on my radar, like the Perfect Dark
series and other cooperative/online related achievements.
I've been hitting Project Spark
pretty hard these past couple of days too, trying to notch another completion on my belt. Due to the weekly challenges, it'll take me a few more weeks, but it's definitely manageable from here on out. I am going to miss that ratio bump though! On top of that, I need to complete these viral games I received and send them back into the rotation soon. Sorry Kez!
There's a few ambitions I have that only a handful of people know about, that I'm secretly working towards on achieving soon, but you'll know it when I get there. If all was aware, it may be more difficult for me to do it.
And, while I didn't officially broadcast it (wish I did), but I won JJB's challenge the other the week:
With that said, I'm taking up more personal challenges, so keep them coming!
Well, it seems I've gotten everyone caught up for this month, so I'll stop while I'm ahead. Otherwise, it's going to go beyond a TL:DR blog post, like usual.
[UPDATED: December 1, 2015]
* list has been adjusted considerably
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